Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Update on Joshua, diabetes and happenings here

My mind is just flooded with thoughts of diabetes these days.  So many new things to learn and remember and do.  We are working hard to do the best we can for Joshua.  He is doing an amazing job.  He likes getting things ready for his finger pokes - and he does it all beautifully.  I know that one day he'll be ready to do his own poke and we're waiting.  He can do it when he is ready. 

We had nothing scheduled today, so it was a lazy day at home.  Joshua ended up sick again this morning.  Stomach hurting.  Thankfully it didn't last too long.  It happened after breakfast.  This has happened on Fri, Sun and Tue mornings.  Friday was the worst by far.  I called his dr to talk and she wasn't sure what was going on with him.  I'm going to try cutting back on dairy and also some of his carbs to see if that helps. 

His doctor (from the hospital) also said that she had read his lab results.  One of his antibodies was high which confirmed that the diabetes was caused by an autoimmune attack of the pancreas.  Nothing caused this to happen.  It was not "laying dormant" or waiting to happen.  It was just something that went wrong.  It was most likely a virus that his body responded to and the antibodies just got confused and attacked his pancreas.  It  is not something that could have been tested for or prevented.  It just happened.

He was also screened for celiac disease which came back normal!  Praise God!!!  Always thankful for the good news!

I also talked with Joshua's case manager from the insurance company.  We've been playing phone tag and finally caught up.  She was so very nice!  And knowledgable too!  She asked a lot of questions and also shared information.  She shared resources and tips - and then very kindly sent all that we had talked about to me in an email.  Isn't that great?!  I wish all of our dealings with insurance could be with someone like her.  She has told me that she will be following up with me to see how things are going.  That is really nice.  She gave me information that I needed and hadn't thought to look up yet. 

So, even though nothing much was going on, I just felt overwhelmed with it all today.  I'm not sure why.  Today wasn't much different than yesterday.  I wonder though if it's just because I haven't really had time to cry.  I held it all in at the doctor's office and hospital not wanting to upset Joshua.  It is a lot though and can feel heavy.  When you read things - and I do have to read things - sometimes it is just that one sentence that hits so very hard.  Like the organs that are put at risk due to diabetes.  Mostly, I just try not to think about those things.

After feeling my spirits sink, I knew I needed time to rest and refresh.  I went to my room and just layed on the bed.  I thought I'd take a nap, but ended up just talking to God.  I know He is holding me ... all of us ... as we walk through this and I'm thankful for that. 

I went back and read again in Joshua.  I was reminded to be strong and courageous.  Sometimes though, it is just hard to be strong.  I feel weary.  I know that my strength is from God and I need to remember that.  In chapter 1 verse 8, I was reminded to meditate on God's word day and night.  One more reminder of the importance of hiding God's word in my heart (and helping my children to do the same). 

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; (B)for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.  Joshua 1:8

Not too long ago, I was reflecting on the difficult times after Eliana was born.  It was a time that I clung to God though and learned so much.  Why does it take difficulty sometimes to turn our focus where it needs to be?  I think that God gives us grace, peace and wisdom when we need it and for the situation that we are in.  He doesn't give us the strength to handle something that He has given to someone us.   So, in the midst of this trial, I praise you God because you are good.   

It's late and I need to go to sleep.  Tomorrow (Wed), Joshua has an appointment with an endocrinologist to follow up.  I've been told to expect it to be a long one.  It will be our first outing - taking along meds, supplies for pokes and shots, glucogan (for an emergency), snacks, juice boxes (for lows), log book, ... hmmm, am I forgetting anything?  Seems like a lot.   Thankfully if I forget something, we'll be at a hospital.  So for this outing, no worries.

I'll update more tomorrow.  Sometime too, I'll share about our week at the beach, our "pirate/ocean fun boxes that we started last Monday - the morning before we headed to the hospital and our late Father's Day (tonight). 

Thank you for your prayers for our family.  We are grateful that we are being lifted up.



Monday, June 29, 2009

Monday update (not Tues as I first posted)

Sorry this is late in coming.  I can't even tell you where the day went.  Therapy.  Washing sheets - lots of them.  Some cleaning.  Counting carbs and more. 

At this point, we are all well and healthy!!!  Yippee!!!  Praising God for this blessing.  Health is definitely something that is easy to take for granted and being sick really reminds you of what a blessing good health is to each of us.

Joshua is doing really well.  I couldn't ask for him to be doing any more than he is doing.  He is reading labels and helping me to count carbs.  He is learning how to set up his glucometer and his "poker".  He even successfully gave Roger a poke tonight and did a reading on his blood sugar.  (It was fine.)

Rebecca asked to fix lunch today.  This isn't a big surprise as she often fixes lunch for everyone.  What was extra sweet was that she also figured out the carbs for Joshua's meal and measured it all out for him. 

Sorry this is short.  My mind is full - but also sleepy.  I'm not quite used to this new routine.  We are thankful for your prayers for all of us.  I'll try to write more tomorrow.


