Category Archives: Sports

Take a deep breath!

One of my New Year’s Resolutions is to “pick myself up, dust myself off and start all over again“!!  I decided that in order to do that, I first needed to tell you why I’ve been off the grid for a while and why I need to take a deep breath, pick myself up, dust myself off and start writing all over again!

On August 31, 2011, my husband and I went to bed together, as we have done for the last 45 years.  We watched the 11:00 news and went to sleep.  At 4:00 am, my husband screamed and I presumed he was having a nightmare and tried to wake him.  After calling his name twice and shaking him with no response.  I got up to turn the light on  and when I got back to Bob, his eyes were open, his arms were crossed in front of him and he was as stiff as a rock and convulsing.  I went to grab the cordless phone and, of course, it was not in it’s cradle…I ran downstairs to the kitchen and, of course, that phone was also not where it was supposed to be.  On my 3rd trip up and down our stairs, it finally dawned on me that I could use my cell phone to call for help!

I can tell you that from the moment I was first awakened to Bob’s screams, until the paramedics arrived, was probably the longest 20 minutes of my life.  Our bedroom overlooks the road the paramedics came down to get to our house and while they were doing their best to keep me calm and help me, help Bob by phone, I can tell you that seeing the lights of the fire engines coming down our street was one of the biggest reliefs I have ever felt.

I put our 2 dogs in the bathroom and left Bob’s side to run down to open the door.  When they arrived, there were 4 paramedics and while they were tending to Bob I called our youngest son who lives 2 miles away.   Just as the paramedics had loaded Bob in the ambulance my son came around the corner, I jumped in the car with him and we followed the ambulance to the hospital.  Within 10 minutes our oldest son was in the emergency room with us, Bob was alert, scared and wanting to know what was going on and why he was here and we were waiting for the ER doctor to complete her evaluation and tell us what had happened.

Within 2 hours of arriving, we were told that Bob had a mass on his brain.   He was admitted and we waited until almost 5 o’clock that afternoon before the neurosurgeon arrived and told us his recommended plan of attack.  Because Bob had been taking 1 baby aspirin a day, the surgeon recommended that Bob wait 1 week, stop taking the aspirin and be put on anti seizure drugs and steroids to help harden his brain a little and surgery to remove the mass would be scheduled a week later.  He could stay in the hospital and wait or he could go home…the decision was ours.   Laying in a hospital bed for a week waiting, would have seemed like an eternity, and as long as Bob was not left alone, didn’t drive and took it easy, going home was the obvious choice.

Surgery removed a tumor about the size of a lemon from the right front portion of his brain.  He spent 10 days in the hospital, but was doing incredibly well considering what he and his brain had been through.   He came home from the hospital walking with the aid of a walker.  His memory was better than mine!  (When one of the therapists asked him to recite the alphabet, he recited the Greek alphabet to her, just to shake her up!)  The surgeon said that due to the size of the tumor, and how now, as the swelling subsides, the brain has to work it’s way back from the left to the right side, that Bob will be having a lot of right brain/left brain issues but he will improve.

When the pathology report came back, Bob’s tumor was described as a Class II, which has a higher risk of returning that originally thought so radiation therapy was recommended.  So for the next 6 weeks, 5 days a week we went for radiation treatments and 3 of those days a week, we went for physical therapy as well.  The radiation has made him very tired and he has a crazy mohawk hairdo, but he is walking without even a cane!

We have even made two trips up to Stockton to watch our grandson play some college baseball

and we celebrated the end of radiation by going to Lake Havasu in our motorhome with our youngest son and his family to spend Thanksgiving week as we have done for the last 9 years, camping and fishing!

Because of the seizure, his driver’s license was suspended and that continues to be his biggest issue.  HE HATES ME DRIVING HIM EVERYWHERE!!!  But he recently had an EEG and the results show no seizure spikes, so if he remains seizure free for another month, the doctor will complete paperwork to get his license back.

I have found out that many of the changes I have seen in him over the last couple of years, are most likely due to the tumor and not retirement, as I thought!!

I have learned to do many things that I just counted on Bob to take care of before…paying the bills, mowing our lawn, cleaning our pool, and driving the motor home, just to name a few!!   Things will never be as they were, but they are starting to get back to some new form of normalcy as we enter a new chapter in our lives.    The things that we can still do, we need to do…that is why I need to get back to doing some of the things I did bt (before tumor).   We don’t know what the future has in store for us, but we do know that we are going to make the most of every day!

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Filed under Baseball, Brain Tumor, Grandchildren, Sports, Uncategorized

Sister’s Tender Moment!

This was a very big week for our family.  Our first grandchild graduated from high school yesterday.  He graduated with honors,  an academic scholarship and an athletic scholarship to play baseball for the college that was his Number One Choice!   He did this with NO HELP FROM DIABETES OR CELIAC DISEASE!

His parents were having a graduation party at one of his favorite Mexican Restaurants and my grand daughter (his little sister) called me and asked if I would help her make a cake for the occasion!  No brainer, of course I would love to help!

Mind you, most of the time, the two of them can not stand to be in the same room with each other!!  She says  “He gets all the attention….it’s always about him” . He is always teasing her and says “She is so spoiled, she gets whatever she wants” and so on and so on!  You know, that whole sibling rivalry thing!!

So anyway, she comes over and begins to tell me what she wants to make for her big brother.  And she melts my heart!

You see, he has not been able to eat cake like everyone else since he was 11 years old and in addition to his Type 1 diabetes, was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.   Whenever we have birthdays or other events where cake is served we alway make sure he has a gluten free cupcake or some other gluten free dessert.  But because this is a really special day for him…his sister wants to make him the gluten free cake and make regular cupcakes for everyone else!!  Oh, and not just any old gluten free cake but a 4 tiered gluten free cake!!   I am choking back the tears by now!  At that moment, I couldn’t be more proud of her!  What a very special grand daughter I have!

