Friday, May 29, 2009

Oops, I Did Again

I was reading Jill's blog and she was talking about her daughter forgetting to dose herself for lunch. In the comments some people shared some of their similar experiences.

Do you have a story you'd like to share about when you totally screwed up when it came to D? Come on, none of us are perfect and maybe sharing your story will make someone else feel better about themselves.

My biggest oops happened on Riley's very first day of Kindergarten. I think because it was his very first day out of my sight with someone else caring for him it made it stick out in my mind even more.

I was sooooo upset about Riley starting school that I had made myself sick (literally). I was so nervous that morning. I got him to eat breakfast and somewhere in all the caos I forgot to bolus for it. I didn't even realize I had done it until Holden called me at snack and Riley was in the 300s. When I asked how much insulin he had on board, Holden said "none". (snack was about 2 hours after breakfast) That's when I realized that I had forgotten to bolus for his breakfast.

He got insulin then and went on to have a fine first day of Kindergarten, but I felt like such a dunce. I will never forget doing that.

That's my big story. There are plenty of other oops over the last 3 1/2 years but that's the one that sticks out in my mind.

What's your D-oops?

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Odds and Ends

** Riley’s sugars have been pretty good lately. He’s had a few lows, but not low-lows. I did decrease one of his basals last night because he keeps going low (but not low-low) every day between breakfast and lunch. I had already adjusted his carb coverage a little, but that didn’t seem to help. He did have a real-low yesterday in between breakfast and lunch; he was 59. It’s strange to decrease basals. It seems to go against everything. His insulin needs should increase, not decrease. I know that since it is summer and he’s more active that’s probably what it is. Still, it’s strange to me to ever decrease anything.

** Holden’s last full day of high school was yesterday. He’s going half a day today, and then he has Baccalaureate practice. Tomorrow he has one exam and then he will be done. Last night before I went to bed he said, “You know tomorrow will be the last day I take Riley to school in the morning.” There goes another “last”.

** A couple of weeks ago I purchased Wii Fit. Riley got a Wii for Christmas and ever since he got it I’ve wanted Wii Fit. But, because of the price, I held off. A couple of weeks ago I decided I was tired of being tired all the time and wanted to do something about it. I also knew it was important to do something for myself. So, I bought Wii Fit and have been using it pretty much every day since. Yesterday was my 11th day having it. I have lost a little over 2 pounds since starting it. I have cut down on what I eat and have cut out sodas completely. While I would love to lose about 15 pounds, that’s not really my ultimate goal. My goal is to feel better and to get in shape.

** Michael just called me and asked if I wanted to help him with a pool liner replacement. For about ten years now he’s been working summers helping someone who owns a pool and spa shop put in pools and things like that. He always got paid hourly wages to help him. Last year the owner decided he was too old to help anymore and turned the pool installation over to Michael. So, in addition to working for him Michael had a little side job putting up pools (above ground) and replacing liners. He not only gets referrals from the owner but from another local pool shop as well. It’s really hard work, but it’s really good money. He has someone else to help put up pools. I can’t help him with that because I’m really not physically capable of all the digging, lifting, and pulling it involves. So, he splits the money for that. But, last year I helped him with a liner replacement. It was really hard and really, really HOT, but we did it. And, that way we get to keep all the money and he doesn’t have to split it with anyone else. His extra summer job paid for our kids to go to private school last year. So, this Saturday I will spend my day in the bottom of a hot, hot pool. I will have to keep in my mind why we’re doing it so I can get through it.

** When Michael called me he said we could either do it this Saturday or next one if that was better. I reminded him that Holden graduates next Saturday so we’d have to do it this Saturday. Saying that made me realize how close it really is. My baby graduates from high school next week. He got his annual yesterday and I sat and cried for a good 30 minutes reading through the senior pages. At the beginning of the year the parents are given the opportunity to place a senior ad in the annual. You can put whatever you want on the page. We got one. We put a lot of pictures of Holden up there. There were pictures from all stages of his life. And each of us (me, my parents, Riley, and Michael) wrote a little note to Holden. I don’t care how many times I looked at the page yesterday every time I read it my eyes filled up with tears. The pictures of a young Holden and a very young-looking me where the ones that brought the tears on the most. It seems like only yesterday he was Riley’s age.

