Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Catching Up

I hadn't realized how long it's been since my last post about my family. So I'll take them in order:

My husband has been having palpitations that occasionally leave him dizzy. We can't seem to get the right dosage of beta-blockers to control them. So I do most of the driving. We're slowly finding triggers: caffeine is a biggie, so he's gone totally decaf.

I'm once again having sleep issues: I was taking 2 naps a day of 2-4 hours each and still falling into bed exhausted by 9:00. I've had all the blood tests, everything is in the normal range. Had a sleep study; I do not have sleep apnea. My oxygen saturation did drop to 88-89, which I find quite concerning, but apparently the Doctor doesn't; my follow-up is scheduled for September. So I live on caffeine tablets and high-octane coffee in order to accomplish anything. Makes my breasts hurt. Speaking of those girls - I had a little scare after the routine mammogram this year. Mills called back, said there was a shadow on the scan and could I come in for a repeat? They wanted to do it the next day, but my schedule was such I couldn't do it for almost a week. In that time, a gorgeous, generous little girl I know had a birthday party in which she raised money for women with "sick boobies" that went to the Mills Breast Cancer Institute and my Aunt Janet had her first chemo-therapy following a mastectomy for breast cancer. So after a thorough and painful repeat scan I was told immediately everything was fine; it was just a shadow on the original scan. Relief!

Primo is doing well enough with the Asperger's Syndrome that he no longer has to have one-on-one psychiatrist visits. He is still involved with a social skills group with Dr. K. He loves Boy Scouts; went to Camp Drake probably for the last time, though. It's his third year in a row and I don't know how much new he can do there. He had braces put on this year and must do a better job brushing!

Secunda is wise beyond her years and I may rely on her too much. We're coming to the end of the Humatrope; her Rx has ran out, so when we've used up what's left in the fridge she's done with nightly injections. The Supralin implant was taken out of her arm; Dr. W thought she would begin having periods within the month. We're still waiting, but not in any hurry. We're prepared for when it does happen. She is wearing her glasses all the time now. She has decided just to be a social member at Girl Scouts this year.

Tertio has broken himself of the finger-sucking habit! He still enjoys his ratty old blankies, but no longer sucks his finger while holding them. He still eschews pants, preferring to run about the house in his underwear (which makes Primo fuss, an added benefit in Tertio's mind!). He will start seeing Dr. K one-on-one this month. He went to Cub Scout Day Camp and to Adventure Camp at Camp Drake, from which we came home early mainly because the boys weren't treating him very well.

Quatorce is doing well. She is my nurturer, laying her cool hand on a hot head when someone is not feeling well. She got new glasses this year, then found the old ones whose loss made the new ones necessary. She loves being a Brownie in Girl Scouts and hates being left out of anything.

Quinta... we're in "wait and see" mode with her. I hate that mode! I don't want to put an implant in her arm yet or give her monthly shots to suppress her hormones, but it seems to me her breasts just keep growing. We see Dr. J in Oct. and I think something will have to be done then. In the meantime, she enjoys the priviledged status of baby of the family that lets her get away with more than she really should get away with. She's a Daisy Girl Scout and is very excited that she will have Religious Ed classes this year, too, with all her brothers and sisters.

Monday, May 9, 2011


I've been remembering an incident at church camp when I was maybe a Sophomore in high school. It was summer camp and we were dividing into teams for a softball game. I loved playing softball and wasn't bad at it, so I was looking forward to the game. At the same time I dreaded choosing up sides; I was plain and overweight and was always chosen last. But this time I thought I had an ace in the hole - a friend of mine from school was one of the team captains. I figured I'd be chosen well before last. But teen after teen was chosen and I remained in the dwindling pool of "wanna-be's". Finally it was just me and another girl even more plain and overweight than I was. My friend looked at me and then did a really nice thing. He chose the other girl.

Of course, in the myopic self-interest only a teen-ager can have, I didn't see this as a really nice thing. On top of the once-again-being-chosen-last angst, I felt betrayed. I turned and ran blindly, crying, to the dorm. No one followed me. I was alone, as always. I threw myself on my bunk and cried myself to sleep. I didn't emerge until it was time to go to the dining hall for supper. I didn't miss meals - food was my best friend. That one incident tells pretty much how church camp, school, youth group, anything was for me. I had ZERO self-esteem.

Fast-forward. I have learned to make Christ my best friend. (For a long while I depended on my husband for that; and he is still my second-best friend. But to fill your deepest longings you have to be head-over-heels with Christ FIRST.) I still easily turn to food when I'm lonely or bored. As a result, I still struggle with my weight. I can't miss meals now, because when I do I get a migraine. (So I have to be creative when I want to fast and pray.)

Unfortunately, I still have self-esteem issues, too. You can't go through life thinking one way and change it overnight. Even though I know nothing can separate me from the love of God, I still feel unworthy of that love. Not only His love,either. My amazing husband just shouldn't love me the way he does (so goes my twisted thinking). The wonderful ladies in the Mom's Group are just "pretending" to like me. That's what my brain (or the Enemy) tells me in dark moments. I still feel chosen last. But maybe that's not so bad."For behold, some are last who will be first...." Luke 13:30a

Monday, January 17, 2011

Help my Unbelief!

Secunda and I took Quinta for her check with the endocrinologist at Riley. Secunda has Precocious Puberty and Growth Hormone Deficiency; she knew all the tests Dr. J might run and all the exams she would do. She was able to explain all that in an upbeat manner for Quinta, so there were no tears or meltdowns, just a healthy curiosity. It was a blessing having Secunda with us!

After a bone age scan of her hand, Quinta was examined by Dr. J. She is short, she has "significant" breast tissue, and her bone age was on the high side of normal. We determined not to "watch it" for a further six months. Given our experience with Secunda, we decided to go ahead and schedule a hormone stimulation test to see if she has Precocious Puberty. At the same time they will check her growth hormone levels to see if she has a deficiency.

Sometimes I think, "Yes, it's possible she has the same rare juxtaposition of disorders her sister has." At other times I think, "What are the odds of lightning striking twice?" And my mind strays to the possibility of a tumor on her pituitary or adrenal glands. And I'm a little bit frightened. I know God is with us, will be with us and will get us through whatever is in store. Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Feast Day Celebration!

My patron is St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, whose feast day is January 4th. On the 3rd, my Beloved took me out to celebrate. Primo and Secunda were left in charge of the younger children and we left home in the morning.

First, we went to breakfast at LePeep. I had a spinach and bacon omelet with a raisin English muffin and decaf coffee. Marvelous! From there we went to the Savoy 16 to catch a movie, but it wasn't open yet. That fact led to a quick trip to Friar Tuck, where we picked up a bottle of Maker's Mark 46. (We are both ambassadors for Maker's Mark and had not yet tried their new product - 46.) Then back to the theater, where we watched "True Grit". I was a little skeptical of a remake of a John Wayne movie, but it was really good.

We then went by Columbia Street Roastery for some tea for my Beloved. On to Sam's Club for some staples we were out of. Across town to Lincoln Square Mall in Urbana for Ruben's chocolates at Art Mart. Then we checked out the Common Ground Food Co-op. We were thinking of joining, but it is not a family-friendly place as far as prices go. (For instance, we saw there a $21+ chicken. Now I have caught, killed, and processed organically grown, free-range chickens before and believe me, there is not $21 worth of work involved!)

We finished up at a Chinese buffet and headed back home. The children had been on their own for about seven hours and had done well. That just may have been the best gift of all! Thank you Beloved (and children) for a wonderful day!