Back to Rufus Ruby Visits Katy Dowd

Katy Dowd, Wichita, Kansas

November 3, 2003 (Monday)
Ruby arrives. I gave her an "I AM LOVED" pin and a "Secret to Eternal Life" pin. Tested her blood sugar and she was 163 mg/dL. Not bad for all of the travel she had done. I was 190 mg/dL, so I took 10 units (2 extra) of Novolog for 64 grams of carbs. We both ate Chicken Ramen noodles and chocolate milk, after we took our insulin.

My name is Katy. I'm turning 22 on November 23rd and I live in Wichita, Kansas. I'm on food stamps, so I don't have much freedom to choose really healthy meals. I do my best though. I'm waiting for U.S.D. # 259 (Wichita Public Schools) to call me. I applied for a bunch of Special Education teacher's aide positions and I'm praying I will get one. Ruby, Marie (roommate), and I are going to J Lounge tonight to sing Karaoke. Will write more later.

November 4, 2003 (Tuesday)
Last night we had a blast! I sang "I Hope You Dance" by Lee Ann Womack. Marie sang some songs by Pink. Ruby sang an old diabetes camp classic, "Lean on Me," by Bill Withers. None of us drank, although Marie smokes. Icky! I don't let her smoke in the apartment. Can't be good for my diabetes, plus I think I may be somewhat allergic to smoke. I gave Ruby a medal for singing. The medal was from the Walk to Cure Diabetes in Atlanta, Georgia.

Anywho, we got back and took baths (because we smelled like smoke - eww!) and then went to sleep. Blood sugars were a little high. I went by Work Force and faxed a referral for my yearly eye exam to my provider. Afterwards, Megan picked us up and we went over to her house to hang out for awhile. Ruby loved playing with her chihuahua, Simba, and she also helped us rearrange Megan's room.

November 5, 2003 (Wednesday)
Went to therapy. Ruby likes the Waltons. Provider called us and set up an eye exam with Dr. Beck on December 4th. Marie, Ruby, and I watched James and the Giant Peach and Bugs Life. She loved them. Sugars were a little high at dinner.

November 6, 2003 (Thursday)
Asked Ruby how long she'd had her insulin pump from Animas. She said she didn't remember and asked me why I didn't have one. I told her I had had a MiniMed 507c for 4 years, but Kansas MedicAid doesn't cover pump therapy past the age of 21. She laughed, because she thought I was kidding. When she realized I wasn't, she gave me a hug and said that she was sorry. I said it was okay and that maybe I'd win the lottery and be able to afford pump therapy again.

I'm going to try and get a teaching scholarship at Newman University. I want to teach Special Education. Once I am through with school and whatever else the scholarship requires, I am going to move to a state with better Health Care.

November 7, 2003 (Friday)
Picked up some items at Ray's Grocery Store (like a small Sam's Club, only without the membership fees). On my way back, I tested and found that I was low. Ruby got me some Cheez-its and I sat down for a little bit. I don't feel my lows much anymore, so I test 7-15 times a day normally. I also take 7-10 shots a day. We got back to my apartment and watched Men In Black II.

November 8, 2003 (Saturday)
Walked past apartment 508 and noticed a guy cutting hair. I asked if I could get my hair cut. My neighbor invited me in and gave Marie and me a trim. Ruby said she needed her fur for winter and so decided not to get a trim. The hairdresser's name is Larry and he lives with his friend, Brian. Larry cooked dinner for Marie, Megan (she came over to spend the night), himself, and Brian. Ruby had some as well. Pork chops, peas, bread, butter, and mashed potatoes. It was great to have real food again.

We talked with them and learned that Larry also has diabetes. He's had diabetes since he was 4 and sees his endo twice a month (he doesn't take very good care of his diabetes) for check-ups. Megan, Marie, and I are glad to have found "family" on the floor. Ruby likes Larry and Brian, too. We watched the taped show of last week's HBO Carnivale and went to sleep. Both Ruby and I ran low today several times.

November 9, 2003 (Sunday)
Went to 10 am Mass. Megan left at 12 noon and Marie and I went to her Mass (Traditional Latin Tridentine Rite) that afternoon. Ruby came with us and we gave her a glow in the dark rosary as a memento. Next time she is afraid of the dark, she can pray by it's light. Recorded Carnivale on HBO at 8 pm, CST. Watched Sister Act and Sister Act 2.

