Last Friday my youngest daughter went out to eat for lunch. I wasn't
there, but when I offered her supper on Friday, she didn't want anything
to eat. She told me that she had eaten so much at lunch that day that
she thought she was going to throw up, the feeling went away, but she
wasn't hungry Friday evening. Saturday morning she had a soccer game. I
told her that she had to eat something. She picked at breakfast, ate a
few bites and went to get ready for soccer. On the way to her match she
was crying because her stomach hurt so badly. She said she didn't feel
as if she was going to vomit, but she was in quite a bit of pain.
Jane scored the first goal for her soccer team. Her coach later told
me that he thought she would be the MVP, but later there were two girls
who each scored more goals than Jane did. During the last part of the
second half, Jane fell, she had to be carried off the field due to a
knee injury so I let her sit on the couch to watch TV after we got home.
Later on she was crying, when I asked what was wrong, she told me that
she wasn't sure if she should tell me or not. The secret that she was
guarding was a problem with loose stools. Jane is a private person when
it comes to her bowel movements as are many people, especially when
something is abnormal.
Sunday I had a birthday party for my youngest sister. My oldest
sister got into a fight with my mom. Jane was crying on the couch,
sipping on her electrolyte replacement drink, and having to run to the
bathroom quite frequently. I kept Jane home from school on Monday. She
seemed better on Tuesday, so I sent her to school, and made her go to
soccer practice. The next day I kept her home from school again.
Yesterday, I called to make an appointment for Jane to see her
pediatrician. While we were there, we were given a stool collection kit,
and instructions to push fluids.
As of yesterday, Jane was down two pounds from her July weight.
Presumably, she has gained weight since then, so her actual weight loss
is unknown, but estimated to be greater than two pounds. At her last
checkup, Jane was in the fourth percentile for both height and weight
among girls her age. Her pediatrician said this was not necessarily
alarming since Jane was following a consistent growth curve, meaning
that she's always been short and slight. After nibbling on some
pancakes for breakfast on Thursday, Jane went to lie down. I made her an
appointment to see her doctor after she vomited, wondering if she had
taken a turn for the worst.
At the appointment yesterday, Jane's pediatrician said that she was
more concerned about urine output than she was actual ounces of fluid
consumed. She said that Jane should be drinking at least 64 ounces of
fluid per day, this is considered a minimum, and is generally a rule of
thumb to follow for children who are not losing fluids. Right now, I'm
concerned. I have a child who has had diarrhea for a week, she didn't
have the weight to lose in the first place, and I'm not worried that
she's going to die, but I am taking this seriously.
When I'm scared, I want someone to acknowledge that my fears exist,
and that they are real to me. I'm not feeling well, my throat is very
sore, my joints hurt, I'm tired, and it would be really nice if someone
would come over, put me and Jane to bed, clean my house, and figure out a
supper plan for my oldest daughter. I'm really tired of fighting for
what I believe are minimum standards of safety, health, and nutrition. I
don't really want or need someone challenging my decisions as a parent.
I don't care if I am over reacting to Jane's illness. I know that her
urine output is scant, and that her body needs some extra fluids.
Jane could have had an IV yesterday. She was allowed to return home
because she was termed a borderline case. This morning, I had to listen
to a call from Jane's pediatrician's office that I didn't take. So far,
Jane has had less than twenty ounces of fluid, her extremities are cold,
her lips are dry, and her energy level and appetite are good, but she
still has sunken eyes, and her coloring is not good either. Right now my
mother is upset because my children are not going camping with her this
weekend. Jill is not being allowed to go because she was suspended from
school, Jane is ill, and I don't think that hiking at Devil's Lake is
in her best interests.
As a token of fan appreciation, two men who play for the Brewers
bought up five thousand tickets to give away to fans. I bought four of
the free tickets, the cost being $2 for a handling fee. I love baseball,
I'm excited about the game, and I felt that the cost was reasonable
even after factoring in parking, and fuel to drive there. I've had a
terrible week, I was planning on going camping as well, and I was kind
of hoping that my family could go to the game together.
Identifying a problem doesn't always bring you closer to a solution.
My husband told me that Jane is fine and she will get better because
that's what people do. He also told me that putting my oldest in
counseling will not do any good because her environment needs to change
before her grades and behavior improve. He sees her distratedness and
inability to complete homework in a timely, quality fashion as something
that he went through, and she'll just have to figure out.
My aunt told me that being on the same page as parents is very
important. Jill was suspended because she lied to her teacher repeatedly
about a minor incident. My husband said that Jill does not lie to him.
He cited the Mafia as an example of a group of people who lie to the
government, yet maintain a strict code of honor among thieves. I let the
argument go at the time, since there's no way to prove or disprove him,
and I did not really care for the analogy. I divide people into liars
and people who tell the truth. I believe that, and there can be exceptions to every rule, if you lie, you
lie to most of the people you interact with, and if you tell the truth,
you tell people you speak with the truth.
The other day my mother's husband told my sister that I am not
calling her out of any concern for her well being, I am calling because I
want something from her. My sister and I had a laugh about that, but
the fact remains that he is a divisive force between my mother, two of
my sisters want a relationship with her, while the rest of us have
written her off as she has not been there in the past, and at almost
sixty years of age, is unlikely to be learning new tricks.
I have gotten a lot written since I went /chatteroff. A few people
have sent kind messages my way. I appreciate them, but I've found myself
pulling back from both Facebook and E2, with more of my time going to
Twitter although I took a brief hiatus from that too. If you have a
person in your life that loathes you, it's not your problem, it's
theirs. So I have a problem that I need to be dealing with. I can do
only what I can do with the resources I have. So here's a brief list of
things that I have been working at lately.
