Saturday, December 29, 2007

Honeymoon Phase, here we are

Wyatt's blood glucose levels were high last week. They are below normal to normal now. He is getting very little insulin, but still getting some. We appear to have entered what is called the honeymoon phase.

Matty sick with stomach crud, as is the boy.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Bhutto's assassination in Rawalpindi

I was shocked but in the end not really surprised to read that Benazir Bhutto had been assassinated in Rawalpindi yesterday. When we were in Pakistan in 1998, we met two 17 year old boys in Mansehra who bore scars from school rally shootings. They'd been shot because they were supporters of Bhutto's Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP).

Yes, Bhutto and her husband were probably corrupt, but these moderate, generous, forward thinking, and articulate boys seemed to be the backbone of her party. They explained what the PPP meant to them and explained how Bhutto became prime minister because she was the head of a winning party. Being from the States, party politics was a hard concept to grasp. Harder still was the concept that a woman could be the head of a Muslim state, one in which we'd seen only a handful of women in nearly a month and a half of travel.

I'll always remember how these boys begged us to get into a cab to go 2oo yards up the road because it would be safer for us and them not to be seen by their cousins. When we asked what would happen if we were seen, they said matter of factly that they would be killed. Responsible hosts that they were, they insisted on paying for the ride.

I wonder how much has changed for them in the last 10 years. I hope they still wish for a future for Pakistan that is moderate and open, despite all that the United States has tried to do to make fundamentalist Islam a viable choice.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chugging along

The lovely Mark, Mary, and Masa are down from Vancouver and taking such fine care of us. Michelle P. making special guest appearances (like a biker angel bearing beautiful boxes of samosas!). Tom and Marky Messenger will be here later in the week.

Matty has gotten out for a few skis and hikes, some with the boy, and this is a blessing. They are learning about blood glucose testing in the field and insulin injections on the tailgate. Matty just missed being in an avalanche at Mammoth Mountain last Friday. The run he and our friends Ray and Lesley were on gave away few minutes after they skied it. Luckily, nobody was buried in the slide. There are blessings.

We still have some fine tuning of the blood sugars and our pediatrician is doing her best to work with Children's Hospital LA and to get us in their program. The boy had a motor, language, and cognitive skills test last week and did very well. This means he doesn't qualify for some of the special programs Inyo County has to offer, but it was lovely of the agencies to try to help. We will get to see a developmental pediatrician who comes through the area once a quarter. Every little bit of education and monitoring will help.

Wyatt gets frustrated some mornings, especially after breakfast. Those are the hardest insulin shots to give. We just try to explain that the shots will help him grow up to be a big boy. He is learning about anger and we are learning about patience. He is still our happy healthy active wee boy 99 percent of the time. The funniest thing he does these days is to sing "and called it macaroni and cheese" to the last line of "Yankle Doodle."

He is eating a boatload of food. Newly diagnosed people tend to do this.

I officially get off the crutches after New Year and am looking forward to just being on the cane. Bone is very slow to grow back, but I am right on schedule. I am driving on the days that I haven't had a Percocet.

We are still having a poker potluck tonight (with kim chee pancakes and veggie stir fry) and still putting our kegerator through its paces. It is still life as we mostly know it, but only more so.

Friday, December 14, 2007

He's still our boy

Heard just this evening - Wyatt, in a very hopeful voice: "Daddy, did you bring that piece of wood home from the dump for me?"

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Remember, it's just an alternate route

Our wee Babbo got diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes on Monday afternoon. It only being Wednesday night, it's all been a blur.

He is fine. We caught it early, thankfully. The only clue we had was about two weeks of incessant drinking and peeing.

We are blessed to live in Bishop. The social and institutional support have been stunning. He was at his nurse practitioner's for an appointment at 11, in the hospital lab by noon, and in the hospital by 4. His new pediatrician and hospital staff spent two days trying to stabilize him and to teach Matt and me how to check the glucose levels and to administer the insulin. We will be referred to LA Children's Hospital for specialized treatment.

Wyatt's blood sugar levels have been very very high. He was admitted with a high 800s and we can't seem to get it below 200. 80 is normal for an adult and our target is between 100-200. This is normal in the early days. At some point, we'll probably enter what's called the Honeymoon Period, where the pancreas seemingly returns to producing normal levels of insulin on its own. It can last from a few weeks to a few years. The name sounds cruelly ironic if you ask me.

Wyatt hates all the poking, but is taking some ownership of the procedures. He drew his own blood at lunchtime and didn't cry when he got his subsequent shot. He's not even 3. He faces at least some of the 5 daily blood draws and 5 injections with a mixture of curiosity and bravery. When he's particularly brave, he reckons he's a big and bad enough dude to warrant a ride on his grandpa's quad motorbike.

It's hard because his body is undergoing changes and his food staples (cheerios, pretzels, goldfish, macaroni and cheese, juice, milk, kefir, etc.) are all now severely rationed while we heavily push the meat and cheese and eggs. Luckily, he never had much of a sweet tooth.

I have mostly stopped crying for the time being. I'm sure it will start up again. Matt amazing. He's up at 3 every morning to check that the boy's sugars don't bottom out. Matt has taught me to be pragmatic and to hit the ground running - so to speak. I'm still on two crutches. Our friends and family have come out to show their love and support for the boy. Strangers have come to bolster us. Matt points out that this has to happen to somebody in the scheme of things, and we both reckon that we as a family will be OKAY.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Time just stops

The baby is in my lap napping. He spent the morning at his nurse practitioner's and then at the hospital lab. We are normally laissez-faire parents, but Wyatt's shocking and sudden drinking and peeing has got us concerned. It could be diabetes, it could be anything, it could be nothing.

Thankfully, our nurse practitioner was able to write a lab script for a battery of blood based tests, and Matt was able to walk the baby into the hospital a few minutes later. The boy was a champ and even the lab techs were amazed that he didn't squirm, cry, or fuss. We think the child was born to please strangers. Scary, but true.

We'll know more tomorrow morning when the lab results are back. In the meantime, time just sort of stops.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Hello, please let me rot your teeth

Made batch number four of sel gris caramels with the crunchy chunky Guerande salt we brought back from France. The process was a bit like Goldilocks and the Three Bears. Batch one was too incongruent, with the chocolate refusing to stick to the caramel. Batch two was too salty (but the salt freaks in the bunch didn't complain), without any chocolate in sight. Batch three was too ugly (it was a no-nut job for Matty), with the chocolate (Michel Cluizel single origin Sao Tome) making the pieces look like incarnations of the Elephant Man. Batch four, with just one tsp. of salt and the chocolate drizzled back and forth in a mad grid, was just right.

This hobbling around the kitchen in a zimmer frame takes my mind off what insurance is or isn't covering of the $63,661.60 hospital bill for the time being.

Poor Matt needs a break. He made a mad dash to the Bay Area for work Monday and came straight home before Tuesday night. He *was* greeted by all his lovely girlfriends bearing various parts of dinner (thanks, mujeres!), but he's been at work or hauling the boy or me around ever since. Maybe he'll get lucky, there'll be some nice snow in the first storm of the season, and he can go for a ski Sunday.