Off the Dial

Step Out & Win

Did you ever see the movie Meatballs? That about sums up my summer camp experience.  I spent 8 summers away from home and I have great memories of that time.  Got more independent, took on more responsibility and (ahem) may have learned just a little bit about boys. 

I'm hoping my children have almost as much fun now that they've started sleep-away camp. This was my daughter's third summer and I mentioned a few weeks ago that Benny had a blast at our local diabetes program. His first time away from home was a big success and he's already looking forward to next year.

Not quite the same as a trip back to camp, but Benny will get to see some of his friends and counselors in a few weeks.  That's because the folks at Camp Carolina Trails are organizing a reunion at our local ADA Diabetes Walk – and giving away a FREE week of camp to one lucky family.


                 CCT 2012 – love this picture taken by one of the counselors.

The event is officially called Step Out / Walk to Stop Diabetes in North Carolina and it's a fund raiser for the American Diabetes Association. There are two walks, one in Raleigh on October 20th, the other in Charlotte on November 3rd, open to all affected by type 1 or type 2 diabetes.

Here's a link to the CCT's team page. You don't actually have to walk to earn your chance to win free camp, but you do have to join or create a team and raise at least $500 dollars.  To find out more, contact Lauren Scharf at (Charlotte) or Paulette Becoat at (Raleigh). 

We'll be at the Charlotte walk and the reunion lunch after the event. Benny's already excited about seeing some of the staff that's signed up and we're hoping to see more campers as well.

I'm on the Board of Charlotte's JDRF. but haven't done much with the local ADA chapter. I'm looking forward to connecting with them.  Hope to see you there!

(Did you skip the link to Meatballs? The 1979 trailer is worth a minute. I promise, you will laugh. If not at the script, then at the clothes!!)

Here We Go…

School started today and, sure enough, my phone started ringing just after 12 noon. I answered, "Oh no, not already!" goofing around,  thinking the staff just had a blood sugar or carb question. No such luck:  Benny's inset had come out and I needed to go to school.

Didn't we have enough excitement the first week of school last year?


(Just in case you're new here… my son has type 1 diabetes and wears a pump to receive his insulin. The inset -right- is how the pump connects to his body. No inset, no insulin, no good.)


A quick drive to school and a quick walk to Benny's class. He jumped up and asked, "Am I going home?" No. "Can we at least do this somewhere private?" Of course. "Can I play with your phone?" Fine.

I took him into the nurse's office, he squeezed my hand and we popped the new inset in.  It hurts (there's a needle) and we didn't have time to use the numbing cream as usual. Actually, since diabetes camp earlier this summer, he skips the cream about half the time.  I don't know what magic they use at D-camp, but I'm still amazed by that trick!

I asked Benny why he thought the inset came out; it hasn't been much of a problem lately.  He said his tubing got caught on something during recess. I reminded him to keep it coiled up neatly, he rolled his eyes at me and smiled.

Back outside the classroom I gave him a big hug and he ran in to join his friends.  

I'm so proud of him and how he takes these moments in stride.  At the age of 7 already manages most of his diabetes care himself (with adult supervision).  In just a few years he'll be able to do everything and I won't have to go to school at all.

That's a good thing, right?

Different Shoes

One of the most inspiring stories from this summer's Olympics is, of course, Oscar Pistorius. I'm sure I don't have to explain that he's the first double amputee to compete on the track and make an Olympic final. 

When you have a child with a disability or a chronic condition, I think you keep a little bit of an extra eye out for people who seem to have overcome their own limitations. I want Benny to grow up taking care of his diabetes but not letting it get in his way.

I wondered, what gives Oscar Pistorius the confidence, the motivation, the incredible mental strength to not only succeed in everyday life, but to compete at the highest level of athletics?  Then I read an article where he said this:

"My mother used to tell us in the mornings, 'Carl, put on your shoes, Oscar you put on your prosthetic legs… So I grew up not really thinking I had a disability. I grew up thinking I had different shoes."


Benny has diabetes because his pancreas gave out.  We can't control that. But maybe we can keep trying to teach him that wearing an insulin pump is, in its own way, just like wearing a different pair of shoes.

Put it on and go run. 

Eating Jello, Dreaming of Pad Thai

Looks like I'll be out a bit longer than I last thought. Saw my doctor this week, spoke with WBT management and we've all agreed that I'll come back to Charlotte's Morning News on August 27th. If all goes well.

BathroomscaleMy checkup was good, but right now it's about adjusting medication and getting back my strength. I probably lost about 20 pounds in three weeks; so far I've gained back about five.

(It's hard to watch the number on the scale go up, but I'm trying to be logical. This isn't about bathing suit season, it's about being healthy, right?)


Since this illness has been all about my stomach, and other various parts nearby, I find myself thinking an awful lot about food:

– I'm dreaming about going out to dinner. Maybe it's because I went from no solid food for two weeks in the hospital to jello and chicken soup at home, to pretty mild fare right now.  At night, I dream about Asian restaurants. Not sure why, but I can't wait to go out for Thai, Indian, Chinese. Sorry, Rotelli.

-Not allowed to eat shellfish yet. Good excuse to show you this picture, though.


Back in June, we enjoyed a great meal at Il Bosco in Davidson. Those little critters on top are called langostino. The waiter told me they're considered little lobsters or giant shrimp. Either way, they were delicious. 




– I haven't had coffee since June 28th. My coworkers just gasped. I usually have my first cup every morning at 4am. I didn't even have caffeine again until about a week ago (sticking to tea for now).  Life is very different without that 3:30am alarm!

-And, not so much food, but… online shopping is very dangerous when you are home more than you're used to. I need to get back to work before I spend the college funds.

Thank you again for all the emails, calls, tweets and Facebook comments. My favorites have been the two separate listeners who said they can't wait to hear me back on the radio, even if it's just to hear me read the ads! That's dedication.

See you on the radio on the 27th. Maybe I can convince the Charlotte's Morning News crew to go out to lunch with me!