Saturday, December 31, 2005

What a difference a year makes

Since this is the last day of 2005, I thought I'd reflect on the past year and see what happened. I keep all my calendars. I have calendars of when I was in college. I could tell you what test I had on what days. I don't keep a journal or diary, so my calendar is how I remember things. So, I took my 2005 calendar to see what some of the highlights were.

January was filled with basketball games for Holden. Riley also had a Dr's appointment with the orthopedic Dr. You see, he fell in December and broke his leg. It just happened to be the morning after I had surgery. So, I spent my first day post-op carting him around to the Dr. and to get xrays and then to get a cast. Luckily, my husband had taken the day off to help care for me. He did the driving. So, I was able to pop a Percocet every now and then. Man, I thought I had it rough then. Didn't know what was lurking in October for us though. Anyway, got a little off target with that. I attended a funeral of one of my patients and also the funeral of a very nice older man in my church.

February brought more basketball games. We hosted a Super Bowl party for our church youth. Holden turned 14. On Valentine's Day, I was at church helping to host a spaghetti supper and bingo night for the senior citizens. My Granny's birthday was celebrated also. We celebrated with supper at my mom's house. Also, remembered the one year anniversary of Big Mama's death.

March brought my 5th wedding anniversary. It was spent in Greensboro with the youth of our church. We took them to Acquire the Fire that weekend. It was wonderful. I really learned a lot that weekend and became closer to God than I have ever been. I feel like my experiences that weekend helped me with what was to come later on in the year. Even though we were there on our anniversary, it was still nice. The youth and other chaperones arranged rooms so that Michael and I were alone at night anyway. I kind of enjoyed spending that time with the youth at church. I really do love all of them and feel like they are in some ways my other sons and daughters. My cousin's son,Cam, turned 4 in March. Easter was in March. Easter is my favorite holiday. Holden joined church during our Easter Revival. March 23rd is his re-birthday. Holden's baseball games started. Yes, baseball in the freezing cold.

April brought Michael's birthday. Baseball games continued.

In May,Holden was baptized amid family and friends. May was also Riley's 3rd birthday. We had a small family party. Two days later, I had my parents, in-laws, and Granny over for a mother's day supper. May also brought another broken bone. This time Riley tripped while we were fishing and broke his clavicle. Everytime we ride past that spot now he says," That's where I broke my cravicle!" The school's athletic banquet was in May. Holden received a trophy for MVP in basketball. There was also an academic award ceremony in May in which Holden received recognition also. Holden's school baseball ended only to bring in playing baseball at the ball park every Friday and Saturday night. Man, what am I going to do when my kids are gone? School ended for Holden.

In June there were more Friday and Saturday night ballgames. My husband applied for and was accepted to graduate school. Holden attended basketball camp. We had our annual Warren family reunion. This is my Granny's side of the family. She is one of 12 children. God bless Grandma Warren!

In July, Holden made Allstars and we traveled to Kill Devil Hills for games. At one of these games Riley spiked a temp. up to 103. With no warning, all of a sudden, he just didn't feel well. He had no other symptoms, just a fever. It came down after Tylenol and Motrin and never came back. I suspect now that was what ultimately caused the demise of his beta cells. I want to cry right now thinking about it. Michael and I joined a church softball league. Luckily, their games didn't start until after Holden's were through. We also took a family vacation to the mountains of NC. It was the best vacation we ever had. We enjoyed sliding down sliding rock. Even Riley went down it with Michael. We hiked to a water fall. We started the trip by going to Charlotte for my brother-in-law, Timmy's ,wedding. We came back just in time to do Vacation Bible School with the youth.

In August we threw a going away party for one of our church youth that was headed off to college. The boys and I spent a day at Water Country in VA. It was fun. Riley went down every slide that we did. Maybe I really do need to look into a waterproof pump, huh? I forgot, we also joined a beach club during the summer and spent many a lazy day on the Chowan river. We also continued with the softball games. Holden started his first day of high school. I cried after I got home. I couldn't help myself.

In September we finished up the softball games. My dad had a birthday. As did my mother-in-law and father-in-law. I bought a new car. I traded in my gas guzzling mini van for a Pontiac Vibe. I absolutely love it. My dad had surgery. My nephew, David, turned 4.