Sunday, June 28, 2009

More sickness

Just a quick update.  We have more sickness here.

Isaiah threw up in the night.  He says he feels fine. 

Joshua has diarrhea which began this morning.  His blood sugars are high which is typical (so far) in the morning.  He has no ketones (not dehydrated).  His stomach hurts.  I'm trying to get him  to eat some toast and drink pedialyte. 

Thank you for praying for him.  I'll update as I can.  We are hoping and praying that this passes quickly and that nobody else gets sick.

UPDATE:  Sunday afternoon - Joshua is feeling better and has been able to eat.  This is an odd bug he has, but thankfully isn't lasting too long.  Thank you for your hugs and prayers.  We are hoping this is the end of the sickies for awhile here!



Our time at the hospital

After leaving the pediatrician, we went home to pack a few things and to head to the hospital.  I made a few phone calls as we were rushing around.  We didn't pack much as our ped told us we would probably just be there overnight.  We quickly learned differently when we arrived.  Roger met Joshua and I at UNC hospital.  Our ped had given us the choice of UNC or Duke.  I told him I really only knew Duke.  He said if we didn't care that he would like to send us to UNC as he thought a lot of the endocrine team there.  That was fine with us. 

BTW, I didn't take this photo as we were entering, but rather leaving.  We entered through the ER.  They have a separate ER for children too which we thought was a great idea.  We arrived before 5pm and we quickly taken to a room.  We saw about 5 doctors (teaching hospital) and one nurse.  (They were all really nice.)  The nurse knowing how hungry and thirsty he was, went to get some of her own drink (a sugar-free mix) to give to him.  He loved it.  Wasn't that sweet?!

I was glad that we brought games.  We spent some time playing Phase 10 (card game).  It helped to ease the tension of knowing you were sitting in an ER waiting for news that wasn't going to be great.

Because they were waiting for lab results, Joshua wasn't fed.  And he was very hungry!!!  One of the doctors later explained that because his body was not producing insulin, the food that he ate was not being broken down and taken to the body to use for energy - instead it just passed through leaving him hungry all the time.  Poor little guy!

He did finally get a tray of food about 9:45 or 10.  He loved it and downed it quickly.  (He got another tray when we got to the room as he was still hungry!) 

The lab results were "positive", but not conclusive on the type of diabetes(will take a week or so?)  Everyone thought we were looking at Type 1 or Juvenile Diabetes.  (There really is no doubt as he does not fit the profile of someone with Type 2.)  This is a life-long disease for which there is no cure ... yet.  He will be on insulin for the rest of his life.  He will have blood sugar checks multiple times a day.  He will also have diet and eating changes.  I'll talk more about all of this and the difference between this type of diabetes and Type 2 in another post.  BTW, we found out that his blood sugar numbers in the ER were 643!  (Normal is 80-120)  They were very surprised that his body was handling it as well as he was.  Most children with numbers like this end up in ICU as their body goes into DKA from lack of insulin.  We are thankful that his was caught early enough to prevent that. 

After more than 5 hours in the ER, we were finally taken to a room.  Joshua was excited to be given a ride.  You have to look for the silver linings wherever you can find them!

After a long, long night with several pricks and pokes, several shots of insulin and not much sleep, he was wondering if anyone would come to see him.  He was excited to see his family and friends.  (I'm missing pics of visitors as well as of doctors and nurses.) 


Joshua has received wonderful thoughtful gifts as well.  Things he has loved like books, a puzzle globe, balloons, games, a photo album with pictures (and writing about) a field trip, a movie, sugar free candy, and legos.  He has been well loved on.  As has our family with food from friends.  Thank you all for loving on us!!!  It really helped to bring joy into this time of so many unknowns.

There is a play room at the children's hospital.  It is big with a huge vaulted ceiling with lots of lights.  The room is beautiful with toys, play areas, books, games, computers and more.  It is wonderful.  There are several times during the day when you can go up for an hour. 

There is a large climbing structure in the middle of the room.

In one of the play areas, Eliana goes for the doll or "baby" as she calls it.

Joshua and I played a game of Risk.  We didn't finish before it was closing time and they let us keep the game set up so we could come back later and finish it up.  WAsn't that nice?  For the record, Joshua won!


These were Joshua's nurses on the last day - really nice!  They were so encouraging to ME.  They told me that they could tell that Joshua was going to do well.  They could see that he has strong family support and is learning quickly.  They addressed some of my fears and concerns with optimism and encouragment.  One even gave me a big hug!  They were great!

I really liked Joshua's night nurse too and she was with us all three nights.  Positive, encouraging and took time to talk and listen.  I mentioned that I really liked her to our day nurses on the last day.  They said that she had told them about us and that she really liked as too.  :-)  She told us that they really worked to build relationships there - and I could tell.  Our stay here was so very positive!