** I know I keep harping on Holden's graduation, but just bare with me for a little longer. Right now it's on my mind even more than diabetes. And, that's saying something. It's really a strange place to be. On one hand, I'm happy for him. He gets to go off to college and experience life on his own. I'm even a little excited for him. On the other hand, I want to keep him just like he is. I don't want him to graduate. I don't want him to go away. I don't want to see his high school end. I known that once you're out of high school life is never the same again. That's not necessarily a bad thing. But, change is always hard and the thought that my baby is old enough to graduate from high school just blows me away. Once he graduates it will only be a few weeks before he's off to college. It will be a new beginning for him. This line keeps playing over and over in my head: "Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

Monday, May 25, 2009

One of Those Days

Riley had a ballgame yesterday afternoon. He had lunch just before the game. When I checked his sugar right before the game it was on the higher end of the spectrum but I didn’t give any insulin because I knew he had plenty of insulin on board and was getting ready to run around in the hot, hot sun.

After the game there were the usual snacks. This time it was Doritos. They are not too bad but they’re not too great either. Really, I’d rather him have the cupcake from the week before. Cheesy snacks sometimes affect his sugar in a weird way.

Anyway, Riley started the usual “Can I have it now? Can I have it now?” To which I gave my usual, “Let’s wait until we get in the car and check your sugar.”

We got in the car and I handed Riley his machine. He started checking as we drove away. I heard the beep of his machine. In a whiny voice he said, “It’s 425.”

“Can I still have my snack?”

It’s times like these that I want to crawl in a corner somewhere and throw a blanket over my head and hide away for a little while. “No, baby, you need to wait for your sugar to come down a little bit, OK?”

“Why, Mom? It’s not fair. I hate diabetes!” Then, he started to cry.

I reminded him of the week before when he was on the lower end of the spectrum and he got to eat treat after treat. That was no comfort to him. It was probably a dumb thing to say, but I just wanted to do something, anything to make him feel better.

Accepting that your child is hurting and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it is one of the most difficult things in the world to handle. I wanted to cry too, but for Riley’s sake I held it in.

It was time for a site change anyway, so when we got home I started gathering the supplies. Riley started up. “I don’t want to change my needle!! When do I get to eat my snack?”

I disconnected him from the pump. He had a few minutes to run around free while I drew up insulin and primed the tubing.

When I pushed the side of the inserter and the needle pierced his skin he seemed to be fine. He kept carrying on a conversation with Michael like nothing had happened. I was relieved. When he’s high at a site change is when it seems to bother him the most.

I decreased his pump 50% for 3.5 hours (like I always do after site changes to try and prevent lows). I also did not fill the canula (another trick to try to prevent lows). I dialed in the amount of insulin he needed for his high sugar (minus a little, to try to prevent lows).

When I pushed “OK” and the insulin injected Riley let out a howling scream. His eyes filled with tears and he began to bawl. I hugged him and tried to comfort him. All the while he was crying on my shoulder. After a while the crying stopped. But, every few seconds he’d say “Ow, ow, ow” and tense up. Then, he’d cry a little more.

This went on for several minutes. Finally, it stopped hurting.

Right after the change we needed to leave to go somewhere. Riley started to complain. He didn’t want to go anywhere because it hurt to sit down after a needle change. We told him it was a short ride, just over a mile down the road, and he got in the car and did fine after that.

An hour after his needle change his sugar was 217. He had dropped 208 points in one hour (even after all the things I did to try and prevent a low). So, he got to eat his Doritos. He proceeded to go low anyway.

Then, high, then low, then high…..You get the picture.

During church yesterday morning his sugar was dropping so I decreased his basal, I decreased it a little too much I guess because he ended up high after that. At the end of the day his sugar graph looked more like something you would see on a heart monitor.

I hate days like that. I hate that I can’t do anything to take away the pain. I hate that I help cause that pain. I hate that my full-time job is being a pancreas. It’s the most important job of my life, yet I didn’t go to school to do it. There’s no such thing as a degree in pancreatology. It’s all on the job training. And, when you screw up, your child pays for it.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Field Day Update and Sappy Post

Field day was a success! I know I ended yesterday’s post on a downer note, but really everything turned out OK.

