Diabetes Connections | Type 1 Diabetes

The T1D news show you've been waiting for! Long-time broadcaster, blogger and diabetes mom Stacey Simms interviews prominent advocates, authors and speakers. Stacey asks hard questions of healthcare companies and tech developers and brings on "everyday' people living with type 1. Great for parents of T1D kids, adults with type 1 and anyone who loves a person with diabetes.
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Now displaying: May, 2020
May 26, 2020

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.

Check out Stacey's new book: The World's Worst Diabetes Mom!

Benny answers listener questions and looks back on 13 years of T1D.

Join the Diabetes Connections Facebook Group!

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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The "Pink Panther" Book update

Think Like A Pancreas update


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Episode transcription: 

Stacey Simms  0:00

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes. By Real Good Foods real food you feel good about eating and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.


Announcer  0:20

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.


Benny  0:41

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 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- 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


Benny  7:55

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?


Benny  8:06

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


Benny  8:21

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


Benny  8:29

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?


Benny  8:47

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.


Benny  9:08

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,


Benny  9:22

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.


Benny  9:38

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.


Benny  10:06

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?


Benny  10:33

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


Benny  10:52

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


Benny  11:36

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.


Benny  11:55

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.


Benny  12:03

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


Benny  12:25

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.


Benny  12:49

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


Benny  12:55

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


Benny  13:18

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?


Benny  13:48

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.


Benny  14:02

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,


Benny  14:43

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?


Benny  15:08

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



Benny  15:26

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 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


Benny  16:52

then? Keep doing what you're doing. You'll be fine.


Stacey Simms  16:56

I think that's an excellent advice.


Benny  16:57

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,


Benny  17:17

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


Benny  17:43

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


Benny  18:04

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


Benny  18:36

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


Benny  19:38

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


Benny  19:52

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


Benny  20:19

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.


Benny  21:27

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.


Benny  21:47

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


Benny  21:54

weight loss lost 50 pounds since the summer 50


Stacey Simms  21:56

pounds which is bananas.


Benny  22:00

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.


Benny  22:19

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.


Benny  22:33



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


Benny  23:26

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,


Benny  23:48

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


Benny  23:53

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.


Benny  24:13

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.


Benny  24:32

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


Benny  24:39

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


Benny  25:04

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.


Benny  25:41

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,


Benny  26:15

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


Benny  26:40

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


Benny  26:50

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.


Benny  28:30

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


Benny  28:38

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


Benny  28:45

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,


Benny  29:01

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?


Benny  29:51

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


Benny  29:57

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.


Benny  30:24

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,


Benny  30:31

Lincoln bio,


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.


Benny  31:06

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.


Benny  32:29

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.


Benny  32:52

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


Benny  34:13

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.


Benny  35:37



Stacey Simms  35:38

Well, your elementary school principal was he loved you.


Benny  35:41

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.


Benny  35:55

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.


Benny  36:09

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


Benny  36:19

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?


Benny  36:33

Yes, yes.


Stacey Simms  36:34

Yes. Ever? Yes. So explain.


Benny  36:37

I don't want to do diabetes. Too much work.


Unknown Speaker  36:39

You get that often.


Benny  36:41

Yes. But how do you deal with it? video games?


Unknown Speaker  36:44

Do you just change the subject? Yeah.


Benny  36:46

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.


Benny  36:53

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?


Benny  37:18

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?


Benny  37:41

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


Benny  37:51

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


Benny  37:59

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.


Benny  38:40

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?


Benny  38:51

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


Benny  39:20

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.


Benny  39:58

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


Benny  40:34

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?


Benny  41:04

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


Benny  41:14

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,


Benny  41:39

the best


Stacey Simms  41:40

and modest to I am honest,


Benny  41:43

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 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 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

May 19, 2020

Dr. Nat Strand is an anesthesiologist who lives with type 1 and a mom of two young children. She just contributed to a paper all about pain management guidelines in this difficult time, when many people can’t see their doctors to face to face. You also may know her as the winner The Amazing Race in 2010. Of course we also talk about having T1D and that crazy travel show!

Check out Stacey's new book: The World's Worst Diabetes Mom!

In Tell Me Something Good: virtual events, fire fighters and a lego master

Join the Diabetes Connections Facebook Group!

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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Have a diabetes product or something to promote to the community? Check out Stacey's new Book to Clinic program. She's looking for sponsors - this program fits just about any budget.


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Episode Transcription: 

Stacey Simms  0:00

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes by Real Good Foods real food you feel good about eating and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.


Announcer  0:20

This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  0:25

This week, Dr. Natalie Strand is an anesthesiologist who was diagnosed with type one as a teen. And she says people who live with chronic pain and people who live with diabetes have a lot in common.


Dr. Nat Strand  0:39

and we may think the person who lives with it is thinking about all day long with every activity you know before they go to bed when they wake up in the morning, but the people around them even loved ones, you know and household. kind of forget because you look healthy.


Stacey Simms  0:53

Dr. Strand just contributed to a paper all about pain management guidelines in this difficult time when many people Can't see their doctors face to face. You may also know her as the winner of The Amazing Race in 2010. Of course, we talked about having type one and that crazy travel Show. I'm a huge fan By the way.

In Tell me something good: virtual events, firefighters and a Lego master. 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 the show. I'm so glad to have you along. I know Stacey Simms. We aim to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes by sharing stories of connection. And I am so excited to finally talk to Nat Strand. I can't believe that we haven't crossed paths before. I'm a huge fan of the amazing races. I mentioned I started watching it in 2001 when I was pregnant with my daughter, and I actually remember the commercials when it was like coming soon. And then of course September 11 happened and how are they going to be able to do this they thought the show might not have a second Season. So, gosh, that was such a long time ago. But it is amazing to see that even with COVID-19, which stopped the show again, they're going to be continuing that in the future.

But that's neither here nor there. I mean, we're talking to Dr. Strand about pain management her life with type one. And of course, we'll talk about the amazing race as well, but she wanted with her partner and fellow doctor in 2010. So taking a look back, I want to bring you up to date before we get to the interview about something new that I just announced really a couple of days ago on social media, and that is my book to clinic program. Of course, the book is the world's worst diabetes mom. And one of the things that I have found really fascinating is that although I am obviously a lay person who wrote an advice book for parents of kids with Type One Diabetes, I've been really fascinated by two things. One is that adults with type one are buying and reading the book and then giving it to their parents to talk about, you know, their childhood if they were diagnosed as a kid or wants to learn Learn more about the parent perspective, which I thought was fascinating. But I'm also hearing from diabetes educators and endocrinologists who have told me and I know I sound surprised here and this is genuine. I'm not trying to make this silly. They have told me that they have learned things from the book. And you know, when you think about it, it really isn't a surprise, because it's the layperson perspective. These are things you do not learn in medical school, right? These are things you learn when you mess up diabetes, when you're at the beach, you're in the car. It's the middle of the night, you're macgyvering stuff together. This is stuff you've learned when you live with type one.

And to that end, a few clinics reached out and said, Can we have copies of the book to give away and so I started a new program, it is called book to clinic. Bottom line, I'm looking for sponsors to pay for these books, so we can get them to people who need them. It's very reasonable. It's a very easy system. I will put more in the show notes and there's a video that's on social media you can see the whole thing and how it works. big thank you to my first two sponsors because the books have already gone to clinic. Thanks to T one d 3d year, and Big thanks to frio so you know I really appreciate the faith that they have shown and if you have a product or a blog or another podcast and you're looking for some very reasonable advertising that is targeted to an audience that is looking for you, please let me know and you can reach out to Stacey at Diabetes I’m really excited about it. It's one of those things that you just don't expect to happen. But you know what, we'll see where it goes.

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by Real Good Foods, and they have already new ice cream flavors. We love their ice cream and they're kind of hard to get right now. they've they've silted up a couple of flavors. But man they are so yummy. I cannot wait to try the mocha Java chip ice cream. I'm a huge fan of coffee and chocolate and their original flavors that we tried way back when beginning of March. I think we did that Facebook Live where Benny and I tried the ice creams. They were so delicious. We really liked them in chocolate chip, everybody in my household Loved the peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream or big peanut butter people. The new flavor sound amazing. I mentioned the mocha Java chip, the cake better ice cream. My kids love that. And something called super premium almond charcoal ice cream. That sounds amazing. So let me know what you think if you've sampled the new flavors, we haven't been able to try them yet, but I'm really excited and of course Real Good Foods has real good food. They have a whole line of high protein, low carb grain free gluten free. Good for a keto diet if that's your thing. Everything from cauliflower crust pizza to stuffed chicken and breakfast sandwiches, find out more Just go to Diabetes and click on the Real Good Foods logo.

If you've already heard of my guest this week, chances are you're a big fan of The Amazing Race TV show. Dr. Nat Strand won the whole thing in 2010, part of the first all female team to cross the finish line first, along with her friend and race partner, Dr. Cat Chang. Dr. Strand is also the first winner with diabetes and she might really think We'll be the only contestant to compete with type one. I started watching The Amazing Race. As I mentioned when I was pregnant with my daughter and I have been meaning to talk to that for a long time. I'm so thrilled we finally worked it out. She's an anesthesiologist and a pain medicine specialist working at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. Recently, she contributed to a paper on caring for patients with pain. During the COVID-19 pandemic. She was diagnosed with type one at age 12. So we have a lot to talk about. Here is my interview with Dr. Nat Strand.

Dr. Strand, thank you so much for joining me. I am excited to learn from you and to hear your story. I followed you for years on social media. So thanks for coming on.


Dr. Nat Strand  6:42

Oh, well, thank you so much for having me. It's an absolute pleasure,


Stacey Simms  6:45

so much to talk about. We will get to the stories and living with diabetes and your diagnosis story. I want to start out and just jump right in with what caught my eye recently, which is a study to what you contributed about caring for Patients with pain during this pandemic. I don't know that you can really share too much about the study. But I'm curious like, you know, your anesthesiologist, let me start with asking you what are you seeing right now? What's going on in your world,


Dr. Nat Strand  7:14

where I'm located in Phoenix, Arizona, we are thankfully not experiencing the surge that we thought we were going to have. So four to six weeks ago, there was a lot of work as far as preparing on a community level. All the hospitals governor mandates to increase capacity of hospital beds, things of that nature. So we were certainly preparing for a surge. But I think a lot of people in our community have made personal sacrifices with the social distancing and the stay at home. And I think that that has helped us flatten the curve, as I say, not quite bend the curve because we're still increasing cases here but flattened the curves. Right now. What I do is practice pain medicine, we largely transition to telemedicine to avoid face to face visits and allow patients to access health care. While they stayed safe at home, so predominantly in the last few weeks, I have been treating my patients with telemedicine.


Stacey Simms  8:08

And how does that work? Because I would imagine that pain management is already a very delicate balance. You know, we hear about, Oh, you don't want to take too much of this medication or you can get addicted. And then when people are concerned about not seeing their doctor face to face, you've got to be worried about well, are they even managing their pain? Or are they suffering? Can you share a little bit about how it's been going?


Unknown Speaker  8:27

You know, I think for the most part, it's been excellent. With two way real time, audio and visual, I think you can get a good sense of how patients are doing. And as far as managing medications, you know, certainly the opioid crisis was there before we call the pandemic that the word crisis is still there during the COVID pandemic. So, you know, it's not the answer isn't just to prescribe a bunch of opioids. Now, some people benefit from it, but a lot of people can do manage with other texts. Consider that the anti inflammatories, neuropathic pain medications, lifestyle alterations, weight loss therapy and even with you know, the social distancing and stay at home, there's a lot of physical therapy that you can do from home too. So I think this challenge in medicine is really forcing our hand taking advantage of telemedicine and taking advantage of remote care and certainly providing access without being face to face now we are now open for elective procedures in Arizona so we are able to keep patients face to face but for a period of time there we really were forced to jump on the telemedicine bandwagon, maybe a little sooner than most of us were prepared to do that. I've been very pleased with the ability to offer access to patients, especially patients who are at higher risk, whether that be due to health concerns or age or even for patients that have to travel long distances to see a physician. So I think easing the burden on those patients and their situations to allow a little bit lower barrier to entry. healthcare access has


Stacey Simms  10:01

pardon my ignorance on this question, but when I think of seeing a doctor for pain management, and fortunately, I haven't had to have a lot of that in my life. So again, I'm ignorant on this. I don't think of an anesthesiologist. Right as the person that I would see I think of you all in the operating room.


Dr. Nat Strand  10:18

You're not alone. You know, when you do a residency in anesthesiology, you basically spend three years after your internship focusing on ICU level care, operative care, regional anesthesia, select nerve boss, epidural catheters, those kinds of things. So you become an expert at acute pain management, both with medication bandwidth intervention, so there's a fellowship option afterwards. And one of those planners either you can go into ob anesthesia, you can go into cardiac anesthesia, you can go into intensive care, you can also go into interventional pain medicine, so you kind of utilize that and there's a small skill set you developed during the anesthesia residency to further hone that Then focus on mega spinal injections, radiofrequency ablation of the spine or large joints, implantation of spinal cord stimulators or implantable pain pumps. So, you know, it doesn't seem like a natural progression at first glance, definitely. But when we kind of think about what we do in the bar and how that can translate to an office setting for chronic pain patients who kind of come to the bridge to the specialty,


Stacey Simms  11:27

yeah, yeah, of course, that makes sense. So tell me about this study. Because this is all about caring for patients with pain during the pandemic, not necessarily patients with COVID-19. This is something that is more of a guide for physicians,


Dr. Nat Strand  11:42

who's our recommendation, we worked with the American Society of we China presenting medicine to put out recommendations and then we also the paper you're referencing with that International Paper with the European society, of regional anesthesia also, and we just kind of want a different side provides some guidance during this pandemic early on, know how to handle urgent procedures, semi urgent procedures, you know, what was the risk of using steroids? You know, what can we do to manage our patients that were on chronic opioid therapy. So they really was sort of a set of guidelines after discussion of a panel of international pain medicine experts.


