Thursday, June 26, 2008
I arrived at the hospital in the late afternoon, admitted to the ER. They drew more blood and inserted an IV. A normally hefty child, I had dwindled to 67 lb, was in severe DKA and severely dehydrated. If there had been a PICU in that hospital, I'm sure I would have been in it. After they got things all squared away, I was moved up to a room upstairs. I was starving, and remember asking, "what can I eat for dinner?" The nurse kind of chuckled and said, "here's your dinner, honey," as she shook my IV bag. I think they may have given me half a sandwich later on.
My parents (divorced almost 3 years then) had known for a few days that I had type 1 diabetes, but the doctor my dad & step-mom had taken me to did not put me on insulin. He said I wasn't 'bad enough' to be treated yet, even though at his office my fasting AM BG was 183. He gave the advice to not eat sugar, to drink diet drinks, and he would recheck me in one to three months. I shudder to think what would have happened if my mom had not followed her gut instinct.
When I got back to mom's, she read all the pamphlets the doctor had sent home with me. Mom called many other doctors in the city nearest us and told them my symptoms and what my BG had been, and every one of them said I'd be put on insulin immediately. She even called the ADA, which I didn't know until talking about it with her in recent months. So she decided to take me to our family doctor, who wasted no time drawing blood and reassured mom he would call her as soon as he knew anything. In the meantime, she didn't let me out of her sight.
Later we believed that if I had fallen asleep that next day at the feed store, I may have well slipped into a coma. At the hospital, they were surprised I was coherent.
I remember having a low blood sugar that night during the night, but not knowing what it was at the time. I was scared, and didn't know I could call the nurse for help. I don't think that I would have known to ask for help! Thank God it musn't have been too bad. I don't even remember anyone coming to check my BG during the night. It amazes me how archaic treatment was even that short of a time ago. How can they load up a kid on an insulin drip and not be checking BG every hour or two??
The next week was very trying... I won't go into all the gory details, but my parents got bad enough that I was kept in the hospital longer than necessary so CPS could sort it out. I don't remember a lot of that. I do remember family coming to visit me, learning how to care for myself, check my BG, and give injections. They let me check any family member who was willing to undergo a finger poke, that was fun!
After leaving the hospital, we went to education classes on nutrition and D care. Looking back, I know these were geared more toward type 2, but they were still a wealth of knowledge for us. My mother pretty much handed me the reins of my D care and as a result, I feel that I matured much faster than I would have if she had handled everything for me. She did help me hold up the back of my arm occasionally for shots, but even that stopped after a while (she was still shaken by needles, and I soon figured out how to prop the back of my arm on the kitchen chair).
After a few years of struggling, we decided I needed a new Endocrinologist, as the one I saw wasn't a Ped. We found an awesome doctor about 45 miles from us, worth every mile of the drive! He always pushed me to try new treatments. When I first saw him, my A1C had been over 10. It improved drastically within the first year with him. He became like family, along with all the office staff. When I got my driver's license, my mom let my drive there alone (I'm still amazed she let her 16yo drive on I-94 alone!).
He worked on me for years about starting on a pump. I just never knew if I would like it or what it would be like. He never pushed me, just kept asking. Finally, at 19 years old, about 6 months after dh and I married, I agreed to do it. By the time I got my pump and started, it was February 2000. It was so awesome to finally be able to wake up with a good BG in the morning! I have the dawn phenomenon, and for over 6 years I woke up with BG over 300, no matter what we tried. In mid-April, we found out we were expecting Grace. What perfect timing that was!
Within a couple of months after my dx, mom told me a song she knew made her think of what we'd gone through. It was "Angel Flying Too Close to The Ground" by Willie Nelson.
If you had not have fallen
Then I would not have found you
Angel flying too close to the ground
And I patched up your broken wing
And hung around a while
Tried to keep your spirits up
And your fever down
I knew someday that you would fly away
For love's the greatest healer to be found
So leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground
Fly on, fly on past the speed of sound
I'd rather see you up
Than see you down
Leave me if you need to
I will still remember
Angel flying too close to the ground
I just wanted to share my experience with all of you. Hope it encourages you.
