Tag Archives: Little Ring

Hospital: the first

Dear Moms,

I am sorry I was such a sick kid. I am sorry I got whooping cough at three weeks old. I am sorry my appendix nearly burst at three years old. I am sorry about the whole diabetes diagnosis at nine years old that caused a tumult of ER runs and hospital stays. I am sorry I threw my lunches into the bushes and gave your plants my insulin doses and gorged out on chocolate under the covers of my bed, which no doubt added to those aforementioned sick-induced adventures. I am sorry I got jaundice at 11, and a near concussion at 17. I am sorry your mother’s intuition was forced to work over time for so many years just to ensure I made it through the night.

Never in my 38 years did I imagine the anguish I put you through until now.


NYE: The Sickness part 1

It is an anguish all parents go through, I am sure, but one I had yet to truly experience until recently.

On Christmas Eve Little Ring woke up with a cold. He’s had colds before, but this one was a doozy. He was lethargic; his head seemed to be in a thick fog for most of the day. Still, not a huge deal. Just a cold. On New Years Eve, he started puking. He is not a puker; I think he has puked once, maybe twice, prior. He was scared. He started screaming to scare the “fire in his belly” away. That was hard. It was the flu. Every parent has handled the flu. We could handle the flu. Two days later, his spirits were back up, his appetite was regaining steam. We thought we were in the clear. We took him sledding.


If only the squeals had stayed joyful

I will forever feel guilt for that decision.

Oh he laughed and squealed with glee. Every ride down was better than the previous. We were out for about an hour. I was getting cold. I suggested we head for hot chocolate. His steps up the hill slowed; his body slouched. It was as though he were lugging an elephant up the hill with him. I had seen this before. It was classic Little Ring style. He was tired. He was dramatic. He wanted mama to carry him the rest of the way.

We got to our hot chocolate haunt. He and Big Ring sat down with their mugs, while I talked to my favourite tea lady at the tea counter. He came over to me and declared he wanted to go home. I thought it was exhaustion. He grabbed his head and started crying.

We got home. He laid on the couch, tossing and turning, writhing in pain. He had a fever. His ear was hurting. We gave him baby Advil. I was on hold with the nurses line for over an hour. By the end of the call, his fever had dissipated and he was chewing dried apricots, which seemed to help.


With “fire in the belly” lying down was the go-to position

It was just an ear ache; parents deal with ear aches all the time. We were sure it would go away.

Mild fevers came and went for another week, but nothing too extraneous. On Jan. 7, he was nauseous, and feared the red bucket, again screaming to scare the pukes away. The next day he seemed fine. The fevers were on and off, but he generally runs hot. During the day he was eating, energetic, playing, building Lego, fighting superhero crime, cracking perfect Little Ring jokes. But at night, the ear pain continued to present itself.

We gave him baby Advil to make him comfortable. By Monday, we took him to see our bow-tie loving family doc. Dr. Nick looked in his ear, said there was some redness, but nothing overly concerning. He was loathe to prescribe antibiotics, which we were in agreement with, advising that it would likely clear up on its own and to continue prescribing baby Tylenol and Advil for comfort.

I had a long day at school Tuesdaay; I was out of the loft by 6:18 a.m. and didn’t get home until 8:15 p.m. meaning I didn’t see the boy at all. Big Ring texted that Little Ring had swelling around his ear, but wasn’t complaining of pain. He woke up at 10 p.m., crying out, his blanket over his head. His ear hurt. The swelling was significant. Behind his ear, his head was so swollen, his ear was pushing forward as thought it were Spock’s ear. It was red and tender. His lymph nodes were also swollen.

That was it.

Off to the ER we went. The first for the boy.


Dear kid, PLEASE don’t become a regular like your mama.

