Filling in the Holes…

When Brad was young, he used to love to dig holes in the ground.  Just random holes.  They would appear with no notice, and the dirt that came out of them would disappear with the same sense of mystery.  It was as if the surrounding earth absorbed it – it ceased to be.

As the years have passed, those holes have begun to fill themselves in, much as Brad’s personality and maturity has grown and filled in.  We still have our struggles, and will continue to do so (he and I share way too many attributes for us to not battle some – it is a long family tradition), but I am very proud of the person he is becoming and look forward to knowing the person he will be.

A perfect example of this happened yesterday.  We were at Camp Cheerio, dropping off Jay (our youngest) for his first time at sleep-away camp.  Brad was already there, as he had been at the Camp Cheerio Extreme the week before and was going to spend a some time at Camp Cheerio proper.  A clerical error had placed Brad in a cabin full of 12 year old 7th graders, instead of the older boys he should have been with.  This normally would not have been a crisis, except that he has to live with one of those creatures, and the prospect of 10 of them for a week was more than he could stand.  The camp director quickly solved the problem, moving Brad to a more appropriate spot.

His mother and I were standing on the other side of the gym, dealing with something for our youngest, when Anne looked over and saw Brad walk up to the camp director, shake his hand, and thank him for taking care of the problem.

I miss the holes, but am looking forward to the filling in.

2008 JDRF Walk for A Cure

Dear Friends and Family,

IMG_0985 The Rogers Family reached our 1 year anniversary with Type 1 Diabetes in March.  Anne took Scott to lunch and they made a list of all the words new in our vocabulary:  insulin, Humalog, Lantus, basal, bolus, correction factor, highs, low, carb ratio, glucagon and the list goes on.

We’ve learned that if we have pizza or spaghetti for dinner, it sends Scott’s blood sugar over 350 around 3:00am.  We’ve learned that if he eats a meal full of carbs made of fruit and vegetables, he needs much less insulin for the same amount of carbohydrate made of starches because he’s usually “low” when I go to bed at 11:00.  He gets a juice box and a few goldfish in his sleep.  I’m surprised we don’t have any cavities yet.

We’ve made huge strides this year and we continue to grow in our knowledge and management.  He went on the OmniPod insulin delivery system last October.  (It is the same one Nick Jonas has!)   Scott has been a much happier child since then.  He wears a “pod” on his body all the time.  It is about the size of ½ an egg and a canula is inserted into his skin, delivering insulin 24 hrs a day/7 days a week.  We have to change the pod every 3 days although he’s been known to lose one occasionally during wrestling matches with his brothers or soccer at recess.

When Scott was diagnosed, we, as a family, decided that we would make diabetes a part of our lives, but it would not BE our life.  We work hard to help him have a normal childhood and not be overly protective, but sometimes it’s not that easy.  He went to the movies with his friends and he was supposed to call and let us know how much popcorn he was eating, to decide insulin amounts.  He didn’t call.  When he returned home his blood sugar was over 500 taking several hours to bring it down to a safe level.  How do you get mad at a kid for just being a kid?

Type 1 diabetes strikes without any warning.  It has NOTHING to do with the child’s diet: he didn’t eat junk food all of the time and he’s not overweight.  It does, however, change their lives forever.  He will never again eat a piece of food without thinking about how many carbohydrates are in it.  He will never again play soccer without the fear of having a “low” during the game.  We will never be able to sleep thru the night without worrying that his blood sugar might drop too low.  He will never again go one day without pricking his finger at least 8 times (normally its 10-12).

We also decided as a family that we would support the JDRF in any way and their efforts.  They are the largest contributor of money to Type 1 Diabetes research in the world, giving over $1.16 billion since their creation.  The JDRF was started in 1970 by parents who believed in a cure for diabetes, just as we do.  Won’t you please give as generously as you are able to the JDRF.  They are working on finding a cure for Scott and millions of other children like him.

That commitment to support means that we will be participating in the Walk to Cure Diabetes Saturday, November 1st at the Nortel Campus in Research Triangle Park.   Please help us support the JDRF by visiting http://jdrf.jrr4.com (which redirects you to the JDRF website) and donating to our team or joining us on the walk. Any amount, no matter how small, is greatly appreciated.

Thank you for any support you can provide.

Anne & Jimmy Rogers, Scott, Brad & Jay

My Backup Plan Failed…

and it’s not the one that involved throwing the jeep into reverse and getting out of the way.

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Scott and I were involved in a head on collision yesterday.  Fortunately, thanks to airbags, and my theory of “yield to tonnage”, which is the lighter object should always yield to the heavier one, no one was seriously hurt.

I saw it coming.

I knew it was going to be bad.

My reaction, instead of getting right with my Lord and Saviour this one last time (my backup plan – covering my bases)?

“OH, SHIT!”

Not “Dear Heavenly Father, please forgive me of my sins, and should I die from this, accept me into your heavenly kingdom.  I’ve tried hard to obey you, to love you, and to live by your Son’s teachings, but just in case we’re not quite right…”

Too many words for those milliseconds when the white Scion, traveling west on Perry Creek Road at Soccer Center, clipped the teenager using the “ For Entrance Only” as an exit, and came speeding at my jeep, which was quietly awaiting its opportunity to turn into WRAL Soccer Center.

