Forever Young

Friday, September 28, 2007

Happy Birthday Todd!

This past Tuesday, the 25th, Todd celebrated his 34th birthday! He had to get up and go to class at 7 am but then he took the day off from work. When he got home that morning, we had cinnamon rolls waiting for him. This is his favorite breakfast that we ususally have about twice a year....his birthday and father's day. Just a side note, instead of just pigging out on cinnamon rolls like we usually do, we opted for a more diabetic friendly meal of scrambled eggs with one cinnamon roll. Well, most of us had this, but when it's your birthday, you can eat what you want!!

Then it was present time! He got a couple of Southern Seminary shirts and a pen.

That afternoon we went to a matinee movie to see The Bourne Ultimatum. As has happened the last several years, we were the only people in the theater again. We both really enjoyed the movie. By the way, no, those are not cans of soda smuggled into the theater!! ; )
Then we went to Staples where Todd got to pick out a new chair for his computer desk. We've recently rearranged the office and put tables in there so both kids can have a spot to do their school. We passed down Todd's 2 previous computer chairs to the kids and he got to pick out a nice new chair for his desk.

Then he got to go out to eat for his special day. He picked a new restaurant that we had never been to before called Longhorn Steakhouse. They had some good steaks so we really enjoyed it.

Then Todd decided he didn't want to come home and do any homework on his birthday, so we stopped by Blockbuster and he rented a movie to watch after the kids went to bed. I'd say he had a great birthday!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Corn Maze

Last Saturday we got to go to a corn maze with my brother and sister-in-law. We all had a really good time. Unfortunately it was very hot, so the kids didn't last too long before they were complaining and wanting shade. However, there's not too much shade in a corn field! Because of the dry summer, the corn was not as tall as normal so the adults could easily see over the corn. The maze had lots of information throughout it about Tennessee which was interesting. Here are some pictures from our day!

Help! We're lost! Someone save us!!

Friday, September 21, 2007


Last Saturday Brandon had his red belt test in karate. He did well and passed to brown belt. Now he is only one belt away from being 1st degree black. He has to stay a brown belt for at least 6 months and possibly longer before he can take the test. He continues to really enjoy his karate lessons, and it is really important that he remain active now that he is diabetic. So this has been a really good thing for him to get into.

This is how Bekah occupied her time while waiting for Brandon to take his karate test!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Off we go, into the wild blue yonder...

For my birthday this year, Todd got me a ride on a biplane! He tried to schedule it for my birthday, but it didn't work out, so he gave me a gift certificate and we scheduled it for a later date. I have often talked about wanting to go hang gliding or sky diving, so Todd tought I would enjoy a ride in an open air cockpit plane! And I did; it was lots of fun! The one thing that surprised me was how hot it was. Because of the windshield, you couldn't really feel the wind blowing and the engine of the plane was very hot. Nonetheless, it was a very enjoyable experience! The pilot would make sharp banks so we could see better off the side of the plane. At one point he said that we seemed like daredevils and offered to do a "lazy 8" maneuver. So, we said sure, and it was very cool.....very powerful g-forces! Here are some pictures from our fun experience!

Thursday, September 06, 2007

A day that changed our lives (8-22-07)

In my last post I mentioned that we went to the Kentucky State Fair on Tuesday, August 21st. We met some of our friends there that day so that our kids would have buddies to ride on the rides with. I mentioned to my friend Allison that night that I thought it was strange that Brandon had been losing some weight yet eating a lot. She asked me some questions and I also told her that he was thirsty all the time and used the bathroom a lot. He was getting up 2 or 3 times in the night to go potty and even wetting the bed a little bit too. This is very unusual since Brandon has always had a "mega bladder" and never needed to go very often. He had been dry all night long since he was 2. My friend Allison used to work with diabetics and was very familiar with these symptoms. She highly encouraged me to take Brandon to the doctor the very next day and have him checked out. She also mentioned about someone she knew whose child was diabetic and they didn't know it. He ended up falling into a coma and dying.
I had mentioned to Todd about a week or so earlier that I suspected Brandon might have diabetes and I was thinking of taking him to the doctor. He said we could wait a while and keep a watch on things; after all it's been very hot, so of course he's thirsty and if he drinks a lot he's going to pee a lot. Makes sense to me! Well, with the nagging feeling in the back of my mind and Allison's words of encouragement, we decided not to keep waiting. I called the pediatrician's office the next morning as soon as they opened. They said they could get me in at 10:30 that morning, Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007. My neighbor, Sonja, volunteered to keep Bekah so me and Brandon were off to the doctor. They did the regular checks: height, weight, blood pressure. They noted that his weight was down about 5 pounds since he was in the office back in May. Then they asked him to pee in a cup. He was very excited and thought that would be fun! Then they came back in and pricked his finger which he did not think was fun at all. Soon the doctor came in and told us that they found sugar in the urine and that his blood glucose from the finger prick was 459. Then he said that normal would be about 80-100, so he was concerned that Brandon was diabetic. I was not surprised at all to hear this outcome but I didn't know what all that would entail. He wanted to send us immediately to an endocrinologist but the one they recommended didn't take our insurance. We could go to Children's Hospital for immediate treatment and they would oversee Brandon but then he'd have to find another doctor. Well, neither the doctor or I liked that option. There is one other endocrinologist in the area so he checked with her and she does take our insurance but doesn't see patients at Children's Hospital. But, she does see patients at Baptist East Hospital. Well, that's where my husband works so that sounds perfect to me, so that's the option we chose. The doctor and the endocrinologist decided that Brandon didn't have to go immediately to the ER, but could go to her office first. So, Brandon and I stopped by and picked up Todd and then headed to her office. There, we were hit with the reality of what we would be least one night in the hospital, lots of education, and giving our son lots of shots and finger pricks a day. She wanted to give Brandon a shot of insulin in the office and I mentioned that he had not had any lunch. We had left home at 10 that morning and it was now after 2 and we had been in the 2 doctor's offices all day with no time for lunch. So, Dr. Raghavan (the endocrinologist) said to go feed him and then come back to the office for the shot. But what can I feed him??? I don't know what he can or can't eat. I haven't had my education with the dietician yet?!?!? So, Dr. Raghavan said to get him a burger and fries with a diet soda. We let Brandon pick where he wanted to go and of course it was McDonalds! He was VERY upset that after he ate he was going to have to go back and get a shot. Through all of his tears and all of my tears I had to tell him, "Brandon, you are not getting A shot, you are going to be getting MANY shots EVERY DAY for the REST OF YOUR LIFE." What a hard thing to comprehend. He could barely eat for crying but we knew he really needed to so he forced it down (we went through the drive thru and ate in the car. None of us wanted to be "watched" in public!). So then we went back to the office and he got the shot. He said it wasn't nearly as bad as he expected! YEAH!! We were given orders to go home and pack a bag and then head to Baptist Hospital, so that's what we did.