Well, October brought in the bad stuff. On October 6th, Riley was diagnosed with diabetes. Eveything seems to be a blur after that. We had fall revival at church. I went up to the alter everynight and cried my eyes out begging for God to heal Riley. I went to the OB-GYN a week after Riley's diagnosis for my check-up only to find that I had yet another cyst. Luckily, this one went away on it's own. I think I willed it to. I just couldn't go through another surgery right then. Riley celebrated his first diabetic Halloween. I cried, just like I cried about just about everything back then.

I had my birthday in November. I didn't really feel like celebrating. We went to my mom' s and had my favorite meal, BBQ'd pork chops, french fries, and pineapple cake. Riley had his first taste of cake since diagnosis. His sugars did fine, but my nerves didn't. November started up basketball again. We had to learn how to feed Riley around basketball games. So far, so good. We survived Thanksgiving. I had a wonderful meal at Granny's house. Michael decided to hold off on grad. shool for now, for financial reasons beyond our control. (aka: insulin, syringes, strips, you get the picture)

Well, that brings us to December. Michael made an "A" in the grad. class that he was taking. My mom's birthday came and I cooked a meal for her. Riley once again indulged in some cake without really affecting his sugars. My cousin's daughter, Jewel, turned 2. The weekend of her party was really the only time I had to go shopping so I missed it. But, my mom went and took Riley with her. I'm told that a boy at the party asked Riley why he wasn't eating any cake to which he replied. "I can't have cake. I have diabetes." Riley had his first endo. appointment with an A1C of 7.9. He had a second one with an A1C of 7.8. and the OK to try the pump. :-) Basketball continued. We had a youth lock-in at church. Riley spent the night with my mom and somehow the world didn't end like I thought it would. We had a very nice Christmas, bouncing from house to house. We started at Aunt Judy's, then, my parents, on to church, then, Aunt Linda's, then, my in-law's. Riley's sugars were pretty bad, but we got them straight eventually.

So sorry to have bored you with all of this. I really doubt anyone will read it all. But, it has really helped me to see what a great life I have. And, that greatness didn't end when Riley was diagnosed. I can't wait to see what 2006 brings.

I wish all of you a very safe, happy, and truly blessed New Year's.

Friday, December 30, 2005

To check or not to check, that is the question?

How do you know when your 3 year old is being a normal 3 year old, or if he needs his sugar checked? I mean, how unfair is it that when he shows any different emotion than normal, I'm sticking his finger? If he's fussy, I check. If he's drowsy, I check. If he's bouncing off the wall, I check. Today I checked because when he was taking a nap, he was sweaty. (He was 75 at 2 in the afternoon though, so I'm glad I checked). Still, I worry that eventually he'll just stop expressing emotion all together, because when he does his psycho mom brings out the lancet and sticks his finger.

On another note, Holden finished the written part of driver's ed. today and passed it. He starts the driving part tomorrow. I'm really not ready for this.

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

My boys

I put these pictures up here yesterday and then deleted them. I decided to put them back up there again. Ain't they cute?

A change of perspective

I'm a home health nurse. I went to see one of my patients today that I have been seeing for about a year and a half. Almost two years ago, she had an ATV (aka: four wheeler) accident. She was 28 years old. She has use of her arms, but cannot feel or move anything from her chest down. From day one, her mom has been saying that she's going to walk again. I've never really been encouraging. I just stand there and nod my head sympathetically. Sometimes I'd say, "Well, maybe. You never know." But I never really meant it. Often, I've thought how her mom has just not ever really accepted the way her daughter is always going to be.

Well, today as I was leaving, her mom wished me a happy new year. She said, " You never know what might happen next year." Then, I said I'd be back next month to see her again. Then, the mom said, "Maybe when you come back she'll be walking. That was my Christmas wish." Then, I got it. After a year and a half of thinking that the mom was just not accepting, I finally got it. This mom wasn't delusional. She's a mom. She wishes and hopes for the best for her daughter. How come I couldn't see it before? I wish and hope and pray for a cure for diabetes every day. That isn't any different from what that mom has been doing. I feel so stupid for pitying her before. I told the mom that I hoped I'd see the patient walk again and you never know what cure is just around the corner. And this time I meant it with all my heart.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

My big boy

My 14 year old started driver's ed. yesterday. I just can't believe it. I can't believe my baby is going to be behind the wheel of a car in a few months. ( He will be 15 in February) Yes, I said my baby. He will always be my baby. If I'm 100, he will still be my baby.

