"I Tell Them I'm a Cyborg" - Talking To My 15-Year-Old Son About Type 1 Diabetes
Release Date: 05/26/2020
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Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms Type 1 Diabetes
In-depth with a teenager who lives with type 1. Stacey interviews her son Benny, who was diagnosed just before he turned two. They talk about Control IQ, explaining what diabetes is to people who don't know and what he does these days for sports and other activities. Benny answers listener questions and looks back on 13 years of T1D. In TMSG – graduation good news, two popular diabetes books get an update and more This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider. ----- available to Diabetes Connections...info_outline Dr. Natalie Strand: Chronic Pain, Type 1 Diabetes & Looking Back at "The Amazing Race"
Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms Type 1 Diabetes
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In-depth with a teenager who lives with type 1. Stacey interviews her son Benny, who was diagnosed just before he turned two. They talk about Control IQ, explaining what diabetes is to people who don't know and what he does these days for sports and other activities.
Benny answers listener questions and looks back on 13 years of T1D.
In TMSG – graduation good news, two popular diabetes books get an update and more
This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
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Stacey Simms 0:00
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This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms
Stacey Simms 0:26
this week in depth with a teenager who lives with type one, okay, it's my son Benny. We covered a lot of ground here answering your questions including sports, what he tell his teammates when they travel for sports and stay overnight.
I tell them that nasal spray thing - Baqsimi if I don't wake up or if I pass out, do that and then go get coach.
Stacey Simms 0:47
We talked about feeling self conscious about diabetes gear, what he remembers about being a little kid with type one and his feelings about the new Control IQ system. I think this interview was a good idea?
Tell me something good graduation news two popular diabetes books get updates and more. This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.
Welcome to another week of Diabetes Connections. I am so glad to have you along we aim to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes by sharing stories of connection. If you are new Welcome, my name is Stacey Simms. I am your host, my son Benny, who you will hear this week was diagnosed right before he turned two. He is now 15. My husband lives with type two diabetes. I don't have diabetes at all. But I have a background in broadcasting and local radio and television and that is how you get the podcast.
Before we get to Benny and oh my goodness. Like I've already said I'm hoping this was a good idea. I think he has good information to share. It's a little odd to interview your own son. But before we get to him, I have some great news of my own to share the world. First diabetes mom, my book that's been out for a couple of weeks now won an award, my publisher sent me an email. And by now I've probably shared it over social media, as you're listening to this spark publications announces that the world's worst diabetes mom has won an award of distinction as part of the 2020 communicator awards. This is part of the Academy of Interactive and visual arts. I'm really excited about this.
Of course, it's not just about the writing, but about the design of the book. And we work really carefully on that the cover alone, we went back and forth quite a bit, but then inside to make it really easy to read. And a nice experience. I mean, oh, my goodness, I was who knew so much went into things like this. I mean, when you think about it for more than a minute you get it. But Wow. If you've ever been involved in any kind of book publishing, there's a lot of steps to it. So it's very exciting to see all of our hard work rewarded with this award. So thanks for indulging me and letting me talk about it a little bit. The book has really been an incredible excuse. For me, and I hope if you've read it, you've enjoyed it. I hope if you haven't read it, you'll consider giving it a chance. You can always learn more, of course at the website Diabetes connections.com. But the book is for sale on Amazon paperback ebook, you know, Kindle and audiobook which I married.
And if you're listening to this episode as it first airs on Tuesday, the 26th of May, then tomorrow night I'm actually doing a world worse diabetes mom event with jdrf a couple of the southeast chapters got together we're doing a zoom presentation all about it, sharing our mistakes and mishaps what we learned from them and why they're just the best way to go right? You got to make all the mistakes when it comes to diabetes or parenting in general. And I'll put more information about that in the Facebook group and on social media. I'd love to have you join us.
All right, my conversation with Benny in just a moment but first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop. Getting diabetes supplies is a pain. Not only the ordering and the picking up but also the arguing with insurance about what they say you need and what you really need. Make it easy With One Drop, they offer personalized test strip plans plus you get a Bluetooth glucose meter test strips lancets and your very own certified diabetes coach. Subscribe today to get test strips for less than $20 a month delivered right to your door. No prescriptions or co pays required. One less thing to worry about not that surprising when you learn that the founder of One Drop leaves with type one, they get it One Drop gorgeous gear supplies delivered to your door 24 seven access to your certified diabetes coach learn more, go to Diabetes- connections.com and click on the One Drop logo.
My guest this week was pretty easy to book because I know his schedule. He lives in my house. He is my 15 year old son. And if you've listened to the show for a long time, you know I really try to balance how much I share about Benny's experience with type one. It's a balance of, you know not oversharing to compromise his privacy, but also sharing them To help people, he's always been a really good sport about it. And we've really weighed and measured over his entire life because he was diagnosed at 23 months, how much to talk about him. I mean, even really before that, because I was on the radio when he was born. I mean, both of my kids, I was a local TV reporter when I was pregnant with Lea, my daughter, and I was in radio, I was at WBT where I worked for a decade doing the morning show there. I think I was there for a year before I got pregnant with Benny. And so my listeners went through that process with me. You know, they saw me out at events and it was a whole big deal about, you know, how much are we going to talk about how much are we going to share, and when he was diagnosed with type one, and my listeners wanted to learn more, we had to go through it all over again.
So I err on the side of sharing less, which may strike you as bananas because I just talked to my book where we talk about all our stories and our family stuff. But I really do I mean, if you look at a lot of the mom bloggers out there, and especially the Instagram people, you know, I really don't share our day to day. I don't think that's fair to him. I'm saying all this I'm sorry for the big lead up. Because it's hard for me to interview Benny, it's hard for me to kind of push and probe for more. He's funny, as always, he gives great information, I think, of course, he is 15 years old.
A couple of quick notes to that. 15 years old, and really goofing around on the microphone. There's probably more editing than usual in this episode. So please forgive us if parts of it sound a little choppy, although I'm sure my editor john, you can smooth most of that out. But really, there were times where I really I just, we were goofing around so much, I had to cut it out. And there's a little bit at the end to give you a taste of that. And I mean, the very end of the show, I included it's not really a blooper, but it's just oh my god, what he was doing with the microphone.