Stacey Simms  12:22

It does seem that chronic pain as I read through a little bit of the study, you know, just the introduction, things like that. It seems like chronic pain is so debilitating, especially for older people. I know we're a diabetes podcast, we're going to talk about diabetes in just a moment.


Unknown Speaker  12:37

But is there


Stacey Simms  12:38

you know, any advice that you would give someone who is suffering who feels like I don't think there's something for me? I've had this pain for so long. I'm afraid of being addicted. You know, we hear all those stories. Any reassurance?


Dr. Nat Strand  12:48

Absolutely. And one thing I want to say, You reminded me we talked about the food diary podcast. I think we're a lot of similarities between living with chronic pain and dealing with diabetes. I mean, they're totally different disease states. But if you talk about an invisible disease, that the person who lives with it is thinking about all day long with every activity, you know, before they go to bed when they wake up in the morning, but the people around them even loved ones, you know, a thing household, kind of forget because you look healthy or you look okay, you know, so yeah, that experience of living with diabetes is very similar to the experience of living with chronic pain.


Stacey Simms  13:27

That's really interesting, especially and even to my question of people are almost afraid to speak out because they're afraid they won't be taken seriously, or they'll be blamed. I didn't even think about that.


Dr. Nat Strand  13:38

Yeah, I mean, and, you know, you don't want to be a complainer or you want to put on a happy face. You feel like it's not interesting to other people, because it's the same thing it was yesterday and so, you know, I think living with diabetes myself, I bring a lot of that to counseling people who live with chronic pain because I get it, you know, and a lot of times they feel really, you can tell they can feel like, Oh my God, that's the first time anybody's really related to me on that way, you know more than just diagnosing the underlying cause of their pain, but actually, what it means to them to live with a condition like that. So I think that actually me having my experience of living with diabetes helps me relate to patients who live with chronic pain.


Stacey Simms  14:16

So let's talk about type one. Let's talk about your experiences. You were diagnosed as a young teenager, really, pre teenage 12 to remember your diagnosis story.


Right back in just a moment and telling your story there, but first, diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop, and I spoke to the people at One Drop, and I was really impressed how much they get diabetes. It really does make sense their CEO, Jeff was diagnosed with type one as an adult. In fact, I just talked to him last week about something else. It's always so good to talk to him because he gets it. He knows what this is like. Right? One Drop is for people with diabetes by people with diabetes. The people at One Drop work relentlessly. To remove all barriers between you and the care you need get 24 seven coaching support in your app and unlimited supplies delivered. No prescriptions or insurance required. Their beautiful sleek meter fits in perfectly with the rest of your life. They'll also send you test strips with a strip plan that actually makes sense for how much you actually check. One Drop diabetes care delivered, learn more, go to Diabetes and click on the One Drop logo. Now back to Nat and I had asked her if she remembered her diagnosis story.


Dr. Nat Strand  15:34

Do I remember that summer being really annoying and my family's road trips I remember going up to Northern Arizona and having to stop use the restroom all the time and it's a short like two hour drive. So I do remember my parents saying we'll stop drinking so much. You know of course now we know that the opposite. And then I went to like a three day sleepaway camp and at camp I was getting some notoriety for how many cans of soda I was drinking, I was going to the vending machine. And I was drinking so much that point I'd like built a pyramid of all the cans. I think, obviously I was going into either some decay or you know, just hypoglycemic diarrhea. So, I came home, my dad is a radiologist, he started to suspect that I might have diabetes. And I think he brought home some like urine ketone strips or something and tested them. And I remember it was like black. So he actually took me into the hospital. And I remember him telling me I was going to the hospital. And I had this bag of gummy bears in my room. And I vividly remember looking at those gummy bears. And you know, in a typical kid, that was what I was sad about was like, Oh, I'm not going to believe me. There's I had no idea what the rest of the diagnosis meant. But at that time, you know, you were admitted. I think I stayed in the hospital for 10 or 12 days and learned how to give myself injections and carb counts and there you have it. That was kind of my guide. It was truly not traumatic in a way. I mean, I didn't have some big bad events that veiled the diagnosis. It was kind of suspicion. Then that was the summer before I went into middle school. So I got to carry a purse everywhere. So the diabetes supplies I thought that was pretty cool.


Stacey Simms  17:17

Did you know you wanted to go into a medical field when you were that age?


Dr. Nat Strand  17:20

No, I don't think so. I had dreams of being like an oceanographer or a National Geographic photographer, kind of more creative, worldly, growing, no roots type of careers. But it wasn't until later. I think I had an interest in medicine through diabetes and my you know, you get a lot of exposure to physicians and hospitals at a young age. But it wasn't until I was in college that I really solidified my desire to go into medicine.


Stacey Simms  17:46

And what made you choose anesthesiology? Do you remember having a process


Dr. Nat Strand  17:49

for that? Well, it's certainly you know, matters a lot about what rotations you get. And if you have a great attending on a certain rotation that makes you know just kind of lights it up for you and that kind It happened to me for anesthesiology, bad reputation as a third year medical student and I just had a series of phenomenal attending physician to let me you know, place IVs Let me place lines, I intubated patients, I was in on some bigger cases. And I remember at the time, which of course you you changed your mind on this as you get older, but at the time, I wanted to be, you know, really where the emergencies happened. I wanted to be, you know, a first responder I wanted to be someone went down and had an emergency, I wanted to be there to be part of it, you know, traumatic, and now that I'm older, I kind of like No, I'd like something with Office Hours. You know, nobody needs you in the morning. But at the time, I wanted to be right in the heart of the action and there's nowhere better for that than being you know, in an operating room every single day and you get to help people. That's often the most terrifying thing they've ever done. And you have just moments for them to establish trust with you. Even if it was pediatric cases or you know, even on babies, you know, a parent literally can do their baby. And then you take it down the hallway. And so there's this intense trust that needs to develop over a very short period of time. And I always felt like that was something I really helped sacred as that amount of trust that someone had any for their loved one or for themselves.


Stacey Simms  19:22

We have had to have, you know, anesthesiologists, we've had surgery, both of my children over the years, and I always in the consultations, or when they come in, I always say to the anesthesiologist, you are the most important person in this room. And I try to say it when the search is not around, but I don't care. Because to me, that's the one and I, you know, it is such a huge responsibility. And I have such respect almost all and when you said, you know, you take your child down the hallway, if you've been there like I have, you know, your heart is in your throat for the entire time, and it must be such intense, not only the training, but just the experiences that you go through. Do you all Good, this is kind of a personal question, do you will have a community? Do you help each other out? Do you think there's Okay, mental health among anesthesiologists, because that's gonna be so difficult. So that's a huge weight to bear.


Dr. Nat Strand  20:11

It's a huge weight to bear. And I think, you know, I don't want to pretend like I'm on the frontlines right now, because again, I do outpatient pain medicine for the majority of my practice, but especially some of the anesthesiologists that have been called to intensive care units, and that are on COVID airway teams. And some of my best friends from training are in hospitals that are saturated with cases and other states. And so I think that mental health is a huge issue, the amount of stress, the amount of burnout, the amount of anxiety, the amount of fear even about you know, PBE and that kind of thing, especially in the beginning, when some of the supply chains weren't, you know, as mature again, I'm not talking about my personal experience, but people at other hospitals. So, you know, I think in general, it's an issue and I think acutely, it's even a bigger issue. I do see resources. I think people do In the pandemic are very aware, I even read a story about a physician suicide in New York for an emergency medicine physician, you know, so people are aware, and I think there are resources available now, especially that are free for physicians. But in general, I think mental health is unfortunately still kind of has a stigma where in medicine, I think self care is often last care. You know, people go to work when they're sick. For the most part, people go to work when they're tired. People work long hours overnight, you know, into the next morning, so I think mental health kind of goes along with physical health and, you know, you just kind of do what needs to be done and the needs of the patient come first. And so for a lot of physicians and all specialties, I think self care, including mental health really is a challenge.


Stacey Simms  21:42

I have to ask well, I have an anesthesiologist who also has type one and I mentioned you know, my kids, one has type one and one does not have both had surgeries where they required hospitalization and anesthesia. Are there any best practices or any bits of advice that you can share with the diabetes community to help us make the hospital stays, you know, we're not talking about COVID-19, obviously, but you know more routine stuff. Is there anything that we can do or better prepare, so that when we go to the hospital, if it's an adult or child with type one, that we can kind of help the healthcare teams take better care of us.


Dr. Nat Strand  22:16

So I think one of the things is to try to speak with your anesthesiologist ahead of time if possible. So if you're having a plan surgery, and you know who the group is going to be, you may find people within that group that have a little bit more experience and interest in managing type one, that would be number one is to really see if you can identify someone, even if there's not someone who has specialized experience just so you can come up with a plan. I would definitely suggest having a plan with your endocrinologist written out that can be given to the anesthesiologists. You know, I'm thinking of when I've had surgery or when I you know, had my C sections with my kiddos. I think that having the endocrinologist involved so they can, you know, give their support and of course, the You're going to do what they're comfortable with and what they know how to do. And sometimes that's changing, you know, insulin pump to IV insulin. And you also have to balance that with if someone's not familiar with it, and they don't have trust in it, they have to administer the care that they have trusted. So there might be some education involved. Of course, it depends on you what the case is the length of the case, the intensity of the case, those kinds of things. So I think if you're able to, if it's a short case, if the anesthesiologist is comfortable with the plan, I would love to always keep my insulin pump on and my guests come on, but I do know that sometimes, that's just not possible and you have to switch to, you know, other types of influence. So it's kind of uncomfortable for everybody. But I think if you can communicate ahead of time and create a plan that's most comfortable for everybody involved. That's important. And of course, you know, whatever is going to keep anybody safe. You know, avoiding any hypoglycemia, avoiding any severe hyperglycemia. And of course, just getting you to the other side when you can take over management yourself again.


Stacey Simms  23:59

Yeah, what We did the last time but he had surgery because the first the first time he had surgery, he was teeny tiny, I think had been diagnosed for, I think he was seven or eight months in. So he was about he was still two. And he had no, he had no decks. And he did have an insulin pump when this was like 13 years ago. So everybody was all excited to see the pump. It was very interesting. But he did great. And then this last time, he needed surgery, he had knee surgery late last year, and they were amazing. But we decided that it would be easier for the anesthesiologist to just look at his Dexcom numbers on his pump, not his phone, because the pump you unlock 123 right, the tandem pump is super simple. We figured the phone could lose signal, the phone could be harder to unlock, you know, just he's got like an, you know, a six digit code, and why would I remote monitor from the waiting room? What the heck was I gonna do? You know, they would know, they would know I had faith. They were great, and it really worked out well. So it was a really positive experience. And interestingly in the 1213 years that had come by that hospital Steph was really well educated about pumps and CGM, which was a really pleasant surprise for us. So that was good.


Dr. Nat Strand  25:06

Yeah, that's awesome.


Stacey Simms  25:08

All right. So I think I'm not alone in that the way many of us were introduced to you was on national television was on The Amazing Race, which is, it is the best reality show. It's my favorite of all time. I started watching it. I looked this up the other day that I couldn't believe it. I started watching it in 2001, because I was pregnant with my daughter and I couldn't sleep. And I used to watch it all the time. And I adored it.


Unknown Speaker  25:31

And you guys


Unknown Speaker  25:32

want it?


Stacey Simms  25:34

I know a lot has been said a lot has been written over the years about this. What was that? Like? I mean, what do you most remember about it?


Dr. Nat Strand  25:41

Yeah, that was 10 years ago now it's really crazy. But you know, there's there's the experience of doing amazing race of traveling around the world was nothing. I mean, you have a backpack but you know, you're going to the Arctic Circle, you know, you're going to go to sub Saharan Africa, you know, you're going to go we we didn't know exactly where we're going. Go back, watch the show myself enough time to know I'd be really cold, really hot, really dirty. But you have a backpack, you have no money, you have no maps, you have no cell phone, you have nothing. And so just being stripped down to sort of your just immediate resources to figure things out like that, because that was as interesting as it was to see the world. I mean, I had never been so stripped down of things I had access to, you know, being a study or I would have references for everything I kind of just get thrown into the world and open a clue and say, make your way to Stonehenge, you know what I mean? It's not like you get direction. So it was while that I did it with one of my very best friends, who's another anesthesiologist, Dr. Catching and we we had a blast. We went around the entire globe and I think it took us 21 days total. And then I came home and slept for like six. And after that, you know, the show starts airing in the fall and it airs. I think it aired from September to December or did at the time. So what sticking it was a whole nother like phase two.