During the days we had training sessions with our doctors, dieticians and nurses.  We learned more about the disease, how to administer the blood pricks and shots, what to do in the case of an emergency (high or low blood sugar), how to count carbs, what foods he needs to eat and not eat and much, much more.  We were given a LOT of great information to read - both for us and for Joshua.  We were encouraged every step of the way that we could do this and it would all work out well.  We were also told that it would be hard at first and I appreciate their honesty in this.  We had visits by the chaplain, a man with an ice cream cart and volunteers with books.  Did I mention that this is a really nice hospital!

Joshua liked getting a ride in this transport.  We had seen them when we walked around the hospital one evening.  He wanted a ride then and I told him that he might get one when he left.  We also visited the butterfly garden which is a nice little outside courtyard decorated with beautiful outdoor artwork, the cafeteria (Joshua carefully checking the carb counts on foods) and the lobby area which had a Victorian dollhouse which was amazing.

This is Joshua's room.  It was big and nice!  One of the nurses said that they called it the "good luck" room because all of the patients in there did really well.  I have to hope that that would be all of the rooms!

They have decorated the children's area so nicely - including pictures painted on the windows outside the rooms and butterflies on the ceilings of the rooms.

Outside of the hospital in the parking deck - about ready to go home!

Our experience at UNC Hospitals was very positive!  I"m so thankful that we live so close to such excellent medical care!  I never knew we would be taking advantage of the hospitals as much as we have.  We'll be coming back here regularly for checks, clinics and teaching session with a dietician.  We have a follow-up appt next Wednesday.

In the midst of all of this, we continue to see God's hand at work - in the staff at the hospital, in our friends and family.  While I am not thankful that my sweet son has this disease, I am thankful that we have a strong and faithful God walking with us every step of the way!  Thank you again for your prayers and encouragment!!!



I'm sure I've left things out.  This was a long post and lots of switching back and forth between writing and uploading pictures.  If you have questions, please ask!  :-) 

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Sat Update on Joshua

He is feeling much better!  Thank you for your prayers!  He was able to eat some toast during the day yesterday.  He ate soup for dinner.  His numbers weren't too bad either.

Today he has been eating normally.  No recurrance of being sick either!  Yippee!!!

His numbers have been pretty good most of the day - though he was down to 78 before bedtime!  I was stunned!  He had juice in addition to his bedtime snack.  Hopefully that will help balance out his numbers.  We'll be checking again at 2am.

I'm working on uploading pictures and details from our hospital stay.  It may take me awhile though.  I'm behind on most everything - including emails.   I apologize if I owe you one, I'm working to get through things, but just going slowly.

Thank you again for your prayers for our sweet Joshua.  He has been amazing with all of this.   I feel like I'm doing better with the finger pokes too.  Not quite as stressed and having more successes too.  Joshua even asked me today if he could try it sometime - though he also said he didn't want to do it now!  I assured him that he could do it when he was ready. 

God is faithful and good.  I continue to learn more about letting go and trusting even when things make no sense. 

Off to bed soon as that 2am alarm is quite a rude wake-up.  Though probably not as rude as it is to be woken up to have your finger poked.  ;-)

More tomorrow.



Friday, June 26, 2009

Fri afternoon update on Joshua

Thank you for your prayers!!!

I did talk with the doctor.  The plan is to watch his blood sugars and to check them every 2 hours if they are far from normal.   More opportunities to practice. 

The blood prick at 12:30 went pretty well.  I still had to do it 2 times.  The first couldn't get enough blood (I think I was too close to the center of his finger), the second one worked like a charm.  We did lots of warming and massaging.  I'm hoping that the second one is our new track.  :)

I talked with Joshua about how brave he is.  We talked more about the verse God gave us the other day - Joshua 1:9.  We talked about how God had to tell Joshua 3 times to be strong and courageous.  I don't think that this meant that Joshua had no fear.  Certainly being brave does not mean that there is no fear.  It does mean doing what you are called to do in the face of your fear.  We are both having to do that as we learn how to manage his diabetes.  It is a learning curve for our whole family. 

Something neat happened today that I know was God just reminding us of His love for us.  After his blood draw, I brought up a card that he had received in the mail.  On the front of the card was a verse ... Joshua 1:9.  We talked about how  God sometimes gives us the same verse more than once because He really wants us to hear it.  I love that!  Thank you to the GAA staff for sending this sweet card!

His numbers at lunch were good (in the normal range in fact!) and he hasn't gotten sick again.  I just gave him some toast, so we'll see.  I also checked his ketones which were small.  This is another thing to keep an eye on so that he does not go into DKA (long name for too many ketones in urine while having diabetes).  It is something that would send him to the hospital.  They were surprised that he was not in this state when we brought him in.  He would have been had we come in later.  Thank you God.

I'm hoping we can manage this and that it will pass quickly.  Wondering if it is viral or a reaction to something he ate?  Not sure how I would know either???  How soon would something like that show up?  And is it different if he is newly diabetic with his numbers still really fluctuating greatly!!!  (Differences of more than 250 in just a few hours)

That is probably a good question for the doctor.  I'll update as I can.  Need to go check on my boy and try to get something to eat myself.  Also have a few others calling out to me.  More later.

Thank you for your prayers.  God is good!



