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Here are some pics from Ben from January and February of last year ('07).

*Drum Roll*
.... here are pictures of the little man from January and February of THIS year ('08).. what a difference a year makes!

This kid is amazing! I can't imagine what it must feel like to be his parents.. they looked so proud of him. I've watched the performance a few times now and it still gives me chills.

I have to say. I LOVE American Idol. It's Tuesday.. guys night.. 10 guys left...

I missed the first dude.. but I don't think I like him anyway. I had some priorities.. grocery shopping and helping shiela with the big man. my wife is a trooper though.. because she hates this show and is ok with putting ben to bed on idol nights..

So Luke Menard (sp?) just sang a Queen song. This is majorly risky in my opinion because I put Freddy Mercury at the top of the heap when it comes to vocal talent and being the ultimate showman.. I wish he had lived long enough for me to see him in concert. Luke pulled it off... it wasn't Freddy.. but I still think he pulled it off.

Ok.. the drag racer is cute. What's his name? This is why I'm gay.. my taste in men was dangerous at best. Ooooo.. he's singing Hot Blooded.. good choice!I have to say I've got a soft spot for hairy disheveled men.. :) Ok.. he's Robbie.. he's my favorite so far tonite.

Danny N.. my niece loves this kid. I don't see it. He's butchering The Carpenters.

Shiela is still working on getting Ben to bed.. I think he's winning.

Ok.. my laptop is getting too hot for my lap.. you'd think someone would have thought of that. I'm hopefully going to be able to stay awake long enough to see David A.. he's a cutie and is my favorite overall this year..

... shiela just appeared outside Ben's doorway and gave me the international hand symbol for "i'm watching TV in the bedroom". her loss man..

David Hernandez. I can't concentrate on his performances because I can't stop being reminded that Shiela used to date a guy with the same name. I can say that I wish I looked like that in jeans and a tshirt. Ok.. the judges liked him.. i still didn't listen.. i was too busy typing and thinking about how to look like that in jeans.

In other news.. the Byetta thing is going ok. it really kills my appetite, which I have a feeling is the reason why it helps with weight loss. i took the injection and had a small bowl of cereal and feel like i had a huge multi-course dinner with desert. i have a mini carton of haggen daas chocolate ice cream in the freezer and I don't think I can eat it.. how weird is that.

ok.. i'm tired.. i like david cook.. and i'm bugged about the fact that they are saving the young kid for really late in the show.... i need to sleep...

ok.. he's on next.. i can hold on for one more song... *snooze*


So aside from the fact that the "reason" that I now have Type 2 Diabetes is because I had gestational diabetes during my pregnancy with Ben and with a certain number of people with GD.. it can turn to Type 2 later in life... this blog has nothing to do with Ben. yeah.. let's ignore the fact that i was fat and insulin resistant for years before project-baby was even in the planning stages.

So now that I'm officially a Diabetic, I'm slowly learning what I need to do and blah blah friggin blah blah. My biggest (hahahaha) concern was the fact that when it hit, i started gaining about a pound a day.. this was horrifying. Capping off at about 250 lbs.. I finally got in to see an endocrinologist who would listen to me and believe me when I said that I wasn't just still holding onto "baby weight".

SOoooooooooooooooooooo... to make a long story short.. I started on Metformin about 6ish months ago and had the dosage increased in um.. I think October. Since then, I've lost 60 lbs. It's like magic. It also helps that while on the Metformin, my blood glucose levels don't get much above 120 regardless of what I eat (although eating high carb things will make me regret it).

Sooooooooooooooooooo... now I'm on a new med. It's called Byetta and it's an injectable. It would be fine.. i'm fine with needles.. i took lord knows how many injections during my infertility treatment days and even more during my gestational diabetes days.. this is just twice a day before meals.. couldn't be easier.. right?

well.. aside from the fact that the friggin pen with the med in it is supposed to stay between the temps of 36 to 46 degrees.. *grit teeth*. Now.. on most days, this is no problem.. i can take it with the rest of my meds when I wake up and am running around getting myself and Ben ready for work/daycare all in about 20 minutes since i'm ALWAYS running late. NOPE!

