Tuesday, March 27, 2007

New Doctor, New Regimen - seems to be working

So we saw the doctor who will be our permanent endocrinologist yesterday. It was a crazy, hectic appointment because we had to go to Children's Hospital in DC; AND, it was the Doctor's day "on call" which is the only way she was able to actually see us.

She was frustruated with the regimen that the doctor in the hospital had put Emma on; as we were since her levels hadn't stabilized over the week and a half we'd been out of the hospital.

She started a new regimen yesterday. We like it for a variety of reasons:
- We increased her "long lasting" dose (her Basel). This is supposed to be the insulin that manages her throughout the day.
- We changed to a fast-acting "after meal" insulin for adjustments(Bolas). This is great because its based on her level before eating AND how much she eats. If she wants more carbs at a certain meal, we can increase her dose to adjust. If we can't seem to force the food in her mouth (which is often the case), we just decrease her dose. This is GREAT for a child who isn't in a position to understand the need for a certain amount of food.

In the past 24 hours, she hasn't gone above 250 (whereas she had been averaging higher than that most days). She has been staying mostly between 80 and 150 - and our target is 180!! So, for us, we are thrilled with the way her body is reacting. Of course, this could also mean her pancreas has kicked back in for a last hurrah, but either way, she isn't swinging and that makes us happy.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Zoo News!!

Last Wednesday, the day before Emma was admitted to the hospital, we took a day trip to the National Zoo. Sometimes, the downside of living CLOSE to the capital is that you feel that "it will always be there" and don't work it into your schedule.

Last Tuesday night, I heard the weather forecast was going to be great, nice and warm but overcast, and I decided to forego lessons for the today and have a field trip to the zoo.

We started with our favorite attraction - the Pandas. There are 3 Pandas at the zoo now - Mom, Dad, and Baby. While we were there, they had Mom and Dad in the same yard because its "that time of the season", but Mom didn't want anything to do with Dad - and as a matter of fact, she growled quite loudly at him when he came by.

One of my favorite areas is the Lion/Tiger display. There were two tigers sleeping away the morning on one side, but then this very alert lioness on the other. The other area I saw that was new to me was the invertebrate house - we saw lots of coral and sea life (unfortunately, the octopus wasn't there, which is what Michael wanted to see). At the end of that house, they have a butterfly house and you are able to walk through their garden as they flew around you.

The kids LOVE watching the Otters, because they have a great display with a clear window looking into their pool so you can really see the otters playing. I think Samantha and Michael would have watched them for a REALLY LONG TIME had I let them.

We saw almost all of the areas of the zoo, including an area I'm not sure I'd seen before - the bird house. As a point of background, the National Zoo is built on a huge hill. In order to see the entire zoo, you WILL take a trip DOWN and a trip UP the hill. The uphill is brutal!! But, that was the way to the Bird House, so we CLIMBED our way up a steep incline pushing Emma in the stroller. But, it was a neat attraction and Samantha saw what she had been asking about all day - the Flamingos. This is a video of the Flamingo dance that they do - its quite humorous.

Friday, March 23, 2007

Baffling Body Chemistry

I assure you, after we get through this initial phase with Emma, it won't all be about her Diabetes. But for now...

Emma had a pretty good day yesterday. He numbers were getting more normal and the night before when I felt certain she was going to drop really low (because of her evening numbers), she stayed right on track. The one nurse I talked to said that her pancrease could even be beginning the "honeymoon phase" (after a person's sugars get back under control, their pancreas will often begin secreting insulin again. It's not much and it doesn't last forever - its sort of a "swan song" for your pancreas.

Well, Emma's body chemistry said "ha".

