My family

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Busy days!

I haven't been able to write much lately.  I will get back to a regimen when life gets back to normal, or probably this weekend when I don't have to work. 

We've been swamped with appointments this week for myself and the kids.  Last night, I was so tired that I went to bed at 8pm and was still tired today.

I've been busy getting things ready for the sale of the Lodge.  Our family business for 23 years!  My mind is running a mile a minute trying to remember everything I have to do and everyone I have to call and I'm so worried I won't get everything done on time.

It's hard to believe it's all coming to an end.  I will write a blog this weekend about the sale of the lodge but I don't have the strength right now to do it, it will be emotional.

Take care everyone!


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Lovely Sunday!

We took the kids a park in Charlottetown this past Sunday.  It was a beautiful sunny day and so many people were out walking on the boardwalk and playing in the park with their kids.

We rarely get to take all the kids to one place at the same time.  We don't go out to eat at restaurants anymore because Ian would climb out of a high chair and won't stay put in a chair.  I don't ever take them to a grocery store all at the same time, it's just too much.  First we'd need separate carts, one for Ian and one for Lyla, then I have to watch Amy at all times to makes sure she's following along and doesn't wander off somewhere.  I even have to watch that she doesn't get in peoples way because she has no spatial awareness.  I can't even let my eyes off her in a parking lot because I don't think she'd notice a car that was heading straight for her.

We met another mom in there with a son with Autism, funny how the world brings us together.  She just happened to have a lovely looking dog and Curtis went up to see it and started talking, telling her that we got a dog for our son to train as a service dog, and the conversation started from there.  I was watching her two boys as they talked.  The eldest has Autism and is about 10 or 11 and the other, I'd say was about seven or eight.  The younger boy was watching out for his older brother, making sure he didn't stray too far from where their mother was.  I was envious.  I wished that Amy was responsible enough to watch out for her brother like that instead of being in her own little world oblivious to what's going on around her.  She was playing mostly by herself on the jungle gyms announcing how she was the Queen of them and playing out some kind of imaginary play with just herself.  That girl has some imagination!

We had Samantha with us, my sister's daughter, who is thirteen.  I've trained her well on how to take care of Amy and the other kids, she watches over them, especially Amy, like a mother hen.  Ian just loved going from one thing to another, climbing on the monkey bars, he's a great climber.  Ian and Lyla both love the swings so we popped them in and they had a great time.  All the while I was keeping an eye on Amy, making sure to keep tabs on where she was and also to make sure that she doesn't wet herself.  Amy still wets herself sometimes.  She'll become so focused and involved in an activity that she'll ignore her bodies bathroom cues.  Luckily, there were no accident and we had a lovely time at the park.  Then we visited with Curtis's family for supper, which was surprisingly unchaotic!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The stigma of having a 3rd child

In today's society, there seems to be a stigma attached to anyone who has more than 2 children.  Sure two kids are totally acceptable but when they start increasing from that number, society lets you know that it is not acceptable anymore.

I was asked after I had Ian if I wanted my tubes tied, since I had him by c-section.  I just didn't feel like I should have it done even though my whole family wanted me to........mostly because of worrying over my diabetes and the complications pregnancy puts on my body.  When Ian was about a year old I reluctantly decided that I should get my tubes tied, that I shouldn't risk having another child and called for an appointment with my OB/GYN.  The surgery was booked!  About a month before my surgery I got a package from the hospital with my instructions, dates, times, and papers to fill out.  I asked Curtis if we should really go through with it and he said that he wouldn't mind having another.  I already didn't feel comfortable with the idea anymore either so I cancelled the surgery and stopped birth control.  I was pregnant the next month!  That pregnancy didn't stick though, it was different from the very beginning and I lost it at only 6 weeks.  I wasn't sad about it at all, I just knew it wasn't normal.  The dr. at the hospital said I could try again after I had one normal cycle.  Two months later, I was pregnant again.......Birth control really does work!

When I announced I was having a third child, of course all my family could do was worry.  Their reactions didn't surprise me, although it was fun putting it in dad's Father's Day card, he was finally the first to know something before the rest of the family!  The reactions of total strangers is what surprised me.  When I was a few months along and showing, Amy was in swimming lessons at the pool.  I told an aquiantance there of my pregnancy, because it was getting obvious and her mouth just dropped and no words came.  I could see the questions forming behind her eyes.  Was it an accident?  Why are you having a third?  Are you nuts?  Then it was the reactions from hospital workers that took me by surprise.  I was pretty much a regular at the hospital after 32 weeks along because I had to have weekly ultrasounds to check on the baby's health and growth.  Some of the techs were more chatty than others, asking how many pregnancies I had, how many children are home, more times than one when I'd say two more are home they'd ask, are they girls or boys?  I would tell them that I have one of each, then I could see them restraining themselves from asking the obvious, so why would you have a third if you already have one of each?  I really didn't want to explain that my eldest is from a previous marriage or that I just felt the desire to have another baby.

