Sunday, April 18, 2010

Update on the pump, heart day and more!

Sorry I'm slow in posting updates, but things have just been super busy.  This week looks to be more of the same.  We'll all be ready for a break by the week-end!

The Pump

Friday morning, Joshua got up and ready and had his "last shot" (at least on a regular basis).  We've been told not to get rid of the syringes as there may be times that they are needed for a back-up.  This was still a big milestone though.  The last shot. 

Joshua has gotten on average 4 shots a day for the last 10 months.  That is approximately 1200 shots that I've given my sweet boy.  I'm thankful that I can care for him at home, but I won't lie, it's been hard too.  It's hard being on call constantly.  It's hard being the only one that can take care of him.  We haven't been apart from each other for more than a couple of hours ... for close to a year.  I'm still thankful though.  And I do love being close to my children.  A few hours is usually plenty of time to do all that I need to do apart from them.  I love being a mom and though I hadn't planned on working on my "nursing degree" at the same time as caring for my young children, I'm thankful for all that I've learned.  I know God has used much of this to teach me, humble me and show me how to be grateful for so much more!!!

I'm rambling.  We headed to the hospital for our 9am appointment.  Roger met us there and we were seen in a small room with a rep from Animas (the maker of Joshua's pump).  We talked with her for almost 3 hours.  Learning about the pump and how it works.  Practicing putting in the cartridges, learning the various screens, putting in the inset (into Joshua).  He was getting restless (and hungry) and 2 hours into the session, he was finally hooked up to the pump.

He was very excited.  We found a snack.  I had brought some Nabs.  Typically, he has only 1/2 of the package for a snack so that he doesn't have to get an additional shot.  If he chooses a snack with more than 12 carbs, he is due for a shot.  Usually he will choose a lower carb snack and forego the shot.  (Can you blame him!)  Sometimes though, he will opt for the snack if it's a really good one.

We figured out his insulin needs using the calculations in the pump and he gave himself his first bolus (dose of insulin through the pump replacing a shot!)!  I love that it can give doses in small increments!  His first dose was .85 of a unit.  In the tiny syringes that I use, the markings are .5.  It's really hard when he needs a dose in between the markings!  This will be a really nice feature. 

Again, a very excited and proud little boy!  He was very excited to get home and show every how it works.  (Though it is very quiet and fast so there isn't too much to see.)

Heart Day

We planned a picnic in the park for dinner to celebrate Eliana's heart day - and also Joshua's getting a pump.  My sweet friend Rebecca  planned a lovely dinner and brought delicious food for all of us!  We tried to get a watermelon (too early) and found cantaloupe instead.  Rebecca (my daughter) made some heart "lollipop" cookies.

I love Rebecca's desire to do things special and her effort into making things for others .  It is a gift and she uses it well.  


It was a beautiful day.  We all thought that this was something we should do more often - and especially while the weather is nice!  I didn't get a lot of photos though, because soon after we arrived, I realized that I had forgotten the scale so I ran home to get it.  Then shortly after I got back, Joshua told me that his pump had an error message.  Ack!  I wasn't ready for testing quite so soon.  LOL

We were at a park close to home, and I had left not bringing all of our extra supplies.  Thankfully, there is a 1-800 number on the back of Joshua's pump with 24 hour assistance.  I called and she walked me through repriming the pump and getting him set again.  She also tried to troubleshoot to find out why we had gotten the error, but we couldn't find anything.  We then fixed plates, checked blood glucose and got another error!  The same one.  *sigh*  I went ahead and reprimed the pump and called again.  I have to say that the customer service at Animas was very good!  Helpful, kind, courteous - and they had the info from the last call so I didn't have to go over it all again.  She told me that if it happened again, I would need to take out the cannister (with the insulin) and put in a new one.  We made it through dinner just fine.

The kids liked having both cookies ... and cupcakes (made by my friend Rebecca).

Eliana was delighted with all of it.

We had fun enjoying her!

After we got home, we got the error message again.  I redid the cannister.  (I may not be getting all the names right, but too tired to look it up in the manual.)  I talked again to one of the reps that walked me through the steps (even though we had this in training) which was helpful.  We haven't had a problem since then.

So, how is it going on the pump?  So far, we like it.   It has given Joshua more freedom and control over things.  He sets up his bolus and gives it (though I like to look over the numbers just to make sure that I agree with the pump).  Only once have I disagreed with the pump and it was due to some unusually high numbers.  I didn't want him crashing and so gave a lower dose.  It worked out well.  

I like that he can eat more  - especially at snack times.  His numbers were very good for the first 24 hours.  They were a little higher after though - with an almost low thrown in for good measure.  Tomorrow we do or first site change.  It will be nice to get that done and under my belt so I feel more confidence on doing this too.  I know I can do it though and don't have nearly the fears I did when I was facing some of Eliana's changes (of her feeding tube). 

I have talked with an Animas rep each day since Friday.  She has called to check on us and to see how things are going.  I'll send her his numbers and we'll see if any tweaking needs to be done with his insulin.  Again, I'm very impressed with the service we are getting!

Overall, I have to say that we are pleased.  I think this will give all of us more freedom and flexibility.  I think it will give Joshua more confidence.  We still have a lot to learn, but as beginners, things are going well.

The Play

Rebecca is in a play this week.  It's Charlotte's Web.  If you are local, it is on Thursday, Friday and Saturday.  I can send more info if you are interested.  This week-end, they did some monologues in costume at some of the local libraries.  I loved hearing them!  The students did a great job figuring out their characters and giving them even more dimension.  I really enjoyed seeing them and am so glad Rebecca is having this experience.  It has been a lot of work, but a good experience.  I think the play will be wonderful and encourage you to come if you can!

The Race

After church today, Christopher ran in another race.  This was a 10K.  Its his 4th race this year.  He came in FIRST in his age bracket.  Way to go Christopher!  I'm proud of his hard work and his diligence.  The race today was a benefit for Habitat for Humanity.   It was a gorgeous day for a race.

This week is another crazy, busy week.  I'll try to post more on our co-op last week as I'm able to.  I'm trying to go into this week with low expectations of what we will accomplish.  I've planned simple meals, tried to catch up on laundry and kept plans for schooling at a minimum.  I want this to be a fun week and for us to enjoy the blessings - not be stressed about things "to do".  Praying that in the midst of the busy, that we will still listen to God's voice as He directs our plans and plans our paths.  I'm excited to see what the week will hold for us.