Thursday, August 28, 2014

Meeting the new Teacher

In Front of the class
    Last night we went to meet the new teacher for 1st grade. We had a scavenger hunt and William got his picture taken. He found his desk and learned about all of the kids in his class. His "girlfriend" from last year was in his class again. He ran over and gave her a big hug. It was so very cute. There were many friends from last year so it should be a good year not having to make so many new friends this year. He has homework already. He has to find one item to put in a red bag to bring to school to tell everyone who he is. It is a show in tell of sorts.

My New Desk
    William found his desk easily. It is nice that he is starting to read. So now he can see what things say. His desk is right next to the teacher so that should help with all of his care. We met his new teacher and she seems nice. We have been working hard on reading all summer long. I am hoping that this will pay off for him when he get into class this year.

    With all of William's special needs, we got to stay late to meet with the teacher to go over his schedule and the special care that he will need for the school year. William starts school each year with and instruction manual. It is a document that tells how to take care of him when his blood sugar is off, when to check him, troubleshooting his diabetes equipment and emergency phone numbers. I am trying to send him to school the safest way I can. I want his teachers to have as much information as I can give them to best take care of my son.

William is excited about going to school and keeps asking if today is the day he goes to his big school gain. We are counting down the days and I am glad that he is excited about going.

Kicking off 1st grade,

His Loving Dad 

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Letters from Dad

    I want to keep this as an ongoing section for you my son. I want to tell you the things that I can share just in case anything ever happens to me along the way. The first thing I want you to know is that I loved you with all my heart. You and your brother were the best things that ever happened to me and I thank you and him both for all of the smiles along the way. I am proud of you both.

    You are six now and you know how to do everything. You know how to drive a car, play a guitar, find a job, have a house and many other things that are going to come in your life. I can't wait to be a part of that. I want to be there to show you how to drive. I would love to hear beautiful music from your guitar. I know you will work hard at your job and be happy and I will be there to help you move into your first house. I can't wait to see you grow up to be a man but I hope you don't mind that I want to have you as my little boy for a while. The selfish part of me that wants you to hold my hand, have you sleep with me at night when you are afraid, teaching you to read, seeing you play video games, going to school, playing sports, helping out at robotics and just being a kid. I hope that we can take trips and have many adventures together. I want to see you go to Disney before you are too old to appreciate it. I want to have camping weekends together. I want to explore and become friends over our lifetime. I know that you have many struggles that most people don't. You need to be healthy and take care of yourself and don't let diabetes win the fight. You will need to be there for your kids someday and I hope that you are a better father than me. I just hope that I gave you enough of an example to have a good start.

    School is getting ready to start. You are excited today. I know when the school year starts and homework is plenty that you will not like school so much. I love seeing you learn and become a young man. You are smart and I hope that you understand when you get older that I pushed you out of love to be the best person that you can be. We will take one day at a time and we will make it to the end together. I will always be proud of you and you will always be in my heart.

Six years old and a man already,

His Loving Dad

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sleeping with Dad

    Everything that happened this year has been tough on everyone involved over the last six months. William has mostly good days but occasionally a bad one pops up. Last night was a bad night for him. I put him in bed and read him a story then kissed him goodnight and went down stairs. After a few minutes I heard him crying. I asked him what was wrong and he told me that he missed grandpa (grandpa died last year). He went and got in my bed and I crawled in bed with him and pulled him close. I knew today was a day when he needed me to hold him and make him feel safe. He laid on my chest and put his hand on mine. I have never felt so strong as I did at that very moment.  My son needed me to be strong for him that night and I felt so good that he felt safe enough to fall asleep on my chest.

    When William sleeps with me it has always been an adventure. You never know if you are going to get hit with a hand or a foot in the middle of the night. If he will snuggle right up with you and not give you an inch of bed to sleep on or if he will take all of the covers or kick them off because he has his blanky to keep himself warm. There is an advantage to him sleeping with me. I do not have to go so far to do his nighttime checks. I put his meter by the bed and do the check and then go right back to sleep.

    I woke up this morning with his hand across my face and wondered why his hand was across my face but then inside something said remember this moment because there will not be many more of these times for you to remember and I smiled. My little guy will be graduating before I know it but I can look back today and see he was still there looking for strength right next to "Daddy".  What he doesn't know is that "Daddy" will always have his hand out for him to take. His shoulder will always be there to cry on and his heart will always be warm and loving.