I misunderstood what the teacher said yesterday about his lows. Instead of the 60s, his sugars were 74 and then 76, which is not really low, kind of. We normally treat low-but- not- really- low sugars (only those with D understand what that is) with a few fruit gushers. That’s exactly what the teacher did, but with very little results. So, I told her to go ahead and give him a juice box to go on and get it up.

It worked wonderfully. I don’t remember the exact numbers, but there were not any other lows and no highs at all. The only complaint Riley had was that after drinking the juice his teacher made him sit in the classroom for 15 minutes so he could re-check his sugar before going out to field day. I told him that she did the right thing because if his sugar was already low he didn’t need to be running around until it came up. I think he understood, but didn’t like having to wait when no one else did.

At the end of the day they treated all of the kids with icy pops. His teacher didn’t know how many carbs they were and she wanted Riley to be able to participate. So, she found out where they were purchased and called the store and had them look at the box for her and tell her the carb count.

They were only 4g and he was able to have one along with the class. Riley was thrilled. I am so pleased that the teacher thought to do that for him. It would have just been easier to tell him he couldn’t have one. I’m not sure she even realizes how significant that one gesture is.

She called me this morning to let me know that Riley said he felt low and when he checked it was 145. But, the machine didn’t beep like it usually does so she had him check it again. The next two checks were 129 and 101. She called because she didn’t know if she should trust the machine since he took the sugars so close together and they were so different. I told her that there was a margin of error with the machines. I told her that since it was only an hour and a half after breakfast he still had plenty of insulin floating around and that even if his sugar was 145 he probably still needed some gushers to keep him from dropping. I told her to give him 4 gushers (about 8g carbs).

An hour later she called back and said he was now 174 but the machine still didn’t beep when he checked his sugar. I told her that since it went up with the gushers then I was going to trust that it was working correctly and that I felt she could trust it unless his lunch sugar was just totally off the wall. We have to have a sort of blind trust with these meters anyway.


Now, I want to talk a little bit about my other baby.

We attended Holden’s last athletic banquet on Monday. Then, we attended his last academic banquet last night. Everything with him over the next few weeks is a last.

He got a few awards last night. He got an AP literature award, a public speaking award, a Presidential scholar award, and a Spanish award. He also received a scholarship from the Parent Teacher Organization in the amount of $500. I’m really excited about that one. College is expensive and living away from home is going to be expensive also.

Holden only has (counting today) 3 more days of classes. Due to his grades he’s exempt from all of his exams except one, Calculus (math has never been his strong suit). He takes that next Thursday morning and then he will be done with his high school career.

Holden attends a small private school. He’s been there since Pre-school. I’ve known a lot of the kids in his class most of their life. The fact that Holden is graduating is sad, but the fact that I won’t be seeing most of the kids again is sad too. I’m going to miss them too.

Holden’s best friend’s name is Daniel. I can’t remember when Daniel started school with Holden but I’m thinking around the 4th grade or so. Anyway, they’ve known each other a long time. And, all that time they’ve been best friends. Daniel is a great kid and when I say that I really mean it. If I could handpick Holden’s best friend, Daniel would be who I would chose. He is smart and talented. He’s attending college next year on a partial athletic scholarship to play baseball. He will either be the valedictorian or salutatorian at graduation (pending final grades).

He and Holden are alike in so many ways. I am so glad they found each other. I don’t know how to put this the right way, but there are a lot of “wild” kids in Holden’s class. Many of these kids are the way they are because their parents allow them to be. Daniel’s parents have always held him to a higher standard. And, Daniel has always tried to achieve that standard.

Holden’s a good kid. Don’t get me wrong, he’s not perfect. I’m not one of those parents that say “My kid wouldn’t do that.” I believe anyone is capable of anything. None of us are immune from wrong-doing. It is human nature. But, Holden tries to do what is right. I think he has a good set of morals and tries his best to stick to them. Daniel is the same way and I think throughout the years he’s been an encourager to Holden. When everyone else was at the wild parties Holden wasn’t the only one not there, Daniel wasn’t there either.

At the academic banquet last night Holden and Daniel kept making faces at each other across the room. I looked at Holden and said, “I wish you two were going to the same college.” He nodded his head and said, “Me too.”