Unknown Speaker  27:03

Oh yeah, with all the


Dr. Nat Strand  27:04

editing and the production that they do to their production, what the other teams were doing, you know, you see a lot of backstory or parallel stories that you didn't see at the time, right? Because you were just with your team, so very interesting to watch it after having lived it. And then I think phase three of it is getting to be like a C list celebrity for a year or two, which was also very weird. So there's like three phases of The Amazing Race that totally kind of changed my life. But overall, I was so positive, I have nothing but fond memories of doing it and the people that I met and, and I also remember thinking the world is a lot safer and friendlier than I would have thought, you know, if you just drop off to Bangladesh for 48 hours, with no plans, you know, people just kind of help and you and you're frenetic and you're tired and you're racing and you run up to strangers and you asked them questions really quick and, you know, now I would never go to Bangladesh for the weekend. You know what I mean? Like work to go somewhere for a weekend. But it was worth it, you know, you You definitely got to see things and get a taste of it. So afterwards I tried to tell myself, you know, even if you don't have a huge chunk of time to go somewhere still go, if you can, and, you know, to see the world and everybody was friendly, I don't think I had one time where I felt like somebody that's, you know, rude or aggressive or unwelcoming. And I think that was a very wonderful experience too. Because sometimes I think we can kind of become afraid of going places or being with other cultures and being there in person in so many different cultures. And having everybody be so warm was was phenomenal.


Stacey Simms  28:34

Did you learn anything at that time about managing diabetes? Because you you I mean, I know you're stripped down, but you had your diabetes supplies, but I saw the show you're testing while you're driving. I mean, you know, to some extent, you don't have all the stuff you know, you don't you're not sleeping, right, you're not eating right. And I'm just curious, I think sometimes with my son, he'll go and forget something and muddle through when he learns from that. And even though we have all this wonderful technology, he kind of has learned that he can make it work. You can always MacGyver something. I'm curious if you had that experience.


Dr. Nat Strand  29:03

That's the word I was just thinking. I mean, any type one becomes, you know, kind of a MacGyver where you're learning how to, if you need to draw and slip out of an old reservoir for a new wine or you're learning how to reuse parts of an infusion set because one part ripped off if you don't have enough to replace the whole thing, or you're learning how to keep insulin cold or you're learning how to package things. They don't take as much room by taking them out of their packaging and putting them in a Ziploc, you know, all together, I think, you know, I remember even the test strips, you know, opening the test strip bottles and filling one bottle with two bottles worth of strips just to save space. So, you know, you kind of by force have to get very creative with faith and efficiency and also problem solving. So yeah, I learned a lot about traveling with diabetes. And you know, one of the things I did was I typed out a letter that said I have type 1 diabetes. In case of emergency please help me get sugar or please You know, I'm getting 200,000 to a hospital and I printed that out in several languages. So, you know, if I found myself in Russia, for example, and didn't know how to say what I needed, you know, I would have that kind of to give. So I think, you know, just learning how to prepare, you know, anticipate what problems you might have, or where you're going, and then, you know, trying to bring the selections with you as possible. That was definitely a skill set that was honed,


Stacey Simms  30:24

that's a great point. We were in Israel A while back. And, you know, we were on a guided tour, and everyone spoke English. But at one point, a guy wanted to take my son's medical bag to examine it, and he didn't speak English and then he figured out what was going on your tour guide kind of spoke to him and he was like, Oh, you know, kind of funny exasperated, like, come on, make this simple for me. And he wrote out this is a medical bag in Hebrew, and attached it to our bag. He was like, here Now you won't have any other problems like what's wrong with you people? Why couldn't you just do that to me? He was very funny back to us, like, you know, nicely exasperated with us, but I think in the future, that's Something that is just very helpful. You know, this is a medical bagger. I have type one diabetes in different languages. That's great advice. So I mentioned you have two children. Now you have I was gonna say toddlers, but you have preschoolers, right, five and four years old. You mentioned c sections. I'm not going to get all personal about type one pregnancies and that sort of thing. But when you were diagnosed at 12, I doubt you were thinking about children at the time. But you know, as you were getting older with the diabetes diagnosis, did you think about children? Was this something that you thought might be difficult or not possible with type one, or was it always in the plan?


Dr. Nat Strand  31:32

You know, I actually, again, sitting with my adventurous plan for life. I wasn't one of those girls that really thought I would have kids. I never really thought about being a mom and stuff like that. I kind of was more thinking about how I was gonna travel the world. And so, I mean, we had all seen Steel Magnolias. And so I think, you know, I had this awareness but at the time, you know, I think it was more of an awareness that that movie was wrong. I think I thought it would be fine. If I had wanted Kids. And then once I got a little older, I met my husband, we got married and I started, my switch flipped and I was like, I need children. And then I was like, Okay, I started getting into the details of, you know, diabetes and what the control needed to be and what the risks really were. And, you know, that I think was overwhelming. I think, you know, type one pregnancies, it's definitely a full time job. It's not regular diabetes management is like, very, very intensive diabetes management. So I knew that people would type one could have kids, I just didn't know if I could do what it would take to be that strict for that long. You know, so I think I, I pleasantly surprised myself that I could, you know, I think when the stakes are there, you do your best. But you know, I think there are different personalities, obviously, that have type one and my brother also has type one, he was diagnosed in his 30s and he's very mathematical. He's got an engineering mind and I think Not that anybody is well suited for diabetes, but if someone was to be well suited personality wise, he is, you know, he is regimented. He charts everything. He stacks his thing. You know, he's like that, and I'm the opposite. I became like him when I was pregnant.


Stacey Simms  33:14

So speaking of your kids, though, you you know, you've said you've been doing mostly at home consoles for your work. I assume that for the last couple of weeks, at least you've been home with your kids, maybe more than usual. How's that going?


Dr. Nat Strand  33:28

Well, you know, I think that everybody will look back on this time with different different experiences. Some people are bored and they've organized every room in their house and they make all these new recipes and I will look back on this time and remember what I had a three to five year old, who didn't have anywhere to go and any preschool or any day until my house apart all day long every day. My couch cushions haven't stayed in place for more than 20 minutes of full time. I mean, it's just crazy, but it's gonna be exhausting. I mean, they're like feral animal. But it's been cool to see them develop their relationship. You know, they're they're playing together from sunup to sundown. They're imagining things. They're making no jungle. So it's been nice to see them spend some time together, but certainly be at home with two young kids and nowhere to go. That's not for the faint of heart.


Stacey Simms  34:26

I salute you. Before I let you go. I know as you've said, you you're not in the ICU right now you're, you know, you're not seeing patients with COVID-19. But as a person with type one, I assume you're trying to stay on top of the medical literature and, you know, seeing what this may mean for people with type one who who get it who catch it who are at risk. Can you talk a little bit just either you know, your thoughts for yourself advice for the community? I'm just curious what's going through your mind on


Unknown Speaker  34:52

this these days?


Dr. Nat Strand  34:54

Well, you know, when they when it first kind of came out, I was reading a lot about what had happened in China. And also in Italy. And when I thought it was I kind of assumed it was type two diabetes, you know, because we were seeing a lot of age related and comorbidities. But you know, we've now seen with position statements from like the a DA and the jdrf, you know that they're not really differentiating type one and type two. So, you know, I know for me that my risk of catching this is not hired because of the diabetes, but my risk of a more negative outcome definitely is higher because I live with diabetes. So, you know, the way I look at that is I'm doing all you know, the recommended social distancing, masking thing at home, those kinds of things. And at the same time, I'm using this as an opportunity to really focus on all other aspects of wellness. You know, I'm kind of re engaging to bring my diabetes control into a tighter range because I know that's helpful. Now, as far as like rest, nutrition, exercise, all of those things are sort of, you know, you can think of it as like prehab instead of rehab, you know, what you can do before you deal with something to make you as resilient as possible. Physically. So I would just say, we know our risk of getting it's not higher, but our risk of complications if we get it is higher. And that's something that I think we should not let us talk on a topic from a place of fear, but rather from a place of preparation, and using that knowledge to just, you know, get our diabetes under the best control possible. Whether that means, you know, changing to a pump, or getting a CGM, or just re engaging with your endocrinologist or CDE. And then I think making sure you consider all other aspects of wellness to this to make you more resilient, which is, you know, nutrition, rest, stress management and exercise. So, I think we can use this knowledge to just put ourselves in the best position possible. A great defensive is really the best offense in this case.


Stacey Simms  36:42

Well, thank you so much for talking to me for sharing your story. And for just giving us a little bit of an insight into the medical community these days. I really appreciate it.


Dr. Nat Strand  36:53

Oh, and thank you so much for having me. I mean, like you said, I followed you on social media for so many years, and it's just an honor to be included on your project. Cast and thanks for everything that you do for our community. We all appreciate it very, very much.


Unknown Speaker  37:10

You're listening to diabetes connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  37:16

That was so nice of her to say that at the end, it's funny, isn't it? The diabetes community, you know, we all kind of know each other from social media, or, you know, we've maybe we've met at a conference, but there's a lot of mutual admiration out there. It's always nice when people say that, but you know, as you listen, it makes me think if for some reason you feel like you're not really a part of this community, you know, maybe you listen or you're lurking in the group, and you've never reached out you're wondering if you know, what's it like, it's great. definitely reach out, definitely jump in. I mean, if you if you're fine, and you just want to listen, that's awesome. But we're doing a lot of really fun stuff in the Facebook group with zoom calls and surveys, and I'd really love to see you there and I really want you to know as you listen that your voice is really important too. So I'll link up more about Dr. Strand and her study and other information that we talked about in the show notes there's also always a transcript there at Diabetes And up next is tell me something good which is all from the Facebook group this week love it. But first diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. Now we have been using the Dexcom g six I looked this up it is two years now. We did a goofball video two years ago a little bit over Actually, it was the night that Avengers Infinity War came out and that's the night that we slept on the G six for the first time and we did a facebook live in for Benny wanted to do it but he was also really reluctant because he wasn't sure if it would hurt. So I will link up that video but I will tell you when I looked it up where to start because it's like an agonizing 10 minutes before he does it. But you know, the Dexcom g six FDA permitted for no finger six for calibration and diabetes treatment decisions. You do that to our warm up, the number just pops up. And after so many years of the previous dex comes we had to calibrate a couple of times a day you know you wouldn't get any blood sugar readings till you did so. It's amazing. We have been using the Dexcom for almost seven years now and it just keeps getting better. The G six has longer sensor were now 10 days and the new sensor applicator is really easy to use. You'll see on the video he was shocked, you know no pain. Of course we still love the alerts and alarms that we can set how we want. 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. To learn more, go to Diabetes and click on the Dexcom logo.


Tell me something good this week a bunch of great I'll call them little stories from our Facebook group. Last week I talked with these big athletic accomplishments, right, the Appalachian Trail marathons, but this week was a little different and I think these are worth celebrating as well. James said AP exams were easy on accommodations this time simply allowing students with type one, double the time so they could test treat etc during what was already A weird testing cycle. That is good news. Samantha says we sent out birthday cards to any kid among our friends that had a birthday this month since they can't have a party. And that was really fun. Her husband and her son are training for the new virtual jdrf ride. And they all just signed up for the Disney run again in January. She also wrote we are all alive. I see you, Samantha, that sense of humor. And speaking of the ride, Elizabeth wrote in that the reimagine jdrf my ride is good news. And she'd like to see me talk about the new program with one of the managers we have that in the works. I'm going to be talking about that. So the jdrf rides in person for the fall, unfortunately, were canceled, which I think was the right thing to do. But you know, there were a lot of people who really enjoy that and we're banking on it, and we're already fundraising. So jdrf my ride is a way for people to participate, even though they can't travel to these locations. I will put more in the show notes on this, but I will also be doing hopefully, a whole podcast on it soon. You're off Emil Altman, who is part of the Facebook group wrote in I don't know if this is what you're looking for, but I will be hitting 39 years of pumping the second week in June, and I hit 23 years of CGM use in March, he will mark 59 years with type one in November. I had him on the show a while back. He was an early adopter of diabetes technology. In fact, he worked in the industry for a while. So really great stories from him. Perry who lives with type two and is in the group. I'm always happy to see him. He said that his dad survived heart surgery that he is needed since March and finally had the valve repair last week, which would have been early May. Perry works with the fire department in South Carolina and he says good news. My crew has not liked masks gloves or hand sanitizer. And I gotta say, this is my favorite of the week. My dear friend and Sutton who is also the Outreach Manager for our jdrf is so creative, trying to keep people connected online. And she created two events for children who you know aren't able to meet up right now because we do a lot of that in our area. So she created And this isn't just for girls. And it isn't just for boys, anybody could go to anything. She created a tea party, a virtual Tea Party, and she created a virtual Lego build. And I'm going to share the photo of one of the kids built a meter out of Legos. And it's unbelievable. It looks so good. So I'll be sharing that and I hope you check it out really good and creative stuff. Do you have a Tell me something good story it can be. I think this is a great example of what I would call you know, these smaller stories, but still big accomplishments. Good news in our community. I mean, if you running a marathon or you're celebrating 59 years with type one, we want to share that too. But I just love this segment because it gives us a glimpse into the good stuff that's happening. You can share it in the Facebook group or you can ping me Stacey at Diabetes and tell me something good.


