Back to Rufus Rufus Visits the Testerman Family

The Testerman Family, Vilas, North Carolina

February 4, 2002 Monday
Rufus comes to the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina! Jakob was glad he had arrived! Rufus was a little upset about his trip. He didn't realize how curvey and twisting the roads would be! But, once he was out of the box and cleaned up, he started to smile. He and Jakob had popcorn and watched cartoons. Jakob had a lot of plans for Rufus's visit. Tomorrow they are planning to take Rufus to Appalachian State University. Rufus wanted to be the BBOC (Big Bear on Campus)! He was a little fussy about his wardrobe and fitting in with the college kids, so another little bear lent him a pullover sweater, shoes and socks. Next Rufus wanted his fur combed. He packed his backpack for the trip to Valle Crucis Elementary School and the University. Jakob got a map and traced Rufus's travels all around the USA. Rufus is quite an ambassador! Lots in store for Jakob and Rufus tomorrow. Jakob and Rufus both had high blood sugar at bedtime, but their pumps will fix that. Looks like Mom is getting up tonight to test them both. Goodnight Jakob! Goodnight Rufus!

February 5, 2002 Tuesday
Rufus goes to Valle Crucis Elementary School! He meets all 19 children in Jakob's 5th grade class. Jakob and Rufus entertain the class with tales of Rufus' travels. Rufus especialy liked meeting all the real animals in Mr. Miller's classroom. Rufus was worn out from his travels and fell asleep during PE, but he woke up in time to go to the After School Program. Jakob's sister picked Rufus and Jakob up early. They were so excited. They went home, got snacks and played legos until dinner. After dinner, it was time for Rufus to go on campus. Jakob helped Rufus gather his diabetic supplies and put them in Rufus' backpack. Jakob reminded him that he had packed glucose in his backpack, too. Mom cautioned Rufus about appropriate behavior and Rufus agreed to behave. After all, he was an ambassador bear. So, Rufus headed off with Jakob's sister, Meghan, to the campus of Appalachian State University to hear a Russian piano recital. He was going to be the BBOC after all!

Meghan writes: I was a little concerned-taking Rufus out on a school night and all, but it was worth it. Rufus went with us to see the Russian pianist Bair Shagdaron. The concert was phenomenal. We sat in the front with the Russians (Dr. Roytman, Dr Krosnova, Tatyana) and listened to Bach and Scriabin. Rufus was very well behaved and stayed quiet and attentive during the performance. Afterwards we had a conversation with the Russians and Rufus showed them his journal. Because it was a special night, we went out for coffee and hot chocolate, then home to bed. Good night, Rufus! (written in Russian)

February 6, 2002 Wednesday
SNOW DAY! School's out at 11:30 am! Jakob and Rufus get picked up early from school and funtime begins. Rufus's blood sugar is high and Jakob's is low. Jakob takes care of himself and Rufus. They enjoy legos, watching TV, and reading. Rufus is glad to have an easy day and lies in the recliner. There is snow on the ground and there will be no school tomorrow. Jakob and Rufus plan on calling friends tomorrow and going sledding.

February 8, 2002 Friday
Jakob and Rufus are glad it is almost the weekend! We all go out to dinner. Rufus and Jakob pick out their own food at the resteraunt's food bar. They carefully count their carbs and figure out the bolus. With the pump there is a lot more food flexibility and Jakob is able to make his own decisons. After dinner, they pick out a movie and lie on the couch. The weather for Saturday sounds good, so Rufus is going to be a tourist!

February 9, 2002 Saturday
We all get up early and plan the day. Rufus and Jakob go to the campus of Appalachian State University in Boone. They have a great time on campus and stop to pose for pictures. We stop at the campus bookstore to get a pin for Rufus' backpack. Jakob tells the clerks about Rufus's travels, he tells them about diabetes and shows his pump. When we leave, Jakob says, "we educated two more people who can work for the cure". At this point in his life, he is very public about diabetes. Our family philosophy is: Everytime one of us tells the diabetes story, we've educated one more person who can work for the cure.

