Friday, September 18, 2015

The Passengers

At 8:38pm (38 minutes post-bedtime, but who's counting ;)), our 6 year old Connor called down to us to inquire about something "he's been meaning to ask us."  Please know that Connor hits the pillow every night and falls asleep immediately.  So, while putting dishes away, I couldn't quite catch his question.  I asked my husband about it and he said annoyed, "he was asking if I've ever had the same dream over and over again, I told him to go back to bed."  I got ridiculously excited, because I've had the same question during my lifetime.

I ran to the bottom of the stairs and called to Connor to come out of his bedroom.  "Buddy (my name for him), are you having the same dream repeatedly, because that's happened to me before?"  "Well, Mom, yes, it happens a lot, but I keep having more of a nightmare over and over again."  The kid was about to go on an on about his nightmare and I was about to stop him......but, it was brilliant.  "Mom, I'm in our car and in the backseat, and somehow the car starts driving all by itself, and I don't know where I'm going AT ALL, and I can't see who is driving me.  I start panicking really badly because I can't undo my lap-belt down here (pointing to his waist), and I don't know what to do."  In my car, Connor cannot undo his lap-belt, it's difficult for me to undo most of the time, this detail has been incorporated into his dreams.  "I panic a lot Mom!"  I told Connor that if that nightmare happens again, HE will be in control, and in that dream, he can undo his lap-belt, and that he can climb into the driver seat and drive the car to a safe location.  "Okay, Mom!"  "Goodnight Buddy, get some great sleep!"

I stood at the bottom of stairs looking up at the empty stairway, thinking what an awesome metaphor his dream ("nightmare") was.  What a perfect moment that "Connor's nightmare" was presented to me.  It was as if a message was being subtly delivered to me.  Which is why I felt compelled to write this post. 

What has been happening for the greater part of a month now, is VERY high, inexplicable blood sugar levels, which finally caught up with me today.  I've been a mess since 11:24am this morning.  My husband and I know it's most likely a growth spurt (which, if you're not familiar with Type 1 Diabetes, will cause high blood sugar).  I've remained calm for the past month, lost countless nights of sleep, changed his insulin pump infusion set almost daily, tweaked his basal rates at nauseam (more Type 1 diabetes dorky talk), swapped insulin vials before the 28-day-expiration date, meticulously counted every carbohydrate that went into his tiny mouth, and today was the day that I hit rock bottom. 

I received a call from Connor's school nurse that his blood sugar was at 486 at 9:30am  (2 hours post meal, with 1 hour remaining on his meal bolus, he clearly would never reach the 200 blood sugar range, let alone the 100 range.)  I quickly grabbed all necessary materials, grabbed my daughter and headed off to his school for an insulin pump infusion-set change.  I changed his set in under 5 minutes and we made all necessary adjustments to his insulin on board.  Then, at 11:24am, I received an email from the nurse that Connor's blood sugar was at 354354354.  How the hell could it be at 354?  I began to panic, and called my husband.  I forwarded her email to him and said, "please deal with this, I can't do anymore, please call the nurse, I can't do THIS anymore!" Fighting back tears, I took my daughter on a lunch date to get my mind off what was going on.
I picked up Connor after school, who was in great spirits.  I asked about the remainder of his day...."it was good, but I couldn't do P.E. Mom, my blood sugar was still above 300."  The tears began to stream down my face.  P.E. isn't until 1:30pm, so, all I heard was that his blood sugar was in a high blood sugar range all day, and Connor LOVES P.E.  I tried to control my tears, which went into uncontrollable sobs once we arrived home and I got him out from his lap-belt.  I can't run Mom, and it hurts really bad just to walk.  Due to his infusion set being placed in his thigh  (I virtually have run out of room on his teeny-tiny body to place the infusion set, due to too much scar tissue), I was forced to insert the infusion set into his muscular thigh this morning.  Connor was supposed to have soccer practice tonight.  He can't run.  We are incredibly short on infusion sets, which are being delivered on Monday.  His CGM (continuous glucose monitor), also stopped working today, which needed replacing.  No P.E. today. No soccer practice.  There I was.  There he was.  All things were going incredibly wrong at the same time.  I cried ugly sobs for hours, until I finally called my husband around 5:00pm, because I just couldn't calm down.  I ran to my bedroom and kept telling my husband through cries how hard it is "to have absolutely no control!"  A phrase I must've repeated at least 20 times.  It's so incredibly defeating to keep trying your absolute-most-bestest-of-bestest, day after day, and receive a failing grade.  Although, honestly, I wish I was in a classroom and all that was being handed to me was a letter grade.  I have my child's life and health in my hands, and nothing but an "A+" am I willing to accept.  My husband, like always, calmed me down.  I wiped my face full of tears, headed downstairs, changed Connor's CGM, had him lay down for the remainder of the afternoon due to the thigh pain, and guess what, his blood sugars were absolutely beautiful.

