Thursday, September 30, 2010

Thanks!

I would like to thank all of the D Mamas and the D Papas out there for all of the comments, emails, texts, Facebook messages and phone calls with words of encouragement and support.  I got a lot of tips and ideas and even spoke with a couple of other D-rents that have had similar results come back on their CWD.

As you may or may not know --- my family is very close.  Aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents - we are a very close knit family.   My grandmother and 2 of my aunts are nurses.  It is so nice to have a sounding board in one or all of them with any health issue in the family but since Nate's dx it has been especially nice.  So, after reading my blog post yesterday my Aunt Sharon, RN sent me this note.  I loved it so much I decided to share it here --- with her permission of course. 


Laura,
 
These labs aren't "freakin' horrible" or horribly ugly... so take a deep breath and try to give yourself a break here... you're just not accustomed to looking at them... and you have nothing to compare them to, so they could be "freakin' wonderful" compared to the last blood draw... I'm probably going to be wearing my nurse hat more than my aunt hat for this post, so don't get mad... 
 
From the notes, it looks like the A1C probably is trending downward and that's a good thing... the others I wouldn't be too concerned about at this point. For one thing, none of them are critical values... they're just a little off the mark... 
 
It would be good to get the triglycerides down if you can... but to put things in perspective, Uncle Bill's were 1376 when I met him... I had no idea they would go that high. That lab tube must have looked like it was full of crude oil!! I have seen one higher lab result since, but it wasn't his... the information that the CDE gave you is right on target... the first thing that you look for when trying to drop triglycerides is opportunity to reduce whole milk and white sugar... when I took him off whole milk and a steady diet of ice cream and pizza Uncle Bill's trigs took care of themself and have been normal ever since. You have a few more challenges in that you know Nate has metabolic challenges. But the dietary changes are the same. You have made lots of good changes... all this means is that a little more changes about a few things may be required... and yes, finding more vegetables and whole grains for a 2-yr-old in the place of white flour may be challenging until you get it figured out... we don't tend to think about goldfish being chock full of white flour, which is a simple starch that breaks down immediately to sugar... but you weren't stuffing his face with stuff you knew he shouldn't have... you have been on the right track. All the CDE is telling you is that a few more changes may be necessary to get that triglyceride under control... but again, you don't know what it has been running, and this could be an improvement!! She was honest and gave you sound advice... and if you think about it, that's just what you want her to do. There was no indictment of your parenting there, and if she soft-soaped you, you wouldn't trust her very long. She really does sound like "Mrs. Wonderful" to me! You truly are up to your ass in alligators, and I suspect your own fatigue and anxiety may have affected how you perceived her message.
One thing I would advise you not to do is to obsess over these labs... or any labs. Yes, you have to watch sugar and ketones carefully for Nate... that's as close as you need to come to obsessing... there's no reason to be checking Sofie's or Emma's as long as they are not showing any signs of diabetes. You don't want them to live in fear that they might have "caught it." You know that steroids are going to cause an increase in Sophie's BG temporarily, but even a doctor is not going to order fingersticks on her... and it is a self-limiting situation. Repressed anxiety can aggravate Crohn's/irritable gut for Sophie, and worrying about an expected abnormal phenomenon is creating a lot of unnecessary anxiety for you. And putting yourself through the wringer for every lab test that is a little aberrant is going to drive you crazy. You have more than enough on your plate without that! 
 
One lab test without critically "off" values does not a reason for a heart attack make (and if it is a "critical value," the form will say so)... and please know that I mean this to be reassuring, not reprimanding. You can always call me, and I hope you will before you let a test result or anything else cause you this kind of stress... I may not know the answer, but I will help you find it. 
 
Take Ms. Wonderful a posy the next time you see her... I think you and Nate are in good hands!! 
 
I love you!
 
Aunt Sharon, RN
 
I love my Aunt Sharon and I love that she can break it down, tell me how it is and now I feel much, much, much better.  
And we had donuts for breakfast.  That is all.   :)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Freaking out a little! A1C -- Open and Honest post! Oh yea - and a little hurt too!

