Friday, July 31, 2009

So Proud

The following article is about my Grandpa, Bill Scott. He served courageously in World War II with the United States Marine Corp. So often, veterans have difficulty sharing their war experiences with others as they are extremely painful and it's a part of their lives that they would rather leave behind. I was fortunate to have a grandfather who openly shared with us his time serving during World War II. He would often bring out his war memorabilia and talk with us about what it was like to pull one grenade after another in order to stay alive. As he got older, he was invited repeatedly to our local high school to share with students his experiences. Part of his story was even published in a book called "Killing Ground on Okinawa- The Battle for Sugar Loaf Hill" by James H. Hallas. In about 10 days, my Grandpa is flying to Washington, D.C. with a host of other veterans to see the World War II memorial- an all expense paid trip. This is the first article which will appear in my hometown newspaper, with the second part appearing at a later date.



Lenox World War II Veteran Will Take Honor Flight To DC
(First of a two-part article)
By Ben French


“There were 200 and some Japanese laying there, dead. When it was all over, I was the only one left,” Bill Scott, July, 2009.

On August 11, Bill Scott along with 350 World War II veterans will be taking an expense-paid trip to Washington, D.C. HyVee has pledged $250,000 to the Honor Flight program so that veterans could see the World War II Memorial.

William (Bill) Nelson Scott will register for the Iowa Honor Flight sometime after 1PM on August 10 at the Airport Holiday Inn, Des Moines, Iowa. Then, after a pre-flight dinner at the HyVee Conference Center that evening, he will set his alarm clock to awaken for a 2:30AM continental breakfast and a 6:30AM Northwest 747 airplane ride to Dulles airport. From there it will on to the World War II Memorial, the Korean, Viet Nam and Iwo Jima memorials and the Arlington National Cemetery. Later, he is scheduled to depart Dulles Airport at 8:30PM to arrive back in Des Moines at 10:30PM.

Two full days for an 89 year old World War II veteran who was said to have nine lives. In his written recollections, Bill writes: John Eason told my wife and I they were considering not to put me into another squad because too many times I was the only survivor.

Bill got his draft notice in 1944 and he went to Bedford to board a bus to Des Moines where he would take his physical examination. “When I got on the bus, I told my parents to be ready for a wedding,” Bill said. Bill wanted to be assigned to the Navy, but a Marine recruiter called out his name. Bill would be a Marine. “The next thing I knew, I was sworn in,” Bill said. “The troop train that took us to San Diego was so old that one train car had a sign that said not to shoot buffalo from the window.”

Bill wrote that the drill instructors were experts in discipline and that they would take the fat off the fat ones and put muscle on the skinny ones. He also talked about the quick haircuts they all received. From 5AM the hours were crowded with drills, classes and training with rifles.

When Bill returned from boot camp, his words to his parents came true as he and Doris Klinzman were married. The newly married couple set up housekeeping in Oceanside, California. Bill was in advanced training at Camp Pendleton where he was trained to be a machine gunner. Their time together was short as Christmas joy turned to farewell. Bill writes that At Christmas we were put on a ship to Guadalcanal. The name of it was Sea Bass and it had 6,000 marines on it. There were 5,999 sick marines on it. What a mess. One day I found a dry place to sit down and read a little. All of a sudden I felt something. A fellow behind me threw up.

After a week or so they arrived in Guadalcanal. Bill was assigned to K Company, 3rd Battalion, 4th Regiment of the 6th Division of the Marine Corps.

On Easter Sunday, April 1, 1945, Bill was on a landing craft. He attended a religious service and he had his little Bible that had a steel plate on the cover. They landed on the red beach at Okinawa next to the Yon Tan airfield at 8:30AM. It was an Easter dawn, recalled Bill, that was hailed by the crash of guns of 1,000 ships, the largest war fleet ever to sail with the heavy artillery of battle ships and cruisers. Japanese planes came and 5 of the planes were shot down. Bill relates that he had his rifle safety on and that he was going to leave it on until he saw the enemy shoot at them. “We were crossing the Yon Tan Airfield when a guy was sitting on a tank and there was a shot and he fell. I took my safety off,” Bill said.

K Company was proceeding up a ravine when they encountered Japanese and a brief firefight took place and many of the Japanese were killed. When they had a chance to rest and take off their heavy packs, Bill discovered a bullet had hit his pack. A fellow marine named Wooten told him he was baptized by fire and Bill let loose a few colorful words, but he never repeated those words again.