I feel like Superman for just a little time and I hope that you get to as well,

His Loving Dad

Monday, August 25, 2014

Weekend at the lake

We had a great weekend this weekend. We were invited to a friends house for a team building event for the robotics team. There were many things to do like playing in the water and swimming and riding on the boat and tubing. There were also games to play and good friends to talk to. William had a great time. He got to swim all the way to the dive platform and hang out with the big kids. He was not afraid to speak up and tell them that he did not want to be pushed into the water. Then after he had been on that platform for a while he swam over to the trampoline that was also in the water. A few times he got a tow from one of the other team mentors in a kayak.

Swimming to the trampoline
   William is really excited about the robotics season this year and I am glad to see him get excited about that kind of stuff early in his life. I want him to learn early that if you are willing to learn and push yourself you can do amazing things. You have to be smart and you have to be willing to work hard to get them. Just like him swimming to the dive platform and then to the trampoline. It takes the same faith that if you keep swimming and you do not give up that you can reach it and it will be fun when you get there. I guess we start with life lessons early in our lives. We just don't know that they are life lessons when we are young. I know that I would not have thought about this being a life lesson when I was six.

I found a frog
We also had fun finding frogs along the lake. The one that William is holding is black. It really liked to hop a lot. He was pretty happy when the other boys asked him to come help to find the frogs. He also went and got water for the frogs after they were put into the bucket. He had a friend there that he got to play with. They played in the sand and played with the swords and shields and with the big foam airplane. It was like I remember when I was young. The foam airplane didn't last long. We ended the night with another boat ride and a campfire. William had a s'more then it was home to get in bed. School is starting soon so we need to get him back on his schedule. What a great weekend of fun. Meeting new friends and meeting the team that we are going to be spending the year with.

We are looking forward to a great year with the robotics team and what a great way to end the summer. We got to do all of the things that you should do all summer. I love seeing William smile and he did that a lot this weekend. He needs a lot more of that to help make up for the rough year that we both experienced.

We are waiting by the fire,

His Loving Dad

Friday, August 22, 2014

The Puzzle

    OK so we have had a lot going on this year and I would love to say that it was all great stuff but in reality it has been the worst year of our lives. I just want to stop and take inventory of the things that changed for William and me this year. The picture of our lives was shattered last year. It is more of a puzzle now. I think when the pieces are put back together so many things will have changed and the picture will not be the same. We lost my mother, my aunt and William's grandfather. William's mother moved out. This also meant that her three kids that I had known for half of their lives moved out too. We had many court dates and really bad days along the way.  It has been a tough year. There is so much more to tell of this story but this is not the place for things like that.

    So William has two houses to visit now. He doesn't see his brothers, sisters or grandma much any more. I have three missing pieces of the puzzle and empty bedrooms and three empty spots in my heart where the kids used to be. William claimed his brother's room as his new play area and the rooms that his sisters lived in are now empty. Where we had a couch and love seat downstairs for the kids to play and watch TV is now just a mat and a TV where William and I play Xbox together. He keeps telling me that we need to get a new couch for down stairs and in time I am sure that will happen. That is just another one of the pieces of the puzzle. Upstairs in the living room the couch we had there belonged to his mother so when it left I did get a new couch. We put that piece of the puzzle back, it fit but it is different. I wanted to make sure that we didn't have any holes in the main living area to remind us of all of the pain. I want him to be able to see the big picture even if a few pieces are missing.

    I have always heard anything that doesn't kill you will make you stronger. I think that the strength you have has always been there the whole time it just comes to the surface when you need it. Things have started to get better for me. I have met a really beautiful person and she makes me feel important for the first time in my life. William still has bad days. I try to hug him and let him know he is safe as much as I can. I make time for him and nothing else at least once a day playing video games, going to the park or sitting and coloring. We read a story each night before bed and I always hug him and tell him that his mom and I both love him very much. Life will slow down soon. We will be starting school soon and the rest of the things that need to fall into place will very quickly after that. The puzzle is coming back together. It is a different picture than it was from a year ago. I am sure there are some missing pieces. That is hard to avoid when when something is disrupted so violently and some pieces may never be recovered. We will see what picture develops and hope that it is a picture that is warm and sunny and brings a smile to the people that see it and especially to the ones that live it.

