You know you’re old when…

“80s girl” is now a Halloween costume and no longer a fashion statement.

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I’m skeeeered!!!!!

Sarah Palin just came to my door for candy. Sob…

Because the sugar is messing with my brain

No, really, no sugar here. Yet. Besides, half that stuff has wheat in it. Seriously, who puts wheat in candy? Twizzlers, that’s who. So tonight, in addition to checking the boys’ candy for razor blades and needles and visible signs of poisoning, I’ll be checking for hidden gluten. Sigh. Sucks all the fun out of Halloween. Dudes, knock off the hidden wheat. No fair.

But something is affecting me. Something is driving my brain to make stupid unusual decisions, to take chances and make mistakes and learn something new. Or something like that.

God help me, I think I’m going to do NaBloPoMo. You know, ’cause I don’t have enough going on in my life. So I’m asking for help here. While I do have topics floating around my over-caffeinated brain, I could use more. Memes. Questions you’ve been dying to ask me {’cause I don’t share enough about myself here, I’m sure}. Topic challenges. And I’ll get through NaBlogPoMo with some sanity still intact.

Halloween. Today we have one (1) Indiana Jones with a hat that makes him look like a hillbilly, one (1) Dark Knight Batman that needs reflective tape so I won’t freak out about the Trick or Treating tonight, and one (1) dog that I love too much to try to costume. I have to hit the Red Dot Boutique today to get more candy. I don’t think the 2 ginormous bags I got from Costco is going to cut it. No, really. Today is supposed to be the warmest Halloween in about 10 years–77 degrees today. And it’s Friday. So kids are going to be out longer, later, and traveling farther. I’m not the only one; a local columnist made the exact same observation in this morning’s paper, so I feel justified in getting more sugar. And then, next week, the Candy Fairy will make her appearance. She will take the candy and leave a small toy for each boy in exchange. And their dentist will thank me.

And there was something else…but I can’t remember it. Eh, it’ll come to me Sunday during the long prayer. And then I’ll have one of the 30 different posts I’ll need for November. See! It’ll all work out.

How about another five minutes of chuckles?

I swear, I’m not searching these out, they’re being sent to me.

Take five minutes and laugh

Hope you’re familiar with Les Mis. I haven’t laughed this hard in awhile.

A Wednesday in bullet points

I could write something profound, but why?

  • I have 23 items on today’s to-do list. Two have carried over from yesterday, and all will take actual brain power. I have little brain power to spare.
  • A has picture retakes tomorrow. The severely chapped chin from the last picture has thankfully healed, he has had a recent haircut, the goose egg/bruise from the fall off the playground equipment is essentially gone…we may actually get a good picture! Fingers crossed…
  • I hatehatehate to vacuum. Partly because it means I have to shovel the boys’ crap up off the floor, partly because the vacuum sucks (or not), and partly because I have the world’s crappiest carpet. (No joke, the first year of this carpet I vacuumed up enough stray fibers to weave a new rug). And then we got a dog. After a month of teasing us, shed-wise, Rosie has decided to drop pounds by shedding instead of losing actual fat. Can’t say I blame her; wish I could do that. And now we’re finding Rosie hair everywhere. And this means I have to vacuum. Did I mention I hate vacuuming? Tom actually commented that now might be a good time to get bids for solid flooring. It’s easier to keep clean, that’s for sure. I love that dog to the ends of the earth, but the shedding stinks. And so does she, come to think of it. Peee-yuuuuu!
  • I was going to try to leave politics behind after voting, but I just can’t. McCain keeps mentioning that “Joe the Plumber” didn’t ask to be pulled into the spotlight, didn’t ask to be part of the campaign…um, old dude? You’re the one who pulled him in by bringing him up at the debate and continually mentioning him at rallies. Is your memory that bad? ‘Cause, dude, you’re the one behind it all. Shut up already.
  • Crap, more politics. I’m finally writing on Sarah Palin. I have been trying something fierce to avoid her, but I give up. I have to get this off my (tiny) chest and get on with my life. I do not like her. I do not trust her. Have you read “Queen Bees and Wannabees” by Rosalind Wiseman? (Which, if you have daughters, you must read). Or seen the movie “Mean Girls?” (Written, ironically, by Tina Fey, based on the book above). Sarah Palin is a Queen Bee (The Queen Bee is in charge. Most of the other girls vie for her approval – to be close to the Queen is to have security). She is a Mean Girl. Men don’t see it because they weren’t in the thick of it in middle school and high school. Men don’t see it because they weren’t the victims of Mean Girls in school. And…by men I also mean mainstream media. But I think it’s starting to come to light. In recent days she has been called a “rogue,” a “diva,” and a “whackjob.” Yeah guys, she’s looking out for herself, that’s the personality of a Queen Bee! McCain had better watch out; Queen Bees are notorious for backstabbing. That smile hides the venom of a woman who will do anything to be in charge. Don’t cross her.
  • I can tell how out of balance my life is by how much coffee I’m drinking. In the last week I went from one cup to three. And realized this morning that the grinder was set to “fine,” which means we’ve essentially been drinking espresso every morning. Three large mugs of espresso. Time to wind it down.
  • We are having the most delicious autumn I’ve ever experienced. The last several years here summer has gotten hotter and hotter in August, until the weather finally breaks and it cools down. Then we get a couple paltry weeks of fall, then snow and winter. But this year we’ve had a delightful diminuendo from summer into winter. Warm, sunny days meld into cool, refreshing nights. The fall colors have been unbelievable this year. The trees seem to glow from the inside, a bright contrast to the cobalt blue skies. Halloween will be in the 70s during the day, and will be pleasant and dry (!!!!) for trick or treating that night. Hallefreakinglujah!
  • I’ve finally broken down and searched out someone to watch J one day a week. I need that extra day to be a good wife/mom/me. Yes, he goes to preschool 2 days a week, but I’ve starting volunteering at their schools one of those days, and with everything I’m doing, I need that extra day. Working from home with him home is tough. So I’m hoping that those extra few hours will help out…those 23 items on the to-do list aren’t getting done for a reason.
  • Is the election OVER YET????? Sigh….
  • And now, my day beckons. And I just remembered 2 more things for the to-do list. Twenty-five. Bleh.