She was high over night (over 300). High enough for me to page the doctor, which I'm sure she loves at 3:15am! The Doctor had us give her an extra little dose of insulin overnight. But, her breakfast reading, morning snack, AND lunch readings were ALL over 300. It just doesn't make sense with the amount of insulin she had. It even baffled the nurse on the phone at lunch when she was deciding what to do. Both the doctor and the nurse made a comment "maybe she's coming down with something" (at which point I just wanted to pull out the gun and shoot myself). Getting a bug evidentally messes up your sugars too. Well, the nurse said to do Emma's normal dose and then check it about 3 hours later, when it should have been in effect (and the morning dose should still be working, since they overlap).

She was 150.

It just makes no sense, after being close to 400 for 12 hours, for a drop to 150 just 3 hours later!!

Baffling disease.

But hey, we got in with the new Endocrinologist on Monday. We have to drive all the way to DC for the initial visit BUT she got us a 10:30 appt, instead of the originally proposed 9am (which would have meant a 7am departure!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

The simple things

When you have stress in life, sometimes the simple things can give you the most pleasure.

One of the homeschool curriculums that I am using this year is Sonlight. I actually wanted to use more of it than I did, but it just didn't fit in with the kids this year. I have been reading on their message boards about a completely re-designed language arts program, assisted by a well-known and well-respected home educator. I have been getting excited about the possibility of actually using more of the curriculum next year, which is my objective.

I received my new catalog today. I had heard they were mailed last week and many people on the message boards were talking about already having theirs. So, I was so excited when mine came today that I stopped what I was doing and sat down to look at the new areas. It is definitely exciting for me and makes me excited to finish some things this year so we can start some things next year - if only the kids were as excited about it as us parents!

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

The kind of post you wish you didn't have to post

For those in our immediate family and close friends, this is not new information. For others, it is.

Last Wednesday night at 10pm, I took Emma (our 2 year old) to the Emergency Room with extremely high blood glucose levels (a normal person would be between 80 and 130 and she was at 580). She was immediately admitted to the ICU and diagnosed with Type I (insulin dependent) Diabetes.

She stayed in the hospital until Saturday when she returned home and we began the processing of testing, and insulin shots on our own. I have spoken to the Doctor no fewer than 2 times a day since we have returned, and we have constantly been tweaking and modifying her injections until her body adjusts to the insulin and stabailizes.

I am happy to say that she has been "almost" stable for 24 hours. She had one "higher than normal" reading overnight, but the Doctor is fairly confident as to why this is happening and after leaving things alone today, she may make one more adjustment tomorrow that will probably address that reading.

But that's not the end of it. She will always have to monitor her sugar levels, and watch what she is eating. Right now, the struggles are making sure a 2-year-old eats what she needs to eat based on our injections. As she gets older, it will be more a "defiance" that will cause our challenges. And each growth spurt, and illness will be cause for adjustments.

But for now, we are just happy she is home and acting as though nothing has changed. She acts like nothing has happened and right now, she is currently transferring crayons back and forth from a lunch box to a Ziploc and back again (I think she has done this about 10 times now).

So for us, we have a goal of this having the least impact possible and being able to do things just as we normally have done. I do expect, however, that she will be eating more than one meal fed from tupperware at the soccer or baseball field so that she doesn't get off schedule.

From time to time, I will provide updates here, as its easier to cover everyone here than remembering all the emails I need to send!

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Another tooth bites the dust!

Michael had another tooth pulled today. He had a tooth pulled out last month because his permanent tooth was coming in behind it. After pulling the baby tooth, the permanent tooth was moving nicely into place. The Dentist had warned me that his other front tooth was going to have the same problem and to watch it. I expected that by the time their regularly scheduled checkup came around in April that it would need to be removed. Little did I expect when I checked his first removed tooth on Monday that I found his other permanent tooth growing quickly in his mouth.

The Dentist said to not even bother with an assessment - we just scheduled for it to be taken out. It came out as easily this morning as his other one did last month - and the permanent tooth has almost come in as far as the other one - so it hardly looks like a tooth is even gone!

Photos to come soon - guess the Tooth Fairy is making another visit tonight!

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

I guess I've started potty training

I bought a potty seat for Emma a while back - one that sits on top of the main seat. She has been carrying it around the house for a while, and Dora has had her turns with the seat. I've also sat Emma on it a couple of times just to get the feel.