Also, he does say this is the only correction I'll make. We talked about Control IQ and he says he's in range 80% of the time. I wish. It's still excellent. It's closer to 70% of the time, which is wonderful and it's certainly a lot less work. We talk about that a little bit too. But I have to correct that he is not in range 80% of the time. And the only other thing is listening back to this. I don't want anybody to misunderstand. We are mean to each other. I mean, I call him a couple of mean names. It's just our relationship. I mean, it's kind of the way we pick on each other. If you don't know us, too well, I'm just a little worried that you might think we're really mean to each other. I think you can hear that. It's all in good fun. We are so fortunate to have a great relationship. But it's been a while since I had him on the show. And you all had a bunch of questions for him. So I asked, he answered. Here's my conversation with Benny.
So how are you holding up? I'm good. All right. Well, we got lots of questions for you. From listeners and the Facebook group, you started on Control IQ at the end of January. And we were well past three months now. Use any perspective Any comments? What do you think Vinnie? You'd
No, it's much better than it was before cuz I'm in range. Like 80% of the day?
Unknown Speaker 8:02
Yeah, it's wild. What have you noticed in terms of me?
I'm curious if you're much more now you like, Is it working? Is it working? Is it working? No, I'm not.
Stacey Simms 8:15
Any tips or tricks? You don't bolus when you're on the higher side, right? Because we found that that kind of
plummets you. Yeah. Don't do to see but in Control IQ, it won't bring you up from lows.
Stacey Simms 8:27
But you still do to receive and Control IQ
because I like juice.
Stacey Simms 8:31
Cuz you like juice? Yeah. You're an idiot. What?
Alright, so you use Control IQ, and you still take a daily shot after Seba, even though your insulin needs have gone way down. Why do you continue doing that your Seba?
I don't know.
Stacey Simms 8:48
Well, you know your mother mentioned you might want to stop and you said no, I thought you had a reason less insulin usage. You mean like in the pump, you don't use the cartridge. You should try it. You're not really using balance. Well, now we have to talk to the endo again and okay. Would you think of the telehealth visit that we did by the way? That was rough.
It was rough about it. You guys couldn't find any. Oh, yeah, we had probably his first one.
Stacey Simms 9:14
And he didn't have clarity and he didn't have to connect up even though the office said that they did. So it was a little weird, but were you okay with just talking to him that way? Well, yeah, I mean,
it's better in person. Because that our interests are pretty cool guy. Let's get to the questions
Stacey Simms 9:29
in the Facebook group, Rodney Miller. Hi, Rodney, who runs bolus and barbells he said Why am I Benny's favorite? strong man diabetic.
My favorite strong man diabetic actually for your information? Cuz I'm the best Oh, you're those favorite strong man. Oh, all right. Well, we'll see you guys in competition. Maybe I can guide when armwrestling contest. I don't know man. my biceps are massive friends for
Stacey Simms 9:52
life. 2021 showdown. Rod me and Betty. Okay. Ronnie says does he feel does Betty feel like having Such a strong advocate for a mom has provided him unique opportunities to connect to the diabetic community.
Yes, would have never met Rodney. Ernie almost got the chance to meet the rock was very close to that. Brick bassinger those people are pretty cool friends for life is a lot of fun. Justin Thomas, Jeffrey, those guys are pretty cool, too. I don't think I would have really met them without mom. You know, no one's putting us in trials. So you know, is that
Stacey Simms 10:30
isn't that funny that we can't get you into a clinical trial?
I think they it's obvious that they know we're just too cool. They don't they don't want to risk something not working on people that are just so awesome.
Stacey Simms 10:41
But we'll keep trying. All right. Shelby wanted to know, when you were younger, what did you say when other kids asked about your pump or CGM? How did you handle the curiosity of other kids
said I'm a robot. I still say I'm a robot and then I actually explained it. I remember one time a gorgeous went What's this and ripped up my pump? Wow, that was Fine. I don't really remember anything. Besides that.
Stacey Simms 11:02
I remember when you were, and this might be the same story when you were in preschool. They told me that you were all kind of like lining up to go to the bathroom or something. And the kid behind you said, Hey, what's that and started to pull on it, and you turned around, and you were like, three? And you're like, that's my diabetes. And you were very straightforward. Like, don't mess around with that. Don't touch that. That's mine. Or I guess, like, touch my diabetes. You're like, but you were always we're very lucky because you were always very straightforward about it very open about it. And you never have seemed to minded
Well, yeah, no, I don't care. Like if you don't like me, because I have diabetes go away. You suck by God, what am I gonna say? Like, Oh, no, darn.
Stacey Simms 11:45
Well, you know, you're not self conscious about it, which I think is, is wonderful and made it easier for us. But I don't know how you teach that to somebody, right? You just have always been that way.
I just kind of like I need it. Don't touch it.
Stacey Simms 11:58
So I guess the answer is you've been very straightforward about it little humor, but mostly not hiding it and saying here it is.
Sometimes I trick my friends into thinking they're giving me insulin, I disconnect my pump and I give them the pump and they still think it's connecting. They go, can I kill you? I say yes. And then I let them give me like six units, and they think that I'm gonna die. And it's really funny. Why would you tell me that? Because it's funny.
Stacey Simms 12:20
Why that is terrible that your pumps all messed up, especially with Control IQ. We think I don't
do that much anymore. Okay. So like, once, once, once every other month. This is more like a fifth grade thing. Yeah. Please tell me you don't do that anymore. I do it like once. Maybe I did it once with Jackson.
Stacey Simms 12:37
I'm gonna kill you. Okay. Let's see. Dee writes as a teen athlete. What are your best tips to manage on your own during a sports event or overnight sports trips. We have a lot of those this year.