Before I let you go tell you a story about something bananas that happened in my house recently and I think this might be the first chapter in my novel Next, The World’s Worst Diabetes Mombecause that book stops really right in the middle of middle school. And it's not as though we haven't continued to make mistakes. So I will tell you the punch line first in that everything is fine. Benny is fine. It's all good. But what happened was, he had had a day, just one of those Perfect Storm days where the decks calm had expired, I accidentally left his pump off. And of course, a few hours later, he was a very, very high now I since COVID-19, and we've been around each other so much. I've actually been less on him than I think I have been any time in recent memory. his bedroom in our new house is upstairs. Mine is downstairs, which is totally new for us. We have control IQ with the tanta pump, which has been a dream and he's doing really really well. But you know, things happen. So it's about six or seven o'clock at night. He realizes he's having the pump issue. Of course he didn't have the decks calm. So you know, we didn't know that there was an issue for a lot Longer than we would have otherwise, we did a blood sugar check and it just gives you that high, you know, there's no number associated with it. And, of course, we did all the protocol you're supposed to do. Huge shot, you know, gave him the correction by injection, change the pump inset slapped on the dex calm, drank a ton of water and checked for ketones. And I went downstairs because Ben he never has large ketones. I mean, in all of his years, he's had medium once I'm not would not get anything I can get. But you know, he's been high for a sustained amount of time through illness or just wackiness or you know, dumb stuff with diabetes, and he's never had large ketones, but we still do check because I just don't want to get lulled into complacency, right, people change things go I just I don't want it to slip. So he texted me and he said, Mom, the keto stick is black, which we've never seen before. So of course, I run upstairs and they look at it and it is it's super dark purple. So I'm like, Alright, well, you just had the injection because it's a urine stick. It's probably a couple hours behind. Drink a ton of water. We'll monitor From here, if in two hours, we still get a really dark, large ketone reading, we'll call the endo and he'll walk us through what to do next. Okay, so I'm freaking out, right? I'm thinking to myself, why don't I have a blood ketone meter? What's wrong with me? I'm the worst. Why don't I have so I'm online, I'm looking for blood ketone meters, you know, like, How fast can I get one and we just, you know, we, we've never had the need, so don't yell at me. Then two hours later, blood sugar is coming down nicely, he's feeling a little bit better, right? Things are gonna be fine. And I sit in his room and he goes to the bathroom and it comes out and he's like, wow, it's still really dark. And I look at the strip


Unknown Speaker  45:33

and I noticed it looks really weird. We use the regular old keto sticks that have little square at the end, and it just has one square.


Unknown Speaker  45:41

this stick


Unknown Speaker  45:42

has two squares, and one is dark purple, and one is light pink. I thought


Unknown Speaker  45:47

to myself, what


Stacey Simms  45:48

the heck is this? So I look at the bottle. And if you know you've already know what happened, I had purchased diagnostics. These are sticks that measure glucose and ketones and The dark purple was the glucose hidden of large ketones. He had small ketones, maybe medium, maybe. So for, you know, big sigh of relief, and that was it. But oh my gosh, I was flipping out before that. So now we know now we have to be more careful. But that's the next chapter. I've already got The World’s Worst Diabetes Momstuff ready to go? Never a dull moment. All right, a big thank you to my editor john Lucas from audio editing solutions as always, for helping make sense of a lot of my nonsense. Thank you to you so much for listening. Don't forget about the book to clinic program. If you want to jump in on that or you know, a clinic that would like to get on the list to receive books. I'd love to hear from you as well. I'm Stacey Simms. I'll see you back here next week. Until then, be kind to yourself.


Unknown Speaker  46:52

Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Simms media.


Unknown Speaker  46:56

All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged


Transcribed by


May 12, 2020

There's a new superhero coming to the popular CW network lineup. Stargirl features actor Brec Bassinger, who lives with type 1 diabetes. We first spoke to Brec a couple of years ago, just after her run on Nickelodeon's "Bella and the Bulldogs." She shares what’s changed with her diabetes management since then, advice about speaking up for what she needs without feeling weird about diabetes & much more.

Check out Stacey's new book: The World's Worst Diabetes Mom!

It's an athletic edition of Tell Me Something Good with marathons! Hiking! And that feeling when you do something your middle school coach told you you’d never do because of diabetes.

Join the Diabetes Connections Facebook Group!

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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Episode transcript:


Stacey Simms  0:00

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes. By Real Good Foods real food you feel good about eating and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.


Announcer  0:20

This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  0:26

This week, there's a new superhero coming to the popular CW network lineup. Stargirl features actor Brec Bassingerwho lives with type one. After they started production, she found out another person in the cast and on her superhero team also lives with T1D.


Brec Bassinger  0:44

I think it's more of having that companionship, that person who understands when we're on the 17th hour of work and they bring out another snack that just as carby but we're hungry and sleepy but we don't want to eat all these carbs and just being able to look at like okay, you get it, and talk to each other and understand that was just so nice to have.


Stacey Simms  1:02

She'll share more about what it meant to have that actor Cameron Gellman on the set with her. We first spoke to Brec a couple of years ago after her run on Nickelodeon, in Bella and the Bulldogs. She talks about what's changed with her diabetes management advice about speaking up for what she needs without feeling weird about diabetes, and a lot more

and athletic addition of telling me something good this week, marathons hiking, and that feeling when you do something your middle school coach told you, you never do because of diabetes. 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 the show. I'm so glad to have you along. We aim to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes by sharing stories of connection. I have a feeling that this interview is gonna bring a lot of new people into the show. So just a quick word. I'm your host, Stacey Simms. My son was diagnosed with type one right before he turned two He is now 15 years old. He's had diabetes for more than 13 years. My husband lives with type two diabetes. I don't have diabetes, I have a background in broadcasting. I spent a lot of time in local television and radio news. And that's how you get the podcast.

A reminder popped up on my phone this morning about one of the trips I was supposed to be taking, like many of you, you know, of course, we had travel plans for this spring and this summer, and I was going to a lot of diabetes conferences. And it's so sad right to see those reminders pop up. But we have been doing a lot of virtual stuff. And that's been really fun to not the same, but a wonderful way to stay connected.

And I'm bringing that up because I'm going to put links in the show notes. I've got a couple of events coming up jdrf and other organizations. I did one for Project Blue November not too long ago. They've been really great about scheduling these talks, the online summits, the webinars, and I've been thrilled because my topic right now is the world's worst diabetes mom, and it's been so much fun to share the information That's my book that is just out. And I'm still so excited about that. But it's been really fun to share it to people that I wouldn't have been able to meet, right? Because if I was going to Detroit, which I should have been going to this month, then we would be meeting people just at that summit. But instead, I get to meet people from all over the country. I'm trying to look at the silver lining on it. And really, that's about all we can do right now.

But thank you so much the support for the book and just the last couple of weeks has really picked up if you want to check it out. Of course, I'll put a link in the show notes. It's on Amazon, The World’s Worst Diabetes Momis a parenting advice and humor book. It's kind of part memoir, kind of part, advice column and all about our experiences, making every mistake in the book when it comes to diabetes, and watching my son grow up as a confident and responsible and healthy kid, despite my many, many errors along the way. So thanks for letting me tell you about that. And boy, I hope we get back to see each other in person. Soon, it'll be a while, but it'll get better

Right to Brec in just a moment. But first diabetes Connections is brought to you by Real Good Foods, nutritious food delivered straight to your door. They have so many options. They have pizzas, I think they were first known for their pizzas and they have this great cauliflower crust pizza, chicken crust pizza, and the pizzas come in different varieties or just plain crust and then you can make your own. We also really enjoy the breakfast sandwiches. They are seven carbs per sandwich. 22 grams of protein, they always post up on their Instagram, they have these grape varieties that what they show it you could really do to jazz this stuff up and people put all sorts of things to add to their sandwiches. I like them just the way they are. You can find out more about all of their products, where to buy How To order, just go to Diabetes and click on the Real Good Foods logo.


My guest this week is the star of the newest superhero show on The CW Brec Bassinger plays Stargirl aka Courtney Whitmore, and this show is getting great reviews. I will link some of that up in our Facebook group. And if you're not familiar with the CW lineup, this is the same people behind the hit shows Arrow and Flash and Supergirl. I will put this clip in the group as well. No, you can't see it. But here's a little taste.

(Show Clip here)


Stacey Simms  5:38

Stargirl is set to premiere May 18. Now I first spoke with Breck three years ago, and since then she's moved out she's living on her own. And as you'll hear, that is a big reason why she now wears a CGM. I need to tell you we did this interview back in January before COVID-19 and the quarantines and all the changes we're going through right now. So I tell you that just So you're not surprised at the tone, right? It's a little bit different, a little bit lighter than we might have done right now. And she's also talking about travel and conventions and things that you know have absolutely changed. Alright, but here is my interview with Brec Bassinger

Brec thanks so much for coming back on the show. It's been a while. It's great to talk to you again.


Brec Bassinger  6:18

Yeah, three years. It's good stuff.


Stacey Simms  6:21

A lot has certainly changed for you. This is so exciting. I mean, you were busy then. You're busy now. But what can you tell me about Stargirl? I mean, we'll talk about diabetes eventually. But let's talk about the show.


Brec Bassinger  6:33

The important stuff in life. All of last year 2019. I was in Atlanta filming it. I've seen a few of the episodes and I'm really proud of it. I've never been part of something that I'm so like, shamelessly proud of where like the sounds are put doesn't like bragging I'm just so proud of I want every single person to see and I feel like that has to do a lot with the show runner. His name is Geoff Johns. He worked on like wonder woman and he just so amazing and like this spirit and happiness he brought to us that I feel like really just rubbed off on everyone. That was a part of it. So I I really am shamelessly. So excited for everyone to see it.


Stacey Simms  7:10

I think that's great. And you know, we've been watching the CW, DC heroes comic book shows for a couple of years now. And you know, they're just fun. And they're for families. They're good hearted. Is this in that same spirit?


Brec Bassinger  7:23

Yeah, it totally fits in with those. I've had. My family they got to all watch the first episode of the holidays with me, and they all really enjoyed it. I feel like as a whole, this one's more comparable to a film like a movie just the way films like the way it's written, like, like Flash and Arrow. It's normally like a villain per episode. And ours is more kind of like one season story arc like you can't just sit down and watch one episode and know what's going on. You kind of have to watch the full season more like a stranger things. I'd say that's kind of the main difference, the odds of like fear and it's just like happy it's not too dark. It's not Raise you like it's definitely a family friendly show, which there's not much of those. Yeah.


Stacey Simms  8:04

a that is great to hear. All right. So I know nothing about TV process and CGI and everything else. But to watch what's out there already. It looks like not only are there a lot of special effects, there's a lot of practical effects and you're, you're doing a lot of stunts. Are you doing all of those stunts or some of those stunts? I mean, it looks like it's a very challenging role physically.


Brec Bassinger  8:23

Yeah. So Stargirl, she has her her cosmic staff. So before we started filming, they put me in training with like staff training and stunt training. And so I got to do a lot of it. It was it was so funny because like at the beginning of the series, even with a couple weeks of training behind my belt, they would hand me the staff in a scene. And I just, like forget how to act because I would be so overwhelmed with having to like fight with this six foot long, both staff, but I thought that was really special because at the beginning like Courtney or struggle, like she shouldn't be as comfortable with that staff. And then towards the end of the season, when they gave me some staff, I felt so confident wasn't even thinking that it was coming. have like an extension of my arm at that point. And that's where Courtney should have been. So it was cool to kind of have that journey with Courtney.



Stacey Simms  9:11

Yeah. All right. So let's jump in and talk about diabetes.

When you're training with a six foot both staff and you are not six feet tall. What does that do to your blood sugar? I mean, I'm assuming that there was a lot of planning that had to go into that and you really had to stay on top of things.


Brec Bassinger  9:24

Fortunately, like I exercise a lot so I know how to regulate my blood sugar cuz definitely like when I'm more active, it causes my blood sugar to drop. But with the stunt training stuff, it's a lot of just staying still and moving the staff around me so bad and it actually dropped my blood sugar. It was more trying to figure out like on fat I was working like one day I work 20 hours obviously that messes with my blood sugar and I really just have to learn to accept the circumstances and some days I was gonna have highs and lows and stop beat myself up about it because I I was I was working hours that aren't humanly normal.


Unknown Speaker  9:59

Can you share your diabetes management. Do you wear a CGM? Do you use an insulin pump? That sort of thing?


Brec Bassinger  10:04

Yeah, so I've always done insulin injections. I have my pin and actually have a half unit pin, which I got this past year, which has been really helpful. And then I have a CGM, a Dexcom.


Stacey Simms  10:14

Oh, and when did you start using that, if you don't mind me asking


Brec Bassinger  10:17

two years ago,


Stacey Simms  10:18

so it's pretty recent.


Brec Bassinger  10:20

Yeah, I started living by myself. And it was either that or one of the diabetes service dogs. And I had the CGM for the very first time I was like, Okay, I can't imagine a life without this just for safety reasons. And my mom wanted me to have something where she could feel more secure.


Stacey Simms  10:36

I was gonna say who gave you that choice because as a mom of my child,


Brec Bassinger  10:40

still in high school, especially during that time, I was having so many lows during the night, actually, when I started eating really healthy and working out a lot but because of that, I was just having lows all the time. And she's like, I do not feel comfortable. You living by yourself with all these lows. This is not safe. And so


Stacey Simms  10:57

do you share with your mom like she just said does she see your number Is that not Yes,


Brec Bassinger  11:01

I share with my mom, my dad, my boyfriend and my fellow diabetics with OnStargirl with me in Cameron Galvin, we have each other's follow apps. And that's really fun.


Stacey Simms  11:12

Well, there's another person with diabetes on the show.


Brec Bassinger  11:15

Yes. And we're both superheroes on the show. I'm like, come on.


Stacey Simms  11:18

So did you know each other before the casting?


