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When 11 year old Elise Sammis applied for the Food Network’s Kids Baking Championship, she didn’t think twice about telling them – right up front – that she lives with type 1 diabetes. She says she wanted everyone to know in order to show that diabetes wouldn’t keep her from her love of baking, or anything else.

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

Turns out, there’s another young woman with type 1 on the show this season! You can learn more about Naima Winston here.

Stacey met Elise & her mom, Natalie, at an event in South Carolina. They spoke about the show, the stress and her diagnosis two years ago at Disney world.

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In TMSG – good news at the dentist – and it wasn’t about cavities.. and we’ll share a story of a lot of spirit at Walt Disney World Marathon weekend.

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 (rough transcription, please forgive grammar, spelling, punctuation)

———–Stacey Simms 0:00
Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop created for people with diabetes by people who have diabetes, and by Dexcom take control of your diabetes and live life to the fullest with Dexcom.

Announcer:
This is diabetes connections with Stacey Simms.

Stacey Simms 0:23
This week, when 11 year old Elise Sammis applied for the Food Network’s kids Baking Championship. She didn’t think twice about telling them right up front – she lives with Type 1 diabetes.

Elise Sammis 0:36
No, that was very important to me, because I wanted like everyone to know that if you have diabetes, you can still do the things that you want to do. And it was super cool because there was another girl named Naima. She’s my super good friend and she had also had type one, and she’s super sweet. And we were both like, yay, we both have type one!
Stacey Simms 0:52
That’s right. There are two young women with T1D competing on this season of the show. I met Elise at an event recently, and I talked to her and her mom about the show the stress, enter diagnosis at Disney World
in Tell me something good. Good news at the dentist and it’s not about cavities and a lot of spirit at Walt Disney World marathon weekend.
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 you’re here. We aim to educate and inspire about type 1 diabetes by sharing stories of connection. I’m your host Stacey Simms. My son was diagnosed 13 years ago right before he turned two. The show this week is airing a little earlier than usual. Yeah, we almost always drop the interview show the longer show of the week on Tuesday. But because the Kids Baking Championship is on the Food Network on Monday nights. I thought it would just be fun to release the show with Elise on the day of her show.
I love the baking shows, and we used to watch them. I feel like it was around the clock for a couple of years my daughter got into them right around the same age as Elise between the ages of like nine and 12. We’ve watched so many of these baking shows, we made cupcakes, we didn’t ever compete. My daughter never wanted to be on TV like that. But it was great. And we certainly got a lot of comments about the cupcakes because I would post them on social media and I’ll put some pictures up in the Facebook group because these were, you know, really big. I mean, they weren’t beautiful, but they were sharks and cupcakes that look like popcorn and you know, all the dramatic fun stuff. And people would say all the time. Oh, it’s too bad that your daughter has that hobby. What are you doing about your son? And I’m like, I’m not letting him eat 17 cupcakes, but I’m not letting her eat 17 cupcakes either. You know, it’s fine with Type 1 diabetes, you just have to know exactly what you’re eating. Right? It does take extra work. But now go ahead eat the cupcake.
And with those memories right in the back of my mind, it was even more fun to talk to Elise and to Natalie It is always a bit dicey talking to reality show contestants. You know, we’ve done this before, and it is always fun. But it’s not just about what they can’t say because here obviously they can’t talk about the show, even though it’s taped weeks and weeks months ago, but because you never know they could win the whole thing. They could be off the show before this episode even airs. But I’m so thrilled that Elise is is one of two girls on the show with Type 1 diabetes and it was great to talk to her and her mom and no matter what happens on the show, she is well on her way quite a personality and really just a fun kid.
All right, first Diabetes Connections is brought to you by One Drop and getting diabetes supplies is a pain and 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 or co pays required. One less thing to worry about. not that surprising when you learn 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 dot com and click on the One Drop logo.

My guests this week are Elisa Sammis and her mother Natalie. Elise is a contestant on this season’s Food Network kids baking show. She was diagnosed with type one at age nine and we talked about her diagnosis. But she was already baking a lot by then. And luckily her family realized you can continue to bake and enjoy dessert even with Type 1 diabetes. Being on a big show like this is a great chance to educate and what’s really fun is as we mentioned, Elise isn’t doing it alone. There’s another young woman on the show Naima Winston from Baltimore is her name and I will put some links and information on our episode homepage, where there is also a transcript about Elise about Naima about the show and more information. So please check that out. That’s a diabetes dash connections.com. And while you’re there, please note every episode from the last four years is there you may be intimidated to scroll through I get asked all the time, what’s the best order? I actually think the best way to listen is either to use the search box and put in whatever interests you Disney, Dexcom, Tandem, Omnipod, right or you can search by category as well. If you click on the tab that says all episodes, you’ll see another search box to the right and then filter by category. And that is a really great way to dial into what you want the categories including advocates, athletes, artists, actors, education, technology, travel, family, you know, there’s a whole bunch of ways to narrow this down because we’ve got more than 270 episodes now Holy cow. And I really urge you to go take a stroll through and see what interests you. Quick note, this interview was done on the road, I was speaking at the JDRF chapter, the Palmetto chapter in South Carolina. So the sound quality is a little bit different than when I’m doing things in the studio. And I may be a little soft at times. I’ll tell you about the technical nonsense that happened. I’ll tell you about that at the end of the show. So let’s get to it. Here is my interview with Elise and Natalie Sammis.
Let me start with you, Natalie. How did you guys even find out about this? How do you get your kids on a show like this?