Joshua is throwing up

Could you pray for us as we learn how to manage yet another new thing?

My son Isaiah was throwing up 2 nights ago. It wasn't too bad for him. Joshua obviously has a lot more going on. I'm reading my book on sick care and I know we can handle this. It's just a little scary and I'm trying to be brave and strong for Joshua. He is handling everything so very well. I know though that this is hard for him too. He feels crummy right now.

The finger poke went better this morning though it still took me two tries. I will be using some of y'alls tips to help in the future - thank you!  I know that this will get easier, but may take some time.  I'm not a medical person (though I've learned a lot in the last few years).

I've called the doctor and am waiting for a return call. Will post more as I can.

Thank you for your support and prayers!!!   
I do greatly appreciate your encouragment!  There is so much that is new and I'm still learning.  This diagnosis is just 4 days fresh and it's a bit overwhelming at times - for all of us.  All of the comments here have been wonderful.  Thank you.

Will update more as I can.

UPDATE 1 - 45 min after throwing up, he also has diarrhea.  :-(  He is miserable.   Thank you for praying for him.


Thursday, June 25, 2009

Prayer request for any night owls reading this

I'm trying not to worry and I have prayed, but still the uncertainty of all of this is a little unnerving.

Joshua has blood checks done 5 times per day - before breakfast, lunch and dinner, before bed and at 2am.  His numbers have been coming down since Monday.  Most of his readings on Mon were over the highest reading (500).  One lab gave us results of 643.  That is really, really high!

For the last 2 days he has been in the high 200s.  Last night (2am) he dropped to 118.  That is in the normal range, but a really big drop.  I talked with the drs and nurses about this and my concern that he would drop even more once his day numbers were not so high.  They did adjust his night shot doses to accomodate this.

Tonight, his reading before dinner was 288.  His meal was pretty low carb and after doing his next reading I wondered if it was too low.  At 9pm was 128.  He had a good healthy snack (with some good carbs in it) and no shot of insulin.

All of this background (which may be more than you want to know), to ask that you would please pray that his numbers are alright tonight.  I'll be checking him at 2am and just want him to be in the normal range.  Not dropping much from the last number would be great!

I know we'll have to deal with low blood sugars, but I'd love to skip that one tonight.

Sorry this isn't much of an update - more tomorrow as I'm able to.  There is a lot to do here and to catch up on and children that just want mommy time.  :-)


UPDATE: Just finished his poke. It took 4 tries as I just couldn't get any blood. After the third try, he asked me to stop poking him.

I switched needles, hands, fingers. *sigh* This is discouraging. The upside though was that I could tell he wasn't "low". I was stunned at his numbers though. 388!!! Yikes, what a jump.

This feels like a rollercoaster. It is hard to do anything that hurts your child, even when you know it is for the best. These finger sticks are just hard for me. Thank you for your prayers!

We are home!

I don't have time to type much now, but just wanted to update that we are home.  We checked out late this afternoon.  It's a little scary, but also good to be home.  UNC hospital was a great place to be for all of this!

I did my first sucessful blood draw and reading (had to do 2 readings at the hospital and there was just never enough to do the 2nd read - our machine).  I also gave a shot and measured out portions of a healthy meal.  Joshua was a wonderful help in all of it.  He has been amazing. 

I'll write more as I can later, though I'm going to have to adjust a lot of what I'm doing.  I know going to sleep earlier will be more important as we look to getting on a routine around here with blood checks, shots and meals. 

Thank you for your prayers and encouragment.  I'll do my best to answer - but do know I'm reading and appreciate so very much your words!

With love


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wednesday - dinner time

Just a short update while I have a few moments.  I started this in the early afternoon, but then we had some visitors and meeting with the doctor and now it's dinner time.  I'll try to quickly finish this and perhaps post more later if there is more time. 

Thank you for your prayers and words of encouragment.  We do appreciate them.

Thank ypu also for the advice on not looking things up.  I really wasn't trying to look up info - just trying to find out when our local walk for Juvenile Diabetes was occuring.  It was then that I stumbled on to the other page.  I have plenty of info here to read and am just going to look at that.

I think we'll be staying another day in order to make sure that we are comfortable with all we need to do to treat Joshua during the days and also in the event of an emergency.  I know that some of my issues with leaving early are from leaving early after Eliana's heart surgery.  This ended up being a difficult thing for us when we got home.  I talked about this with the night nurse and she said that she has only sent one family home as early as we would be if we left today.  That made me feel better and I don't feel like we are being rushed out of here either.  Everyone has encouraged us to take the time we need here.  That is a really nice thing!

We've met with one of the doctors this morning to review information and esp what to do when/if Joshua has low blood sugars.  This is a potentially dangerous thing for him,  It's good to know, but can also be a little overwhelming to think about too.  I'm trying to focus on the facts which can help me to remain calm, but for me, there is a little boy behind all of these facts that bring in my emotions and heart, 

I've done the insulin shots several times now (at least 4?) and am pretty comfortable with giving it.  The hardest part is mixing the different types into one shot and getting the doses completely accurate (with no air bubbbles) and seeing the tiny half markings on the bottle. 