We have but I wasn't
Stacey Simms 12:50
competing. I know which is why I wasn't which is why it was very easy for me
to let you go. I don't think it's very smart to be on your own with anything. ports, you should have at least one person with you that knows what's going on. Just you know, just in case but like, if you are alone, which is again, not smart,
Stacey Simms 13:08
she means on your own without your mom or dad, because you're on a trip is not going to be like the coach is going to be there. The team is going to be there. So why don't you talk a little bit about what you told the kids when
I first joined the team coach made us all sit down and made me tell everyone what was up. Basically all I told them was I have diabetes. It sucks. If I faint there's a thing in the in the pouch that you stick up my nose or you go to coach or the athletic trainer. Don't let me die.
Stacey Simms 13:39
Well and when you go on overnights you're not alone in the room, but there's not an adult anymore. Yeah. So what do you tell the kids that are with you?
I tell them the thing like the the nasal spray thing. So like see me if I don't wake up or if I pass out, do that and then go get coach.
Stacey Simms 13:57
What do they say? Are they like okay, yeah, they don't Nobody seems freaked out in there.
I mean, a bunch of them are scared of needles and it's fun to mess around with them but
Stacey Simms 14:07
and I do send you you know you have a kit, we make sure that there's lots of food and drinks and all that stuff. And you have your snacks and your your Welch's fruit snacks. That's one thing that made it easier in a way last year you weren't competing because you had your knee injury. So I wasn't too worried about the ups and downs this coming year, assuming all goes well and you wrestle again. I'm not exactly sure what I'm going to do for those first couple of overnights. Well, you said it like I was gonna ask you what to do. I'm not I'm either going to come near and stay nearby. Oh, no, dad,
if anyone's coming is that
Stacey Simms 14:44
that's a great idea your father can go. I don't think I would like I'm not gonna make you stay in the hotel room with me. You can still say with your friends, but especially with wrestling until we kind of figure out what your body's doing. I think it's really important to get a baseline and then get some protocols and figured out out from there, but I don't I don't intend to sit on You don't worry. I like this one. Kristen says, Is it true that Benny has the best mom ever?
No. Oh, you're off the show. No one has the best mom ever. It's literally not possible. There's like a couple billion moms. You know, Mother's Day is just passed.
Stacey Simms 15:20
But that was a missed opportunity, my friend.
Unknown Speaker 15:22
I mean, she's pretty good, but
not the best missed opportunity.
Stacey Simms 15:31
Best you ever had. Okay.
Right back to our conversation. And the next question is going to be advice. What would Benny tell his younger self? We'll get to that in just a minute. First, diabetes Connections is brought to you by Real Good Foods. And on their website. They have real reviews from real people, which makes sense because you know, this is all about real food. You feel real good about eating. And what's nice is with the record As you can see, it's not just people who eat super low carb or who eat keto. There are people who have celiac who can't eat grain. There are people who just love the way the food tastes right? There are people who talk about the airfryer, which is a great way to make so much of their food. It is delicious. We are big fans of their they can put this in the airfryer we're big fans of their new ice cream. And we really love the cauliflower crust pizzas as well, which do really well. In the airfryer find out more, just go to Diabetes connections.com and click on the Real Good Foods logo. Now back to my talk with Benny asking him your questions.
Mary says what advice would he tell a younger version of himself about being a teenager with diabetes? So I guess she means what would you say to yourself back
then? Keep doing what you're doing. You'll be fine.
Stacey Simms 16:56
I think that's an excellent advice.
Yeah, I was a pretty good child. Questions like, Oh, I wish I had depression. No, I was the best.
Stacey Simms 17:04
I think the only advice that you should give your younger self is, if you take your pump off to play football in the neighborhood. You might want to put it someplace smart like a mailbox, just because I lost it a couple of times worse,
just because I lost it a couple times. It doesn't mean you have to bring it up again. We always found it. Yeah, I'm pretty good. You're pretty good. Yeah. Your mother had to go your mother. Who is that? Oh,
Laura says does he have any good one liners when people ask about his tech? I'm a cyborg. You have so bad. And people believe me and it's really funny.
Stacey Simms 17:39
Okay, so here's an example. We'll go to someplace brand new and you make friends everywhere you go, which is
amazing. I'm kind of jealous of that. So we'll go to the beach where a smile. Yeah, we're just I just wear a smile, where it doesn't have to be real. Where I
Stacey Simms 17:52
smile. We'll go to the beach. And you will, you'll make friends but you have your shirt off your decks calm with the beginning. Put thing on, you know, either on your arm or your stomach. Do people ask about that? And they want to
tell him I'm a cyborg.
Stacey Simms 18:06
I'm so serious. And then do you kind of go into any more detail? Not if they don't ask. They just leave it at that. Most of them most of the time. They just leave it at that. That's funny. Okay, so this the next couple of questions came from a different Facebook groups. So while I know a lot of people in the podcast group, these came from a different on a group of moms with elementary school aged children, you know, saying this just as much for the listeners as I am for you. smart alec. has been he ever been bullied over having diabetes. So
let's talk about that. Then. No. Okay, unless I don't remember.
Stacey Simms 18:40
No, no. Let's talk about why you think you haven't been bullied about diabetes or picked on? I think part of that is because you were always a bigger kid. Right? So nobody was mad. No. As you listen, I've been trying to edit out that I'm saying And he keeps saying it so now we just have to leave it but but you were you were a bigger kid and you were a nice and fun kid. So nobody ever picked on you for much of anything. Right? I mean, I think the only time that we were in a quote bullying situation was when you were in like fifth grade and a little kid was so trying to pick on you. And you he was like it was like poking the bear with a stick. Luckily, you didn't you didn't take the bait. But I think one of the reasons why nobody picked on you is because nobody picked on you anyway. But also, you were so upfront about it. Yeah, that there was what are they gonna pick on you about
how your pancreas doesn't work? What if What a nerd
Unknown Speaker 19:42
but you were always there first to tell people about it and to explain and I was also like, the most popular kid in my elementary school. So
there's that too modest to ah, am I wrong?
No, I remember explaining At least there was a time where we were in the gym, and I was running around giving everybody high fives. And they were all chanting my name.
Stacey Simms 20:08
Well, that was I don't want to burst your bubble. There's fifth grade. Well, yeah, but it was also like a jdrf event.
