Our Type 1 Diabetes Diagnosis

When I left you in our last post, we had just learned that Baby had Type 1 Diabetes, and our family would not be moving to Okinawa, Japan.

There was still a lot in the air, would Paul go without us? What would happen to us if he did? What did this diagnosis mean? What about the dogs (who we shipped to Japan in April)? And the stuff the movers just picked up to ship to Japan? We were scheduled to move out of our house in a few weeks, we had plans to sell our cars, we had potential buyers for both.

First I’ll start with Baby’s diagnosis. Type 1 Diabetes. It’s not something we could have prevented. It’s different from the diabetes that you develop later in life, often as a result lifestyle choices. This had nothing to do with what he ate, or how he spent his first year of life. It just happened. His pancreas stopped producing insulin. Likely his pancreas has been slowly dropping in this function for months. Some of the symptoms from decreased insulin are also symptoms that tie in with growing babies, like increased hunger, decreased sleep. These are things that you wouldn’t rush off to the doctor for. But even if we had, even if 4 months ago a doctor had told us that Baby’s pancreas wasn’t doing as well as it was supposed to be doing, there is nothing that would have ‘fixed’ it. This was pretty much inevitable.

So now we found ourselves in the hospital, trying wrap our heads around this diagnosis, and answer all the questions I listed above. I think the stress of figuring out all of the stuff about our move to Japan, sort of overshadowed the diagnosis. Not in a bad way, but in that we didn’t go straight into heartbreak, we weren’t devastated. Our first step was to swiftly go into action to try to deal with our move.

In short we were able to quickly get enrolled in EFMP, which allowed us to speed up the process of getting Baby officially medically disqualified from moving to Okinawa. This disqualification, although depressing, was vital to our goal of having Paul’s orders to Okinawa modified so no one would have to move. We also had to figure out the situation with the dogs. I haven’t talked much about it on social media, but in April we made the decision to send the dogs in advance to Okinawa, so they would be there when we arrived. Most airlines have a heat embargo during the summer from late May-late September. They do not allow snub nosed dogs to fly at all. This is because they overheat easier, thus it’s more dangerous for them to fly. I immediately got to work with our transport company to get the dogs back to America if we had time, because they had already embarked on the most expensive Japanese vacation any dog has ever had. Time wasn’t on our side though and we were only able to get one dog on a last minute flight before the heat embargo, so the other is being kept with the dog transport until she can fly again. It’s not a perfect situation, but it’s the safest for her.

By the time we got all of the above figured out, we had already begun to work on a routine, we had already had our ‘crash course’ in T1 Diabetes management. We were fast learning about insulin, glucose, testing Baby’s blood, checking for ketones, how to properly do injections, how to use an insulin pump, and how to count carbs. We had a few setbacks, we had some really high highs and some lows, but after 9 days we were discharged from the hospital. I really have nothing but positive things to say about the hospital. We had great doctors and nurses, we met some great people, and we are positive about Paul’s future. We have been told over and over, because he is so young, and we are able to establish his care properly, he will never know what life is like before diabetes. Although things seem difficult now, his life should be easier because this happened while he was so young, versus it happening in 5 or 10 years.

We are now home, establishing our new normal, and learning how to keep everyone healthy. We have had a few setbacks, but we are back on track this week.  We have been working on putting our home back together, it took a while but we were able to get our stuff that was packed up the morning of his initial hospital trip back, before it left for Japan.  Baby Paul had his first birthday a couple weeks ago, and he got more toys and clothes than he could ever imagine.

We are still learning, but we will continue to do our best.

We aren’t moving to Okinawa


We were supposed to fly to Okinawa next week. We had planned, gone through all the screenings, gotten passports and airplane tickets, we were ready. A couple of weeks ago, on a Monday morning, the movers came to pack our unaccompanied baggage, which is the stuff we wanted there when we got there. Before this we had all been sick, for about 2 weeks all 4 of us had been fighting a nasty cold. That day baby Paul was really fussy, but he was sick like the rest of us. As the day wore on, the movers came and left with about a quarter of our belongings, the baby seemed okay just cranky.