You have to take it either an hour before taking other meds or three hours after taking other meds. WHAT? ok.. now in the morning I take my metformin, my thyroid med and my.. this is the kicker.. all of my anti-dep/anxiety meds. So now I have to either get up an hour earlier to give myself a shot and eat and then .. well i can't even do the math to make that work. my guess is that i'll end up putting my meds into my pocket and taking them mid-morning at work.. THAT always works so well.

Now this temp thing... if we ate breakfast AND dinner at home and had the time to take the meds within 60 minutes of eating.. fine! no problem! but we tend to like to leave the friggin house once in a while!!!

so i just looked up options for "traveling with diabetes".. i'm not talking getting on a plane to kentucky (hi mom) or texas (hi jaaym).. i'm just talking about going to the mall for a few hours and to a restaurant.. or when the weather gets nice.. going out to the park for the day and possibly getting dinner before going home. *GRUMBLE*

i can't even begin to describe the "protocols" that are listed regarding how to pack and keep the med at the correct temp and blah blah friggin blah. One site even recommends going to Bass Pro's online store (i'm.not.kidding.) to buy some special thermometer to stick in a thermos to make sure you're not over or under cooling your Byetta. F.

The manufacturer offers a free fanny pack. NO FRIGGIN WAY AM I GETTING A FANNY PACK... even if it's free... it doesn't matter.. i'll stay home forever.

How do people with "real" diabetes do it? I'm not sick with it.. my levels are easy to control.. my biggest issue is wanting to lose some more weight.. i didn't know that this would be an aspect of my life that i'd need to buy accessories for.

Meanwhile.. we're not supposed to be anywhere with Benjamin without his "seizure kit" which, at least, doesn't have temperature requirements.. it just takes up half of his diaper bag.

I guess the cool part is that the stuff (Byetta) is made from lizard spit.

I'm. not. kidding. Google it.

Ok.. so it's 10:37 and Benjamin just went down for his morning nap. We breathe a sigh of relief. I sit on the couch in my jammies, deciding to take this opportunity to write in my blog. The fish take this opportunity to swim. The cats take this opportunity to sleep on the clean clothes on Ben's second bed (we have a twin bed in his room too)... lovely.

It snowed last night. I woke up this morning excited.. feeling like a kid again.. we were going to go sledding today! I couldn't wait. My "plan" was that we'd get the big guy up, fed, bundled up and do the same for ourselves and then head to the park. As we all know.. my "plans" never work out the way i have them pictured.. but we're still going to go sledding. My plans were derailed by rain or any other force of nature.. just a busy morning.


When I get up with Ben before Shiela gets up.. bad things happen. Ben and I tend to "get in trouble" when on our own looking for interesting things to do. Shiela left some paper and crayons on the floor from their colors activity yesterday afternoon and so Ben trucked right over and grabbed a few and proceeded to chew on them and occationally make some lines or dots on the paper i gave him. This type of activity should probably take place in his high chair.. but no.. we colored on the floor.

Meanwhile.. shiela is getting up and ready for the day.

Benjamin begins to show signs that he may be getting hungry (i.e. eating cheerios off the floor and hanging from the tray of his highchair yelling "mamamamamama")

I popped him into his chair and gave him some cheerios and raisins and then went to "cook" him some breakfast. I stirred some milk into his powdered baby oatmeal cereal.. heated it up.. added some applesauce. I really shouldn't be allowed near the microwave (or the toaster oven... but that's a different story). If you nuke baby cereal for too long.. it becomes somewhat of a colloid.. some interesting new type of matter.

While finishing up my masterpiece of a breakfast for my son.. I hear shiela's voice say "uh.. jen?" in that steeled "i can be strong and support this family in a time of crisis" voice. I went to the dining room. Shiela says "um.. he's got something black on the inside of his bottom tooth". Of course.. a 14 month old doesn't just open his mouth and say "ahhhh" when you make this reasonable request.. so we bring the jaws of life out to pry open his mouth so that i can see his tooth. I take one look and say "crayon.." and walk back to the solidifying mass that is my son's breakfast.