Unknown Speaker 20:13
Oh, that was that school?
Stacey Simms 20:15
Oh, really? Yes. It was gonna be like one of the beam team. No, that that was
that was beam team at school.
Unknown Speaker 20:20
frayed right. I'm saying it was a purpose. Yeah, but I'm okay.
Stacey Simms 20:25
But that's a perfect example of how a diabetes thing made you feel great. Yes. And it's hard because I think some kids don't embrace it naturally, which I understand everybody's personality is different. I don't understand it. Well, you will when you grow up. But like, you know, your sister has a completely different personality. She's very introverted. She would not have enjoyed that. And I think she wouldn't have had the same experience you did. So as I'm talking as you're listening, I'm not talking to Betty right now as you're listening. I think it's harder for kids who are Shire, and I don't have that kind of advice so much because Benny's not that way.
Unknown Speaker 20:57
Some of the best. Well, you think you're the
Stacey Simms 20:58
best and as I said, And modest rude, but I think it's okay if your kid isn't out there saying I'm a cyborg and yeah, diabetes and get well not you never said da da da da let's rephrase, yay, beam team and jdrf and all that kind of good stuff when you were younger. I think it's okay if that doesn't happen. But I think that can also the more you keep it into yourself, the harder it can be when other people ask about it, and I think that can kind of lend itself to some difficult situations. Let's put it that way.
The lesson from all this tell everyone you have diabetes so you can't get bullied.
Stacey Simms 21:31
Well, I think it helps to be upfront about it. But you know, it's it's not my lessons. Your lessons better also be a big dude. always have a smile on your face. And I hate that you're thinking I'm talking about when you were like six or seven years I was still chunky.
I was cute though.
Stacey Simms 21:49
Hey, let's talk for a second because you're bringing it up. Let's talk about your
weight loss lost 50 pounds since the summer 50
Stacey Simms 21:56
pounds which is bananas.
Turn on, keep going.
Stacey Simms 22:01
Okay, that's fine. But can you talk about how you've done it a little bit only because as your mother, I was really worried when you start it, our dog is going crazy. I was really worried when you started because between diabetes and just body image and eating disorders and all this stuff, I was really concerned, but you seem to have done it in a really great way.
I'm gonna be so honest, I've absolutely no idea like how to describe what I did. I ate when I was hungry, but just enough, and then I drink a lot of water and Gatorade.
Stacey Simms 22:27
I can also chime in on just a little bit of what I observed. Because I was, you know, you know, I was making sure you were eating, you know, I was worried.
Stacey Simms 22:34
um, you seem to really just cut out empty calorie stacking. We never had a lot of junk food in the house, but you know, no crackers or you know, or things like that. And you stopped eating dessert. Not, not all the time, right. You do have dessert sometimes. But you really stopped eating when you're on the computer. Yeah. Because I think our house helped to now we didn't move until the beginning of March so you were already losing weight. The reason I bring up the new house is because In the old house, the playroom where you had your computer and stuff is right next to the kitchen. Yeah. So obviously it's really easy to snack. Yeah, but you get a lot of willpower and you stop that. But then we moved here. You have been away. The playroom is upstairs and the farthest corner of the house which is, which is great, because we have to hear you screaming. So do I know. But when you play Xbox, you're so loud and I don't really hear you until the hall has this quiet, dude, just don't scream. No, you
don't understand. Screaming it's part of the enjoyment.
Stacey Simms 23:28
But the point is, you've you've been able to have a lot of willpower. And also it's helped that you are farther away, but you eat dinner. You know, you eat breakfast, you eat food. It's really been amazing to see I would never have said you had 50 pounds to lose. So, you know, to me, you look you look really thin. Are you okay? I mean,
he's kilo. 15 pounds to lose.
Stacey Simms 23:49
Yeah, well, we're gonna talk about that off the year. With wrestling. We'll see
17 actually. All right.
Stacey Simms 23:54
The idea here is to be safe and be smart and get where you want to go without the interoceptive Okay, all right, you know, I'm right. We're gonna talk about that off the air. But, you know, the other things that comes with weight loss is you know, you're using a lot less insulin to, which has been really interesting to say, but you're doing great. Okay, and you need some new clothes.
Just an entire new wardrobe. I mean, we can't go shopping because of the quarantine stuff. So it's been wild.
Stacey Simms 24:20
I'm not taking you shopping. Okay, this is an interesting question. Elaine says, When did he start total self care, and then separately waking to CGM alarm. I don't wake up to CGM alarms.
Okay, I woke up to my blood sugar.
Stacey Simms 24:33
Oh, I was gonna say I know that. I was gonna say it wasn't true because I know you treat overnight and stuff so you feel that you wake up to your body. Yeah, I
never once woke up to an alarm. I'm a deep sleeper. When
Stacey Simms 24:45
I don't know because I'm not in your face all the time. But it seems to me that I've seen you go low and I know you treat and then you go back up. So you're waiting on wake up to alarm you're waking up because your body is alright. I've never woken up to an alarm. I will as the mom We'll let you say that I'm going to slightly disagree all
tell me about what happens if you wake up and you're filled up. And I'm sweaty. And I'm like this does not feel right. And then I stumble out of bed and if there's low stuff in my room, I take it and if not, I go downstairs and get juice and sit down there until my blood sugar goes back up.
When the dog comes, visits me, Oh, that's nice. When the dog comes as it comes visits,
Stacey Simms 25:25
that's nice when the dog comes to visit. I said I said, to answer the question here, too, we still use Dexcom. Share. We got the Dexcom when you were nine. We started share two years later when it came out. But we spent the first seven years of diabetes with no CGM.
That was scary. wasn't scary how we did it.
Stacey Simms 25:44
Well, you really you think that was scary?
Unknown Speaker 25:46
No, you don't remember it? Yeah.