Rather than dwell on the Christian learning experience that this should lead to, I’d rather propose something else.

I’d like to see the phrase “Oh, Shit!” come to mean the very same thing as my prayer above.

It’s shorter.

It’s much easier to say.

It would then cover all the bases.

Call me St. Jimmy.

Parenting 101

As my children reach the age of more and more privileges, the calendar is marked, not by days and months, but by the next privilege to be taken away. “If you don’t act right, you won’t (insert next thing the child most looks forward to)”

– James R. Rogers IV
November 1, 2007
“Ruining Future Generations Since 1996”

It’s parenting by incentive and disincentive.  A friend of mine has an Iphone, and my boys are drooling all over it.  I told them, in all sincerity, that if they could behave in a manner I expect, and completed their chores, I’d buy them Iphones.  I meant it.  They got excited, until they were made to realize that a promise was not sufficient, and it was going to be based on performance.  They were told that if they would meet the standards being set, two iphones would be delivered on October 28, 2008 and as further incentive, an Xbox 360 would be delivered before Christmas.

They made it a day and a half.

It’s Buckshot Thursday

Diabetes

  • I’d like to be able to say that I’ve been quiet lately because I’ve wanted to leave the diabetes letter at the top of the blog, but it’s been more laziness than anything else. On the diabetes front, we’re doing pretty well – our team consists of 34 walkers, and the team has raised almost $5000 as of this morning. As a reminder, you can join us or donate at The Rogers Family JDRF page and you can read my letter at Scott’s Story. This is the first time we’ve done any significant fundraising and it’s been pretty surprising. The idea is to flood family and friends with requests for support, and cross your fingers. The surprising part is how some friends have really stepped up, and others have been disturbingly silent. Sadly, you go into this with certain expectations, with the thought that certain folks should be able to donate, and others won’t participate because of their financial status. Belle’s thoughts on giving have really rung true at our house, and we will more thoughtfully consider requests in the future. We’ve been asked for the three years prior to support the JDRF walk through a friend, and we’ve previously ignored that request. A $10 donation would have spoken volumes to them, and that’s $10 more than the JDRF can put to a cure.

Anniversary at Our House!

  • This past weekend was our (the wife and I) 18th anniversary – Holy Crap! It’s actually been 21 years of “exclusivity” – more than half our lives! What started out as the boys spending the night at Grandma’s, fancy dinner and….. ended up with a very interesting meal at Tasca Brava (with perhaps a Fat Boy Restaurant Review© to come) and a George Clooney movie. My attempts at romance included a comparison of my looks to Mr. Clooney’s, which yielded the response “well….. you both have salt and pepper hair”. Seriously, though, it is amazing that the past 21 years have been as great as they have been, and it seems like only last week…

Growing up, I wanted to be a garbage man… (Seriously – you can ask my mom)

  • As I was leaving for work this morning, the good folks of the City of Raleigh Waste Department were picking up the recycling that they failed to get yesterday – and throwing it all in the back of a regular trash truck. Good thing we separated it out and pay them for the privelege. I hope the City manages the Great Drought of ‘ought 7 better.

Politics

  • Mark my words, this 18th day of October, the Democrats are going to screw this presidential election up. It’s their’s to lose.  It is time for a change, but the front runners don’t seem to be much of an option.

Raleighing R.I.P

  • I’m not sure which was a bigger blow to growth in Raleigh, the City Council elections, or the death of Progress Energy’s CEO Robert McGehee. We should all hope that Progress Energy’s support of Downtown Raleigh was not because of their former CEO’s vision.

The 2007 Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Walk To Cure Diabetes

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Dear Friends and Family,

Our son Scott turned 9 back in July. It’s been a tough year for him.IMG_4827

He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes on March 6. He’s been very fortunate – so far.

Fortunate in that he has only had to endure 1400 finger sticks in those past six months to check his blood sugar. Fortunate that he has only had more than 750 shots since his “D-day” – the alternative could be much worse. We’ve been very fortunate in that Scott has not been rushed to the emergency room because his blood sugar got so high that he has gone into ketoacidosis, fortunate that our son has a disease that can be controlled, albeit through an insulin therapy that will dictate the rest of his life, fortunate that our 9-year-old has developed an early maturity that helps us all deal with this life changing event. If his disease is not managed closely, he faces a future of a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, renal failure, retinal damage, and risk of amputation.

It’s said that a person with diabetes (or their parents) cannot go more than 2 hours without having to make a diabetes related decision. We can attest to that. We’re counting carbs, fighting with the insurance company, and giving him at least 4 shots a day. We play the “What’s Scotty’s Blood Glucose” game every time he checks his sugar. We don’t get chocolate fudge pop tarts for breakfast anymore, and Anne hasn’t baked a cake since Scotty was diagnosed.

This is not a pity party though. We’re writing to you to ask for your support in a very special cause.

This year, we’ll be taking part in the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation’s Walk to Cure Diabetes along with a half-million other walkers across the country. Our goal: To raise $90 million to help fund research for a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications.

