Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Princess

   I'll admit it, I have a great deal of guilt about this.  I racked my brain for the last 24 hours to think of something, anything interesting in my life that has nothing to do with Diabetes.  Me?  Well, not so interesting.  My work?  Yeah, no, this would be a 3 day b!*@# fest.  It took me almost 24 hours to figure out what to write about.  Here comes the kick in the head.  It's Alexandra.  I have a beautiful six year old daughter that is my princess, one of my few true loves, and it took me a whole day to realize how little time I spend talking about her.

   On December 10th, 2003, I took my wife to the hospital for the first steps of having labor induced.  The following day we went back for the big deal.  I remember sitting in the room finally cracking the book she bought for me "So, You're Going to be a Dad".  It was a fairly calm event in the beginning.  The nurse's name was Grace Kelly (yeah, how could I forget that).

   Shortly after 5pm she was having an emergency C.  There was meconium in the womb and she was not dilating past 4cm.  We actually bumped another mother out of the OR, which may not be a big deal on any other day, but this was the grand opening day of the new ward at the hospital and the closing of the maternity ward at the other hospital.  Alexandra was officially the first baby born after the big change.

   After a big fight - Alex vs. the OBGYN (she scooted to the top, not wanting to come out, first proof of superior intelligence) I remember, and will never forget, the nurse handing her to me.  I cried as I fell in love in a way I never had before and never before imagined possible.  She was the most beautiful little person I had ever seen.  It was a perfect moment.  It's a moment I can't help but get choked up over every time I think about it.  If I were Robin Williams in Hook, this would be my happy thought to fly.

   I know everyone says their little baby is the most beautiful and special - everyone's right - but Alex was our little bundle of beautiful perfection.

   She has grown and changed quite a bit over the years.  She is smart and goofy.  She can get her b!*@# on, and she can give you that look that will make your heart melt.  I've tried extra hard in the last 13 months, 1 week and 2 days to make sure that she gets some extra special attention.  Unfortunately, the matter of fact is that Jonathan often needs a little extra.  I try to, each week, make some special time for just her and I to do something.  Usually it's Sunday mass and then brunch, but with recent changes Jonathan can now more easily join in odd hour meals so he's joining us at church.

   Alex is in grade 2 now.  She is quite popular and has many friends (she's doing way better than I did anyway).  She's not perfect; a little better than the average student, but she's bright and full of life and her teachers are quite pleased with her progress.  She says she wants to be a dentist when she grows up.  I'm sure that may change a dozen times before high school.  Really, it doesn't matter to me what she chooses as a profession as long as she's happy, secure, and has a full life - God willing some grandchildren for us so I can have some sense of payback.

   I love my little girl more than life itself.  She is one of the most precious gifts I have ever received, and I will love her for ever.

Here is my Princess:

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

There may have been more air in my head than in the line

   Yikes!  28.7 (517)!  That was the call from Latchkey at 9am this morning as I was in the middle of a conference call with a customer and our plant (not to mention the pesky sales guy that was motioning to me through the window because he needed something for another client).  My first thought: #*@&!, another kink.  My second thought: Latchkey can pump - go for it and call me back in an hour!

   10:10 Latchkey: "He's 7.7 (139)."  Me: "Did he have his snack yet?"  Latchkey: "Yes, at 9:30.  We're going outside to play now."  Me: "Ok, that's a much better number."......  After I hung up the phone my math thingy started working.... 28.7-7.7=21.... 21/1hour.... #*@&!.....  Wuife IMs me: "You probably should have had them test again to confirm the high."....  #*@&! And in the car we go.......

   I get to the school at 10:20 (it's only about a 15 minute drive from the office).  I test him again - 7.4.... Phew!  I pull out his pump to double check settings (I did a quick-draw battery change this morning right after breakfast).  All is as it should be.  Then I notice at about a palm-width outside the reservoir there is an air bubble about 1 1/4" long.  #*@&!  Then I look along the line and see about a half dozen ones along the way.... #*@&!  #*@&!  #*@&!  So now I wonder if it was a bad reading or he wasn't getting insulin... I give my head a shake and look at the math again 21 / 1hour....  Bad reading.  I disconnect, pull the reservoir, tap the air that wasn't there a day and a half ago out of the reservoir, rewind, prime out the air, reconnect.... stopping short of a fixed prime... Phew!

   I put him all back together and make my notes.  It's only been about 15 minutes, but I test him again... 6.9.  OK, he's pretty much flattened out, no need to give carbs.  I ask them to test again at 11 and call me.  On my way back to the office I call the clinic to let them know what happened and get caught up on their feedback from the weekend and yesterday.  Mary suggests to me to give him a little something.  I take that beautiful and correct piece of advice and stick it in the back of my head thinking if he goes south again at 11:00 (just 15 minutes away now) that I'll do that, but I've fallen for this trick again and bounced him right back up.  We chat for a while, schedule the pump changeover for Friday, and ponder the mechanics of the body of a child and how insulin works - thinking of the steep drop and then trailing out into the low 7's high 6's.

   I get back to the office and a few minutes later the phone rings... 6.7.  Booyah!  Great number and the nurse will be there in 45 minutes.

  11:50 - Phone rings.  Nurse: "Hi, he's 2.8 (50)."  #*@&! "We gave him a pack of fruit gushers, what would you like us to do?"  Huh? Do?  Read the orders!  Me: "Ok, give him his lunch and bolus after based on the BG of 2.8 and his 34g of carbs."  Admittedly, this is the first low she's had to deal with on the pump.  So he spent the rest of the day in the mid to high teens.  He came down into the 11's (~200) as we sat for dinner.

   I started into my eggs hoping that the glucoaster ride was over for now and pondering the funny BG curve between 9 and noon.  Then it hit me like a ton of helium tanks on the head....  That little streak of great numbers at 10-11... Snack carbs!!!!  The animal crackers made a brief appearance to save the day, but they just weren't enough for a bolus that probably should never have been.... Sheer, dumb luck!

   My little trip to school today was educational:

1) Odd-ball high?  Retest (I got an F)

2) Steep crash, give extra carbs? Yes (trick question, the temporary "good" numbers brought me to a D+)

3) You only need to check for air bubbles when you set up the line?  False (I must have slept in that day, C)

4) And the bonus question: When in doubt, carb? Yes (over thought that one way to hard, B-)

Result: Do not pass go, do not collect $200, if you ever want to make it to Boardwalk, remember what
you learned on Mediterranean Avenue.