Elise Sammis 6:38
Well, actually, I didn’t get my kid on the show. Elise put herself on the show. Basically, we live in the south and hurricanes are prevalent. And about a year and a half ago, at least you think it was Hurricane Matthew and we got five days off of school. And so I was very bored around the house. So I looked up, like, because I like to bake and I was getting into it. So I looked up like baking competitions and I saw like form so that we could, like fill out a form so that we could try out. And so I made a video for it and I sent it into them. And after that we didn’t hear until like six months later.

Stacey Simms 7:23
So during that five days and your home and baking was that your first foray? Was that your first time into baking or is it something you’d always like to do?

Elise Sammis 7:30
I’d pretty much always like to bake from like, I guess like when I got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes when I was nine, it was really stressful. So it was just really like stress relieving to be able to bake and it was like creative.

Stacey Simms 7:46
Alright, so we have an audience that knows about diabetes. But what you just said when I was diagnosed with type one I found it really stress relieving – that could sound strange. What were your thoughts as she was enjoying this as a younger kid?

Natalie Sammis 8:06
The two background stories, I think that are important in this piece are that a I am an avid Baker. And so literally, sugar is in my blood at all times. No, I my motto is dinner is always just a means to dessert. That is my life motto since a small child. And also number two, I’m actually an RN, I have my Bachelor’s of Science and nursing. So I understand the principles. I understand that Yeah, you skirt the line a little bit closer. When it comes to desserts. It is a little bit more complicated in your carb counting. But it’s also it’s very doable. It’s not off the table. It’s not something that someone should be terrified of. It’s something that you can balance and put into your life. And also we realized that half the time that we bake, we don’t even eat it really we are sharing it with our friends or we’re posting it like on social media to feel unify with other people. People It is really, truly a creative outlet for us probably like how people feel with art, but I don’t get art and I cannot eat art. So we just go with the dessert side of the world and we like it and we make friends by giving people desserts.

Stacey Simms 9:15
How old were you when you were diagnosed?

Elise Sammis 9:17
It was the day after my ninth birthday, and we were in Disney. And there was my birthday and my mom actually fed me a chocolate chip cookie for breakfast. Right there. So we were like noticing a lot of symptoms. I was really thirsty all the time. So then my mom took me to the urgent care clinic, the CBS for CBS. And like the MinuteClinic the MinuteClinic Yep, yep. And I got and she got a glucose meter and she thought as a UTI at first.

Natalie Sammis 9:52
Right. So she took a blood sugar first and it just read error. When the very first meter read error. The nurse in me problem solving. I thought, ooh, there’s something wrong with the machinery that that Wait a second, I know how to litmus test this. So I stuck my own finger, I tested my own blood sugar and it said 96 I still remember the number and my heart sunk. I knew at that moment, deep down that she had diabetes, but I didn’t even then didn’t want to admit it. Because, you know, that’s the worst. So we went to the urgent care and the urgent care. I still remember they looked at us like we were crazy because we walked in. And Elise is holding a Diary of a Wimpy Kid book. And she’s just flipping through and reading it and she has a bottle of water in one hand, because at that point, I said, You drink as much as you can. Right? Right, right. Just drink this. And I said, I think my daughter might have diabetes. They look at me, like, does she fall down? Did she pass out? Like I’m like, No, but she’s drinking me. Are you from the area? No, we’re on vacation at Disney. And they’re like, so you stopped your Disney vacation and you think she has diabetes? I’m like, I know. I basically said tell me I’m crazy. I want to walk out of here laughing like I’m just a paranoid Mom, I just cannot in good faith just go back home after seeing the error recording and having those symptoms and I just need to know so we waited quite a while because we were not on the urgent list at that point. And even the doctor said, I think it’s probably just a UTI. But he respected my wish to check your blood sugar. And at that moment, their meter read error Hi. And they said he pulled out his personal cell phone and said go directly to Orlando Children’s Hospital.

Stacey Simms 11:31
Do you remember any of that? I mean, nine is old enough, but sometimes things get confusing. Do you remember like, anything that your mom was saying? Or what’s going on in the hospital?

Elise Sammis 11:39
Well, I remember that like when I got in there. I was asking like, Is it ever going to go away and everything then I remember the turkey bacon was disgusting

Natalie Sammis 11:49
They put her on this restricted carb diet. So all she could eat with like a massive amounts of turkey bacon,

Elise Sammis 11:57
turkey bacon. like sugar free jello.

Stacey Simms 12:03
So did you ever get back to Disney World?