Friday, May 09, 2008
A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates:
WELCOME TO THE HUSBAND STORE!!
You may visit the store ONLY ONCE! There are six floors and the attributes of the men increase as the shopper ascends the flights. There is, however, a catch... you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!
So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband...
On the first floor the sign on the door reads: Floor 1: These men have jobs and love the Lord.
How to give a cat a Pill
1. Pick up cat and cradle it in left arm as if holding a baby. Position right forefinger and thumb on either side of cat’s mouth and gently apply pressure to cheeks while holding pill in right hand. As cat opens mouth, pop pill into mouth. Allow cat to close mouth and swallow.
2. Retrieve pill from floor and cat from behind sofa. Cradle cat and repeat process.
3. Retrieve cat from bedroom and throw soggy pill away.
4. Take new pill from foil wrap, cradle cat holding rear paws tightly with left hand. Force jaws open and push pill to back of mouth with right forefinger. Hold mouth shut for a count of ten.
5. Retrieve pill from goldfish bowl and cat from top of wardrobe. Call in spouse.
6. Kneel on floor with cat wedged between knees, hold front and rear paws. Ignore low growls emitted by cat. Get spouse to hold head with one hand while forcing wooden ruler in mouth. Drop pill down ruler and rub cat’s throat.
7. Retrieve cat from curtain rail, get another pill from foil wrap. Make note to buy new ruler and repair curtains. Carefully sweep shattered vases and figurines from hearth and set to one side.
8. Wrap cat in large towel and get spouse to lie on cat with head just visible from below armpit. Put pill in end of drinking straw, force mouth open with pencil, insert straw and blow down it.
9. Check label to make sure that pill is not harmful to humans, drink glass of water to take away the taste. Apply dressing to spouse’s forearm and remove blood from carpet with cold water.
10. Retrieve cat from neighbour’s shed. Get another pill. Place cat in cupboard and close door onto neck to leave head showing. Force mouth open with a spoon. Flick pill down throat with an elastic band.
11. Fetch screwdriver from garage and put cupboard door back on hinges. Apply cold compress to cheek and check records for date of last tetanus jab. Throw T-shirt away and fetch new one.
12. Ring fire brigade to retrieve cat from tree across the road. Apologise to neighbour who crashed into fence while swerving to avoid cat. Take last pill.
13. Tie cat’s front paws to rear paws with garden twine and bind tightly to leg of dining table. Push pill into mouth followed by a large piece of steak. Hold head vertically and pour two pints of water down throat to wash pill down.
14. Get spouse to drive you to accident and emergency. Sit quietly while doctor stitches fingers and forearm and removes pill remnants from right eye. Call furniture shop on the way home. Order table.
15. Arrange for RSPCA to collect cat and ring pet shop to see if they have any hamsters.
How to give a dog a pill
1. Wrap it in bacon.
Found in Daily Mail (UK) in September 2003.
Cat Bathing as a Martial Art
by Bud Herron
Some people say cats never have to be bathed. They say cats lick themselves clean. They say cats have a special enzyme of some sort in their saliva that works like new, improved Wisk --- dislodging the dirt where it hides and whisking it away.I've spent most of my life believing this folklore. Like most blind believers, I've been able to discount all the facts to the contrary, the kitty odors that lurk in the corners of the garage and dirt smudges that cling to the throw rug by the fireplace.
The time comes, however, when a man must face reality: when he must look squarely in the face of massive public sentiment to the contrary and announce: "This cat smells like a port-a-potty on a hot day in Juarez."
When that day arrives at your house, as it has in mine, I have some advice you might consider as you place your feline friend under your arm and head for the bathtub:
Know that although the cat has the advantage of quickness and lack of concern for human life, you have the advantage of strength. Capitalize on that advantage by selecting the battlefield. Don't try to bathe him in an open area where he can force you to chase him. Pick a very small bathroom. If your bathroom is more than four feet square, I recommend that you get in the tub with the cat and close the sliding-glass doors as if you were about to take a shower. (A simple shower curtain will not do. A berserk cat can shred a three-ply rubber shower curtain quicker than a politician can shift positions.)