I did the first finger prick today too.  I was caught a little off guard - just someone walking in and asking.  That was probably good as it didn't give me a lot of time to think about it.  I still started tearing up.  I am not sure why I'm so uncomfortable with this part of it, but I am.  The doctor and others seem surprised that I'm OK giving the shots and not the prick.  I can't explain it, but hopefully I'll get more comfortable with it.  I'm sure I will as I will be getting a lot of practice. 

Just got a phone call from Roger and we have a sick child.  :-(  Throwing up.  One more good reason to stay.  Would you pray for health and healing for our family?  I really don't want this sweeping through the family and most especially not Joshua. 

More to write, but need to go read with Joshua.  Thank you friends for your visits, gifts and phone calls.  We appreciate all of them!  If you have sent an email, I most likely have not gotten it.  I use webmail here and most of my mail has gone to my home where I can't get to it until I'm home too.  Confusing, but it is the way it is.

***  More from the afternoon.  We visited the playroom which is really nice.  I'll post pics later if I can.  We (Roger and I) had another meeting/teaching time with the doctor.  She is really nice and does a great job both encouraging and explaining things to us. 

Roger also got a turn to try the finger prick and giving shot.  Neither of us have been successful in using our testing machine (can't remember the name of it) because so much blood has to go for the test strip for the hospital that there hasn't been enough left for our strip.  Roger did let me test his blood (and it looked great!) so we could see if the machine worked. 

This is feeling factual.  Things are going pretty well.  We are learning a lot and it is a little overwhelming.  The need for structure and details in order to manage this something that doesn't come naturally for me.  I am organized (not structured).  I've learned a lot though with Eliana about how to manage things outside of my comfort zone.  This will be a challenge, but one that I'm sure we'll all learn to manage together.

I wanted to post some pics, but I have to say thank you to our friends that have been sooo sweet!  Thank you for bringing food to my family at home, taking the kids swimming, visitors for Joshua, balloons, cards, games and even a photo album for him, a new CD and trail mix for us too.  We are so blessed to have such dear friends caring for us - in prayer and in other ways too.  Thank you - all of you!!!

As I was praying and feeling a little overwhelmed, God reminded me of a verse.  I thought was a good one for a number of reasons.  I loved where it is found too.  I also appreciated that this is a verse that I learned from a children's heart and it also reminded me how important it is to hide God's word in my heart.  (And to help my children to do the same!)

"Have I not commanded you?  Be strong and courageous!  Do not be terrified, do not be discouraged for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."  Joshua 1:9

God is commanding us to be strong and courageous and not to be overwhelmed or discouraged by all that is going on.  How can we do this?  By knowing that God is with us wherever we go.  I love the promise in this!  God is good. 



Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Tuesday - Early afternoon

Things are going pretty well.  Joshua's numbers are still high.  They were lower this morning (225) and then went up again (385), even after the insulin so he got an extra type of insulin.  Two types in one shot.  It will be a juggle to try to figure out what works best for him.

We are still waiting to see the doctors.  Lots of waiting in hospitals. 

If you want to phone, my cell number is the best to call.  The connection at the hospital doesn't seem to be as strong.

I gave Joshua a dose of insulin.  We both handled it well.  I didn't have much time to mentally prepare.  I said a quick prayer and just did it.  I have practiced some on a rubber ball, but that is not quite the same as poking your child.  It reminded me of all the times I had to insert an NG tube into Eliana.  I remember asking for prayers for that soooo many times.  It was hard.  It did get a little easier, but was never easy.  I think this will be easier - but maybe I just don't really understand what lies ahead. 

I started doing some reading and found a site for a local group.  It was going well until I found this page.


Don't go there if you aren't ready to handle this.  (My sweet daughter, please don't read this yet if you are reading my blog.)  It just made me tear up and want to sob - but stuff it in as I'm sitting here with my little boy.  I'm not sure i was ready to read that.  Honestly, I didn't even read it all.  I read the story of the little girl and then a line or two and just clicked off.  It was too much to imagine that being my little boy. 

We keep hearing how it will all be fine.  Though one doctor has been very frank in saying it is going to be hard.  This is not something that is going to "get better".  Though we will begin praying earnestly for a cure (for which there is great hope!!!).  This is something that will require many pokes/sticks a day.  For now, it looks like at least 3-4 each of sticks and shots of insulin.  :0(  That is a lot for a little boy to handle. 

For now, he is enjoying "room service" and is doing well with all of the poking.  Thank you so much for your prayers.  More later. 



PS  I'm having a hard doing much more than check here on my blog.  If you want to reach me, you can post here or phone.  I appreciate hearing from you!

PPS  A poster had mentioned the connection between diabetes and celiac.  He is being screened for that too.  I'm hoping that there is nothing there.  I appreciate you mentioning this.  I think that they are screeing for several things - thyroid, celiac and I don't remember the rest.  It's a lot to take in. 