Natalie Sammis 12:05
Yeah, we did we After that we went to Hollywood Studios. We took it that Disney paid for us for a taxi or an Uber. I can’t remember which one back to our place that we were staying in the other. My Elise is the oldest of four children. So the other kids and my husband were already at the party because we said go on without us because we had been in the hospital for about three and a half days. And we got in that taxi cab we threw our suitcases in there and we saw the next bus to Disney and we ran our little hearts out and barely caught the bus and we didn’t get to do too much that day. And then we went home the next day but Disney was kind enough to give us passes to come back and when we had kind of our life under control a little bit more and we understood more about diabetes in real life. We came back probably three months later in May

Elise Sammis 12:52
is a lot better experience than the last. It was a lot more fun. Okay,

Stacey Simms 12:57
so after Disney World when you go home You say you figured out diabetes in a bad life? You were already enjoying baking at that point. After all that turkey bacon. Were you worried? Like that’s it for baking or cupcakes? Or did your mom kind of jumped right back into it with you?

Elise Sammis 13:14
Well, for about a week later, I was like, I don’t even know like what I can or can’t eat. And so we like kind of researched a lot. And then I was like, wait, I don’t have to just not eat sugar. I can just take insulin for it. So then I was like, Well, I can still bake and stuff. And so that’s I was like, yeah, you know, it’s got really excited about it.

Stacey Simms 13:39
That’s great. So what a whirlwind diagnosis and hopefully we’ll have time I want to talk a little bit more about Disney World later, but let’s talk about the bacon. You send in the video. You wait six months later, what do you hear what happens?

Elise Sammis 13:53
So like, I’ve been waiting and then another season came out, and that was like, they just didn’t see it. The following, never gonna happen. And then like, six months later after that, I was on the bus and my mom called me She’s like, you’re not gonna believe who just called me. And I was like Harry Potter.

Stacey Simms 14:14
well, she was almost 11.

Elise Sammis 14:18
And then she’s like, no, it’s the kids baking championship people and they want to interview and I was like, Oh my gosh, yeah. So I ran home. We did a lot of Skype interviews, and I had a lot of assignments and I had to make a ton of desserts. And there’s a lot of other videos I had to make for it. And there’s a lot of interviews as the mom you know, please seeking I mean, this is an exciting time but at the same time it’s a lot of hopes for a young woman to have Yeah, yeah. Nervous that after all of this work, she wasn’t gonna get on the show. Oh, very, very guarded, I guess will be the word.

Natalie Sammis 14:53
I mean, I’ll backtracking when she said mom can I turn in the video and I did have to click like I agree and I help fill in. Some of the, like contact information so it was correct, because at that point, you were 10 years old when she turned in the video. And I told I still remember and people laugh at me still, at least still less than me. My caveat was sure I’ll turn in this video but you need to understand that you will never hear back from them, they probably will never see it and you’re never going to be on that show. And if you’re okay with all those three sentences, I’m feeling okay with letting you turn this in. Because I’m more of a realist. I am Elise is a is a goal setter and a go getter and a dreamer. And she proved me wrong every time so I don’t know why I keep doubting it. But I just I think I do that out of protection as a mom and so yeah, as time went on, you couldn’t even the process is when they Skype, the parent in the room is not allowed to be in the room. You can’t be there. They want the kids to stand on their own. They don’t want some mom in the corner given them most of coaching and so I would put my ears to like the door but I have a he was four at the time. And he would be like read to me we’ve got this new dog that was like two months old and an idiot, so I’m literally like hearing every fifth word. And even then I’m like, oh, like so excited out of my mind that I couldn’t even concentrate. So I mean, it was crazy. Just week after week, it went on for from March until June, just on and off on enough like, yes, you made it to the next step. Then we would hear crickets, crickets crickets, and you don’t want to be the annoying mom. And then they not pick you because you’re this weirdo psycho. So you had to play it cool. You have to kind of just wait for them. And then the next kind of like little piece of cheese would come and he would chase after that.

Stacey Simms 16:34
so then this is going on for a while. When did you really start to get close? What happens? I don’t know how much you can share. So don’t tell us what you can’t. But how do you know that? This is going to be it?

Elise Sammis 16:44
Yeah. Well, we were doing all these interviews and videos and I was it just kept going. And I was like, when are they going to cut to the chase and like, actually do it. And so then we got a call in like early June. They’re like, we want to fly out 15 kids, we’re gonna send three home and all the other ones are going to be able to be on the show. And I was like, we’re finally going to LA.

Natalie Sammis 17:09
Yeah. So we knew flying out there all the way to all this work. I mean, this is now we’ve been up till 2am, baking things having to print that present the next day unless it’s work. I mean, huge amount of work. And it’s a risk. It’s

Stacey Simms 17:24
already going home. And then the competition, you know,

Natalie Sammis 17:27
oh, yeah. So our goal was to get on the show, and knock it out the first episode. And we didn’t do those things so that we can just hang our head forever.

Stacey Simms 17:36
What happens when you’re there? I mean, you know, kids are generally pretty friendly, I would think. I mean, you want to be friends, you’re hanging out. There’s got to be a lot of downtime. If you’re not familiar with TV production, there’s so much downtime, is it hard doing that knowing that they’re not going to stay?