November 10, 2003 (Monday)
Mom's birthday - sent her an e-card and called!

Went to Mother's Gifts and Wal-Mart and bought some things. I had some chicken nuggets at Wendy's. Megan spent the night (no school tomorrow, because it's Veteran's Day) and we watched a Law and Order: The First Year DVD.

November 11, 2003 (Tuesday)
We all watched Muppet Christmas Carol and played card games all day. Kind of relaxed some and hung out. Ruby and I both feel a little sick. Uh-oh!

November 12, 3003 (Wednesday)
Had really bad blood sugars and wasn't feeling well. Stayed inside and slept a lot. Watched Will and Grace with Ruby.

November 13, 2003 (Thursday)
Went with Brian to pick up Larry from the airport. He had to go to California for some court stuff.

November 14, 2003 (Friday)
Stayed inside. Still wasn't feeling well. I suspect that I am getting sick. Ruby isn't feeling too hot either. We saw Megan briefly.

November 15, 2003 (Saturday)
Megan spent the night. Larry, Brian, Evan (from 511), Marie, Megan, Ruby, and I had chili (Larry's recipe) and macaroni and cheese while watching Law and Order DVDs. I had a severe low blood sugar. I think I worried Ruby. Megan kept me conscious and got me to eat, even though I was feeling nauseous. Earlier in the day, Marie, Ruby, and I went to an Integrity Wichita lunch for a retiring Bishop. Then we attended Mass at 5 pm.

November 16, 2003 (Sunday)
Megan's mom's birthday...
Left for Asbury United Methodist at 8 am with Beth and Shane. After services, Ruby and I went to see Godspell at North High School. It was great! Carl gave us a ride back to our apartment and we rested. Then came the bad news.

Larry knocked on our door and seemed very upset. He explained that his father (who we saw briefly on Friday) had passed away at 12:30 am that morning. When I asked how, he said his father had slipped into a diabetic coma and died of heart failure. Ruby and I gave him a big hug and said we'd pray for him and his family. He said he and Brian would be at his mother's house for the next couple of days. After he left, I held Ruby tight and almost cried. She comforted me and I'm glad she was here.

I told her about Drew Parker. Drew is a close friend and ex-boyfriend of mine who died form diabetes at the age of 16. I gave Ruby a HOPE necklace to remind people to never give up. I gave her a noisemaker to remind her of us seeing GODSPELL. It was from the JDRF Walk to Cure Diabetes in Atlanta this past October. I walked there for my 4 year old cousin, who was diagnosed 11/25/02 (2 days after my 21st birthday). After my last check (208 mg/dL - high due to anger?), and Ruby's last check (65 mg/dL - low due to excitement?), we both went to sleep exhausted (after correcting our sugars, of course).

November 17, 2003 (Monday)
Went by the pharmacy (Walgreen's) to pick up medications and test strips. Stayed in the rest of the day. Called to check on jobs. WPS said schools hadn't called in to get the list of applicants yet. This was disappointing. Watched Seven Days on Spike TV (Ruby and I love that show, because it's about time travel) and Pleasantville.

November 18, 2003 (Tuesday)
Felt ill, plus it was freezing outside with lots of wind. Ruby and I decided to stay in and watch Lost in Space while Marie went for a volunteer interview at St. Francis Hospital (Via Christi). She wants to work with kids. Megan came over after school and we had Lipton chicken and broccoli rice with garlic bread. I asked Ruby and Megan if they had any theories on why my sugars had been running high. Ruby asked if I was still feeling sick. Megan and Marie both felt my neck and said I felt feverish. Megan told me to stay in and nurse the cold I was getting. Then I had another bad reaction and wondered if it was my low that made me feel sick.

November 19, 2003 (Wednesday)
Skipped therapy due to feeling sick. Ruby tested me in the morning and I was low. Went to Work Force later to fax my information to my mom, so that I can get my transcripts from Orlando (Florida) sent to the colleges and scholarships I am applying to/for. Afterwards, I went home and watched Star Trek: TNG while sipping some chicken noodle soup. Watched Mr. Deeds with Ruby and Marie. We all went to sleep early today (10 pm).

November 20, 2003 (Thursday)
Slept all day with a pot next to the bed, because I was nauseous. Is my flu shot even working? I plan on seeing the doctor tomorrow. Ruby read to me. I need money to send Ruby back, so I am waiting for my birthday cards.

November 21, 2003 (Friday)
Went to see the doctor and he said I had a slight case of the flu. He said if I hadn't gotten my flu shot, it would probably be much worse. This is the first time in 10 years (since I was diagnosed) that I have come down with the flu. He told me to take over the counter medications and if I wasn't feeling better in a week to come back. Also said to stay inside and gave me a new prescription for my Glucagon (it expired).

November 22, 2003 (Saturday)
Megan spent the night and took care of me. She's getting sick, too. She was outside last night at a concert with no coat on and it was very cold.

November 23, 2003 (Sunday) My 22nd Birthday!
Ruby, Megan, and I watched Sweet Home Alabama. Megan left at 3 pm. Ruby fixed me some chicken noodle soup and I slept the rest of the day. Got calls from Aunt MaryBeth and my mom wishing me a happy birthday.

November 24, 2003 (Monday)
Prepared for family's arrival. Bought perishable Thanksgiving food. Baked sugar free pumpkin cheesecake (Equal recipe), messed up, used 3 1/2 Tbsp. instead of 5 for crust and forgot the eggs. (Oops! That doesn't affect the taste, does it?)

November 25, 2003 (Tuesday)
Cleaned apartment vigorously, took more Nyquil, vacuumed, scrubbed bathroom. Megan came over and helped me clean. Also doctored me up some. Made me and Ruby some rice. Family arrived and we all went to sleep.

November 26, 2003 (Wednesday)
Decided to keep Ruby until the Friday after Thanksgiving, so that she can enjoy the holiday and not be stuck in the mail. Will send her off on Friday. Today Ruby went with my mom, dad, sister, and me to Wal-Mart to buy stuff for my bathroom. Mom treated me. We ate breakfast at Spangles. I was low, but feeling a lot better. We went to the Cosmophere in Hutchinson, Kansas. Ruby had tons of fun. I had some birthday money (we opened presents last night.) and I bought myself a LEGO space shuttle. I'm really just a big little kid. Ruby helped me put together the space shuttle later after we ate a very large meal (manicotti and chicken parmagiana) at Spaghetti Works in Old Town. Before we all went to sleep, Erin (my sister) and mom watched The New Guy with Ruby and I. Sugars were high at night due to the high glycemic index at dinner. Then we all went to sleep.

November 27, 2003 (Thursday) - Thanksgiving!
Woke up feeling sick. I took some Nyquil. Erin and mom went to Thanksgiving Mass. Ruby came with us to the Sedgwick County Zoo. It was cold, but we still saw a lot of animals. We started cooking the turkey and watched Miracle on 34th Street. This was the first year I helped cook the meal (actually I mainly cooked, mom supervised). Everyone loved my pumpkin cheesecake and my turkey.

After dinner, Mom, Dad, and Erin went for a short walk and Ruby and I brought some Thanksgiving food over to Larry. He was sad and he hadn't eaten in 2 days (he was definitely hypo!). We gave him hugs, because he was missing his dad a ton (first Thanksgiving/holiday without him). We wish he would take better care of his diabetes. Then, we all watched some of the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade (recorded earlier) and the movie Frequency. Now, it's time for bed. Hoping and praying for no more lows. I've had 4 today.

November 28, 2003 (Friday)
Good-bye, Ruby!
Went to buy drain cleaner, advent candles, and gave Ruby some last minute gifts. She got her ears pierced again (kids these days!) and I gave her a small container of bubbles in case she gets bored while traveling. If she doesn't use them up, she can give them to the next person she visits as a gift. I got them as a wedding souvenir last May. We hugged Ruby good-bye and sent her off. Her last checked sugar was 159 mg/dL. I will miss her tons! Hope the next person who gets her enjoys her as much as I have.

Katy Dowd




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Rufus and Ruby, the bears with diabetes, is the creation of Carol Cramer, who owns the copyright to Rufus and Ruby. The graphics of Rufus are from Rufus Come Home, written by Kim Gosselin and illustrated by Terry Ravenelli, and are used by permission of the author.

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Last Updated: Tuesday March 23, 2004 07:57:18
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