May 27, 2010


It's been almost a month again and I have a lot of excuses again, but no time to list them.

A lot has been going on, Molly has gotten dirtier and braver, whereas Eli's diabetes is all over the place.
The puppy training classes have gone pretty well. The idea was that she'd get used to other dogs in a familiar environment where she would feel safe. And lo and behold, she has actually played with the other puppies for a fraction of a second. We have also attended  puppy play sessions. There were two other Havaneses there and I find it hard to believe Molly was ever that cute. She did play a bit there, too.
Eli has come with us to the puppy classes as well as the play dates and that has been a big help. I suppose his presence is comforting, especially as he is happy and relaxed. Compared to me, bossing and snapping and reacting to every move Molly does.

Also happened in the last month:

- Neighbour's (BIG scary black) dog was "accidentally" let loose on Molly, setting her back a week and causing countless messes in the house. Bloody eejits.

- One of the classes was missed due to a blue tack related incident. I can reveal it was to do with a small girl's nostril and the emergency room. There was also a bonus concussion later on in the day.

- Someone has been hiding the insulins in their (various) handbags, causing an overflow of opened ampoules of insulins about the place.

                                                      - Everyone in the area knows someone in this house has diabetes, due to the trail of Accu-Chek strips we seem to leave behind us. Found about ten at the bus stop and the yard is covered in the pretty little things. I swear I put them in the bin. Almost every time.

- We have gone from the Levemir + NovoRapid combo to Levemir + Actrapid, then to Levemir + Actrapid + NovoRapid and now we just use whatever is the nearest ;)

- There has been countless night hypos and a least as many night time hypers. We've really tested the meter ranges and in 98% of cases, not a single symptom from the boy. Frustrating. And tiring.

- The Accu-Chek Mobile has been demoted to be the spare meter no. 2. It sucks the blood into some sort of a tissue paper so it appears to be more sensitive to anything else on the skin. And with a four-year old, scrubbing your hands thoroughly before every measurement is impossible. We had a reading of 33.3 with the Mobile (this with our usual on-the-road cleaning routine: wiping the finger tip with a wet tissue). After a proper scrub, it turned out to be 5.1. Back in the box it goes.

- Eli used to be immaculate and always asked whether he can eat something. Now there has been some sneaky snacking, like when I've promised him a bite of my chocolate and he's stuffed the whole bar in his mouth. I'm happy to see that, though, as that's what a child is supposed to do.

And then some good news. Due to the inconsistencies in the readings (like they are somehow abnormal...   XD ), we get a CGM monitor for a week. I think it's the Medtronic, that's what I've seen on the kids at the hospital, anyway. I'm really hoping it'll be ok. The doctor wants to put it on Eli's lower back and he's not comfortable with anything he can't see. There might be some screaming ahead.
I also hate not knowing what it feels like. They say it's just a pinch but that's what they always say. I'd rather not lie to Eli, he can take  the pain as long as he's told beforehand.

I've been really knackered after work. It's exactly what I want to do but it is exhausting. After eight hours of pure attention on the kids at school it's really difficult to give your full attention to the kids at home. I feel like a crappy mum. Especially after I don't wake up as easily in the night anymore. I used to wake up to every sigh and whimper, now I sleep through anything. Luckily I have a man who does it all without complaining. He must be exhausted after getting up 42 times every night to measure, comfort and clean up. In case I haven't mentioned it, we are both full-time students and take care of the kids at home. Now that I've been working, my studies have been non-existent but P, my husband, is still ploughing at it. And taking care of the kids. And me :) . I calculated that to get everything done, we could use 36 hour days. Easy peasy.
With this pace, we should live to the ripe old age of 45.
But all in all, it's pretty good. We're not starving and there is actually something to look forward to in the summer. We're going to the Isle of Man to see the paternal grandmother and to pine after the place. What's keeping us here at the moment is the health care. But the move is a regular plan, we've almost left this year and I'm sure it'll pop up again next year ;)

May 4, 2010

Long time no blog

But I do have a ton of excuses, the main one being work. As in I actually found some temp work and I love it. I work with autistic children, which is something I used to do in the UK. Unfortunately the work finishes soon as the schools close for the summer. But I'm hoping to continue at the same school in the autumn. Fingers crossed.

Molly's training is going nowhere at the moment. We're still doing the clicker training but the next big step is yet to come. The samples. We need to collect the hypo samples but I'm not quite sure what is the best method yet. Some people freeze the (saliva) samples, while others use freezing as a way to cleanse the containers of older scents. Go figure. What I don't want to do is to start the actual scent training with contaminated samples. I have to be sure it is the hypo Molly smells, not something else, like my scent or the scent of something I touched before collecting the sample. Nor do we want her to react just to the scent of something else in Eli's saliva. This part has to be done carefully, it'll be more difficult to correct it later if we screw it up now.

The problem I had last month of not having the hypos is long gone. Last week has been torture, we've had countless hypos, mostly at night. For those of you not familiar with the greatness of diabetes, night time hypos suck. Children rarely wake up to them and Eli is no exception. What this means we have to set alarms and measure, measure, measure. And shove carbs downs Eli's throat when he's half asleep and not in the mood for eating/drinking/communicating. We use these fruit pouches which are easy and mess-free. They are like fruit puré in a pouch, no added sugar and around 12 g of carbs a pouch. It's easy to grab one from the fridge and squeeze enough in Eli's mouth to get rid of the hypo. Even I can do this without my glasses at three in the morning, with a dog jumping against my legs. Anything that requires chewing would be a no-no, as he tends to fall asleep halfway through eating/drinking. If all this wasn't annoying enough, we also have to brush his teeth afterwards as he has started to get cavities from all the diabetes-related snacking.

But worst of all is the endless worry. Do we let him go to sleep or do we stuff more carbs in him just before bedtime, just in case? It's impossible to find the balance and trying to figure out which is worse, hyper or hypo.
Slight hyperglycemia isn't something that requires urgent correction. But if it occurs frequently, it will cause problems later on, in the form of diabetic neuropathy, for example.

The recent lack of sleep has made me more motivated to train Molly to be there for Eli and to give us some comfort. Some days the mutt does seem like a great pain in the behind but then I have to remind myself that she is still a puppy. As she is such a small dog and pretty much fully grown now, it's difficult to remember how young she actually is. Our neighbours have a labrador puppy who is the same age as Molly and watching him bounce across the yard does remind me that puppies are puppies and maybe I'm a bit harsh on Molly. After all, for her age, she does behave very well. And whenever she misbehaves, it's usually when she's bored to death and decides that the best way to get our attention is to wee on the important lecture notes or to chew on the mobile phone some idiot left on the sofa. She is a dog, after all, and her idea of playing doesn't include dressing up. Running crazily in the woods and growling at mushrooms is a lot more fun.

Tonight I'm taking Molly to her first puppy lesson. Hopefully it'll be a nice experience for her, she's still very shy with other dogs. Well, shy might be the wrong word here, she barks at everyone and everything, usually with her tail between her legs. The closest she has got to the labrador next door is letting him sniff her bum for a fraction of a second, before scampering away, leaving the poor lad ready to play but not allowed off his leash. Not fair. Then she runs around in circles, wagging her tail and yapping away. She clearly wants to play but is too scared to do it if there is less than a mile between her and the other dog. The puppy class is ran by her usual trainer and I'm hoping Molly will find enough comfort in the trainer and the familiar surroundings to actually enjoy the company of other playing puppies. We'll see.