Not a unicorn, but a gnome. Damned gnome.

Well, despite the fact I was told I wouldn’t get the results of A’s endoscopy for two weeks, I now have the results of A’s endoscopy. Got them on Thursday afternoon, as I was driving back from a quick 24 hour trip to Nebraska. The height of fun is getting a call from your son’s doctor on your cell phone while you’re zipping through northeast Colorado (which, if you’re not familiar, greatly resembles the surface of the moon. But less scenic. And with poorer cell phone coverage.). So I was trying to have a medical conversation, on a phone that kept cutting out, with two other people in the car.

You know, I’m just gonna cut to the chase here. I’m angry. I’m angry and I’m sad and Mama Bear has fucking had it. I’m starting to tear up again. Thankfully I’ve stuck the boys in their rooms for naps; A, according to him, was up at 2:22 am this morning and never went back to sleep. Seven years. Seven years I have somehow known that there is something about A that defied description. And so we’ve seen doctors and OTs and therapists and have spent untold hours and money trying to help him. And I feel like I am the one feeling my way through the dark. Tom is there with me, but I’m the one leading. No doctor has taken my hand and said, “Jen, I agree, there’s something going on and I’m going to help you. Follow me, we’ll do this together.” Instead, I’ve been flying blind, consulting Dr. Google and following one thing to another to another, trying to figure out what.the.hell. is up with my son. I’ve been referred from one doctor to the next, and all of them have been trying to treat the symptoms, not the cause. And that has been the whole problem.

A doesn’t have celiac, as I suspected. That’s cause for relief I suppose. But the endoscopy and biopsies indicated that he has eosinophilic esophagitis. Yeah, try saying that three times fast! From what I’ve been able to learn, it’s a food allergy in which the esophagus becomes irritated and swollen. And, in talking to the doctor while on the surface of the moon driving through northeast Colorado, I learned that there’s no cause. I learned that from him because I specifically asked what causes this. Right. It’s a food allergy reaction, kids. The whole point behind the endoscopy was to find the cause behind what’s causing the issues. And, instead, the doctor wants to just treat the symptoms. Again. He even said that the protocol used to be to do a skin allergy test, but we’ll just skip that and go straight to treatment. And I went along with it, because that’s what ya do.

And then last night I went to the birthday party of a very dear friend of mine. Our boys are all about the same age and temperament, so they get along….and she and I share a deep need appreciation of red wine. Another friend of ours was there as well and she and I got to talking. I mentioned in passing that A had had an endoscopy and there was something funky with his esophagus, and she rattled EE right off. Her son has it, but they caught it several months ago, when he was still a toddler. And she shared with me the name of her son’s doctor, who is a specialist in EE here in Denver. One of the best, she tells me. And his is a team approach: nutritionists, allergists, pediatric gastroenterologists, all working in tandem.

Hope.

I consulted Dr. Google again this morning, reading everything I could about EE. A doesn’t have any of the overt symptoms, this was just caught because of the endoscopy/biopsies taken, looking for something else. And then this phrase jumped up and bit me in my memory banks:

Infants with EE don’t want to breastfeed or take a bottle, and may frequently spit up and arch the back, a sign of pain.

This.Was.A. And I had to hide from the boys and cry. I sobbed, apologizing to baby A, that I didn’t do enough to help him as an infant. That I allowed colic to be the answer, that I accepted that he was low on the growth chart, that I wasn’t insistent enough with doctors to get answers sooner. I sobbed, apologizing to myself of seven years ago, that it wasn’t me, it wasn’t that my body couldn’t nurse. And all the overwhelming emotions of having a newborn who wouldn’t nurse, who wouldn’t sleep, who cried inconsolably, came flooding back and drowned me.

First thing Monday I’m calling the EE specialist. I’m not going through with the prescription A’s gastro doctor gave him at this time. I’m doing something unusual for me: getting a second opinion. And we are going to treat the goddamned cause this time, not just the symptoms. If that means everyone in the house has to drop entire food groups, then so be it. If it means I have to close my business (because it’s home-based and involves food with common allergens), then so be it. I’m done. My poor son has suffered long enough. Long enough to not realize that it shouldn’t be this way. Mama Bear is going to cry some more this weekend, then put on her big girl panties and get over it.

And a note about privacy. When I first started this blog nearly 3 years ago, I began writing for the sense of community. And through blogging, I’ve met so many other women with challenging children. We support one another, cry with one another, cheer with one another. And I never would have known about them if I hadn’t shared my story, my son’s story. When you have a challenging child (and in my case, a challenging gifted child), you feel very very alone. Finding others in similar situations is soul-saving. This is why I’ve shared so much of my journey here. Somewhere there may be a mom at the end of her rope who consults Dr. Google and finds this post. And feels less alone. And has a new path to explore, one that may actually have an answer at the end of it. So while I do have my son’s privacy in mind, and will protect it with every bit of my being, I do know that extending a helping hand can do more for a mom than anything else.

That said, I should probably go call my mom and fill her in on all this before she reads it here and freaks out.