Back to Rufus Rufus Visits the Nielsen Family

December 1, 2002
Today Rufus enjoyed the first day of December in Copenhagen. He saw that all Danish families have a Christmas candle. It has the numbers of 1-24 on it, 24 in the bottom. Every day during December one number is burned down as a countdown to Christmas.

Rufus was on a short sightseeing in the center of Copenhagen before leaving for the airport, where he was taking the plane to the island of Bornholm, right between Sweden and Germany, but still belonging to Denmark! Bornholm has 45,000 inhabitants. Three of these are Rufus' family the next few weeks -- Inger (mom), Mogens (dad), and Anja (IDYA - 18 years old, dx'd July '99).

December 2, 2002
Rufus experiences for the first time a Danish "gymnasium", the school which is grade 10-12 in Denmark. The girls in my class thought Rufus was very cute - and never knew that diabetics can do shots in the upper arms and near the hips, so Rufus was able to teach them about diabetes!

During one of the lessons, Rufus felt low, so he tested in the classroom without the other students or teacher commenting it; they are all used to see the tiny drop of blood. Rufus had some juice by his desk to get his sugar up. The Danish teacher is very understanding, since her sister was diagnosed with diabetes about 60 years ago and had to use huge syringes to inject her insulin.

December 6, 2002
Rufus enjoyed sitting at the table belonging to my class during the breaks. He is popular at school! It was the annual day, where all students get information on further education. Rufus went to hear a medical student talk about his life as a student, what it's like to move away from his parents and to see his first surgery! Rufus thinks it would be cool to be a doctor and help people. In the evening he celebrated Inger's 53rd birthday and met some of the family. They talked about the diabetes conference next year and the IDYA program. Advocacy is not ordinary in Denmark, so everyone is impressed with the work Rufus, people at CWD and many other families do.

December 11, 2002
Today Rufus went to the school Chemistry laboratory because I am doing a school assignment on ketones found in diabetics. The task was to prove that there were ketones in a urine sample from a diabetic. Well, Rufus and I cheated because neither of us would like to develop ketones for an assignment, so we put some ketones in the sample, which we had bought.

The ketone, we diabetics develop, is called methyl acetoacetic acid and Rufus learned to draw it Chemically. Rufus didn't succeed with his experiments but had a lot of fun.

December 12, 2002
Rufus has seen that there won't be much time, if any, for Christmas shopping and baking before the paper on ketones is turned in on December 17. Today Rufus did more experiments in the lab, before he returned home and studied a Biology book to learn how and why the ketones are developed. It was very complicated but also interesting. Rufus was happy to learn even more about how his body works! He is prepared to spend 5 more days in front of the computer to help finish the assignment.

December 17, 2002
Today Rufus was surrounded by happy students, who had turned in their assignments. They were all celebrating that they now had Christmas break on a cafe drinking hot chocolate with whipped cream!

Tomorrow Rufus is going Christmas shopping and will meet my sister, who studies to be a pharmacist in Copenhagen. She'll be home to celebrate Christmas and bake cookies! Rufus can't wait.

December 24, 2002
The past few days have been really exciting for Rufus. On the 22nd he was in the forest, helping the whole family to find just the right Christmas tree. On the 23rd he had "risengr°d", a traditional Danish porridge of milk and rice with cinnamon on top of it. Rufus loved it! Danes celebrate Christmas on the 24th in the evening. He had duck, white and brown (sugarcoated) potatoes and red cabbage. The dessert was ris a la mande, which is risengr°d with almonds and whipped cream served with cherries. Afterwards the whole family sang Christmas carols while going around the Christmas tree. Because he was the youngest, he was "Santa Claus" and gave the presents to the receivers.

He will now be traveling to Germany for the rest of the holidays. Safe journey, Rufus!

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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 March 14, 2003 16:37:44
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