Friday, September 30, 2011

Tests--The Medical Kind

At the end of the summer, I called to schedule a doctor's appointment for the Boy because I was concerned about his limited weight gain over the couple of years. He has always been small--at the bottom of the height chart and in the negative percentiles for weight. Hubby and I were both small, scrawny kids, but the Boy is truly tiny. He has gotten taller, but he still weighs about 38 or 39 pounds, and he is 8.5 years old. So we figured it was time to make sure nothing was wrong.

When we saw the doctor (our first time with her since his regular pediatrician retired), she said that he definitely should be tested. She ordered bloodwork to screen for a number of things: thyroid issues, anemia, diabetes, celiac, and maybe some other things.

The good news is that all but one of the tests came back with normal results. The one that didn't? Celiac. He received a positive result on one of the four anti-body tests that make up the celiac panel. Our next step is to meet with the pediatric GI specialist and the nutritionist who works with him. I'm not sure what he'll say. Based on brief research and info from others (thanks LKL!--I'd hotlink you here but the i-Pad won't let me), I'm guessing he will either recommend a biopsy or tell us to wait three months and be re-tested. Hubby is inclined to pushnfor the biopsy so we can get answers sooner rather than later. Although I don't like the idea of anesthetizing the Boy, I certainly do want to know if gluten is making my son starve.Cutting out gluten would be hard, but that loaf of bread is much less appealing when I wonder if it's hurting my child. (Interestingly, I, myself, have always had GI troubles--ever since I was a kid. Hmmm.)

So. We'll see. We have to drive to Santa Barbara to see the specialist, so I'm thinking we'll make a day of it with a trip to the zoo or natural history museum. And for now, we'll keep eating gluten because it is not good to eliminate it when testing for celiac.

Anybody want a biscuit?

Sunday, September 25, 2011


The balance here at Chez GEW is, to say the least, delicate. I would imagine that it's the same way for most of you, too.

In order to teach full-time, be a good (enough) mom, and write a dissertation, every hour (nay, every minute) of every day must be put to good use. And things tend to go along fine until, well, until they don't.

Lately, there are some things going on that have helped me maintain the balance. First, I have some reassigned time at my college so my grading load is reduced. I still grade a lot (for my three classes), but it's a civilized number of papers rather than a tortuous number of papers. In addition, while one of my classes is a newish prep (first time I've taught it in years), the others are pretty well dialed (until I change them again, which is my habit).

Also, regarding the dissertation, I have been participating in Another Damned Notorious Writing Group, which is facilitated by bloggers Notorious and ADM. This group has helped me define clear, realistic weekly goals and, as a result, I've been making progress on the dissertation for the past couple of weeks. Granted, I'm going at a snail's pace, but at least I'm not at a stand still. It's been months since I've really made progress on a new section of the dissertation. It feels great. Slow and steady is good for balance, right?

But a few things are threatening the delicate balance. First, there has been dental work going on. I've had a few appointments to get a crown, and the Boy received his first filling last Tuesday morning and will receive his second this coming Tuesday morning (which means that, instead of being at work early, I will be by his side). Fortunately, these fillings are in baby teeth, so there is no permanent concern. Floss, baby, floss!

Then, last Wednesday evening, the Boy came down with a high fever. I spent from 3:00am onward up with him. The balance was threatened, and I was sleep deprived for a day, but, fortunately, he recovered after about 24 hours and we carried on with the week. Just a slight wobble.

In addition, we've been making some changes in the Girl's schedule. For the past year, she has been doing gymnastics, but now she is switching (it seems) to dance. We are trying out classes, working on new schedules, and seeing how things go. I'm also trying to figure out how to get her back into horse riding lessons now that her previous teacher is 40 minutes away and we just can't make that commute during the school year.

This weekend, we had a great time but we were booked out with playdates, a sleepover, and a birthday party for a cousin. As a result, it's now Sunday night, and I will be up very late grading essays and preparing for tomorrow's classes.

Even more significant, however, are some other health issues that we're addressing for the Boy. Those are a matter of their own, so I'll address those in a different post soon, but they might really shake the foundation. Nothing too serious mind you, but it's possible we'll be quite thrown.

For now, I'll get back to work, wobbling along with airplane arms.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Someone Was Out There

Last night, about 2:00am, I woke to the sounds of footsteps on the rocks outside of my bedroom window. Mind you, to be in that spot, someone would have to open a gate or jump the fence into the backyard. What is surprising is that neither I, nor Hubby, nor the dog, heard the interloper breaching the fence. But we all heard his footsteps outside the window (and I do assume it was a "he") at the same time. Hubby sat up, and I whispered, "Someone's out there," and just then the dog started barking.

Hubby jumped up, went to the window, and yelled, "Hey!"

The guy started running. I could hear his feet on the rocks. So then Hubby started running down the hall towards the back of the house (the children's room is in the back). The good news is that the dog sleeps in the kids' room. By the time Hubby got back there, the dog was barking, and Hubby let the dog out of his crate and into the backyard. I could hear all of this happening while I lay in my bed listening to see if I could tell which direction the guy went.

Apparently, when Hubby and the dog went outside, Hubby grabbed a big shovel, and the dog started searching.

They didn't find anything. I think the guy jumped the fence before they made it outside.

This was a strange experience. We live in a small, quiet town that is fairly safe except for occasional drug busts and vandalism sprees. I can't imagine why this dude was walking through our backyard. After a morning inspection of our "perimeter," it's clear that neither of our gates had been opened during the night, so he must have jumped the fence to get in and to get out.

What the hell was he doing?

I used to live in an apartment that was prone to this kind of activity, but that's because it was between a hotel populated by ex-cons and a spot where homeless people camped. Granted, I didn't like the fact that I sometimes had weird lurkers outside my window, but at least I understood why they were there.

This situation was especially weird because I can't imagine what he was doing. It didn't even sound like he was trying to be quiet or sneaky. And he was walking past our window, towards the front of the house by the garage, so it didn't really seem as if he was trying to get in.

Perhaps he was just drunk and taking a short cut. If so, he's lucky he didn't end up with my dog attached to his ass.

I'm so grateful for Hubby and the dog.

As for the kids, the Girl woke up when Hubby was letting the dog outside, but Hubby just told her that the dog heard something like a raccoon. We won't be telling them about the "bad guy."

No reason to alarm the children.

Friday, September 2, 2011

It's Out! It's Gone!

The article is out! O.U.T. Out!

I hope I didn't screw anything up. I was rushing because I REALLY wanted it done before heading to the office today. And I was crunched for time because I wasn't planning to have to write a cover letter, etc. And I am prone to making mistakes, so rushing is not, generally, a good thing for me.

But I will think positive and trust that's it's okay!

And now I will grab a banana and rush to school to go to a curriculum meeting!

I am very wired! Can you tell?!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

With Wine in Hand . . .

I will now commence what I hope to be the final read of my article before I send it out. And I hope to send it out tomorrow. I just printed a copy, and it looks purty.

I have an hour before back-to-school night starts, so here I go . . .