The Stevenson Family, Bryanston, South Africa
Saturday, 15 June 2002
It's quite late in the afternoon, and I have just been collected by my new family, the Stevenson's. Peter, who is almost 8, and his Mum, Jane have come to take me to their home. I was given a big welcome by all the rest of the family when we arrived at "Potters." Peter is the youngest and was diagnosed in Oct 2001. Then there is Richard (11), Tom (15) and Duncan (almost 18). Even Peter's dad, Paul, came out to see what the fuss was about. I meet Inge and Casey, who are Border Collies, and Jemma, who is a Golden Retriever. Later I meet up with Katya, a jet black cat with rather gorgeous green eyes.
It's cold outside, so we light a fire in the lounge to snuggle round, have supper and I get to sleep in Peter's bed along with Tiger, the hot-water bottle, and a huge duck.
Sunday, 16th June 2002
Peter and Richi are up early to play on the computer. Richi has just bought a set of Age of Empires games and is dying to try them out. I am the tactical specialist and tell them what to build and who to attack. We have loads of fun. Then Mum says it's time to get tidied up, we have to go to the wedding of a colleague of Peter's Dad. Peter and Richi are not keen, but we set off and discover the ceremony is to be held in a large country estate, with lots of open-air thatched areas all set up for the party. The bride is really late for the ceremony, so we spend time chatting to the people around us. They are all really interested to meet me. We have snacks and a Coke Lite afterwards, which is just as well, as both Peter and I have sugar levels in the low 3's, then have to wait AGES for lunch while photos are taken of just about everyone, even ME! Eventually we get to have lunch at the kids table, which was a really rowdy affair. The best part was that we could run around in the garden and explore. There was a stream, and a duckpond, and there was a black cat trying to catch the ducks. After all the grownups had finished talking, it was time to go home. We were really tired and just had a little supper and early to bed.
Monday, 17th June 2002
Wow, it is a public holiday today, because yesterday was Youth Day, so today everyone gets the day off! The boys get up late and at first no one notices I am missing. Then suddenly they discover that Dad has rescued me from Jemma, the Golden Retriever and I am safely tucked up in bed with him. Fortunately she has been very gentle with me and no damage is done. After that excitement we have breakfast, then help Mum to make the quilt square that they are sending over for the conference in Pasadena in July. It is a big project and everyone is involved. Duncan has taken the photos of Peter and Jemma, Tom has done some drawings and Richi has made some wonderful printing blocks from polystyrene for the edge of the design. Peter loves being able to help with the fabric painting. It all looks very ethnic and African and eventually we have it finished. Meanwhile, Dad has made a great job of cleaning out the fishponds which now look ready for some fish.
Tuesday, 18th June 2002
Oh, we have to get up early today as the boys have to be back at school. It's still dark, with just a hint of pink in the sky, when Mum comes in to do our blood tests and give our early morning injections. It's cold and we don't want to get up at all! But today is special as I am going to meet all the kids at Peter's school. Mum takes me a bit later so we arrive just at the end of their morning assembly. Mum tells the kids about diabetes and all about me and where I come from. Then she reads them a story called "My Diabeastie" about a boy with diabetes, and then we show them the quilt square and try to work out how big the quilt will be! After some MORE photos I go home with Mum. I go to visit an old lady called Martha who has had a stroke. Mum gives her some exercises, then we do a bit of shopping before rushing back to collect the boys from school.
In the afternoon we go to see Jen Whittall, Peter's Diabetes Educator. I have met her before with Richard O'Brien. She checks Peter all over and reduces Peter's long-acting insulin to try to stop him having lows and rebound highs. When we get back, Mum has to see some patients, so supper is a bit late.
Wednesday, 19th June 2002
Today Peter has "shop-shop" at school and Mum has forgotten all about it! There is a mad panic while she rushes to the Spar shop to buy some goodies, makes some muffins and popcorn, bags and prices everything and then we rush up to school. I am allowed to supervise and tell the kids the prices of the stuff. Peter is so generous, he ends up with no stock left except the wholewheat rusks, but he doesn't seem to have made any money! Never mind, we have had fun, and I stay at school for the rest of the day. Oh dear, we were naughty and ate a few things we shouldn't have. Our sugar levels are rather high at lunchtime, but by supper things are back to normal.
Thursday, 20th June 2002
I have a quiet day today. Lucky me, I don't have to get up early to to to school, and can lounge around until the boys come home. In the afternoon, we help Mum bake a carrot cake for tomorrow's tea. We are having a few Mums and kids round for the monthly petershouse for kids with diabetes like us. Tomorrow will be special because it is also the last day of school before the winter holidays. We want to help lick the bowl so we have to do a lot of jumping on Peter's little trampoline. Peter does 286 jumps so he gets an extra lick of the bowl. We stay up to watch Star Wars but fall asleep in the lounge where it is so nice and warm. When Mum takes us to bed, Peter's sugar level is 2.8. Oops, it must have been all that jumping, quickly get the sweetie and the peanut butter sandwich.
Friday, 21st June 2002
Hooray, it's the last day of term and the boys can go to school in ordinary clothes instead of their uniform. No horrid tie! They finish at 11:00, so there'll be plenty of time to play. When they come home, we all help to put the tea things ready for the support group. Peter pops lots of popcorn, we make cheese muffins and spread the icing on the carrot cake. Three mums with their children arrive and also a dietician called Jeske. I know one of the children. He is Richard, with whom I stayed at the beginning of my visit to South Africa. The mums do lots of chatting and the kids run around a lot. Then it's time for them to go and for us to do our tests and have supper. I was supposed to go home with Ros and Jordan today, but Ros was unable to come over for tea, so I'll be with Peter a bit longer.
The Stevenson Family
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: Monday December 23, 2002 10:54:28
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