Elise Sammis 17:52
It was super hard because like, the first day like all of them were super nice, and they’re all like super friendly, and like we went to the mall, and we hung out at the pool together. And like, I didn’t want any of them to go. But they had to, there was no thing in me that was like, I want so and so to get out. Yeah.

Stacey Simms 18:13
So yeah, be nice if everybody could win. But that’s not how the show works. Yeah. All right, what can you tell us because a couple of episodes have aired already, but when this podcast airs will probably be further down the road. So I’m curious if you can share anything about what goes on behind the scenes because I’ve seen the show and some of it looks very ordered. Some of it looks very chaotic. is some of that chaos planned? Or is it just you guys are really doing what you’re doing? What do people really knock stuff over?

Elise Sammis 18:38
Sometimes they would tell me to ask how are you doing so and so? And they really like good. And then sometimes they would say like, tell all the other bakers you have 15 minutes left. And the other stuff we would just say random things. Yeah, your mind.

Natalie Sammis 18:56
Well, it was funny to that. I think there’s a couple times that the cameras People I thought it was interesting. They have 13 different cameras going to get all the angles. They have one big overhead camera. And she said, anytime anyone made a mistake, you knew it, because you’d feel the crane. Whoa, hovering over you. So you didn’t want the big camera to go on you. You knew that either something’s on fire or going downhill fast. So no one wanted the big camera to be swooping in their direction.

Stacey Simms 19:27
we haven’t really talked about diabetes and the show. That was in your video, some of your audition. Yes. You mentioned it. Was there any hesitancy on your part to put that in? Was that important to you

Elise Sammis 19:37
know, that was very important to me, because I wanted like everyone to know that if you have diabetes, you can still do the things that you want to do. And it was like super cool, because there was another girl named Naima. She’s my super good friend and she had also had type one, and she’s super sweet. And we were both like, yeah, we both have type one.

Stacey Simms 19:55
I was gonna ask you about Naima because I’m obviously we’re not interviewing her for the show, but I’ve seen her story. Well, and it was incredible to me. So far the posts have all been, oh, there’s two kids with type one on the Food Network. And everybody’s been saying no, no, no, you’re confused this name and no, you’re no, you’re confused. Oh, it’s really

Natalie Sammis 20:12
well, well, even we were confused. But we walk in the first day and its orientation and all the sudden I’m hearing Dexcom alarms and I’m going Elise, Like what? Like, like it is because it sounds too far from us. And she should have it in your bag. And I said, Who’s next column? What Where’s your Dexcom? And then this other little girl pipes up and says, Oh, that’s mine. And that moment, it was that instant bond of like, you have to wait, we have to. It was our first I think your first real friend like you have acquaintances that have type one, but this is the first time she connected with some one else on this kind of level who has type one and I think that’s special.

Stacey Simms 20:48
So you guys have kept in touch.

Elise Sammis 20:50
We have a big old group chat. We all talk every day.

Stacey Simms 20:54
That’s cool. I wish I can ask you more but I know Yeah.

Elise Sammis 21:00
Did any of the other kids talk to you about diabetes? I mean, kids don’t always do that. I’m just curious. They were pretty curious. And they’re like, what’s on your arm? And I was like, Oh, that’s my insulin pump and everything. They were super nice and they’re like, they didn’t really care about it. They were just super sweet.

Stacey Simms 21:29
Did any of the parents because I mean my son doesn’t bake and I remember when I’ve been parental settings for sports or there’s always somebody who’s like, well can you really eat that? You know, anything like that?

Natalie Sammis 21:30
No one really I think because we had gotten that far. And they knew we were that serious about baking. They can’t bear Yeah, there’s two of us they dare not I think what we are all became like very good friends. I think it’s always eye opening when you get to know other people that the little bit of understanding of what type one really means day in and day out and on vacation and we were in a very stressful situation and we were up I mean, her blood sugar would just go crazy every time she baked it every time she was on set I wouldn’t even let her eat a single carb because I already knew her blood sugar would be through the roof when she’s getting stressed her her levels go high and so her Dex have just been going off. I can’t believe we can’t hear it at the show you you are only there but it almost felt a little good to be able to just kind of explain and see what is really like it Yeah, we were up at 2am and 3am and 4am treating highs and then treating lows and this is our everyday and oh at least go change your pod or and they kind of like look at you with like huge eyes like you do this every day and you’re kind of like Yeah, we do. It’s all right that like what I am so proud of at least and I don’t know if everyone told you this really but she did not once ever use diabetes or her blood sugar level as an excuse whenever she didn’t perform how she wanted to perform or when she was stressed or other kids won certain competitions. She Never ever, ever even had that in a thought like it does not hold her back physically or mentally ever. I want to have my little mom sign like “do you know her blood sugar is 328, do you know hard it is to be thinking clearly?!” like, I just wanted to say that like you don’t understand how cool she is right now.

