Thursday, October 23, 2014

Throwing Back to Pumpkins Past

I was looking back through the pictures of the kids, visiting a local pumpkin patch over the years. Hard to believe these were taken 5 years ago!

And here are a couple that are 4 years old:


and then there's this year:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Diabolical Digestion (Not for the Queasy)

So we've been struggling still with James' digestive issues. After an epic visit at the medical office, involving a horrible howling meltdown and culminating with me pinning his head and four nurses restraining him to get a blood draw (two tries, because no blood appeared on the first stick) ... James came up negative for diabetes and positive for Celiac Disease.

I cried. I won't lie. Yes, I know it's always good to know what the issue is and we are lucky that there are now so many gluten free options ... It's another blow; another 20# weight to drag around and another endless series of trial and error while hoping for improvement.

Next step was a follow up with a pediatric GI specialist. Who is based in SF. Of course. Took a couple of weeks, but I scheduled a phone appointment. Which was interesting, because he saw the results and said the positive result was for a test with a 20% false positive rate and the more reliable test showed elevated levels, but not what he considered to be positive.

So, two options: (A) Bring James in to SF for an endoscopic biopsy for a definitive answer. (B) Retest in six months with another blood test. I totally went with B.

Option A entails me losing a day of work, James a day of school, and me transporting a car sick guy (who will be crying, because he won't understand why he had to fast this morning)  and putting him under anesthesia (after waiting around, checking in, etc.), and then driving back up in commute traffic.

Also, James' dad had brought home some probiotic powder, which I put into his yogurt squeeze-ups. They seemed to have a good effect. I also bought prune juice and started spiking his other yogurt squeeze-ups. The prunes helped things start to empty out. The vomiting stopped.

Until today. There's been some very messy, extended sessions in the bathroom both at home and at school. He has had a lot of gas. Yesterday, I had to pick him up early from school, as he kept using the bathroom and then whining about not feeling good. Lots of laundry. Lots of cleaning. At the end of today he kind of purged his system from both ends, thankfully in the bathroom here at home. The only reason I can write about it now is because James' dad cleaned it up.

Good lord, I hope tomorrow is better.

Monday, September 01, 2014

Constipation Constrictions, Encore

This latest all-stop constipation episode has been coming on gradually, in spite of my upping his morning Miralax dose in milk. He's stopped eating regular meals and claims he hates food. He wants a new James. The yammying and not feeling good have been taking a toll on James and the rest of us. Getting him out of the house is a trial and involves extreme, loud melt downs that are not typical for James.

Good news is that it's not as excruciating as other occurrences. Bad news is that his bowels are plugged with matter and air and he's good only while at home. So I have been looking up home remedies. So far I've tried adding probiotics to his yogurts, trying to get him to drink more water and less milk (which is always now spiked with at least a little Miralax. Tonight I added some Magnesium Citrate to his apple juice and he actually ate half a pb&j on whole wheat bread with plum jam. The pharmacy in town gave us some lotion that contains magnesium - I rubbed some on his tummy.

Next up: adding baking soda to some water -- supposed to be good for clearing air out of the system. He'll be out tomorrow from school and his doctor is supposed to call back with results from the epically screamy blood draw last Friday. Hopefully there will not be anything new to contend with.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Paging Mrs. Peacock ...

I have a 4th grader and a 6th grader. James is in 4th grade. Not. Possible!

Oh wait, I think it's coming back to me now ....

As per our district's cluster system, James has moved across town this year to a new campus, new team, new staff (new director of special ed, new superintendent ... ) ... and some friends. Not play date or sleepover friends, but friends who call his name and make sure to say "Hi!" when they see him. He got a hug from a sweet former classmate this morning. It helps a lot.

We've had a ton of pushback at home and testing behaviours at school already. Noisy, messy, and completely nerve-wracking for us all. We've had CONSQUENCES. I think the horror of a bath and shampoo in response to the bathroom drama had the desired result and things have quieted down.