Stacey Simms 25:48
How did we do it? We did it and it was a lot of blood sugar checks. We'll do a show on that sometime. Or at least a discussion of like the olden days, but I'll tell you what, I never really remember being scared. Well, that's not true. There was one time when you were low and you would not come up. That's when I was scared. But I knew you were low. Oh, well, it happened at home and then you threw up and you were fine. You just need to throw up and then retreated. And you were great. I don't know what that was all about. Well, you're gonna say,
so I had a counselor at a CCT diabetes camp. Yeah, name, Chris. And the entire week his blood sugar was just like 60 I remember that. He was not like a big dude. Like he was a tiny scrawny little dude. And he ate so much food. And his blood sugar just didn't go up.
Stacey Simms 26:35
Now. I remember he telling me about that. It's crazy. Maybe he needed to throw up
there, but it was the entire week. It's crazy. Like I had never seen a person eat so much food. And his blood sugar just didn't go up.
Stacey Simms 26:48
But it didn't go down. Right? It just
it was just 60 it was like 60 to 65 the entire week.
Stacey Simms 26:55
Well, the thing I was getting to with CGM is that I used to check You overnight when you were very little. And then as you got a little older, we would only check you overnight if we'd had a weird day, like we just knew something was going on, or you know you were very active. But I also went to work at 330 in the morning, so I would check you at 3am. When I got up, it was kind of easy. That was I wouldn't in my head. That wasn't an overnight check, because I was getting up to go to work. But obviously it was an overnight check. So when you got to CGM, and now that we have share, you might not wake up to the alarms, but I do so I mean, with Control IQ. And with our living situation with you upstairs here. I think I've treated one overnight low. And it was a compression though, right? You were laying on your CGM and I came upstairs and just enrolled you over and went from there. But to answer Elaine's question for real is he hasn't started total self care. No, no. Well, I don't think it's appropriate. You're 15 years old, and you're wonderful, you're independent. I could send you away for a week with anybody and you'd be fine. But in terms of real true self care, we're saving that minute do that it can you do that? A Ken Coleman right. But we're saving self care really here at home until your senior year of high school to give you a year at least maybe. Well, that isn't always talking about that's nice that he thinks that was that really threw dead under the bus. Yeah, well, that's what I do. I were thinking senior year, you're only a freshman. You're finishing your freshman year here. So we're we're still working on it. But I think senior year is good. And yeah, you do total self care when you go to camp Coleman, which is your regular month long camp.
The stories I could tell about the nurses. Well, some interesting ones. There's
Stacey Simms 28:35
a medical staff there but not a diabetes staff. So
there's a couple that are very good, though. Yes, that's a story for another But no, she only has to stay for two weeks.
Stacey Simms 28:43
We love Karen. Okay, so the best
she's the only Karen I like
Stacey Simms 28:46
no that's me. Like how can my best friend grant was a Karen weird name. All right. What were the most helpful accommodations for us school asks Heidi, I'm going to be very interested in what you say here. Repeat. What were the most helpful accommodate for you at school,
What was her name Miss? Oh, Miss Hyman Simon?
Stacey Simms 29:05
Yeah. Okay, so Miss Iman was absolutely. I guess the school called her a floater. She was a teaching assistant, who in kindergarten would come in and help you know, she was like the our elementary school always had a teacher and a teacher's assistant for kindergarten, but in first grade they did not have that. Your first grade teacher though, who was a take charge and take care of business lady. Oh, Harrigan, Miss Harrigan? Yeah, she was like, we are not fooling around with this. We need more help. So she got permission to have this time and float in and out and do and help you with your blood sugar checks. And then by the end of first grade, there was another kid by the beginning of second grade, there were four kids in elementary school and Miss Hyman was like the diabetes lady. And she would just help. That's so nice that you remember that?
I remember. Like I was with her all the way to like third grade.
Stacey Simms 29:55
Yeah, well, she left the school it was in
first grade to third grade.
Stacey Simms 29:58
Yeah. And then you Didn't you really didn't need any of the diabetic nurse? Oh, Julie, who has diabetes? Yeah, she was on the islet cell thing, right? Yes. She had an islet cell transplant. She's been on the show before. So as you listen, yeah, she told all about her islet cell transplant. And yeah, she's a really interesting story. So we'll, I'll link that up in the show notes. You can go back and listen to that past episode. Like Kumbaya,
Unknown Speaker 30:21
like if I Oh, yeah.
Um, do you have merge? conflict? The merge?
Stacey Simms 30:26
I don't have any marks. Yeah, one of these days I have my book. The thing that's nice about my book,
Stacey Simms 30:33
Instagram, it's audio.
Um, but I would say for accommodations, we had a very, very light 504 plan. And our 504 plan revolved almost all about testing. Because in our school district, unlike many school districts, we actually had a written out diabetes management plan, and every child with diabetes whether you're on a pump or shots or whatever you would Have a de m MP diabetes medical management plan. And you had to fill that out. So that was kind of like your 504.
I have a question. Yes, of course, if like, let's say my 504 says I have to have my phone with me, right? Yes. And a teacher takes my phone.
Stacey Simms 31:13
Yes. What do you do? That's a great question. If you felt that your health is at immediate risk, I would excuse yourself and go to the administration office and call me. If you felt your test was at risk. I would take the test. And then upon completion, I would like does that teacher get in trouble? Like what happens? Oh, it depends on the school district. If it was a mistake, it depends on the parent. Okay, so let's say that happened to you. And you were like, I took the test anyway. Okay, and you got a 95 on the test. Okay. I would go into school. And I would say or call the school and I would say, Hey, I understand there's a misunderstanding. Let's talk about it. Let's talk through it. And I would escalate if she was like, if she was great and said, Oh, my God, I'm so sorry. I didn't realize that's one thing. She says. That's outrageous. You couldn't possibly then I escalate, right? We go to the next person, we go to the next person and this person, let's say you take the test, you get to 65. I would lobby for that score to be thrown out. And you could retake the test. We've never had to do that. Because everybody's good. Yeah, everybody's been very cooperative and accommodating. But I'm all for fighting for you. But I wouldn't start out with a fight. Yeah, I would start out with a Hey, what happened? and go from there. But I don't think it's fair to make you totally advocate for yourself.