Nearly three hours later, we had a diagnosis. The infection was in the early stages of attacking the bone. It was mastoiditis. If left untreated, it could be serious. I didn’t know the implications. All I knew is that the doctor, who I think might very well be Royal Columbian’s version of McSteamy (and he knows it!) caused my child to cry out in pain. I know he had to do it. I know they needed to see his pain level. With my fists clenched in my pockets, the nails of my fingers digging into my hands, the feeling of wanting to jump out of my skin, it took every piece of strength I had not to attack.

My eyes shot daggers.

We were prescribed a heavy dose of antibiotics; so heavy even the pharmacist winced. I didn’t ask McSteamy about the side effects, I didn’t ask if there were any other alternatives, I heard “serious implications” and everything stopped. I just wanted my boy better. It wasn’t until I got home that I started questioning the prescription.

It’s taken my control away. It’s taken Little Ring’s control away. Neither of us like losing control.

For the first 20 years of my life, without realizing, I watched as my moms protected me. I watched her advocate for me, press the doctors  and other such medical professionals for the utmost best care, and challenge them if they didn’t give it to her standards. I watched as her face never cracked. She was calm. She was patient. She rubbed my back, never showing weakness – not in my presence, nor the doctors’. She was strong. She was fierce. She had an Elizabethan fire in her not to be stoked.

Last night, I wanted to cry.

My moms never cried.

Neither did I.


She will forever be my hero ❤

Mama and Little Ring style… postponed

So where were we? Ah right, I had just conquered a huge 10 km personal best, but still had 400 metres to go…

I’m not going to lie, it was slower. Significantly slower. And that was planned.

You see, I had a little boy waiting for me at the top of the hill, probably about 200 to 300 metres from the finish. Every race this boy has been at the finishing chute cheering for me, clapping, getting all excited to see his mama. But this time was going to be different. In my head, in my heart, (something that was not shared previously) that last 400 metres was to be dedicated to my Little Ring.

More than just a spectator.

More than just a spectator.

Little Ring has been watching me run since before birth (see picture below). He’s attended all of my races, and has accompanied me on a few of my training runs too. And at the First Half, when he spotted me coming down the finishing chute, like the other races, the smile on his face was mega watt excited, but this time it was different. The mood changed the moment I surged past. With my head still turned his way I could see the intense disappointment in him as he reached his arms out to me and started to cry out. He wanted to run. He wanted to run with me. He wanted to be a part of the finishing experience. And it was in that moment that I decided he needed to be more than just the best spectator ever.

The face that keeps me going.

Even in my belly, he was there.

And so, for this race, my plan was to run over and grab his hand and finish the race mama and Little Ring style. That was the plan. But as is the case with most toddlers, things don’t always go as planned. For the first time in Little Ring’s spectating career he was not lined along the finishing chute as I came through; nope, the boy apparently couldn’t be pulled from the playground nearby.

Even dressed in his sweats (and under his jacket, his cycling jersey) ready to run.

Even dressed in his sweats (and under his jacket, his cycling jersey) ready to run.

His racing day will see another day. As for me, it was a solo finish.


30.6: “As soon as I saw you, I knew an adventure was going to happen”


Dear Little Ring,

My sweet, sweet baby who is no longer a baby.

You are the boy who I swear went from two to two and a half in the blink of an eye.

The boy who used to let me cuddle him for hours, but who now can’t stay still for more than a second and more often than not squirms when I try to sneak in a hug or kiss. Sigh.

The boy who’s been talking for some time now, but only now has truly become a proper parrot as evidenced by your beloved copycat phrases: grody and boogers; oh my gosh; and, oh man, I try not to explode laughing when I hear it, HOLY CRACK!

The boy who is so full of thrill and adventure. “Where am I going?” is the first question you ask in the morning, and one of the last you ask before your eyes take their final flutter of the evening. On your bike, it’s down ramps, stairs, dirt piles, up slides and giant rocks that you most like to be. And at the playground, your eyes are so focussed on the big kids, so eager to do as they do. Your arm pointing, “I want to do that!” Whether it be ride the big swing, climb the ropes “to the top!” or hang from the monkey bars.


