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Daryn Houston-McMillan, Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Age : 7 years 9 months
Diagnosed : 24th August 2001 at 6 years and 4 months old

Monday, 13th January 2003
We returned from a great beach holiday at Bazley yesterday - me with "roasties" on my arms, legs and hand from a fall off my scooter! Rufus arrived this morning - on my brother Jason's 10th birthday! I was excited and happy to meet him and began to plan what we'd do together! We started with a photo shoot on our trampoline and tried to decide what we'd send with him when he leaves. It's been really hot today so Rufus and I watched "Ice Age" to try & stay cool!

Dad's Note : Daryn made an immediate connection with Rufus as he realized that he was a Bear with the same problems as himself. Testing of Rufus was a problem as he (Daryn's words) "had no fingers" to do the test. So we assumed that Rufus' readings would be the same as Daryn's. Jason administered the insulin as he was the birthday boy. Dressed in a cool summer PJ's, Rufus went to bed with Daryn - an extra shot at 9:00pm for Daryn as he was a bit high at his late night test.

Wednesday, 15th January 2003
Rufus and I woke up a bit late this morning. Schools in other provinces start today but it's still holidays for us in KZN for another week! I am starting Grade 2 this year. I decided that Rufus could do with a bath and clothes wash. Dad mixed some Bear Shampoo and gave Rufus a light shampoo. We used the Big Green Clean Machine to dry Rufus - boy, was the water dirty ! This bear does not clean himself very often! After basking in the sun to dry the fur, Dad gave him a good brushing to remove all the fur tangles. Rufus is now soft and very cuddly. My friend Brandon came to play today, and Rufus jumped on the trampoline with us. He watched us swim (he did'nt want to get in as he already had a bath earlier), watched us play computer games and basked in the sun. Aah, what a life for a bear.

Thursday 16th January 2003
Today started with a checkup visit to Dr Pillay in Westville. Rufus, Jason & I became a bit bored as we had a long wait while Mom & Dad discussed my readings and possible changes to the insulin I use. We introduced Rufus to a huge bear that was in the waiting room (see photo) and also had Rufus weighed (560 grams) and his height measured (32cm)! Dr Pillay kindly let us have a new injection pen to try out and to practice injecting with. THEN we went to WATERWORLD where we had LOTS of fun on the slides and tubes. We were really tired by the time we got home!

Saturday 18th January 2003
Rufus and I woke up with a bit of a high reading (8.0) as we went to Spur last night for Jason's birthday dinner. Dad did the injection (with an extra unit) but had problems with the pen (so he says). Snack time reading was 21.0! Another unit of Rapid to lower my reading, but most of the insulin leaked out of my leg, so we waited to see the lunch time reading. In the meantime I swam and swam and swam and we had fun with Jason and two of his friends (David and Thomas). Lunch time reading was 12.5 - mainly due to the exercising I think. We went to my friend Liams in the afternoon and played Croquet, Stuck in the Mud and swam as it was another hot day.

Sunday 19th January 2003
Jason had his birthday party today. He invited 8 of his friends and I was allowed to invite 1 of my mine. Dad and Mom hired a slippery slide, and we had fun all day on it. Rufus decided that all this sliding was dirty work, and he would rather watch from a cool place under the umbrella. To wash off the mud and soap, we dipped in the pool every few minutes….. the pool became dirty with grass and mud….. boy, was Dad mad. Because I was doing so much exercise, I was allowed a few sprinkles on my ice cream after having 2 slices of pizza at lunch time. Mom and Dad disagreed about whether I should have an extra injection at lunch time, Mom said no and won the argument - I was 5.3 by Dinner time (which was a Chicken Wors Roll and lots of Pasta). Rufus and I were very tired by the end of the day and we were asleep by 7:30 ....

Wednesday 22 January 2003
Back to School today. Rufus came with me and I used him to explain to the children who weren't in my class last year about my Diabetes and why I have to test myself. Lots of my friends already know about lows and what I have to do if I have one but my new teacher, Mrs Weir is still learning!

We start cricket practice next week, I'm really looking forward to using my new bat! I'm going to do Recorder and am trying to decide whether to do Judo as well. Together with swimming lessons and Beginner's Tennis I have a busy term ahead!

Saturday 1st February 2003
Mom and Dad decided to increase my insulin by one unit because last week I had lots of high readings (especially in the evenings before supper). I had a busy day with friends, lots of activity and much better sugar control.

Sunday 2nd February 2003
Today was a very special day for me as I was baptised in Church. This is something that wasn't done when I was a baby and because I believe in God I wanted to be christened, just like Jason was. I had to say my name into the microphone - and did it perfectly! The best thing was that all the family came for tea afterwards and Jason & I invited a friend each. I was allowed to have a piece of orange & sultana loaf and carrot cake (Eating for Sustained Energy) which had no adverse effect because I was so busy playing and jumping on the trampoline.

Wednesday 5 Feburary 2003
Last night Mom told me I only had Rufus for 4 more days and I felt very sad, as he has been a great comfort to me. I have to think of something to send with him!! We watched 'Survivor' together and I then tucked him into bed with me. My 9 pm reading was 16.3 which distressed Mom & Dad who didn't know what had caused this. I did have a piece of orange and sultana loaf as "pudding" and I was a bit high before dinner. (Mom thinks it may be because I've got another cold!) I woke up around midnight and Mom decided to check me as I needed to go to the loo and was thirsty. My reading had gone up to 21.5 So she gave me a unit of Rapid which brought me down to 11.7 this morning. I battled to go back to sleep after that so may be yawning in class today! Mom's note : Daryn has handled the challenges the diabetes has presented very well in general though lately he has expressed his sadness and frustration at not "being normal". The constant testing and food restrictions place great stress on him and the family as a whole. He has become very knowledgeable about what he can and cannot eat and the effects of food eaten or units of insulin given, which is a relief for us, but he still will not inject himself. This means I go to school on days he does sport to check on him and administer extra rapid if needed. His teachers are impressed with his self-discipline and independence - great attributes to have at a young age!

Friday 7 February 2002
Mom finished sewing some new clothes for Rufus - a camouflage outfit perfect for those hot days in Africa and a smart pair of black pants and red shirt - useful for all those important and smart occasions! Hopefully Rufus will wear this next Friday on Valentine's Day!

Saturday 8 February 2002
The first Diabetic Support Group meeting for 2003 is this afternoon and Rufus is leaving me and going to the next child. I'm feeling very sad and will miss him very much. Dad will take a photo of the whole group with Rufus for the local weekly paper "The Mirror".

Happy Travelling Rufus.

PS : We have included Daryn (and Rufus') readings during his stay. After 15 months of good control, readings (and control) have "gone out the window".

If anyone would like to share information, our E Mail is - no junk mail or chain letters please !

Daryn injecting Rufus

Rufus meeting the diabetes group

Daryn introduces Rufus to a very large bear

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Copyright Notice:
Rufus and Ruby, the bears with diabetes, is the creation of Carol Cramer, who owns the copyright to Rufus and Ruby. The graphics of Rufus are from Rufus Come Home, written by Kim Gosselin and illustrated by Terry Ravenelli, and are used by permission of the author.

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Last Updated: Saturday May 03, 2003 08:10:30
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