I would hope you would. I mean, oh, yeah. No, if I knew something was wrong, I would leave the class I'd be like, ministration something's wrong.
Unknown Speaker 32:37
Right. me right.
Stacey Simms 32:38
Like if your blood sugar was high, and they wouldn't let you see the nerve. Here's a really good example. And let's not name the teacher. You used to have migraines. Oh my God, when you were growing up.
Unknown Speaker 32:50
Your teacher didn't believe you.
Even after I threw up right in front of her.
Stacey Simms 32:53
Well, I think that was that was the action I was gonna say. What do you think you did that made her listen a little throw up right in front of her threw up in the classroom. I'm right in front of her all over the books. Now, if you were not in the what was that fourth grade? Okay, so let's say you were a freshman in high school, you probably would have left a classroom and vomited in the bathroom and then gone to the nurse. But because you were in fourth grade, and you were probably really nervous to leave, or, you know, there's all these things going on. It's really unfortunate that had to happen. But, you know, it's good to talk about, but back to accommodations, because we have the diabetes medical management plan, which spells out how diabetes was treated, and also said things like, you know, you have to leave the classroom to the bathroom, you're not limited to water, how much water you can drink, all that kind of stuff that was laid out our school district, which is a huge one in the Charlotte area is wonderful about that. So our 504 was all about how he's going to take tests. And we started it in. I had a 504 plan, but we never really used it because of the testing situations. Don't ever use it. Well. Yes, you do. It didn't come into play until third grade finals, right into grade. So in third grade, we started kind of testing at different ways. Big to take tests, the beginning of grade tests. So we decided for For Benny, he wouldn't do anything differently except he's allowed to have his phone with him. He doesn't need his phone right now, really, because your pump has everything on it. But you still take it in, I assume you lay it on the desk at the front of the classroom, sometimes you'll keep it your pocket. Well, so
normal testing, like not finals and stuff. It's just in my pocket. But teachers are like, just don't cheat, but during and agree, like finals and stuff when like they like go and collect your phone. I just like, it depends on who's there. Sometimes it's just don't cheat, or sometimes I'll keep it at the front of the class. And if it buzzes, I'll tell you.
Stacey Simms 34:31
Yeah, I think for us, we're gonna find out this year about accommodations for the AC T and the SA T, and things like that. And that'll be an interesting thing to go through as well. If your child is diagnosed younger, this is really easy. Because you you figure it out as they get older. Right. And by the time they're in middle school, I think High School is when testing really starts counting. But I mean, it counts in middle school too. But by the time they're old enough to take these tests that really matter. Yeah, you're understanding what they need because some kids need a lot more money. than you do, your blood sugar doesn't skyrocket because of test stress. We have friends who they walk into their final exam and their blood sugar goes to 300. Really? Yeah. But I think right in terms of most important accommodation, I would say it's actually on the parents side. And that is being able to work with the school as a team, being able to go into those meetings and say, I want to be I want to work as a team. I want to see how this goes like let's work together, which sounds very Kumbaya and woowoo. But it really helps it helps me rather than going in and saying, I'm gonna fight for my kids rights. Like there are a lot of situations, unfortunately, where you do have to fight. But you know, going in without guns blazing is very dark principles.
Stacey Simms 35:38
Well, your elementary school principal was he loved you.
I was his favorite. I don't know he was he didn't name favorites, but I was
Stacey Simms 35:44
he was fascinated with diabetes. He was really interesting. I mean, he wasn't he wasn't fascinated, in a weird way. But he just he admired the kids with type one. He really did. I was his favorite. Well.
He didn't say
Stacey Simms 35:56
he really admired what you guys were doing. It was interesting. School. Yes, your school counselor was great. He was a good guy. He and he did our 504 plans, we would meet with him to go to the fiber floors and he was he was very nice.
He was the guy that like if you got to go into his office, you were one of the cool kids.
Stacey Simms 36:15
We were very lucky to have a great Elementary School. Okay, and has been principal
had a lifted red Jeep. Like how much cooler does it get than that? I guess cool was an elementary school. Principal is the eye of the beholder.
Stacey Simms 36:29
has been he had burnout. If So when did he have it? How long did it last? And how did he deal with it?
Stacey Simms 36:34
Yes. Ever? Yes. So explain.
I don't want to do diabetes. Too much work.
Unknown Speaker 36:39
You get that often.
Yes. But how do you deal with it? video games?
Unknown Speaker 36:44
Do you just change the subject? Yeah.
I find that most of the time I just go Oh, well. It is what it is.
Stacey Simms 36:50
Well, I find it interesting cuz I wouldn't have said you've reached a lot of burnout.
Like I have my own opinions about that. I have been able to shoulder shrug a lot of things
Stacey Simms 36:59
like kind of compartmentalize. I don't know what that means, like, put it in the back of your brain and move on with your life. Yeah. So what helps you should play video games? Is that also like, just you're with your friends? Yeah. Do you ever talk to people from Camp or no? Well, you mentioned Justin and Jeffrey early on, is it? Like knowing that they're there? You'd have to call them?
I mean, I guess but like, I've never been the kid that's like, and life is terrible. I gotta just like, yeah, it is what it is.
Stacey Simms 37:27
All right, I have two examples that I want to bring up and see how you react. And we don't have to share these two examples. The first is when you were about 10. And you want them to take a pump break. Do you remember that at all? Yeah. What was going on? Like, can you share anything about that?
I remember talking to Michael. And like, the pens just seemed a lot easier. But then I was like, wait, there's too much math.
Stacey Simms 37:49
Well, your pump requested about three days, but that's when you started because
I was like, wait, there's too much math.
Stacey Simms 37:52
Yeah. And that's when you started giving yourself your own injections. Because you had only used us we don't use syringes. Remember before that, I don't
ya Yeah, I remember when I was like four.
