George, What was your temporary basal set at?

 Wow, WEGO challenge day 23 and I am still going!!! I can’t believe it! Today’s challenge is a free day which is perfectly timed.

This weekend Larry and I went to a concert.  Terri Clark and George Canyon were in town and we managed to get tickets at the last minute. I have been a George Canyon fan for years.  When I first heard the song “Somebody Wrote Love“, I was hooked.  Larry thinks Terri Clark has a great voice and isn’t too hard on the eyes either so we knew that the night would be great.  We were not disappointed.

A number of years ago, before George Canyon began touring a lot, my mom watched him on a talk show where he showed off his insulin pump.  She called me instantly and said “Guess what? George Canyon has diabetes and he wears a pump!” As I have said before, I am not sure which impressed me more, the fact that my mom called because he had diabetes or the fact that she recognized the importance of his pump!

I first saw George Canyon at FFL in Florida the same year I was honored with the Jeff Hitchcock award.  He sang after I received my award and spoke of the importance of bringing his children to such an event.  I later saw him perform for some of the CWD FFL Canada conferences. His interaction with the young children dancing to his music was wonderful to watch.

A couple of years ago, he was working on a project of some sort for the JDRF I believe. He was looking for children with Type 1 diabetes to interview and photograph.  A good friend of mine from Animas asked me if my son would be interested in doing it. I volunteered him instantly.  It was no big deal to my son (very little impresses him) but he does note that he still has a personally signed George Canyon picture in his bedroom.

I have never been big on celebrities and diabetes. I do not get the Nick Jonas obsession. I can sort of see the fascination with Crystal Bowersox as she has publicly improved her diabetes care so dramatically that I do find her inspirational.  I have also never personally been overly interested in the stories of people diagnosed in their teen years.  I feel for anyone diagnosed with diabetes and truly love some of these people diagnosed at an older age but my son was a toddler. These are the people that I like to talk to so that I can better learn how to help my son through his life.

My other issue with celebrities is that I do not personally see enough of them working in areas that are important to me.  Realistically though, they have an impact in other areas that I cannot touch. I have heard numerous stories of George Canyon’s conversations with kids that have made them more willing to try a pump.  That is amazing.  That is the importance of celebrity status to me.

Celebrity or not, when George Canyon steps on stage, the diabetes momma in me kicks into high gear! I experienced the exact same thing the very first time I say him in an adult concert.  This time was no different. 

As he was standing there I wondered, “What was his reading before he got on stage? How does he compensate for the highs that adrenaline will cause but balance that with the fact that I know he is very active in his stage performance? He must be running some sort of temporary basal.  I don’t see any tubing hanging out. Is his pump on inside his jacket? It must be on the other side because if he had it on the side the guitar was on, what if he hit it and pressed a few buttons? Would we hear it if his pump alarmed while on stage? He must have it set to vibrate.  Does he have glucose nearby?” And so my internal monologue continues.

Luckily those around me simply get to enjoy his lively banter and amazing music.  At one point in the show he stepped off stage to showcase his amazing fiddle player.  As he did this, I leaned over to Larry and said, “I bet he is testing.”  He was actually moving to a stage further back in the audience.  He played on this second stage allowing for those at the back of the room to have a better view of his performance.  He then made his way back to the front.  This time he took a little longer to get on stage. He could have still been shaking hands with fans but the diabetes momma in me said, no, he was testing.  His re-emergence on the stage told me that he was in range and good to play some more.

The next day I wondered if I was alone in my insanity.  I honestly become Diabetes Momma to anyone, any age who has diabetes and has the misfortune to come near me. I quietly worry. I wonder what their rates are like. I wonder if they are having any problems.  Can I help them? How can their lives be made easier. Are they okay? Have they tested lately?

Yes, I don’t get out often and maybe that is a good thing but the moral of my story…Canada has some amazing celebrities out there.  We have some incredible people like Teri Clarke and George Canyon who give back to their communities and entertain us while doing so.  We are blessed! And I remain equally as blessed to have been able to meet, speak with and take in the talent of some of these wonderful people.

A George Canyon Concert…from a PoCWD perspective

Mothers Day was made extra special for me this year when my fiance told me he had bought us tickets to go and see George Canyon and Johnny Reid in concert.  I had heard that the concert was sold out months ago and had forgotten that it was even taking place so imagine my surprise when I was told that I was going!

I was thrilled to get the chance to see both performers.  I had spoke to George Canyon at a Children with Diabetes Conference and had seen him perform on at least two occasions.  They were wonderful experiences.  I have enjoyed his music since he first won the Nashville Rising Star contest and his music began to be played on Canadian airwaves.  I appreciated his talent even more when I learned that not only did he have Type 1 diabetes, but he showed people his insulin pump during interviews.  This guy was getting the message out there and that impressed me. 

Mothers Day arrived and I was treated to a lovely dinner.  Afterwards we headed to the concert venue eager to know what sort of tickets we had.  My fiancé had bought the tickets over the phone and trusted the salesperson when she said that they were good seats.  Well, for us, they were great seats! We were sitting off to the side of the stage but only a few rows up.  We could see everything with great clarity. It was awesome!  

George Canyon was the opening act.  As I sat there I began to think and wonder…Does he bring glucose on stage with him? Does he use a temporary basal reduction for the activity it takes to perform a concert? Does he have to increase his rates for the adrenaline that will be pumping? Does he have a snack before he goes on stage? What was it like for him to perform live before the pump? How would you handle that sort of schedule and activity level on an NPH regimen?  Who has the glucagon? Does any of his crew know how to use it?

My mind basically was in “diabetes mom” overdrive.  I eventually pulled the reigns in on my mommy mode and began to laugh at myself.  Who thinks of this stuff besides a mom who has a child with diabetes? Who worries about where the glucose tablets are hidden except for a parent who is always asking “Do you have any glucose in your pockets, young man?” Who watches a man perform “The Hockey Song” and thinks, “What are his readings now? Is he dropping? He was pretty active during that song, I hope he compensated for that!” 

Thankfully I was able to sit back at one point and just enjoy the concert.  George was very entertaining.  His music was upbeat and his appreciation for the crowd was awesome.  Hopefully I will get a chance to hear him again and perhaps even ask some of those questions that ran through my head at the concert. I guess once you become a parent of a child with diabetes…well then no one is safe from the Momma!