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.

2014 Marine Corps Ball

We recently attended the Marine Corps Birthday ball.

This year it was in Las Vegas.

before the ball
This was kind of cool because 10 years ago I accompanied Paul to our first Ball together in Primm Valley, just outside Las Vegas. It’s crazy to think we have been together for 10 years.
I can’t find that picture from that ball, but here is one from 2007, we were in Massachusetts. it’s the oldest one I can find. 
But we had a great time in Vegas. Didn’t take many pictures. My mom flew up and stayed with us so we had a sitter, which was super awesome of her (thanks again mommy). One nice thing, our reservation got messed up, we were supposed to have two adjoining rooms, and there were none available when we got there, so we got upgraded for free to a suite and a room adjoining! that was very nice. 
our suite
the vodka was flowing
I got my own fake eyelashes on! 
This last one is kind of funny. I have tried numerous times to get my fancy schmancy MAC eyelashes on, and never been able to. I was watching a YouTube video and the girl had cut hers in half. I was weary about cutting those expensive-ass eyelashes just to put them on, but I figured what the hell. And I was able to put them on! 
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On The Move


Moving physically, not bloggerly- Movers are coming this week and we are headed to Sunny California after we take some much needed personal time. I’ve tried to set things up so you don’t notice my absence, and I will try to post from the road periodically. We should be back to your regularly scheduled blogging in mid May. Until then have fun and find me on facebook and instagram and maybe even YouTube for more frequent updates!

Saving money with home hair cuts (or why sundays is my least favorite day)

I usually don’t tell people I cut my husbands hair. If I happen to give him a bad cut I don’t want people to know it was me. And after 6 years of cutting his hair, it happens every now and then, he gets a not so great cut.
When we got married he was spending almost $20 a week to get his hair cut. Being in the Marines, weekly haircuts are just a fact of life.
Shortly after we got married I got a pair of clippers, they came with an instructional video which I watched over and over again and then I started to cut his hair. I don’t even want to think about how bad they were in the beginning, because even now sometimes they are less than stellar, that first year must have been rough on him. But after all this time I have never done such a bad job that we had to shave it. And I think I have the fade down pretty good.
But I still hate it, and I dream about just sending him to the barber on sundays so I don’t have to do it. I secretly don’t mention that it’s haircut day in hopes he will forget, and just have to get it cut at the barber some time monday. But almost every sunday, at about 1 pm, I cut his hair. Taking into account deployments, other time apart and times that I did just send him to the barber, we have saved about $4,000 with me just cutting his hair. We take really good care of our clippers, and every few years I buy a nice new pair (that was before I learned you could get replacement blades) the last set I bought are really super nice and I hope will last us for a very long time.
So if you husband trusts you enough to let you try to cut his hair, I highly recommend it. Get a good video, check out YouTube, invest in a nice pair of clippers and have fun!
It’s just hair! It’ll grow back!

Where now, brown cow?


image has nothing to do with the post, but it goes with my title.


I started writing this post towards the end of August.

Things have been a bit “hurry up, and wait” around my house.
One thing about the military lifestyle that I really hate is how there is no certainty, until it’s happening. Sometimes you don’t know if your husband is going somewhere, for sure, until he leaves.

We experienced this three years ago, waiting to see if Paul would be leaving Okinawa for Recruiters School in San Diego. He had been trying to stay on island a few more months so he could complete a course. Well we found out on a Friday that he would in fact be leaving Monday for Recruiters School.
Strangely enough this was almost 3 years ago to the day and we are in a similar situation right now. Currently we are waiting to find out the opposite, will Paul be staying on Recruiting Duty another 6 months? will his follow on assignment change? Are we still going to Camp Pendleton?

As I am writing this I have no answers to any of these questions. But by the time I publish it I will have some answers.