Stacey Simms 38:04
And so to switch to an insulin pen seems really scary to you, but you did it, which was awesome. And it's helped us a lot since then there's too much math. Yeah. And there's also too many shots because you'd eat breakfast, then you'd get in the car and want an apple. You'd be like, what I do another shot. But then the other time, I wouldn't call it burnout. But we had I actually wrote about this in the in the book, you had a really bad night, you had a night where everything hurt, your inset hurt your Dexcom hurt. I think you had to do the same night. You're doing both and it was tough. You were really upset about it. And those things happen. I think it's important to acknowledge even for a happy kid like us, that was a terrible night.
But tomorrow morning, I was fine. The next morning, tomorrow. Ya know why?
Stacey Simms 38:47
But really can do mine. You don't have to share about it. But can you talk a little bit about?
I remember one time, like my incident didn't work like three times and then my Dexcom didn't work like twice. I gave up and I was like, I'll do it. The morning
Stacey Simms 39:02
that was the week that you actually met Rodney, the pan guy who we already mentioned him he was the first question dangling. I love Rodney and, and Colt Scott, the American Ninja Warrior dude. So we met them a couple nights later because we were out to dinner and you didn't talk about the night that you were so upset. But I think don't
remember what we talked about. I remember is Ronnie eating a lot. And I was. It was really fun.
Didn't barbecue there too.
Yeah. It was a fun night.
Stacey Simms 39:29
Yeah, but I think that just helps to kind of breathe the same air as other people with diabetes. Even though you've had a crummy night, it helps to be with your people because your mommy is helpful, but only to a certain extent. All right, I don't know that you can answer this question, but this is one of the last ones. Okay. How did you realize like, when did you realize you had diabetes? And how did you feel about it? You know, I can't answer that. I just I've just always had it. This mom says I keep wondering for those who are diagnosed early like my daughter with the healthiest way of thinking about it is and how I can help with that.
It's life. What are you going to do?
Stacey Simms 40:00
Well, I think a non 15 year old person answering that question a parent might say, I think that there are ways of explaining it that change, because there's different age appropriate ways of talking about it. When Ben he was teeny tiny right after he was diagnosed, my parents got him a Curious George doll, who we'd love Curious George, and he's just not better. Right. And we thought that he would do like imaginative play, right demo demonstrative play right here. I'm gonna give he did not do that with the curious church, but he did. Oh, yeah. And so Elmo got shots. Elmo had juice boxes, Mo got insets
mo love juice boxes,
Stacey Simms 40:35
right Elmo love juice boxes. And that's something that helps kids process that they have diabetes when they're very young. And as he got older, we would read stories, we would tell other people, we did a presentation for your class every year that changed as you got older. And then we started talking about age appropriate stuff. So when you're talking about like independence, what has to be done? When you're talking about driving what has to be done right Later, we'll talk about about when you're living by yourself, right? Well think about it as a parent, how much?
It's fine. You guys have no responsibilities,
Stacey Simms 41:08
I'm going to touch on driving just a little, because somebody did ask about that. You're doing really well with driving. But you
want to talk about what you have to do before you drive. I checked my Dexcom.
Stacey Simms 41:18
And right, that's it, you check your blood sugar. If you're below 80, you can't drive. That's our simple rule. And we have to make sure there's stuff in the car. And I'll be honest with you, I'm going to make sure that you have low stuff in your car for the first year or two because it's just like anything else. You have to learn. You have to get used to it, they'll be independent. So with driving that's, that's I'm terrified, but not really because of diabetes, but you're pretty good driver,
Stacey Simms 41:40
and modest to I am honest,
like I'm really modest. All right, and then
Stacey Simms 41:44
do you do any diabetes goals in the next couple of years like are there certain now
Unknown Speaker 42:00
You're listening to diabetes connections with Stacey Sims.
Stacey Simms 42:05
See, Why weren't you about how we are to each other, I can't believe I said, I hate you there at the end. Oh, although I gotta say, Oh my goodness, I am going to play a little bit more at the end of the show the very end so you can understand what I was putting up with for a lot of that interview and some of the stuff that we had to take out, but I hope some of that helped you. I'm also going to link up a few of our previous interviews with Benny, I've talked to him a couple of times on the show. And it's interesting. Not only is his voice changed a lot as you can imagine, but just to hear how things have changed. I'll do that at the episode homepage. There is always a transcription. I have no idea what this transcriptions gonna look like the first time I run it through the computer. That's gonna be fun, but we'll put that there as well. And update. Interestingly, after this interview, he really did agree to stop taking the true Seba. So for the first time in almost two years, we started the trustee but in August of 2018, he is not taking long acting With his pump it because his insulin needs have gone down so much, obviously with the weight loss, but also with puberty. He loves what I talked about that, and I'll keep you posted on how that's going. I'll tell you what, so far what he's not eating. It is amazingly steady just like it has him with Control IQ. It's maybe on average, 10 to 15 points lower. So if he was running at like 110, he's now running at 85, that sort of thing, because just that little bit more control of the algorithm is really helping, at least in the short run. But for the last two days, I swear that kid has forgotten to bolus for every single meal, everything he eats. I don't know what's going on. But I'm trying not to make a big deal about it. We're just gonna move on. We're just gonna remind we're not gonna nag. I'm sure he would say something different. All right. Well, anyway, I'll keep you posted on that, but he really is doing great. And I like that he comes on and talks about diabetes, even if it may not be what I want to hear or I want you to hear something. Tell me something good in just a moment, but first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom when Benny was very little, and in the bathtub or at the pool, I always noticed his fingertips. I mean, you know exactly what I mean, right? When you've got diabetes and you're checking and checking and checking and poking and poking, when your fingertips get wet, somebody in the community called it Franken fingers. They were just full of little pinprick holes that you could really, really see. And you know, he is 15 I don't see his hands too much. Although I did peek when he was looking at the microphone and hanging out in the studio here, studio. Well, it is a studio, it's my office. I noticed and his endo looks at them every single time we go in that they are just normal. They are not those Franken fingers anymore. I mean, we've been using Dexcom for almost six and a half years now. And with every new iteration, we've done fewer and fewer finger sticks. The G six eliminates finger sticks for calibration and diabetes treatment decisions. Just thinking about doing 10 finger sticks a day, which is what we did in the past. I mean that was pretty every day makes me so glad that the Dexcom has helped us come so far. It's An incredible tool. If your glucose alerts and readings from the G six do not match symptoms or expectations, use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions, learn more, go to Diabetes connections.com and click on the Dexcom logo.