Brec Bassinger  11:20

No. Well, that's the thing we had never met. I had a film something with one of my one of my friends. And she had reached out to me, she was like, Hey, can I give this guy your number? Like, you know, type one diabetic. He's talking about when you involve with Jr. And I told him, I thought you were so can I get in your contact info. So I got this random text like saying, Hey, are you going to the walk next month, if you are about to join you and your friend, Christina. And we just like it kind of sprinkled away. We never connected again. It just never worked out. And then he booked it in like, he goes to give me my number. And we're like, oh my gosh, we talked like three years ago. And he's like, Oh, it's all coming back to me. So it was like Cuz we hadn't met, we had talked it was really funny and weird.


Stacey Simms  12:03

That's great, though. I mean, obviously not everybody who has diabetes is going to be friends. Right? I have my son accuses me of that sometimes like, Oh, you should meet this person. But it's like it worked out really well.


Brec Bassinger  12:15

But I have to say like, I, maybe this is like an optimism or not not just rose colored glasses. Definitely. Every time I need a diabetic, they're the best person to my eyes and like, Oh, I lost them. We go through the same things for soulmate best friends, at least with my experience. Yeah, like I said, first podcast is might be a part of that as


Stacey Simms  12:35

well. I think it's more, you know, a 15 year old boy doesn't want his mom making friends for him. Right. But everybody could definitely do that.


Unknown Speaker  12:44

So all kidding


Stacey Simms  12:45

aside, though, I'm sure you don't talk about it all day on the set. I don't want to imply that you do. But has it come in handy. I mean, do you both kind of help each other is there is it just a kinship and a friendship on set.


Brec Bassinger  12:58

I think it's more of having Got companionship, that person who understands when we're on the 17th hour of work and they bring out another snack that just is carbee. But we're hungry and sleepy, but we don't want to eat all these carbs and just being able to look you get like look at each other and talk to each other and understand that was just so nice to have.


Stacey Simms  13:18

And you're both Well, obviously you're playing the superhero, but the other actor is playing a superhero as well.


Brec Bassinger  13:23

Mm hmm. Yes. Okay, so that


Stacey Simms  13:24

will lead me to my one of my questions. I had a couple of listeners who wanted to know if you have any issues wearing diabetes technology under the costume.


Right back to her answer, but first diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop, and One Drop is diabetes management for the 21st century. One Drop was designed by people with diabetes. For people with diabetes. One Drops glucose meter looks nothing like a medical device. It's sleek, compact, and seamlessly integrates with the award winning One Drop mobile app. sync all your other health apps to One Drop to keep track of the big picture and easily see health trends. And with a One Drop subscription you get unlimited test strips and lancets delivered right to your door. Every One Drop plan includes access to your own certified diabetes coach have questions, but don't feel like waiting for your next doctor's visit. Your personal coach is always there to help go to Diabetes and click on the One Drop logo to learn more. Right back to my interview. I'm asking Breck about wearing diabetes gear under the costume.


So you don't wear an insulin pump. But you were a CGM. And the Dexcom is just a little bit of a raised bump. Do you have to do any accommodations for that? And I know it can be personal So


Brec Bassinger  14:44

no, no, I'm, I'm an open book. When I was doing the cuts to the costume. It took in about 12 to 15 sittings hours and hours upon work like dozens of people touched and worked on it. And while we were doing the city I saw the G five which was bigger than the G six. It's still small but bigger. And they're like oh, but you can take that off. And I was like I can, but I'm not going to because I just I for safety reasons. It makes them feel more comfortable. It helps me like everything in Lj the costume designer, she was super understanding. But yeah, I haven't come my super suit is super tight. So I'm sure if you watch close enough in the series comes out, you'll be able to spot it sometimes but like it is what it is.


Stacey Simms  15:30

Well, you just gave a challenge to everybody with diabetes in their family watching they're gonna be freeze frame. I know.


Brec Bassinger  15:37

You're gonna be able to see it. Fortunately, I think a lot of times they would go in and edit it out. We do have that. Oh, yeah. And editing budget, which makes it nice, but I like some of the episodes I've watched. I've spotted it. So I'm so curious to see if other people will be able to as well.


Stacey Simms  15:52

And let me ask you about Cameron, if you don't mind. And again, this is too personal. I'll take this part out. Let me ask you about Cameron, just as he were up. pump for CGM, can we be spotting for stuff on him?


Brec Bassinger  16:02

Yeah. So see, I know he's had more experience in like the pump world than I have. I've never had one. So that doesn't take much. I'm not exactly sure. I know he was more lenient to take it on and off than I was. But that would be a question for him. I'm not really sure.


Stacey Simms  16:20

All right, well, we'll just get a remote controls that will just stop it as the show goes. That's really funny. Yeah. You know, it does have to be difficult because as you said, there's crazy hours, they are feeding you, but maybe it's not exactly what everybody wants to have at those long hours. Those long days. As you mentioned, the carves, you've been in television for a long time. I mean, I'm curious, are you able to talk to people on the set and say, you know, I really would prefer this or I need that or is it just a question of you kind of finding your way through what's out there?


Brec Bassinger  16:51

I have a couple things with that. It's really interesting. As an actor, it's so easy to get this diva persona you ask for anything in someone gonna call you a diva. And so I always felt really bad or that I couldn't ask for things because I never, I never wanted that. But then at some point, you have to realize there's people there that want to help you that will help you. It's their job to help you. And so walking onto this site, I made a pact with myself that when I needed help, I wasn't gonna be afraid to ask, because of what other people were going to think just for my own health, I say health as well. And so I went into the show with that new like perspective, and it definitely was helpful like, we have like a craft service guy, who who provide all the snack foods, and I became best friends with him. And they were absolutely amazing to me, they would get any like if ever there was a time I wanted something special. They never made me feel like a diva for asking for it, which is so great of them. And then also Karen and I share something else we both actually have celiac disease as well. So our diet is extremely strict and once again, not health that's not me being like a diva like Oh, I can't eat gluten because I don't want to it's I I can't. So once again, like I think maybe having these health issues makes it easier for me to ask because I kind of have an excuse. But it still was difficult to like, get over that hump.


Stacey Simms  18:13

Well, and I know that there are going to be younger people, maybe more than usual listening to the show, because you're on it. And I'm so glad you said that, because it's very difficult to ask for things. Right? It's difficult to say, I'm different. I need nobody wants to be a bother or as you're saying, like a diva. You know, nobody wants to be perceived that way. And I'm curious, were you always like that? Or you said you made a pact on this show? Do you feel like it took you a while to build up to have the confidence to ask for those things.


Brec Bassinger  18:42

100% I have to give a lot like living by myself for the first time. I think living in LA as I was 18 my mom and dad prepared me as much as they could, but it's hard living by yourself. And I think that's the time when I really learned to not be like diabeetus I, that's the time of my life that I learned that it's okay to ask for help. But it took practice, I think asking for help. It's a skill that you have to work on. And sometimes you have to swallow your pride. And sometimes you have to feel like a diva or needy. But in the long run, if you can do that, you'll be so much happier.


Stacey Simms  19:17

That's fantastic. I know you've gone to jdrf children's congresses, and you've been very involved with jdrf What's it like for you when you meet these kids? Because they're so excited to meet you. You know, there's somebody on TV who lives with type one and goes through what I go through and take shots and has to put the CGM on and their mom worries and wants to follow just like my mom. Is it still for you talk to these kids?


Brec Bassinger  19:38

Oh, yes. Like I said, maybe it's a rose colored glasses. But every time I meet another diabetic, I have like, this instant connection with them. I'm like, Oh my gosh, do you miss drinking a regular coke without having to pay for it for the next 24 hours? Like, oh my gosh, I can't remember the last time I did like, it's so funny. It's like what I like when you can connect to someone on such a personal thing. Like it's just fun and then yeah Like, I was a kid with diabetes, and so like, being able to, like, have these things that I've learned throughout the years and kind of helping them like if they've had questions, I think, oh, I've been in your shoes. Let me tell you what helped me. Hopefully it'll help you. I mean, all bodies are different, but kind of like that older sibling. I think that's so fun.


Stacey Simms  20:19

Yo, I wanted to ask you, and this may be a really dumb question, but I'm gonna ask it anyway. I wanted to ask you, there was a movie that you were in and I couldn't see it. I'm sorry. I don't do any kind of horror movies. I don't do scary stuff. 47 meters down on K. Yeah. Right, which was water and scary and AR and was that and again, I don't know anything about how they make movies. So I don't know maybe it was in a swimming pool. But was that hard to film with somebody who has type one I did that presented a unique challenges.


Brec Bassinger  20:47

That was the best experience for me. It's because I actually never was in the water. Not once the filming process that you were in the water was insane and like in hindsight, Cuz I actually originally auditioned for one of the main girls but whatever it was maybe I wasn't right for it shooting schedule a Stargirl didn't align for whatever reason I didn't get it, but they, they offered me a smaller like, I'm like the mean girl in it. And in hindsight like it would have been a really big team to overcome having to be under what they were under water for eight hours a day, I'm sure like, my blood sugar would have I would have figured it out because I refuse to let it stop me from doing anything. But it definitely would have been a battle that I haven't had to deal with yet.


Stacey Simms  21:33

All right, sorry. For my ignorance. I find seniors I'm sure it would have known that but there's no


Brec Bassinger  21:38

okay, every like every time someone finds out, I'm like, how'd you get killed by a shark? I'm like, I don't get killed. Like, oh, you're the one that survives the shark. I was like, No, I never see the shark.


Unknown Speaker  21:51

Totally Okay, I got it. That's hilarious.


Stacey Simms  21:53

Oh my god. That's too funny. When you were diagnosed, you were eight years old. And I'm curious. Did your family meet other people with diabetes right away. Did you do the jdrf walks and things like that? Or did it take you a while to find people?


Brec Bassinger  22:06

I got involved with jdrf pretty quickly. I think I was diagnosed in January. And I think that October I did the walk. And that was actually I think the that year was the year I was most involved with jdrf not talking about like, recent years like ambassador, things like that. But we raise so much money, we had a team of like 40 people come out and all walk with like breakfast buddies shirts on pretty instantly I got involved with jdrf they've always been that sense of community for me, and I'm so grateful for them. Actually. Funny enough, I think when I was kin to be chosen for children's Congress is one of like the type of kids that goes you have to like write an essay. And I wrote an essay trying to get chosen and I didn't try it. Eight years later, or nine years later, whatever it is, I got to come as like one of the people speaking on the panel and one of like, the role models for all the kids who got Cuz I'm like, wow, that's full circle. I felt so blessed. It was such a cool like thing to look back on. That is


Stacey Simms  23:06

great. Oh my goodness yeah children's Congress really is incredible. So your schedule for the next couple of weeks months is going to be bananas I would assume How does it work? So the whole the whole series is shot.


Brec Bassinger  23:19

Yeah, so we shot for eight months last year and actually like the past few months has been pretty not busy for me because I'm just we call it the hiatus and we're waiting to hear about season two. So fingers crossed about that. But right now it's kind of like the waiting game and then I imagine I'll start doing press promoting first season I heard I can't talk too much about it. But I've heard about me getting to go to some of those conventions like similar like Comic Con or writer con things like that. And I'm just like, above the moon I think that's the coolest I'm so excited. Yeah.


Stacey Simms  23:53

Well, and you know, superhero movies of the whole genre is obviously goes without saying is so huge right now. Is this something that When you were younger, that I mean not even as an actress because it means are great roles to play. But as a consumer did, is this your thing? Did you go to these kinds of movies? Did you are you into comic book characters,


Brec Bassinger  24:10

so I never read comics growing up, but I've always been like the first one to go see the comic movies that come out. That being said, though, like, I remember one day on set in particular, I was in a harness, because I was supposed to be flying in the scene. So I was in our green screen room on set, hanging in this harness in my superhero costume with this like custom, beautifully made cosmic staff. I was like, Oh my gosh, my dreams have been made. I did not know this was my dream. But this this exact thing is my dream. He must


Stacey Simms  24:41

be wild to work in the green screen setting. So I mean, as an actress, you know, you don't know what's around you.


Brec Bassinger  24:47

It is so weird. I had never done anything like it before. And so in it, there's their strike. he's a he's a 15 1615 or 16 foot robot and while we had a practical one, any Time like we were fighting together, or a lot of times, if we were in random places just talking, it was all CGI. So I was talking to that tennis ball. Like if you've ever watched like BTS videos like, I had that as well. And I'm really I'm really hoping from many reasons that we get picked up for a second season, but particularly because like, I'll have watched the whole first season by the time we go back to phone. And so I like when I'm talking to that tennis ball. I'll know exactly what I'm talking to. For first season. It was pure imagination. I was just doing the best I could. I was like, What second season I would have more point of reference, but it was it was definitely hard, but it's really, really cool.


Stacey Simms  25:38

I'm gonna dive in. We're gonna start wrapping it up here. But so here's a question I got from a listener. It's actually from Jessica wanted to ask her her daughter's question. And this is a might be a tough one. She wants to know why you like acting. This young woman is nine years old and has typed on herself.


Brec Bassinger  25:54

Oh, why do I like acting? It's funny. So the only Everything I've ever wanted to be in my life was an astronaut because I thought the moon was made of cheap. And then when I found out the moon wasn't made of cheese, I said, Well, I don't want to be an astronaut anymore. I'm gonna be an actress. Like little six year old Breck was running around and people will be like, why do you want to grow up and I'm like, I don't want to be anything, I'm gonna be an actress. And so I feel like it really was just put in me. And I think I love it. Because the way it stimulates my creative side, and also the way it makes me, it's created this, I'm able to have empathy for other people in my work. So like, as I take on another character, I feel like while studying and becoming this character, I learned so much about the world and different people in it. Just that I'm such a people person. So it's like a job where I literally get to play other people and learn about people is such a perfect fit for me.