Later in the afternoon everyone was resting and I took the baby outside to play and I noticed he was randomly gagging, sort of dry heaving. I decided he should nap too. While trying to get him to sleep Paul noticed he was breathing rapidly, shortly after I couldn’t get him to latch on to breastfeed. This was the most concerning symptom because he’s never in his life refused the breast, but it was like he couldn’t latch because he was struggling to breathe.

I rushed him to the ER. I believe they thought he had RSV, he was immediately given a nebulizer, IV fluids and a chest x-ray, which came back normal. The next step was the doctor tested his blood sugar. At that point the doctor told me I needed to call my husband because my baby was going to need to be transferred to the pediatric ICU at the larger medical facility about an hour away. They said he was in Diabetic Ketoacidosis. I didn’t really know what any of this meant, except that he almost surely had Type 1 Diabetes, and if that were true everything was about to change.

Within a few hours we were in an ambulance being transferred to the hospital. Baby was stable but his blood sugar was still way too high, and he still had a huge amount of ketones in his blood, which were basically poisoning his kidneys and liver from what I understand. Once we got to the ICU we quickly met several doctors and nurses which told us there was almost no question he had Diabetes. We spent all night testing babys blood sugar hourly, checking the levels for ketones, and adjusting his insulin and glucose dosages. The first night they wouldn’t let me breastfeed him because they needed to be in control of his glucose and insulin while they rid his body of the ketones that were poising his blood. It was a very long night with pretty much no sleep.

The next few days are a blur. He was officially diagnosed with Type 1 (T1) Diabetes, and we rushed to get him enrolled in the military program that helps our family when we have a family member with special needs; EFMP– Exceptional Family Member Program, we needed to be enrolled so we could try to stop our move to Okinawa because they do not have the military medical professionals on the island to treat insulin dependent diabetes.  We knew right away, with Baby’s diagnosis the kids and I would not be moving, but we were desperately trying to make it so Paul wouldn’t have to go without us.

So that’s why we aren’t moving to Okinawa. I am still very sad, for a lot of reasons. I’ll write another post and finish the story later this weekend. I need to dry my eyes and drink some coffee right now. I’ll leave you with a picture of my precious little boy, being a brave dude with his little robot arm, that protected the only IV line that he didn’t blow out the first few days in the hospital.

I don’t wear my wedding ring.

Amazing what a difference a cleaning can make!

A photo posted by Alana ? (@alanamarie26) on

I love my husband with my whole heart. But I don’t wear my rings. I actually stopped wearing them when I was pregnant in 2012 because I was all bloated and worried they would get stuck on my fingers and I would have to have them cut off. Then they didn’t fit because I never lost all the weight after E was born. I gradually stopped wearing any jewelry besides my lip ring. Eventually necklaces got taken off because Evey McGrabbyHands will yank on them, earrings are the same deal. I had one pair that worked great, but I lost the back and cannot find one that fits. Now the only jewelry I wear is my lip ring, which I can’t even get off right now, so it’s just stuck there.

I sometimes feel weird because I don’t have them on. Or I feel like people may be judging me because I don’t have them, maybe they are making assumptions about my marital situation. But the truth is I have gotten so used to not wearing them that they feel weird now. The times I do wear them I am hyper paranoid that I am going to loose them. I think I need to get a simple band, so I can have something on that finger, but nothing too fancy that I would die if I lost it. My wedding band from our ceremony is simple white gold, but it still doesn’t fit, maybe it will again someday.

