Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Our Meeting With Gary Scheiner

We met with Gary Scheiner yesterday afternoon in his office just east of Villanova University.

Charlie, who is quite shy with adults, warmed up after Gary took him on in a game of tic-tac-toe. Still, I served as interpreter.

"Tell him if he likes Star Wars," Charlie whispered hot and steamy in my ear.

"You mean ask him?" I whispered hot and steamy back in his.

(whisper) "Yeah."

Gary and his staff were great. He got right down to the business of making things better and we felt immediately confident that he could do so. He downloaded the data on our meter and printed out the problem areas in what looked like a constellation of high BGs. We rejiggered bolus levels slightly, talked about the importance of basal testing/fasting and discussed Charlie's diet.

"Tell him I like bananas cut up in a sandwich," Charlie whispered hot and steamy in Susanne's ear.

Gary explained things clearly and used simple diagrams to illustrate, for example, why Charlie has very high BGs on site change days. It's something that has stumped and frustrated us for a while. We had thought it was the stress of the site change. Gary pointed out that we weren't changing his site in conjunction with a meal bolus. A timing issue. He illustrated how it was taking a long time for the basal drip to make its way through his fatty tissue. Changing the site just prior to a meal bolus could likely get that insulin stream flowing.

Yes! That makes sense! Something makes sense! I got slightly teary.

He also mapped out an effective way to move sites around the landscape of Charlie's butt. Charlie liked Gary's illustration: ( i )

Though I listened intently, I did find myself looking around like a tourist. I spotted signed posters of professional athletes and one of
Nicole Johnson Baker that said "Gary, God Bless You." On his "Wall of Fame" in the waiting room area, there was a clipping of Allison and I spied with my little eye something else in Gary's office - Scott's WTF Did You Eat? meter picture. Gary mentioned that he was going to pass that around at the next support group meeting.

Near the end of our session, Gary showed us clippings of many professional athletes, pointing out to Charlie that they all had type 1 diabetes.

"What do you want to be when you grow up, Charlie?" Gary asked.

"A fireman ..."

"But without a mustache."

In just our first visit, I feel our diabetes doldrums lifted. I feel hopeful that we can do more, we can do better.


At 10:49 AM, Blogger Allison said...

I'm also a patient of Gary, and I often send him links to posts on the O.C. that I think are either funny or thoughtful. I suppose I should warn people that they might be subject to humiliation at his support group meetings...

At 11:09 AM, Blogger Vivian said...

That is wonderful. I am so glad that you had a positive meeting and that things are looking up.

LOL Those were great conversation starters by Mr. Charlie. =)

At 11:14 AM, Blogger AmyT said...

Oooh, I am so jealous.

At 8:13 AM, Blogger Chops said...

Gary sounds like a wonderful guy. I'm happy to hear you have hope.

At 9:51 AM, Blogger Poet with a Day Job said...

What good news - small changes always make such big results. For you this meeting = hope, for Charlie, site change + bolus meal = hope.

So glad to hear it. Plus I love the title of his book "Think Like a Pancreas."

Hmm, if I were a pancreas, where would I put my keys...

At 3:17 PM, Blogger Sandra Miller said...

Sounds like a terrific meeting, Carey.

There's nothing like getting a fresh perspective (especially from someone like Gary Scheiner).

Interesting, what he said about site changes in relation to meal boluses-- we changed Joseph's set last night before bed, and he had a pretty high night.

I'll have to try his suggestion as well...

Oh, and tell Charlie I think passing on a mustache is a wise decision.

At 12:16 PM, Blogger Shannon said...

I think it's wonderful that you have someone like Gary in your corner. You're doing a great job by mearly doing what it takes to make Charlie a happy, healthy boy :)

At 11:16 PM, Blogger Scott K. Johnson said...

Gary is awesome. I have had the opportunity to talk with him a few times - and have been a big fan of his books.

I mean, the guy was diagnosed in Sugarland, Texas! How can you not like that!?

Gary is one person who immediately comes to mind when thinking along the lines of recommendations.

He also does a lot of work over phone/e-mail/fax,etc. He doesn't let distance get in his way!

I get such a kick out of your posts - you & Charlie are such funny guys. I always get a big smile reading the stories.

Thank you for sharing!!

At 5:49 AM, Blogger Chris said...

I too get a kick out of your posts. I look forward to them from week to week. They are not long, they are easy reads, and wel put together.
Doesnt it feel amazing to have people like Gary on your side?! It really replenishes otherwise depleated and discouraged spirits. It is great how they dont tell you everything but moreso come up with ideas with you. But it is nice to get some answers here and there.
Keep up the great work with your family you are inspiring and i am looking forward to hearing more about Chachi and your adventures.

At 8:53 AM, Blogger k2 said...

Gary is a great person and a great diabetes resource!
We've been friends 4 four years now and he ALWAYS makes me LAUGH, and LEARN!
FYI- he's HUGE "SIMPSONS" fanatic!
Kelly K


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