Saturday, March 22, 2008

Going on a Bear hunt...

Last weekend the whole family trekked into the city to attend the Diabetes EXPO at the seaport world trade center. Although none of us were entirely sure what to expect, I had heard rumors of 'freebies,' and really wanted to get my hands on some! On top of the EXPO (which I worried might be rather boring for the kids) there was the Joslin Teddy Bear Clinic, one of the most well advertised events on the annual Joslin kid's calendar.

So, early Saturday morning we all headed to the city, bears in tow, to check out the scene. We were greeted at the entrance to the exhibit hall by a teddy bear who immediately drew the kids into, well, bear hugs and a TV camera that immediately made me nervous. The EXPO greeters were thrilled, cheering for us..."you might be on channel 5."

Next stop, Teddy Bear Clinic, where the kids took their respective bears (Tyler and Blacky) through the different parts of the Joslin check-up (blood draw, blood pressure, etc.) and also participated in some more routine diabetes care - making a BG log, testing blood sugar, planning a meal. Both Gwen and Thomas were enthralled, carefully completing the task at each station and doting on their patients.

We did score 2 free meters(!), found a new juice that has no carbs (it does have splenda, or course,) and even got to sample a little sorbet. Overall a very successful trip.

And the take-home message has lasted all week. Although I thought the "pretending" might be a little beneath the kids, both have been enthusiastically checking their bears' blood sugar. They drew and gave their own (saline) shots for the bears before bedtime one night, and Thomas is keeping a better log for Tyler than we keep for him. And the best part? The kids actually WERE on the channel 5 news that night.

Friday, March 14, 2008

D - upDated

So much has been going on...which seems to leave very little time for blogging. But, much of it has been good, exciting, and fun - a needed change. So, in no particular order, a few D updates:

We had our two pump visits in January and February (complete with math homework). The first was less than successful, ending in frustration followed by an A1C result of 10.1. (Yes, that's right, over TEN!). But, possibly spurred on by the realization that we really were not doing our best "managing" TJ's D, we have put significant effort into getting better control of the numbers, with much success. I think both Tom and I had become resigned to crappy numbers, but with the help of Dr. W and Deb, we have seen amazing improvements!
Our second pump appointment was a breeze, and in only a month his A1C is down to 8.8 (still high, but not as shameful!). So...we are pleased, to say the least. Plus, it is clear how much better Thomas feels when he is in range.

Which leads me to...Thomas' pump came!! His BLUE cozmo is waiting in the box for mid April, when we will do a saline start and April vacation when we will go for the real deal! Never one to disappoint on the humor side, Thomas' one comment when I showed him the pump was "good, buuuuuuut, can you send it back and get a black one, I changed my mind on the color." I'm sure everyone has realized both Tom and I have taken to spoiling Thomas in an attempt to soften the blow of having D, but even I was able to find my backbone long enough to say NOPE to that one!

The pump couldn't be coming at a better time. Thomas - who has thus far been amazing and cooperative at every turn - is finally starting to tire of not being able to eat what he wants, when he wants. Not to mention he has not made any significant growth strides since diagnosis. He's not too small by any means, but he is definitely in a lower percentile than he was pre-D. The nutritionist was pleased with our carb counting worksheets, but made noted on each days logs that his caloric intake was less than a boy his age needed. So, I'm glad to have the opportunity to feed him a little more freely, and with increased calories! We are also very excited about the many pump features, including the attached meter and the integrated computer program. I'm sure there will be many bumps along the pump-paved road, but for now we are looking forward to hooking TJ up with unbridled optimism.

Finally...tomorrow is the Diabetes Expo. We are all excited to check out the scene, score some D-swag, and participate in the Joslin "Teddy Bear Clinic" (because what bear doesn't need a little diabetes care!?!). We'll also be on the hunt for a black case for the (repeatedly requested, apparently undesired) BLUE pump. Hopefully it will be as fun as the promos promise!