Know that a cat has claws and will not hesitate to remove all the skin from your body. Your advantage here is that you are smart and know how to dress to protect yourself. I recommend canvas overalls tucked into high-top construction boots, a pair of steel-mesh gloves, an army helmet, a hockey face mask, and a long-sleeved flak jacket.
Prepare everything in advance. There is no time to go out for a towel when you have a cat digging a hole in your flak jacket. Draw the water. Make sure the bottle of kitty shampoo is inside the glass enclosure. Make sure the towel can be reached, even if you are lying on your back in the water.
Use the element of surprise. Pick up your cat nonchalantly, as if to simply carry him to his supper dish. (Cats will not usually notice your strange attire. They have little or no interest in fashion as a rule. If he does notice your garb, calmly explain that you are taking part in a product testing experiment for J.C. Penney.)
Once you are inside the bathroom, speed is essential to survival. In a single liquid motion, shut the bathroom door, step into the tub enclosure, slide the glass door shut, dip the cat in the water and squirt him with shampoo. You have begun one of the wildest 45 seconds of your life.
Cats have no handles. Add the fact that he now has soapy fur, and the problem is radically compounded. Do not expect to hold on to him for more than two or three seconds at a time. When you have him, however, you must remember to give him another squirt of shampoo and rub like crazy. He'll then spring free and fall back into the water, thereby rinsing himself off. (The national record for cats is three latherings, so don't expect too much.)
Next, the cat must be dried. Novice cat bathers always assume this part will be the most difficult, for humans generally are worn out at this point and the cat is just getting really determined. In fact, the drying is simple compared to what you have just been through. That's because by now the cat is semipermanently affixed to your right leg. You simply pop the drain plug with you foot, reach for your towel and wait. (Occasionally, however, the cat will end up clinging to the top of your army helmet. If this happens, the best thing you can do is to shake him loose and encourage him toward your leg.) After all the water is drained from the tub, it is a simple matter to just reach down and dry the cat.
In a few days the cat will relax enough to be removed from your leg. He will usually have nothing to say for about three weeks and will spend a lot of time sitting with his back to you. He might even become psychoceramic and develop the fixed stare of a plaster figurine.
You will be tempted to assume he is angry. This isn't usually the case. As a rule he is simply plotting ways to get through your defenses and injure you for life the next time you decide to give him a bath.
But at least now he smells a lot better.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Also, we were concerned about selling our car, since it is older, has somewhat mid-to-high mileage, and several things didn't work on it (cruise control, for one). But we discovered the two magic points to selling a car: "Cold A/C," and "Good MPG." We had parked the car on Monday evening at my brother's house with signs in the windows. Tuesday we had two calls, and Wednesday another person called, who ended up being the buyer. I don't think we've ever gotten rid of a car that quickly! Definitely answered prayer there!
If you want to see a pic of me and my friend Angela Caswell performing together at the MI Ladies' Advance, click here.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Wednesday, March 12, 2008
On Monday afternoon I began to bleed. It was very little at first so I was hoping it was going to be ok, but later in the evening it became heavier. I am pretty disappointed, as you can read in my previous post, this time around felt much more convincing, so I was pretty surprised that it ended.
While staying in Bozeman, we were able to assemble with the saints there on Lord's Day for morning and evening. We got to go to the Hot Springs in Gallatin Gateway, shopping a little in Bozeman, and had coffee and a couple of dinners with friends. We stayed there till Wednesday morning, when we left to go "surprise" Lane's parents in Deer Lodge, where they live, on the way to Missoula. Lane's sister was planning a big family get-together around Mercy's birthday party. Her birthday was Tuesday but they held the part on Wednesday. Too bad Dad & Mom Smith were wise to the plan and not too surprised to see us, but very happy nonetheless! We didn't stick around Deer Lodge very long, but left for Missoula and arrived in the late afternoon there at Joe & Lisa's.