School is a tad overwhelming

Man I am really no good at this. 
I have been forever absent again. 
School has taken precedence over blogging, and personal life, and social life, and everything. 
Last week was especially tough. I had a midterm paper to write and I was suffering from some sickness/stress/anxiety/women issues. But I got it done, and turned it in and got an 87%
I am a little over booked this semester. But now that that paper is over I can refocus, until my final paper in 4 weeks.
My classes are weird. It’s hard to explain.
I go to 2 schools, one does regular 16 week semesters. The other does 4 sets of 8 week condensed terms per semester.
So I have 2 classes at the community college here, well one regular 3 credit class and one 1 credit class. (both online)
And then I have 3 classes at the university online. In the first second and fourth terms. So my next class will not start until my first class ends. Thank god, because I have a huge ass paper due at the end of this class (History of Japan to 1800) and I don’t think I could handle starting another class before this one is over. 
Oh and I found out a class I took for fun, ended up filling a needed requirement, not just an elective! More time for activities! WooT! 
But things are going well.
Evey is doing great. She is getting bigger and bigger every day. She is talking up a storm. She is bossy, and determined. She is super smart too. She can count to 15 (most of the time) and she is working on her ABC’s. 
We just had a wonderful visit from Paul’s mom. We did so many fun things, beach trips, a trip to the Zoo, shopping. We had a blast. 
So really besides school, not much is going on here. 
I am thinking of doing another Vlog soon. The next Golden Vlog is up in a couple of days, So I need to film that. Plus I was thinking of doing a hair dye one.
I need to color my hair again, so why not film it? 
So that’s all, I should be studying, but instead I am helping my sister with a paper, and writing here. 
I suppose I should go to bed, or study. 
So Sayonara! 
Oh and Aiko Says Hello! 
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Sister Smarty Pants

I just wanted to take a moment to congratulate my little sister. She received her Associates in History and Anthropology this weekend. 
I am so very proud of her!
You beat me this round sister, now lets race to the BA! 
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How are we?

I feel like I haven’t really done much of an update in a while. So here goes, an update, in mostly pictures
Evey has learned to be sassy and stubborn
“hey, at least i’m not standing on the table anymore…”

but remains cute as hell

We BBQ a LOT, like almost every weekend for the last month
ymmm Ribs

We have started to think about maybe potty training (someday)

We have breakfast with dinosaurs sometimes 

I am cooking much more frequently than in Montana

The weather is pretty nice 

I am still trying desperately to drop a few pounds

happy mornings (not too early usually, thankfully)
But all in all we are having a good time, and getting along pretty well in cali. 
It’s not what we expected, but hey, it’s not snowing either, so there’s that! 
hiding those roots
Not even 10am and I have already built a bed #toddlerlife #momoftheyear #isitnaptimeyet
Ikea is going to put me in the poor house, good thing it’s over an hour away and surrounded by crazy traffic, or I would be there every day.
I'm gonna miss my Jeep, but this is way more practical. #toyota #corolla #newtome
 I can’t forget Little Red! We traded in my beloved Hello Kitty Mobile (Jeep Patriot) for a much more gas friendly Toyota Corolla! Also, Yay for no more transmission problems! (briefly mentioned here)
Oh and I am starting school soon. Gotta finish someday right? Two classes start this month, and one next month, and that’s all I’ve got planned until spring. Wish me luck! 

The Battery Kid

Sometimes I think twice about posting things. Do I really want to share that with the world? Yeah, I’m an open book here and if one person can learn from my fail, I may as well share. Even parenting Fails (Example A)
We just can't catch a break in this house. Teething, super fussy, no sleep, and now a weird rash. Poor peanut. At least it doesn't seem to be bothering her, and she doesn't have a fever.
Baby Roseola 
So without further delay, our most recent parenting fail-

Weekends I get to sleep in, Well a few weeks ago Evelyn had gotten up with Paul at about 9. At some point while he was in the bathroom she climbed onto a table and he found her with a battery, a AA battery. When he told me about it an hour or so later I mentioned that there had been two batteries there because I had just taken them out of something. We frantically searched the house and could not find the other battery. So off to the ER. The nurse came out to get us from triage and asked “is this the battery kid?” … yep, we have the battery kid. We told our story half a dozen times, and yes we are missing a AA battery, I know how unlikely it is that she would be fine, and not have choked if she did try to swallow a AA battery, but we  could not find it, don’t want to risk it. After a quick x-ray we still had no battery. But at least we knew it was not inside her.
I did end up finding the battery several hours later under some toys. So at least we don’t have to worry about that anymore.
All of this after a week of her getting molars and getting a mysterious rash, that was later discovered to be Roseola. 

