Sunday, July 29, 2007

Back To Diabetes Camp

We got home late Thursday night.

And as much as I'd love to tell you all about the road trip, I'm gonna have to save that for the next post (maybe the next two posts-- because really, it was that good).

In the meantime, we're back in the van, driving the two (relatively) short hours to diabetes camp-- Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows wide open on my lap.

Still hoarse from reading aloud 524 pages during the long ride home from Massachusetts-- I'm back at it.

You see, we'd love to finish the book before Joseph gets to camp -- where someone is bound to have read it.

Probably several someones.


Who like to talk.

But there's just no way-- we've got over 200 pages to go.

Still, I keep reading. The book is awesome, and it helps keep my mind off of what happened last night...


Joseph goes to a birthday party.

He eats a burger, tater tots; cake and candy.

He gives himself three boluses of insulin in two hours.

Later, just after midnight, his blood sugar is 80.

Nothing scary there.

Except that he's dropped almost a hundred points in an hour.

Three glucose tablets.

And then, a little Potter while we wait for the sugar to stop the slide.

Only it doesn't.

Fifteen minutes later, we check again.



"Another three, Bud?"

"No-- four," he says.

Quickly, he crunches away at the large tabs.

Then, oblivious to the dusting of sugary powder on his lips and chin, he asks in a small voice:

"Mom, can I lay next to you?"


So I let him climb into bed between me and Ryan while I continue reading aloud. His head rests heavily on my shoulder. And I can't seem to get my mouth around the words in front of me.

I keep messing up.

After a few minutes, I stop reading altogether.

"Honey, do you feel like you're coming up?"

"No... not really... Mom, just keep reading."

What if he doesn't come up? What if...

But thankfully -- eventually -- he does.

Thirty-five minutes and seven glucose tabs after that first check, he bounces up to 118.

He's okay.

But that doesn't stop my mind from racing.

What if this happens at camp-- and, my God, what if they don't catch it?


So here I am the next morning, sitting in the van-- reading again.

Trying very hard to stay calm.

It helps that Joseph is so relaxed, so happy to be returning to camp for the third time.

I keep this in mind when later I'm seated in a large, comfortable chair opposite Joseph's cabin nurse-- a kind-looking, older woman with snowy white hair and brilliant blue eyes.

She tells me her grandson has type 1.

"Is he here-- at camp?" I ask.

"Yes," she says, eyes sparkling, "oh- but he's in another cabin."

Then we talk about Joseph-- I explain that he needs to be checked overnight, showing her the letter from his doctor.

"Well, actually, the camp director thought that checking him at midnight would be enough- "

"No," I say quickly, "that won't be enough-- he's got to be checked at least twice. Joseph can go to bed with a stable sugar-- even a high sugar -- and crash in the middle of the night. And he never feels it when he's sleeping. Never. And if he goes high, someone needs to get him up to use the bathroom."

I try to keep my voice steady-- not to panic.

"I see... well... " and then she lowers her voice, continuing in an almost conspiratorial tone, "Joseph's nurse from last year spoke with me about him this morning, and well, she thought it best we check him at midnight, then just come around and check him again at 2:30-- do you think that would be all right?"

"Yes- yes-- that would be great," I tell her, not even attempting to hide my relief.

"I understand," she says, giving my hand several pats. "He'll be fine. Just fine."

And for a few minutes, I'm sure she's right-- but then I remember what we were told at check in: that all of Joseph's cabin mates from the previous two summers were assigned to a different cabin.

He would be starting fresh-- meeting his bunk mates for the first time.

Well, all except one.

Standing in the doorway, I see that he's chosen the bunk next his friend's-- the boy he'd encouraged to come to camp for the very first time.


"Hey, I brought a ton of clothes-- probably overpacked," Tommy calls to Joseph-- as he hoists a large, bulging duffel bag onto his bunk.

"Me too," says Joseph with a reassuring smile, while struggling to unzip his own tightly packed duffel.

Moments later, the two boys head down to the lake.

"Do they have basketball here?" Tommy asks.

"Nah, but they have a mud pit," Joseph tells him.

They walk on -- away from me and Ryan and Evan.

The whole time, talking and laughing.

About what, I can only guess.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Home Stand

While gearing up for our trip back east-- to my home state of Massachusetts -- we hit a couple of snags that could delay our departure.

(More on these "snags" in another post).

We're still coming, of course-- just might arrive a day or so later than expected.

In the meantime, I'd like to set up a plan to rally with some d-bloggers (and any readers who would like to join us) in the New England area.

I was thinking that, because my boy is dying to see a baseball game while we're out there, combining a d-blogger get-together with a trip to the ball park might be fun.

Now, Joseph would go insane if we could see the Red Sox-- but I'm sure those are hard-to-get, very expensive tickets.

A really cool (and much cheaper) alternative would be to take in some Triple-A ball.

I just bought tickets tonight.

We're going to the Monday, July 23rd game. And there are still many seats available around the ones we got.

But they're selling fast.

So if you'd like to join us, comment or send me an email and I'll tell you exactly where we'll be sitting.

Game time is 7:05, but if folks arrive early maybe we could tailgate...

Monday, July 02, 2007

A Birth and... Spontaneous Combustion?

Feast your eyes on young Jonathan Bryce:

My brand spankin' new nephew.

Very soon, I'll get to hold this little guy.

And I can not wait.

We leave for Massachusetts in just a couple of weeks-- fingers crossed, our van will get us there without incident.

And why the the need for crossed fingers?

Because yesterday we had an incident.

A beautiful, sunny afternoon-- Joseph and I are sitting in front of the house talking baseball when we hear a sudden, muffled "BOOF!"

We look at each other, eyes wide, then turn toward the driveway.

"Oh. My. God." I say, while slowly walking around our '95 Odyssey.

There's a little glass on the ground beneath the window, but no glass -- and no object that could have broken the thing -- inside the van.

What the heck?

I look up and down our quiet, empty street-- then back at the damage.

"Mom, what happened?" Joseph asks, sounding a little scared.

"I have no idea."

But when I call the folks at our insurance company, they do.

"Spontaneous combustion,"" the rep tells me. "It happens. Air builds up in a vehicle, combines with the heat, and literally blows out a window."

Wild stuff.

Just glad it didn't happen during our road trip.