Stacey Simms 23:19
So but let me ask you because obviously diabetes did not stop you from doing this. But did anything happened during the competition where you did have to leave to change a pod? Or it Did you know, mess you up? Did anything ever happened along the way because it does happen sometimes.

Elise Sammis 23:32
Thankfully, like nothing like sometimes the medical my medical person, she was super nice. She would like come over and give me some insulin but I would just keep on baking and she would like BB

Stacey Simms 23:46
Yeah, so was this somebody that the show provided

Natalie Sammis 23:48
that they had two medicd, so they had one assigned to Naima one assigned to Elise and I’m sure they would cover the other kids who like cut themselves to cut themselves on fire, but they were basically there to hover over The two diabetics.

Stacey Simms 24:01
Did you ever catch yourself on fire?

Unknown Speaker 24:02
No but someone did we had to slap it down with a giant pan.

Natalie Sammis 24:07
Yeah, yeah, there’s some fire soon. Yeah. Spoiler alert. Awesome.

Stacey Simms 24:13
So much to ask you about the show. But I’m curious as you watch the show, the judges are a big part of it. You know, were you nervous meeting them? Was it fun? Anything stand out. I don’t know what you could tell us.

Elise Sammis 24:25
It was super exciting meeting them and like Valerie was super nice. And she was just like a mom like the whole time she like was very nice. That was nice.

Stacey Simms 24:37
Sweet the judges of Valerie Burtonelli, who we all know from one day to time, all those great shows and then Duff is the.. he did Charm City cakes, right? Yeah. Duff Goldman. We were huge fans. My daughter is in college now. But we watched Charm City cakes a ton. He was our guy. Yes. And you said he was interesting?

Elise Sammis 25:00
He really funny and like sarcastic and he was really, like nice about the judging and everything and he was really, like supportive.

Stacey Simms 25:08
Maybe you can answer this. They also seem like they’re taking it seriously. I mean, they’re Valerie’s nicer. Some it seems right to the kids, but they’re straightforward. They’re not telling you Good job when it wasn’t right?

Natalie Sammis 25:20
Yeah, well, what’s actually funny on I never got to meet them. They only let the kids talk to them meet them. I saw them through like closed circuit TV with no audio feeds, because their parents had to have some sort of eye on their child, but I didn’t even get to meet them. But when those kids would come back from tastings and judging things and just baking during the day, they would just say, oh, def came over and talk to me and he was funny, and oh, Valerie, like gave me a hug and I trusted the kids in that setting there. They’re not the other I don’t want to call it other people’s judges names and other shows, but they’re not harsh. They’re not on kind but they are they are very, they’re.

Stacey Simms 26:03
Yeah. They seem to balance the fact that there weren’t a kids show. Yeah. But if you’re going to be good feedback,

Natalie Sammis 26:07
yeah. If you’re going to get that far, though, and how hard we work to get there, those kids can take it. They’re not delicate flowers at this point.

Stacey Simms 26:15
So of course, you can tell us how everything went in the end of the show, and you won’t get in any trouble. even letting a word well done. I obviously can’t ask you about the outcome. And I would never. Was it fun are you glad you did it?

Elise Sammis 26:29
It was super fun. I’m so glad that I did it because it’s such like a good experience. Like you got to meet so many friends. It was really like a lesson to me about patients. Because all those interviews and all the time that was like put into it. It was a lot and yet there’s a lot of waiting. So that was a really good lesson for me. Do you still enjoy baking? Is that something you think about? Please do? Yes, I feel like I would always do baking is really fun. In like, it likes me be creative.

Unknown Speaker 27:02
This is a good experience for your families.

Natalie Sammis 27:04
It was a really good experience me and at least had a great time. We were kind of out there as buddies. And then my, my husband and the other three younger kids flew out for a couple days to visit us. And they decorated our hotel room with balloons galore and messages on the mirror of good luck. And the little kids and me, myself included this kind of trail along on her coattails and got to have this amazing experience. So it was wonderful.

Stacey Simms 27:30
I have to ask you, she was three younger children. Do they know the outcome? Because I wouldn’t trust my kids. No offense, I don’t know your family.

Unknown Speaker 27:41
No, they don’t.

Natalie Sammis 27:42
They even will sometimes, like try to guess and like act like it’s real. They’re like Oh, so and so did this and they probably did this or that and will be like, oh, whatever you want to think like we don’t even validate it because the the what’s the number at least that we will be sued if we let information that we

Elise Sammis 27:58
will be sued 750,000

Natalie Sammis 28:00
Yeah 13 page contract saying that we will not disclose information so we didn’t tell the five year olds Yeah.

Stacey Simms 28:07
Anything something else exciting that you all are a part of and I guess this is pretty brand new is your clinical trial for horizon from insolent which is the hybrid closed loop system using Omnipod? So Natalie, can you share a little bit about what is being tested? Is it the full system with the phone app?