I experienced sheer panic today.  I wasn't the driver of my car.  Hell, I don't know who the hell is driving my car.  I don't know my destination.  I don't know how bumpy my road will be.  I don't know how many traffic lights will stop me. I don't know how safe my journey will be.  It is MY reoccurring nightmare at times too.   

Buddy, life put us in the same damn car.  We are just a couple of passengers in a car that is being driven by someone we cannot see.  This individual will take us on a journey to an undisclosed location.  It could be horrible or it could be wonderful.  We could try tirelessly to get those lap-belts off and take over that driver's seat.  We could grab the steering wheel and without hesitation, apply the brakes and park our car.  Our parking space would be safe, yet uneventful and predictable; same views, sounds and scents.  With no new experiences, we'd consequently never have any emotion elicited contributing to a lack of growth.  Better yet, we could keep those lap-belts buckled and just sit back and enjoy the ride we are on.  We could take-in earth's scenery, from rolling hills to bustling cities; choose to roll down the windows, inhale deeply and take-in all the scents; we could blast the music and sing on the top of our lungs; and above all, enjoy the heck out of the company in the backseat of our car and allow that driver to take us where we need to go without questioning our destination.  Despite the traffic lights, bumps on the road, flat tires, heck, maybe even an accident or two, and with overwhelming uncertainty and lack of control of our journey, let's not panic.  We can do this, Connor, me and you, let's just be a couple of passengers and enjoy our ride together, bumps and all.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

You're Welcome!

If you reside in Loudoun County, VA, or its surrounding counties, I just want to go ahead and extend to you a big "YOU ARE WELCOME!"  I apparently, unbeknownst to me, have been personally tasked by the good Lord to eradicate the entire stink bug population in the entire county.  That's all.  No big deal or anything.  No, God did not contact me directly regarding this matter, or just-maybe-perhaps-most-likely He sent me a memo and I somehow missed it.  I know for a fact that this must have been a directive from a higher power, this perfectly explains the magnitude of little ba$tards that have entered my residence.  Among a million other titles that I currently hold, Mom, Wife, Nurse, Housekeeper....yours truly is also the MURDERER OF THE MARMORATED.  You see, I am 99.872% positive that ALL stinkbugs in Loudoun County were directed to enter my home to be humanely euthanized.  Must be.  At any point, they are in every nook & cranny, on every window, of every room, and I mean, every f%^&$ room of my house.  Our state-of-the-art-don't-need-an-exterminator-up-in-here method of stinkbug removal is to do the following: grab the bug in a tissue, promptly throw it into the toilet, quickly close the lid, and flush as fast as possible before any escape attempts are made by the little a$$hole!  This quick destruction normally prevents the bug from having time to release its "smell" and is also just an effortless easy breezy clean-up!  Pretty ingenious if you ask me, well, that is until we get our water bill.