Stacey Simms  26:52

And before I let you go, I don't want to make too much of an issue of it. But I do think it's worth talking about that in the last few years. It's been really Nice to see a lot of the superhero shows and movies be led by women. I mean, this show is Stargirl. And I think that's just phenomenal. I'm so excited to have young women and little girls watching this show. Does it make you a little nervous though? I mean, when you're filming this Did you kind of think of the back your mind, I'm gonna be somebody's role model. Somebody is Halloween costume.


Brec Bassinger  27:22

Unfortunately, I feel like fell on the Bulldogs, which was the Nickelodeon show I was on for a couple years, like prepared me for that or prepared me for this. Like I played a female quarterback, very strong female lead. I had girls dressing up for me of Halloween. So I think that was like a good stepping stone for what the school be. I mean, I'm not sure what this will be. But I hope it's big and I hope girls are watching it and feeling inspired. I feel prepared. I'm not scared.


Stacey Simms  27:49

Yeah, that's a great point because that show was terrific. And really was it was different to which was fun. You know, it really was different light. brick. Thank you so much for talking with me. Please tell kameron that we said Hi, and we're excited to watch the both of you on this show. I really appreciate you spending some time with me. We'll be looking for the CGM outline. And I hope we get to talk again. Thank you so much.


Brec Bassinger  28:13

Thank you. Good to talk to you.


Unknown Speaker  28:21

You're listening to diabetes connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  28:26

You can find out more about Stargirl and about Rick, just go to Diabetes and click on the episode homepage. We have transcriptions. Now I've been adding for 2020 and hoping to go back into that for many more episodes. But if you know someone who would prefer to read the show, rather than Listen, you can send them to the episode homepage. You should all be there along with the clip I was telling you about earlier and some more information about BRAC I think this is going to be a big hit. I'm so excited for her and I will follow up and see if we can talk to Cameron as well. nice thing to have support and somebody who gets it on the set. All right up next is tell me something good but first diabetes Connections is brought to you by Dexcom. And you know when you have a toddler diagnosed with type one like we did you hear rumblings for a long time about the teen years right over the treaded teen years, but it did hit us a little early. And I was really glad that we had Dexcom Benny's insulin needs started going way up around age 11. He looks like a completely different person. I was going through photos, my cousin was asking me to send some photos for an event that she's having. So I was going through photos from three to four years ago, right when he was in the swing of this right at the beginning. He looks like a completely different person. He's probably grown six or seven inches just since age 11. I don't have to spell out what else has happened. He's shaving. I mean, he looks completely different. It's so wild. But along with the hormone swings, I just can't imagine managing diabetes during this crazy time. Without the Dexcom continuous glucose monitoring system. We can react more quickly to highs loz see trends and adjust insulin doses with advice from our endocrinologist. I know using the Dexcom g six has helped improve Benny's agency and overall health. 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. To learn more, go to Diabetes and click on the Dexcom logo.


In Tell me something good This week we have some great stories from athletes. I'm going to start with Zoe cook. She was told by a coach when she was younger that she would never be an athlete because of type 1 diabetes. So he says she was diagnosed at 10 kicked off the competitive swim team because the coach said she was too high risk that in middle school when she was 13. Her test coach told her that because she went low running sprints, she would have to leave the team. That was the coach who said she would never be an athlete. So he says she's really glad that she had parents who could tell me he was ready. Wrong way to go. So we and she also says that last year she ran the New York City Marathon with her mother who also has type one way to go. So we and way to show that dumb coach. You know what things really are all about. It is amazing how I always think that that's ancient history, right that someone will say you can't do this because of diabetes, but it still happens and we still have to advocate for our kids. Or if you're living with type one I know you know, you have to advocate for yourself. And you know, we'll get there. It's just a lot of education. Julie's Tell me something good is herself. Julie Raiden has been type one for 53 years. She posted all her wonderful numbers. She has a pretty extraordinary one c 4.9. She has incredible time and range and she is 61. If you listen to the show, often you know that I don't often share numbers. We all do this on our own way. But man Julie, I wanted to share that because I can't even imagine how hard you work. Good for you. She also is a hiker and stays very active. I did ask you I sent a note back and I said, What's something you didn't think you could do when you were first diagnosed that you have been able to accomplish? And I thought she would say, you know, hiking or staying active or something like that. And she really hit it on the nose when she said, I hate to say this, but successfully living to 60. I was always told I wouldn't. So that does give you perspective. Julie, thank you so much for responding and sending that in. I appreciate it. And finally, Mike Joyce. Mike shared that last year he hiked 2200 miles from Maine to Georgia. And this year, he is going to hike the Pacific Northwest trail that's a 1200 mile trail from Glacier National Park to Olympic National Park. I think I've profiled him before or mentioned him because I remember this last year when he was on the Appalachian Trail, right Mike? He says he uses a phrase of the inhaled insulin and packs a ton of food. Remember this Mike, I'm gonna have to look you up and put up a link from from last year when we talked about this. And he sent me some pictures that I'll share on social media. And one more story for today. Something good. I got a review that I wanted to share. I sometimes share reviews, I get reviews on podcast apps like Apple podcast player or whatever, you know, there's a bajillion of them. And it's always wonderful to get a nice review. So I appreciate that if you want to do that, you know, I love it. Thank you so much. It does help the show. But you know, frankly, Apple podcasts is kind of a pain to leave reviews on. But I got one that made me really smile and I wanted to share it. T Piper writes, Stacey is a diabetic. I love it. Thank you for being so Frank and direct with the head of Dexcom. You are our voice and we are so grateful. Our family is so appreciative. You know, that refers to the Dexcom interview we did recently, I believe about the CGM in the hospital. And if you haven't heard, I did ask about assistance, financial assistance during this time because other companies are doing that with Dexcom follow suit and they said at the time while we're thinking about it, we haven't done anything. And more recently, they did announce Some help so I will link that up as well. But t Piper, that's very cool. Thank you very much for that review. I have to tell you it made my husband really laugh. I showed it to him and he thought that was amazing. A diabetic, I appreciate it so much. All right, give me your Tell me something good stories. I love to share them on the show. I post in the Facebook group all the time, or you can always email me Stacey at Diabetes


Working on a couple of projects behind the scenes, if you have a homegrown diabetes, a company or a smaller diabetes company and you are looking for advertising, I'm going to be posting in the Facebook group and probably on the public page as well pretty soon about a new project that I'm working on. And it's an opportunity for smaller companies to get attention from the type 1 diabetes community so be on the lookout for that. I'm very excited about it. I already have a couple of partners on board and you know, we're just going to keep moving forward. Things do not look the way we thought they would look this year. But we have no choice but to keep moving. And thank you all for all of the support you show not only by listening, downloading and sharing the show, but by taking part in the zoom chats that I'm doing by just having the community in the Facebook group. It really helps me personally, I just feel better about things and I hope it's helping you as well. thank you as always to my editor john Buchanan's from audio editing solutions, who is slam packed jam busy Is that even a word phrase? Because everybody wants to do a podcast now and everybody wants to do one, you know, remote at home and doesn't know how to do it. So they're all calling john and he's really busy right now, which I guess is good. There's another silver lining. And thank you so much for listening. I'm Stacey Simms. I'll see you back here next week.


Brec Bassinger  35:48

Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Simms media. All rights reserved. All rounds avenged.


Transcribed by

May 5, 2020

We started the show in Summer of 2015. This week, Stacey takes a look back at what was happening in diabetes technology at that time. Tandem had just announced you'd be able to upgrade without getting a new pump, Dexcom gave up on the Share cradle an Bigfoot & Beyond Type 1 were just coming on the scene.

Check out Stacey's new book: The World's Worst Diabetes Mom!

In Tell Me Something Good, we share your stories! What was happening with your diabetes in 2015?

April Blackwell on Instagram

Renza's Tiger Blog

Join the Diabetes Connections Facebook Group!

Sign up for our newsletter here


Use this link to get one free download and one free month of Audible, available to Diabetes Connections listeners!

Get the App and listen to Diabetes Connections wherever you go!

Click here for iPhone      Click here for Android

May 1, 2020

Chris Wilson helps run some of the largest diabetes technology groups on Facebook. He's also always on the lookout for the latest news from these companies and very involved in clinical trials.
Chris also shares his diagnosis story, inside scoop on Facebook groups and even talks about bowling in sandals. Yikes.

Check out Stacey's new book: The World's Worst Diabetes Mom!

In Tell Me Something Good, a middle school 3D printing class helps out a 9 year old with type 1 and a running event goes virtual & big

Join the Diabetes Connections Facebook Group!

This podcast is not intended as medical advice. If you have those kinds of questions, please contact your health care provider.

Sign up for our newsletter here

Check out Aaron Kowalski's virtual run Twitter thread here 

3-D printing club news story


Use this link to get one free download and one free month of Audible, available to Diabetes Connections listeners!

Get the App and listen to Diabetes Connections wherever you go!

Click here for iPhone      Click here for Android


Episode Transcript 

Stacey Simms  0:00

Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes. By real good foods real food you feel good about eating, and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.


Announcer  0:21

This is Diabetes Connections with Stacey Simms.


Stacey Simms  0:27

This week, Chris Wilson helps run some of the largest diabetes tech groups on Facebook. It turns out he's also very involved in clinical trials. This one for a new emergency glucagon,


Chris Wilson  0:39

kind of an interesting experience. They hook you up to IV and so on and push your blood sugar down, I want to say under 50 and then turn off the IV and give you the injection and watch what happens.


Stacey Simms  0:52

Chris tells us more about participating in trials. Staying on top of diabetes news and bowling in San Jose. Tell me something good. A Middle School 3d printing class helps out a nine year old with type one. And a running event goes virtual and big. 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 the show. I am so glad to have you along. I'm your host, Stacey Simms. And you know, we aim to educate and inspire about type one diabetes by sharing stories of connection here. How are we doing these days? I gotta tell you, I'm having good days and some rough days. I think like everybody out there. I don't know. I feel like I'm not doing enough. Right? I have this weird feeling some days where it's not like I'm not doing enough in my house, which I am not because we moved to a new house at the beginning of March. I know great timing. And so when I tell people that they're like, Well, you've had so much time to set things up and get organized. I kind of Yeah, I guess We haven't really jumped right in and set everything up the way I think we might normally do. We certainly have the time. And many rooms look very nice. Many rooms still have stuff in boxes. Because I don't know, there's there's some days where I have a lot of urgency. And I feel very efficient. There are some days when I lie on the couch and watch YouTube all day. So I'm trying to be kind to myself, like I always advise everybody else to be, you know, I don't think this is very unusual. There are some people doing amazing things out there. I mean, I don't so, you know, I'm trying to figure out what I can do. I'm trying to serve the diabetes community, certainly, but you know, I think we'll find ways to help as we move forward here, certainly in my local community as well. But I was talking to my kids about school. My daughter was concerned about the number of credits she was able to register for, I mean, long story short, like a lot of colleges out there. They're making some changes they're adjusting. No decisions have been made yet, but the way that people registered for classes changed a little bit. And so she was really concerned about Getting the number that she wanted as an incoming sophomore. And I said to her, you know, why? What's the big deal? Because this school year may look totally normal. Everybody may go back to college, everything's fine. You know, who knows? It may look extremely different. Nobody goes back to college, they continue online learning or they get there and things change. I mean, who knows what's going to happen this fall? So all we can really do is act like it's going to be, quote, normal, register for the classes that you can, but expect the unexpected and realize that, you know, maybe you'll take some summer classes. Maybe you won't graduate in exactly four years, which horrified her you she's a very good student. And I was able to say to her look, did you have big plans for 2023? Yes, she's not on a set schedule, which kind of made her laugh, but also made me realize I've got to be more kind to myself, too. I mean, the podcast is not getting out on Tuesdays, like clockwork, as it has been, and I very much pride myself on that schedule. I think it's Hey, to let these things go, right. I mean, we want to come out of all of this with our mental health as best as it can be. And if that means tonight, I need to watch the what's up with that skit from Saturday Night Live on repeat, because and if you haven't seen this, I'm not really into Saturday Night Live lately, but I saw the one from home. I laughed so hard at the what's up with that, and I couldn't believe it was an ongoing sketch. It's so stupid and so funny. And it was just remarkable. And the one with Zach Galifianakis where he's playing the flute, I'll link it up in the show notes. That's how much I left and it's so dumb anyway. But if that's what I need to do that night, I'm going to let myself do that. So a long way of saying, I hope you're hanging in there, I hope you're not being too hard on yourself. For You know, when we went into this, we all thought I'm gonna organize my house and I'm gonna work out every day and you know, there are people doing wonderful things, but it's okay to do ordinary things and be there for each other and just come out the other side of This was a feeling that we made it through. I keep reminding myself we're doing something important by staying home. Right. That's how we're helping. One thing that really has helped me a lot through this is doing some of these live events and chat events and just the zoom calls. I've been doing a bunch lately, had a lot of fun last week doing the world's worst diabetes parent meetup. That was amazing. Thank you Project Blue November for letting me do that on your page. We got a great group chat with some parents told our mistake stories and gave away some books gave away some amazon gift cards. I'm doing stuff this week with the college diabetes network. And of course, I will be doing the 300th episode taping. As you listen, that will be Wednesday. So I believe this episode is going to be coming out either late Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. So Wednesday, April 29. I will be live on Facebook answering your questions and talking about the diabetes community in June of 2015, which is when I launched the podcast holy cow So that's the episode 300 taping. Okay, all right, getting to Chris in just a moment. Diabetes Connections is brought to you by real good foods. And last night Ben he came downstairs and said, Hey, do we have any ice cream? And we're at the point of this where we have quite a lot of ice cream we have, but we didn't have what he wanted. We had like regular I think my daughter had some Ben and Jerry's. We had some mini ice cream sandwiches, but he wanted the real good foods ice cream that I've talked to you about. And I said, I think maybe there's some in the garage freezer and he went and looked and there wasn't any love, so I have to order some more. And as I'm looking right now there is a sale 20% off on their ice cream, so I forgot to get Benny's order today. He really liked the peanut butter. They have the super premium peanut butter chocolate chip ice cream is so delicious. I happen to be a big fan of just the chocolate and my husband likes the mint chocolate chip. We didn't try the salted caramel list. I'll have to put an order in for that. This ice cream is so tasty. It's not like that. A lot of lower carb ice creams, you know that chalky kind of chunky weirdness that you can get sometimes, but this is, as they say, a real ice cream experience with real ingredients, low sugar, 200 calories per serving, they list all the ingredients online so you can read everything that goes in it. And of course, when they ship it to you, they ship it in a cooler with dry ice when we got our first shipment of ice cream. It had we're in North Carolina, we're in Charlotte where it's already warm. 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My guest this week is well known to a lot of you who are on Facebook, or maybe his profile picture is you may not actually know too much about him and that's why I'm talking to him today. Chris Wilson is one of the admins for two very large closed Facebook groups. We're talking thousands of people in these groups all about tandem and Dexcom. Well, if you're not familiar, and I know some people still aren't on Facebook or have left, you know, an admin is somebody who may have created the groups, but is always there to make sure things run smoothly. They can add or remove people or kick you out for bad behavior, that sort of thing. I run two groups on Facebook, and it's a lot of fun, but it can be a lot of work. And Chris always seems like he knows an awful lot of behind the scenes stuff. He doesn't work at tandem or at Dexcom. He gets asked that a lot. And we also talked about his clinical trial experience. I didn't realize like he had so much to say about that was very interesting. So here is my interview with Chris Wilson. Chris, welcome to the show. Thank you so much for jumping on to talk to me. I really appreciate it. Well, thanks for the invite Stacey. You know, it's one of those situations where I feel like I know you because we talk on Facebook all the time and I see your posts and you know, I read the valuable information you provide And then


