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Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-at-Home Dad

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Entries in Follow Up (12)


Thank You!

Thank you...

... for supporting me over the last year while I wrote my book.

... for reading the book.

... for considering reading the book.

... for the wonderful reviews.

... for telling a friend.

... for your touching words of encouragement.

... for the emails, tweets and FaceBook messages.

... for putting up with the blog turning into an infomercial this week.

... for laughing while you read.

... for crying along with me (If you cried when you read it, be sure that I cried while I wrote it).

... for helping to make me a published author.

... for reading Arden's Day.


Next week when you see a new post it won't include the words life, laundry, short, eternal, confessions, dad, stay - I promise. But for this week...

Life Is Short, Laundry Is Eternal: Confessions of a Stay-At-Home Dad is my first book. Its on sale now everywhere that books are sold in paperback and on your favorite eBook formats.

You can buy it today on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Amazon Canada, Amazon UK, IndieBound and more.

If you've read Life Is Short and enjoyed it, I hope that you consider writing a review at one of the online sellers listed above. And please share your experience with a friend (or twenty).

So that's pretty much it. The links will stay on Arden's Day, reader pictures will continue to scroll on the sidebar, and from time-to-time I'll share book information and reviews on the main page. All ongoing book information will be posted on the FaceBook page that exists for the book or on this sub page of Arden's Day.

This has been one of the most stunning and fulfilling years of my life and there is still lots more to come... 

Thank you for everything!

Scott Benner



DexCom G4 Platinum: Follow Up

It's been three months since I first gave my impressions of the new DexCom G4 Platinum CGM and two months since I published a Second Look piece. Today it's time for a follow up...


Overall I am quite pleased to say that everything that I previously reported to you about the G4 still stands as true. Signal distance is vastly improved, insertion is less of an issue from a pain standpoint and accuracy is often spot on. What then you ask prompted me to write a follow up? I wanted to share my experience with DexCom customer service and how they handled my call to tell them that the thumb pad on Arden's receiver was breaking.


Before I get to the thumb pad I want say that not long after we began to use the new G4 I noticed an odd video noise on the screen when the receiver transitioned from screen to screen. It happens mostly when entering a BG, a garbled image appears as the receiver switches from one screen to the next. I never noticed a decrease in the receiver's accuracy so I assumed that the video noise wasn't a critical issue and decided not to call CS over what I deemed a cosmetic glitch.

A few weeks later the thumb pad began acting up. The thumb pad is basically five buttons, up, down, left, right and center. The donut shaped disc handles the directional clicks and the small nub in the middle, selects. Our unit's disc began to not go back into place after selecting down. The disc would rock as it should toward the down selection but then never fully return to it's starting point. I felt like it was only a matter of time before the disc became worn further. I imagined that soon instead of just getting stuck in the down position the disc was going to pop out. I let things go for as long as I could and then I called DexCom this past Saturday morning.

I explained that the thumb pad was loose and getting worse. The kind woman on the phone asked politely if I had dropped it, we hadn't. She verified my address, apologized that it wouldn't be able to ship until Monday and explained how I should go about making the switch once the new unit arrived. The entire call took less then five minutes. It was very pleasant.

It seems that I timed my phone call almost perfectly as nine hours later, as we were preparing to eat dinner for the first time at Harold's in Edison, NJ, (you may have seen the picture on FaceBook of Arden with our "slice" of cake) the thumb pad fell out completely. I used a piece of packing tape to hold everthing in place until Tuesday. Here's what the unit looks like when the thumb pad comes off:


Initially I wanted to be annoyed that the receiver had issues after such a short time, but instead I took a more reasonable position. New technology is prone to issues like this, early adopters take a risk in my opinion. As long as the manufacturer stands behind the product and doesn't make its replacement a headache, I'm okay with stuff like this happening. I wish it wouldn't, but I understand. I hope that my issue is either isolated or promptly addressed by DexCom. Who knows, maybe it already has been in more recent runs of the product.

If you are seeing this issue with your unit, It's my opinion is that you can expect it to eventually become a problem that will need your attention.


New OmniPod Pictures and Information

It's official! The next generation of the OmniPod Insulin Management System has been approved by the FDA!

I've just finished speaking with Sean Gallagher, Senior Director, Marketing for Insulet, person living with type I diabetes and OmniPod user. We spoke for a bit this afternoon and I have some fresh information about the new Pods and PDM to share.

The name remains the same: You won't be wearing the OmniPod G2 or OmniPod Lite. Just good old OmniPod.

Pricing: There will be no price increase for the new system.

Transition: Insulet has been working for "18 months" to make the transition to the new smaller pod "easy" and fast for us the users.

How the upgrade happens: Current OmniPod users will receive an email stating that upgrading is possible. All you have to do is contact them back to get the ball rolling. Sean stresses that the process will be super easy, fast and efficient. They are working hard to make the transition a pleasure.