Natalie Sammis 28:26
Yes, it’s the full system. So it involves they gave us a brand new Dexcom transmitter that has the capabilities of obviously talking to the the Omnipod and to the new I don’t do they call it a PDM Do you remember lease, I don’t know. They still called the PDM. But it’s basically a locked out Samsung and they provide that as well. Along with pods that look identical except for this little blue tab. That worked just the same. Also, what I really really like about this, the whole point of it is that you are able to put it in that Automatic mode they call it and with the auto mode, it’s every five minutes the Omnipod index home will talk to each other and adjust the Bazell every five minutes as needed. What’s cool about it too, is let’s say you forgot your PDM you’re locked out Samsung somewhere. Even if it has no range, if you could throw it off a cliff even for at least three days, your basal insulin would still be being adjusted because the Dexcom and Omnipod can talk to each other independently.

Stacey Simms 29:29
Have you used any hybrid closed loop stuff before?

Elise Sammis 29:32
No, this is our first time.

Stacey Simms 29:34
All right. How many days? It’s only been a couple of days. We started last Wednesday today. To 60 All right, though. Yeah. So have you seen a difference?

Elise Sammis 29:42
Yes, it is crazy. Like even we went to Disney World last week, and I ate a ton of junk and everything. And I like went to sleep and it would be a little high but that’s what your blood sugar does. And I went to sleep and for the night It would be like a straight line I was so amazing it was it’s a big difference. Just the normal taking insulin every time you hear ringing

Natalie Sammis 30:09
Yeah, it is just made me feel like less of a nag to like, oh at least check your blood sugar. Oh, I heard your alarm three times a baby. Have you looked at that like that is now silencing our neck. So I have high hopes for it and it really is giving us better control. She’s in that crazy stage of life being 11 about to be 12 where it makes no sense. She goes to sleep it looks like she ate a box of Krispy Kreme Doughnuts for no reason and it’s nothing but hormones and I don’t know unexplained highs and lows. So already this week, it is refreshing to see so many more straight lines. I mean, there’s still today we were stuck in the three hundreds for hours and that’s just what it is. And but I’m really pleased so far and I’m ecstatic to be able to have it for longer than the three month trial period.

Stacey Simms 30:57
All right. Before I let you go you said you have at Disney World, you ran in half marathon full marathon

Natalie Sammis 31:04
on Team JDRF. The half marathon half marathon.

Stacey Simms 31:07
Yep. So you went back to Disney World. You ran the team JDRF half marathon. Let me ask you first though at least what’s it like for you to go back at Disney World? Do you think about diabetes you just have fun when you’re there.

Elise Sammis 31:18
I have like weird flashbacks kind of. Because I like like remember walking in that same spot being like, all frazzled, like what am I going to do? But then like going back and feeling like Well, I’m kind of normal now. Like, I got it under control. So like happy for me.

Unknown Speaker 31:35
That’s fantastic. So like,

Natalie Sammis 31:37
I had some a mom, I’m going to get weepy no problem very silly. But to see it come full circle to leave Disney World that first time. And you know wonder what your future is going to be like wonder what your daughter’s life is going to look like. It’s kind of being scared out of your mind. And then to come back to the literally the same place in Disney. I don’t know. It has some feel to it. Like, even if you had gone 20 years ago, there’s something magic. There’s that little spark of Disney that kind of remains the same. So it puts you right back where you were in this time to feel so much confidence. And I still remember on the half marathon, you turn a corner and run into the Magic Kingdom in the it was still dark because it’s a ridiculously early marathon. But the castle was all lit up. And I had this like moment of like, Oh my goodness, we’ve made it so far. I am so happy where where we’re at now. We’re beating diabetes. I’m not being beaten by diabetes. And at that very moment, as I’m like, getting all bizarre and emotional. I look up and there’s Team JDRF fans, right? They’re saying that moment of like, oh, then I’m like, wait, I can’t praise because I’m practice. So I stopped crying and I kept running and that was it. But yeah, it is a quite a journey, I guess, to come full circle and to go back in that way with so much support and so much like people behind you and helping you raise money for a cause, you know, to help your kid just live a happy, normal life. So it was great.

Stacey Simms 33:18
Thank you both so much. I would say Best of luck, but it’s all. So excited to watch. To see how this goes. I hope you’ll come back and talk to us again. Thank you so much.

Unknown Speaker 33:29
Thank you.

Unknown Speaker 33:35
You’re listening to diabetes connections with Stacey Simms.

Stacey Simms 33:41
Alright, so fingers crossed for Elise and for Naima. I am taping this just after the second episode has aired. So who the heck knows what has happened since and what will happen going forward, but we will certainly be following cheering these girls on. Up next. Tell me something good but diabetes connections is brought to you by Dexcom.
And you know, when Benny was very little, and his fingers would get wet, right? I’d give him a bath or we’d go in the pool. I would always notice his fingertips. And you know exactly what I mean, right? They were poked so much that they were just full of little little pinprick holes. You could see when they got wet. He is 15. Now, I don’t really see his hands much anymore. But the other day, he’s such a ding-a-ling. He was doing a project for school. He was using a hot glue gun and he you know, he burned himself a little bit. He’s fine. He’s fine. But when he came into show me I noticed again and every time I do see his hands, it just knocks me out. his fingertips look normal. We’ve been using Dexcom for six years now. And with every iteration, we’ve done fewer and fewer finger sticks, the latest generation, the Dexcom g six eliminates finger sticks for calibration and diabetes treatment decisions. Just thinking about doing 10 finger sticks a day in the past. Makes me so glad that Dexcom has helped us come so far. It’s an incredible tool. If you’re glucose alerts and readings from the G six do not match symptoms or expectations. Use a blood glucose meter to make diabetes treatment decisions. learn more, go to diabetes, connections calm and click on the Dexcom logo.