In June Paul requested to extend 6 months here on recruiting duty, until spring, in hopes we could get a duty station we really wanted (Okinawa) we figured at almost a year out, they surely could find a place for us there. Well extending here has been so back and forth since June I had stopped talking about it to family and friends, one week we are extending, the next we are not. About a month ago I decided to keep my mouth shut until his orders actually changed. Part of that is because I am superstitious and I think that because every time I opened my mouth something changed that it would be best to just not say anything, and for the longest time things stayed the same. Then I made a blog post about prepping our move to California again, and everything changed. We were told pretty much that our extension was a possibility and his command wanted us to stay on a few more months to get through the winter, someone was going to make some phone calls and see what they could find out about the status of his extension request. This was about a month ago. Then it was silence again. 

Well today we got our answer.
We are staying in Montana until April/May-ish.
We don’t know yet if we are going to California then, or if we will be going somewhere else. I have spent the whole day analyzing every possibility.
I don’t know how to feel, we wanted this as a chance to get back to Okinawa, but we don’t know if that will happen because it’s such short notice again (short notice for overseas move). Perhaps we could go somewhere else like Hawaii? Or we could still go to California, or we could go somewhere we don’t want to go. But it’s a risk Paul was wiling to take, he has done his time here in the arctic north, and we are taking a risk to try to get what we want. Although it’s probable we’ll just move to California in May. I was really getting used to the idea of Cali, scouting out the shopping, food, attractions. Making plans with a blogger friend to get together and go to Daiso. When we got our snow last week I was sort of thankful we hadn’t heard anything and in my mind was preparing for a sandy SoCal Christmas. I have been going over the layout of the base housing we would be moving into, decorating and placing furniture in my mind.

But instead of moving, I’ll be going to the Marine Corps Ball the week we would shave been leaving here, and then hunkering down for another winter.

Speaking of winter, we are having another winter storm warning tonight, we could wake up to snow again tomorrow…..

Belated Military Monday

I know I am late, I really wanted to get in on this Military Monday though so here we go:
Renji snuggles my Buddha belly. #pregnancy #40weeks #bostonterrier #bostonterriersofinstagram #cuddle
Did we plan our pregnancy? Yes. We had just returned from an overseas tour and we are both getting older, we knew it was now or never. We’ll not really now or never, but we weren’t getting any younger. We had spend the better part of the first 6 years together partying and running amok across the world, and it was time to settle down a little and have a little wee one. Recruiting duty was also the ideal place to do this because Paul is non deployable. But he is on the road a lot, and when he was recruiting he was often working 16+ hour days, but you can still make a baby on that schedule. Things worked out even better because he was transferring to MEPS when E was born and was able to take almost a month off to stay home with me just before and just after she was born. 
two weeks old
It was nice having him there and available for the birth, but leading up with knowing he was transferring to a new position that was located an hour away, with him commuting I was nervous about going into labor early and not having him there, or having to have him drive through a mountain pass to get home in the snow. 
As far as going “Home” for my pregnancy/birth:
I did not go home. No offense to those that do, but I don’t go home, like I go to visit but I won’t go to live, not if he gets deployed, not if I get pregnant again, not if I get pregnant and he deploys. We live together and have a home together and I am not going to leave that home, our home, while he is away. That’s just not my style. 
Evelyn Dawn arrived Dec 14 8lb 4.4 oz  #babyE #pregnancy #birthday #newborn
My family and his family helped tremendously, they were always available by phone, and my parents visited for E’s birth and His parents shortly after. That’s part of the reason we decided now was the perfect time to undertake this baby journey, family is an inexpensive flight away (vs. overseas flight).

Military Monday

I’ve been traveling! Sorry for the un announced absence, but due to personal security I don’t like to reveal my travels before they happen. But I have a couple of cool posts coming up as soon as I can find time to put them together. Evelyn has also become a major handful, she is crawling in full force and walking along furniture. So I am constantly chasing her when she gets into unsafe zones.