When? When can I get them?: There is some training of staff, endos and the like that's happening now. Expectations are that those steps will be finished and the new Pods will begin being delivered in the first quarter of 2013. I know you feel like you've heard that before but this time the ball is completely in Insulet's court, they have control, I'd bet anything that this time frame is accurate.

More when: For customers that are currently under warrantee. Your new Pods will arrive after you've exhausted the stock that you have in your home. Upgrades will happen at re-order only.

Any insurance stuff to worry about?: Simply, no. If you happen to be outside of your warrantee there will be some steps to take between Insult and your insurance company but Sean assures me that most of that process will happen on their side of the equation, requiring only a minor amount of effort on your part. The man said, "easy" is their goal, I believe him.

Interesting technical stuff

  • The insulin reservoir capacity remains the same even though the pod is smaller.

  • I asked Sean, "how did your R&D people accomplish the size reduction?" He responded simply by saying, "they're brilliant!". The slightly more technical reasons however include, the insulin reservoir shape has been changed to an oval and flattened. Plus the new Pods require only three, instead of four batteries because of enhancements that lessened power requirements.

  • The new PDM has a dramatically improved stated signal range of five feet, but between you and me, I've seen and used one during FDA required Human Factor Testing... I'd try backing up if I was you.

  • The smaller Pods have a new feature called a 'pink slide.' When the cannula deploys correctly, it pushes a piece of pink plastic to be visible through a new, second window on the top of the pod's surface. You can use this together with the regular viewing window for additional confirmation of insertion. - Info and picture added at 5 pm on 12/14 after second conversation with Insulet.

Why the long wait:

I expressed to Sean that the long wait for the newer, smaller, lighter OmniPod made me wonder if they were ever going to see the light of day in the U.S.

Sean indicated that the Human Factor Testing requirement from the FDA was in it's infancy (my word) when they were seeking approval and that both sides lived through a learning curve. He did stress that he genuinly belives that the "process is valuable" and when I asked if it was fair to say that the process provided me (and you) with a better, safer insulin pump, he did not hesitate to say, "yes".

Sean closed out our discussion with two thoughts that I will share.

He hopes, for two reasons, that those of you that may be preparing to begin pumping with OmniPod don't feel as though you should wait for the new Pods to become available. His first point (that I can completely agree with) was simple. The current version is a great device. I can't argue with that. If you start today you will be using a wonderful insulin pump, one that has benefited many including Arden for years. His second point was a reminder that the transition to the new Pods will be so easy that it won't even cause a blip in your day to day life. So there's no reason to wait.

I'm choosing to include his thoughts, that you may read as marketing (and perhaps it is) not just because I believe in the company, but also because I know that Insulet is a small company. I don't know for sure, but I'm willing to guess that they wouldn't do well financially with a less then normal amount of new customers over the next three or so months. That's my honest take on this issue, I make no secret that I'd like Insulet and OmniPod to thrive, it's good for my daughter and for all of you that wear the pump.


Sean wanted all of us to know that he and Insulet appreciate all of our paitence during this long journey. He is thrilled by the reception that OmniPod receives in our community and is touched by the eagerness that the new generation OmniPod is being greeted with. He said, "I am happy and excited to put the new OmniPod into hands".

Now for the pictures, you know you want to see the pictures!

Hi-Res version are available in the Visual Record section of the blog.


DexCom G4 Platinum: Second Look

Arden modeling her G4 tucked into her pocket.


Arden has been wearing the new DexCom G4 Platinum CGM for every second of the last month. I initially wrote a 'First Impressions' piece about three weeks ago - let's see how things have gone since then.


Sensor Life:

The worst kept secret in the DOC is that the DexCom sensors can be restarted at the end of their seven day life and often gain accuracy as the days go on. The package insert indicates that you have to change your sensor site at the end of those seven days, I am in no way suggesting that you should ignore that direction. I'm merely sharing how we do things... Many times in the past the DexCom 7+ would happily restart twice and would still be going strong as the last bit of adhesive was holding on for dear life. So far we haven't gotten a G4 to a second restart, but I'm not giving up on getting one into the three week range. Having said that, two weeks is really very good.



Not as long lasting as the 7+. The G4 is not weathering showers like that 7+ did even when covered. I wonder if DexCom changed the adhesive, maybe I'll ask.


Form and style:

The reciever is a huge inprovement in both size and shape. I've heard a few call it 'unsturdy' or 'light' but we don't have that feeling. 

The sensor is slightly taller then the last generation. I've asked Arden multiple times if the size change is annoying and she has always answered, "no". Mindful that I don't wear the product I read about what some others have said and I did find a few adults that aren't happy about the increase. Again, Arden is unfazed by the change.