Ben proceeded to eat about 3/4 of his oatmeal before he gagged and then yacked it back up all over himself.. lovely.

So after cleaning him up and letting him eat a few cheerios off the floor (new cheerios this time.. fresh from being dropped, along with raisins, while i was making his breakfast)... we retired to the living room for some play time.


As Ben was playing, I asked Shiela... "so... Billy Joel?".. after a serious battle of money vs fun.. she says "when do they go on sale?". I sent a txt message to Becky.. she calls back just seconds after I hit the send key saying "don't tease me.. are you serious?".. i responded "um.. we think". the tickets went on sale in 15 minutes.. so the race was on.. Shiela put Ben down for his nap while I sat at the computer hitting "reload" on the ticketmaster site waiting for the site to open up for sales for this concert. Once it did.. It was a race against time.. i kept re-entering our info.. 3 tickets, best available, and then the random garbled letters that they use to keep people from using computer programs to auto-dial.. ugh.. i can never read those. after about 100 attempts over 6 minutes.. the show sold out. Luckily.. as soon as it sold out, they opened another show.. so I started shooting for that one and got tickets within a few seconds. whew!


It may take me a while to get this blog finished, so I'm starting with uploading some pictures that Shiela and I took on our cell phones during our stays in the emergency rooms and Winchester Hospital and Children's Hospital and then during our extra day at Children's. I'll do my best to fill in the details as I have time (and energy).

In short.. Ben had a seizure last Monday, on Feb 4. It started at daycare and continued for close to an hour, which is atypical. He also didn't have a fever when it started. Other than that, all of his tests have come back normal and we have some upcoming tests later this month that we hope will continue to be normal. He may or may not have more seizures.. we just have to wait and see. In the meantime, we've been trained on how to administer meds if he does have a seizure and his daycare has their own seizure kit for him as well. After their quick action and compassion that was shown last week, there is no one that I'd trust with Ben more at this point in time (well.. aside from having him with me or with Shiela.. *laff*)..

ok.. here are the pics and bits of the story in chronological order:

I dropped Benjamin off at daycare Monday morning.. it was just like any other morning. He absolutely LOVES the new baby at daycare and was giving him hugs and kisses before I left. This was the image that I left daycare with:

At about 3:30pm, Shiela called me. She had me on one phone and the daycare on the other phone. The daycare had her on one phone and 911 on the other phone. It was quite chaotic. Our poor daycare provider is bilingual, but she was so freaked out by everything and worried sick over Benjamin that she had her son do the talking on the phone. As soon as I heard Shiela's voice I knew something was going on and it only took seconds to hear the words "hospital" and "ambulance" as I was putting on my coat and grabbing my car keys. Ben was having a seizure. We didn't know more than that. He was being taken by ambulance to Winchester Hospital (i've spent quality time there myself.. they practically know me by name.. sorta like Tim the toolman Tanner.. anyway...). I was off. I stopped in my boss's office long enough to tell him I was leaving and then bolted for the car.

I honestly don't know how fast I drove.. I know I didn't get stopped, I didn't run over any elderly or small children, and I stopped at all of the red lights (at least the ones I noticed). I called my mom on the way and had a mini-breakdown over the phone-- she told me to put both hands on the wheel and call her when i knew something. little did she know that I was probably hitting 60 mph on suburban side streets while on the phone. (i guess she knows now!)

I got to the hospital and flew up the ramp to the front door.. hopping out.. leaving the car running.. yelling at some dude in a Winchester Hospital jacket that I needed it parked. He managed to throw a valet parking ticket at me before I passed him by. He could have been some joe schmoe off the street and would have had a brand new minivan for all I cared at that moment.

I actually arrived at the hospital before the ambulance did. This made no sense to me until I learned this morning from the daycare provider who traveled in the ambulance with him that they stopped a few times on the way to administer different meds or attempt to at least. They could find an IV, so they ended up having to shoot a line into the marrow of his calf bone. That's an image I'm glad I didn't have to see... but it let them get him the meds he needed.