Here’s a sneak peek from our travels: 
#glaciernationalpark was amazing and I cannot wait to go again! #familyvacationSaw these guys at #loganpass #glaciernationalpark  very friendly I assume they get fed a lot by tourists
and now for your regularly scheduled programming:

This week is about Enlisted vs. Officer wives.
I really don’t have a lot of experience with officer wives. I think as military wives they are held to a higher standard. They sometimes are asked to participate in events and help put together events involving all of the wives in the command/unit/shop. My grandmother was an officer wife. She has told me stories about having to entertain other officers and commanders. I think she really enjoyed it though. 
When we were in Okinawa I would babysit for some officer families and I didn’t find them that much different than me. They still worry about their husbands when they are away, they still make dinner for their kids, they still have dishes in their sink. 
But I have heard horror stories about wives pulling rank (not just officer wives), using their husbands higher rank in the military to try to get favoritism, thankfully I never saw that. 
But we have only spent 2.5 of our years together at an actual base, or even stationed near a large number of other Military, and for 9ish months of that 2.5 years Paul was deployed so I didn’t interact much with command functions or such. 
Being an enlisted wife I certainly have a bit more experience there. But along with all wives (not just military) they can be catty and gossipy. Have you seen Desperate Housewives? I like a bit of juicy gossip just as much as the next girl though. But they aren’t all that bad, and my experience is they aren’t as bad as the internet makes them look. Not all wives cheat, not all sit around and talk shit all day, not all of them are fat and lazy with 1/2 dozen kids. 
I really can’t say to benefits to each, I guess I think, to me, we are all equal-ish, officer wives may get nicer housing on base and their husbands may get slightly higher paychecks than mine. But they still get deployed, they still have to work duty weekends, they still may get late night phone calls when one of their Marines has screwed up. 
Currently we are living several hundred miles from the nearest military family so I have no direct communication with the officer side of things and command sponsored events, I really only know just the few wives that live closest to me. 
I am sure it’s because of the situations I have been put in, but I have made some amazing friends that are military wives. I think it takes a special breed of woman to marry a military man. Life is so unpredictable. You have to be strong, patient, flexible, and a sense of humor is a must. Bonus traits would be a love for travel, trying new things, and independence, because you need to be able to pay your bills, run your household, and open that jar of pickles, should your husband deploy. 
But I must mention, the officers club in Okinawa had the best brunch in the whole wide world. We only had the one on the Air base, but I heard the Marine one was amazing too. 

Military Monday Link-up

This weeks questions:Do you live on base/post/fort or away from the military world? What factors did you consider when deciding where you would live? Was one more affordable than the other? Did it help/hinder your family situation? What things would be helpful for others to know before they potentially move to your area?
Great questions! But they don’t really work in my situation. If you are a new reader, My husband is on recruiting duty for the USMC, and our nearest Active Duty base is about 3 hours away, Malmstrom AFB. So we obviously just live in town. Our current location Paul works at MEPS, we moved here from Helena, where he was a Recruiter, in February. Finding a rental in a small town, that allows cats is hard. So our biggest considering factor was can we live there with 2 dogs and a cat. That drastically narrowed our search window. Then can we fit our stuff in it. We have a king size bed and monster size entertainment centre. The town we live in is an old mining town, and a lot of the houses are OLD, and SMALL. I really thought we would never find a home, but alas this one fell into our laps, and at a very reasonable rate. We save quite a bit of our housing allowance, even after utilities. Helpfull info about Butte? Well despite the fact that it’s highly unlikely that anyone reading this will be moving here, ever, I would say don’t judge a book by it’s cover. Butte has lots of run down shanty little houses, especially in my area. In fact there is a vacant little shanty house about 20 yards from mine. But I live in a great neighborhood, and I have pretty quiet neighbors. Everyone is really nice, and keeps to themselves.  I was nominated for the top 50 Military Mom Blogs by VoiceBoks, you can vote here. Thank you for your support.