Chris Wilson  9:00

I realized as we were recording as I, as I hit record, I don't really know that much about you at all. I'm not sure I've been less prepared for an interview in a long time. So I appreciate you writing this out with me. Well, I mean, that's kind of the the nature of the the online community is we interact with people, you know, we get to know them, at least in one aspect of their lives, but somebody that you've never met in person, you never had a chance to sit down and have a drink with or whatever. So,


Stacey Simms  9:29

well, I'm gonna start with a very hard hitting question. I did my research and I looked you up on Facebook. And it was very difficult because we're already Facebook friends, but it does say the last time I wore shoes was January 2015. Is that true? And if so, what's with the not wearing shoes?


Chris Wilson  9:47

That is true? It just sort of I mean, I wear sandals.


outside the house, it just sort of happened by accident. My job's done. don't require me to, you know, wear close toed shoes or anything I live in Southern California on a really cold night in the winter it might get down into the 40s there's you know, no real need to wear close toed shoes and insulate one's feet.


Stacey Simms  10:18

All right, okay, so I have a much better mental picture of your day to day life. No close toed shoes do formal wear. You're not going to the office with a briefcase.


Chris Wilson  10:28

Right? I even actually have a pair of custom made bowling sandals that I use for bowling.


Stacey Simms  10:33

You do not you? I do. Can you post a picture of that when we do the when we hear this? Because that just sounds like you never got hurt wearing them


Unknown Speaker  10:42

now. Oh, man. That's funny.


Chris Wilson  10:47

Well, when I had the idea to do it, because bowling was at that point, the only time I was wearing shoes, and I sort of had the idea of Hey, I could you know, take the soul off of these a tournament a bowl of cheese, replace it with a bowling soul and be Half of my friends said, Oh, that's awesome. And about the other half said, That's the dumbest idea I've ever heard in my life.


Stacey Simms  11:07

Well, now that I know you're not getting hurt, I'll refrain from commenting, but I'm what my initial reaction was. Okay, so we're going to talk bowling, we're going to talk all sorts of stuff. But let's start with diabetes, which is really kind of how we know we found each other. Certainly, Tell me your story. When were you diagnosed?


Chris Wilson  11:26

I was diagnosed my freshman year of college. Oh, wow. I had and I was probably starting to really get the beginnings of symptomatic as I was leaving for college. But you know, you go away in August and I went to school 3000 miles away from my parents on the other side of the country, and so no interaction with them. You know, they didn't see me for anything like that. And I started losing weight in the classic symptoms thirsty all the time having to go to the bathroom all the time, but you never crossed my mind that something that could be diabetes. This lasted all the way until Thanksgiving. I went to go see my grandparents for Thanksgiving. And my grandmother took one look at me and said there's something not right with you. My grandfather was type two. So he had a meter and two mornings in a row, they prick my finger and got readings in the three hundreds. And I went to calling the advice nurse for my health insurance and said, you know, hey, what should I do? I'm from California. I'm in DC going to school. Right now I'm in Pennsylvania, my grandparents house and they said, stop whatever you're doing, do not pass go do not collect $200 get yourself to the nearest emergency room. When I got there. Actually, the meter wouldn't even read. They had to send my blood to the lab to get a blood sugar reading and it came back at almost 1000 milligrams per deciliter. And I was well into DK And the doctors looked at me and they said, We can't explain how you're alive, let alone conscious. Oh my gosh. And so I got to spend a couple of days they actually sent me to the pediatric ward even though I was an adult, because that's where all the people that knew type one were right. So I spent a couple of days in the hospital there my my mom flew out to come and collect me and they taught me how to give myself shots and prick my finger and everything else. And then after that, I went back to school when finished out the semester.


Stacey Simms  13:32

Okay, I have a couple of quick questions for you. Do you remember what it felt like when you got your first dose of insulin? I've heard that that's just an amazing feeling after you've been feeling lousy like that for so long.


Chris Wilson  13:43

Oh, it is it's you can almost like feel the the ketones leaving your blood is sort of the the way that I think about it. almost feel like pins and needles inside as things get really bad. And if it's happening slowly and building up, you don't necessarily feel it acutely. You just sort of build up a tolerance to it when they started me on the insulin and everything else it was just like this weight was lifted and I didn't even realize how bad I had been feeling until I felt better. Yeah, that's amazing. I


Stacey Simms  14:14

you know, obviously not living with diabetes myself I don't have I can't I can't relate to that at all. But I can only imagine how much better you must have felt. But then to go back to college, what was that transition? Like? Because I assume your mother did not move into your dorm


Chris Wilson  14:27

always wanted to? She did not. She made me tell my roommate and all the other people on my floor. What was going on? Some of them or were actually like oh, wow, cool. You know, you get syringes and stuff. It's almost like we're living with a druggie. Lots of joking about it, but at least the first couple years actually, it was almost like an extent I had a really long honeymoon phase. And so I didn't even really need it. You know, I gave myself the insulin and I ate when I was starting to feel hungry. You're low and didn't really even think about you know, managing intensely or correctly or the way that we do now. It was just okay this happened. We'll we'll deal with it. And


Stacey Simms  15:15

and when when was this What year was this? If you don't mind me asking? This was 1997 Okay, so before certainly before CGM, and well before a lot of people even had an insulin pump,


Chris Wilson  15:25

right he will log was I believe brand new at the time.


Stacey Simms  15:29

It is wild to think about that stuff. I mean, Lantus had just been approved pediatric Lee when Benny was diagnosed, we thought Wow, this is so cool. We get to use this new insulin that just got approved. You know, it was really it's amazing when you look back on it. When did you start getting interested in technology and I say it like this because I assume you are pretty interested since you run these these groups now on Facebook.


Chris Wilson  15:50

I didn't pay too much attention to it because for the longest time, I was surviving uninsured haha and the over The counter Rnm I actually couldn't get to a Walmart. There wasn't a local Walmart. I was getting it from CVS in the basement of the Watergate hotel, if you believe that. That was the the local CVS. Wow. And that was just, you know, kind of what I knew. I mean, even at that point, anything newer than that, the more modern analogs and stuff like that was just prohibitively expensive without insurance. So I figured that out, I figured out you know, which meter had the cheapest test strips that I could could get and I didn't test nearly enough wound up in it DK and hospitalized briefly, once during that time, although not entirely due to the insulin regimen. My parents had come to visit me and I, being a impetuous college student got mad at them and decided I was going to take a road trip so I hopped in my car and drove to Florida from DC without any insulin. By the time I got back, I was feeling pretty awful and went and checked myself into the yard.


Stacey Simms  17:00

I feel like I want to say something. It's funny, Chris, as a parent, I'm, you know, I hold my breath when I hear stories like that, but as someone who's talked to people with diabetes for a long time now, so many people have done things like that it's just life, you know, and if you as you're listening you're I could never imagine, you know, things happen, right? It's nobody's perfect. So I'm glad you were okay. That is kind of scary.


Chris Wilson  17:24

Well, I wouldn't do that now. Oh, of course. I know. I know a lot better. Now.


Stacey Simms  17:28

Of course, when were you able to get insurance and then to get you know, a pump or CGM and everything that you have now. Right back to Chris in just a moment, but first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop and getting diabetes supplies is a pain. Not only the ordering and the picking up but also the arguing with insurance over what they say you need and what you really need. Make it easy with One Drop. They offer personalized test trip 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 are Kobe's required. One less thing to worry about not that surprising. When you learn that the founder of One Drop lives 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 comm and click on the One Drop logo. Now back to Chris talking about when he was able to get coverage for what he really needed.


Chris Wilson  18:39

It was with the ACA when in fact, I had actually looked at insurance options briefly and the one insurer in because I've moved back to California by this time, the one insurer in the state that would even offer me a policy quoted me a premium that exceeded my gross income once the ACA went into effect and they couldn't raise the premium Just because I had type one diabetes, all of a sudden it became an option and you know, we went through the the standard of Okay, we're not going to do the the regular the mph anymore, we're going to get you on lattice and get you on human log. And after trying that and tweaking things here and there and figuring out what worked and what didn't, and they decided that really, my basal needs fluctuated so much throughout the day that I needed to, to be on a pump. Then after I was going through, I don't know 1015 test trips a day cuz I was testing about once an hour, trying to catch the spikes and dips and figuring out where things were. And I was regularly having my blood sugar dip into the 50s and 40s without feeling it. At that point, my endocrinologist looked at me and said, You know what, we should probably put a CGM on you. Hmm.


I said, Okay, yeah, let's let's do that.


Stacey Simms  19:58

What did you think? When you got on Dexcom,


Chris Wilson  20:01

my first thought was, oh my god, this is amazing. I can actually, you know, see, maybe not quite in real time but basically close enough what's going on and where I need to make adjustments to things that are crucial say, you know, make knowledge your superpower. And then a lot of ways it really is. And that kind of actually dovetails in with my job because as an IT consultant, I do a lot of working with data and data analysis and stuff like that, and actually having enough data to be able to analyze it and then make changes based on it. Yeah, was almost a perfect fit.


Stacey Simms  20:40

So how do you get from being you know, a regular guy, work for yourself and you're on a pump and you're on a CGM, taking care of yourself. You're doing well to suddenly having thousands of people in these Facebook groups where you big Facebook guy from the beginning?


Chris Wilson  20:54

Well, I've actually been on Facebook. Basically since there was a Facebook. I was in college. We were, I want to say the fourth or fifth school to get Facebook. That was number one was obviously Harvard, that Stanford was second. And then they started expanding to two other schools. And where did you go to


Unknown Speaker  21:15

college? I don't know that you said it


Chris Wilson  21:16

was it was George Washington University. I see.


Stacey Simms  21:19

That's funny. I mean, I went on, I got on in 2008, which I thought was really early. If you go, there's no record of that. Because long story short, I messed up my Facebook when I left my old job at the radio station, and went from like a friend to a pub, whatever I did, I messed it all up. But I was on in 22,008. And I thought that was early. But oh my gosh, you've been there really? Since the beginning?


Chris Wilson  21:40

Yeah, I want to say it was like 2001 or two, when it was the Facebook when it was the Facebook. My endocrinologist actually had encouraged me to when I was even just starting to research pumps, and then CGM and the other things. I was encouraged to go online, find user groups, do some research. So I joined initially the the tandem t slim pump group. And as I got better at using it and more familiar with it and figuring out how things worked, and at least the best way to do things for me, I started answering more and more questions. After a few months of that, I think one of the, the original admins of the group asked me if I would be willing to help out with admitting and you know, making sure people didn't do things that violated the rules and answering questions and stepping in when incorrect information was given out, and that sort of thing. So that happened, and not too long after that happened. Then, when the G five came out, one of the admins of that tandem group started the G five CGM users group. She sort of tapped me to come in and help out with that. So that's sort of how I wound up there. I mean, both of the groups have have grown significantly since then. It used to be that we, you know, let anybody post whatever they wanted pretty much. It that's, you know, had to be clamped down on somewhat just to keep things orderly.


