Thursday, October 29, 2015

My Friend Tim

    How did I meet Tim? I know it was through Facebook. He was the administrator for the D-Dads page. It is a area that D-Dads can go to talk about things as just dads. No Women allowed. It gives us a safe place to vent, share and talk to each other about what is going on in our lives. The only requirements to join are that you have to be a guy and you have to be a dad or someone that has Type 1 Diabetes (T1D). We both qualify since he has two daughters that have T1D and I have William. We met when one of the dads asked where everyone was from. When I told where I was at, we found out that we were both in the same local area. 

    Back in September I got to meet my friend Tim in person for the first time. We have been chatting over the last few years on-line but had never met. We had talked about it over and over again but life got in the way for both of us. Things have gotten better so we finally got the chance to meet. He brought his wife and I brought my significant other and we stopped in for dinner and drinks. We hit it off and had a lot to talk about. We got to know each other on more of a personal level and not just the T1D level. Tim enjoys a good beer once in a while and is going to school. It was good to have someone to talk to that understands what it means to be a parent of a child that has T1D.  It is nice to sit across from someone that understands the fear that you might go into your child's room to wake them up for school and they are no longer there, or to understand what it takes just to feed your child, or the maintenance that it take to just keep your child alive.

    Tim has a blog about his struggles with dealing with two girls with T1D. He tells the story of how he found out about the diagnosis of his two young daughters and the struggles ever since. He has given me a few honorable mentions over the years. I am honored that he feels the things that I talk about here are worth shearing. This week Tim was published on the Healthline website. He has a wonderful article entitled "What It Means to Be a Type 1 Diabetes Dad". The article can be found here:

    Tim is more of a writer than I am, and he really is inspired to make it into a career someday. I am just glad that I have the chance to be his friend and we can talk about life. This article is a quick look into the story of being a T1D dad. Please take the time to read it.

Friends like this are worth everything,

Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Picking our Pumpkins for Holloween

The Hay Ride
    Last weekend we had fun. We went to the farm. The first thing we did was a hay ride. We had three horses pulling us. It has been a while since I have been on a hay ride where there were horses pulling the wagon. We went for a ride through the farm and saw the corn fields, apple orchard, stalls where they keep the horses and we even rode through the woods. They had a playground, cider and doughnuts and of course pumpkin picking. They also had pony rides. William got to play king of the hill on some hay bales with a few of the kids that lived there. He had so much fun he wanted to go back the next day. He also got to play on the playground equipment. He was very sweaty and I had to give him hot chocolate to keep him from going low.

Picking our Pumpkins
    William grabbed the wheel barrel as we went out into the field to get our pumpkins. The field was big and there where so many different pumpkins to pick from, I thought we would never get the right ones. William wanted to get a tall pumpkin. I guess he has something special in mind for his Jack O Lantern this year. We are going to carve them up as soon as he get back this week. We have all of the equipment to make our pumpkins look great. The colored LED's looked great last year so I think we are going to stick with that for this years pumpkins as well.

William at the Start of the Corn Maze
    We also had fun in the corn maze. We went in and wandered through the maze and found all of the places to check in. When William was all done he had to moo like a cow because of the order we found everything. It was fun and he lead the whole way. He was in charge and he did a great job finding everything and getting us back out. Each station had a different color chalk. When you got there you stuck a finger in the chalk and you moved on to the next station. At the end you had to match the colors on your fingers to the chart to know what you had to do. We were matched with the horse so we all gave a neigh and laughed as we were coming out of the maze.

Pony Rides
    William got to pick a pony to ride on. while I was putting the pumpkins into the car. He played with his new friends a little more on the playground and on the hay bales. We stopped to pay for all of the wonderful adventures we had that day then we when home. I am glad that we get to spend this kind of time together. It is good to laugh and make memories with the ones that you love the most. Life has been very kind to me this last year. I spend time with my wonderful son and have someone special in my life to make these memories with. When life knocks you down you can stay there or you can get up and live life again. I am glad I chose to live again.

I love you my wonderful son,

Your Loving Dad

Monday, October 19, 2015

Vacation Last Week

The view from our room
    I was gone last week on vacation. We had a beautiful time in Northern Michigan at a bed and breakfast.This was the first time that Jen or I had stayed at a bed and breakfast. The owners were very friendly and the food was amazing. We had our own balcony to watch the sunsets. It was a breath taking site to see all around. We where here for most of last week. What a great time to rest and relax. The weather was very nice for most of the days. It was 71 degrees the first day we got there so we sat out on the balcony and had wine and enjoyed each other company.

A panoramic view from our balcony.

The beautiful clear water.
This was the view from right off of the pier. They had kayaks, powerboat and may other things for the guests to do. We did not use any of this stuff as we were busy doing all kinds of things together. We visited over 14 local wineries and got some really great wine. We especially found one wine that could be my new favorite. We also went north to the tunnel of trees and then on to the bridge. We had lunch at a local restaurant and  Jen got to show me some of her favorite places to visit. We also went to a few of the lighthouses that were in Northern Michigan. 

Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse
Mackinac Bridge
It was funny how the weather was cloudy in the Mackinac bridge picture and a few minutes later was sunny for the lighthouse picture. It was cooler and windy this day of the trip. We enjoyed the view just the same.

1922 Mortier Dance Hall Organ
We also got to visit the Music House Museum. This was a really cool stop. They had a lot of turn of the century automated musical instruments. Player pianos, repeating pianos, pipe organs, and many other really cool things to see. The engineer in me just wanted to pull them apart and see how they worked. We had a wonderful tour guide that told us the history of each machine and then we got to hear them play. We stopped off in Travers City for a while and visited a few shops. One of my favorites was the Travers City Pie Company. We got a few treats to take back to our room to have with a bottle of wine. I am very lucky to be able to share these wonderful memories with my beautiful lady. 

I feel lucky,

Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

The new Dexcom and the Gluten Free Diet

    We have had the Dexcom for about three months now. It is an amazing tool I use to help with trend analysis and trouble shooting, and to see what William is doing all day long. It has been great to wake up at night and look at the Dexcom receiver and know if I need to go check him or not. It is nice to be able to see what is going on at the touch of a button. Our lives are better because of it.

    William continues to have anxiety about putting on a new sensor when he gets home on Fridays. It is one of the first things that I do when he walks in the door from school. The last few times he has made a big deal about it but after it was done told me that it didn't hurt. This last time though he told me it hurt a lot. The sensor this time seems less accurate too. I am not sure why this time I am not seeing the results that I have in the past but we will work with it for this week and see what happens when we change it out. The endocrinologist appointment is coming up this month. It will be interesting to see if having the Dexcom made any difference on his A1C.

   This is a wonderful tool and I am grateful to have it. It tells me all of the time when I need to do something. I can give him insulin when he is heading high after sneaking gummy vitamins before bed. That was a long night but I did manage to keep him below 300. I had to give him insulin all night long and seemed to maintain around 230 until about 5AM when it finally came back to normal. I have since taken the vitamins out of his bathroom so we do not have that problem again. It also lets me head off the high that I know that he will get from eating pizza. For some reason William can eat pizza and have perfect blood sugar for hours after but when he goes to bed his blood sugar goes through the roof. I can now keep that from happening and I feel less guilty about giving him pizza. It is still a rare treat but I feel less guilty.

    On the gluten free realm of things, we are trying new foods all of the time. I have not been cooking so much now that my life has changed but I am starting to try and cook some meals at home for William's sake. I made meatloaf a few weeks ago and he told me that he loved it. Using gluten free bread worked quite well and the meatloaf was moist and soft. I am going to try it again tonight along with homemade mashed potatoes and some veggies. I am really looking forward to dinner tonight with my son. He loves to help. He has started pealing the potatoes and helps stir anything on the stove. He is a big helper and I am glad that he wants to be there with me.

    We have found a whole bunch of new breakfast options with Cheerios now being gluten free for most of their cereals. We are trying out the honey nut and frosted cheerios this time. I think it is a nice change of pace from the normal selections that he has. He has also been eating fresh fruits on his breakfast. We have been putting blueberries, bananas, pineapple and strawberries on cheerios and a few other cereals. William loves gluten free pad Thai. I am glad that he is open to trying new things. We also got him to try a salad with dinner. He likes the thousand island dressing and told us he would try it again. 

Another week down,

Your 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 ...