Now that I have my family of 5, I still get comments of having three children.  Everyone and I mean EVERYONE that I tell I have three children to, breathes a big sigh and says to me "my you're busy".  I just laugh to myself and think, you don't even know the health issues!

Even though I'm now officially part of the "crazy enough to have 3 kids" club, I feel truly blessed.  I could never imagine my life without my beautiful Lylal!  My family is now complete, I love all of my kids and I no longer feel the yearning to have anymore children, which I could never fulfill anyway because I had my tubes tied when Lyla was born.  There was no doubt in my mind at that point!


Friday, April 23, 2010

Happy and content!

This is the first time in my life when I've finally felt pure happiness and contentedness to be where I am and doing what I'm doing.  I mean I truly feel like this is where I'm supposed to be right now. I'm not worrying about my future, I'm not fretting about my past and I'm not getting depressed about my current situation or the problems of my children.  I don't even know if I can explain how I feel, I just feel like there's a growing in my chest, I've never felt it before.

So much of my life I've been down and depressed and most of the time I didn't even realize it.  When I look back on my life, so much of it I've been in this kind of fog, just going through the motions of life but not really being happy about anything.  I was always wondering what I should be doing.  Do I need to get a different job?  Should I move?  What will make me happy? 

I still have days where I'm tired and life is overwhelming and I just feel like I'm at my witts end, but I'm not sad.  The situation passes and life goes on.  I dont' have a lot of money in the bank, both of our cars need replacing, and there's thing that need to be done around this house that I simply can't afford to do right now, and I could be worrying about it, but I'm not.  I just feel like it's all going to come when it comes and this is all I can do right now.  So don't worry!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

A trip the the Dentist

Walking through the hallways at the hospital on our way to day surgery, I'm thinking to myself, we really shouldn't be here.  I get to the day surgery area at precisely 9am and register Ian.  They immediately bring us to his area, number 8 I think, it's a little cramped area with a gurney and two privacy curtains on both sides where other people were waiting for their turn for surgery.  I tell Curtis, you'd better keep walking Ian around while the nurse does her checklist of questions.  Ian is in his stroller, he loves his stroller and could spend almost all day in there, as long as it's moving.  If we stop then a figures out a way to get out of it and could be all over the place or just running down the hallway........long hallways in hospitals!
Finally the nurse finishes her questions and we're left to wait until 11am, the time he's booked to have his teeth cleaned by the dentist........yes, it was only a teeth cleaning!

Last fall I took Ian to the Pediatric Dentist here on the island and was concerned about the build up of plaque on his front four bottom teeth.  Of course it was challenging for him to get Ian in the chair and lay down long enough to get a good look but he could determine, with those magnifying glasses, that he didn't have any cavities.  He realized that Ian would not let him do anything to his mouth and said that we could leave it for maybe another 9 months, no later.  Me being a proactive mom would rather get it taken care of sooner rather than later, so about a month after the first visit, we booked another visit to get him put under to have his teeth cleaned.  Luckily, a surgery cancellation came up and Ian was able to get it done pretty quickly after we had all of his paperwork in order.

So then we had about an hour and a half to kill. Curtis and I start taking turns strolling Ian around the hospital so that he'll stay calm in the stroller.  I walk up the hallway passing the Surgery waiting area where a surgeon is talking to a couple.  I continue and pass the labour and delivery hallway and see the OB/GYN who took care of my pregnancies for Ian and Lyla but never delivered either of them.  He recognizes me and says hello stopping to ask what we're in for today.  We part ways and I continue walking.  Turn around, back down the hallway and see that couple who were talking to that surgeon, walking away smiling and as I come up to them the woman says to the man.....No cancer and punches him playfully in the arm.  I think to myself.....thank God, their prayers were answered for their loved one now recovering from surgery.  I continue walking up and down over and over watching the busyness of the hospital, workers coming and going and think, we really shouldn't need to be here.  A few people walk by and give me strange looks when they see "isn't he too big for a stroller?" looks.  Others wave at him and say hello to him and wait for a response and which point I think "do I have to explain to everyone I see that this boy is Autistic and does not act like a typical 3 year old?"  Even though I don't mind doing this, it gets tiresome.  Then people go on and on about someone they know with a child with Autism and how terrible it is but it happens when I'm trying to do something else and am busy with my own kids. I feel guilty to have to cut short such conversations.

The long wait finally is coming to an end.  At 10:45am and stay at the day surgery area and wait for the anesthesiologist, the dentist and the OR nurse while they come and tell us what they're gonna do and what we can expect.  Finally Ian is taken in, the nurse comes and wraps him in a warmed blanket and carries him in, my heart sinks.  Curtis and I go to the cafeteria and have an over priced lunch and pass time as we wait.  Finally I feel the need to go back and a few minutes after we get back they come strolling in with Ian sitting up on the gurney.....a good sign.  The OR nurse tells me that he only fussed when they put the mask on his face......he can't stand anyone picking at his face or anything on his face; he did great.  We give him a couple of drinks that we brought with us and he gulps them down pretty quickly, he'd been fasting since about 8pm the night before.  We get the okay to leave at 1:30pm and finally that ordeal is over with. 

A long day just for a teeth cleaning but his teeth are pearly white!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

An Artificial Life!

It's sometimes scary to think that the only reason I'm here today is because I am pumping an artificially made, synthetic hormone into my body.

When I was 11 my body simply stopped making its own causing me to eat like a pig but lose weight, have unquenchable thirst and even wet the bed even though I had no history of it. If the discovery of insulin hadn't been made, then my parents would've had to bury me at the tender age of eleven. I watch these end of days movies with their floods and meteors and think to myself, even if I were to somehow survive all the initial destruction and terror of a natural disaster and find myself on a mountain somewhere, I would only survive until my insulin supply ran out. Scary huh?

In fact even my cat almost killed me. I have an insulin pump which is a little machine about the size of a pager that I clip only my side, belt, underwear, whatever and it has a tube that connects a reservoir of insulin to a cannula inserted into my stomach. It is programed to give me preset amounts of insulin throughout the day......think of an IV, same idea with insulin but the needle is just under the skin, not in a vein. So on this one day in my past, I woke up in the morning feeling sick to my stomach, go to the bathroom and throw up, then I smell something. I know the distinct smell of insulin anywhere so I look at my pump and follow the tubing that connects it to me, it's severed! My cat, who was a kitten at the time, snuck under the bedsheets while I was sleeping and chewed through the tubing. I checked my sugar.........29! I figured that I was disconnected from my pump for a few hours for it to be that high, I was lucky to even wake up at all. Luckily I was able to manage it on my own, gave myself a huge dose of insulin and went back to bed until it was down to normal. The cat doesn't sleep with me anymore!

I used to have the poor me's, always asking why do I have this? Why do I feel like this? Is this as good as it's going to get? I've had to remind myself about how very lucky I am to live in a time with insulin, how I've managed to live 21 years with this disease and to never have been admitted to a hospital for it other than the very beginning when I was 11. I was born to a nurse who was head nurse of the Kidney dialysis ward in her past and knew exactly what could happen to me and made sure I was taken care of. I've managed to carry and give birth to three beautiful children when not too long ago they wouldn't even recommend a diabetic have a baby. I've seen and heard numerous stories of young people having life long complications due to their diabetes and yet I have none.

I feel truly blessed!

Monday, April 19, 2010

A typical Monday

7am the the alarm goes off. I roll over and press the snooze button and finally rise just a minute before the thing goes off again. I head downstairs to get Amy out of bed and ready for school. She's wet her bed, yes she still does, and I send her off to the bathroom while I strip the bed.....yay, more laundry! I stay with Amy and make sure she gets completely dressed and starts heading up the stairs while I go get Maggie to put her outside. If I'm not there with Amy in the mornings then she'd never make the bus on time, it could take her 5 minutes to put on a pair of socks, she has no concept of time and urgency. Finally I start making breakfast for her, peanut butter on toast, and start packing her lunch bag. I put the toast in front of her on the table and while I'm puttering around the kitchen I watch to make sure she's eating. I catch her just staring at the crumbs or something on the toast and remind her to keep eating. I remind myself to give her vitamins and Omegga 3's and of course her medication for her ADHD. I know not everyone agrees with putting these children on these medications but without them she'd talk incessantly and become very silly and very unproductive.

I hear Lyla crying to get up and go in to get her, change her and pop her in her highchair for her breakfast, jam on toast which she can feed to herself so I don't have to hover and can keep on Amy to eat. All the while I'm watching the clock and making sure she'll have time to do her other morning routines. She finally finishes eating and tell her to go in and brush her teeth and brush her hair. Usually within 5 minutes I have to go in to get her to finish up and end up brushing her hair for her because she's already forgotten to do it.

I hear Ian kicking his door to get out. We have the baby doorknob things on the inside of his room so he can't open the door and let out himself. Since he now knows how to unlock every door in the house, we've had to do it for fear he would get up without us hearing him and bolt from the house.

I go check the time again, five to eight, Amy has to get ready for the bus. I go get her boots and her coat, and zip it for her because for some reason she always has trouble with zippers. I put the backpack on her back, give her a kiss and tell her to run for the bus. I go and open the living room window blinds and watch as she makes her way to the bus stop, breathe a sign of relief then off to the next child.

Ian's tutor just pulls into the driveway and Ian sees her vehicle then waits at the door for her. He's excited to see her and I'm also relieved because she helps get him dressed and ready for his day before going downstairs to the IBI room we've built for him in our basement and start their sessions.

Finally Curtis has to take over with Lyla and I go get myself ready to go to work and leave for the day. There is solitude at work in my office away from everyone. I get to think about other things other than children and their schedules for just a short time before Curtis calls and reminds me of an appointment in the afternoon with some government officials at Disability Support. We go there and state our case to ge respite care for Ian, this is an appeal since we've already been denied. We go through our daily routine with Ian, how busy he is and how hard it is to find people willing to watch him and they send us on our way and say they'll let us know by Wednesday.

I'm so tired now, I really have to go to bed, I have other news of another meeting that happened tonight but I'll write another blog about's good news!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A trip to the grandparents

Today I was reminded why we don't often go to see my parents. The drive to there is about an hour and a half away so we pack the kids and the dog into the car and head off. First stop, McDonalds, it's lunch time and Ian loves McDonalds fries so we split a chicken nugget meal between all of us while upsizing the fries, giving the majority of them to Ian. Ordering a hamburger with just ketchup for Amy, we getting Amy to steal some of Ian's fries for Lyla. They all eat in the backseat on the way, we rarely go out for a meal with the whole family anymore, Ian would just be all over the place.

About halfway there Maggie, the dog, gets sick in her kennel so we stop, I take her for a walk while Curtis cleans out her kennel. It was a cold, rainy miserable day today I was cursing the dog under my breath. Finally, everyone's back in the car and on the road. We arrive at my parents place, everything nice and clean and pretty much in order. I set down Lyla and the chaos begins. Ian heads for the living room looking for Poppy, searches their two living rooms and finally sees him come from the hallway. He smiles when he looks at him and does a little dance and flaps his hands in excitement. I bring Lyla in to see mom and dad, and we get maybe a good 10 minutes of just sitting down and visting before the children start venturing around the big old victorian house. Amy the whole time is glued to the laptop, we don't let her use our home computer but nanny of course gives her free range. The rest of the visit is divided into chasing Lyla around the kitchen and living room and making sure Ian hasn't escaped from the house and watching that he doesn't fall down the two staircases in the house. Then trying to contain Ian downstairs when Lyla finally goes for a much needed nap, which only lasts an hour because he finally escapes upstairs and makes enough noise to wake her up.

After an early supper we waste no time trying to pack up for the drive home. Ian has stripped off his clothes while there so the first task is catching him and dressing him. While trying to catch him and to get him to climb up the stairs of the back porch I start to count so see if that would help him climb the stairs. I start One, he says do, I say two, he says dee, I say three, he says or, I say four, and this repeats right up to eleven. This is the first time I've ever heard him counting and I wasn't the only one to hear it, mom and Curtis who were in the kitchen could hear him too and then come to see if we can repeat it.....he does! Mom beams with pride saying, he'll be okay!

So finally we get the crew loaded back into the car, Lyla and Ian fall asleep on the way home and Maggie, the dog, throws up again. We get home, as soon as the car stops the kids wake up, we get them into the house and I put Ian to bed immediately, he was so tired. Then Curtis cleans out the cage and gives the dog a lucky I didn't have to do it! I start to feel very tired and very irritable, I check my bloodsugar and it's 14.5! Probably that brownie at moms. At this point I realize I'm not in the best shape to deal with the kids or anything and convince Curtis to let me have a nap. When my sugar is high I really find it hard to deal with the kids, I have no patience plus I get very tired which is why I'd rather go to bed then be angry and irritable at the kids. I have a nap for an hour and get up with Amy and Lyla while Curtis runs an errand in town. I get Lyla to bed just as he comes back with Chinese food, which was great because my bloodsugar dropped and I was irritable again. Finally peace!

Although is was a busy exhausting day I'm still glad we had the chance to see my parents and hear Ian's counting. I think next time we'll have to have them over for supper though, it would be alot easier!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

About us

My name is Lesley, I'm 32 years old. I've had Type 1 diabetes for 21 years.....imagine! I'm happy to say that I'm fairly healthy for someone with a chronic illness, I manage my diabetes with an insulin pump and check my bloodsugars about 3-4 times a day. I still have highs and lows and bad days but they are much fewer and far between than before I was on the pump. It truly saved my life! I don't have any lasting complications from the disease and my life insurance actually dropped my risk catagory, which is great since it's now cheaper. I work for the family business which is community care home for seniors, I've been working there for 8 years minus 3 one year maternity leaves so 5 years. I'm very lucky to have my parents as employers since they realize the stress of having a family of three and the toll that Diabetes can have on my day to day life.

My husband Curtis is 36 and right now he's off work taking care of our children. I was off for 15 months on maternity leave last year and just came back to work in January 2010. We needed to have someone home while things started taking place for our son and to watch over our smallest baby since the childcare costs of putting two in daycare take up quite a chunk of our salaries. This is working for us now, but we're hoping that Curtis will find work during the summer. He's a Scaffolder and goes to Fort McMurray for work but the recession destroyed quite a bit of jobs out there this past year so nothings for certain, if not he'll find work somewhere, he's very adaptable and could work at anything I think. He's a good dad, takes care of our children and often tells me what to do for these kids.

Amy is my 9 year old girl, she's my daughter from a previous marriage. In October 2008 she was diagnosed with ADHD. She's a beautiful girl full of imagination and wonder. She's naturally curious about everything and is a very smart girl, loves to read and is a social butterfly. Unfortunately, she's having trouble in school and is starting to hate school because of the negative vibes. She used to love it, now it's such a challenge for her to stay focused on her tasks and do her work. She has a math tutor and is in Brownies once a week. That's all I have her in right now because our life is busy enough without dragging her from one thing to another, in time I'll put her in different extracurricular activities but for now, I'm happy with the way things are.

Ian is our 3.5 year old son and I must say he's a gorgeous boy. Blue eyes and light red hair with a few freckles dotted across the bridge of his nose and on his cheeks. Nobody would ever look at him and say he's Autistic until they talk to him and he doesn't respond. Ian was diagnosed just a few months after Amy's ADHD was diagnosed in January of 2009. We took him to a private psychiatrist to get him assessed and diagnosed because if we had waited, he would've just been diagnosed this past fall and then have to wait another year on the list for IBI therapy. Luckily, because of his earlier diagnosis, Ian has started his IBI just last month and it's looking promising. He's a very good natured boy, very seldom has tantrums and lets us know in his own way what he wants.

Lyla is our baby, she's almost 15 months old, she was born just 2 weeks after Ian's diagnosis. When she was two months old she was diagnosed with having Strabismus in both eyes, meaning her eyes are crossed. She had corrective surgery in October of 2009, just 9 months old. The surgery did dramatically improve her eyes but they're still crossing which should be corrected by wearing bifocal glases. How do you get a 15 month old to wear glasses? If you can tell me, please let me know. She's a beautiful baby, loves to get into everything and is starting to try to talk and imitating sounds, she's still not walking yet but I believe that has to do with her eyes. She's in an Autism Sibling study at the IWK in Halifax because she has an older brother with Autism.

We also have two cats and a puppy. We got Maggie, a yellow lab, to train to be a service dog for Ian. It'll be a long time training her but will be worth it, we have a local registered dog trainer helping us with this process and we're hoping everything works out.

Friday, April 16, 2010

In the beginning

When I was a little girl all I ever wanted to be was a mother. I had no visions of becoming the first woman on Mars, no dreams of becoming a doctor or lawyer, to go off and make my parents proud. All I ever wanted was simply to be a mom and the rest, whatever that would be, would be a bonus.

At eleven years old I was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes and started on shots of insulin right away. My mother being a nurse knew full well all the problems that could arise in my life with this diagnosis but sheltered me from all the harsh details. She did her best to follow the dr's orders, my diet and brought me everywhere she went. Then her and my sister went to see Steel Magnolias and forbade me to ever see it and said that I was to never have babies and that my sister would carry my children for me when I got married. A couple of years later when they weren't looking I finally rented that movie and watched it on my own. If you didn't see it and now want to, have tissues handy!

Of course I was a defiant little thing and never really thought I'd let my sister have my children. At the tender age of 20 I got married to a man in the military and by 22 I was pregnant. This is the beginning of my mom story. I will write in another post more details of my previous pregnancies and birth experiences plus the issues we are going through as a family today.

I love my kids, they're my life and even though they each have their problems and we have so far to go, I know deep in my heart we'll be okay.

Stay posted!