Friday, May 30, 2008

On the Health of a Small Boy

Jamie's severe stomach pains have continued unabated, so he has had several trips to the ER with pains so bad he curls up in a ball on the floor screaming. The last time I took him in, I took him to an ER with a separate pediatric ward attended by pediactric ER doctors. After poking around on his stomach, she ordered a whole bunch of tests including lots of blood work. The blood work would take several days to complete, so my regular pediatrician would have to call with the results.

The ER doc also said that Jamie MUST be taken off his ADHD medicine for the entire summer, as sometimes it can cause stomach problems. This is true for two reasons; one, the medicine itself can sometimes irritate the stomach, and two, the medicine kills the appetite, which means the stomach has much less food in it to digest, thereby creating an issue with the stomach lining. Also, she told me to put Jamie on a completely dairy-free diet. Apparently, milk proteins have been shown to amplify one's sensitivity to allergens. It is now recommended for kids who have as many allergies and as severe as Jamie has to remove dairy completely. Also, the tendency dairy has to constipate is not good for someone like Jamie who has had stomach issues of one sort or another since birth. Do you realize how hard it is to find food without any dairy in it at all? Bread has milk (whey) in it; breaded chicken has milk in it. I thought it was hard to find food with no nuts or peanuts in it, but I'm realizing now it's 10 times harder to find food with no milk whatsoever. Lactose-free isn't good enough because it still has the milk proteins in it.

And as for Jamie's blood work, it came back positive for H. pylori, a nasty little bacteria that causes peptic ulcers and can lead to other grim diagnoses. It's corkscrew shaped, and burrows down through the mucus layer of the stomach to the lining itself. It then can burrow (eventually) all the way through the stomach wall, causing a rupture if left untreated. But the treatment is as bad as the problem. It's a two week (or longer) course of two or three types of antibiotics, plus several different types of medicine to coat the stomach. One site said this involves up to 20 different pills a day! YIKES! And apparently it has some nasty side effects - diarrhea, vomiting, weakness, fever, sweats. The site also said that, depending on the age of the patient and the severity of the infestation, treatment may have to be conducted as an in-patient in the hospital.

Just what his treatment will entail we'll have to find out from his pediatric gastroenterologist. We'll be going down there next month. We can't go any sooner, because apparently he's out of the country. So please, pray, send good vibes/karma, thoughts, whatever positivity you can, to Jamie!

* * *

One other thing. Jamie had to miss tryouts for the super competitive soccer team because he was in the ER. Once I told the coach, he said Jamie could come to the team's practices and he would evaluate him then. I got word this past Monday that Jamie made the team! Go, Jamie!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

I've Been Tagged!

Ack! Steph tagged me to do a Meme! My only question is, how on Earth can I come up with only five weird things about myself? Luckily, I think I've done this Meme before, so I have to come up with five new ones (so does that technically mean this is really a continuation of the last one, and therefore really a Meme on the 10 weirdest things about me?) Here goes:

1. I am a walking dictionary and grammar primer. I may not know why a particular sentence structure is correct (I never paid attention to the meanings of the objective case, split infinitives, etc. etc.), but I can merely look at a sentence and know if it's correct or not. Same with spelling. I may have never heard the word before, but I know when it's misspelled. My boss regularly relies on my spelling and grammar skills - going so far as to call me "the resident grammarian" in the business.

2. I used to regularly write poetry and short stories. In fact, I had notebooks I would fill in a matter of days. However, since Jamie came along, I have had no time to write, and my muse has left me (except for the occassional odd spurt of frantic writing). Now that I think about this, I suspect this is not weird at all, merely the byproduct of having a child and being a single parent.

3. I read obsessively. I cannot put a book down until I have either finished it in one sitting or literally fall asleep with the book in my hands. I typically read anywhere from five to seven books a week for pleasure in addition to books I read as assignments for school and manuals I read for work. If I go more than a couple days without reading something for pleasure, I go through book withdrawal and become very grouchy.

4. I almost named my son "Jareth" after a character from my favorite movie. The only reason why he wasn't named that was because his actual name flowed so much better with the family name I had already picked out for his middle name.

5. Unlike Roy, I absolutely luuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrvvvvvvvvvvvvveeeeeeeee pickles, especially dill pickles. I really like them with salt on them, because it makes them taste more sour. I love pickles so much that, as a child, when I would go to the photographer's to get my picture taken and they would ask me to say "Cheese," I'd shake my head "no" at them. They then would ask me what I wanted to say, and I'd grin and say "pickllllllllllllleeeeeeeeessssssss" instead.

There! I did it! I have other things to blog about here soon, including updates on Jamie's health and grades; for right now, though, this Meme is all I've had time for. I promise I'll update you all on the state of affairs down here soon.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Sociology on the Brain

Since changing my degree program to a B.S. in Sociology, I have had to cram my schedule full of all sorts of major program requirements. One thing that may (or may not) lead me to go batshit insane (yes, I stole that from you, Suze) is the fact that this fall I will be taking four - count 'em, FOUR - sociology classes; three of them are advanced classes. I'm loving me some Sociology, but I'm not sure if I'm loving it all THAT much. So, if halfway through the semester I start spouting off sentencing concerning basic sociological theories, racial/ethnic studies, population theories and analyzing sociological research data, you'll know I've officially lost it and it's time to call the funny farm to come get me.

