Saturday, July 20, 2013

Happy Birthday to the most hardworking guy I know!

Birthdays are the perfect time to reflect on those important to our lives and are a chance to show how much we appreciate them. So today, I'd like to send a very special shout-out to someone who means so much to us. He's not really into celebrating things like birthdays, as he prefers to go about his day as usual. He's a bit of a workaholic you see, and even if we threw him the biggest birthday party ever, he would work right through it. Because his job, and the people he works for, are the most important things in his life.

And if he's really lucky, he'll get a chance to play... 

...with a squeaky ball

SCOUTY WOMPUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Scout is our two year old yellow Labrador. His training began when he was only a few weeks old, and in February he came home to live with us. Scout is my youngest daughter, Sarah's, diabetes alert service dog. His job is to let Sarah know anytime her blood sugar drops below 85 or climbs above 185. And he's a champion at his job. While he's basically on the clock 24/7 (which limited exceptions when they're apart for short periods), Scout gets a lot of play time, cuddle time, and attention. You can follow the adventures of Scout and Sarah here:

Scout watches over Sarah as she sleeps
Watches Sarah checking her blood sugar

Evening is fun time

Playtime makes everyone happy

Scout is better behaved than most boys in junior high

He carries the bringsel to tell Sarah to check her blood sugar

Watches over Sarah when she's sick

"Sarah, you're low!"

"Sarah, you're high!"

A great listener

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And if you just haven't had enough of Scout and Sarah by now, check out this video created by Canine Hope for Diabetics when Sarah brought Scout home. It has PUPPY pictures!!!


Saturday, July 13, 2013

Diabetes doesn't get a vote...

Sarah loves theatre. Loves it. To her core. It's what she's about FARRRRRRR more than needles, and insulin and ketones and carb counting. In fact, I'd say that theatre grounds her. Theatre makes her happy from the tips of her toes to the end of her long hair.

I honestly think theatre is one of the main reasons that diabetes has so little affect on her.

So I have to tell this story, because Sarah will never forget this night as long as she lives. Last night was one of those experiences that you can't plan for, can't create, you can only hope that once in a lifetime something like this will happen and you'll be ready.

Sarah is currently playing in a local junior version of Willie Wonka. She's one of the ensemble members, so she plays a "candy kid" and an "Oompa Loompa". There are probably about 40 of each, so it's a large ensemble and they sing and dance primarily between the main scenes with Charlie Bucket, Willie Wonka, and the bratty kids that accompany Charlie to the chocolate factory.

I was at work when I got a call from the producer of the show at about 2:30pm. The girl playing Veruca Salt is at the ER, might not make it to the show. Can Sarah prepare to play Veruca? - Of course I knew Sarah would do it, she can't tell Anne-Marie no. But I also know Sarah is a planner, and does like her time to get into a role and make it her own. Those who have experience with Sarah being "on the spot" know what I mean!

I called Sarah and explained the circumstance. Her first worry was for her cast member, of course, a delightful and talented young girl who Sarah has been in several shows with. But of course Sarah agreed to take her part for the show that night if needed. She started pouring over lines and music, and I rushed home from work early to get her to the theatre so she could learn her blocking and dancing.

By the time we got to the theater at about 4pm, Sarah had nearly all the lines committed to memory (yeah, pretty sure no one is EVER going to excuse you not being off book early in the show, ever again...). She started working on learning the blocking and dancing. She had her game face on like I've never seen, and was all business.

I was a little worried about her blood sugar. Extra anxiety and adrenaline can do strange things, and as Sarah is usually very calm and prepared, we haven't seen many anxiety/adrenaline issues. 1.5 hours prior to the show her bg was 131 with no IOB. I put her on a -50% temp basal (which means I turned her background insulin to half of what it normally is), and an hour later she was down to 75. I instructed the director to instruct her (I was selling snacks) to turn her basal off entirely for the show, and give her a little snack.

And that was it. Sarah went on with the show and if the producer hadn't told the audience about the cast change, no one would have ever known she hadn't been preparing for 10 weeks, but for 4 hours.

I've never been more proud of my little girl.

This video shows Sarah learning the dance about 2 hours before she would perform to a sold out house:

And this video shows Sarah performing it for the audience:

All I can say is "WOW"! I don't think many people could have done what she did. And I am beyond impressed with her ability to focus and learn this and perform it under these circumstances. 

And no, diabetes didn't get a vote.