Tuesday morning at the hospital

Hi All,

Thank you for your prayers, notes and calls.  I apologize that I haven't been able to pick up on all the calls.  Yesterday was a long, long day. 

I reread my post yesterday and it seemed so ... emotionless.  I think it was a little bit of shock and just feeling the urgency of heading to the ER.   I'll try to share a little bit today while I have a few minutes, but know that this may be disjointed.

Yesterday we arrived at UNC a little before 5pm.  We checked into the pediatric ER.  Isn't that nice to have a peds ER?  We were there for over 5 hours.  Roger met us and the three of us were together during this time.  We talked, laughed, and played cards between visits from 5 doctors and a very nice nurse.  All of them were nice really.  The nurse went out of her way though to be kind to Joshua getting him some of her own sugar free drink mix to have when he was so hungry.

We began the learning process of what diabetes is - and what is happening in Joshua's body.  Basically, his pancreas is not functioning.  The antibodies that protect us from germs and diseases have gotten confused and attacked his pancreas.  The pancreas is what makes insulin for our body.  When we eat, our pancreas gives us just the right amount of insulin to be able to handle what we have ingested whether it is a piece of fruit, a sugary drink or protein.  The doctor shared that the pancreas is a truly amazing organ and that medical science has done it's best to replecate its function though it's not nearly as good.  That isn't surprising that God has made each part of our body to function in an amazing way.

After blood draws for many tests, they confirmed that his blood sugars were still very high - "critical" was the word that they used.  The good news is that he is not septic or in high distress because it was caught early.  This means he was sent to a regular room instead of ICU and hopefully will have a shorter stay.

Through all of the wait, Joshua was so good and so brave.  He was also very hungry!!!  The dr explained that because he wasn't producing insulin, the body was not able to deal with the sugars in the foods he eats.  They were just discarded instead of being sent through the body - leaving him ravenous!  So, by 10pm he was starved!  They didn't want him eating until the blood results were back - and then I'm not sure why it took so long to get food.  He loved the food they finally brought.  Said it was the best meal ever.

We were taken up to our room about 10:30?  More check-in, questions, tour of the floor, learning more about his "pricks" and his first dose of insulin.  One of the nurses told me (though I heard this a LOT), that they would be "overwhelming us with information" over the next few days.  I laughed and thought to myself that it was a good thing that my mind was empty and bored.  Um, right! 

Our room is HUGE.  It is nice and friendly for a hospital room.  The staff have all been very nice. 

Joshua got another meal tray when we got to the room and Roger brought me some food from the cafeteria.  Isn't he nice?  He stayed for awhile until we were settled in for the evening and then went home. 

After everyone had left and all was calm, I sat in the bed beside Joshua to read him a book.  At that point,  he just started to cry.  He wondered "why me?".  Haven't we all asked this question of God?  I know that I have.  He was worried that he was going to get in a coma (someone mentioned this as a possible thing that happens).  I assured him that this was caught in time and was not going to happen.  He also tearfully asked if he was going to have to "prick" himself multiple times for the rest of his life.  I answered honestly.  Yes, at this point, that is what life is going to be like.

I just held him and comforted him and we prayed together.  I know that the prayers of others are helping all of us so much.  Thank you!  And please keep praying. 

Joshua continues to be brave.  He would love visitors if you are local - and not sick.  ;-)  I think he is feeling a bit - not a lot - overwhelmed.  He is also feeling like a pincushion.  He is up to 8 so far.  Yes, he is counting.

You are welcome to phone us - and hopefully we'll catch you in between doctors.  You know how it can be in a hospital.  We will be here a few more days as we learn how to administer shots and manage his blood sugars. 

Through all of this I have felt a peace that can only have come from God.  I think He has been preparing me for this.  I also think that having walked the road with Eliana that this one is less intimidating to me now than it would have been a couple of years ago.  I'm thankful to know that God is with us every step of the way.  I'm thankful we are in a place to receive such good medical care.  I'm thankful for family and friends who are praying with us and supporting us.  In the midst of all of this, I remain thankful.  God is good.

Need to go hang out with my sweet boy who is asking a million questions!  We've started a great book and he is ready for the next chapter.  I'll update more as I can.



Monday, June 22, 2009

Diagnosis - Diabetes

Joshua and I have just returned from the doctor's office.  They did a non-fasting blood and urine test on him.  His numbers were so high that they were not measurable.  The test measures to 500 and his is higher than that.  Normal is 80-110. 

Since his numbers are so high, they are wanting to get him back into normal range.  We will be leaving shortly to admit him to UNC hospital.  While we are there, we will be learning more about his diabetes and how to manage it. 

I greatly apologize for sharing the news this way.  I know some of you will read this before I have a chance to call.  I'm sorry. 

Please pray for us as we walk this new path.  I'm not surprised.  I felt like this was coming, and that mommy intuition is so often right.  I know this is not a surprise to God and that He is holding us in his hands.  His is good, true and faithful. 

I'll update more as I'm able to from the hospital.