When there has been no upchucking for 2 weeks, I will celebrate, probably by going out in the  back yard and dancing under the stars to the waning symphony of summer crickets. I think I still have some Sangria in the fridge from last year ...

I should not be surprised that services and communications in the district are in such disarray, but I am. What is different is the feeling I get when trying to work with this new crew. And that, strangely enough, is "welcome!"

So yeah, good and bad, but we're all in this together. And it's looking possible to make things better, if only for those who come after. Meanwhile, I'll be lounging in the Library with Prof. Plum, my Book, and a Candle Stick (for filling out all that blessed paperwork) ...

Monday, July 21, 2014

Undone By One Piece

So James and I are now both sick with a head cold. I *finally* found a way to get him his OTC cold meds & melatonin that will help him get to sleep and rest through the night (which gives me a chance to recover too). Now I am trying to keep him from being on an electronic device all day while I limp through some chores and try to rest.

The usual good solution, working on a puzzle, resulting in a whining stint because (horrors) ONE PIECE OF THE PUZZLE IS MISSING! He's put this puzzle together many times. I have no clue where that missing piece is. The puzzle came from the Dollar Store, so it's unlikely it's still in stock.

On a whim, I Googled "Missing Puzzle Piece" and ... wowsers - multiple web pages, two with links to the jigsaw doctor, who replaces missing pieces for a fee. Um ... no.

Usually James is very good about putting his puzzles away, so I really I hope I find that blasted piece.  I will probably end up making a new piece, the way his Dad did when he obsessed over the alphabet puzzle and THE LETTER U WAS MISSING.

Meanwhile, we played the SpongeBob Memory Game until James called a break.

I so want a nap now.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Peripherally Compatible

There is something relaxing about working on my laptop in the kitchen with James perched on my right, playing Angry Birds on his iPad that's propped up on the kitchen counter. He's checking out my blog post, I'm watching him explode through levels of Angry Birds.

Music is ELO through my online music account. We're all going through the cold now, and semi sleep-deprived. But we've nowhere to go and chores have been done. Rain is dropping fitfully around the county. It's a lazy Sunday afternoon. I'm doing stuff, but there's no big hurry. My buddy's by my side and we're hanging out together.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

Sleep Deprived Morning# 2,842

Four thirty am wakeup. Augh. Colour me cranky and wilted.

Dude. You've got some
serious 'splaining to do - yarrr!
I was rousted from sleep and bed when James spilled water on his blankets, prompting howls they dry out Right. Now. Helped him rearrange his blankets and he refused melatonin, which would have helped him fall back asleep. He spent the next two hours humming & talking to himself in bed, punctuated with prolonged trips to the bathroom (that I had to get up and end when they ran past the 10-minute mark).

Past the usual time, he asked politely to play on his iPad ... which lasted twenty minutes before he started yelling at the new Angry Birds Game. Couldn't get him to stop yelling or change games. Finally took the iPad away, which resulted in a howling meltdown. HOWLING.

This is not like James. I know he is tired and fighting off a cold, but that is a distant thought when I need sleep as much as I did this morning.

Thanks, Steve!
So the way to deal with howling meltdowns recently: stay close by quietly and let him vent for a short amount of time. Talk soothingly. Let him know I hear him and get that he's frustrated and angry. Wait for him to calm a bit and then ask if I can give him a hug. Break the behaviour with a distraction, which this time was to come out and watch the video he'd gotten from the library: Blue's Clues. He had some breakfast.

James is doing much better now. He even came over and apologised twice for waking me up so early.  I am on my second pot of coffee. We're about to do the grocery shopping soon and he's looking forward to helping out. I am looking forward to a nap and an extra-happy Happy Hour this afternoon.

Epilogue: James just came over and felt my forehead, diagnosed me with the flu, and told me I should stay home from work and REST. Then danced away. Saved again by a sweet bedside manner!