If you are on the left coast, or some other magical part of the world that doesn't have stinkbugs, for one, count your blessings, for two, please say hello to our little friend:

 According to Wikipedia, "Stink bugs typically have four generations per growing season in Asia, and one after transplantation to the U.S., but an unusually warm and early spring and summer in 2010 allowed them to produce two additional generations in regions like Maryland and Northern Virginia."  You read that here first folks, and don't be worried, those two additional generations referenced in the Wiki quote, are all currently lodging in the Magin/Nugent household - and you better believe that we are battling/toilet-treating their brown marmorated asses everyday!  In case you are not familiar with them, or their "smell", if the stinkbug becomes startled or dies, it releases its "signature smell".  In my humble opinion, after smelling THOUSANDS of them, I'd liken it to a very stinky gym sock + a citrusy-lemon scent.  My new perfume line will be called: Eau de Lemon Chaussette (sock in French according to Google - does anyone speak French, is that right?).  This smell lingers in the air for several minutes, and after minute 2, you are looking for a new nose, any nose, any nose but your own.  You just can't help it. 
So, if you are walking the streets of Ashburn, or in your home in Sterling, or perhaps in your friend's backyard in Leesburg, and are wondering, questioning even, "where are all the stinkbugs????"..........Megan Nugent & family are personally handling the entire stinkbug infestation/crisis for the county from the inside of our humble abode.  I am currently accepting Thank You notes, gift cards, and brand-new vehicles as a way of saying "thank you" for my unremitting attempts to remove these little stinky bullies from our environment.

Highs and Lows

Hi Friends!

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving!  Going to be honest, our week/holiday was pretty darn pathetic, as we all fell ill at some point, and experienced one crisis after another.  Most of the "situations" unfortunately revolved around Type 1 Diabetes......some weeks are fabulous and some weeks are super crappy, and I just need to accept that this is how it's going to be.  For every high blood sugar and for every low blood sugar, my emotions are riding the same emotional roller coaster, one moment I am confident and the next moment I am panicked and feeling insecure.  "Oh God, they (being the doctors) left me in charge and responsible for this little boy's life and he is relying on me to keep him healthy!"  Sometimes when his blood sugar is out of control, I just feel overwhelmed, I try my best, but my best will not be good enough, and I need to accept this fact, and not beat myself up over it.  As much as I have accepted this responsibility of managing Connor's blood sugar, there are days when I question all of my decisions, "was that enough insulin?", "does Connor need more carbs?", "is his long-lasting insulin the right number?", "am I doing this right????"......some days there are just more questions than there are answers.
In case you are curious as to what happened exactly, Connor contracted the same stomach virus as Chelsea last week.  Type 1 diabetics don't just "become sick", nope, their blood sugars soar and they develop Ketones rapidly, which need to be constantly checked and removed from the body through extra fluid and insulin.  I could never predict that this stomach virus would carry on from Tuesday to Thanksgiving dinner!  After being perfectly fine and eating all day on Thanksgiving day, he suddenly became ill again during Thanksgiving dinner.  I gave him a shot of insulin before his dinner & dessert.....considering the amount of carbs I counted out on his plate, I gave him A LOT of insulin.  Guess what?  Connor threw-up and refused to eat during dinner....meanwhile his blood sugar dropped rapidly and eventually hit the 30s (dangerously low).  I was yelling/pleading with him that despite his nausea he absolutely had to drink & eat something, as his blood sugar would continue to drop rapidly and we needed carbs to offset the insulin.  Lucky for Connor, his Uncle Michael came to the rescue with loads of small, bite-size candy and after about at total 45 minutes of pleading with him, Connor began to divulge on that candy.  My nerves were shot by the time we got home from Thanksgiving dinner around 9pm.....only to have his blood sugar rise around 2am to the 450s (this high blood sugar = bed-wetting & a cranky child), so the next morning I was battling high blood sugars and more Ketones.  It's this type of roller coaster that just leaves you mentally and emotionally spent, and honestly, there is no way around it and you just have to keep battling.  In the middle of this chaos, Connor was wearing his trial Continuous Glucose Monitor last week, so we were supposed to record every bite of food that he ingested, every shot, his activity level, and the exact time that each of these things occurred for the doctor to review.  It's a giant pain in the ass to record every detail, and most weeks, this would have been doable, but considering what was going on in our home, we just couldn't keep good records.  In the middle of this craziness, my daughter fell down a flight of stairs (banged her head pretty darn badly), I was recovering from my food poisoning (many trips to the bathroom for me), and my husband had to go to an Urgent Care facility for a skin infection he developed.  The night that Chelsea fell down the stairs for instance - we just plain forgot to record Connor's dinner.  I mean, all attention was on her, and my husband and I didn't write a damn thing down.  And, if you think that Tuck remain unscathed, think again........

