Monday, April 23, 2012

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.


  1. oh you lucky, lucky girl! i love both of these artists and have for a long time. i had the pleasure of seeing George Canyon here in Peterborough, ON at the Little Lake Music Festival, which is a twice weekly event held all summer long. He was awesome! Perhaps some day i will get the chance to meet him in person and i will ask him all those questions you had for him! i'll let you know!

  2. Kim, I have actually been lucky enough to speak with him on a few occasions but the best questions pop into your mind when you can't ask anything :)

    1. I AM SO JEALOUS!! hahaha!! but it is nice to see someone famous take the time to advocate for something. it would certainly be lots of fun to have a sit down kind of talk with him about all those things you mentioned though, wouldn't it?

  3. We were fortunate here to have George meet with some of our children before his concert, and again on his "The sky is not the Limit". His is truly a great mentor to these kids. He talked about the importance of taking care of yourself and also that you can follow your dreams even if you do have diabetes. I am not a great fan of country music, but I AM a fan of George Canyon!

    I am always greatful when I see someone living large with Type 1 Diabetes because it gives me hope that my own son will not be held back in his own life.