Sunday, June 21, 2009

Small prayer request

I'm taking Joshua in today to see the doctor for some testing.  He has had some things going on for a few months - and it's really gotten worse recently.  It was especially obvious this week.  Some of the symptoms point to diabetes.  I've asked for the doctor to run a urinalysis to test for this.  (This is all via the appt nurse so hopefully it will happen.)

I've called this morning to see if we need to do anything special (fasting?  eating/not eating certain foods?) before coming in and am waiting to hear back.  Also wanting to confirm that the testing can start today. 

Would you pray that we would get clear answers as to what is going on?  I'm concerned, but also at peace.  I know that Roger is also very concerned.  At this point, Joshua seems calm about all of it.  I just want to find out if there is something we need to do to help Joshua.  We are obviously hoping it is not diabetes. 

I'll update tomorrow when we know more.  Well, I hope we know more, but I'll update either way.

Thank you,


Happy Birthday Daniel!

Our little boy is 5 today!  Where have the years gone?!  Sometimes when I hear myself say things like that, I think I sound so old.  The years just seem to fly by at times and I'm doing my best to try to enjoy the days and not live with regrets. 

Our precious Daniel.  A blessing from God (as are all children!).  A strong role model in the book of the Bible bearing the same name.  I pray that as he grows that Daniel will be able to stand strong in a culture that has turned from God.  I pray that He will hold fast to God.  I pray that he would love God wholeheartedly.

Five years ago we welcomed a healthy, blond-haired, blue-eyed baby into our family.  We were thrilled to meet him!  It had been a long and hard pregnancy - periods of it that I don't even remember.  (I have Hyperemesis Gravidarum which makes for very sick and very rough pregnancies.)  Lots of meds, IVs, hospital visits ... it was all worth it though - every moment - to welcome Daniel into our family.  Thank you God for blessing us!

Daniel is such a delight to me.  I love his smile and the way his eyes light up.  I love his impish grin.  I love his giggle and the silliness that is still a part of his personality.  I love hearing his stories and seeing where his imagination takes him.  I love seeing what interests him.  I love seeing him play with his siblings.  I love his hugs and holding his hand. 

We spent the last week at the beach and I loved being with him and watching him collect shells.  He learned about various shells - olives, augers, baby ears, "fairy boats, and more.  He has a good eye and is persistant and careful in looking for shells.  He also enjoyed watching the crabs along the surf and digging in the sand.  He likes to walk along the shore (so do I) and hold hands.  Mostly though, he loves looking for shells. 

Daniel is creative and likes to paint and will spend time getting his pictures just right.  He had good attention to detail and is proud of his work.  Daniel enjoys listening to stories, riding his jeep, playing inside and out and collecting things.

Daniel has grown in so many ways over the last year.  He deals with sensory issues and has made a lot of progress in both the types of foods he is willing and able to eat as well as in dealing with things around him (noise, people, dirt, distractions).  I'm happy to see he making such progress and excited that he is able to enjoy his world more these days.  I have to admit that some of his "quirks" are ones that I have too (not liking to have my hands dirty is one of them).  They aren't all bad.  LOL

I'll post more pics later in the week.  We had a party for Daniel while we were at the beach with my family.  We also spent today just playing and doing the things that Daniel wanted to do - games, playing playmobil, riding his jeep, going to McDonalds, watching a movie and just hanging out with his family.  It was a low-key and fun day.

Daniel - I love you very, very much!!!  Thank you God for blessing our family with Daniel!



Saturday, June 20, 2009

Our last "Sports Saturday"

This is a week late because we have just spent the last week at the beach.  I was trying to catch up a little while we were gone - and will post beach pics later when they are uploaded. 

We had our last "Sports Saturday", well, for a few months anyway.  Our boys had their final games with their flag football teams.

Joshua had the first game at noon.  Roger was working, so just the children and I went.  We set up our "tent"/awning which provided much needed shade.  We had a nice lunch that we bought at the concession stand.  It is a great deail - we get a combo lunch cheeseburger/hamburger/hotdog with chips and a drink for $2 - $2.50.  Everyone was happy.

 Both boys played well and had tough games.  Unfortunately, their teams did not win.

That is part of playing sports - learning how to be gracious in winning and losing.  I'm thankful for the life lessons that their coaches work to instill around sports.  I'm thankful that they make a point to talk about God in the context of their lives right now and in how they are conducting themselves on and off of the field.  I'm glad my boys have the opportunity to play for these teams and look forward to more football in the summer/fall.




Friday, June 19, 2009

Drama - The Wizard of Oz

Rebecca attended a week-long drama camp with two of her good friends.  They spent 6 hours a day there working on a play of The Wizard of Oz. 

The first day was spent reading lines and trying out for parts.  When the girls got home, I could see Rebecca's face through the window - and I could tell she was excited.  I could hardly wait to hear what part she would have.  As soon as she was in the house, she told us her role was Dorothy!  I was so excited for her.  The lead!  What a fun responsibility!  I knew that she would be diligent in learning her lines and working hard to do her best. 