I saw the ambulance drive in and went back to the desk and said "i'm going back.. he's here". she calmly said "yes ma'am.. let me just be sure that this is Benjamin before we go back there". She went into the back and came out two minutes later to buzz me in.

When I got to his ER room, nothing could have prepared me for what it was like to see my little baby surrounded by a doctor and about 8 nurses STILL seizing and being worked on by the medical team. They were going through a protocol to stop the seizure and hadn't had any luck yet. In the end, the seizure lasted at least 45 minutes although I think it was more like an hour. It was a good 20 minutes after I got there when the seizure broke. The tension relief in the room was so significant that you could practically touch it.

Three of the daycare crew were there with me as was a woman I work with to provide support for me until shiela could get there. She was taking a cab from her work and was stuck in traffic.

Ben continued to exhibit some "posturing" for about an hour after he stopped seizing. His legs were stretched out and clamped together with his toes pointed down. His arms were also clamped tight to his body with his fists tight and turned in.

Over the next hour or so, Ben had a CT Scan, a chest x-ray (which showed that he had aspirated some saliva during the seizure) and a lumbar puncture. Unfortunately some of the sedation from the meds they gave him had started to wear off by the time he had his lumbar puncture, so he did scream when they inserted the needle -- but the doctor was actually happy about that.. it meant that he was responsive, which is good.

Once Ben was stable, they arranged for us to be transferred to Children's Hospital in Boston. Ironic, because it is within walking distance from Shiela's work.. and she had just torn across town in a cab to the community hospital only to trek back downtown later that night.

Here is a picture of ben that was taken shortly after the seizure stopped. He had not regained consciousness, but was responsive and his arms and legs had relaxed by this point.

A bit later -- we managed to ditch the oxygen mask (he wouldn't keep it on even though he was barely awake) and he fell asleep waiting for the ambulance to transport us to Children's.

Once we got to Children's, the wait was on. I rode with Ben in the ambulance and Shiela managed to find our car and went home to get some clothes and things for us since we had been warned that we'd likely be there a day or two. We arrived at Children's Hospital ER at about 8PM. By about 1AM, Ben finally fell asleep cuddle with his Mamom on the hospital gurney.. don't they look comfortable?

At about 4AM, Ben had another chest xray (THAT didn't go over well) and we were transfered to a room. Since they normally only allow one parent to stay with the child (like hell they could have gotten either of us to leave).. they said that one of us could sleep with him in the crib. It turned out that the only way he would sleep was either with me in the crib with him:

or while laying on one of us:

The rest of the time, he basically screamed. He was tired, hurting, terrified, confused, etc.. it was horrible given that he was too young to understand any of what was going on. Here is a picture of him during a rare quiet time when he was playing with a car in his crib:

We also took a walk down to the "Activity Room" on our floor and Ben played for a bit with their cars. He liked putting all of the hotwheels little cars into Barbie's big pink VW bug. He tired quickly and we headed back to his room for the remainder of the day.

He finally took a nice nap in his crib by himself while Shiela and I ate dinner (our first meal since the start of all of this.. aside from snagging jello and chocolate ice cream from the floor's kitchen).

The neuro team saw him a few times that day and they tracked his stats all day and decided to discharge him that evening (Tues). We were given a seizure kit with meds to administer if he should have another seizure and he will be having an MRI and an EEG once his brain has had a few weeks to recover. Then we have another consult with the neuro team at Children's and will go from there. Our pediatrician saw him on Thursday night and made us feel relatively confident that the remaining testing will not likely show anything since he has made a full recovery and has not had any more or any different symptoms. We're going with that.

Here is a picture that was taken on Wednesday, the day after we came home. He has his own program on my computer that does ABC's and 123's.. it felt good to be home!

Now that a bit of time has passed (it's a week from when all of this happened), I'm happy to say that Ben continues to improve by the day and seems to be back to his former self, both in spirit and in mobility/development. We have some testing ahead and he still has to get tubes in his ears.. but we'll take it one day at a time. Right now, it's 5pm and I'm ready to go pick the big guy up from daycare!