Off the Dial

#ConCarolinas – Charity

I went to ConCarolinas for the first time this year. Like a lot of people, I wanted to meet guest of honor George RR Martin, the author of the series on which HBO’s Game of Thrones is based. I’m also a fan of a lot of the shows they celebrate at SciFi conventions and I thought it would be fun to look at the costumes and hear a few speakers. I didn’t expect to be impressed by a local charity that’s playing pretty smart.


Second Harvest as Once Upon A Time

Second Harvest Food Bank has a great booth. It’s fun but they also educate about the issue of hunger in our area. They put out collection bins and take in  monetary donations. I spoke with Matt Nooe (that’s him as Capt. Hook) about why they’re reaching out to the comic book crowd:





Saturday Snapshots – #DBlogWeek

Back for another year, let’s show everyone what life with diabetes looks like!  With a nod to the Diabetes 365 project, let’s grab our cameras again and share some more d-related pictures.  Post as many or as few as you’d like.  Feel free to blog your thoughts on or explanations of your pictures, or leave out the written words and let the pictures speak for themselves.

We’ve been using the Dexcom CGM since December. I absolutely love it. Not only has it helped us with better control, it gives us a great education every day. With a CGM, you can really see the why behind the numbers. Of course, sometimes the “why” might as well be the moon is in Aquarius or Benny’s aura is blue that day. I’ve stopped pretending that diabetes always makes sense!

I chose this as my picture because I thought it summed up our day pretty well. Also,  we’re busy on the weekends and I didn’t see myself running around with a camera all day long!



That bottom red line is on 90 and you can see he’s just below it a couple of times.  He woke up at 7am with an 81 and arrow angled up. You can see the after breakfast spike courtesy of cereal, milk and Minecraft (i.e. sitting around). We can thank a lunch of macaroni and cheese for the afternoon spike and playing outside for a couple of hours for the before-dinner 85 (no additional bolus given for the high).

What’s interesting to me is that if he had checked BG at around 2pm and then again around 4:30, he probably would have been around 150 both times; we wouldn’t have known that spike was even happening. A CGM is a cool window into what’s going on all day long.

(By the way, dinner was low-carb chicken burritos that Slade whipped up. I anticipate a much smaller post-meal spike. It doesn’t get much carb-junky-food than mac & cheese!)


Diabetes Life Hacks – #DBlogWeek

Share the (non-medical) tips and tricks that help you in the day-to-day management of diabetes.  Please remember to give non-medical advice only! 

I don’t really have any good advice for today’s prompt.  The best we’ve come up with is using a paper clip on the meter case when the zipper breaks. But I do have a sort of reverse diabetes-hack.

There are times when having diabetes can actually come in handy. I carry snacks in my purse and in my car. There’s usually a juice box somewhere nearby. And we always have alcohol pads to clean stuff up if needed.  We carry a diabetes bag and try to be prepared. I never thought we were preparing for the day my son lost his Nintendo DS stylus:


Can you see what he’s using. Look closer.  Yes, that is a syringe. Benny uses a pump, but we always carry needles in our diabetes kit just in case something happens and he needs a shot.


Necessity being the mother of invention and all that, he made good use of the supplies on hand.

I’m just glad he kept the orange cap on!


Mantras & More #DBlogWeek

Yesterday we opened up about how diabetes can bring us down. Today let’s share what gets us through a hard day.  Or more specifically, a hard diabetes day.  Is there something positive you tell yourself?  Are there mantras that you fall back on to get you through?  Is there something specific you do when your mood needs a boost?  Maybe we’ve done that and we can help others do it too? 

“The only weapon I have is comedy,” said the great Mel Brooks. I’m not in that league, but I try to laugh at diabetes as much as I possibly can.

When you laugh at something, you take away its power. You are now in control. Mel Brooks always said that about The Producers; he cut Hitler down to human size so he could humiliate him in front of the world. So he could laugh at him. We watched a lot of Mel Brooks movies growing up and my parents loved and encouraged any kind of comedy.  I’ve found it’s not only my armor against diabetes, it’s my therapy when things get tough.

Do I have to say it doesn’t mean we’re making fun or taking things lightly (or that diabetes isn’t Hitler)? Humor is my way of choosing to respond to the non-stop drudge that diabetes can become. I have plenty of anger, plenty of sadness at this condition. It sucks. But it’s also completely ridiculous.

Some of the humor comes very naturally. The language of diabetes lends itself to easy jokes. Are you “high?” in school?  Did you “shoot up” yet? When Benny was very little, he made up words for the parts of his pump. The end of the tubing was the “click,” the inset was the “button” and something else was the bubba. I can’t even remember. What was the bubba? The tubing? Now I’m laughing at myself!

We’ve laughed through the first time Benny held his pump. He looked at it for a second, then threw it across the floor. We laughed all the time when potty training a little boy with an inset on his backside (everything has to be done very… carefully).  Recently, I was in Target, on the phone with school saying, “Hmm. He’s high AND hungry? No, I don’t need to pick him up…”  The looks from the people around me were priceless.

Of course, the serious stuff isn’t funny. There are times you just have to grind down and keep going. Pull on some strength you didn’t know you had. We’ve had some A1C issues last year, better now, but I’m not laughing at that. That’s when you get serious and try to manage as best you can.

Then you can do things like smile at the kitchen white board. Mine keeps track of my son’s inset changes, Dexcom insertions.. and our dog’s heart-worm pills. Hope I don’t mix those up.

What? You’ve never seen The Producers?! Enjoy: