Friday, August 14, 2009

A Quick One Before We Leave Town

We're in the homestretch of summer vacation and it's been crazy over here.

Late last week, my external hard drive crashed... that would be the hard drive containing backups of our documents, photos and the only copies of my edited videos (files too big to store on our laptop).

Thankfully, the Geek Squad was able to recover most of my files, however, a directory containing a large number of my edited videos was lost.

I can't even tell you how much this hurts.

So let's just move on.

In the midst of the hard drive debacle, we got a call.

"Hello-- Sandra," I heard a familiar voice say.


"Yeah, um... I'm coming out for a visit... do you think I could spend a night at your house?"

"Oh, my God-- of course you can!"

For two days and one night, it was like he'd never left.

That's why when Zach's mom said they were heading out Thursday morning with friends to a huge water park, I asked:

"How would you feel if we met you guys there?"

While I didn't want to horn in on their plans, I sure as heck knew how Joseph and Zachary would feel.

"That would be terrific," Zach's mom responded.

Soooo, despite having laundry and tons of packing to do (we leave tomorrow for a road trip to the Smoky Mountains), I drove an hour away with my kids, sat astride countless inner tubes, shot down a myriad of slides with my little girl...

While my son had yet another day with his best friend.

How did diabetes figure into all this?

Well, Joseph's blood sugar plummeted to 46 by the end of his first day with Zachary-- at dusk, the two boys working on Zach's pitching, just didn't want to come in for dinner.

Ten minutes and three glucose tabs later, Joseph was 98 and chowing down on a big plate of pasta with the rest of us.

Yesterday at the water park, Joseph was disconnected from his pump the whole time. Yes, he was high as a kite and his set came out on one of the many daredevil slides he and Zach rode down together-- but we got him back in range before bedtime.

Again, I promise I'll finish the camp story (had it half written when the dang back-up drive failed) and I really, really need to tell you at least one baseball story, but you likely won't see these until after we return late next week.

Thursday, August 06, 2009

On the Eve of Camp


The piles of folded clothes that covered the dining room table are packed tightly into Joseph's large blue duffel-- along with sunscreen, bug spray, goggles, sneakers, flip flops...

Everything my boy will need for a week at camp.

And next to that duffel is a medium-sized black suitcase packed neatly with dresses, shirts, skirts and "skorts" -- along with no less than six "buddies" from Evan's vast collection of stuffed creatures. Everything she'll need for "Gramma" camp.

Yep, they're both ready.

It's not that late -- only quarter til nine -- but I'm beat. So much traveling lately, and Joseph's baseball games, and work...

I just want to sit down and breathe.

"Kids, why don't you get ready for bed? It's gonna be a long drive tomorrow and we all have to get up early."

Joseph and Evan head upstairs to change, chatting away about what they'll be doing "this time tomorrow."

That's when the phone rings.

I don't recognize the number on caller id and there's no name, so I decide not to answer it. But then, since I'm standing right there I pick it up anyway.

"Hello-- Sandy?" a woman's voice says on the other end.

"Yes... " I say, fully expecting a telemarketer-- who else would call me "Sandy"?

"I'm the program director at Joseph's diabetes camp."

My stomach drops.

And, I'm confused, because this isn't N-- the program director who has been running the camp since before Joseph started going.


"We were looking over Joseph's camp forms and saw that you requested his blood glucose be checked at midnight and 2am... I wanted to clarify our protocol for putting children on the night rounds. We only check those children whose blood glucose is 80 or less before bed time."

"What? Hold on, this isn't what was done last year. I included a letter from Joseph's diabetes physician, it explains why he needs to be checked- "

"Yes, we saw the letter. That's why we're calling. With so many children coming to camp, we can't possibly do anything outside of our protocol."

I start to shake.

This can't be happening. Not the night before.

"But I spoke with the camp doctor last year. Joseph was checked every night... wait, your calling me on a Saturday night -- the NIGHT before camp -- to tell me this! This is insane!"

"I'm sorry, but- "

"I need to speak with the camp doctor."

"All right, I'll go get him."

For two long minutes, I wait-- the phone pressed so hard against my ear it hurts.

When the camp doc finally comes to the phone, he repeats almost verbatim what the program director just said.

"I don't understand-- you agreed last year. He was checked- "

"No, I think you must be mistaken. I probably had him checked the first night, but then we followed our protocol."

"But I have the logs- he was checked!" Suddenly I'm wishing I could find the logs right now, but I can't even think straight. "You met with me in his cabin. You agreed- "

"I'm sorry, but it sounds like your son might be too fragile for camp."

"What?! He is not fragile-- not at all! What are you talking about?"

"The letter from his physician states that he has 'a history of extreme glucose fluctuations overnight' and 'unexpected overnight hypoglycemia which must be detected to prevent seizure activity.'"

"But he's never had a seizure!"

"The letter asks that we treat glucoses less than 100 at midnight and 2am. I'm afraid that isn't our protocol."

"Are you saying that you don't want my son to come to camp because of something he can't help? That even though you have people doing night rounds anyway, you won't let them check my son? And you're telling me this the NIGHT BEFORE camp?"

Then, through tears I tell him what this camp means to Joseph and plead with him to reconsider-- reminding him several times that this wasn't a problem last year.

"If you can agree to follow our protocol, then there won't be a problem."

There's nothing I can do-- not this late! He has to go...

"All right," I say, wanting to fight -- but knowing that if I do, they might not let him come.

"We'll pull back his basal rates, insulin-to-carb ratios and his sensitivity factor even further. We'll make it work," I say, half to myself, as a new plan begins formulating in my brain.

Then, after nearly an hour on the phone, I hang up-- feeling more drained than I have in a very long time.

Moments later I'm leaning back against the kitchen counter, explaining everything to Ryan. "Joseph needs to know about this," I say, torn -- because camp is a place where my son has always felt safe. I don't want to take that away from him.

But he has to know.

"Bud," I say, sitting down with him on the couch, "when you go to camp, they may not check you overnight."

"What do you mean?" he asks looking confused.

"Only if your sugar is 80 or less before bed."

"But that's stupid! What if I have insulin on board and I'm falling fast?"

"Listen, we're pulling everything back. Basals, insulin-to-carb ratios... and you'll eat a snack before bed with no bolus, all right? We need to be careful about stacking... "

I pause a moment to look at his face, to make sure he's with me.

He looks calm. Confident, even.

" ... now, you're probably gonna run high overnight, and will likely wake up on the high side as well, but it's just a week... Bud, I want you to have fun and not worry, okay?"

Suddenly, he takes hold of my shoulders and looks straight into my eyes.

"Mom, it's gonna be fine. We can do this."

So the next morning we bring my boy to diabetes camp for the fifth time.

to be continued...

Monday, August 03, 2009

Coming Up for Air

Okay, so.

Joseph went to camp last week and I've got A LOT to say about it.

Some absolutely awesome, some... pretty horrendous.

But I can't write about it today because it's our first day home from Joseph's road trip with his little league All Star team. (I've got some stories about that, too.)

Yes, I know. My posting has been choppy at best. I can't promise that I'll post more regularly because I've done that before and it hasn't worked. So I'm just gonna dive in when I get the chance and the inspiration.

(Sadly, I've had plenty of the latter, not so much of the former).

Why didn't I post last week while Joseph was away -- and Evan was at "Gramma" camp -- you might ask?

Well, it was THE week-- the one and only week of the year that Ryan and I have together when neither of us are checking Joseph's bgs overnight. When we're not thinking about boluses, about carbs, when we're not taking care of our kids...

So I wasn't on the computer at all, instead riding my bike with my husband-- logging 25-37 miles a day. Going out to dinner. Seeing a movie. Just staying home.

Being a couple.

It was our "Date" camp, and it was grand.

More soon...