Daniel will be attending college about 4-5 hours away from Holden. I really hope that they keep in touch. It’s possible. I’m still in contact with my best friend from high school and I graduated 17 years ago. She was a couple hours away from me at college, but we spent a few weekends here and there hanging out together. We drifted apart for a few years, but like true friends we put aside our differences and now we email each other on a regular basis. I even saw her this Christmas when she came back to visit her mom.

“I’m going to try and spend a lot of time with Dan this summer before he leaves.” Holden said this to me a few days ago.

I know how he’s feeling. He’s trying to grasp on to whatever time is left, trying not to let it slip through his hands, but knowing that it’s going to.

That’s how I’m feeling now. I want to slow down time. I want to relish every single minute I have with Holden. I want the summer to last forever.

But, I know that instead of slowing down, time will seem to speed up and the summer will fly by. The next couple of weeks are going to be tough. My eyes tear up at the drop of a hat now. All it takes is a snapshot of Holden when he was younger, or a line in a song, or even two best friends making faces at each other across the room and I have to hold my breath to keep my composure. Sometimes that doesn’t work.

So, be warned, you can look forward to some more sappy posts about Holden over the next few weeks.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Field Day

Riley has a field day today. I’m trying not to think about it too much, but I can’t really help it. I know in my head that stressing over it and worrying about it won’t help any at all. But, I can’t seem to help myself.

I’ve debated over and over what I should do with his basals today. I finally decided that I would do nothing; mainly, because I didn’t know what else to do.

I don’t know how active he’ll be. I don’t know what time the games are, all I know is that it’s an all day event. So, there’s really not much I can do but pray and wait and see what happens.

I debated about switching him from his weekday basal to his weekend. His weekend basal is lower. For some reason when he’s at school he needs an increased basal from the hours of 11-2. He doesn’t need that on the weekends. Then, I decided that didn’t really make any sense. He’s eating lunch and snack at the same time, so he probably still needs the increase at that time.

But, the last two mornings he’s gone low, not too terribly low, but low, between breakfast and lunch. So, this morning I decreased his breakfast bolus just a smidge to see if that will help. Two days of 60-70s at those times is not enough for me to want to change basals, especially since he was high all day on Monday with no low in site.

So, I sit and wait. I know he’ll be OK. I sent his teacher a note reminding her to take juice out with her and to let her know that Riley may need to check more often just to see where he is. I just hope a stupid low doesn’t ruin his fun.

I long for a day when Riley can just be, and not have to worry about diabetes interrupting his life.

(**edit: At 9:50 I got a call from Riley's teacher. They were getting ready to go out for field day and Riley's sugar was 64. She treated and he only came up to 69. I told her to give him another juice box. In case I haven't said it lately: I HATE DIABETES!!!!)

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Different, Yet the Same

The very first day of baseball practice Michael and I were sitting in the bleachers. He leaned over and tapped me on the shoulder and said, “Hey, I think that girl was wearing a pump. She just took something off and handed it to her dad.”

“It was probably just a cell phone,” I said.

“No, I think I saw tubing.” He whispered like he was telling me a secret.

I didn’t think much of it. I mean, really? What are the odds that in our small little town that Riley would get on a team with another kid with Type 1 diabetes?

About half way through the practice I heard her dad say, “Are you OK?” And then I saw him hand her a piece of candy.

Hmmmmm, maybe it was a pump.

After practice I went over to get Riley. Michael went to talk to the coach to let him know about Riley’s diabetes and to let him know that if Riley says he feels low that he has to come out of the game immediately and cannot wait for the inning to be over.

I heard the coach say, “J has it too.”

I turned. The little girl’s dad said, “Yeah, she wears a pump.”

So, somehow, Riley ended up on a team with another little girl with diabetes. She looks to be about 8 or so. I don’t know how long she’s had D, but by the T-shirts her mom wears I’m thinking it’s been a while. Pretty much every time I see her mom she’s wearing a diabetes walk T-shirt, a different one every time.

We met J about 3 or 4 weeks ago. Since then, her mom and I have never spoken of diabetes. I’ve felt no need to bring it up. I know that she knows what it’s like. She knows that I know too.