The boy who likely is one of the only two and a half year olds in North America talking about Jacque Anquetil and Eddy Merckx every day, (who sadly are currently in the hospital) along with their cycling buds Thomas Voeckler, Andy Schleck, Bradley Wiggins, Jan Ullrich, Francesco Moser, and “Cippollini!!!”

The boy who doesn’t know his mama is different, but knows her differences. You know that honey and dried apricots are part of my medicine. You know that the machine attached to me at all times, tempting as it is for you to press the buttons, is part of my medicine. You point to my blood testing tattoos, “What’s that?” you ask. And because I don’t know how to explain it in a way that you, a two and a half year old, will understand, I tell you straight up it’s my callouses. And again, with your reply, you blow me away with the incredible sponge of your knowledge, the eyes of your wisdom. You know it’s not a fun thing, you know it’s not a nice thing, you know it’s not a pleasant thing. “It hurts,” you say, as though you too have felt the lifetime of multiple daily finger stabs.

You may not feel it, but you see it, I know you see it.

“You eat your owie?”

Ah, yes, leave it to you my dear child to point out that grody little habit of mine I’ve had for oh, going on 28 years now, that no other will.

Every day you make me laugh, you lighten my world, you warm my heart. Every day you ask “You want to play with me?” And every day, today, tomorrow, an infinity number of days from now, I say yes. I will always say yes.

Forever. Love.

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.” ~ Winnie the Pooh

Ramblings of a Type-1 No. 6076

The other day after reading one of my most favourite fellow type-1’s blog posts about a recent low she had, I started reflecting on the lows of my life. This isn’t an unusual thing. I think when something out of your control renders you completely helpless to the point of holy freak that happened and I survived (yes, some have been that dramatic!) it sticks with you and is a constant reminder that no matter how well you manage your Dear Diabetes frienemy, you just never know when her evilness will underhandedly strike you down.

I’ve had some doozies over the years; some I’ve already shared, some I will never share. I’ve passed out alone in a ditch; I’ve smashed head first into the corner of a pointed glass coffee table, full weight down; I’ve woken up with my tongue a throbbing, swollen mess and the insides of my cheeks red and raw from an evening of repeatedly biting down on them; I’ve come to, more times than I can count, with my head a heavy, groggy haze, not knowing what happened, how I got to that point, where I was.

All scary, but none even close to the nightmarish middle-of-the-night low I had two and a half years ago. A memory that still shakes me to the bone.


Little Ring was an infant, probably less than two months old. My body was still adjusting to its non-pregnant state, and the breast feeding depletion of energy stores. I had been having several lows, but had kept on top of them pretty well, catching them before they got too low, eating an endless supply of fruits and peanut butter to keep me going (on top of my regular meals and snacks) and hopefully, eventually find a balance.

For the most part, Little Ring was a fantastic sleeper. But still, early on we were doing  I think one or two feedings in the middle of the night, and there were a couple of nights when I was so exhausted I fell asleep with him nuzzled on my chest. One night, around 2:30 a.m., I woke up and my heart leaped straight into my throat.

He’s not there!

I started frantically digging around the bed, pulling up the duvet, throwing my pillows (one of which is super firm and crazy heavy), tears filling my eyes.

“Where is he? Where is he?”

Big Ring woke. He didn’t know what was going on. He tried calming me. He tried smoothing my arm. I would not still. The words would not form. But the thoughts…

Had I suffocated my son?
Is he buried under my pillows?
Is he tangled in my blanket, struggling for oxygen?
Where is he?
Where is he?

He was in the bassinet soundly sleeping next to our bed. I had put him to bed hours earlier. He was never on my chest. It was a moment that lasted probably less than a minute, but a moment that cracked my heart, a crack that won’t ever be repaired.

All because of Dear Diabetes dropping down to 1.7.