At our walk on Saturday we hooked up with the OmniPod staff as well as Nate's CDE, Mrs. Wonderful.  So helpful in so many ways - - Nate's bg when we arrived was HIGH (that what the PDM told me - HIGH!!).  So, it was nice to have his CDE and the OmniPod reps to help me through that little rough patch.  :)

Side note:  I've probably mentioned how much I love her (Nate's CDE) on my blog but I've actually meant to dedicate an entire post to her and her wonderfulness but I just haven't had a chance.  I also have never asked her if I can use her name on my blog so I won't for today --- just in case.

Back to the story - We ran into Mrs. W at the OmniPod booth and she had some exciting news for us!  Nate's a1c had dropped again!!  She was excited to give us the news and we were excited that his a1c is now 7.3 and his alkaline phosphatase is back in range (yea - remember that Benign Transient Hyperphosphatasemia post).

All good news!  

Now for the freaking out & Open and Honest.
Here are Nate's lab results.  This is me opening up to you in hopes that you can help me ---
Are you ready ---- here is is . . . The good, the bad and the very ugly!



        Labs Received(Specimen 100126782) 09/22/10 05:03 PM                     
                             Lab Results                                         

Code          Test          Result       Flag          Unit          Range       
HBA1C         Hemoglobin    7.3          High          HBA1C         3.90-6.0    
              A1C                                                                 
CH8/HEPLIP    BASIC         XXXXXXXX                   CH8/HEPLIP                
              METAB/HEPATIC                                                      
              /LIPID                                                             
NA            Sodium        141                        NA            135-148     
K             Potassium     3.9                        K             3.5-5.3     
CL            Chloride      105                        CL            95-110      
CO2           Bicarbonate   25                         CO2           22-31       
GLU           Glucose       98                         GLU           60-100      
BUN           BUN           14.0                       BUN           6-23        
CREA          Creatinine    0.3          Low           CREA          0.5-1.4     
ALB           Albumin       4.6                        ALB           3.4-5.0     
CA            Calcium       10.2                       CA            8.5-10.5    
TBIL          Total         0.2                        TBIL          0.0-1.2     
              Bilirubin                                                          
DBIL          Direct        0.0                        DBIL          0.0-0.3     
              Bilirubin                                                          
SGOT          SGOT (AST)    51           High          SGOT          0-37        
SGPT          SGPT (ALT)    26                         SGPT          0-40        
ALP           Alkaline      305          High          ALP           39-117      
              Phosphatase                                                         
CHOL          Cholesterol   146                        CHOL          < 200       
TRIG          Triglyceride  388          High          TRIG          < 150       
HDL           HDL -         25           Low           HDL           > 40        
              Cholesterol                                                         
LDL           LDL -         43                         LDL           < 130       
              Cholesterol                                                        
C/HDL         Cholesterol/H 5.8          High          C/HDL         0.0-5.0     
              DL                                                                  
T4/T3U/TSH    T4 / T3 U /   XXXXXXXX                   T4/T3U/TSH                
              TSH / FTI                                                          
T4            T-4           7.0                        T4            4.5-12.5    
T3U           T-3 Uptake    29.7                       T3U           25-35       
TSH           TSH           1.9                        TSH           0.30-4.50   
T7            T-7 (FTI)     2.08                       T7            1.20-4.30         



So,  there it is.  Pretty freaking horrible.  WTH is causing this?

For the record - Nate NEVER had a full blood work-up at Children's Hospital.  Our new practice does it every 3-months.  It's not fun but clearly the information is invaluable.




Here is the note that was attached to the lab results:


9/27/2010
The labs show the alkaline phos level has dropped to the level it would be for a normal growing child!!!!
that is great!!

A1C 7.3---better!

What is very surprising is the Triglycerides are very high.  HDL is very low.
That is likely a hereditary problem. 
thyroid fine
We really want you guys to work with Mrs. Wonderful on dropping the level of simple carbs Nathan is eating.
That should help drop the triglycerides.

The 1st thing  I did was call the office to make an appointment with Mrs. W but as most of you know our insurance for Nate runs out on Thursday.  Getting into see someone so wonderful is not that easy.  She's out this week.  UGH!  

