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.

Toddler Tantrum

Things have been rough around here the last weeks or so. Can terrible twos start before two? That’s the only explanation I’ve got.
We have had some pretty terrible tantrums here. It breaks my heart to watch my little girl get so upset because her cartoon is over, or the carrots got yogurt on them, or the dog (who is 12 pounds) stepped on her foot. We are also trying to work on enforcing rules, like you can’t just dump out the cheerios if you don’t want to eat them. Trying to enforce rules, also normally results in a tantrum. I don’t want to raise a spoiled brat, but sometimes it’s just easier to give in to her, because she doesn’t understand. Yesterday I cried with her, as she cried, I don’t even remember why, she cried a lot yesterday. 

The hardest thing about her tantrums is how she acts, She often starts thrashing about, and will intentionally hit her head on the floor,or on you if you are holding her. According to Dr. Google, this is normal because she is experiencing all these new emotions and becoming aware of them, but doesn’t have the verbal skills to express herself, so she throws herself around or smacks her head into things. These are really the worst, I try to hold her so she doesn’t hurt herself, but usually the tantrum then gets worse for a few seconds (minutes? feels like an eternity) before she starts to calm down. 

Parenting seemed relatively easy until now, the baby cries? Hold her, feed her, change her, one of the above was the answer, now there is no answer. I don’t even think she understands why she is so upset, which makes it so much more frustrating for her, and in turn, me. I am doing the best I can, and I am doing what feels right to me, but sometimes it feels like I am not doing anything right. Like yesterday, I think my neighbors (who were outside) we’re probably about to come check on us, because Evey SCREAMED for about half an hour as I tried to get her to pick up the cheerios she dumped on the kitchen floor, (or at least sit with me while I pick them up) and then we sat in Time-Out, while I counted to 10, the first time and 30 the second time, her screaming and thrashing around the entire time. But I didn’t back down, and in the end we got the cheerios picked up and we made it through 30 seconds of time out. and she quieted down and we played with blocks. 
How do you handle tantrums and terrible twos? How do you help your toddler find their way back to that happy place? 

How I really feel about PCSing

I am totally excited to get out of Montana at the end of this year. Paul got web orders and we will be out of Montana by Thanksgiving. We will miss the Marine Corps Ball again this year, but our last PCS was the same time (the same day actually) and we don’t mind. 
Shuri Castle
But I am still a little sad, not sad to leave Butte, but sad that we aren’t leaving Butte to head to Okinawa. I really had my heart set on it. I was sure it would happen. It’s what I wanted more than anything. We still hope to go back someday, maybe someday soon, but we’ll likely go to California for at least a year before we are able to even think about heading back to Okinawa. 
Best Taco Rice EVER! and the very first place I ate upon arriving in Okinawa
I am excited about California though. I am looking forward to having sushi again, and going to Ikea, having mexican food, and the beach, oh I am looking forward to the beach. It will be nice to still be in the states as Evelyn starts to grow, so she can see family, without spending a small fortune on airfare. Plus it’ll also be nice to be at a real military installation so if when we do get to go back to Okinawa, getting everything for us and the pets in order will be much easier. And I haven’t been to Disneyland in about 10 or 11 years. I am also really looking forward to big city life for a while. 
But it’s still not Okinawa. 
Pizza in the Sky (I think)
I sort of don’t know what to do with myself now that we are going to California. Moving there isn’t as big of a deal. We are pretty sure we’ll move into base housing. We’ve already decided which housing, and submitted our application. There is no prep needed for the pets. We have gotten rid of a lot of stuff since moving, and have another huge pile set aside for a yard sale in the near future.
I do spend a lot of time wondering what California life will be like though.

My house, it was the second from the left
It’s funny how I miss the things I used to hate, specifically the rain. I have been following the weather and rainy season is full force in Oki. It’ll rain for the next month or so, a lot.
We just got about 1/2 and inch of rain this weekend and I loved it. It made me miss Okinawa even more.

Zakimi Castle
I don’t think I’ll stop wondering how long before we get a chance to run away to Okinawa. And planning in my head where I want to live, and what my first meal will be.  I’ll still imagine meeting up with friends who have returned, or who are still there. I’ll dream about taking my new little family back to all my favorite places, and adventuring over the little island.

looking into town from Shuri Castle
Me hanging out with some kids at the Naha Tug-o-War 

I wonder if someday I’ll reminisce this way about Montana…

I have no idea where, Okinawa

Sorry this totally turned into a “I miss Okinawa so much sometimes I want to cry” post. 

I counted my chickens

“Don’t count your chickens before they hatch”….

To say I am disappointed would be an understatement. I am very sad, heartbroken, but I’ll survive. Our hopes of going back to Okinawa this fall have been broken. There is no openings for my husband over there, in our PCS time frame. The Marine Corps has other plans for us and it looks like we are going to Camp Pendleton instead.

At first I was quite distraught, if you have been a reader for any part of the last 3 years you know my heart is in Oki, I loved it there, I loved it so much, and I wanted to go back more than just about anything. We really thought we would be going back. We were even preparing the dogs (vet requirements) and working on our things (discussing storage, vehicles, passports). We thought it was a sure thing.