The girls loved staying there-- Joe & Lisa have a good old dog, Pooger, two horses, and a few chickens. Grace loved going out in the morning and afternoon to "pick out eggs." We prepared for the big anniversary party and it was held on Saturday afternoon. Dad & Mom both loved and enjoyed the song I sang for them (Lane announced it as our gift to them), and that made me very happy to have been able to contribute. While at Joe & Lisa's, Joe got Lisa a new dog, a Saint Pitt (St. Bernard and Pit Bull mix, hmmmm). It's a girl and they named her Seeley, after Seeley Lake, the city in which Joe got her. She is very playful and really liked my flippy black skirt...
We were able to assemble with the saints in Missoula on Thursday at their Bible study and again on Lord's Day morning. Mr. Miller was very gracious to not publicly announce that we had no Bibles with us, as it seems someone snatched them out of our van while we were in Bozeman--- they were in the church building in Bozeman when we returned there that evening.
We stayed on more night in Bozeman and got to eat a ginormous Ribeye steak breakfast with Tom & Lorrie Geer, along with Riley. Emily & Noah were at school. Along with the huge steaks we also had some great coffee, cheesey hashbrowns and fried eggs. What a great sendoff!
Then it was a short drive off to Billings to visit with Larry & Karin in their very new-to-them home. I think Karin said that today they will have been there for 2 weeks. It was good to be able to have them entertain us for once-- since they've moved out west, we have hosted them each time they come to Michigan, but this time Karin enjoyed fixing us dinner. We ate and visited with them and Mike & Amy Ferguson were also able to come to visit. Mike and Amy were married six days after us. We hadn't seen those two since I was pregnant with Grace, and they hadn't yet had any kids. Now they are blessed with two awesome kids, Luke and Becca.
Well I guess I need to cut this off. Our trip went great, we arrived home late this morning. Now we're preparing for the weekend, our Michigan Ladies' Advance-- great fun!
GM has called Lane back, by the way, but no date yet. He is raring to go!
Friday, February 22, 2008
I got right in this morning and had my beta hcg drawn. It was 11, not very much for where I should be in the pregnancy, but I FEEL much more so this time than last. Hoping this means all is well.
I go back in Monday morning for another draw. I'm praying it will rise significantly, and that we can see the little beaner on an ultrasound before the end of the week. We leave on Saturday morning for Montana, and I'd sure hate to have to try finding someplace to get bloodwork or an ultrasound done out there! Plus trying to get MI Medicaid to cover it!! Oy!
Monday, February 11, 2008
It's older, a 94, but it has only 44,000 miles on it, nearly perfect exterior with very little rust, and is in great running condition. The only thing wrong, a brake line, will be fixed this coming weekend, and we will be buying the van the following Monday or so. Best part is, I looked up the value on Kelley Blue Book (kbb.com) and the asking price is a little more than half of what it's worth! And I'm very pleased that since we got our taxes filed and the refund is being deposited on Friday, that we'll have a couple of weeks to drive this thing around and get used to it, as well as get all the fluids flushed and any other necessary work done, before our long trip. Oh yeah, and get this: it's got electronic all-wheel drive! I've never heard of a Ford van having all-wheel drive before, only Chevy Astros. Overall, we feel like we're getting quite the deal.
Is it any surprise that this was after Lane had been praying about it for weeks on end? *BIG smile*
Chicken Marengo, salad, rolls
Denver Potato Pie, fruit, rolls
Thursday for Valentine's Day:
Spaghetti, salad, garlic bread, Key Lime pie (Lane's favorite dessert)
Brats, chips, cut veggies
undecided as of right now, but it has to be something "crockable" since I'm having the teen girls over again for a music rehearsal.