So, I texted Mrs. W and asked her about getting in and then started the conversation about his cholesterol. This is the part where I get a little hurt (just my feelings - no bodily harm was done!).

Her text to me read:
We have to get rid of or really limit the enriched white flour foods and the sugary stuff.  We need more whole wheat and fresh fruits and veggies.  Do a wheat cereal for breakfast instead of pancakes and waffles.  Limit the eggs to 1 or 2 per week because of the yolk.

Now remember we are texting - it's like email - you can't ever really tell the tone of of a text or an email.

I texted back:
Ugh! He's 2 not 82!! He does eat fruits and veggies! I just bought some oatmeal - wish me luck! When I make pancakes they are oatmeal base.  Is yogurt ok?  He eats it a lot.

She responded:
I know he is 2 but no 2 year old needs to be eating that stuff everyday.  It needs to be on a special occasion.  It's not just a special diet just for him.  It's for every kid.  Past the age of 2 everyone should be on fat free dairy products.  Yogurt is great! We just want it to be light most of the time to limit the cholesterol and fat.

Ok - so the waterworks started there.  I love Mrs. W but this totally hurt my feelings and made me feel like the worst mom ever!!  I know that if we could have gone in to discuss the situation it would be different but with the insurance issues right now it is just not an option.  So, I cried.  Called a fried - cried.  Talked to Jim  cried.  Ok - I got a little mad too!!  But then really started thinking about this situation.  We don't eat poorly.  Nate doesn't eat anything (in my opinion) that would cause this --- could it be the diabetes?  Something else?

For the record - Mrs. W has been known to read my blog so I want her to know that I still love her very much but I did get my feelings hurt although I know it was not intentional on her part.  

Here is an average day at the Houston House:
(most meals are for all 5 but sometimes Nate does get something a little different - not because of D but because he's 2)

Breakfast - Leggo Nutri Grain Waffle, Small dab of whipped cream instead of syrup and low-fat yogurt and sometimes 1/2 of a scrambled egg (why 1/2 --- because I eat the other 1/2 with a piece of toast). Up until about 2-months ago he ate the single grain baby oatmeal everyday for breakfast mixed with low-fat yogurt and either a piece of whole grain toast or a waffle. Today - I tried regular oatmeal which he refused so I made the baby cereal with yogurt and he ate it.  No waffle. No egg. 
With the whole grain waffle, 1/2 an egg and low fat yogurt we were getting little to no breakfast spike.  Hello - - - we have been trying to conquer that spike for months! Today he spiked to 390 - WTF?!?!?!

Lunch - 1/2 of a peanut butter and jelly sandwich (Natural peanut butter and reduced sugar jelly on whole grain white - he won't eat wheat!!!) with either goldfish (the crackers not the ones that swim in a bowl) or wheat thins with a few slices of cheese and some grapes or banana.  Sometimes a yogurt here too.  He's obsessed with Yo-Yo!

Dinner - obviously varies a lot around here depending on if Jim is home or not but here are some examples.  Grilled chicken with veggies, the kids always want fresh fruit - - grapes, apples or bananas and a starch.  I'm not going to lie - Nate loves mac n' cheese but we don't eat it often --- hello crazy bg!!  We eat fast food usually once a week -- mostly chick-fil-a but the occasional Happy Meal gets thrown in the mix too.

Snacks - crackers, goldfish, grapes, yogurt, cheese, smoothies, apples and YES, sometimes cookies, Scooby snacks (graham crackers) and peanut butter.

We love 'Noodle Soup' which is pure home grown and home canned tomato juice with a little salt, pepper, butter and shell pasta. We love pasta period! - - - here we go again with the Italian background again - Nate LOVES him some spaghetti and meatballs!! 

I just don't think he eats enough of any one  thing to make his cholesterol so HIGH! What do I know?  I am having the girls tested this week to see if it is all 3 kids or just Nate.  At my last check-up my cholesterol was normal.  Jim doesn't 'do' doctors so I have no idea what his cholesterol looks like and I don't know his family history.  Note to self - look into Jim's family history a little more!!

So there it is - - -
What are you thoughts.  If you feel like being critical --- please do it nicely --- I'm a mother on the edge!  