One puzzle I did not want to put together,

His Loving Dad

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Video Games

    One of William's favorites things to do is play video games. We have a few favorites around here but mostly lately we have been playing Donkey Kong Returns on the Wii and Skylanders or Halo 4 for the XBox. I enjoy the time we get together sitting and playing together.  I try to make sure that other important things are done before we play like school and playing outside with your friends and that there were no problems with his behavior. It is motivation for him to do the right thing all day long and a great thing for us to do together and bond.

    It is good because the time that we spend together is spent talking to each other. We can sit and play and just talk. He is six so just getting him to talk about anything is good. You never know what you might hear when you sit down to play. I have learned about his friends at school because something happened that made him remember something from the days events or I might find out that he was happy that his teacher gave him a hug that day. I might also find out about a cool toy someone brought to school. His mind is a lot like mine there are so many things going on in his head so it just kinda pours out. You just need to be there with the bucket to catch it all.

    You might think that it wouldn't be much fun playing with a six year old but you would be wrong. William is very good at most of the games that we play together. He tends to be over zealous at times but he can get through some of the things I cannot sometimes too. He was beating his brother and the next door neighbor at games on the Wii and they where much older than him at the time. It got so bad that they didn't even want to play with him anymore. It was kinda funny actually to see a 12 year old and a 10 year old not want to play with a 5 year old because he was too good for them. I sit here smiling about it just remembering.

A bonding moment for us,

His Loving Dad

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Learning to Read

    Williams mother used to tell me that I had the patients of Job. Teaching a young person to read takes time and a lot of patients (got the Guns and Roses song running through my head now). I tough Jacob, Williams older brother, how to read after they moved in with us. I also tough my oldest son to read. It is one of the greatest gifts that you can give your children. Teach them to read and they can learn anything they want to learn. Now it is time for William to learn. We have been reading every night since he was very small.

    Last year in kindergarten William started bring home site words. These are common words that he should be able to see and know what they are. We practice these every night and we have since school started last year. William has been reading books to me at night. It is a slow process and frustrating at times when he really doesn't want to read that night. He likes to read the words that he does know and just guess at the ones he doesn't. It is funny how a story can change with just a few words being different. He does a great job of sounding out words when he does try and is usually really off when he doesn't. It is funny I can whisper in his ear "sound it out" and he will tell me to quit yelling at him.

    I really look forward to the day when we can read through novels in his room at night. Digging into a story and not being able to wait until the next day to see what happens to the lead character. I want him to bring me lists of books that he wants to read and for us to have adventures together without even leaving his room. I want to fight dragons with him and defeat the Titans with Percy Jackson, train to be a ranger in the young ranger series and fly to the moon. What more could you ask for an adventure with your son. He can be anything in a book. Most of all I hope that he just finds himself inside each book. I want him to see the good parts of each character and bring that into himself.

Pick up a book and have an adventure today,

His Loving Dad

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

11PM and 2AM Blood Glucose Checks

    When William was first diagnosed with type 1 diabetes I was afraid. We were at the doctors office learning how to take care of him. We were there all day long. The taught us how to give shots, how to count carbs, and told us to check him every two hours for the first few weeks. They said that it would get better and he would stabilize. I remember him jumping from 300 down to 50 and them back up again. He was all over the place. Night time checks where every two hours. That was exhausting. I remember thinking that I couldn't wait until we didn't have to do that any more. I also remember fearing that he would not be alive the next time we went to check him.

    Flash forward almost five years. I am still checking William at 11PM and 2AM. We had stopped checking him over night for a while when I read an article about "Dead in bed Syndrome". That is where a diabetic person goes to bed with a normal blood glucose number but never wakes up in the morning. I already feared that William wouldn't wake up in the morning and reading this didn't help. After I read this and having William so low one night that his meter wouldn't read, I knew it was time to do more to keep my boy safe. I have been checking him ever since. With mom going to school full time and me trying to make that as easy I as could on her I assumed the nightly check for the last four years. It is a grueling thing to stay up until 11PM every night go to sleep for three hours and get up at 2AM to check him again. It is amazing to know what the body can get used to. I was exhausted all of the time. William's mother always told me that she didn't understand how I could just lay down in bed and fall asleep so easily. It was pure exhaustion. I never got much help from her with his care when she was going to school. This was true even in the summer when her schedule was much less. I guess that is one good thing that came from her leaving. I get every other week off from having to do these checks. I have started to notice that she is not doing the checks every night. That scares me to know that she doesn't have the same commitment to his care as I do and that the Friend of the Court doesn't seem to care. His doctor even told the custody investigator that he didn't feel the night time checks where necessary but he applauded the effort and above normal care that I gave William and that it was good for his long term wellness.

    Am I over reacting to a perceived problem here? I can not tell you how many times over the last four years that I have gone into Williams bedroom to find him really low or really high at night. It has been too many times I will tell you that. Was all of that time and effort for nothing? Was the exhaustion and time away from his mom for nothing too? Was all of the sleepless nights and days at work where I only got through because of coffee a silly fear that I had? I hope that his really good A1C numbers where worth all of those nights when I didn't sleep. The nights when I had to check him over and over. The nights when I wish someone was there to help. I hope his mom finds it inside herself to put him first. I hope that I am not over reacting to something that doesn't need this much fear. I hope that I get to see my son grow into a man and still have all of his hands and feet, eyesight, kidney function and the ability to have children. If he becomes a man and he is still normal then every night I gave to him will be worth it to me.

See you at 2AM,

His Loving Dad

Monday, August 18, 2014

F.I.R.S.T. Robotics

    If you have never heard of F.I.R.S.T. robotics let me give you a quick overview. This is a program that deals with high school aged teens. It is a program that is out to promote S.T.E.M. (Science, Teaching, Engineering and Medical) fields of study. The program give the students a box of parts and a game to play. They have strict rules that they have to build and play and the students have to design, build, wire and program the robot to play this game.

    The first time I ever went to one of the meetings for the design and programing of the robot, I was amazed at just what was expected of these students to have a fully functional robot that could play this game. I was expecting that they would have modules that snap together and code that was prepackaged that would allow for them to learn the process but not really have to understand what was going on but that was not the case. The teams sit down on a computer and design with CAD software. They draw out schematics and they write all of their own code. There is some code provided but there is also a lot that they have to provide on their own. It is exciting to see these young adults get so excited about learning and achieving.

    So you may ask what this has to do with William since he is six. I have been taking him with me to the builds for a few years now. He loves to be part of the whole thing, even if he doesn't get to do a lot of it. He really gets to feel like he is part of the team when they let him control the robot. I also use to take Jacob William's big brother. He loved to go and be part of the builds too. I love knowing that these programs get children excited about learning and college and what they can do with their imagination. I like that William is already so excited about what he sees going on. I really hope that it helps motivate him to do something great with his life.

Teaching kids to achieve,

His Loving Dad 

Friday, August 15, 2014

Relay for Life

William has his own issues to deal with for the rest of his life with diabetes and celiac disease but every year we take time out of our lives to go visit and support my Nephew "M"and Relay for Life. He was three years old when he was diagnosed with stage four liver and lung cancer. They gave him a 5% chance to live. He is now 7 and has been in remission for four years now. What an amazing success story that was and continues to be.

Relay for Life 2014
My nephew is one of the quietest people that you will ever meet. He is sweet and loves to hug. I look forward to Relay for Life with him every year. I get to take a few laps with him holding my hand. Every year it makes me cry to get the honor to hold his little hand just knowing how close we got to losing him. I know at some point he will get to big to let me hold his hand but I hold it proudly every year. The only way you would know there was anything different about him is the scars that are left from his surgery when the removed the cancer from his body.

William and I went this year. It was fun to see he and William playing on the bouncy building and just hanging out together. Walking around and having both of them enjoying life together. The odds were against both of them and here they are together holding candles to remember and celebrate.  "M's" candle did catch on fire in the middle of the remembrance presentation. It was a little funny. I was sitting next to him when William told me to look at "M's" candle. I put it on  the ground and put it out.

2013-2014 was a really tough year for our family so I am hoping that things will only get better from here. Pray for all of us here and keep us in your thoughts. Time heals all wounds and we both have wounds that will take time to heal. I love to see the smile on his face and I will do what I can to keep that smile there for the rest of his days.

Walking for Life,

His Loving Dad

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Starting to Take Care of Himself

    William is six years old now but you would never know it the way he tells you that he knows how to do anything you bring up. If you ask him' he should have a job, he can drive a car, he can read and he can take care of his diabetes. He can't do complex math yet but he can take care of himself. Sometimes I think if I let him go he could do some of the things that I listed. I am glad to see him be so confident in himself.

Driving by Himself
    We went to a local place for fun. We go to play mini-golf and drive the go carts. It was a lot of fun and I am looking forward to getting back there before the end of the season. William is a very smart and independent person even at six. He does not let diabetes or celiac disease get him down. I have only once heard him complain that it wasn't fair. I am not sure many of us would think the same thing with something like this in our lives. Something that is there 24-7. Something that you have to poke your finger for ten times a day. Where you can not start eating until you have your glucose number and have entered your carbohydrates into your pump. 

    Life is challenging for my little man and this year with his mom leaving, grandpa and grandma passed away and not having his brother and sisters living with us any more. That has been a lot for me to take so I can see that there are days when he doesn't know how to cope. I keep trying to hug him and reassure him that he is loved by me and his mom. That things will get better and we will keep finding ways to have fun.

Having fun together,

His Loving Dad

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Going for a Motorcycle Ride

The first time I ever got William on a motorcycle he was so scared that he didn't want to go. I had to offer him ice cream to get him to go. We went out for a ride around the block that only took about ten minutes. This was a picture of us returning from that ride. We pulled back into the driveway and he wanted to go again. This time when we went out he was yelling "go faster daddy" and "make it into a race car". He was really loving going for a ride. He never looked back. He has been riding with me for the last three years since that day.

Out for a ride

This was a big moment in his life. He did something that sacred him and learned that he liked it very much. I think that will be the way we live our lives for the next few years. We will have to jump into things that might scare both of us but we will be there holding each others hands until we get to the end of this ride. Life has thrown us some curves but we will get through together and he will know that I love him very much. I look forward to spending many more days riding together. I also look forward to him getting his own bike one day so that we can ride together as adults. Maybe stopping in at our favorite place and grabbing a drink or two and talk about life. Maybe we could find a great place to visit and camp for the night or maybe have his brothers and sisters come along for the ride.

I have always heard that Life is a journey. I hope that we have a great time on that journey together. For now we will have the relationship of father and son and I hope one day that we have the relationship of friends.

Here is to my future riding buddy,

His Loving Dad

Friday, August 8, 2014

How to become a great father?

Becoming a father was one of the scariest ideas that was ever proposed to me. When I was married a long time ago she wanted to have children. I was not ready for that idea. My childhood was filled with a lot of pain and anger from my parents. My father beat me with a belt most everyday of my life. I remember going to bed at night crying standing in front of a night lite to see if I was bleeding this time. My mother used to call me names that no child should ever have to hear. I guess it was their way of handling their stress. I am just glad it was all focused on me and that my sisters did not have to experience that.

I had always heard that if you were beat as a child you are so much more likely to do it as an adult. I did not want to become my dad. I did not want to have my son be afraid of me and the pain that I could inflict on him and the scars that would be there for the rest of his life. I was afraid that if I got mad that I wouldn't be able to control myself. I was afraid that if I hit my son even one time that it would feel OK and that would open the door for me to keep going. I was so afraid that the rage would take over like it did with my father.

I had my first son. It was the scariest thing to me. I couldn't be happy about it because I was so afraid that I would become my worst fear. I have always wondered how if there was a God how could he allow a father to do this to his son. The only thing that I can say here is that I learned to be a great father in spite of my father. As time went by with my oldest son I learned that I didn't need to hit him to have him be a respectful and good young man. It is about being smarter not tougher. It wasn't long into our marriage that she decided to walk away from us. So irony at its best I didn't want to be a father and she "needed a baby" and here I was a single father twenty four seven. He was two when she walked out and life was never the same again. It was the first real test to see what I was made of. If that stress didn't turn me into my father then I would be OK. I made sure that I hugged him every day. When things happened like him getting hurt I tried to think like a mom and not a dad. I tried to kiss him more than I would have if mom was there. I wanted him to know that he was loved and to be able to see the soft side of love that a mom gives.

So fast forward to today. I am again a single father. I still love William with all my heart. I got to be happy this time when he was born. I knew that I could be a good father because I had done it. I am glad that I do not have to raise him by myself twenty four seven. His mom is there to provide the love of a mother. I will still give him that tender care that she would have given if she where there but I don't have to do it alone this time.