8:45 a.m. BG before: 10.8
Carbs: 1 shot block
Temp. basal: -50 per cent (30′) -100 per cent (60′)
Time: 90 minutes
Distance: 14.8 km
Average pace: 6:04 min/km
BG: @30′ 4.0; @50′ 4.6
Fuel: 2.5 bottles homemade sports drink and 5 shot blocks
10:45 a.m. BG after: 7.9
Temp. basal: +110 per cent (2 hours)

It’s taper week!!! 🙂

Vancouver Eastside: a smile of a race

If my Vancouver Eastside 10k effort is any indication, I could very well be the perfect prototype for reverse psychology

For weeks leading up to this race I went through a range of emotions. I feared it, didn’t want to race it, didn’t think I’d do well. My training had suffered over the last month, I’d missed runs, or had had super crummy runs. And so, the week of, I decided I wouldn’t race it, I’d run it. No expectations. No pressure. (Or at least that’s what I kept telling myself!) Even when Coach NZ told me the day before that I’d “smash” the run, I despondently shook my head. Nah, I said, I don’t think so.

And then, the night before, with that dammed missed insulin issue, it almost solidified in my head, this was not going to be my race. I was sure I’d be spending the evening wrestling my blood sugars; not a good recipe for race-day speed.


But wait, the blood sugars shockingly didn’t go all super crazy. Yes, they were high when I finally noticed the memory blip, and yes, they required not one, but two insulin corrections to bring them down prior to bed, but they didn’t bottom out. At 3 a.m. they were 4.9 and at 5 a.m. they were 5.6. There were no interventions required; I could work with those digits.

And wait, the run was set under almost perfect conditions. In its second year, there were, I think, 1,500 runners – not over-populated, and not yet over commercialized. The morning was bright and sunny, but still cool. It was a 10 km loop, but because we were running into the blinding sun for the first half, it didn’t feel like a loop. The route had us running through some of the more under-appreciated parts of the city. An area populated with lower income and homeless people, as well as the upper echelon, it was pretty incredible and heart filling to see that mix cheering us on. I’m still blown away by it.

When I crossed over the start line, I’m not going to lie, my head was still filled with bits of misery, questioning my abilities, questioning why I was there, but with all those positives surrounding me, there really was no way those thoughts and feelings could last. The energy of the people running with me, and those watching on the sidelines either purposely or by happenstance, was a drug.

I rarely looked at my watch. I took in the sights, the buildings, the people, the old Woodwards W circulating high above, the bricks, the cobblestones, my music. I was still not intending to race.

But, step by step, the racing engines started to fire. I didn’t stop at any of the water stations, I didn’t take it easy going up the hills, if someone passed me, I didn’t over-react and chase only to burn out seconds later, but rather kept a steady, fast-twitched pace, never forgetting their face. When I approached the finishing chute and saw the bright red emblazoned numbers of 5 followed by 3 on the timing clock, I charged. Coming in, I was the autobus of the group, finishing, I was close to the sprinter’s lead out.

Chip time: 54:18!!!
Female 35-39: 29/114; All females: 198/769; All runners: 607/1731.

Holy wowzers!!! That is the fastest – official – 10 km time I have ever managed. Given the strength my muscles had at the end, I probably could have gone faster, but the thing is, I pushed myself hard enough – for me. I achieved a personal best and by golly I was SMILING doing it!

I needed that race!


8 a.m. BG before: 7.6
Carbs: 1/2c applesauce 1T PB, no bolus
Temp. basal: -50% 1 hour
Distance: 10 km
Chip Time: 54:18!!!
Average pace: 5:23 min/km
Average cadence: 88 spm
9:30 a.m. BG after: 11.1
Temp. basal: +50% 1 hour

And I was NOT the only one racing…

TWO infinity and beyond!

(This post is a couple days late…)

From this:

Just a few weeks old; but a feather in my arms.

Just a few weeks old; but a feather in my arms.

To this:

12 months: cherishing the moments.

12 months: cherishing the moments.

To this:

24 months: No time for mama's arms, too busy playing in the sand and riding your beloved bike.