After the campus tour, we drive off to Valle Crucis. Jakob and Rufus stop at the school and together ring the old fashioned school bell. Then it's next door to the historic Mast Store. Rufus loves the old time store and buys a diet Coke! We continue on the Grandfather Mountain. Jakob and Rufus get nervous as we drive higher and higher. The view is wonderful and we soon arrive at the the Mile High Swinging Bridge. Jakob puts Rufus in his backpack and takes him to the bridge. He lets Rufus out for only a few minutes and holds on to him tightly. They are on the most rugged mountain in Eastern America! And on the highest suspension footbrige in America! Rufus admits he is scared, so Jakob puts him in the bakcpack and zips him in-only his head sticks out! Rufus feels safe now! We take Rufus hiking on the mountain. We hike two small trails, climbing over rocks, snow and a little ice. Rufus wonders what the funny music is. We tell Rufus that the music is the wind striking the metal on the mile high bridge and it makes a pipelike noise. After five hours on the mountain, even Rufus admits he is tired. Rufus and Jakob have excellent blood sugars all day. We used the temporary basal rates on the pump, and had no lows! We leave the mountain and stop for ice cream at McDonalds. Rufus and Jakob are very happy, today was a great day.

February 10, 2002 Sunday Rufus goes to church, but is very shy. He climbed out of the backpack and sat quietly in the pew for a little while. Then he climbed back into the backpack to hide. We think the number of people scared him. Rufus went to the church youth group with Jakob and just looked at the kids from the backpack. It was one of those days, when he just didn't want to tell his story. Jakob said, he has days like that, too.

February 11, 2002 Monday Last night was one of those diabetes nights when nothing goes right. Jakob went to bed with a normal blood glucose number. At 12:30 am he is over 300, so we correct and at 3 am he is 48. We get a box of juice and tell him to drink fast! Rufus peeks out from under the covers, he has seen this scenario many times since he began his travels. Rufus stays up and keep an eye on Jakob, until his blood glucose returns to normal. Then he snuggles up to Jakob and they go back to sleep.

February 12, 2002 Tuesday Rufus goes to work with Mom. He sits on the desk and watches her work. Rufus meets some of the staff and tells his story. He lets them read his journal. They were amazed that Rufus was traveling so far and all alone! Rufus smiles, he has educated some more people about diabetes! One of the techs puts an angel on his backpack to watch over him!

A couple of weeks agos, Jakob wore the new CGM (continuous glucose monitor) for three days. It was alot like a pump. We are anxious to get the results, so that we can set his basal rates better at night. We hope to hear today. We sure could use a good night.

February 14, 2002 Valentine's Day Rufus and Jakob make a cake for Valentine's Day. They put frosting, red sprinkles and hearts on top! ("Not too much frosting!" said Rufus.) Jakob has cake batter all over the kitchen counter, stove and wall! We rarely bake a cake, so it was a great adventure. Before the pump, cake was almost impossible...

February 15, 2002 Friday The application for diabetes camp arrives. We know we must fill it out immediately, and send it in, to get on the list. Jakob has been to camp three times, once each summer since his diagnosis. It is the highlight of his summer. A whole week away from home; hanging out with the boys, sleeping in a cabin, and no family to tell him what to do! We recommend camp to everyone!

February 16, 2002 Saturday
It is time to send Rufus off to the Johnson family in High Point, North Carolina! Rufus has loved the Appalachian Mountains, educated adults and children about diabetes, and was a friend to Jakob. Rufus is a friend to all, we hope to see you again, Rufus! Many thanks to Children with Diabetes for this special project!






The Testerman Family
Michael and Elaine, Meg (21), Erik (19) and Jakob (almost 11, pumping 10 months, dx 1/99)

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Copyright Notice:
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: Friday December 20, 2002 10:18:28
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