It’s time for Tell me something good. I’ve got two great stories one was sent to me via Facebook Messenger. The other one I saw in a Facebook group and if you’ve got a story for me, the easiest way is in my Facebook group at diabetes connections the group or email me let me know what’s going on. What is good for you.
Melissa wrote in “I have a Tell me something good. I’ve been listening to your podcast since maybe the summer and my four year old daughter was diagnosed March 28 2019. You are very optimistic. I haven’t found a positive thing with my daughter’s diabetes. Until today. It’s been a horrible nine months with everything. We had our first dentist appointment Since diagnosis I’ve dropped a lot of ball since April, when the dental hygienist saw the pump. She knew what it was. I didn’t have to explain. The conversation got direct to where we treat for Lowes, Skittles and starbursts and gummies. All bed for her teeth. When the dentist came to check, we had a discussion about the candies. He asked for her Endo’s name, and he knew her. He’s the pediatric chief of dentistry at the local Children’s Hospital where her endo is affiliated, he texted an email to find better candies to use instead of the sticky kind. He went on to say collaborates with a lot of specialized doctors in the Children’s Hospital to take better care of the kids. And he said get back to me after a discussion with the endo. I found the experience relieving that I wouldn’t have to fight this battle. The dentist got it and my daughter was in good hands being cared for. I didn’t think I’d ever find anything positive about our new normal. Today I did. So that’s my Tell me something good.”
Melissa, I’m getting emotional reading what you’re saying here. Thank you. She writes for your podcast your optimism, and having somebody to tell the story to understand. Her daughter’s name is Katarina, beautiful name. And she told me that it’s been difficult to find care for her. You know when they’re that little it can be so hard preschools, that kind of thing. But she went on to write that they have been blessed. She’s been taken care of by her school nurse in an all day preschool. Her endocrinologist who they love and her mother, Melissa’s mom, the grandma, who was able to watch her while the parents are at work, and now the dentist, she writes, “I didn’t realize until this how lucky we have been. These are battles. I do not have to fight. Your optimism about any life with T1D is something I was envious of. I wanted some of the burden of this disease lifted off of my shoulders, and I was able to see that I have that after this visit. So I’m a little bit emotional here because of all the nice things she said and just having a place to share that with right. It’s important to have people who get it and know important it is that the dentist didn’t scold her and say you shouldn’t be doing that. But said, Let’s find a way to do this that works with Type 1 diabetes. And I think that’s fantastic. But if it was a little strange for me to hear, even though I know it, I am very optimistic. I am very positive. I put these rose colored glasses on a lot and diabetes is hard.

Type 1 is difficult. Being a parent of a kid with type one it’s difficult to it’s not all sunshine and rainbows over here. Trust me, I hope I’m open and honest about it. But at the end of the day, we’ve been really lucky. And I am optimistic and if you’re feeling down or things are hard, no judgment, man. It is hard all around. I think I do an okay job of being honest and sharing the ups and downs. But I do know that my general outlook with type one is is an uplifting one. I hesitate to say it because I feel like it’s an odd thing to say I feel like it puts me like I’m trying to be uplifting, but the truth is that’s how it was presented. To us when Benny was diagnosed, and that makes all of the difference. When you’re diagnosed on the very first day you meet a nurse who says, he’s going to be fine. I have type one. And I have one child at home and I’m pregnant with my second and don’t listen to the scary stories and don’t listen to the hard stuff. It’s fine. And then the next day, you pick up the phone and call three local people that you know who have kids with type one, because you’ve met them in your health reporting over the years, and they all say that he’s gonna be great. My kids Is this my kid does that it’s fine. It really changes than if you don’t have those things. And I know how lucky I am to have them. So Melissa, thank you for reaching out. Thanks for a little bit of the gut check, as I like to say the rose colored glasses, but send us any good news and send us anything you want to vent. I hope you join the Facebook group. I’d love to hear more about Catarina. Our other Tell me something good this week comes from the Walt Disney World marathon weekend. That’s where Natalie Sammis was when they said they were in Walt Disney World again. Very recently. She was running the half marathon. You talked about with all the jdrf people, they’re getting emotional. Well, there’s so much going on for that weekend. And I wanted to spotlight Julia Buckley, who’s a friend of mine and I’ve mentioned her on the show before. She is a flight attendant and she is amazing. And she won the Spirit Award for jdrf. She ran on Team jdrf. I don’t know how she does it. She flies all over the world comes home runs at Walt Disney World. She always has a smile on her face. So Julia, thank you so much for all that you do. I love some of the pictures maybe we’ll throw some of those in the Facebook group as well but to everybody who ran at Walt Disney World, hats off man and now it’s a fun race but it’s still a lot of work. If you’ve got to tell me something good story, send it my way. I am so excited. We’re getting more and more of these all the time or put them out on social media every week. So I’d love to hear from you tell me something good.