The World War II Memorial honors the 16 million who served in the United States Armed Forces, the more than 400,000 who died and all who supported the war effort from home. The memorial is a monument to the spirit, sacrifice and commitment of the American people.

The memorial opened to the public on April 29, 2004 and was dedicated on May 29, 2004. The memorial is located in Washington, D.C., on 17th Street between Constitution and Independence Avenues. It is flanked by the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial. The memorial is open to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Nationally recognized newsman, Tom Brokaw has written that “this is the greatest generation any society has produced.”

There will be more on this brave veteran in the next edition of the Lenox Time Table.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Morning Update

The night went great! She stayed up until about 11 pm and by that time, her ketones went back to normal! She was at 115, so I went ahead and gave her a juice box and sent her to bed. I checked her at midnight and she was up to 150. I went to bed and set my alarm for 2. At 2, she was back down to 112- but no fever. I debated whether or not to give her anything, but since she went to bed very late, she would sleep later. This morning she woke up at 150 with a small amount of ketones showing and with a temp of 102.3. Some motrin and her fever went away and we'll be checking her blood sugar soon. So thanks everyone for your prayers- so far it's going smoothly. I think it's way worse thinking about what "could" happen than when you are actually in the middle of it.

I have to take a moment to say thanks to the head nurse on duty last night at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital. I don't know who you are....but you are awesome. Here's the story:

When Eli got sick, I took a trip to Walmart to stock up on some essential items, including ketone test strips. I knew that we just had a few left and with illness emerging in the family....desperately needed more. Well, that was last weekend. They were completely out- they couldn't restock them. I thought, okay, I'll just wait a few days and come back. I checked again earlier in the week and still no ketone strips. I *should* have gone to some other pharmacies in town, but Walmart is by far the cheapest place to shop here. So....when Jada got sick last night, I had two ketone test strips left. I called Jeff and asked him to run Walmart on the way home. Walmart was still out! He went to the 4 other grocery stores in town.....nothing. So...he headed to the hospital- not knowing if they would help or not. The first nurse he spoke to suggested bringing her down to the ER and Jeff's reply was that we need them so that we don't have to bring her down. I mean, really- exposing a sick, diabetic child to who knows what else? He asked to talk to her supervisor, who immediately agreed with Jeff and handed him a whole bottle of test strips- not just a few to get through the night- at no charge. It may not seem like a big deal to some-- but it meant the world to us. So thank you who ever you are---you took some worry off our chest last night!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Will it ever end?

Okay...I don't want to sound like I'm whining. I apologize to anyone who is tired of hearing me complain about diabetes and my kids being sick. Here I go again......
Eli ran a fever from Thursday to Monday afternoon. Fever and body aches. Not a big deal...it just lasted FOREVER and had to miss church.....he just wasn't up to getting out and doing stuff. Well, then Monday, David started running a fever. Same thing. Fever and body aches. His temp got up to 103.6 today and he just doesn't feel well.
Swine flu is running rampant in town right now and they have had to shut down the summer school program. So...this could very well be what they've got- just not having any of the respiratory symptoms. If you recall, I thought maybe Jada had the swine flu earlier this summer- fever, respiratory symptoms- the whole nine yards. I was really hoping that she had...so it could be done and over with.
Well, she's running a low grade temperature tonight. ((Sigh)) I noticed she felt warmish before dinner and thought I should check. Sure enough. 100.6. Her numbers were great- 160 and no ketones present. I gave her some ibuprofen ( don't want that fever to spike to high) and now we're just waiting to see what happens. I'm very concerned because David and Eli's fevers have been awful! Eli last Thursday night spiked to 104. It just doesn't take much for her little body to start producing ketones and then the puking starts. And 5 days....can I do this? I don't know.



I hate diabetes.


*UPDATE*
A few minutes ago, she came out of her room saying that she's thirsty. Well- her 160 BG at dinner went to 287 at bedtime and is now at 301. We checked ketones (we only have urine strips) and she is spilling a large amount of ketones into her urine. So....a shot of novolog and she's back to bed. This may be a long night.


Sunday, July 19, 2009

It's 4:30 am and I'm Awake!