She has started asking to go potty. I think most times she has already gone, but its a start. AND, she has gone a few times in the potty over the past few days.

So, I guess we are starting potty training. With the other two, I had the benefit that day care did most of the training for me, and the kids were around other kids their age who were learning, so this is a new environment for us. I guess I'll just get out the timer and start our "every 20 minute" trips to the bathroom!

Monday, March 05, 2007

You can't turn your back on this one!

Michael was inspired to clean up some more in the toy closet today. And I can't seem to find my very important American History folder that has all the cross-references between video and workbooks that I need to give the kids their assignment. So, I think the stars were just aligned for us to get some organizing done in the basement.

As an important note, the kids don't seem to clean if I'm not sitting there handing them piece by piece for them to put away - they don't seem capable of picking it up off the floor and doing it themselves. So, I had spent some time downstairs sorting through junk toys with them. And I left Emma upstairs. There isn't much for her to get into (well, there is stuff but not much that I'm worried about permanent damage).

I came back upstairs to see what she had gotten into, and this is what I found:

She is definitely a creative one and loves to play pretend. For those who can't tell, she has taken her entire princess tea set and set up a tea party on the kitchen table!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

The Moon, and other things

Well, there was no eclipse for us last night. The clouds rolled in all day and by the time the moon rose, there was no eclipse. Of course, about 1 hour after the eclipse had finished, the clouds moved off!!

We spent some time this afternoon in the toy closet in the basement. I am convinced we have too much stuff. No doubt. I was hoping to spend the time just sorting the toys into "use" and "not use anymore" piles. Instead I found our toy closet strew with little pieces of many toys, none in the boxes or bags they belonged in.

So, the kids have spent the past 2 hours cleaning out several boxes that I filled from the floor and shelves of little pieces of games and toys. And I haven't even tackled half of the closet yet. It will probalb]]bly take all week in our spare time to actually clean out and sort the toys. BUT, I'm having a yard sale next month and I'd love to get rid of those that aren't played with anymore (and won't hand down well to Emma). Until then, I am just creating piles of things to sell all over the house in expectation of April 21 (yard sale day)!

Friday, March 02, 2007

Getting too old for this!

Our homeschool group went ice skating today for PE. The kids were both pretty excited to go; I took Emma to a sitter so that I could go out and skate with them.

It started out rough. Michael didn't want to let go of the wall for fear of falling. I "helped him" fall so that he could see that it didn't hurt and he gained a little confidence - just in time to fall on his face and scrape his cheek. Its going to be quite a bruise tomorrow - and this just after I had convinced him it didn't hurt.

Samantha gained confidence each minute. She skated out in the middle with the older girls from the group. A little practice and I think she can be really good.

But my body is taking this opportunity to remind me exactly how old I am. My foot is sore (the one that I broke 2 years ago) because those muscles have never been the same. My back is sore and my calf muscles just ache. I'm sure they will be even more sore by the end of the day - a gentle reminder that I am no longer a teenager!

Thursday, March 01, 2007

I am becoming my mother

I've always heard that generation after generation, people tend to do things like their parents. I have seen it a lot in what Mike and I do with the kids. But I don't think any more than this morning.

I actually got to sleep in late. Emma slept in late and the kids were somewhat quiet when they got up this morning (which NEVER happens, by the way). Samantha ate her breakfast and did parts of her schoolwork that she could do on her own, and Michael played quietly. I finally got up just before 8 and got Emma up and ready to eat breakfast.

I put Emma in her chair and got her breakfast. I then sat down at the table for a minute to collect my thoughts and look at the pile of papers there to see what I needed to do. Samantha comes up and gives me a run down of what lessons she has left to do, most of which involve me. She said "I'm ready for Dictation". And my response, "Samantha, I can't do that right now. My brain is just not awake yet"

That came straight from my mother!! I'm sure she's laughing as she's reading this!