Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Well, the story of my life these days seems to be that I’m always late with everything and always trying to catch up. I made the mistake Saturday morning of working on other things I wanted to try to get done instead of updating and I never had another chance to sit down at the computer the rest of the weekend. I’m always exhausted at the end of the day and tonight is no different. But I am determined to post something tonight. So please forgive me for taking so long to update again. We had a good week last week, made some significant progress and have seen God do some more “firsts” in Jonathan’s life. I finally took Jonathan and Sarah to the doctor on Monday because the coughs continued to exist. Sarah had a bronchial infection and got a couple of prescriptions. Jonathan’s lungs were clear and so we are just waiting for the dry coughs to go away. Lamar and Elizabeth both came down with it pretty bad last week so we have all been fighting this respiratory whatever that seems to be hanging around our house. Everyone seems to be doing better, but we are all still coughing and sneezing off and on. Jonathan had his regular endocrine appointment on Tuesday. We went to the Hurst clinic which is close by Grandpa and Grandma Smith’s house. We went there because we were told they had a device to check his A1C (average blood sugar). The Lewisville clinic does not have one so he has to have blood drawn when all he really needs is a drop of blood from a finger poke. I have put my foot down and refused to put Jonathan through any more than is absolutely necessary, so we made the appointment to go to this clinic because we were told they had this device. Come to find out, they don’t have it yet. While we were there, Jonathan weighed in at 131 pounds. At the last visit he was 119. So obviously, he is continuing to gain weight despite the changes we made over the summer. The nurse we talked to is a Type 1 diabetic herself. She explained to me again (I’m sure I have heard this before but it did not sink in at the time) the way the insulin works in the body. There are receptors on the outside of the cells that catch the insulin and allow the sugar in the body to go through them and process them. The only cells that do not have these receptors are fat cells. So when there is an over abundance of fat cells, it crowds the good cells and keeps them from getting the insulin and using it up, thus resulting in higher blood sugar levels. Reduce the fat cells and the other cells can grab more of the insulin and use it more efficiently, thus resulting in more normal, lower blood sugar levels. So I asked, what happens to all the insulin that does not get grabbed by these receptors? It is stored up as fat. Apparently another reason why most people I have talked to have gained weight using insulin. She gave me a few ideas of things to do as far as his eating goes, but when the nurse practioner came in, she pretty much contradicted what the nurse told me. So here I am again at this delima of how to help Jonathan lose this weight. Do you realize that with just 14 more pounds, he will have gained 100 pounds over the last two years? That bothers me immensely. The NP talked about putting him on another medicine that some of the people in their office have tried that helps you lose weight. The only problem is that it is another shot, three times a day. She also talked about treating him like a Type 2 diabetic and only allowing him 45 carbs per meal, period. She gave me the example of the plate: ½ is vegetables, ¼ is meat, and ¼ is starch and each of the portions is ½ cup, which is what will fit in the palm of his hand. So I told her to give me another chance to work with him before deciding to do the other shot. So we have been diligently working on only eating 45 carbs per meal, no snacks. His blood sugar levels have been very consistently within normal range for the past week. He has such a good attitude and is very willing to work at this. But it is so hard because he thinks he is hungry and is always asking for something to eat. It’s hard for me as well to have to tell him no and keep him from eating things he really wants but really doesn’t need. But I am determined to consistently keep track of what he is eating and how much he is eating until our next visit. I want to find out how much of his weight gain is from food and how much is from the insulin. The other thing that bothered me is that the NP wanted me to go up again on one of his insulins, not just a couple of units, but 5-7 units. So I’m wondering how this is going to help this process to continue giving him more insulin when what he is getting now is not getting used up, which allows more to get stored as fat, which means more pounds. Needless to say, I’m struggling to understand and to figure out how to help reverse this process for Jonathan. Please pray for wisdom and guidance, for someone with the knowledge that can help us in this process, or for us to find the information we need to know what to do. On Wednesday, Jonathan went to AWANA mostly by himself. I stayed with him while he said his verses, which I will probably do for a while, and then he did the rest on his own. I peeked in the gym during game time, on my way to choir practice, and saw him playing dodge ball again with everyone. I’m so proud of him and how well he is doing things on his own. After AWANA, the girls go pick him up and they hang out in the skating rink while I finish choir. I asked Jonathan what he did and he told me he met a new guy who wanted to hear all about his story, so he shared it with him. He also told me he wants to take his roller blades and practice skating. Elizabeth said she would help him. I’m not sure I’m real comfortable with that, but I wouldn’t be surprised if that becomes a reality in the next few weeks. On Thursday, Jonathan had his follow up appointment with the eye doctor. He wanted to check and make sure no changes needed to be made on his glasses. He seemed pleased with Jonathan’s