Signal Range:

I have for years been unable to let Arden sleep on the sofa during her sleepovers becasue I wouldn't be able to hear her CGM. Once I even slept on the floor so that she and her friend could 'camp out' in our family room, but that was so uncomfortable that since that day sleepovers are confined to the bedroom. Until last weekend that is. On Saturday night Arden had a friend over to spend the night, she asked just as she always does if they could crash on the sofa, I said yes without hesitation becasue of the G4. Our family room is underneath of our master bedroom and the G4 cruises through walls, floors and ceiling like they aren't there. 

As the parent of a PWD this new feature trumps any other and makes the Platinum a winner in my book. Here is my Instagram picture of Arden's G4 sending a signal through the floor of her bedroom and into our kitchen. Kelly and I were watching 'The Walking Dead' on AMC while Arden slept soundly in her bed. In the past, we would have to pause the show while I ran up and down the stairs like a loon. Now we just listen for the beeps.

@ArdensDay on Instagram

The Sensor Wire:

The insertion of the sensor wire seems less painful but the real win of the wire being smaller is that Arden doesn't seem to notice it under her skin anymore while she is wearing it. It the past with the 7+, Arden would sometimes be bothered by the wire if she moved the wrong way. 


Pound the Alarm:

The alarms on the G4 are louder then the 7+. Additionally, you can vary them if the one you are using ceases to get your attention. So far the default sounds are waking me from my slumber, though Arden never hears them when she is sleeping. DexCom has samples of the alarms on this page of their site (scroll to the bottom), if you'd like to give them a listen. 



With the new signal range comes freedom. In a movie theater I can hold the CGM to give Arden a break. When she gets home she can take it off and roam the house without fear of dropping the signal. Arden sleeps upstairs, we live our life downstairs. I wish you could have heard the lilt in Arden's voice when she gleefully told me, "I just peed without my CGM", she was seriously thrilled that she left her receiver in the kitchen while she used the powder room, thrilled! Connected but frequently untethered is a major advancement in my opinion, it gives back some of Arden's humanity and releases burdens. 



I know of a couple people who have experienced build quality issues, for example Stacey's thumb pad fell off. So far we haven't had any such isues, but be sure that I will tell you if we do. 

I've always been an early adopter of technology that I believe in. I expect a few bumps along the way and take the chance on something new when I think the chance is a good bet. So far, the G4 has been a terrific bet. Wait until you see the signal range and how it changes your life.


Be Well!



On Thursday, August 16, 2007 I posted for the first time on Arden's Day in a post titled, "Decided to Share". At the time I wasn't trying to 'launch a blog', I didn't really know what a blog was. Here's proof that I didn't know what I was doing, the image from the first post, the one shown above, it was named "1.jpg" - I was more then a novice. All I wanted was a way to explain what a day in Arden's life was like to the people in my immediate circle of family and friends. So I decided to post something each and every time that diabetes entered our day for one day. 

I was so moved by what I was about to do that I, uninvited, emailed (Geez, I'm embarrassed to say this)... emailed everyone in my address book at each diabetes moment. I think that I did that for the first few of the morning and then invited people to follow along for the remainder of the day at a link. I did send a note first, though that doesn't make it much better, announcing my plan. Looking back, people must have thought that I was nuts, and mabe I was. It was a few days before Arden's first diaversary and I was probably extra emotional because I had some lofty and unrealistic expectations about what I imagined the first anniversary would bring. I expected clarity to arrive on that day, strangely I thought the keys to diabetes knowledge were about to be dropped at my door. Anyway, I just put it out there in a big bad way and people responded, and many told me how impactful the experiance was. After that I just kept going...

The JDRF has just announced a program called 'T14ADAY', that invites people to sign up for text messages that will arrive over a twenty-four hour period with the intention of showing someone the extent to which type I is involved in our days. I really think that this is a great idea! Here's more info directly from the JDRF:


Throughout November, we're asking people to better appreciate what people with type 1 diabetes (T1D) experience every day, every hour by taking part in a unique mobile-based challenge: T1D for a Day.

When you sign up for the T1D for a Day text challenge, you agree to receive as many as 24 text messages over a 24-hour period that simulate the constant blood sugar testing, insulin injections, and dietary decisions that confront people with T1D.

While no virtual campaign can recreate the many needles required or the physical and financial tolls of this serious disease, T1D for a Day seeks to deepen understanding of the many heroic steps our friends and loved ones with T1D take each day.

Please sign up for the T1D for a Day challenge now!


There is more information at the this link including how to get started online or with your cell phone. I'm spotlighting this effort from the JDRF becasue I know first-hand how much of an impact what I did all those years ago had on the people in my family and our friends. This is a great oppurtunity for the people in your life, the ones that may be struggling to understand type I, to get a closer look at why you look so tired. 

You can find all of my DayOne posts from 2007 here or by clicking on the DayOne tag.