On Friday, after a day of dress rehearsals, we picked up the girls and went out for pizza (Mellow Mushroom - yum!).  We then took them back to the church to get ready for the play. 

We went to a park with the younger children for a short while before heading back for the performance.

It was wonderful!!!  I wish I could share the whole thing here.  I am proud of the hard work that they did and loved watching it.  Here is our beautiful Dorothy!

After the play, I had some parents ask if I had helped her with her lines.  (I hadn't.)  I think I offered - but didn't really seek out to help her.  (I was trying not to feel guilty for leaving her on her own - but it was obviously fine!)  I just trusted that she could do it - or that she would ask for help if she needed it. 

The whole cast was great!  This is a photo after the play.  (Loved hearing their excited screams after the show was over and they headed to the back room.  I only heard b/c I followed and wanted a photo!)

Afterwards we stayed for a reception and everyone enjoyed the treats.  Daniel loved the pumpkin bars, though he didn't want a fork.  (???)

A little messy without a utensil.

Rebecca had a wonderful time and has mentioned to me a "few" times that she would like to do this again.  I know I'd like for her to be able to do this again too.  Even Daniel asked the following day if we could go again and see the play.  He didn't understand why they just did it one time. 

We celebrated the following day with the special plate. 

Blessings from a proud mama,


Thursday, June 18, 2009

Backyard Critter Mini-Camp - Day 6 - Grasshopper - check text

Backyard Bugs - Grasshopper

 We began the day with a devotion from the book Five Minute Devotions.  Then we read  Are You a Grasshopper?

We also looked at the two-page spread from Bugs and Spiders.  This is a great book with photos and information on various insects (and spiders) including life cycle, size, basic info and anatomy.

Next we shared some information with the children on grasshoppers.  When we were able to insert a fun activity to go along with the fact - we did that.  Did you know that there are more than 18,000 kinds of grasshoppers and they are found all over the world with the exception of the colder areas near the North and South Pole.

We also talked about the differences between grasshoppers and crickets. 

Differences Between Grasshoppers and Crickets


Grasshoppers & Locusts

Crickets & Katydids




Auditory Organs

on the abdomen

on the forelegs


rubbing the hind leg against the forewing

rubbing forewings together



long, extended




Feeding Habits


predatory, omnivorous, or herbivorous

Our two youngest kids just playing and having fun. 

One of the facts we shared was that grasshoppers are able to jump up to 20 times their  height!  Isn't that amazing?  We measured how tall each of the children are and then mulitplied that by 20.  We had them measure out how far they could jump if they were able to jump like a grasshopper.  Needless to say - they didn't even come close!

We made homemade catapaults for the next activity.  It was very easy and a lot of fun.  Try it!  I used a 2 inch block (or the closest square I had to it).  Tape a ruler to the bottom of the block.  Tape a spoon to the top.  That's it! 

We talked about how the strong muscles in the legs of the grasshopper are what is enables him to catapault great distances.  We used m&ms to illustrate the point.  Each child got a different color so they could compare which went the furthest.

Even the little boys liked the catapault, though I think they liked the chocolate even better. 

For snack, we went easy today - grasshopper cookies.  The children wondered what these had to do with grasshoppers.  Nothing really, but they did taste good. 

We ended a little early because we wanted to get to lunch early.  We knew we would be eating an early dinner (so that the girls in the play could eat before having to be back at the church at 5:30).

After lunch, some of the children spent time drawing insects from a really neat book I found at a local store.

A site to listen to sounds of a grasshopper - http://www.naturesongs.com/insects.html

Here are a few more more interesting Facts about grasshoppers

**When a grasshopper is picked up, they "spit" a brown liquid which is known by most kids and adults as "tobacco juice".  Some scientists believe that this liquid may protect grasshoppers from attacks by insects such as ants.


**A more attractive feature of some grasshoppers is their ability to sing. It's the males that sing, and they do it to attract female mates, or to warn off other males.

**Q.  How many eyes does a grasshopper have?  Where are they placed?
A.  The grasshopper has five eyes. It has 2 very large eyes on the side of their head with thousands of tiny lenses that enable them to see forward to the side and behind them. They also has a small eye on each of its antennas. And one more eye between them.

**Q.  What kind of crops can a grasshopper destroy? 
A.  They will destroy an entire crop of alfalfa, clover, cotton, corn, and other grains causing millions of dollars in damage every year.

*Grasshoppers can’t drink. They take in water from the plants they eat.
*The differential grasshopper, which lives throughout North America, can eat 16 times its weight in food in a day.

*Millions even billions of grasshoppers have flown together in a single swarm so thick it blocked out the sunlight.

* The world’s largest grasshoppers are about 150 mm long, while the smallest measure less than 6 mm.

* A female grasshopper can dig a burrow using tiny hooks at her rear end. Then she lays 20 to 100 eggs in the burrow.


One of the benefits to me of doing this type of camp is that I gain a greater appreciation for all that God has done - the variety, the creativitiy - it's really amazing.  So many interesting things for us to learn about - and what fun it is to learn!