Ok - so I just banged out this post at record speed because I've got to go overhaul my pantry.  While you are not judging my child's lab results - please do not judge any grammar, punctuation or spelling either.  Thank you!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

JDRF Walk for a Cure - Team Super Nate 2010

First and foremost ---- Team Super Nate has raised over $11,000 to date and we are still collecting donations! We have more than doubled our goal and just writing that makes me cry --- now I know you think I cry all of the time but I swear I don't!  We've just gone through Nate's 1-year with D anniversary and 1 week later the overwhelming support from my friends and family for the walk has stirred up a lot of emotion!!

Often I feel very alone on this journey and then today when over 100 people show up in the rain to support our son, our family and ME --- it is extremely overwhelming!  It seems like there should be more powerful words than just THANK YOU but all I can say is THANK YOU - THANK YOU - THANK YOU and THANK YOU! 

So, clearly with the monsoon that blew in around 4:00 AM --- the walk was not everything I had imagined in my mind but it was still a lot of fun (just a little wet too)!  Almost everyone showed up and walked the 5K in the rain.  AWESOME!

So here are a few of the over 250 pictures that were taken today . . .
(We got a partial group shot but unfortunately our Team Picture was schedule for 10:30 and that is when the 2nd round of the monsoon blew in - oh well!!)

We are missing about quite a few people in this picture


Sophie & Super Nate

Emma, Sophie & Nate

The Houston Five

Me, Todd (my brother), Dodge (a Diabetes Dude Blue Flamingo) and the AWESOME sign my dad had made for Team Super Nate!

That's Right Sweet Boy - - - We are all walking for YOU!
 Since you can see the back of Nate's shirt and part of Jim's shirt - - - this would be a good place to stop and thank our sponsors!!

You can't see it but the shirts says ----
  
Super Nate runs on . . . 


OmniPod and Texas Roadhouse sponsored the t-shirts.
 Ryder King designed the Super Nate Logo --- could it be any cuter? 
And we received VERY generous donations from my dad's company  - Knothe Apparel Group 
and from my brother, Todd who owns two gyms in the Austin area -   Anytime Fitness

We  received a $100 gift card for food and 15 cases of water for our walkers from Market Street
Kay's Naturals also generously donated 240 individual size bags of yummy snacks!  Gluten FREE!!

We honestly cannot express how thankful we are for all of the donations -- large and small. 

Haven't made a donation yet??  There is still time - - - just CLICK HERE!  :)  

And now for some D Mama LOVE in the rain . . . 

Laura & Jessica with some Team Elise walkers in the background.
Laura and Joanne - rockin' it in the rain!

To see all of the Team Super Nate pictures from the JDRF Walk for a Cure - - - please check out Nate's Journey (in pictures) with Type 1.

And to finish this post . . . 
Super Nate wearing his Super N8 Cape - - -not wanting to let go of his Super Hero status!!

Super N8 in his Cape!
 Thanks to my friend, Emily for Nate's awesome cape surprise!  He loves it!!!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Diabetes Dude Webathon - - - Raising money to raise awareness! NOW!

We interrupt your regularly scheduled broadcast to bring you the diabetes dude (DD) and his webathon.

Click HERE

DD Webathon

Friday, September 24th from 6 pm til midnight, The Diabetes Dude will be holding a webathon to help support his Flamingo Flock Campaign.  Noah's campaign is growing and in order for him to continue with his campaign and send out his flamingos all over the country, he has to rely on the support of his friends to donate to the cause. 

Throughout the webathon, The Diabetes Dude will be constantly updating his website, Twitter, and Facebook accounts.  Every person who makes a donation will be mentioned by whatever name they choose through these media outlets.  Donations will be accepted through PayPal only at the link below. 

Noah has some great prizes to give away as raffles including his autographed flamingo, Doppler, who flocked the Sept 19th Boston Red Sox game and was autographed by Wally The Green Monster.  Doppler will be presented to the winner along with a commemerative photo collage autographed by The Diabetes Dude. 


Please help by donating to this great cause!  If just 300 people donated even $5, he would reach his goal and be able to further his campaign!
 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Our Diabetic Life - - - GIVEAWAY !!