Before I let you go, this is not a Tell me something good. This is a Tell me something embarrassing. So I mentioned the very beginning of the show that there were some technical difficulties when I recorded the interview with Elise and Natalie. And real quick, the way I taped the show, usually is that I do the interviews right from my home computer. I have a little setup little home studio. But the interviews are generally conducted via Skype, and then into my computer and then into a backup hard drive. Later on, I record this part of it like a round the interview, right and that goes right into the computer. But when I’m on the road, I don’t want to slip my computer. It’s only got one input for the microphone, and I had basically needed three inputs. my microphone, Natalie’s mic, and Elise’s mic. So I use I mentioned that hard drive. I use a recorder for all of you audio files out there, I use an H five zoom. It is a wonderful little recording device and i i only scratched the surface. I know I’m not using it to its full potential. I can plug two microphones in there. And I know I can do more with it. I could use a sound mixer or whatever. But generally when I have more than two microphones that I’m using a plug two and two Each five zoom. And then I have another recorder where I put on a lavalier mic and a little Clippy mics that you see on the evening news or maybe you’ve done an interview or recorded something for work and they put a little clip mic on your collar. That’s a level layer mic, and I use that for myself. And here’s the embarrassing part. The recorder I use when I do that is an old iPhone. And I’m not even sure how old it is. It might be a four, it might be three. It doesn’t work anymore for anything else. I mean, I don’t certainly have service on it. But it is a perfect dumb recorder. And it’s like a tape recorder back of the day. And I had purchased over the years, these level ear mics that plugged into your phone. They’re fantastic. But when you switch to the newer iPhones and you got rid of the headphone jack well guess where the lav mic plugged in. So I’m out of luck. I can’t use my newer phone as a recorder if I want to use the lav mics. So we get to South Carolina. I’m setting everything up. I’m there early and speaking doing a book event before First I’m going to interview with Lisa, Natalie. So I set everything up. Everything sounds good. The stick microphones, the regular microphones, the one if you ever see pictures of me the ones that have the logos on them. Those are plugged in. They’re working fine. They’re a little low. I’m not really sure. I think maybe Elise was just very soft spoken. So I’m trying to adjust audio levels. I plug my stuff in, and the old phone, the editing software will not open. I use a program called twisted wave. And it’s a great program. It’s it’s up to date, but the phone is so old. I think it was trying to update the the editing software. So I said, forget this. I’ll just use my voice memo. So every phone has a voice memo app. It’s fabulous for podcasting. It really works well. You can just record your voice for however long and then you email it to yourself. I have guests do this. Sometimes if it’s a really short interview. I don’t do it much. But you know, once or twice. I’ve had people do a short segment and a voice memo is great for them. So it looks like it’s working. Everything’s fine. We do the whole interview. voice memo is there I can hear it. It’s recorded Elise Natalie are fine. I can’t Email the file to myself. I can’t get it off the phone. It’s stuck on this old iPhone three, four. It’s sitting there. It’s It’s wonderful. Amazingly, the microphones I was using picked up my voice enough so you heard the interview. It wasn’t terrible. It probably wasn’t great, I’m sure john kennis my editor worked a ton of magic on it every time he gets a file from me probably shakes his head and said, yes, this person obviously worked with a technical producer her entire radio career. So I’m now in the market for a new level ear mic, because if you know anything about audio, and you heard me say the h5 zoom, you know that you can also plug a lav mic or any kind of really smaller mic into another outlet very easily. And this whole thing could have been avoided if I had just done that. So that was my adventure. I figured we’d just soldier on right you just want the stories. You’re less concerned with pristine studio sound, right? Haha. Well, look, I’m going on the road a lot this year. So I figured I better learn how to do that. And figure out how to better get it done. So stay tuned for the continuing saga of how the heck Stacy makes her lovely mix work. Alright, the next stop is not too far from me. I’m going to Raleigh the first weekend in February Raleigh, North Carolina for a jdrf type one nation summit. Then I am going to Maine the following weekend to South Portland, Maine, to talk to the main pea pods, very excited to talk to this group. And we have a very busy schedule after that. Thank you, as always, especially this week to my editor, john Drew kennis from audio editing solutions. Thank you for listening. Remember this Thursday, we do have another minisode coming out this week. I’m talking all about untethered, what that means, why we have loved it. I got a bunch of questions after I mentioned this in a couple episodes back. I talked about receiver a little bit which is a newer, long acting. So I’m going to go through untethered, what it means why it’s not just for teenagers, and why we’ve had such good success. With it, and that is our next little mini episode. I’m Stacey Simms and I will see you back here on Thursday.

Benny 46:11
Diabetes Connections is a production of Stacey Sims media. All rights reserved. All wrongs avenged

Transcribed by https://otter.ai

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