I know that I am not the best father in the world. I am just trying to be so much better than my father and I hope it starts a cycle where my boys try to be a better fathers than me. Then I would really consider myself a great father.

Here is to all of the single dads that are understated in this world of single moms that seem to get the spotlight. The dads that step up even when mom can't or doesn't. I also salute the dads that are the best dads they can be married, single or otherwise. Make a difference in your child's life today. They will not forget that just like I will never forget what my father did to me.

A father's love is strong,

His Loving Father

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Who will watch over him?

One of my biggest fears for William is when he is old enough to move out on his own. I am not there to back him up everyday. I check him at night and I know what he is doing and eating almost all of the time. As he get older I have to worry about him getting tired of diabetes or celiac and just eating things and not caring about his health. I have to worry about him burning out and not wanting to do anything any more as far as testing and eating correctly. I have to worry about him learning to drive and if he will check his blood sugar before driving every time as well as the normal stuff of drinking and driving too. Adding the drinking with out checking blood sugar and correcting for it all. There is a lot to worry about with him.

I hope that he is a good kid and stays out of trouble but then I have to worry about him at college. Who watch him then? Do you hope that he gets a roommate that understands and looks out for him? Someone that would check to make sure he is alive in the morning, someone that would make sure that he is checking himself and doing all of the right stuff. I know that the trust that he can and will take care of himself will ultimately fall on him. He is already such a strong independent little man that I am sure that he will do what he needs to be healthy and happy. He is my baby though and will always be ans that means that I will always worry and want to be there for him. 

You can worry until you die and you can restrict everything until it is no fun or I can just let him live his life and try to nudge him once in a while to make sure we stay on the right path. I love my little man and I will make sure that he always knows that.

The future is what it is,

His Loving Dad

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

How did you know?

A question I get asked a lot is "How did you know he had diabetes?". Well this is a two part answer. The first part was that Williams mom had a friend that had a son that was diagnosed about a year before William. She had told us some of the things that happened to him. When we started seeing some of these sign we started to worry. The other part was that he was drinking a lot of water all of the time. William was two so he was in diapers but he was just learning to potty train and was peeing in the toilet most of the time. Then one day he started peeing in his diaper a lot. The diapers were so full it looked like they were gong to explode. You could change one and in just a few hours it was that full again.

He was going to a daycare and they started giving us a hard time. The children that came there where suppose to be potty trained or working on it but they felt William was regressing so they eventually asked us to leave. We did call the to inform them later that instead of casting judgement in the future that they may want to look for things like this to warn other parents. It could save a child's life if they were quick to point out that the child had been peeing a lot.

Things to look for:
Drinking A LOT
Peeing A LOT
Loss of weight (we did not notice this with William until later when we saw the pictures)
Not wanting to do much (William was two so it never really slowed him down)

William is healthy now. He gets great care and we love him a lot. We go to the endocrinologist four times a year to get check ups for his diabetes, one time for the family doctor, once a year for the eye doctor (diabetes related), and once a year for the gastroenterologist (celiac). I am luck y to work in a place that allows me to take the time off to care for my son.

Here is to good health,

His Loving Dad

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Life Savers® Gummies

It is inevitable that someone with diabetes will have low blood sugar at some point in their lives. Everything effects diabetes, working, playing, sitting, growing and getting sick are just a few of the things that can make your blood sugar go crazy. I kind of think of "Forrest Gump" when I think about diabetes. "It's like a box of chocolates.... you never know what you are going to get".

When I check William at 2am sometimes he is right on the money and sometimes he is low and sometimes he is high. There are days that I expect him to be high or low because of the things that he eats. If he eats pizza then I know that night he will be high at nigh even if his blood sugar was fine all day after eating it. If he has ice cream then he will probably go low. It is one of the things that I have just learned to expect and something we tolerate so that he can enjoy some of the things that people without diabetes and celiac disease enjoy. Pizza is his favorite and he would eat it every day if I let him but I would hate to see his A1C for that quarter. When he get older I will let him make the choice to stop eating pizza or not because it makes him feel bad. I hope that we have the artificial pancreas, bionic pancreas or the BIO Hub where he never has to think about diabetes again so he can eat what he wants and his blood sugar is normal all of the time.

When William is low at 2am and I know I need to give him something to get him through the night. I have turned to Life Savers® Gummies. I tried the gel tubes and and glucose tabs and a few other things that are specially made for diabetes. I was never quite sure how much I was giving him with the gel tube and he didn't like the chalky glucose tabs and trying to get him to wake up to eat something was already hard enough. Life Savers® Gummies seemed to be the perfect fit. They are easy to chew and don't take long for him so he can go right back to sleep. They don't get caught in your teeth and they are small carbs that react fast in his body. I know exactly how many to give him for what ever number he is at to get him back to normal numbers.... for most days. There are still the days where I give him the gummies and when I go back in a few hours to see how he is doing only to find that he is right where I left him blood glucose wise. Then we do it all over again. Those nights are long and I don't get a lot of sleep but he is worth it and I will do what ever I can to deliver him to adulthood as close to normal and in good health as I can do as a parent.

Here is to night time lows,

His Loving Dad

Monday, August 4, 2014

"You check me at night?"

I have been checking William at night for four years now. I get up at 11:00PM and 2:00AM and have every night. I do these checks for a few reasons. If you are the parent of a child with diabetes then you already know the feeling of walking into your child's room every morning and hoping that he is still breathing. I had hoped that feeling would eventually go away then I read about "Dead in bed syndrome". That just made me want to double my efforts to make sure that did not happen to William on my watch. Here are a few articles on this:

One of the other big reasons that I do these late night checks is that it helps his A1C number greatly. When I first started doing these checks his A1C dropped from around 8 to under 7. That is a huge drop and very good for Williams long term health. New guidelines from the America Diabetes Association suggest that all children need to be under 7.5 as a goal. Williams old range used to be 7.5 to 8.5. He has always been below 7.5 for every appointment except one where he was at 7.7. I want to give my son the best chance to have his fingers and toes and eyes for his whole life.

It is funny though that I go in every night to check him with my head light attached to my head. His kit in my hand and quietly enter his room. I sit on his bed and find a finger that I have not poked lately and do a blood glucose check. There have been many times in the morning that I mention something about his number being high or low last night and he asks "You checked me last night?". I am so glad that I can go in and check him and he doesn't feel a thing. After he was first diagnosed, night time was the only time that I could check him when he wasn't fighting me. Now he doesn't even feel it any more. I am glad for that.

Trying to stay healthy,

His Loving Dad

Friday, August 1, 2014

Meeting my new friend

Williams mom walked out on us a while back so it is time to get back into the dating game. I have had a few dates over the last few months and they have gone well. It seems like a lot of the time when the ladies find out I have a son with Type 1 diabetes they run. I am not sure if they think I am looking for someone to take care of him or what the thoughts behind that would be. It is sad to see that but I am glad I am seeing that quickly so that it is not an issue after everyone gets to know each other.

I have recently met someone that really seems to get me more than anyone I have ever met. We have talked about all of the big stuff... money, family, finance combining assets, prenuptial agreements and everything like that. We have even talked about William and his care. That did not scare her off. We have talked about all of the baggage that we have amassed over the years. Some of the things are massive on both sides and some not so much. Our average time to talk is about two hours a day. I don't think I have ever met someone that I enjoy talking to so much. We have been seeing each other for a while. So it is time to start thinking about letting her meet William. I have had to worry about this once before in my life. I have an older son whose mom walked out on us too. I even quit dating for seven years because of it. I will not do that again. We both need to be happy and having someone in my life that cares about me is important too. So I start the delicate balancing act. Letting William meet her and still getting to see her enough to have a great relationship.

Last Saturday I let my new friend meet William for the first time. I took them out to dinner. It went great. William wanted to sit by her right away at the restaurant.He sat and talked with her the whole time, played tic tac toe and ate dinner and we all had a great time. We went back home and William wanted to show her room and then downstairs to show her the XBOX. She sat and played Skylanders for 2 hours and half way through he sat in her lap. I think him meeting her went well. We will take it slow from here. When she comes over and William is around we will be friends and that is what he will see. Slow..... Slow.... Slow.... That is what everyone is telling me and I am trying to keeps my hands on the reigns. 

My little guy deserves to have someone in his life that will care for him too. She needs to care for him as much as she cares for me and I think I have found that lady. Time will tell and I am very hopeful for all of us.

Excited about life again,

His Loving Dad

A Story by William

William's letter about Lucky     William sat down yesterday an wrote a letter about Lucky our dog. He wanted me to publish it. So ...