Saturday, June 20, 2009

Birthday Boating

Ahhh, where shall I begin?

Today was T-Bear’s eight birthday, and we took the boat out for a day on the lake. This trip to Lake Linear encompassed three “firsts”. Our first day on the lake this summer. Our first trip on the boat since it’s been de-winterized and “fixed” (last season ended with the boat being towed due to engine failure). And, our first significant “excursion” since T-Bear’s diagnosis.

I was a little apprehensive about this outing, but I did my homework. At T-Bear’s checkup last Friday, I talked to Dr. A about how to incorporate this sort of thing into our management routine. Later in the week, I consulted my new friends at Juvenation, the on-line T1 support community I joined recently. I whined and anxted on-line to a couple of my best friends. I ran through just about every contingency I could imagine, made my preparations, pulled myself up by my panties, and off we went.

First, let me say the kids had a BLAST. The two-seater tow raft is the best amusement ride ever dreamed up.

Brother Bear & Cuz H in tow raft

T-Bear rafting

I can tell you first-hand, because, yes, I did get in and go for a joy(-ish?) ride with T-Bear. He was grinning from ear-to-ear and laughing hysterically the entire time, alternately squealing “yippee” and “I’m gonna die!”. I was in the “control” seat which features a prominently-displayed picture of hand signals. You know, so you can signal to the driver of the boat things such as “go faster”, “go slower”, “turn right”, “turn left”, “all’s well”, and “get me out of this deathtrap”. However, there was no way in hell I was going to let go of the “oh, shit” handles long enough to signal a damn thing to Papa Bear, our driver. And, I was laughing the entire time, reveling in the sheer joy plastered all over T-Bear’s face the entire ride. I’m sure I’ll be visiting the chiropractor tomorrow.

T-Bear enjoying the speed

Angel Bear hangin' on
We had some nice swim time.

Brother Bear snorkling
Mom: What do you see down there?
Brother Bear: Mud.

Papa Bear had some fishing time, and, of course, loves being at the helm.

T-Bear took a turn at the helm, as well.

Well, okay, not really.

On our way back to the launching area, the boat died. Really. Entirely. Couldn’t get it started at all, no matter what. So, we called TowBoatUS for a tow back to the launch (Papa Bear wisely joined this service last year, which is sort of like AAA for boats, so our tow was free). Took about an hour for them to get to us, but a very nice Bubba with a boat that works came and hitched us up and towed us back to the launch. We hand-mounted the boat onto the trailer, and off we went home.

And here, she is, parked in the driveway. Oh, yeah, no she isn’t. Did I mention that on the drive home, one of the tires blew on the boat trailer? We pulled off, unloaded everything off the boat into the truck, unhitched, and left her sitting on the side of the highway. Papa Bear’s going to pick up a spare tire tomorrow, go back out to wherever we left the boat, pop on the new tire, and bring ‘er home. Maybe.

A few things we learned today.

1. Yes, we can have an all-day excursion, including lots of physical activity and unplanned glitches, and with amped-up monitoring and plenty of snacks, T-Bear’s numbers can be kept under control.

2. During the honeymoon phase (the first 6 to 12 months after diagnosis), the pancreas is still producing enough insulin on its own, you can cut way back on injections during times of high activity, and still not go too high. (After honeymoon phase, the pancreas shuts down insulin production entirely).

3. It’s probably not a good idea to get the tow line wrapped up in the boat motor. It snaps the rope, and makes the engine unhappy.

4. It’s probably a good idea to pull the anchor up before you take off. It slows down the boat, and when the rope gets wrapped around the boat motor, it makes the engine unhappy.

Up tomorrow - Birthday Party!


  1. Wow. You passed this one with flying colors!

  2. Oh no!! (I'm sorry: I'm laughing!) Poor boat. That looks like a FANTASTIC outing, though, and I'm jealous. :) What a blast. And, big pats on the back for handling T-bear's needs so well!