Monday, April 25, 2016

Look Who Learned How to Swim

    We were on spring break this year. We were staying at a hotel with a pool. We usually try to get a hotel with a pool when we are away from home. After busy days of many adventures we would end up back at the hotel at the end of the night. We usually grabbed dinner and made sure William's blood sugar was a little high so we could go to the pool without worrying about he blood sugar dropping out while we were there. We went to the pool and were having fun when William decided he wanted to swim to the other end of the pool but he did not have his life jacket or swimmies. I told him that he was going to have to lean how to swim. I have been trying to get him to trust me and learn how to swim for a few years now. I guess today was finally the day to do it. I told him to try to do the doggy paddle. He lifted his feet off of the bottom of the pool and started moving his feet and hands. He was floating and moving through the water. I was so very proud. I worked with him to help him swim to the other end of the pool and back a few times. He got tired and panicked a few times but I always grabbed him and made him feel safe again.

    The second night when we got back to the hotel. We got changed into our swimsuits and went back down to the pool again. William saw that there where other kids in the pool so he jumped in and started swimming again. Today I wanted to make sure that he knew how to flip on his back and float we he got tired or panicked. We worked on it a few times with him. He kept telling me that he could not do it but finally trusted me and himself enough to try. After just a few seconds he was floating on his back. He got up and stood on the bottom of the pool and said "that is easy". He then decided to try and swim on his back. He did a great job and was able to swim from one end of the pool to the other multiple times without help. I was there keeping a very close eye on him but it was awesome to see him moving through the water on his own. It was a very proud dad moment indeed.

You keep making milestones and I am very proud of you every day,

You Loving Dad

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Spring Break - The Science Center

Space Shuttle in the Space Section
William in the IMAX
    We had a great time for spring break this year. We went to Legoland and SeaLife Aquarium. We followed that up the next day with a trip to the Michigan Science Center. We got there as soon as the center opened in the morning. It had been a really long time since I had been there (like all the way back when I was William's age). We went in an got our tickets to the science center as well as the IMAX theater and the planetarium. We had our day pretty much planned out for us. We had about an hour before the IMAX movie, then about an hour in between and then the planetarium. We grabbed lunch in between the IMAX and the planetarium. Concession stands are really not very friendly to someone with a gluten allergy. 

    There where many different displays but most of the displays that were on the entry floor where about the automotive industry. I guess that makes since for a Michigan science center. They talked about robotics and steel manufacturing. They had displays that talked about street signs and traffic light controls. We walked around the upper section for a while then got in line for the IMAX movie. The IMAX was about the national parks in the United States. I thought it was interesting but William thought it was boring. There was so much to see. We got to see the solar car from the University of Michigan (Go Blue). There was a water powered rocket. You fill the rocket part way with water add air and push the launch button. It was cool. There was a table that had a spinning wheel in the middle. It had smaller plastic wheels. the idea was to roll the plastic wheels onto the spinning wheel and see if you could get your wheel to roll and balance. William loved this the most. We spent about 45 minutes in just this area.

Giant Etch-A-Sketch
Space Invaders
    After having lunch we went to the planetarium to watch the show about where we are in the universe. I was really cool to see. The presenter did a great job and the effect and lasers where cool. William really liked this part of the science center. We got out of the movie and went to a display that they had called Toytopia. We got up there and the first thing we saw was this giant Etch-A-Sketch. They also had vintage video games from when I grew up. I am not sure if I should feel old or if it should have felt warm and comfortable. It was a really good memory of growing up. It actually took quarters to play the games. They had Pole Position, Defender, Ms Pacman, Space Invaders, Dig Dug, and a few others. William got to play most of them. When he was done he told me that the games were really hard. Back in my day we only got to play as long as the quarter lasted and most of the time that wasn't long. We didn't get to play all day like they do today.  They also had an Atari 2600 console and a few of the handheld games from when I was a kid. It was a real throw back to the 70's and 80's.

The Rainforest Cafe Entry
Our Table
    Diabetes played nice this day. William's numbers were great all day long until right before we left to go back to the hotel. On the way back the Dexcom let me know that William was starting to go a little low. We we got back to the hotel room and I gave him a few pieces of candy to hold him over until dinner. We were having dinner with my sister and my niece at the Rainforest Cafe. It was a cool place with fish tanks and automated animals. William really loved the atmosphere and the fish tanks. There are trees all over the restaurant and even a thunderstorm every once in a while. The animals start making a lot of noise right before the storm starts. It was good to spend the evening with my sister, niece and William. After dinner we went back to the hotel and back to the pool. I am not sure I could have planned a better spring break for the two of us. The only thing that would have made it better was to have Jen along, but she had to work.

What an amazing week,

Your Loving Dad

Monday, April 18, 2016

Spring Break - The Aquarium

Ready to go in
William in a Bubble Inside of a Tank.
    After we had our adventure at Legoland we moved on to the aquarium. It was located at the same place as Legoland. It was a fun experience. It started off with everyone moving into a room and watching a video telling us about what we were about to see. It talked about the efforts being made by SeaLife aquarium to same animals all over the world. The inside of the room kinda looked like a submarine. It had portholes and gauges to show what depth we were going to. After the video was done we started the tour for the aquarium. It was a very busy day. There where lots of people. We had to go a little slow but it gave us time to see everything. It did feel a little rush at times but it was still a very beautiful place to see.

Stingray Inside the Tunnel.
      We walked through and saw fish from all of the world. There where areas where the kids could get inside the tank in a bubble and watch the fish swim around them. There was another section where we walked through a tunnel and could see sharks, stingrays and may other fish. There was also a section of open tanks where you could touch many different sea creatures. William touched the starfish and a poky crab. It had spins all over it and I really don't remember what it was really called. The had a few small crabs and other miscellaneous creatures. We got to one section where they had some smaller tanks. In one of the tanks was a crab that was bigger than William's head. I posed nicely for a picture.

    At the beginning of the tour they gave William a book. It had nine different pages. Throughout the tour there where stops where he could stamp his book. At the end of the tour if you had all of your stamps you got a medal. It was given to show that you had learned about the animals. I think William was more excited about getting the stamps them actually seeing all of the fish. We had a great time. After we got done we had dinner and went back to the hotel for the night. It was a long day and the pool was waiting.

I am happy to be a part of your life,

Your Loving Dad

Friday, April 15, 2016

Spring Break Part 2

Renaissance Center Detroit
    We had a great time for spring break this year. After Marvel Universe Live we went to Legoland and the Sea Life Aquarium. I did not tell William that we were going to Legoland. He had seen the commercials on TV and just the day before saw the commercial and said "I want to go there". It made me smile inside knowing that. William knew we were heading to a hotel and that had a pool but he didn't know anything else about the trip. It was fun to keep him guessing. We got in the car that morning and headed out. It is a three hour trip to get to Legoland. I had purchased combo tickets about a week before so that I could ensure that we got into the two attractions (Legoland and Sealife). You have to schedule your times when going to these places. The Legoland picture was the first thing he saw when we got there. He was so excited that I barely got him to stand still long enough for the picture.

Ford Field Detroit
William Playing Inside Exhibit
    Legoland was full of adventure. They start the whole thing off like a theme park. You enter the attraction buy getting into a line and waiting for the doors to open. They play a short video to introduce you to what you are about to experience and finally the doors open. The first thing we did was get on a ride that looks like a pirate ship. It has guns for each passenger. Along the ride you shoot at bad legos, spiders and bats. It keeps the score and it is displayed at each seat. William and I were really close when the ride was all over. It was fun. We moved on to the 4D Lego movie. It was 3D but had fog, lightning, rain and a few other surprises for the audience. We walked through the different lego landmarks from the Detroit area. There was Ford Field, Comerica Park, the Renaissance Center, Ambassador Bridge, The Detroit Metro Airport and even the Boblo Island boat. That brought back some real memories. 

Build and Test Area
The Play Area
    They had a section that was called build and test. In this area you have all sorts of Lego pieces to build a car. William jumped right in and built a car and sent it racing down the track. After a few runs he finally won when one of the other cars on the track ran into him and his wheels popped off and went across the finish line first. That was a little funny and we had a really good laugh about that. After we got done with the build and test area William went on the play area. His blood sugar looked great. It didn't take long before diabetes let us know it was still there. I gave William a few pieces of candy before he was even close to going low but I guess he was playing hard. He had to come and sit for a few minutes until the candy finally kicked in. I hate when he has to stop having fun so diabetes can have a turn. After a little more time I pulled William out of the play area and we moved on to the aquarium. We had a great time.

I will talk about aquarium in my next post.

I am glad we have these memories together,

Your Loving Dad

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Marvel Universe Live and the Beginning of Spring Break

Marvel Universe Live
    Spring break started on Friday April 1st this year. No school on Friday or the entire next week. Ten days off to do what ever we wanted to do. We spent a lot of time together this week and we did a lot of fun things. Our first adventure was to the Van Andel Arena in Grand Rapids to see Marvel Universe Live. I had kept it a secret until the day we went. William knew we were going to do something fun but didn't know what it was. When we got to the arena he could see the signs and got very excited about seeing the show. 

The Introduction of Loki
    The show started with Thor destroying the tesseract. The mystical cube that has limitless power.  As the show went on we got to meet the rest of the Marvel Universe characters: Ironman, Captain America, Spiderman, Hulk, Hawkeye, Black Widow etc... We got to see the good guys take on the bad guys. Loki, the Green Goblin and many more bad guys where there and causing mayhem. There were fights, stunts, explosions, motorcycles, heroes and bad guys flying through the air and even someone set on fire. It was an exciting time and William seemed to really enjoy the time we spent there. The good guys end up winning the day and every one goes home happy.

Loki Causing Problems
Ironman Saves the Day
    This was the beginning of our spring break. The really fun stuff was yet to come. I am glad that I have the time to spend with William. I am glad that we are getting to makes these memories together. My life would not be the same without my sons making my life great. Our life adventures have just begun together. I am looking forward to many more great adventures together.

I love you my son,

Your Loving Dad

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Stuffy Nose and Continuous Glucose Monitoring

    When I got William back this week he had a stuffy nose and was later running a bit of a fever. I try not to give him medicine unless I have no other choice. He was fine all day but when he went to bed his nose started to stuff up and it was hard for him to breathe. I did not want to give him medicine because you never know how it is going to react with diabetes. I waited as long as I could but William was very uncomfortable and started crying because he could not breathe. Giving medicine is much harder now that they have taken directions off of medication for children under 12 years old. Now you have to guess at how much medicine to give your child if they are under 12 years old. That is another discussion for a different day. I gave him some medicine for a stuffy head. It was the only medicine that specifically stated it was for stuffy head. I gave it to William and he went back to bed. He went to sleep after just a short time and I kept monitoring him all night. 

    One new thing that I learned through this adventure is that you have to be careful about what you give your children not because of dosing but because it might interfere with the continuous glucose monitoring system (CGM). I noticed after about four hours of giving William medicine that his CGM started to pop up with ??? in the display. The ??? mean the the sensor can not measure the blood sugar properly according to the manufacturer. I only gave him one dose of the decongestant but it was enough to interfere with his CGM for about two days. This went on through the next day and the CGM seemed to display ??? more than it was working.  I have seen the ??? in the past. Sometimes it goes away but sometimes it does not. When it does not I usually have to change his sensor. So after a day and a half of ??? I changed his sensor. The new sensor worked correctly for about three hours before having the same problem. I called the CGM manufacturer and discussed with them what I was seeing. They did replace the sensors but come to find out some decongestants can interfere with CGM operation. One more fun thing to deal with in the fight against diabetes. It makes me wonder if the other times I saw the ??? was because of something that he ate. Luckily it started to work just in time for our trip for spring break. We did a lot of fun things. I will be updating those a little later in the week.

We are powering through,

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 ...