We got lucky

Evelyn got lucky in the daddy department. Paul is such a great dad. He is so attentive, and he has been from day one, there was no more “new parent” adjustment period for him than there was me.  Through my whole labor he was by my side, and as soon as Evelyn came out he rushed to be by her side, to be sure she was okay. 
 When he was finally given the opportunity (after she was fed) he held her with such care, and gave her so much love. 
Upon arriving home, he would get up and take her after I fed her. Then he would watch cartoons, or play video games with her so I could sleep in a little bit longer.
A few days ago we started cloth diapering during the day. This is a trial and error thing for us. But he is very good at getting the diaper on, even though it doesn’t fit. 
He even asked if he could wear her in the Moby while making dinner the other night. 
He is so great with her, and she loves him so much. 
Even now that he has gone back to work, when he comes home he does the dishes, and then cuddles up with her (and the playstation) as I prepare dinner.  Or they nap like today. 
Nap time
– Alana


Family Fun

Before Evelyn was born my family was in town. In fact they were in town just for her, but she decided to be a week late and arrived a mere 24ish hours before my sister had to go to the airport to leave. But the time they were around we did have fun.  I really fail at taking pictures when we are just around the house, which is mostly what we did, last minute baby prep and relaxing.

Andrea (my sister) and Renji helped model the Moby Wrap, so we would know how it looked.  (I know she isn’t wearing it 100% right, but if she were we would have never gotten Renji in.) 
Okay this next picture needs a little intro. There is this terrible, horrible, crude, rude, yet incredibly hilarious game out there called Cards Against Humanity. It’s just like Apples to Apples, but highly inappropriate. Well one night Paul, my Sister Andrea, BIL Matt, My Mom, and I all decided to play. 
I strongly suggest not playing with your mother unless she has a very good and slightly inapropriate sense of humor. 
Playing #CardsAgainstHumanity with your #mom gets really #awkward when she plays a hand like this. @andreanickle
My Mother won one a hand with this. 
We played for a few hours and laughed so hard I thought I would go into labor (I didn’t, but it was a good shot!) So much inappropriate hilarity. I strongly suggest you go get yourself a copy. 
You can download your own free copy of Cards Against Humanity here (you can buy it there too). Once you download it, put it on a thumb drive, take it to staples, or kinkos, or wherever and have them print it on cardstock. I was going to just print it at home, but there are quite a few black faced cards and those would use all my printer cartridges, which would cost more than the $6.50 Staples charged us. 
A few days later I had Evelyn. My dad arrived the day before, so he got to see her while she was still brand new.
Matt, Andrea, Me & Evelyn, and Paul
I look like hell.

My dad poses. Yes we are inside and my dad is wearing his coat.
He was cold the whole time in Montana. 
My mom, loving on her new granddaughter. 

Andrea, a new Auntie

Aunt Andrea and Uncle Matt

Grandma Linda

Grandpa Scott, pretending to be asleep, because that’s what Grandpas do.

“I was just resting my eyes!”

Auntie Andrea
This is a picture of my mom holding me when I was born. You can see that Evelyn got my head full of hair. 

Cute faces for Grandma

Look at that tiny baby

Uncle Matt seems to like her

First night home, chilling with Grandpa

Watching TV

Falling asleep for Grandma

I don’t know what my dad is doing here, he’s a silly guy.

My mom, with her Grand-dogs in her lap. 

More Grandma and Grand-dogs. 

And that’s about it for my family. Pauls mom has a little bit further to travel, so she is coming out soon, and his dad is going to come out in the next few months. We are also planning on driving out east sometime this summer, so Evey can meet the rest of her Uncles and her other Auntie. So more family meeting pictures will be up over the next few months, because Evey can’t wait to meet the rest of her family.

But Evey is loading her diaper so I must go now, oh the joys of motherhood!

– Alana