We arrived at the hospital and were waiting on Daddy to come over and meet us. (He had returned to work to pack up his things while we went home to pack our bags.) Brandon is showing off his 2 bandaids from his 2 finger pricks (the fateful one at the pediatrician's office and another they did at Dr. Raghaven's office).

He got wheelchair treatment to his room which he thought was very cool!

This was the first room they took us to where they checked him in, took vitals, etc.

When we made it to our room the nurse mentioned there was a play area and games down the hall. Daddy and Brandon went to check it out and came back to the room with a portable Nintendo! Brandon was very excited!!

The Nintendo was a great bribe...."If you'll be brave and let the nurse prick your finger or give you a shot you can play for a while!" And it worked!!

Brandon thought it was very fun to eat in bed and he even got sugar free ice cream for dessert!! So far, Brandon thinks the hospital is a very fun place to be!!!

But, when it came time for pricks and shots it wasn't so fun. This is one of his nurses giving him an insulin shot.

And here is Brandon giving his nurse a shot! They did a lot to educate him on how to take care of himself. And yes, he really did give her a shot that just had saline water in it. What a crazy nurse!!!
Brandon had to learn to take his shots in his stomach which he did not like. He got lots of "pep talks" from Daddy. You can see in this picture that he is not happy. Every time he would get himself so worked up he would be red, clammy and sweaty. He would clench his hands shut when they wanted to prick his fingers. Mommy and Daddy did a lot of pep talking!

It was really important that he eat as soon as he had his shot, but as you can see that would be hard on him. He'd have to calm himself down to be able to eat. Usually a promise of some Nintendo time would help to calm him down.
We spent 2 days and one night in the hospital. We got lots of education from the nurses, diabetes educator and dietician. The big thing was for us to go home, Mommy and Daddy had to be ready to take complete care of him which meant giving him shots and pricking his finger about 4 times a day. At supper time on the second day, they let Mommy and Daddy be in charge and do it all without the nurses's help. We survived and so around 7 we could go home.
Let me just say I HATE doing this to Brandon. I have never liked needles, finger pricks, blood or anything like that. It's not that I just don't like it....I hate it, and it often makes me pass out! But, when your child's life is on the line, you do what you have to do. And God is good to give us the strength that we need when we need it (and usually not before!). If anyone had told me before this happened what I'd be doing to my son I would NEVER have believed it! I also had some motivation from the fact that I did NOT want to spend another night in the hospital! That was terrible, and I knew they wouldn't send us home if I couldn't do it. My first thoughts were, "Well, Todd can deal with stuff like this, so I'll just let him take care of it." Then I quickly realized that would not work. I was the one who'd be home with him every day! Todd isn't even home on Thursdays (he leaves at 6:30 am and returns at 10:30 pm). So, I would have to get over it and just do it! So, I did it and we got to go home which was great except now I had the responsibility of taking care of my son. How will I know if he's too high or too low or what do I do when it happens???? Well, all that would come in time and for now I just have to trust that God is in control and he loves Brandon more than I do. If it is Brandon's time to die there is nothing that I can do to prevent it and if it's not his time, there is nothing I can do to cause it! Of course I hope his time isn't for many, many years, but what comfort in knowing that I am not in control of that!!
Just in case you are wondering, Bekah ended up staying with my neighbor all day and all night and the next morning until my friend, Kara, picked her up. Kara kept her the next day until we got home that night. I am SO THANKFUL for great friends who will do things like this for us! It's hard to not have family close by when things like this happen, but God is so good to always provide for our needs!
And just a side the midst of all this happening while we were trying to get to the hospital my minivan was overheating. We had to drive around with the heater on and the windows down and worry about breaking down on the side of the road (which thankfully didn't happen). And then someone backed into Todd's car while it was parked in the hospital parking lot!! Life is always interesting!!