progress and wants to see him back in November to begin working on some vision therapy (I think that’s what he said). He is meeting with another doctor friend of his and discussing Jonathan’s case with him to get some input on what kind of low vision help we can get for him. Jonathan seems to be able to read things from a farther distance rather than having to hold things up close to his face. He still has a lot of difficulty with smaller print, but overall his is doing pretty well. We have experienced a couple of great praises this week as well. On Wednesday, we heard from the neurologist about his sleeping medicine. We had been giving him 1 whole pill and he was doing better, but still waking up about 3-5 times a night. He might just wake up crying or coughing, but would lay right back down and go right back to sleep. The doctor wanted us to try giving him 2 pills (which is really only 1 mg). So Wednesday night, we started giving him 2 pills. This has allowed him to sleep almost all night long, with maybe 1 very brief time of waking up. He no longer gets up to use the bathroom and he has been sleeping at least 10 hours every night since last Wednesday. Praise the Lord! He has made such significant progress and we are so thankful for this. The other praise is that for the first time in his entire life, he has been sleeping all night in his bed in his bedroom for 10 days now. We have been able to put away the mattress on the side of our bed and he is going to sleep in his bed every night and waking up to his alarm every morning. This has been such a long awaited blessing for us. It is just awesome to see him at this place after so many long, difficult months of dealing with this. We are praising God for this miracle. And another miracle to praise God for - We actually successfully made it through one whole week of school last week! I can’t tell you how hard I prayed that God would spare us any major issues or distractions so that we could at least get started with school. Everyone is doing well so far. We are trying to settle into a new routine for this year and so far we are making progress. One last thing to share with you is that the fall session of horse therapy began last week. Jonathan’s lesson is at the same time this session as it was last session on Tuesdays at 1 pm. Unfortunately, he had his scheduled endocrine appointment during that time last week, so we were unable to go. But we were able to go today. When we got there, we were expecting to see Mrs. Tammy again, but we found out that we have a new therapist, Mrs. Julie. She was wonderful! She did everything with Jonathan during his lesson today that Mrs. Tammy did with him all during the spring session and then some. He worked on his balance, his riding skills, standing in the saddle, trotting (which seems to be his favorite part!) and he even got to ride Daisy by himself in the riding pen. He also got to give Daisy a wet down before she went back to her pen, which is something that we have never done before. He did so good! He remembered almost everything from the spring session and he was so excited to see his beautiful horse again. He was even able to get on and off his horse without any help getting his leg over the saddle. As we were leaving I thought of the many times we have gone to something expecting it to be one way and finding out that something had changed. God is so faithful and I’m so grateful that He is never surprised by those changes, even though we are. He is so gracious to always make those changes for our good. It always ends up better than we were expecting. So we give Him glory.
Thank you for checking on us and for patiently waiting for these updates. We treasure your friendship and your love and care for our family. Please continue to pray for us that we will be able to keep up the progress we are making with schooling. Pray that we will find our good health again soon. Pray especially for Jonathan and his weight loss. I can’t tell you how easily discouraged I get when I look at this situation. I get frustrated because I can’t seem to make it go down and I don’t know what to do. It seems to continue to go up no matter what I do. And then I stop and pray and give it to my Lord who alone can make it right. I want to Believe God for this miracle as well. Pray that we will Believe, that God will help us overcome our unbelief and that we will expect great things from God in regards to this particular issue in Jonathan’s life. Pray that God will bring someone into our path that He will use to help us with this process, or that He will direct us to the right information that we need to help us. Pray that God will reward our commitment and diligence by allowing us to see Jonathan lose the weight we so desire to see him lose. Pray that his body will process the insulin effectively so that none of it is stored up as fat. Pray that we will begin to be able to reduce the amount of insulin he needs to keep his blood sugars normal and that we will continue to see good blood sugars within normal range. Most of all, continue to pray that we will stand firm in our faith, Believing God for the miracle of complete healing of the diabetes and expecting God to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we can ask or think. Continue to pray for Grandpa Cooper and the rest of the family. Everyone seems to be doing pretty well, but we could all use the extra prayers. Pray especially for us this weekend as we celebrate Lamar’s birthday. It will be the first family get together without Mom and I know it will be tough. We love all of you so much. Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts for your faithful prayers. May God bless you all.

Psalm 138:7-8 Though I walk in the midst of trouble, Thou wilt revive me; Thou wilt stretch forth Thy hand against the wrath of my enemies, And Thy right hand will save me. 8 The LORD will accomplish what concerns me; Thy lovingkindness, O LORD, is everlasting; Do not forsake the works of Thy hands.

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