Back to Rufus Rufus Visits the Meyer Family

Tracey Meyer, Pietermaritzburg South Africa
Age: 5 years 4 months
Diagnosed: 25 September 2001 at 3 years and 10 months (On her Omi's 75 Birthday)

Wednesday 19 March 2003
Mom and Dad brought Rufus home to visit me after they had attended an information meeting about the insulin pump. It was a cold and rainy night but this rain was very welcome because it was the first we had had after a long very hot and dry spell. The temperature the day before had been 44 degrees C in my Dad's car when he fetched me to go swimming at lunchtime. I was asleep and only met Rufus the next morning. My brother Kevin, who is turning 10 in a few days time, was also very excited to meet Rufus. Our two dogs, Smokim and Storm. were both very curious to see who the newcomer was.

Thursday 20 March 2003
After work today Mom and Dad started packing for our camping trip that we were going on for the long weekend. Early in the evening my Aunty Susan and Uncle Gordon, who were visiting Pietermaritzburg from Johannesburg, came to visit us. I introduced Rufus to them and showed them hi5 suitcase with all his clothes which were already packed for the trip. They were very interested to know what the different coloured patches on Rufus were for. Rufus slept with me that night and I put his suitcase with the ones that had been packed to make sure that it was not left behind.

Friday 21 March 2003 - Sunday 23 March 2003
On Friday, which was Human Rights Day, we left Pietermaritzburg in bright sunshine to go on our camping trip at Silverstreams, a Drakensberg resort near to Bushmen's Nek. Very close family friends joined us. On our way we stopped at Puckerty's Farm Stall just outside Underberg. The amazing thing about this farm stall is that you write your purchases in a book and leave the money in a tin. Mom and Dad brought a Seedloaf which was still hot as it had just come out of the oven. Our next stop was Silversteams.

On arrival at Silverstreams. we found that the caravans and wooden huts we were to stay in were situated right on the riverbank. I had a wonderful day at the camp and changed Rufus into shorts and a T -Shirt because it was very hot. We had a wonderful time playing at the river's edge. Rufus watched my friend Dylan (2Y2) and I learning to skim stones across the water and throw leaves (which we called boats) into the water so that they could race each other downstream. Rufus watched my Dad bait up my brother's fishing rod so that he could go and fish in the clear mountain water which he then did for many hours every day. In the evening we had a braai and Rufus enjoyed watching the flames and sitting at the fireside. ! dressed him warmly again as it was very cold by the riverside in the evening.

Saturday and Sunday were both warm and sunny days. On Saturday morning my father and brother climbed the nearby peak. On both days, we all went to the nearby farm stall to feed the ducks, chickens and geese and we then had rides on a pony. Afterwards we went to the nearby waterfall for a picnic each day.

On Sunday afternoon we packed up and left just as the rain started to fall. I slept holding Rufus in my arms the whole way home. The weather has changed and has now turned very cold with rain. The forecast for the area we had just been in was very cold with snow starting to fall on Monday.

Monday 24 March 2003
When I returned home from school and ballet class, I showed Rufus my ballet outfit from the concert I danced in last year. I was a bunny. Kevin arrived home from a Karate class in his Gi. Rufus was amazed to see that he was already a Green Belt.

Tuesday 25 March 2003
Today was a quiet day for Rufus as he waited at home for me. In the evening Rufus watched a Postman Pat video with me at bedtime.

Wednesday 26 March 2003
Today Rufus accompanied me to school- I am in Grade O at Epworth Pre-Primary. Daniel Johnson also attends my school and is in Class 00, with Mrs. Maher who was my teacher last year. My friends, Leigh, Ami and Kimberley were very excited to see him and my Mom took photographs of us in the class together with our teacher, Mrs. Starr- Rufus was given his own locker to put his suitcase in for day and his symbol was a Starfish. Mom explained to Mrs. Starr, what the patches on Rufus were for and showed her the explanation in his case. Mrs. Starr and Mrs. Maher gave the school children a talk about Rufus. Rufus accompanied us to a puppet show given by Mim and John. Epworth School gave Rufus a key ring and a letter in appreciation of his visit.

At 12 noon, my Dad fetched both Rufus and I from school so that I could do my swimming test. Rufus was pleased when I passed and received my Grade 3 Certificate.

I spend happy and fulfilling days at Epworth learning, playing, doing ballet. swimming and spor1 and all this is made possible because of the willingness shown by everyone to do their best for me. Special people, Mrs. Maher, Mrs. Martin and Mrs. Boreham, willingly do my daily tests and the children have been taught to watch out for signs if I go too low and they know to go and call a teacher.

Mrs. Boreham, who is my aftercare teacher, takes extra-special care of me. Since later she has undertaken my testing at school and knows exactly how to treat me for my highs as well as the lows. She also ensures that I eat the different foods that I require at different times. She makes daily notes for Mom in my Red Notebook to say what she has done.

Mrs. H (as she is affectionately known) is my other aftercare teacher who also looks after me until 5 pm. Every day she ensures that we have fruit at 4-30 and I am not happy to leave school until after this time. Mom and Dad are very pleased that I am so well treated and they say we are very Blessed to have such special people in our lives. Without them, Mom says we would not manage as well as we do.

Thursday 27 March 2003
Today is my last day with Rufus. Tomorrow I will be handing him over to Kirstin Werner. I have enjoyed having him and hope that he has enjoyed his stay with us.

Travel well Rufus and keep up the good work of educating people young and old about Diabetes, it is an amazing and invaluable contribution which you are making.

Lots and lots of hugs and kisses from Tracey

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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 10:32:50
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