Stacey Simms  23:12

What's the what are some things that people should know about Facebook groups? Like, is there anything that's kind of behind the scenes stuff that would help us either post better or use them better? Or they just drive admins crazy.


Chris Wilson  23:24

One of the big things that that gets me at least is Facebook is not Twitter. There's no character limit. You don't have to cram whatever question it is that you're asking her describe the situation in 140 or 280 characters or less, you know, by all means, use lots of words be as descriptive as possible, because sometimes in there, there's a little curl that have a little nugget that gives away what the actual source of the problem that person is having is the other


Stacey Simms  23:56

thing that was really interesting. We saw this so much with control IQ When it first came out was people don't search the group to see if their question has already been answered. I mean, I run to smaller groups, and they're usually really great. But that's kind of drives me crazy.


Chris Wilson  24:12

It used to be, it drives me crazy less, because I've just kind of learned to shrug it off. In large part, it's a function of just the way that Facebook's algorithms and ranking in the way that it orders the posts that people see works. Facebook's always trying to get the most recent stuff up at the top, or the stuff that it thinks you might be most interested in based on stuff that you've interacted with in the past. And there's, I'm sure tons and tons of algorithms and things that go into deciding what you see and when. And it's not even intuitive, especially looking at it on a phone or on tablet versus on the desktop website. There's even really a search to group option in a lot of cases. And there are Tons and tons of people that do search that that's one thing. But the people that do search, almost never actually post a question because they get their answers by searching the group. So those are the people that that we frequently interact with. It's you know, and you, you wind up seeing somebody posts a lot, because they've never realized that there's a search function. Good point.


Stacey Simms  25:24

So when control IQ came out, and this is particular to the tantum group, like hundreds of people, thousands of people, it seems like came into that group. Was it that many or is it just, you know, I'm sitting on the outside wasn't really that many people,


Chris Wilson  25:37

I want to say, because the group's kind of, you know, had a long steady growth. But I want to say for especially that few months when it was approved and not yet released, and then right after it was starting to roll out, there was definitely a spike in interest. We were seeing the group grow at almost three times the rate that it had been before that Wow.


Stacey Simms  26:00

So if you don't mind, let me ask you about your experience with control IQ because there's still you know, certainly a lot of people who haven't who have tanto haven't tried it yet. And there's a lot of people who've listened who haven't switched over to it, you post a lot of, you know, very publicly posted about your experience. How's it going now?


Chris Wilson  26:16

It's so going along, okay, I've actually backed off because, of course, when it was new, I'm paying attention to it all the time, right? I'm looking at it, I want to see what it's doing. I want to see why, you know, see if I can figure out why it's deciding to do what it's doing right now. Now, I've gotten to the point where I trusted enough that I frequently just let it go. And sometimes that means that I don't catch or foresee something that I would have otherwise. So my time range has dropped back down a little bit from where it was I'm not running, you know, 9597 90% time and range. It's closer to being in the low 90s still, but a slacker in all honesty The low 90s is fine. And my average blood sugar has come down significantly. And the biggest thing that I was anticipating getting help with from it, I'm still getting out which was gone phenomenon. I'm still seeing that improvement. I'm not as a general rule waking up at 180 or 200. Even though my basal rate doubles before I wake up, Wow, it's so definitely helping. And I've kind of decided I'm gonna let it go and try to be a normal user, not a someone who's focused on it all the time, and sort of see how that rides out.


Stacey Simms  27:38

I think that almost in a way, it's better. I think that and I have because I have a 15 year old son, who is very responsible. I mean, I don't want to put him it's gonna sound like I'm putting him down. I'm not he's very responsible. But truly being a person who really would prefer to never touch this pump again, has helped him so much because I know people who overreact everything and they're not doing as well with control like you He bonuses for food and then leaves it alone. And you know, four or five hours later, he'll be like, Oh, yeah, it's good. You know, he doesn't, you know, and I'm not I'm not checking him as much as I used to because he's a teenager. But it's amazing. When you would let it do its thing if your settings are right, which is a whole other story. It really works out great. So, you know, we'll see how it goes for you. But I think that you know, anything you can do to think less about diabetes is also very nice.


Chris Wilson  28:23

That's right, it gives you you know, more time to think about the other things in your life.


Stacey Simms  28:27

So let's talk about other things in your life. You're okay, so you bowl, you're an IT guy work for yourself. There's some surfing stuff in your bio, do you surf or is that a company that you work with?


Chris Wilson  28:37

It's primarily my biggest client is a nonprofit organization that focuses on ocean waves of beaches that includes access for recreation. So there's a lot of surfing related stuff there. I can surf I have served. I'll be honest wearing a pump and CGM is is not necessarily conducive to being out in the water recreating, I would need to figure out some sort of untethered regimen or something if I wanted to do it regularly, I can at least paddle out and catch a wave or two and not get tossed around too much. But actually, the the big surfing thing is comes from my dad. My dad who's now in his 70s, you know, started surfing when he was 15 or 16. And still goes out and in surfs, usually two or three times a week at least when he can when we're not all under house arrest.


Stacey Simms  29:38

Yeah. Oh, that's great, though. That's really cool. Do they live nearby?


Chris Wilson  29:43

They do. They live about a mile mile and a half for me. Oh, that's great. So how


Stacey Simms  29:47

is everybody doing? I you know, I I don't know exactly when this will air but I assume it was it will not be at a time when we're all running around outside yet. So how are you holding up?


Chris Wilson  29:57

We're all doing okay. The nature of my job is such That I can largely work from home. Most of the time anyway, that hasn't been a huge impact for me. My parents have figured out Netflix and zoom, and doordash. And so they're adjusting to their new restrictions, although they still do get out and walk around and make sure they get their exercise in as well. So


Stacey Simms  30:25

well, who knows what it's gonna look like on the other side of this. So we'll just do what we can. But one of the questions that you I've seen you answer in the groups and I want to talk about is, you know, people sometimes think you work for them, or you work for Dexcom and you don't, but you get a lot of really good information. Can you talk to us about what you do? You know, how can lay people stay up on information from these companies, because it's all public, I assume the things that you're looking into.


Chris Wilson  30:55

It is, none of it's a secret. It's just a lot of it isn't well publicized. I pay attention to every press release that the companies put out. You know, I have one of the stock tracking apps and I have it set up to notify me whenever any of the companies on my list put out a press release, and it's not just Dexcom in tandem, it's insolate for the Omni pod. Medtronic psionics. Basically, almost anybody in the diabetes space, I try to at least keep up with what they're doing. I listened to the conference calls that they have for investors.


Stacey Simms  31:33

I salute you, because I have been on some of those conference calls. And they are so boring, but they are they have great information, but they are a slog, sometimes


Chris Wilson  31:42

they can be most definitely and if it doesn't work out schedule wise that I'm able to listen to the call. Honestly, sometimes I prefer to go back through and read the transcript after it's done. There's that I follow the diabetes media. You know, I read everything that gets Put just about everything that gets posted on diabetes mind or diatribe, or any of the other publications that sort of track what's going on in the diabetes world. And well, I do have some friends that do work for those companies living in San Diego or near San Diego, where they're headquartered is kind of inevitable, but they don't share any inside info with me or anything else. It's just a matter of really paying attention. I'm curious why you


Stacey Simms  32:31

do that. What is it that makes you so interested? Obviously, you have diabetes, you were the technology, but most people don't


Chris Wilson  32:38

follow it that closely. I think part of it's just sort of the way that I brought was brought up, I have sort of the the engineering bent to and that goes again, with with the job, but, you know, I like looking at things and taking them apart and figuring out how they work and how they're put together. And that's not necessarily always a option with diabetes technology. Although obviously the, the we're not waiting, the CGM, the crowd group has has done a lot with reverse engineering, what goes into these devices and how they're communicating with the radio signals and figuring out ways to sort of hijacks some of that to use for their own purposes, in ways that the tech wasn't necessarily originally designed to be used. But I've got some of that same sort of inquisitiveness about how things work. I mean, I remember when I was eight years old, I took apart my mother's computer that she had at home to install an expansion card so that I could attach a joystick to it to play games. And I remember being told that man, if you put that to get back together, if it doesn't work, you're not getting your allowance for the next four years.


And you were eight and it worked. And I was about eight and it worked. was safe there.


Stacey Simms  34:01

It's funny. But that says a lot. Right about being curious about, you know, having a knack for things. And for having the I don't know, there's something different about people who take a look at technology and say, I can do that. It's like you said that like the night scout people in the DIY crowd to be able to look at something and have the confidence or just even the curiosity to say we can make this better. I think that's really admirable. I don't have that. There's no doubt I'm, I'm scared of it.


Chris Wilson  34:28

Well, a lot of it just comes down to looking at it looking at what is the data is going into it, looking at what the actions are, that are coming out of it and figuring out what must be happening in between those because you don't necessarily have any insight as to exactly what the system is doing. But if you input a two and it gives you a four, and then you input a four, and it gives you an eight, and you input an eight and it gives you a 16. It's probably just taking whatever the input is and multiplying it by two and giving you the answer.


Stacey Simms  34:57

When you look at the technology and I No that, you know, who knows exactly what timelines are going to look like after this situation that we're all in right now? What's coming that excites you down the road for diabetes technology, because there's a lot that's on the horizon.


Chris Wilson  35:13

I think the biggest thing that I see and it's actually sort of already here is the option to be able to infuse multiple hormones both insulin and glucagon. Now that we actually do have a shelf stable liquid glucagon on the market, that being the G voke. from Paris, I would assume that Zealand's product isn't too far behind that since that's what's being used for the for the island with beta bionics. So we should have two options before too much longer. Hopefully, just having the ability to not just take your foot off the gas, so to speak, but actually be able to apply the brakes is I think, going to be a major thing and then going along with that and something that I haven't really seen talked about too much is Lily's faster humalog which I mean, that's one of the big challenges is always that food is fast and then slow, the slow. And so anything that that can be done to speed up the insulin action to get it closer to what you would actually seen that happen naturally when your pancreas dumps that insulin straight into your veins, I think gonna be a big improvement.


Unknown Speaker  36:26

You mentioned g Volk. Did I read you were in one of the trials. Did you talk about that at some point? I did. I've discussed it.


Chris Wilson  36:33

From time to time I do various clinical trials as they as they pop up. A lot of the research gets done here in San Diego, and if nothing else is an option to get paid for having diabetes, which is nice to have happen. Once in a while. I did participate in the phase three clinical trial for for the G Volk, where they actually compared it to the standard glucagon kit to prove that it was of equivalent efficacy. That was Kind of an interesting experience, they hook you up to IV insulin and push your blood sugar down, I want to say under 50 and then turn off the IV and give you the injection and watch what happens. And the sort of the cool thing was that they actually didn't make me take off my CGM when I was doing it. So I saved and screenshotted the data from the days that I did both the traditional glucagon kit and then the, the product that they were testing the G voke to be able to look at and sort of compare the two, but doing that kind of stuff. And I also did the G six clinical trial, proving that it was good for 10 days if you wore it and also that it would block at least up to a certain dose of Tylenol.


Stacey Simms  37:43

Oh, that's interesting. I didn't realize you're in that trial too. Did they give you a bunch of Tylenol?


Chris Wilson  37:47

It was thousand milligram pill of kill of acetaminophen. They had as a saw, I want to say it was you know, 15 ish people and all basically crammed into a clinic room. IVs in so they could do blood draws every five or 15 minutes depending on what stage we were in of the of the testing. And they were running them through the lab grade glucose meters right there in front of us and comparing the readings from the CGM because we were all wearing both the G five and Digi six so they could compare the two. That's wild. And it was it was basically controlled chaos for about six hours.


Stacey Simms  38:28

Yeah, I've signed up any for a few you know, to get into some clinical trials. But here in Charlotte, North Carolina, we really don't have the access. We could drive to Virginia sometimes sometimes there's some stuff in the Raleigh area, you know, the Research Triangle, but and the pediatric ones are hard anyway, but we'd love to do one that's really interesting. I'm going to tell them about that thousand milligrams of Tylenol in one pill


Chris Wilson  38:51

which actually isn't too much more than the extra strength the normal extra rectangle


Stacey Simms  38:56

so Oh, wow. I used I thought it was like 200 milligrams in one And then so it would be five. But I didn't think that the extra strength oh my goodness,


Chris Wilson  39:04

well, if nothing else, I mean the the clinical trials also give you a chance to have testing done that nobody would ever pay for as a normal patient. They're looking at all kinds of stuff I've done at various stages of research trials for other things where they're looking at measuring your resting metabolic rate. And they've actually got a giant plastic hood that they put over your head to measure how much oxygen is going in and co2 is coming out. And based on that they can calculate how fast your normal metabolism is running. And they'll do it under various conditions where they're running extra insulin into you and extra sugar to counteract that insulin in an IV. Under normal circumstances, I would never do think it was 100 gram of carbohydrate challenge to see what would happen but I do Did a trial where they did it before and then after giving the medication that they were experimenting with to see what the difference was how high did your blood sugar peak? How fast did it come down? And nobody would ever do that. They're laying in the bed and they're practically doing blood draws and you've got your CGM on and you can see exactly how your body responds to various things. And it was actually kind of cool because if I had not done that trial, I would not believe that in score lasted five hours in my body. Oh, yeah. But because I did that, I've now actually got documented proof that I can show that no, like, here's where I had the hundred grams of carbs and gave myself the the bolus of insulin. And I could then watch as the blood sugar's slowly comes down and tails off. And that was six hours of measurements. Well, I


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