Type 1, or juvenile, diabetes, is a devastating, often deadly disease that affects millions of people–a large and growing percentage of them children.

Many people think type 1 diabetes can be controlled by insulin. While insulin does keep people with type 1 diabetes alive, it is NOT a cure. Aside from the daily challenges of living with type 1 diabetes, there are many severe, often fatal, complications caused by the disease.

That’s the bad news… and yes, it’s pretty bad.

The good news, though, is that a cure for type 1 diabetes is within reach. In fact, JDRF funding and leadership is associated with most major scientific breakthroughs in type 1 diabetes research to date. And JDRF funds a major portion of all type 1 diabetes research worldwide, more than any other charity.

We’re writing to ask for your support because now, more than ever, EACH of us can be a part of bringing about a cure. Each of us can make a real difference

Won’t you please give to JDRF as generously as you’re able?

Together, we can make the cure a reality

To join us in the Walk to Cure Diabetes, or if you’re unable to join us, but would like to donate to the JDRF, go to: The Rogers Family Team Page. Our family goal is to raise $3,000. Can you help? If you’d like to join us on the walk, or if you would just like to donate, that’s the link to do so.

Thank you for your consideration.

Anne & Jimmy Rogers, Brad, Scott and Jay

Summer Musings and Attempts to Be Clever

There are so many things to blog about, and so many things that I cannot.

  • We took Brad to camp this past weekend.  An attempt to Mapquest the route reads “Drive to the middle of nowhere. Go 30 miles past that.’  The first place we stopped very peaceful, until we heard the distant call of banjo music and pig squealing.  Being good parents, we did not leave him there.  When we finally arrived, the camp was a really nice place on the New River, and he will be spending the first week rock climbing, spelunking (insert your own joke here), and living in a tent from the Korean War.  Not exactly my cup of tea, but he will love it.  Search teams are on call.  See you on CNN.
  • My parents are moving out of their home of the past 21 years, a home that was my grandparent’s home for the 45 years prior.  While one would assume that everyone is sad about selling the family home, we’re all too busy wanting to kill each other.  My parents, bless their hearts, think that because all of their children and grandchildren live in the triangle, we can do this like a move out of the fraternity house – “Let’s get the pledges to do all the heavy lifting – and let’s get them to pick up some food too”  The past month of Saturdays have been spent throwing away, packing, and arguing.  It’ll be a real shame when they finally get moved, and Mom throws Dad out.
  • We did get to go to the beach for almost a week with the in-laws.  We had a nice time, with the exception of our dining experience at the Channel Marker.  For further details about the week, see the second half of my introduction above.

Birthday at Our House!

Scott turned 9 yesterday.

It’s been a tough year for him.  I would have once said that if he could give it back he would, but I’m pretty sure that’s not the case anymore.

He was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes back in March. He’s been very fortunate, in that there have been no real adverse effects – he’s been healthy since his diagnosis.

Everyone comments how impressed they are with how well he’s handling the disease, and they’re right.  His mom and I decided early on that this would become a part of our lives, but that it would not define us as a family, or Scott as a person. 

That was a wrong assumption, as it HAS defined Scott as a person, and it’s made him a better person than before.  Prior to diabetes, he was the classic “middle child” – sort of lost in the mix of an older brother who is very creative with a strong personality, and the “baby” brother.  He got a video camera for his birthday, and he’s already talking about making a diabetes video.  When he got back from Camp Seagull, he mentioned that maybe he could be a camp counselor for diabetic kids when he gets older.

Prior to diagnosis, he was busily following in his big brother’s footsteps, into whatever mischief (if by mischief you mean destruction) they could get into.  That’s still there, but there is a maturity that comes with his disease that he did not have before, and I’m not sure would have come without the diabetes.

It’s said that a person with diabetes (or their parents) cannot go more than 2 hours without having to make a diabetes related decision.  We can attest to that.  We’re counting carbs (I knew that attempt at the Atkins diet would pay off someday – certainly not in my permanent weight loss), fighting with the insurance company, and giving him at least 4 shots a day.  We play the “What’s Scotty’s Blood Glucose” game every time he checks his sugar.  We don’t get chocolate fudge pop tarts for breakfast anymore.

I’m thankful for many things related to this change in our lives – I was proud of my funny, handsome, sweet 8 year old.  I’m even prouder of my funny, handsome, sweet diabetic 9 year old.

Overheard at our house…

Oldest son, who has this really bad habit of staying up late and playing all the requisite games to do so:

“So I was reading my puberty book, and I’ve gotta ask – what’s the deal with oral sex? That’s nasty”

Mom’s response:

“I got nothing”

Dad’s first thought:

“It’s HAWESOME”

Dad’s answer:

“It’s a type of intercourse that some people enjoy”

Oldest son:

“Have you ever done it?”

Memo to self: remove puberty book from son’s room

“And what is anal sex?”

Memo to self 2: teach son about not being so inquiitive

Son one last time (after the required clinical explanation):

Doesn’t it hurt?

Dad:

I don’t know son – I imagine so.

Son:

Mom, do you know?

Memo to self 3: Brace yourself for the next 5-6 years