24 months: No time for mama’s arms, too busy playing in the sand and riding your beloved bike.

I don’t know how it is possible you are already two; I clearly remember just yesterday being the day you were born.

So many changes the last year, heck, the last three months. Your undying love for your bike; your game of playing helmet with papsy’s helmet; your own give-mama-a-heart-attack version of Road Bike Party; your insistence on dressing up in mama’s sweaty running gear the moment she walks through the door; the new sentences exiting your mouth every day; your off-key, super loud singing (makes mama proud!); your desire to help that more often than not turns into more work for us; your recital of Don’t Let The Pigeon Stay Up Late, usually done while making a “big piece” on the potty; your go-go-goness from the moment you wake up to the moment your head hits the crib at night – all fill my heart with giddy wings of butterfly happiness.

Singing Happy Birthday with added lyrics about cake… you like cake… a lot!

Every day is better than the last because of you ❤

“For dinner on my birthday, shall I tell you what I chose? Hot noodles made from poodles on a slice of garden hose. And a rather smelly jelly made from armadillo’s toes. The jelly is delicious, but you have to hold your nose!”
~ James and the Giant Peach

21 months: I. Love. You.

Dear Female Cyclists: On behalf of the Princess/Rings family, I sincerely apologize if you were offended when my dear boy, pointed to the both of you, one after the other, excitedly waving his arm in the air as he exclaimed “Dike! Dike!” just as you were passing. He in no way was referring to what your sexual preferences may or may not be. It’s just that, well, he loves everything bike (seriously, he’s crazy obsessed!) but has yet to master the necessary ‘b’ sounds. But hey, better than calling trucks “%$&#” don’t you think!

Racing for ice cream, and already letting the girls win!

Dear Ladders, Chairs, Tables, Pretty Much Anything My Child Climbs: Please keep my boy safe, please don’t let him fall through your cracks, or off your platforms. It’s bad enough the kid wants to climb to the moon at 21 months old and give his mama heart palpitations at 35, I do NOT need full on attacks.

“Did it!”

Dear Little Knees: I understand you might be a wee bit scared of the boy you’re attached to. May I please refer you to the timeless tale of how little boys are made of snips and snails and puppy dog tails, a poem that I could surely add a stanza or two to, something along the lines of “scrapes and scratches and bloody Bandaid patches!” You’ll be happy to know, I have informed the boy that his feet go in front of one another and are not meant to be tripped over, and that his knees are probably not made for grinding into rock piles or down cement stairs. But, dear knees, I now have a favour to ask of you. Please toughen up! Seriously, that one owie of yours, the one that went right down to the whites of the bone, and was pussy all over, nearly had me hurling!

The ongoing owie.

Dear Professional Soccer Players and NHL Goalies: If you thought your diving and acting wounded skills were Oscar worthy, you haven’t seen the instant replays of Little Ring’s falls. He could show you a thing or two that would surely have the refs calling penalties on your behalf. We’re taking clients; email for pricing.

Dear Vocabulary Gods: I. Love. You. Two weeks ago, after months of hearing the boy spout everyone else’s name including a friend he had only just met minutes prior (and “Da” and “Dysha” (both Big Ring names) for over a year) you finally blessed me with the one name I have so longed for: “Mama!” And not just once, nope, mama is on repeat all day and all night. He says mama when he wakes up, he says mama when he wants me to read a story, mama when he wants to show me his bike stunts, mama, mama, mama when he can’t see me, mama when he leans in for a “tiss,” mAmmmmmmA when he doesn’t care to sleep. I love every single one of them. Now, if only we could master “I. Love. You” my heart would forever be in cloud 9.

Dear Little Ring: How on earth did you become so charming? so much a people person? an animal person? so incredibly theatrical? so obsessive?  (see dike above) so totally a flirt? so caring, loving, knowing? How on earth are you already 21 months old?

No longer a baby, not yet a big boy, just my love.

Forever my love.


“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day so I never have to live without you.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh