Skip to main content

Saturn Sandwich

It's a dreary day here in Houston. And somehow the dreariness has spread and infected my sweet little Zara with a virus - this morning she had a fever and just wasn't her normal, extremely perky self. Chris graciously offered to stay home with her since this is a busy week at NASA for me. 

Around 10:30 Chris called and gave me the update post-doctor visit - just a virus, no pink eye, get rest, etc. (thank goodness!). And then he said, "we're on our way to come get you - Zara has been talking non stop about 'seeing a rocket' since you left this morning." 

"What?!" I said, a little surprised - apparently Zara's inner rocket scientist comes out when she's sick. "Ok, let me know when you're close," I replied. 

My next meeting started at 11:30, so I had just a few minutes to jump in the car and head down the road to "Rocket Park". Maybe she knew I needed this tiny mental break, and that hearing her squeaky three year old voice say "rocket" and "engine" a million times would somehow put the rest of the day and week into perspective. 

"Do you remember the equation Zara?" I asked after scooping her up, referring to the Babies Love Aerospace Engineering book that she makes me read every.single.night before bed. "Fuel + oxygen + heat = ?" "GAS!!!" she exclaimed. "Hot gas shoots from the rocket!" ...yes, in the back of my mind I know she doesn't really understand all of these pieces of the equations or even what an engine really does, but it kind of just makes my heart burst hearing her innocent love of rockets. 

Can you find us? "Wow mommy, it's beautiful!" (I'm so glad you feel that way Z!)

And this picture - two generations of rocket loving women - sandwiched between the stages of the Saturn V - is the perfect motivation for this rocket scientist. 

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The road to curing Type 1 Diabetes

From the moment of diagnosis, the road is rough, the learning curve is steep and the stakes are literally life or death. The map is less-than-helpful - paths originating from virtually every corner, coalescing at a center point (aka "diagnosis") and bursting back outwards - some paths cross and wrap around each other but others are isolated. And even with all of these roads, most of the territory is uncharted - how did we all get here and how will we all exit? Where are the obstacles we haven't found yet? Which passage holds the key to unlocking the solution?

On any given day I feel pretty isolated with this disease - I'm the only T1D in my group at work, the only one in mission control, the only one in my family. I go through the logistics of calling insurance companies, ordering supplies, changing sites and troubleshooting malfunctions mostly on my own. Even those pesky carbs really only get counted in my brain, no group think for a meal bolus here. But there is b…

Critical Space Item: Handle With Extreme Care

Someday I want to open a box. The box will be neatly wrapped up with an excessive amount of packaging. Its contents will have been years in the making, and even though it won't weigh much, this small box will represent a huge step forward.


As most flight hardware begins, the space-rated closed-loop insulin delivery and monitoring device inside the box will be sterile and stark. But as the batteries whir to life and insulin is placed within, it will become an extra appendage, an external pancreas, for this Type 1 astro-hopeful. Bluetooth connections will be made and doctors, hungry for telemetry from my bionic body, will be at the ready. We will rely on each other - he on I for his very existence, and I on him for my continued existence. Together we will make up one whole, completely functioning, Type 1 Diabetic astronaut.

Admittedly, this dream feels further and further from reality. I have lived with this disease just under 20 years now, and the cure has always been "just 5 …

On 20 years with Type 1 Diabetes

I think it's finally time to hit 'publish' on this post, considering it's been sitting here for, oh you know, like 2 weeks now ;-) Sometimes I "April" about things too much (this is Chris's term), and with my dad here for Christmas I realized that it's definitely a trait passed down, haha, love you dad!


To be honest, I never thought the day would come when I would say, "I've had Type 1 Diabetes for 20 years."

20 years ago a cure was 'just on the horizon' and as an 11 year old kid I took that phrase to heart - I had to. My continued existence was based solely on whatever the endocrinologist said - pancreas, insulin, autoimmune, blood sugar, islet cells, shots. I didn't know what I didn't know at that point. I had never heard of an insulin pump or glucose meter. Ketones and hyperglycemia were just big, meaningless words. Carb ratios and counting might as well have been formulas for travelling at light speed. I wasn't ov…
01 09 10