Meri over at Our Diabetic Life - - - is give give given it away!!
Scoot over there and check it out because there are like a million prizes.  Ummm - totally awesome contest!!  :)



Go - you only have until midnight tomorrow (Thursday)!!!



Sunday, September 19, 2010

In My Own Words . . . by Jim Houston



Nathan James & James Joseph Houston

Diabetes… A word.   A disease…. one that I had historically only given but a passing thought and maintained a level of understanding that could easily be described as faint and distant. Despite the millions of persons affected by this disease (many with struggles that have lasted near a lifetime) admittedly, for me, this disease has lived in relative obscurity and one in which I had little perspective for. Then, one year ago, we learned that our lives would be forever changed and frankly, there was not anything positive that could come from news that our son, Nate had been diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.

It is amazing how much our lives as a family have changed over such a relative short period of time. It is still difficult to come to grips with how different our lives likely have changed as a result of one simple word. A word that carries with it, a complex series of emotional and physical challenges… Of course that word is diabetes - and what a challenging 12 months it has been. One year later, the perspective is understandably much different and the disease no longer lives in obscurity to me. Like so many readers of this blog, we live with diabetes daily and we see perspectives of the disease that few can understand unless you live with it daily. 
 
And so with that, I begin to look back and reflect on the past year. Anniversaries, a time which are used by most to reflect back on the aggregation of emotion, challenges, successes, comfort, event and tears. So on this “anniversary”, I decided to reflect on specific feelings, thoughts and emotions conjured as a result of Nate’s diabetes diagnosis one year ago. Immediately, a sense of guilt, fear and helplessness comes to mind, but those feelings were easy, predictable and instinctive to come up with, I guess. This was not the level of depth of thought that I wanted to produce this anniversary and moment of reflection, so I continued on…. As I mustered deeper thoughts, one word kept getting in the way of clear thinking…. This word was, “Thanks”…. A nonsensical word it seemed, to be introduced into my reflective thoughts and feelings surrounding such a horrible disease. I began to wonder if it is even possible to use the word “thanks” and “diabetes” in the same sentence.
  
Taking a step back but trying not to digress, I begin to see that although we view September 17, 2010 as the one-year anniversary of Nate having diabetes, it is likely that the seeds were planted long before September 17, 2009. It is quite likely that this seed was even planted well before Nate was born and although never a part of our plans, it certainly is part of God’s plan. I will circle back to this thought later, but for now, moving on…

Small but MIGHTY!    


So then, as I move on, where does “thanks” take me in this thread and why is this word confusing my picture so much? In order to dig deeper (and ultimately in hopes of moving on from the annoying thought of “thanks”) I decided to explore further and give “thanks” some time. My hopes were to move on from this noise, so that I could find more appropriate feelings to describe and share with others, the series of emotions endured by me over the past 12 months (it is amazing how thoughts can begin to fill in the voids when one opens the mind).

Immediately, thoughts of the enormous outreach, sacrifice and love received from the many family and friends over the year came to mind. Their gift of time, fundraising and overall effort donated to us as we deal with the daily challenges of our new normal and our contribution in seeking a cure. For that, we share a heartfelt “Thanks” that words are unable to adequately describe. 

We are thankful that we have a very special team of medical caregivers, specialists and team OmniPod that contribute to outstanding care and attention to Nate in the hope that we will be able to bring up an otherwise healthy young man, fully able to achieve all in his life that he is meant to and capable of. 

Thank you to our incredible 4- and 6- year old daughters who show an amazing unselfishness, patience and cooperation as their little brother takes a greater level of mom and dad’s time- just as there seems to be less and less time to go around each day. All of this in light of Sophia, our wonderful four-year old, who too is battling an auto-immune disease that she battles with admirably. Thus far, her ability to share her badly desired “mom-and-dad time” shows an understanding and maturity well beyond her years. 

A very special Thank You for providing this family with such a strong, determined and beautiful wife/mother that shows amazing strength, grace and resolve in providing unwavering dedication to helping Nate have an incredibly (albeit relative) normal life. He may never be able to appreciate her strength and understand the struggles and pain she feels daily, but those who know her best, do understand, and are very thankful that she is at the helm. 

And perhaps most of all, thanks to God for giving us the opportunity to be the caregivers to such a wonderful boy and the trust in us to help him grow and fulfill his personal destiny. Although we did not know it until one year ago, the plan for Nate was to include the burden of being diabetic. I can not express effectively my gratitude and thanks to be a part of this journey. Although we likely will never claim victory in our fight against diabetes and we continue to have much to learn in raising a young child with this disease, we can be thankful that we have made it thus far. We have grown as a family and as each day passes we become more capable. This road we travel, and all that lies before us, will never be mistaken for easy and, although diabetes is likely to be a burden Nate will carry forever, it is a challenge that I am thankful to be “Chosen” for, chosen to help him in his fight for life- and for that… I say from the bottom of my heart, “Thank You”. 


 
I close my eyes to sleep tonight, no longer looking for more “appropriate” feelings to describe my first year of challenges posed by diabetes. I rest well tonight understanding that maybe “Thanks” is the best description of my reflective moment, on this, my first year anniversary.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

1 Year - Tears and Triumphs

I have written this post 3 times now and deleted it each time. I'm not sure where to go with it and am not really sure if I even want to write it or acknowledge it.

One year ago today my son, Nate was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. I would love to sit here and tell you that the year has flown by, his diabetes is under "control", and life with diabetes has become our "new normal". Sorry Folks - I can't do it.

As I sit here right now I am waiting for Nate's blood glucose level to come down from over 500. Yes - - you would think that after 1 year we would no longer see numbers like 500!! Today is one of those days that puts Type 1 Diabetes right back in perceptive for me.

We lost our Continuous Glucose Monitor Sensor and our Insulin Pump on the same night. This would be the definition of a BAD D DAY!!

The tears are flowing because it has been 1 year since Nate was diagnosed and I am not magically just OK with it. Things have gotten easier but I am still often sad about his diagnosis.

The triumph of the night is that I am here alone with my 3 children, I changed a DexCom (CGM) sensor, figured out that the canulla was no longer delivering insulin to Nate, changed a pod, delivered a corrective dose of insulin, checked for ketones and am now anxiously waiting for his bg to come back into range.

For the record for non-D-Peeps - - - this also means that I will get absolutely no sleep tonight. This high bg required a large correction which is not an ideal situation while Nate is sleeping. Therefor, because I just got the CGM calibrated and I have no idea how accurate it is going to be - - - I will be up! Checking, Checking and Checking on Nate for most of the night.

One year ago Nate's blood glucose was over 500 he was in DKA (diabetic ketoacidosis) and could have died.

Unfortunately, the numbers are hauntingly similar but the circumstances are so different. I know what to do, how to do it and will win this battle. I am in control of keeping my son alive and I will not let him down. Not tonight! God willing, not ever!

It feels strange but that is all I have - - -
I never, ever run out of things to say about D but my one year mark has me a bit speechless.

Here are some pictures of our journey over the last year - - -
I threw this together at the last minute because sometimes pictures like actions speak louder than words.


A Guest post from my BFF, Helen

I asked Helen to write a guest post for Nate's 1-year anniversary with Type 1 and I know it was not easy for her.  She is such a wonderful friend and I know she would do almost anything for me --- I just wasn't sure she would do this!  So, I am (as always) eternally grateful for my dear friend and her unwavering friendship!

Although, I do have to make one correction to her story --- I can do that because it's my blog!!!  :)~

You see we have this ongoing argument about the smart a** comment that she made to me the day I called her and told her that I thought Nate had diabetes.  I'll make the correction below in RED.  :)
 ___________________________________________________

Oh Laura. She has asked me to write a little something to acknowledge Nate’s 1st anniversary since being diagnosed (Dx Day). What she doesn’t know is that I have attempted to write her letters throughout the past year but my heavy heart has prevented me from finding the right words. But since she asked nicely, I’m going to give it another go. May the rambling begin….