I think what hurts the most is that we were told, by numerous people, that when you come off recruiting duty that you almost always get your top choice duty station, and if not you’d most certainly get one from your list. Well I guess we are the exception, Camp Pendleton wasn’t even on our radar.

But in the last 24 hours since we learned our fate, Ive come to terms, and i’m even getting a bit excited.

It’ll be our next adventure….
Warm weather, beaches, shopping, sun, sand, farmers markets, year round outdoorsy weather, all the things Montucky is missing. We wont have to worry about what to do with the cars, or getting the dogs medical checked out. 
I think we will live on base, at least for a while, Paul will keep his eyes open for spots in Okinawa, and we will request it again in the future. But for now I am getting excited (FOR IKEA!!!!) I love a good adventure and I hope Cali will be full of adventure for us. And it wont ever be below zero!
So do I have any Camp Pendleton readers? Tell me it’s just as great as I am building it up to be. 

now that i’ve written all this out, I bet it’ll change. 

Don’t Forget July 1 Google Reader is closing Follow on BloglovinIf you’re trying to figure out how to move your blogs from GR to Bloglovin’ check out Jane’s Tutorial HERE

my blog is my diary

Maybe I’m just being a whiner, but I think the military is trying to ruin the last few months of my pregnancy. I am due Dec 7th. Paul is being transfereed to Butte (about an hour south of us) sometime in the next month. 
But they can’t give us a date, they have told him that there is no way he will have funding or approval to move in the first half of November. So that puts us moving, at the earliest three weeks before my due date. Which I had already accepted. I don’t want to move until after the Marine Corps Ball anyway. But the thing is we may not get funds and orders until Dec 1. 
I am fairly certain that even if we get approval on one day, it’ll still take a week or at the very least a few days to get movers in order. 
I don’t know what to do. I am such a mess right now. I doubt the house we found will hold it for us until who knows when. I don’t know if it would be a better idea to just stay here until after Baby E is born. 
I am so sad at the thought that we are going to loose the house. I am stressed at the thought that we could be stuck here, when I just accepted the fact that we are moving, until we find another house.
This is really stressing me out, I am really getting down about this. I am not the least bit excited about whats happening, not excited about baby, just stressed. I am back to not doing anything to prep for baby, just stressed about where we will be living. 
I know it’ll all work out. Paul keeps telling me he’ll handle it, but this isn’t something small like a car, or a bill. This is such a cluster fuck that I feel like I am loosing it. 
I can’t not be stressed when I am about to bring a small person into this world and I have no idea where I am going to put it. 
It’s so frustrating because to a certain extent we planned this pregnancy, knowing we’d be stable, we were going to be stateside until at least 2013, we had no idea that a transfer was on the horizon. Things were going to be perfect, things were going to run smoothly. Now things are just a mess. 

– Alana

Pregnancy- Not as glamourous as I imagined.

Before getting pregnant I had these grand ideas about how great it would be, and how fun, and how cute I would look. I knew it would have tough days too, I knew I wouldn’t enjoy every moment. But I thought I would enjoy it more than I have.

Everyone says I look cute, I just feel fat. I am suffering from extremely low self esteem right now. I feel like a cow, even though I haven’t gained a lot, and I am right on trace,  I have lost almost all my muscle mass, mostly because I am too exhausted/physically incapable of working out. In the beginning it was my sciatic, and I quit walking and zumba, now I’ve added carpal tunnel, so my hands constantly hurt and lifting any weights, pushups, even carrying heavy things hurts. Also the fact that I have just let myself go so bad that I get winded carrying laundry up the stairs. I am seriously going to have my work cut out for me once I have baby E and I can physically get back into working out.
My plan is to start with cardio, I’ve got a treadmill, so I can get on it while E is sleeping. I want to get a nice jogging stroller so as soon as the weather is nice I can hit the pavement. I am also hoping I can start up Zumba again, plus I have a plethora of workout DVD’s. The important thing is I have a plan, and I know things wont be easy, but it’ll be worth it.

Another not so glam thing I have been struggling with is my skin, (I am going to save my skin thing for a whole separate post though.)

I don’t know what I was thinking but I imagined I would do more, be more active. I have days when I barely move, I get up take the dogs potty, sit down, make lunch, sit back down, take the dogs potty again, sit back down, refill my drink, sit back down. It’s no wonder that I have no muscle mass left and I am all flabby. The most action my arms get is shoveling food/drink into my mouth.

I am moody, and often a little depressed, depressed because I wanted to enjoy pregnancy, not be miserable. Then I feel worse, because there are so many people who have it worse than me, and they suck it up and deal. I just sit here and complain. I am also depressed about my body, I’ve never been a skinny girl, I’ve always struggled with my weight, but I am having a really hard time accepting the way I look. And moody, I can be downright mean sometimes. The things that go through my head, the things that don’t make it past my lips, yeah those things are really bad. Paul and I were talking last week and after I went on a tirade about siting in your stalled car and not attempting to move it, or making an effort to let other drivers know you are stopped at a light and not moving because your shit is broke (just thinking about it still pisses me off…) but anyway the conversation went like this: Me “being pregnant makes me irritable” Paul “No, being pregnant makes you MORE irritable”. So I am a cranky person to begin with, but right now I am just downright nasty. I’ve also been a little down because I haven’t had that “OMG I’M HAVING A BABY!” moment yet. I’m want to bond with her, I want to love her, it’s so hard to explain, but it’s still hard to believe I’m even having a baby, even though I can feel her moving all the time.

Minor medical issues are also frightening, for someone who is already dealing with anxiety the “what ifs” suck. There whole Down Syndrome thing was hella stressful. And then this week we have had the Gestational Diabetes, which I know is very common, and totally manageable, but still it’s scary as hell. But I did have the big 3hr GD test today and I won, I do not have Gestational Diabetes, Yay!

I’ve complained about the swelling before, and it’s another fact of life for pregnancy, but for me it started early, I started swelling around 19 weeks. I haven’t worn my wedding rings in two months. My shoes stopped fitting about a month and a half ago, and now I live in flipflops and slipper shoes. Putting on my work tennies usually causes more discomfort than just wearing shitty cheep slip ons.

I’ve also had a few “gross female issues” that have come up a few times, which again, I guess is normal, but not fun.
And my poor husband. I have zero libido. He really must love me.

Sorry to have sat here an complained for the last half a page, but so many of the pregnancy stories I read are all sunshine and rainbows. Mine is only a little sunshine and a few scattered rainbows.  And I think things have just piled up this last few weeks, we have had a stressful time as a family unit because of some decisions that we are being forced to make that while in the long run will hopefully be good, in the short term they are throwing a huge wrench into things. (more on that soon, we should have some answers any day now) So I am using this as my outlet to just let it out so I don’t stab someone.

I want to add that there are many great things too. Feeling her move, shopping for her 🙂 knowing that I’ll have my little girl soon. But I think a majority of the wonderfulness will happen on her birthday, and beyond. I cannot wait for December.

– Alana

Mixed Emotions

I sort of lied when I said I don’t have much going on right now. I actually have my mind running like crazy, but I don’t know where to begin.

I’ve gone back to brown, I don’t know if I mentioned that…. 

I am really homesick.
I really feel stupid missing Okinawa as much as I do. I think because life was just so simple there, and that it was rarely cold. I am having a hard time adjusting to the exact opposite.

April 7th, 2010
That picture was two years ago, and I’m sweating my balls off. Today, here in Montana, I am cold, and it’s about 39 outside  with a possibility of sleet and snow for the next two days. 
Also Tuesday I met a girl downdown, who had seen my “I (heart) Okinawa” bumper sticker and stopped, the girl had lived in Okinawa last summer through a program in her highschool. It made my day. She was heading to the library for free japanese lessons. I am going to try to go next week. 
Also I am trying to get my shit together and get back into school. I submitted all the paperwork for financial aid in January, hoping to get into spring classes and I never heard back. Of course it’s my own fault for not following up. So now I am hoping for summer. I finally got our taxes done and I am really hoping to get into at least one class this summer term. I am so close yet so far from finishing my degree, I think I can get through the rest of my core classes at least by Fall session 2 so I can focus on my major. 
I’ve been trying to get my fitness on with Zumba and I’ve been walking. Trying to eat responsibly, and take better care of myself, Paul and I both need to re-evaluate our diets. 
Prairie dogs from my walk yesterday.  

Work is going well, for both of us, although it doesn’t leave much time for activities. Most of our ventures out of the house consist of going out to dinner. Which is part of the aforementioned problem.
I think this weekend I need to plan something for us to do that gets us out of the house, but takes in to account the possible shitty weather. I need a touristy guide book for Helena. 
The dogs are good too, not to jinx it, but we haven’t been to the vet for an urgent care, or emergency visit in MONTHS!  I am so proud of my little boogers for being so good. 

I just can’t decide how I feel, I certainly have the winter blues, and I am horribly homesick, but I am overall pleased with the way our lives have been lately. I just can’t wait until Recruiting Duty is over and we can have our lives back. I’m ready to move on from here.

Homesick for Okinawa

I shouldn’t try to hide it. I’ve been a little down lately. I really miss Okinawa. I miss the whole island lifestyle. I miss living a mile from the ocean. I miss the big shopping centers. I miss the fresh fish. 

I miss the whole thing. 

There are good days and bad days. But I still have days where I miss it as much as I did the day we left. 

I hope that we get to go back. We’ve got a little less then two years left on recruiting duty. We are both hoping that after we will be given the opportunity to move back to Okinawa, Japan. 

I find myself constantly looking at houses for rent. 
I know what I want, and occasionally I find a house or two that are everything (on paper) that I am looking for. 
The other day I found the Maekawa House. 


i just wrote a whole blog and now it’s gone
fine you have to wait for tomorrow because it’s almost midnight and I have to work in 12 hours.