In other news I got my "new-to-me" insulin pump in the mail today! I'm so excited to be able to use a newer pump with better features. I will be trying it out at my next site change to make sure everything works on it well. The plan is to keep using my old 508 until it dies or I run out of infusion sets, and then begin using the new 715. But I'd sure hate to find out that far down the road, if it didn't want to work! I think Grace was a little disappointed in the color (kids!) because I'd been telling her that if I got myself a new pump, I would ask for clear. This one is the smoke color, I'll just have to explain that there was no option on the color this time. She's in love with her purple one. *smile*
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Well, I don't get the new pump, but I will get a new-to-me pump. A friend over at teachingmom.com whose hubby was type 1 diabetic, recently had kidney and pancreas transplants. When she heard I was not getting my new pump thru insurance, she and her hubby graciously offered me his. I'm so excited for it! I can't thank them enough! It's due to arrive any time now.
Lane has been hired in a temporary job at Spartan Chassis in Charlotte-- they make the chassis for lots of large vehicles like ambulances, fire trucks, military vehicles, and motorhomes. He's liking it pretty well, but feels that it doesn't compare to the organization and experience of working at GM.
Grace is scheduled for tonsils/adenoids to be removed March 20 unless there is a cancellation within the next week. She'd need two weeks full recovery before we did what I'm leading into now:
March 1, we are leaving on our trip to Montana! (as I type this, I'm really hoping Jack & Ellisteen don't read my blog.... it's supposed to be a surprise for them..) It's the Smith's 50th wedding anniversary, and we're going for the party and to visit for a few days. Lane's sis Lisa will be throwing a birthday party for Mercy as well, since it is the 4th.
In order to do this, we have to use a good chunk of our tax return to buy a newer vehicle. We've been milking our car for the last 6-8 months and it's just plain dying. I hope we can get rid of it-- that's the only part that scares me about buying our next vehicle thru a private owner rather than dealer. I know it's best to buy from someone who's been driving the car, so they can be helpful about needed repairs and such. But then we've got the whole mess of selling our car, keeping both licensed and insured, etc etc. Not to mention that with our budget, we'd likely get lots less car for our money at a dealer.
We're actually leaning toward minivans, hopefully a Chevy Venture or Pontiac Montana. Yep, Lane's still loyal to the GM products.
Also coming up right after we return from our MT trip, is our annual Ladies' Advance for MI/OH/IN surrounding areas. We'll also have attendees from PA and MD, and sometimes even have ladies come in from MT and OR. This is always a TON of fun, lots of fellowship, great messages, and uplifting music. I'm working on two songs for the young ladies to perform, "Thy Word," by Amy Grant, and "Enough" as performed by BarlowGirl (originally by Chris Tomlin). I'll also be singing "East to West" by Casting Crowns as my great friend and sister in Christ, Angela will be signing--- we did another Casting Crowns song last year together that was a big hit. Somehow seeing sign language put to a song is so visually emotional that many ladies cry even if the song would have otherwise not affected them. It's so beautiful to watch Angela too, almost like a dance! I'm also working on a hymn to sing with my mom and aunt, and maybe one more, called "Here's My Life," also by BarlowGirl.
I've collected so many BarlowGirl tracks that I think I ought to have a BarlowGirl sing-along during one of the breaks. Ha!
Anywho, that's about all for now. Gotta try getting a nap, though the snow might prevent evening travel to the assembly of the saints.
Saturday, January 12, 2008
Well thankfully, the only thing the little one has had to deal with has been persistent upper respiratory infections. But other than that, she's keeping well and growing. I've decided we need to get her nap in before noon or give up on it altogether, as she fights bedtime more and more of late. Who knew 3 year olds were so argumentative? Ha!
Let's see.... On Oct. 27, Grace had a sleep study. Multiple health issues brought us to this, including repeated/prolonged bouts of strep throat. Her last bout was from Sept 20 till mid October. She has also seen an ENT doctor. He wanted to see her back in two more months, as the illness she'd just gotten over could have still kept her tonsils swollen when he first saw her. SO thankfully, she stayed well that whole time, which was necessary for him to even look at her tonsils. They were just as huge as ever, and it helped that the doctor from the sleep center said that she does have mild sleep apnea due to the tonsils, and he believes that their removal will resolve her apnea. I am hoping this will resolve her nightly bedwetting, as we have eliminated all other causes for that, other than her body just plain catching up, or maybe something emotional. Don't tell Lane I said that... 'Psycho-babble!'