Finances: I consolidated my credit card debt. Yay for credit limit
increases that are more difficult to obtain than they were in the past.
It's shocking that my credit was increased since I am not employed, but
it worked to my advantage so I'm not going to complain. I was able to
reduce the interest rate on my current balance, as well as negotiate a
lower rate for my balance transfer. I'm down to four bills that I'm
responsible for, last year at this time I had about ten so that's a step
in the right direction.
Health: I discovered that I have a severe Vitamin A deficiency so
I've been taking beta-carotene. I've also been taking magnesium, Vitamin
D, and Vitamin E. A, D, E, and K are fat soluble vitamins so I take
them with a spoon of either peanut butter or sunflower butter. The
effects have been minimal, but I'm encouraged. I want to go see another
practitioner, but I need to get rid of the medical bills I have first.
On that front, I'm down to $1100 worth of debt that I owe to the
hospital and a clinic. That might seem like a lot, but I initially owed
more than twice that so this is progress in my book.
Some of you may have seen the piece on the Cy Young award that I
wrote and returned to draft status. I was offered a position as a
baseball blogger, but I turned it down for several reasons. I feel as if
I made the right decision although that was hard to do at the time. I
also quit my job as a volunteer at our YMCA. Training has been lacking,
my boss does not communicate well, and again, I've made my peace with
taking a position that I feel will ultimately be better for myself and
my family. I called in sick yesterday, I had to deliver a stool sample, I
also thought that Jane may need IV fluids, and she wanted her mom to
stay at home with her.
Nutrition: I'm doing the best that I can for myself and the girls.
Two Fridays ago, the girls and I picked organic tomatoes at a local
farm. We poured milk from a holding tank into containers that we had
brought from home. I came home with two bags of fresh fruits and
vegetables, two pounds of grass fed hamburger meat, and I've been more
vigilant than I have in the past. I rarely shop at any of the larger
grocery stores in the area, I buy organic and local when I can, the
girls and I had a lot of fun going to a teeny famer's market in a nearby
town, and I was so happy that Jill is content to eat raw kohlrabi
although Jane still turns up her nose at it.
Writing: this has been a high spot in my life recently. I don't
really know what I'm doing. I have the final scene written, and after
many rewrites, much frustration, and some critical peer review, I'm
optimistic. This is my hobby, I don't care if I'm not great, it's fun,
it's challenging, it's stimulating, I've made new friends through the
process, and that's been neat as well. Pulling back from things I used
to participate in has shown me who the people who really care are. I'm
thankful that I have them as friends.
Church: I've made a lot of excuses here. This has been a low spot
recently, although I've been praying more. After my daughter was
suspended, I found a bag of clothes in her room. When I asked asked her
about it, Jill told me that she wanted to run away. I asked why she
didn't, I think that she said that she didn't know what she would do
with her clothes which I thought was cute. Then she went into not
knowing where she would go, and what she would do about food and money.
When I met with her teacher and the principal of her school, the
principal reminded me that sometimes, parents can really come down on
children, and forget to remind their children that they are loved.
I gave Jill a hug, she sat on my lap for a while, even though she's
getting big for that sort of thing, and we talked about how she was mad
at herself. When I talked to an aunt of mine about the non-incident that
could have been, she said that my grandfather said that many times
children are not running to something, they're trying to get away from
something. That resonated with me as I could remember times when I
wanted to run away when things were not going well at home.
When I was in swimming lessons, I met an interesting woman who said
that divorced couples have half the money to pay twice the bills. I'm
not going to get away from anything if I get divorced. It may address
some other issues, but it isn't going to solve any of my financial
difficulties that I've gotten myself into. I can't remember the last
purchase I made on my credit card, but I think it was several months
ago. I didn't buy the girls any back to school clothes, part of my debt
originated with me buying back to school shoes for the girls that I
ended up not being able to afford later.
I still have quite a ways to go before I become the money manager
that I would like to be, but I'm learning, through mistakes and that
good feeling when I have money left over after I buy groceries and put
gas in my car. Another category where I have slipped lately is exercise.
The cold weather makes it hard for me to get moving. My girls were
going to go to goalie practice one night. The coach never showed up, so I
played soccer with the girls. My clogs are great walking shoes, but
they perform poorly on the soccer pitch, so I set them aside and played
in my socks. When I get old, and my children are grown, I hope they
remember the night that we played barefoot soccer together.
At the end of the day, people aren't my friend because I drive a
luxury car, they don't care if my jeans came from Goodwill or I eat
foods that they find green. It's really about the people you meet, the
stories they have, and the ways that you can touch the lives of others.
That's why I write, that's why I'm more interested in daylogs lately,
and it's why I'm struggling to find my way among people that I have a
hard time interpreting, respecting, and dealing with.
Lately, I've been getting along better with the girls. I love them,
I'm proud of them, I want the best for them, and that means that
sometimes I have to step back and let them make their own mistakes. It's
a hard lesson to learn, but nothing good comes easy. Only keep things
that you are willing to fight for in your life, it's short, it's
precious, and at the risk of supporting and distributing another
internet meme: YOLO. Give it your best shot, you have nothing to lose
Update: Jane has cryptosporidium. Fluids seem to be staying down although there is blood in her stool now. It can take a while to clear up, there isn't any medication, it just has to run its course. Thanks to everyone who has sent positive words and encouragement. It helps.