J wears a Minimed pump, Riley, an Animas. But, the differences don’t end there. I found out through my blog that everyone with diabetes is different and everyone does things differently.

I’ve never seen J check her sugar in the dugout. Riley’s had to stick his little finger through the fence a few times for some checks. This is mainly because baseball is new to us. Checking him is the only way we know what to do with his basals. The first few games his sugars would soar, but the last couple of games they’ve been OK. I’m thinking maybe he was nervous the first few games and that caused the highs? Who knows? But, my point is we have to check to see what we need to do. J is a couple of years older than Riley; her parents probably figured all of this out a while back.

J wears her pump in a clip on her waist. When it’s time to start playing she disconnects. Riley wears his pump in an inner pocket and wears it throughout the whole game. (After seeing J a few times Riley decided that he wanted to wear his pump like she wore hers. His has always been neatly concealed in a pocket. He wore it in a clip on his waist for a couple of days until he decided it just wasn’t for him and started wearing it in his pockets again.)

J drinks sips of Gatorade throughout the game. Riley settles for Powerade Zero (0g carbs) because he doesn’t need the extra sugar.

But, with all those differences they are still very much alike.

Sometimes parents bring snacks for after the game. After the last game a mother passed out pre-packaged baseball cupcakes. Michael went over and asked to look at the box. He turned it over to see the carb content. He looked at me and said, “32 grams.”

“32 grams, really? That’s a lot.”

Riley said, “Can I have it now?

I told him to wait until he got in the car and we checked his sugar first and then maybe because of the amount of carbs he could have half of it.

I turned just in time to see J lifting up the box of cupcakes and peeking at the bottom. She turned to her dad and said, “32”.

He said, “Wow, that’s a lot of carbs for a snack.”

“My thoughts, exactly, “I said. “I’m thinking maybe he can have half.”

J’s mom said, “Yeah, maybe half of one.”

We went to the car and got in. I don’t remember what Riley’s sugar was, but when he looked at me and said, “Do I have to eat half of it?” I told him he could have the whole thing.

A huge grin spread over his face and he started devouring the cupcake.

As we pulled out of the parking lot, I glanced over and saw J devouring her cupcake with the same grin on her face.

They may do things differently when it comes to their diabetes, but deep down they are really the same. They’re kids.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Memory Mondays: January 23, 2006

Another one from the archives:

The Storm

It's hard to remember when the waves weren't crashing around me. I know it hasn't been that long ago, but it seems like forever.

I was out on the water. It was warm and the slight breeze kept it from getting too hot. That was when every day seemed almost perfect. The clear, blue water. The slight taste of salt in the air. The feel of the sun on my face. The beautiful bright blue sky. A slight ripple would come along every now and then and rock the boat gently from side to side, but it didn't really disrupt anything. I'd jump off the boat and immerse myself in the water. I would glide along. The water was so calm and serene. Every so often the sun would go behind a cloud only to emerge again a little later.

Then one day, it all changed. Suddenly the sky turned a sickly shade of gray and rain began to pelt my face. The thunder rolled and the waves started to crash and spill into the boat. One minute it was calm and the next minute I felt as if the boat was about to capsize.

I never saw it coming.

The storm has thrown me out of the boat a few times. I always thought I was a strong swimmer, but now I struggle just to stay afloat. I strain my neck and stick my chin out trying to keep my head above water. Still, I have gone under a few times. Yet, I always claw my way up to the top and somehow manage to drag myself back into the boat, exhausted, broken, and crying.

I've learned how to go on with life in the midst of the storm. The waves continue to crash around me and I've become accustomed to the rocking of the boat. I've learned to keep my head up and brace myself against the wind and the rain. I'm not getting knocked out of the boat as much anymore.

Still, I dream of the day when the storm will stop raging and the sun will come out in all its splendor. I know in my heart that day will come. There will be a day when the storm will be obliterated and there will be nothing but blue skies and calm waters.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009


My baby is seven years old today. I can't believe my baby boy is seven.

We celebrated a little already on Saturday. We went to a Japanese steakhouse, bowling, and then to Cold Stone. (All of which Riley chose himself.)

We also bought part of his birthday present. Ever since the demise of Nemo Michael and I have been talking about getting Riley another fish. We let Riley pick out what he wanted this time. He chose Glo-fish.

These particular fish need an aquarium so we had to buy one of those and set it up and let it run a couple of days. Today we will go get the fish. Riley is so excited he can't stand it.

Then, it's off to my mom's for a birthday supper of spaghetti (Riley's choice again). I'm also taking cupcakes out to school this afternoon for his class.

Happy birthday, little man. I love you with all of my heart and am so glad God picked me to be your mom.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Early on in Riley’s diagnosis I was full of hope for a cure because I had to be. I couldn’t bare the thought that Riley would have diabetes forever. My coping mechanism at the time was to believe with all my heart that there would be a cure. It was a comfort to think that one day he wouldn’t be dependant upon insulin for survival. Believing that was the key to my survival at the time.

Now, my coping mechanism has changed. Three and a half years later I still hope for a cure. I will always hope for one. But, that hope is different somehow. There is no passion behind it. My coping mechanism now is to believe that Riley will always have diabetes because if I allow myself to think otherwise I become disheartened. I can’t spend my time longing for a day that may never come.

I used to think about Riley going to college and believe that diabetes would no longer be a factor because he would be cured. Now, I think about him going off to college and I see him being a strong independent young man, a young man with the same hopes and dreams as everyone else. But, a young man with an insulin pump tethered to his side, a young man who can juggle classes and diabetes all at the same time.

I read plenty of blogs by moms whose children have been diagnosed in the last year or so. I see so much of my old self in their posts. Back in the day just about all of my time and energy was focused on diabetes. All of my hope was wrapped up in a cure. I wanted to make sure that I crossed every t and dotted every i when it came to diabetes. I had to be perfect.

Merriam-Webster defines jaded as: (a) fatigued by overwork or (b) made dull, apathetic, or cynical by experience. After reading that definition I think right next to it you could put a picture of me holding a meter and a bottle of insulin.

I'm not proud of it, but I've become jaded by diabetes. Fatigued by overwork? Check. Dull and cynical by experience? Check again. ( I haven't reached apathy though.)

I realized a long time ago that it is just not possible to be perfect when it comes to this disease. Over the years I've found that you can pour every ounce of your time and energy into diabetes and it still is what it is. You may control it for a time, but eventually it will come right back and bite you in the butt. Hard.

I've learned that it doesn't get easier. I'm not saying that to discourage anyone. Emotionally it's easier for me. But, the care of this disease is harder. Riley's growing older. He's hitting growth spurts at alarming speeds. Most of the time I just cannot keep up and he ends up high far too often. He's most certainly out of his honeymoon. It used to be that if I screwed up his pancreas would help out a little. Now, it's all on me.

So, yes I am cynical. You can only be bitten so many times before you stop putting your butt in the cage to begin with.

I’ve had to come to grips with the fact that Riley may have diabetes forever. I’ve had to learn to have peace with that. For the sake of my sanity I have to live life like there will never be a cure. Yet, I still long for the day when someone proves me wrong.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

They Come in Eights

I was tagged by Jill so here it goes....

Eight things I’m looking forward to….

The end of school for my kids.
My last day of work for the summer.
Having grandkids
Seeing Holden and Riley grow into adults
Summer mission trip
Being able to get a new pump (we want the remote)
A cure for Type 1 diabetes

Eight things I did yesterday…

Ate lunch
Went to the grocery store
Logged blood sugars
Made basal adjustments
Helped Riley with his homework
Cooked supper
Read a book

Eight things I wish I could do…

Cure diabetes
Quit work
Become a millionaire
Sing well
Pay for all of Holden’s college
Take Riley’s diabetes as my own
Take time for myself without feeling guilty
Keep my house clean

Eight shows I watch…

The Mentalist
Property Virgins
Flip This House
Criminal Minds
Dr. Phil
House Hunters

Eight people I want to read 8 things about…

Sandra ( A Shot in the Dark)
Carey ( Up high...Down low)
Shannon (Mom Wants A Diabetes Cure)
Chris (rub eyes when needed)
Vivian (DanielDoo)
Kelly (Chasing Numbers)
Scott (Scott's Diabetes Journal)
Joanne (Death of a Pancreas)

As far as the shows go there really aren’t any shows that I make a special effort to watch every week. The ones I listed are the ones I am most likely to stop and watch as I’m flipping through the channels.

And, for the eight people I tagged, there are a few (and you know who you are) that haven’t posted in a while. I’m trying to get them to post again.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Now What?

Riley had a scheduled endo appointment on April 17th. A few days before the appointment I got a voicemail from the receptionist saying that the doctor had to cancel the appointment due to health reasons. She said she would call back in 2 weeks and reschedule.

Friday was 2 weeks from when his appointment was scheduled. I called and left a message wanting to reschedule the appointment. I got a voicemail from Dr. Morris yesterday.

She called to tell me that she was in surgery 2 weeks ago and that she had a follow up appointment on Tuesday (tomorrow) and after her appointment she would know more what her schedule was and would call to schedule an appointment. Then, she dropped the bomb.

I’m not sure how old Dr. M is but she’s on the older end of the spectrum. I’ve always wondered what we would do when she retired. I’ve always secretly hoped that Riley would be cured before that happened.

Anyway, she said she wanted to let me know something before I heard it somewhere else. She will be closing her practice. She said her health is good right now and she’ll probably keep it open for another 2 months.

I was devastated. I love, love, love Dr. M. I think she was heaven-sent. For those who don’t know: When Riley was first diagnosed he was sent to the local pediatric endo that covered the hospital where he was diagnosed. We live in Eastern NC and this doctor is the only ped endo in Eastern NC. To say he has a big practice is putting it mildly. Anyway, I liked him just fine but since he was so adamantly against the pump for Riley and I was so gung-ho about it, he wasn’t really a good fit for us.

I let him know that I would prefer to see someone else. His PA said she would check around for doctors that specialize in small children on the pump (Riley was 3 at the time) and call back. Of course, I took matters into my own hands and started searching on the internet.

Almost immediately I found Dr. M. I read a (positive) message someone had left on about her and small kids on the pump. I thought I’d give her a try. I called her office and left a message. Later that afternoon I got a voicemail. Dr. M, herself not her receptionist (impressive), had called and told me she had an appointment available in a couple of weeks. I immediately called back to confirm the appointment. The next day I had a voicemail from the PA at the previous doctor’s office. She read off about 4 names of doctors that were good with kids and the pump. Dr. M was the first doctor on the list.

Riley was diagnosed in October 2005 and we’ve been seeing Dr. M since December of 2005. I was very straightforward from the very beginning that I wanted Riley to be on the pump and that is why I went to her. She was upfront too and told me she wouldn’t just stick him on the pump without knowing that he really needed it or that it would benefit him.

We took initial pump training in January and on March 3, 2006 Riley started pumping insulin for the very first time. Dr. M has been there every step of the way. Not only has she seen him every 3 months for the last 3+ years. I have her home number and her cell number. I have been told to call her anytime day or night. I called her in the middle of the night at home early on in the pump start and she was very pleasant and did not seem to mind that I disturbed her sleep.

She is in a private practice. She is the only doctor. She doesn’t even have a nurse. Her office staff consists of her and her receptionist. I love that when I call she knows exactly who I am and who Riley is. She knows that I try very hard and that sometimes in her opinion I try too hard.

She’s never been harsh, but always reassuring. She doesn’t let me off the hook if Riley’s A1C is up, but she doesn’t chastise me either. She focuses a little on the A1C and sugars, but what is most important to me is that she focuses on Riley. She always asks him how he’s doing and if he’s happy. One thing she always asks is: “Is there anything that diabetes keeps you from doing that you want to do?” Thankfully, Riley’s answer has always been no, but I know that if he ever said yes, then she’d sit down with us and figure out how to change that.

I know I’ve rambled on and on. But, I really can’t imagine seeing anyone but her. We haven’t told Riley yet because we don’t want to have to upset him until it can’t be helped. So, I’m going to start looking for another endo so when the time comes we’ll be prepared.

If any of you know a good pediatric endo in NC please let me know. We will not be seeing the one in Eastern NC, Dr. Harris. Dr. M is in Chapel Hill which is about 3 hours from home, so we’re willing to drive that far to see someone as long as they are good.