The first time I met Laura at a Gymboree class six years ago, I felt as if we were sisters in a past life. Our eldest children, Emma and Gabrielle, have been inseparable ever since. We went along for years living our ideal lives in our suburban bubble. We went happily along enjoying our weekly play-dates, girls night outs, and family vacations. I was ever so excited when we were pregnant together with our youngest children, Nate and Sam. And Laura was gracious enough to provide Sam with his future bride, Sophie (he loves older women!). We basically bred our own little cult of best friends. Life was easy and uncomplicated. Who knew that September 17th, 2009 would shake up our little bubble.

Houston - Becka Family Easter 2009


I’ll never forget having lunch at Blue Goose with a group of girlfriends and our little ones. Nate was desperately drinking diet coke, water, and whatever else he could get his hands on. He couldn’t get enough. A day later, Nate continuously overflowed his diapers at school, and then I received a phone call from Laura that I’ll never forget. In classic Laura style, she googled his symptoms and said she thought Nate might have juvenile diabetes. I told her to stop jumping to conclusions and just stop feeding the boy salty chips (She said salty PEANUTS not CHIPS!). How I wish I was right and Laura was wrong.  It’s been a crazy journey ever since.

Since Nate’s diagnosis, I have succumbed to a spectrum of emotions. As Laura knows well, I’m not one to share my feelings. However, since most of you are complete strangers, I feel ever so comfortable sharing them with you today.

Guilt-
I feel guilty when I put my children to bed every night and thank God that they are all healthy knowing that Laura cannot do the same. I feel guilty that my friend has not had a peaceful night of sleep since Dx Day. I feel guilty that my 2 year old can eat and drink whatever he pleases. I feel guilty when I complain that my children have a runny nose or cough. I feel guilty that my friend has to bear this huge burden every moment of every day.

Loss
I miss my friend. I miss the daily mundane way life used to be without type 1 in our lives. Nate’s disease has consumed all of Laura’s time and energy. Even though I applaud her for her commitment to Nate, I can’t help but feel a sense of loss (and I feel guilty about that too). I miss being able to drop the kids off at school and going to get a coffee with my friend. I miss seeing Nate’s little face in the hallway at Mother’s Day Out.  I miss looking at Laura and not seeing a sense of worry in her eyes. I miss the way life was supposed to be in our little suburban bubble. 

Nate and Sam's 1st Day of School


Pride
I can’t be more proud of Laura and I’m honored to be her friend. She has attacked Nate’s disease with a mother’s furor that I’ve never witnessed before. Laura epitomizes what it means to be a mother. She lives for her children and she IS Nate’s lifeline.  Emma, Sophie, and Nate are a reflection of their mother and they are wonderful, loving, happy, strong, and generous little people. They would make any mother proud.

Hope
Most of all, I am hopeful. I’m hopeful that there will be a cure for type 1 in Nate’s life time. I’m hopeful that Laura will eventually get a good night’s rest. I’m hopeful that life will become mundane once again. And I’m hopeful that the Houston-Becka friendship lasts for generations to come. 

In closing, I have a personal note for my dear friend. I want you to know that if you are sad, I will be here to help put a smile on your face. When you are angry and need someone to scream at, I will be here to take the brunt. When Nate is having a bad day and you are in tears, I will be here to wipe away the waterworks. If you feel like you’re going crazy, I will be here to remind you that we are all a little nuts. If you run out of diet coke and need something to keep you awake, I will be here to provide you with an intravenous line. If you are feeling overwhelmed and need to get away, I will be here to drive the getaway car. When you need someone to keep you company when Nate’s numbers are all over the place late at night, I will be here and ready for a slumber party. When you need to raise money for JDRF, I will be here to beg along with you. When you celebrate the triumphs and milestones, I will be here, standing right next to you. No matter what, no matter where, no matter how long, I promise that I will be here.


Thank you, Sweet Helen.  I love you and know that all of the above is true because you have never let me down and have been by my side throughout the past year when so many others have let me down.


Sam and Sophie

Lastly, I just have to say . . .  AREN'T THEY JUST GOING TO MAKE THE CUTEST BABIES ONE DAY?? A VERY, VERY LONG TIME FROM NOW BUT SOME DAY!!!


Sam loves Sophie!!