Back to Rufus Rufus Visits the MacGregor Family

Heather MacGregor, Hillcrest, South Africa
Age: 7 years old
Diagnosed: 11 Nov 2000 - 4 years, 10 months old

Rufus' 2 Week Stay With The Macgregor Family :
Gavin & Kirsty (dad & Mom), Amy (10), Heather (7), Michael (3)
Caesar (golden Retriever Dog) And 4 Rabbits

Monday, 17 February 2003
Yay! Today Rufus arrived! Karen and Kathy, (the lady who does an amazing job heading up the 'Maritzburg support group), drove our special guest down to spend 2 weeks with us. Heather has just started Grade 1, so she wasn't home to welcome him, but Michael, her little 3 year old brother became instantly attatched to Rufus! We got a call from school mid-morning to say that Heather had just used her last "strip" in her kit as she needed to check her glucose (3.4 mmol/l, 61 mg/dl), so Michael buckled Rufus' seatbelt next to his car chair and we took him for a drive to see where Heather goes to school and drop off more strips. He was so impressed - Heather's classroom at Hillcrest Christian Academy is the "Hundred Acre Wood", so he bumped into his good friend Winnie the Pooh who was lying under a tree glugging away at his honey pot ........ he does not have diabetes!! Tigger and Roo were up the tree, Piglet was whispering in Eeyore's ear, (all murals painted on the wall!) He promised he would be back the next day.

That night, lucky Rufus fell asleep in Heather's arms - every night, one of her many special "animals" has the honour of snuggling in bed with her!

Wednesday, 19 February 2003
Heather turned 7 years old last week, so today she took delicious diabetic chocolate cupcakes to school to celebrate with all her classmates and Rufus - he has become a very popular and important guest in the classroom - he sits on the teacher's chair to keep an eye on everyone! With all the excitement of the morning, Heather did not eat all her snack at school, so her glucose was 2.9 mmol/l (52 md/dl) before lunch! As soon as she had a good meal, she showed Rufus how clever she is by reading him a proper storybook for her homework! Heather's older sister Amy (who is 10) and Michael (her little brother) also make sure that Rufus never has a dull moment. They each want to have a turn to dress him; sleep with him; inject his insulin and check his glucose levels! Just like Heather, he is really brave about all the needles - even though they do their own glucose checks, the insulin injections are left up to mom and dad, as they are often sore - our best (and only) site for injecting is the tummy, but we rotate a lot, so Heather has never had any lumps.

Thursday, 20 February 2003
Today Rufus stayed home with Mom and Michael and had a bath - wow he was dirty! It was a cool, drizzly day and that evening, Heather and Rufus had mild colds! They both took half a Sudafed tablet and Vitamin C and had a good night's sleep. (We have found that Sudafed is quite good with sorting out colds)

Sunday, 23 February 2003
This afternoon, we all went for a visit to "Duck 'n Deck" animal farm. We recently donated an Alpine Dairy goat called "Snowflake" to the farm, so we wanted Rufus to meet her and make sure she was happy in her new home! She recognised us straight away! She's become good friends with all the other animals - like baby dwarf goats from Cameroon, a very tame guinea fowl, the Welsh ponies and all the children who come to pet them every day.

For a treat that night, we had special hamburgers. Heather's dietitian recently introduced us to an excellent SA recipe book called "Eating for Sustained Energy", so for the first time in 2 years of diabetes, Heather tucked in to an enormous and delicious hamburger (white bread roll too!) Her glucose was 5.4 mmol/l (97 mg/dl) an hour later!

Friday, 28 February 2003
Today, Heather and Rufus went home from school with a little friend called Ruth - they played non-stop! In the evening, school had the annual "camp out" where families all pitch tents on the field and have a fun time getting to know each other - the children run in and out and around tents with torches and eventually at 11pm, Heather and Rufus "crashed" with Heather's best friend Jessica ..........

Saturday morning ........ Heather had a bad "hypo". This is the second one she has had in 2 years, the first was a month ago, also as she woke up in the morning. On both occassions, she looked dazed and her head started twitching and jerking. We shoved lots of sugar in the side of her mouth and within a minute we fed her her (standard) breakfast of "wholewheat Pronutro & All-bran flakes" with lo fat milk. She responded very quickly and was "back to normal" within 10 minutes. We know now though, to keep her very quiet for the next day or 2 as the body tries to settle. From the previous experience, her glucose levels rise very sharply - barely responding to insulin.

Living with diabetes is a constant learning curve. We realise that we should have given Heather an extra "high GI" food as she went to sleep last night, considering the exceptionally active day she had had. We always feed her a few spoons of wholewheat Pronutro while she is "asleep" at about 10pm before we go to bed. This has always worked well at keeping her OK overnight.

Heather is an exceptional child. All who know her are amazed and encouraged by her attitude towards her condition - always positive, responsible and mature with great self-control.

Amy, Heather, Michael, Rufus and the goats

Heather and Rufus enjoy a hamburger

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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 08:10:34
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