The first follow-up we had at the sleep center was with a different doctor than I mentioned, and that doc thought he saw some 'seizure-like' activity at points during her sleep study, so in November or December (sorry my blurry mind can't remember!) she had an EEG as well, but it came back normal. Also, we got to have her wear a continuous glucose monitor for a three-day span, and got to see what her blood sugars actually do after her meals and during sleep, etc. It was very interesting to see how quickly she can be rising or falling. Unfortunately, it wasn't a very usual 3-day period for her, I'm hoping we may be able to do another that is during the school week instead of over the weekend-- she tends to feel lows at school when her bg reads normal, and hopefully we can find if she's dropping quickly at those times.
Grace is doing great in school too, so we're very thankful that she is able to keep up even in the midst of all these health issues. She's even learned that shots and getting blood drawn doesn't hurt so bad after all. She had her 'annual' blood draw at the Endocrinologist's office in December, and also her chicken pox booster and flu shot the next week. She also had her seventh birthday at the end of November, wah! We keep trying to tell these girls to stop growing, but they never listen!
Only major update here is that Lane's been off work for the last week. GM laid him off, but we know this time will be much easier than last time. He's applying for jobs and 'unenjoyment' (his word), and since we're finally caught up with bills for once, this lay-off won't hurt so much as the last few have. He's taking some time to do things around the house, and keeping up very nicely with cleaning at the school. A friend of ours happened to get laid off from his job the very same day, though they didn't know ahead of time as we did. Both the guys are applying for overseas jobs too.
This brings us to me, and perhaps the most lenghty of all updates, ha! Since the pregnancy in October, I have had medical insurance as well, so I've been getting all kinds of things taken care of. All the normal womanly stuff; stocking up on insulin, test strips, and synthroid; trying to find a dentist, but not many take what coverage I do have; trying to figure out what happened with my weird body that decided to get preggo in the first place (nothing definitive was found-- apparently my tubes are still tied!); and I also got my own sleep studies done at the sleep center. I have been diagnosed with sleep apnea, and am working on getting my CPAP (Continuous Positive Airway Pressure-- keeps the airway open while sleeping) next week. I got to spend one night at the clinic wearing one, and the next day was just phenomenal! I wasn't tired till almost 11:00 that night, and normally I'm wanting a nap in late morning and again in early afternoon-- don't let it fool you though, I rarely get either! Lane even noticed that my under-eye circles weren't as dark.
I was also trying to get a new insulin pump for myself since the one I have just turned 8, ancient as far as pumps go. The technology in it is far outdated, and I'm just worried that it will up and die on me some day. So I figured that since I had coverage, I might as well try. Too bad that thought didn't occur to me till the end of November... The insurance I have has a standard 45-60 day pre-authorization wait for upgrading an insulin pump. Please don't ask me why they want to make an 8-year pumping veteran wait that long, when I know tons more than any newbie would, and yet a newbie just starting out pumping (on the same insurance) can have their pump in hand 2-3 weeks after filling out paperwork. I know this because this is the same insurance Grace has, and we had her pump less than 3 weeks after filing papers. I don't have a problem with the speed that newbies are given, I just wonder why it takes so much longer for veterans... craziness. So, earlier in November, my caseworker (with the ins.) misinformed me about when my coverage terminated. And since I called the pump company in December, and I thought my coverage ended Dec. 31, we all thought it was pointless to continue to process an order, and cancelled it. Everyone I spoke with at the pump company said if I had till the end of January, they might be able to push it.
Then two days ago, I got a letter in the mail stating my coverage lasted till Jan. 31st. AAARRRGGGHHH!!! So I got on the phone pronto to see if we could do anything to expedite an order, the very kind lady who has been working with me is doing all she can. I'm praying, nothing more I can do now.
I also had repeated sinus infections, and now I wonder how much of that could be from the sleep apnea? Who knows, we'll probably see soon enough!
So, I hope that this is sufficient to update all my three readers (Hi, Mom, Angela, and... um... ok, TWO readers. *blush*). Enjoy your January! Maybe if I get motivated I'll post my menus later.