Saturday, February 18, 2012

Drugs and Allergies

Many months ago, Caleb and I discovered we were at the very least allergic to wheat.  We found that for him, taking gluten out of his diet reduced a lot of his hyperactivity.

After many years of discussing and evaluating with our pediatrician and a month of testing and discussion with a child psychologist (not to mention ENDLESS conversations with other parents and teachers and so so so much reading and research), we decided to try giving Caleb a very low dose of medicine to help him focus in school.  It has helped him a tremendous amount in school.  He and his teacher have both commented how much better he feels he is doing with school.  My favorite part is that it doesn't seem to have changed who he is at all.  His wonderful Caleb-ness is still there and just right.

I met with our pediatrician again this week and she and I decided that he should be tested for celiac disease.  In order for the blood test to be done accurately, he needs to eat gluten for at least 3 days prior to the test.  Last night he had "real" pizza  and this morning a bran cereal, some pretzels, crackers, etc.  He was very excited to be able to eat food again that he's missed for so long, BUT he has had so many meltdowns today that the whole family is feeling a little wary around him.

He at one point said, "Mom, why isn't the medicine working??"  So we sat and talked about how it's not just one thing for his body.  His body right now needs to take the medicine AND not eat wheat for it to work properly.

After today he may be the first kid in the history of our family who is excited for a blood test.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine 2012

Remember my little thing about crass cards for Valentine's day?

This year's card for Todd has me snickering already.

On the front: "Hey, Honey!  I thought about doing a little Valentine's Day striptease for you!" [wife standing next to bed]

Inside: "But we have enough laundry on the floor around here as it is." [pan back to show the laundry all over the floor around her feet]

It is funny because it's true.

And now I will go clean.

Happy Day!

MS Still Sucks

I don't really anticipate a day when Multiple Sclerosis will stop sucking.

In the meantime, I am going to beg for money.

A few of the kids and I will be participating in the Annual Walk MS.  The money raised goes to support those living with MS and those living with those living with MS.  We found the information provided by the National MS Society to be extremely helpful, especially for explaining the disease to our kids.  The Society offers support groups for those afflicted, caretakers and friends and family of those living with MS.  It also offers talks by various healthcare professionals and researchers on the subject.  We have appreciated the resources they have provided us, but more important is the money that goes toward researching this nasty disease.

So much progress has been made even in the last few decades.  Todd and I grew up watching the mother of a friends degenerate mentally and physically before our eyes.  That's what MS meant to us. That was the image we grew up with.  That is no longer the image people have of MS, and while it's no picnic, nor is it the slow death sentence that it once was.

For that I'm grateful to the many medical strides that have been made in R&D for treatment and earlier diagnosis.  I'm also grateful for a community that is sensitive to the specific needs of those who struggle with the disease.

If you have a dollar or two to spare this month, it would mean a great deal to me and my family if you would consider putting it towards the National MS Society via Team Smith's Walk MS Page.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

National Treasure

The other night we watched the movie "National Treasure" as a family.  We've seen the movie a few times before, but it's one that we all enjoy.  At one point Caleb remarked, "Do the people who made these movies just come into our house, look at our scrapbooks and then decide where to make a movie??"

Since "National Treasure" has scenes from Washington D.C., New York City, and Philadelphia, I can see his point.  (And National Treasure 2 takes place out west where we've been, too.) 

These pictures were taken just a few weeks ago.  For Todd's birthday I bought him tickets to see the revival of Sondheim's "Follies" on Broadway.  I told the family we were going out of town, but didn't tell them where we were going or what we would be doing.  We went to Philadelphia first for two reasons.  First, as a decoy.  Any time we head east of Ohio, they automatically assume we're going to NJ.  They weren't wrong this time, but I didn't want them to know that until the end of the night.  Second, Caleb has been studying Colonial History this year, and has been asking to go to D.C. and Philadelphia.  So, it was a little surprise for him as well.
In front of the Liberty Bell.  Security is WAAAY tighter now than it was on  the field trips of my youth.

Independence Hall

Upstairs where many American soldiers wintered and died during the Revolutionary War.

With a Statue of a guy named "Barry" who I'm sure is famous for something, though I can't remember now, and was too cold to properly read the sign while there.  

Following this outing, we headed over to the City Tavern for dinner.  The menu and ambiance is strictly Colonial period.  Caleb and I discovered just how tricky it would have been to be gluten free in Colonial times and Benjamin ate rabbit.

Once everyone's tummies were full, we piled back in the car and headed up to NJ, so Todd's parents could babysit kids and I could take my husband into the city for dinner and a show.  

Memorable moments of the trip: driving through a blizzard in eastern Ohio/western PA, and Lilyanna wetting both Todd and me on separate occasions.