And tell me something good this week, a quick book update, not my book, but some other terrific books in the diabetes community. And these are books that have been out for a while that are highly recommended. And we all pass them around to each other, but they're getting updates. And I think it's really important because Gosh, think about how much has changed just in the last couple of years. So the first one I want to tell you about is understanding diabetes. This is better known as The Pink Panther book. I still have no idea why the Pink Panther is involved in this. And it's the actual Pink Panther. I mean, they had to have gotten a trademark but if you've seen this book, you know what I'm thinking. This was the first thing I thought when they handed it to me in the hospital. Why is the Pink Panther affiliated here, but that's a mystery for another time, I suppose. Anyway, they're on the 13th edition which you Come get us a discount because the 14th edition is coming out this summer. This is put on by the children's diabetes foundation. I will link this up in the show notes so that you can order a new book, let your endo know as well, if they're interested and it does come in Spanish. It is also available in an ebook form in a Kindle, so you can get them in lots of different ways. The Pink Panther books, the mystery continues though as to why that character How do they get the trademark anyway? All right, the next book is think like a pancreas, which is a must have, in my opinion, A Practical Guide to managing diabetes with insulin. Gary doesn't need my seal of approval here he is already the number one new release in nutrition and medical health sciences on Amazon. But I think this is really important because I recommend this book all the time. And this is the newest update for it. It's a paperback and an E textbook. And as the description says the all in one comprehensive resource for the millions of people living with diabetes who use insulin. The updates here include, as you would expect new medications, new technologies, injection devices, dietary recommendations. We've had Gary on the show many times he describes himself as a human guinea pig, because he lives with type one and he tries all of these devices, but he also talks about the science behind them in ways that I think is really clear. If you've listened to my interviews with Gary, you know, I generally feel kind of like a goofball. When I talk to him, he's very calming as well. If you haven't gotten this book before, highly recommended. If you have and you're looking for the update, probably the textbook is your best bet and I will link that up in the show notes as well. And finally, and tell me something good, lots of graduations to celebrate. Of course they're not the usual graduations people got very creative with how to celebrate their kids this year, but I know a lot of you were hoping for bigger ceremonies and more tradition. I want to take a moment to highlight just one of the many valedictorians that were spotlighted in some of these Facebook groups that I saw Jeremy bright was valedictorian and thank you so much to his parents for letting me share his story. Jeremy was diagnosed with type one at age 14 and he has a scholarship to Florida Polytechnic University to study computer science this fall. And once Jeremy's parents posted about him in this Facebook group, several other people chimed in with my tea Wendy is a valedictorian as well and you know, they kind of went and listed a few other kids didn't get permission to share their names and or their stories and and that's okay, but I think it's great that so many kids are at least getting the credit that they're due for working so hard through high school I don't know about you guys but it seems sometimes that for these kids I know the workload on my daughter High School was almost worse than college maybe it's just the pressure of you know, they have to do so well and I tried to eat that off for my daughter, but man it is hard when all the high schools are telling them you know, take this class get this college credit all these tests AC t sad. Oh, all right, just a little bit of editorial on my part and we shall see Right with all the wackiness that's happening this year with some colleges not you know, counting the standardized tests, we'll see what happens going forward. But anyway, congratulations to these great kids. If you have a Tell me something good story, please let me know you can reach out Stacy at Diabetes connections.com post in the Facebook group, you know, send a carrier pigeon, whatever it takes. I would love to feature your child or you in our Tell me something good segment.
Before I let you go, it's worth noting that we are right at the five year anniversary of the podcast I had Episode 300. A couple weeks ago, I made a bigger deal about that. The five year milestone is something I'm sure I'll mark on social media and talk about a little bit but I'm bringing it up here because well first of all, I can't believe it's been five years. I can't believe that I'm still doing this. I didn't have a timeline in mind when I started the podcast but I don't think I thought five years later I'd still be doing it and loving it as much as I do and it would still be growing but I bring it up because If you're listening to this point in the show, then you are a true listener. And I appreciate that. And I would urge you to please join the Facebook group Diabetes Connections, the group, I'm going to be doing some polling in the next couple of weeks. I'm not sure what we're going to do with the podcast in 2021. And I know it's a little bit early to start thinking about it. But I plan for the next year. I mean, in terms of sponsors, let's be frank, I usually have all that sewn up by August or September. And I don't want to be in a situation where I decide to make some changes. And then I'm scrambling at the end of the year. So I'm going to be asking questions like you know, frequency length, what do you want to hear? I think after five years, it's time to take a tough look at this like a hard look at it and decide what do we really want to do? Where are we going with this right? And if it stays the same, fantastic. I love doing it. But if there's something that you would prefer to hear, you know, maybe it's all technology news, maybe we go once every two weeks, but we only do news updates, that sort of thing. Maybe you really like the personal stories and we stay with that we do a mix. Maybe we make up Longer show a shorter show, you know, there's lots of options. But I want to hear from you. So please watch for surveys over the next couple of weeks. But you got to be in that group. I'm not going to make these public. I don't want people who don't listen weighing in. I mean, come on. And I really can't thank you enough, five years later, to have as much fun as I'm having and to keep doing this and hearing from people who enjoy it. That's the best. Thank you as always, to my editor john Buchanan's from audio editing solutions for making sense of this week's interview and everything else that he does. And thank you so much for listening. I'm Stacey Simms. I'll see you back here next week. Until then, be kind to yourself.
Unknown Speaker 51:41
Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Sims media. All rights reserved. All rounds avenged
Stacey Simms 52:04
You can you can take that to your room when we are done.
Unknown Speaker 52:09
Unknown Speaker 52:11
No, take it with you Why? And I
Stacey Simms 52:13
have a place to put it or leave it over there because I'm going to throw it away. If I well why would I keep it I take that two places with me like here. Let me interview with a man with a microphone that's been inside my son's mouth. I think you would love it especially in this day and age.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai