The Hautamaki Family, Rockford, Illinois
Bruce, Tammy, Logan, Brennan, Fred and Maxine the dog and Stimpy the cat
Monday May 15, 2001
Rufus arrived today! He stayed in his box until both Brennan (17, diagnosed Type 1 in December 1998) and Frederick (11, diagnosed Type 1 in September 1997) got home from school. They quickly set him free! They both checked him out and looked through his journal to see the pictures and stories of the children he's already visited. We decide since Rufus is already pumping he can continue to do so while here. We let him do his own bolusing.
Wednesday, May 16th
Rufus watched Fred learn how to mow the lawn after school. I think I heard Rufus yell to Fred that he missed a spot, but Fred just acted like he couldn't hear him over the mower motor. Logan (24) the oldest brother in the family, and his fiancÚ Marisa stop by to meet Rufus. They think he looks smaller in person.
Friday May 18th
Mom (Tammy), Fred and his friend Jeremy took Rufus to see the movie Shrek. We met cousin's Diane, Debbie, Teryn and Haley there. Fred decides to have a Slurpie, but we have to estimate the carbs. Actually, he decides to have two refills on the Slurpie. Hmm, could this be a sign that he's a Slurp-a-holic? His blood glucose test when we arrived was 81, so he takes an injection of some extra H right there in the movie theater and settles in to do some slurping. When we get home his number is 72--oops! Just a little overestimate on those Slurpie carbs, but who would think so after three! We liked the movie a lot! Especially how Shrek felt that it is important not to judge others just because they are different from you. What matters most is who you really are, and accepting yourself for who you really are.
Sunday, May 20th
Tomorrow we (Tammy, Brennan and Fred) will take Rufus to Fred's school to show him off. The principal (Mr. Held) has 3 classrooms ready to see us: Fred's class, then Mr. Bankson's, (who is newly diagnosed with Type 2) and Kayla's 4th grade class (Kayla was diagnosed Type 1 just last year). I decide to copy an idea from a mom on the CWD email list (Charla in Indiana). She once took clear tape and placed one month's of her son's injections vertically, side by side. For both Brennan and Fred that's 3 injections per day x 30 days equals 90, plus 10 extra for highs or treats, for 200 a month! I tell Brennan but he's not sure he likes the idea. He says he doesn't want people to pity him. I say it's just for awareness. He says ok. I start taping. When the chain of taped syringes reaches about 10 feet I start to think I've counted wrong. It's getting much too long! At 15 feet, I do a recount thinking there are way too many! How can it be this long? After a recount, I sadly realize that the number is right. My heart is in my throat as I add about 3 more feet of syringes through blurred eyes, because I can't stop my tears. I guess I made myself more aware.
Monday May 21st
School! Julie Snively, a newspaper reporter meets us there. Grandpa Hank saw her at church and told her the story of Flat Stanley and how he was a catalyst for the Rufus trip and she wants to tell his story. I talk in the first class (Fred's). Brennan and Fred stretch the syringe packet out for all to see. 18 FEET LONG! The kids in the class have their eyes popping out looking at the awful truth of it! Brennan and Fred answer a few questions for the kids. We move on to the second, then third. Till now, Brennan and Fred have not really wanted to be advocates for diabetes. It just hasn't been something they felt they were ready to do. But here in Kayla's classroom, they are answering questions from the kids. "Do those injections hurt?" and "Can you play sports?" And some funny ones, "Does Brennan have a girlfriend?" or "Can he drive a car?" I let Brennan and Fred answer these. I watch as Bren took Rufus around the room showing him to each group of kids and telling them about having diabetes while Fred shows off his medical alert necklace. I am proud and smiling.
Rufus, you've just made my sons advocates! I thank you little bear!
Tuesday May 22nd
Fred was sick (sore throat) and we had to go to Dr. Nannayakkara's office and get him some medicine. We took Rufus with and showed him to the nurses and Dr. Nan. They write down the CWD website address along with the name of Dr. Chase's Pink Panther book to pass along to any newly diagnosed families and plan on buying the book for the office too.
Thursday May 24th
Oops! Didn't mean to keep Rufus this long! But we forgot to take pictures! We take a bunch, and Friday morning he will be packed up and sent off to Boulder, Colorado to spend some time with Matthew Cooper and Sonia's family. Hey, maybe Matt will let Rufus try the GlucoWatch! I think he'll like that.
We sure enjoyed having Rufus visit, he sure has a long way to go and I expect he will accomplish great and wonderful things on his journey! God speed little bear! Glad to have met you.
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.
Last Updated: Thursday December 19, 2002 17:55:04
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