However, since those classes won't start until August, and summer classes won't start for another couple of weeks, in the mean time, I'll get ready to settle down with some good reads. Some new books coming out in the next few months I'm excited about reading are:

Blood Noir - Laurell K. Hamilton (Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter series)

Brisingr - Christopher Paolini (Inheritance, Book 3)

Breaking Dawn - Stephenie Meyer (Twilight, Book 4)

Dragon Wytch - Yasmine Galenorn (Sisters of the Moon, Book 4)

Pride - Rachel Vincent (Werecats, Book 3)

As you can see, my reading preferences right now are heavy on the fantasy-in-the-modern-world theme. For me, these books are fun, fast reads that let me slip off somewhere far, far from my mundane life. They're a nice change from all the heavy reading I'll be doing later this fall, as well as the heavy studying I'll be doing this summer (classes in Spanish, Math and Speech). So, that's what I'm up to these days. What about you guys?

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Hey, Indiana Jones Fans!

I have always loved the Indiana Jones movies. What's not to love? Anyway, with much delight and out-loud guffaws (that almost got me in serious trouble with the bossman) I found this post on another blog. I have a feeling I'll be visiting this site very often!

Monday, May 12, 2008

16 Horsepower

So my brother sent me this link to a video on YouTube. All I can say is "WOW!" and why did I never listen to this before? These guys are fantastic, and there are tons of their videos and live concerts on YouTube. Thanks, Joel! I definitely think I'm going to see if I can find any of their CDs and buy them. Here's another one of their videos:

In other news, Jamie only has about three or four weeks of school left (yay!). I also got all my grades back, and have again managed to scrape together straight A's. Yay, me! Seriously, though, I think the pressure I put on myself to get such good grades is killing brain cells. I definitely feel the brain drain after a semester of school is over. Oh, well, it won't last forever.

Hugs to you all!

Friday, May 02, 2008

LASIK dreams

So, I've been contemplating LASIK surgery on my eyes for a while now. Not because I'm vain and hate the way I look in glasses. Nope, I actually kinda like 'em. It's just that I have this terrible habit of losing them all the time. Take today for instance, I woke up this morning and got ready for work like I usually do - except for one thing. I could not find my glasses. I was even a few minutes late to work (a cardinal sin in my boss' eyes) because I couldn't find the darn things. So, when I realized what time it was, I had to go to work without my glasses. In fact, I had to drive to work without my glasses. Something I'm not supposed to do. See, I have NO depth perception whatsoever without my glasses on. I can see just fine (well, sort of. I can see to read and walk around and all, it's just that pesky double vision that comes from astigmatism that trips me up - and it is also partly the reason why I have no depth perception). So, anyway, I drove to work with no glasses, then had to sit and type and stare at a computer monitor all day. (Did I mention the bitch of a headache I had when I got home?)

Now, losing my glasses is not an unusual occurrence for me. I've found my glasses in Jamie's bookbag (don't ask me how they got there), on the back of the toilet, under my bed, on the floor between the wall and the arm of the couch, and all sorts of other lovely places you would never expect glasses that are worn every day all day to be. But that's where they wind up. And I can't even blame it on the kids. Nope, it's me. I do it. I get so wrapped up in what I have to do next that I don't really pay attention to what's going on in the here-and-now. And then I lose my glasses.

Like yesterday, we had some unusual occurences. The pipes in the house backed up. All of them. So, we had air bubbles gurgling up through the toilets. Bath water and sink water would not drain. The house smelled like a sewer. So, at 10 p.m., I had to call the realtor to send out a plumber. The plumber came and ran a very long pipe snake through all the pipes in the house. Which made a . lot. of. noise. Jamie was freaked out, the dog was barking like mad, and I was freaking out from visions of what happened last time I had pipe troubles. (Remember my stories of raw sewage in the first apartment I lived in in San Antonio?) So, to help calm Jamie down, I went and cuddled with him and Ziggy while the plumber did his stuff. No big deal. After midnight, the plumber was finally all done, Jamie was still awake, the dog was a nervous wreck, and I was so tired I was swaying on my feet.

This morning, I let Jamie stay home and get some sleep. I knew he would be no good at school today on as little sleep as he got. But I still did not know where my glasses were. I even offered Jamie $5 if he found them for me while I was at work! No such luck.

So, just a few minutes ago, I was retracing all my steps from yesterday when I walked into Jamie's room. Guess where my glasses were.... on top of Jamie's stereo. I never even looked there this morning. That is not where I typically leave my glasses. Usually it's on a bookshelf, or in my purse, or even hooked on the key ring holder by the front door. Yep, I think I need LASIK. At least that would give me one less thing to try to keep track of!