Holden and I have a somewhat different relationship than most boys his age have with their moms. You see, I was 17 when I had him. (insert gasp) We sort of grew up together. All we had was each other in the earlier years and that has made us really close. Just the other day he decided to share inside information with me about who in his class he thought had "done it". As I'm sitting there listening, I'm trying not to show that I'm freaking out about kids his age "doing it". Turns out, he only thinks one person in his class has actually done the deed. ( He goes to a small private school. There are 29 people in his class.) As he was sharing all this with me, I was holding back tears. He's growing up so quickly. In just over 3 years he will be leaving for college. I have to catch my breath every time I think about it. I want to crumble into a pile of tears when I think about him leaving. I try not to focus on it. I try to focus on the here and now. I try to do everything I can with him now. I've never missed a game. I hope I never will. He plays basketball and baseball. He's an excellent basketball player. He averages 17 points and 10 rebounds a game. (For those of you who may not know, NC is sort of basketball country-GO DUKE!!!)

Anyway, I don't know why I'm rambling on about this. I just can't believe how fast he's growing up. I feel like I"m going to blink my eyes and Riley will be in college. Now, don't even get me started on my fears about that. I was talking to my husband about it just the other day and I told him, I try not to worry about who will be there with him if his sugar drops in the middle of the night. By then, there may be a cure, and I dont want to waste my time worrying about nothing.

I used to say that Riley and I could never be as close as Holden and I. Doesn't mean I love Holden more, I just have a certain bond with him I was certain I could never have with Riley. Well, God proved me wrong. I have a different bond with Riley now, a bond cemented in carbs and insulin.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Well, it's almost Christmas and I'm finally starting to get excited about it. All of the prerequisites are out of the way. (the church Christmas play, Holden's basketball games, etc.) I can just focus on Christmas, now that it's only 2 days away.

Just wanted to give you an update about how I'm doing with my vow. I didn't do too well at first. Right after I posted "The Vow" I spent another hour on line looking at pumps. Then, the next day, I spent my lunch hour coming up with a new chart for Riley's sugars. Then, I decided I really needed to chill out with diabetes for a while. While I can't forget about it, I can stop thinking about it every second of every day. So, I bought myself the newest entertainment magazines. I haven't bought one since Riley was diagnosed. I always felt like if I was going to read, it should be something about diabetes. So, I'm now up on the Nick and Jessica scandal. I also know "what the hip girl is wearing". I'm doing a lot better. It's stopped being the center of my life for a while. I've even put aside my book about pumping for now. I'm going to get through Christmas and then I'll start back with it.

We had our church Christmas play Wednesday night. It was really quite lovely. Holden was in the play. He was a Christmas present with the name of Blue Bow. The gist of the play is that all the presents thought they were the best and then at the end they decided that Jesus was the best present ever. There was one present(Green Bow) that was a regift and didn't feel good about it. Then, she decided that Jesus is a regift also, it's just when you give Him away to others, you still get to keep Him in your heart. Riley was a shepard in the manger scene. He was the cutest one up there!! (Of course, I may be a little biased). I did well. I didn't even cry. My husband and I are the youth leaders at church and they have been begging to have a lock-in. So, after the play we all stayed at church over night. Riley stayed over night with my mom for the first time since diagnosis. I was a little stressed about it, but everything went fine.

Well, I wish all of you a very Merry Christmas, or whatever holiday you chose to celebrate this time of year. I hope that your day overflows with hope and joy.

Sunday, December 18, 2005

The Vow

We attended a candle light service at church tonight. It was really nice and I had to choke back tears the whole time. I've been a little emotional lately. That's one of things about Riley having diabetes. Some days I think "Well, this isn't so bad. I can handle this." Then there are other days that even when his sugars are OK, I just feel sad. I don't know why. I think sometimes I just suck it up and trudge ahead, and then some days it hits me that you can never let up, never forget that he has diabetes. Never, really just be.

But, looking at Riley tonight, with the candlelight on his face and singing "We Wish You A Merry Christmas" just a few words behind everyone else. As I was holding back the tears, I suddenly realized that it was almost Christmas and I had almost not even realized it. I've let diabetes consume my life. My little boy is so excited about Christmas and I'm just worrying over what pump to chose. So, tonight as I was looking at Riley and thinking how blessed I am that he's mine, I made a vow. I thought I was doing OK living as normal a life as possible, but I was wrong. I made a vow to make diabetes a part of my life, not my whole life. We'll see how it goes.

Friday, December 16, 2005

The endo. appointment #2

Our last endo. appointment went very well. Dr. Morris is very pro-pump, even for kids Riley's age. We are taking an intro. to pumping class on January 5th. I can't wait!!! So, right now I'm reading Insulin Pump Therapy Demystified ( thank you for the recommendation, Sandra). I am also looking through the different pump brochures. I've also been scouring the internet looking at the different pumps. For any of my family that may be reading this and would like to see what the pumps look like, go to: All the pumps that we are considering are up there.

The Dr. gave us 5 different pumps to chose from: Cozmo, Disetronic, Animas, Minimed, and OmniPod. I have ruled out the OmniPod. I think it will be too bulky for Riley. I also don't like that you can't disconnect it without having to change the whole set. I am excited about the future of OmniPod. I think they will improve on it and not having tubing to clog or kink would be really nice. I've almost ruled out the Minimed. I never really like it much in the first place, and I got an email from a friend yesterday whose son has a Minimed and she's not very happy with it right now. He just got his 3rd pump in a little over a year. I have also pretty much ruled out the Disetronic. I just don't like it for some reason, but I'm not sure why. So, that leaves me with the Animas and Cozmo. In a previous post I was leaning towards the Cozmo, but I'm now leaning towards the Animas. I think the Cozmo may be too bulky for Riley's tiny frame. I like the included glucose monitor. (Freestyle Flash is what we use now). But, I think I'd just end up removing it due to adding to the bulk and weight Riley would have to carry around. I think the Cozmo might do well for him when he's older. He'll have his current pump until he's about 7 1/2. I'm now leaning towards the Animas because it gives the smallest amount of insulin of any pump. Riley is currently on only 1/2 unit of Lantus, so smaller doses might be needed. I also like the Calorie King with it. I think it will help his teachers with carb coverage when he does start school.

When we go to the class in January, we are supposed to learn about the different pumps then. Then, once we pick one, we're supposed to contact the Dr. Once it comes and Riley is hooked up he'll pump saline for one week and then "go live" with insulin. I'm excited and scared all at the same time. I know that the pump will be a challenge at first, but I also know that it will be well worth it.

A BIG thank you to those of you who have posted comments and sent me emails about your experiences with your pumps. Also, I would like to thank a nice lady from Greensboro who sent me and email saying that her daughter goes to Dr. Morris and how good she is. This helped calm my fears prior to Riley's appointment.

I did REALLY like Dr. Morris. She really listened to what we had to say and why we wanted the pump. She looked at the log book that I keep for Riley. The day after he came home from the hospital I came up with a chart that has his sugars, injections, amount of carbs eaten, etc. The other endo. didn't even look at them. Dr. Morris looked at them and suggested a change. Riley has been having some highs in between meals, so she thinks his Lantus needs to be increased, but he's having some lows in the 60s in the morning, so she's wary to increase the Lantus. So, instead she told us to stop giving it at supper and start giving at breakfast. So far, he's had 2 morning sugars since the change, one was 60 and this morning's was 135. So, we'll see what happens.

Anyway, I've written enough. Please keep your comments about your pumps coming. Also, I'd like to know about which set are the best and the least painfull. There is something about a new Cleo inserter in my Cozmo brochure. It looks interesting.

Friday, December 09, 2005

I need your help

When we go to Riley's endo appointment on Tuesday, I want a basic understanding of pumps and pump therapy. I've ordered some books on the subject, but I would like all of your input about your pumps and which pumps tend to work the best and which do not. I am getting some info. from but I want some first hand opinions too. Thank you in advance for you help.

I found the endo that we're going to see on the insulin pumpers site. I was a little nervous about it because I didn't really know anything about her. When I got home from work yesterday I had a message on the answering machine from the nurse practitioner he saw on the 2nd. She said that since they don't really do pumps on kids Riley's age she wanted to recommend some Drs. who do. Well, Mary Ann Morris was the first one she named. Now, I feel much better about my choice. Of course, if I don't get good results from her, I can always switch, but I don't want to. I'm anxious to get started on getting a pump.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

The science experiment

Anyone else out there feel like your child or you are a science experiment? I just am still uncomfortable with trying a new dose to see what it does. I know the only way to know if something will work is to try it, but sometimes I feel like a mad scientist (emphasis on the mad).

Riley's sugars had been running a little high after he ate, so I figured it was time to adjust his carb ratio. So, instead of 1/2 unit per 45g, I went to 1/2 per 30g. Well, yesterday his sugar at lunch was 80. He ate 35g carbs, so he got 1/2 unit NovoLog. Well, a little over an hour later, it was 375. Now how did that happen? I'm wondering if his sugar dropped low and he rebounded. I just can't see how it could jump so high so quickly and he had taken insulin. Then, at supper that same night, it was 173. He ate 45g carbs (including regular cake for my mom's birthday party). Well, he got 1/2 unit for that and 2 hours later it was 78. So what's the deal? I think his pancreas is just screwing with me.

Then, the only way I can keep his sugar from dropping too low during the night is to give him regular pudding before bed, but that tends to shoot his sugar up. Last night when his sugar was 78 he had pudding and at bedtime it was 243. So, what do I do? I don't like his sugar dropping into the 50s and 60s, but I don't like them in the 200s either. We've tried different things for his nighttime snack (including corn starch) but the pudding seems to work the best to keep his sugars up. How do I decide which is the lesser of two evils?

OK, I'm going to get back to my science experiment. Butl, on the bright side, science was always my best subject.

Monday, December 05, 2005

New endo.

Well, I found another endo. She is about 2 1/2 hours away from us, but specializes in pediatric patients and the pump. If, by chance, any of you know her let me know what you think. Her name is Mary Ann Morris. I got her name off of We have an appointment on Dec. 13. I can't believe we got one so soon. I had several other things planned for that day that I am having to rearrange, but it's all worth it if she pans out. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, December 02, 2005

The endo appointment

Well, just a quick post to tell about Riley's first endo. appointment. It went very well. I didn't know what his A1C was in the hospital. I found out today that it was 9.7. Today it was 7.9!!!!! I was so excited. For his age, the Dr. wants it between 7.5 and 8.0. The ADA recommends 7.5-8.5. So, either way he's in range and I'm very happy. Plus, he's only had D for 2 months. Since it is a 3 month average of his sugars the endo. said that he has a month in there where we didn't know he had D, so if we checked again next month, she seems to think that it would even be lower. Overall, a good appointment. But, I didn't get the answer I wanted about the pump. They wait at least a year before they'll even discuss, then they don't really recommend it. On the way to eat after the appointment, Riley said "I forgot to ask about the hook thing" (that's what he calls the pump because I told him he'd be hooked to it) I told him I had asked. "What did she say?" "She said you're too young." "Well, I don't like taking shots. Can we find another Dr?" So, I will be scouring the internet for ped. endos. that are within 2 hours from here. Wish me luck. 7.9, yeahhhhhhhh!!!!!

Thursday, December 01, 2005


The idea for the previous post (poem) came from one of the first nights after Riley came home from the hospital. I was lying in my bed crying, like I did just about every night the first couple of weeks home. I sat up in bed and told my husband that I felt bad for crying. I said, "You know, somewhere right now a mother is crying because her child is dead. At least I have a child to give shots to." Thus, the inspiration for the poem. I was having a little bit of a pity party for myself today and I remembered what I had said to my husband that night. I am truly blest that I have both of my children here with me, diabetes and all.