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.

Duck Tales (woo-hoo)

Some time last week we noticed that there were ducks in the neighborhood pool behind our house. We had only seen them a couple times, and never really paid them much attention. Earlier this week they were on the other side of my fence in the early morning, eating whatever ducks eat. So I took Evey outside and we looked at the ducks, and tossed them some old hamburger bun pieces. 
I remember reading somewhere that bread isn’t that great for ducks, so on my trip to the commissary that day I grabbed a bag of cracked corn. 

The ducks quickly became our friends, they loved the cracked corn.
Sadly though later that day some mean kids came by and were throwing sticks and chasing the ducks. (sad face) I asked the kids to be nice, but I didn’t see the ducks again for several days.
Today I was thinking about the ducks again, hoping they had found somewhere safe from annoying kids, and I saw them again, they were back in the pool! Hurray! 
But it gets better. 
Later in the afternoon, as we were getting ready to go on our daily walk, I noticed something in the backyard….. 

I think it took every ounce of Evelyn’s willpower to not run up to the ducks. But I fed them more cracked corn and they were so very happy to be in a safe fenced area. 

They have come and gone all day, going between the pool and my yard.
I am so glad they have found a place they can hang out and eat bugs and the corn I give them, without being tormented.
It’s also cool for Evey, it’s like a little zoo in our own backyard. 

Right now we are calling them mama duck and daddy duck, but I think we need to give them real names if they are going to stick around. 
 Just a click to vote- no registration necessary-
  I'm A Top Military Wife/Life Blogger @ Top Mommy Blogs - Please Click To Give Me A Vote

Wordless Wednesday

We kennel the dogs when we leave the house, Renji eats everything, and Aiko sometimes has accidents (plus it’s not fair to just kennel one.) So we came home the other night and found this. 
Apparently we weren’t paying attention when we called the dogs into the kennel, and Taco the cat was asleep in there, which he does on occasion. 
You can tell by the look in Renji’s eyes, he is just pleading to be released. “oh mommy, please let us out, this has been really scary”

They don’t really fight, the dogs and the cat, but they have a tendency to terrorize each other. Taco is certainly the alpha.  So I am sure the dogs spent the whole evening on their half, while Taco just laid there mean-muggin them.

I love my babies

Naughty doggie duo.
Aiko & Renji being naughty

Sweet dreams
Renji napping in the laundry

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/8533637@N05/6849475584/" title="Renji is not asleep yet but working on it <img alt="Renji is not asleep yet but working on it
Renji with cute feets

Aiko is a sleepy piggy.
Aiko sleeping on my pillow

Tacos favorite time of the week is when I change the sheets.
Taco helping me make the bed

Aiko and her pig on the new dog bed. #petstagram #sewing
Aiko and her piggy on the bed I made.

follow me on instagram: alanamarie26

Polar Bear Pounce

You know that thing Polar Bears to do break though the ice to get to the seals so they can eat them?

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q0KuLidKrZY]

where they rear up on their back legs and pounce down on the front legs with great force?

Well, My naughty doggie Renji like to do this to unsuspecting humans, He gets great amusement from doing it to Paul and crushing his balls.

Funny shit.

Another Thing I will miss

Walking the cow (bull).

This is a common sight here in suburban Okinawa. The farmers walk the livestock. I am not sure why, if it’s for exercise or if they are studding out the bulls, or just so they can have a peak at our beautiful view of the pacific. For all the years we’ve been here this is the first time I’ve had a chance to take a real good picture. It was on move out day (notice our mounds of trash in the background) The guy was kind enough to not only pose for me but to get the cow to sort of look at me, initially the cow wanted nothing to do with me.

how our pack of monsters has grown

For many years, more than I can remember right now, we have had one little monster:

He turned into a big monster:
Two years ago upon arrival to Okinawa we added another little monster:

And then we had the big monster

and the little monster
who got her monster love everywhere

for over a year we were a happy little monster family
Then, this year in a fit of madness we decided:
this monster

and this monster
needed this monster

and now we have a whole pack of monsters

It’s A Bugs Life

While the rain stopped and the clouds parted for a few days, there have been some amazing things to be seen around my house
Butterflies (mating?)

frogs eating the yucky bugs outside my kitchen door

and a visit from a GIANT preying mantis which is commonly believed to bring good luck and fortune.