Last week, Tuck developed what they call a "hot spot" post-grooming (I imagine they must have just nicked him with the buzzer).  I now know what "hot spot" means = your canine will scratch until they bleed profusely and WILL NOT stop until they reach bone.  I mean, what began as a tiny little cut, Tuck made into a giant sinkhole on the side of the head, and I'm pretty sure that left to his own devices he wouldn't stop scratching until he reached his skull (makes me slightly question his intelligence).  So amidst all of the craziness inside our home, I had to run out to get this little cone treasure to prevent Tuck from scratching into his brain. 

Thankfully, our weekend ended on a very good note, we have, as a family, managed to go 4 WHOLE DAYS without any crisis, this is quite remarkable for us!  I am not kidding, most weeks offer at least 2 crisis situations, sometimes it's as many as 4.  I'm also happy to say that for the past 4 days, Connor has been back to a steady, healthy blood range, but I swear my life has been shortened by 8 years due to stress.  Hahaha, if I am horribly wrinkled and grayed, and already wearing Depends at age 34, we know why, it is due to stress, so don't judge me ;)! 

As Thanksgiving rolled in last week, and after a bit of reflection, I can ecstatically state the following: we are all alive = hallelujah!, love each other with all of our hearts, and all 4 of us are able to laugh every day about how absurd life can be at times = these 3 things are the most important reasons to give thanks and be grateful if you ask me.  Everyday I am beyond thankful for these 3 blessings, and certainly had them in the forefront of my mind on a day when we are encouraged to reflect on our lives and think of all that has gone right.  I hope that on Thanksgiving, you also were given a moment to reflect, look at your life, and regardless of what has occurred, see all of the blessings and beauty that surround you as well....we all have them, but for some of us, we may have to look a little bit deeper beyond the surface, maybe even use binoculars to see them, but they are present!

Monday, November 25, 2013

Stayin' Alive!

I'm like John Travolta sans the cool moves, I feel like I'm just Staying Alive!  You see, Mr. Death paid me a visit on late Saturday night in the form of either food poisoning or the-worst-motha-fu*&%^# virus you ever did meet (I will allow your imaginations to run wild on what was occurring at my porcelain throne).  At any rate, what started off as me running to the bathroom, slowly resorted to me walking, then crawling, and ultimately ended with me just holding a bowl in the bed = keepin' it classy!  12 hours of this pure joy & not being able to hold down any water landed me in the ER for the better part of the day yesterday.
I was treated like utter royalty in the ER......3 IV saline solutions for severe dehydration, Zofran, then Phenergan, Tylenol, followed-up by some delicious contrast solution for my CT Scan.  I'm tellin' you they really know how to wine & dine a lady, 5 course meal!  I left yesterday evening with 2 types of powerful antibiotics for my intestinal colitis and anti-nausea meds and have to say, I am on my way to recovery.  I pretty much feel like I was hit by a Mack Truck, but other than that I feel good ;)!  My mother-in-law is taking care of my kiddos today, praise the lord, 'cause I wouldn't be able to!!!  I knew that yesterday was not my day to meet my maker, I think I have a bit more work to do before I make my departure, so here I am, Stayin' Alive! 