The day of the graduation party was also our third grandchild’s birthday and she wanted to make sure she made him something as well.  So after I pick all of them up from their respective schools,  I take her and our 2 younger grandsons to the cake decorating store and we pick out decorations for her “vision”  and our birthday boy picks out what he wants on his special cupcake!!   She and I then spend the evening baking all four gluten free cakes and we bake 18 regular cupcakes.  She has heard that it’s easier to frost if we freeze the cakes first…after the last of the four cakes has cooled we put them in the freezer at about 11pm and we head off to bed!  (She’s spending the night because she has no school the next day and wants to get an early start to the decorating!)

So up we get and one by one we remove the layers from the freezer and frost them and stack them on top of each other!  Then the cupcakes are frosted and a little frosting is put on the bottom of the wrappers so they stay secured to where she puts them.   Finally…she is ready to add the decorations that took her over an hour to pick out!

I’ll let you decide for yourself…But I doubt that anyone would be able to buy a more beautiful graduation cake or a cake made with more love than this one (let alone a gluten free one)!!

This Grandmother is so very proud of all of her grandchildren.  Being a grandma is the best thing in the whole world!

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Filed under Baseball, Grandchildren, Sports

Breath Test for Diabetes

Blog post #2 

Dear Dr. Galassetti,

Back in 2008, my grandson participated in studies you were conducting at UCI Medical Center.  That research was being done in hopes of eliminating skin punctures for people with diabetes.

As you know, our loved ones, who have diabetes have to test their blood sugars 5 to 10 times a day by pricking their fingers.  You believed that you had the answer to making that process less painful.  This method of measuring blood sugar levels would be one more step in making life just a little easier for them while they wait for their cure.

You collected breath samples from young diabetic athletes while blood sugar levels were high and again as levels fell after insulin was administered. Using a technique developed to test air pollution, you and your researchers detected high concentrations of methyl nitrate — a byproduct of the damage to body tissue — when blood sugar levels are too high and as the blood sugar was corrected, the methyl nitrate levels in their breath went down.

Your technology would allow all people with diabetes to be able to test their blood sugar levels by breathing into a device rather than having to draw blood!  You were encouraged by your results.  But you also said it may take up to 10 years to bring this to market.  UGH!!

Please let us know where you are at in this exciting technology and also let us know if there is anything we can do to help bring it to market and made available for our loved ones!  Do we need to give the FDA another push?  We are getting pretty good at that!  Last month we (JDRF and DOC Advocates) banded together and successfully convinced congress to sign a letter to the FDA urging them to approve outpatient testing of the Artificial Pancreas as quickly as possible!  We’re hoping that out patient testing of the Artificial Pancreas will start this summer!

While certainly not a cure, your device would make the wait for a cure just a little easier and perhaps convince people to test more often.  Just think…   No more test strips!  No more Lancets!  No more calloused fingers!  No more punctures!

Thank you,

Type 1 Advocate Gramma

If you would like to see the short video telling about that research testing, which(by the way) features my grandson, along with bit parts from my grand daughter, son and daughter-in-law..please follow this link.

Breath Test For Diabetes

I’m sorry I can’t figure out how to bypass the advertisements…but it is only 15 seconds and then goes to the feature.

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Filed under Baseball, D-Blog Week, Grandchildren, New Technology, Sports

The Scent of Baseball

My favorite sport, without a doubt, is BASEBALL.  As a young girl I played softball  from the time I was 8 all the way thru high school.  I would have played baseball if they would have allowed girls to play back then!!   I knew all the major league baseball players and their stats!  My husband played Varsity baseball for our high school.  We have 2 sons and they both learned to throw a baseball before they learned to walk!  My husband coached both of them from their first year of little league until they got to high school.  Both of our boys played 4 years of high school baseball and our oldest played 4 more years of college ball!  My favorite major league team is the ANGELS!!

And now our  3 grandson’s play baseball!!  Our 2 youngest grandson’s are in their 2nd and 3rd years of Little League and our oldest grandson (and  reason for our passion to find a cure ) is now a senior playing varsity baseball for his high school and will be going away to college next year on a baseball scholarship!!

In celebration of the beginning of a new season of major league baseball, I’d like to share a poem  my grandson wrote a few years ago.

THE SCENT OF BASEBALL

Baseball, baseball everywhere

The scent of it is in the air.

Base runners are caught stealing,

While Pete Rose is caught dealing.

Outfielders sprinting and infielders diving.

George Steinbrenner’s Yankees are still thriving.

The players on steroids, the GM pays no attention.

While athletes in other sports earn a lifetime suspension.

The umpires blow easy calls,

while Manny Ramirez trips and falls.

Players get  hurt, managers get hired,

Will Bud Selig ever get fired?

Extra inning games, the diehards stay til the end.

The Seattle Mariners start their loosing trend .

New stadiums built, the old ones thrown away.

The Angels wish their old name would stay.

Forgotten Red Sox rot in AAA Pawtucket,

The away team batters are stepping in the bucket.

Players get ejected, fights break out,

Benches clear and the fans give a shout.

Curses are broken, new one start.

Managers go back to look at their depth chart.

The end of the season, March around the bend,

Managers gear up with more money to spend!

GO ANGELS!

Baseball, however, is NOT my granddaughters favorite sport!!  She loves hockey and especially the LA Kings!  But we’ll keep working on her!!  In the meantime…Go Brayden!!

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Filed under Baseball, Grandchildren, Sports