I wish there were some other reason I was awake. Low blood sugar....nope. Jada is completely in range and is poised to wake up at great number. Eli sick....yes, after going too hard yesterday, we're probably missing church this morning, but he's asleep right now.
I'm rather irritated. We were awoke at 3 am to the sound of our new (in the last two weeks) neighbors having a drunk fest on their back deck. There must have been more than 10 people outside talking, laughing, swearing and yelling. At one point, I heard some guy trying to get a dog to ride a skateboard! At first, we tried to ignore it- because we're nice people and we don't like to call the cops. But...come on people......this is a family neighborhood. People with kids all up and down this street. After about 15 minutes of laying there, Jeff got up and called the police. The police showed up.....an hour later. I know that a loud group of drunks may not be top priority in Fairbanks, Alaska. But an hour? And now I'm wide awake. And irritated.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Sick Boy

After a week of some crazy low blood sugars with Jada, this week has evened out to beautiful, perfect in range numbers. I'm enjoying it while I can, because I know it won't last! You just have to take those good days and love it and remember when the highs and lows come- it's not forever and those good days will come around again!
So....while Jada is doing great, Eli has become sick. He woke up around midnight on Wednesday with a pretty bad headache- and ibuprofen seemed to help and he was able to sleep. I thought it was sweet, because he wanted to lay on our floor next to my side of the bed. Obviously, he wasn't feeling well!
Yesterday morning, the headache just hung in there and he didn't move off the couch all day! Last night , he spiked a fever of 103! He hasn't had a fever that high since he was 2 years old! Ibuprofen and acetaminophen this time and within an hour, he was feeling better and actually got up and ate supper. He went to bed at least feeling comfortable!
Well, he woke up at about midnight with a temp of 104! More meds and was feeling better again with in the hour. He and I had some bonding time and then he went to bed, but woke up with a fever of 102. Still high, but better and he 's less achy this morning and no headache. So...let's hope this virus has run it's course. And.....let's hope no one else gets it!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Crazy Numbers Update

Well, this last week has been interesting with this disease! At the beginning of the week, we were experiencing some super crazy lows. A 44 at 2 am (it didn't wake her up- I just "happened" to check her), several numbers in the 20's at mid-day as well as a lot of mid-afternoon numbers in the forties. We had been very busy since the 4th of July and I think that her all of her extra physical activity contributed to the lows. As the week wore on and we came to the end of it, things have straightened out and we seem to back to normal- although her after lunch numbers are still on the low side.
I think I've been reminded of the importance of routine and schedule with this disease. As I reflect over the last week, there was a hardly a bed time that was the same, hardly a meal time that was the same. Mornings where Jada slept a whole later than normal- thus delaying her lantus injection and then the next day- waking up earlier than normal and getting lantus earlier than usual. I wonder if some of the lows were due to too much lantus in the system- as it is supposed to last 24 hours. I wonder....
Well...summer is half over and a big part of me is sad because for us here in the north, winter is just beginning to stare us in the face (first frost is around August 30). But summer is crazy here. 24 hours of sunlight does something to those of us who live here! I mean, if the sun hasn't set- why should I even think about going to bed? It's not uncommon to hear a lawn mower running at 11 pm- last night someone two doors down was running an electric saw at 1 am- and he most likely just lost track of time. It happens here- just a part of life in the northern summer. So, I am looking forward to fall- which is very short lived here. But it means school and schedule. Life will slow down and there will be routine, which is SO much better for Jada.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Family Camp Photos

Good friends hangin' out!

Peas in a pod- Tony & Eli - they are indeed kindred spirits!

Breakfast outside- pancakes and sausage- mmmmm good!

So....what do you do when the camp generator breaks and you have NO ice and NO electricity to keep that insulin cool? Double bag it and stick it in the VERY cold lake- don't forget to tie it to something so it doesn't float away!

Lots of fun in the rafts- yes even I went out and could have stayed all day on that thing!

My littlest bathing beauty!

Let me introduce you to "Sheila the Moose". She hung around all weekend- and kept her distance, which was good. She had her side of the lake- we had ours.
They are really further apart than what this picture looks like. Notice her ears are perked up- she sees the kids and was very aware of all the people around her. I think she must have been very hot- because she wouldn't get out of the water!
Awww.......Marshmallows!! It was nearly bedtime and after playing hard all day- her blood sugar was at 100- so she got to have a few! And I still had to wake her to give her a snack at midnight!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Brag on My Man Monday


Knowing I had been cravin' me some Cold Stone- THIS is what he brought home one night! Just for me!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009