On a more positive note, Connor requested that my husband film him early Saturday morning doing "a dance."  "This dance" is to a really awful Iron Man intro song that lasts for about 20 seconds (you can faintly hear it in the background), so Connor repeatedly runs back to our tablet to replay it.  Apparently, Connor practiced for a long while before he was ready to be filmed; how on God's green earth my husband holds the camera phone for 3 minutes and 50 seconds without laughing is beyond me, good work babe!  WARNING: It is like watching a REALLY terrible 80's aerobic video without the hot girls in spandex & leg warmers, he's no Denise Austin!  My son has clearly inherited his "dance moves" from my husband, and his love of dancing from me = one hotmess!  He not only inherited his love of dancing from me, but sadly inherited the "lizard tongue" from me as well--begins roughly 24 seconds in and really gets going at the 1:15 mark (referenced back in this post here.....May God bless him!).  Giving him some credit, his dancing gets better after 2 minutes.  He was happy to hear that I was sharing this little gem!  Aaaaannnddd the video is sideways, I don't know how to use technology people, don't judge me!



Friday, November 22, 2013

Being Picky

Happy Friday Friends!!!

Golden Rule if you are under the age of 5:  There is NO location, NO company, and NO time that doesn't lend itself to "digging for gold."  Anytime is the right time to do "maintenance", 'cause there ain't no shame in our game! 

Just when you think you've captured something cute, you realize that you were way wrong (taken 2 days ago, I just started laughing so hard when I found this little treasure yesterday as I went through my SD card):

Favorite Connor quote: He was 2 1/2 years old and was just digging away one afternoon.  My mother finally asked him, "what are you digging for Connor, you've been very busy in there?"  He looked at her with a very serious expression and responded with a confident, "chocolate"!  Gotta love the stuff that little people say!
Speaking of Connor, we are leaving our home in a few minutes to get his Continuous Glucose Monitor inserted at our local Diabetes Center (yippee!).  It's like I am 4 years old on the night before Christmas, I know Santa is coming and he's bringing me something great!  I AM THAT GIDDY!!!  My husband and I will greatly appreciate the bit of assistance that the CGM will provide. 
Have a blessed & beautiful weekend!  I'll be back on Monday with a new post :). 

Thursday, November 21, 2013

New Hair-do(n't)

There is a VERY important member of our family that got a new hair-do last week.  If you follow either my husband or I on Facebook, you probably saw a few pictures that were posted.  My cocker spaniel, Tuck, desperately had to get to the groomer, he was shedding so much hair that I had tumbleweeds in my house, and what a pain it is to keep sweeping 10 times a day! 

I think there might have been some confusion between the Petsmart Grooming attendant and I......I probably wasn't descriptive enough, I had requested a "mini-Mohawk", but in my head I was envisioning a tiny/short tuft of hair left on the top, just to give my Tuck a little something extra special.  What was given to Tuck was more of a bad-ass, I'm-gonna-eat-your-children-for-breakfast-kinda-Mohawk, which had been lovingly fluffed and sculpted.  Needless to say, when my son, Connor, and I went to pick Tuck up last Thursday, neither of us were mentally & emotionally prepared for what came running toward us from the grooming department.  I almost had to sit down I was laughing so hard.  Connor, forget about it, that kid could barely walk through Petsmart he was laughing so hard.  "Do you like it, is this what you were looking for?" asked the grooming attendant.  I didn't have the heart to tell him "no", it was 5pm, and he had been sculpting dog hair all day long, so I said "yes" while laughing my a$$ off, and took Snoop Doggy Dogg home with me to run the mean streets of Purcellville.

Without much further ado, may I present you with my cocker spaniel, Tucker Magin, with his post-grooming bouffant:


Tuck is honestly the most kind and loving pain in the a$$ dog (he steals food, I'll leave it at that) you've ever met.  He's been so amazingly gentle and patient with my children, which of course, makes me love him even more.

I trimmed down this new hair-do on Saturday morning (I took a little over an inch off), he just looked absolutely absurd.  I'd send him out to do his "business" in our backyard, and the breeze would be blowing this thick clump of hair all over the place.  Tuck would come in 10 minutes later with a new look, it was flattened & parted down the middle (not attractive!), so I just had to take the scissors to it:

Tuck & this lucky man sported a similar look:

So with that tuft trimmed down, I got Tuck looking like much more of a love-bug and less of a toughy-pants.  My new pledge to Tuck is: To always be as verbally descriptive as humanly possible (also provide: gestures, exhibits, dioramas, pictures and maybe even sculptures) to every grooming attendant that has contact with him to hopefully prevent these types of hair-doN'Ts in the future!  Sorry Tuck! ;)

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


I squeezed myself into my size 2 jeans, picked out the cutest floral top you ever did see, and made sure my make-up and hair were perfection.  Yep, looking hot!  One last spray of over-priced perfume and I was ready!  I had just turned 23 and was going out with my best friend to a bar on Capitol Hill.  As soon as I arrived at the bar, I locked eyes with the most gorgeous, blue-eyed, dark-haired man that God has ever created (or will ever create, and no, I'm not biased or anything ;)).  We made eye contact all night long, played a game of pool, and eventually fell in love.

Flash forward 9 1/2 years later.  It was 1:05am, and I looked at myself in the mirror, uncombed tresses with 2 inches of dark roots, no make-up, dark circles under the eyes, and certainly not a size 2 anymore!  I looked over at the back of my husband's head and initially started giggling, and before I knew it, I began to laugh hysterically.  I am not sure if it was due to pure delirium/exhaustion/stress, or if I just have a sick sense of humor.....but I couldn't stop laughing. 

You see, at 1:05am, my husband and I were cleaning chunks of vomit off not only my daughter, but also her sheets and pajamas, FOR THE FIFTH TIME.  Yes, you read that right.  My daughter, Chelsea, who is a whopping 20 pounds, somehow created about 2 gallons of vomit.  It was on/in her bedroom carpet, in her hair, stuffed animals, inside the crib, on the crib, and coated her blankets and sheets.  We never prepared for more vomit that night, nope, I was adamant that after each vomit that we should clean everything perfectly, because I mistakenly kept saying "that was DEFINITELY her last vomit of the night."  Now I know, tiny human beings can fool you and can create more vomit than a 500 pound man who just gorged himself at a Western Sizzlin' buffet.  I now know to always prepare for more vomit in the future.  There will be more!

So after lots of laundry and cleaning, there we were at 1:05am, "manning our posts" at the bathroom sink for the fifth time to "clean" things coated by vomit, my husband, at the bathtub, to clean our daughter who had been coated by vomit.  I looked at the back of my husband's head, and had the image of me at age 23, entering that bar, shaking my tail feather, smelling like sun-ripened rose petals, wearing my finest and meeting the man of my dreams.  I quickly reminisced about the amazing years of us dating, getting dressed up, trying to impress one another.  Our beautiful wedding and honeymoon.  There we were, 9 years later, in a tiny bathroom, both of our clothing covered in bits of vomit, smelling like eau de vomit, and cleaning lots and lots of vomit off of 'stuff', together.  I thought to myself, me and my babe, we are co-vomit-cleaners, in our lovely home, which has become a Vomitorium.  This partner-in-crime, love-of-my-life, soul-mate of mine, phrases that used elicit passionate feelings about true love, like something out of a Danielle Steel novel, have now been exchanged for new phrases, like my vomit-cleaning-sidekick.  I couldn't stop laughing.

If someone could have pulled my husband and I aside the night that we met and provided us with a glimpse of what we'd be doing the night of November 17, 2013, I know for a fact that that young woman would have been completely repulsed and shocked.  I feel like I don't even know that young woman from 2004 anymore, the one who was worried about her hair and her make-up.  That young woman had no idea what was in store for her, she was clueless about 3 things in particular: how hard and exhausting the job of parenting could be at times, what marriage and love were really about, and exactly how much vomit a tiny person could create.  Sadly, my future probably holds more nights of vomit, but as long as I have my vomit-cleaning-sidekick by my side and can keep on laughing, I can make it through that Vomitorium and be just fine!