Saturday, March 28, 2009

Dealing with these Blasted Bodies

There's Ben, looking kind of pathetic! I just put a picture of him in here because I am going to talk about him. Actually, I think he was feeling pretty good here - he was luxuriating in our new couch. Also, notice he is wearing my pink socks. I asked him why he had snatched those out of my laundry basket and he replied, "Because they feel so good, Mom!" They're very soft and made out of this nubby fabric - some of my favorites. But they're mine!

Well, it seems like lately we have been dealing with a number of medical issues at our house - nothing horribly serious, but things that have to be addressed. Ben has had a bucket load lately. He's had lots of things going on since birth, of course. You all know how we are in the process of getting his autism diagnosed and we're looking into a certain medication with that. He had some behavioral things going on last fall, so we have been seeking counsel on that, as well. Thankfully, those have gotten much better. One of Ben's big issues is allergies. Ever since he had pneumonia 3 times his kindergarten year he has been a mess, respiratory-wise. Ben had severe, severe eczema as an infant and preschooler - some of you know the nightmare we went through with that. As predicted, he did eventually outgrow the eczema (although his skin still feels like sandpaper) and traded it for hay fever. Only, he drips year round, not just during hay fever season. It's definitely worse then, though. I don't think he knows what it is to feel perfectly well and non-congested. We have done a number of things over the years, attempting to treat these allergies, and nothing has even worked. We even had him get an adnoidectomy a couple of years ago, hoping that would fix it - didn't do a thing and now the poor kid has no adnoids. My hopes had been raised when we found this great chiropractor/naturopath in Ankeny, but then when I found out he didn't deal with our insurance, I was discouraged. So I ended up taking him to our family doctor, who is new to us, and asking him what he thought.

So, last week, on my birthday, of all days, we ended up having Ben allergy tested at the Allergy Institute in W. Des Moines. Boy, was that traumatic! First, they did the back testing, which is no big deal. Except, Ben tends to be in constant motion and it was extremely difficult to get him to lie still for the 15 min it took to see how the allergens would react on his back. We got through that. Then, the dr. decided he needed to inject 11 more allergens underneath Ben's arm skin - way underneath. Ben was not pleased at all with this. He jerked, screamed, and writhed so much that the nurse went to get help. She brought in the receptionist. This woman was a study in contrasts. She wore scrubs, had a broad, plain face, and tightly permed brown curls. But she had a professional manicure with fake, orangy nails! Anyway, she walked in, saw me holding Ben and asked if I knew "the position." The "position"? There's a certain position for holding your adolescent down so he can be injected 11 times? She ended up wrapping her legs around him and I held his hands and helped him count down the needle pokes. After we were done, she explained that she used to work in daycare (funny, I would have guessed she was a former prison guard!) and that was the position you used to constrain out of control kids. So glad I never used daycare for my boys! Emotionally, though, that was a really difficult experience for me. I remember having to hold Ben down as a baby when drs wanted to examine him, but it was never in order for them to do things that would be painful for him.

But anyway, the short story is that Ben is allergic to about everything in the world. So, he's going to be getting 3 allergy shots a week. Fortunately, those will be given at Dr. Steinmann's office and since they are located across the street from Blank, I can just run over there after Ben's occupational therapy on Weds.

Then there is my blasted body. It hasn't worked right since my stroke. And lately I have been dealing with overwhelming fatigue, which I chalked up to my unrelenting schedule. Plus, I have had a yeast infection all month long so I assumed that was draining me. This past Wed. was my regular gyno appt and to my immense surprise, I tested as "severely" (they said) anemic. So now I'm on iron and I am hopeful that will result in increased energy. And then I went to the chiropractor Friday. It just occurred to me in the past couple of weeks that even though I couldn't go to that one chiro. in Ankeny I had visited in Jan (because of insurance) there is another one, also in Ankeny, that I have seen a number of times, who does a great job. I hadn't been in since I was pregnant. But we had a great visit on Friday and he explained that all my neck and back pain (not horrible, but unrelenting, nontheless) is a result of my body having to compensate so long for the rest of my body when it was weakened by the stroke. So, I'm going to invest some time in now and see him frequently and then gradually stretch out the visits. And he takes my insurance!

We spent Thursday morning up in Ames dealing with Paul's issues. He's been participating in an epilepsy drug study for the past year. But since Dec. he has had extraordinary problems with fatigue and lately he's been having some concerning side effects, so we're withdrawing from the study. We'd both rather deal with his occasional nighttime seizures than some of these side effects.

Now the rest of the kids: nothing too serious. Will sprained his foot a few weeks ago. I think that's all healed up, though. Sam has had a bad cold all week, but he's on the mend. This morning David cut his finger pretty deeply, using a table knife. He wasn't carrying on when he told me what he had done, so I didn't think it was a big deal. I told him he's probably be fine. But then Paul got out of bed and looked at it and said, "Uh - this might need to be seen." Sure enough, it was a gaping slice. So I drove David to the ER and he ended up with 2 stitches. I think he was really upset, though, that it was a "good", as he calls it, knife that cut him. After all, he wasn't using an "owie" (steak) knife! Poor kid! David is our little drama major and at one point, while the dr. was stitching him up, the dr. asked me, "Has David had to have a lot of medical intervention and treatments?" Guess he thought there had to be a reason behind David's performance!

Blasted bodies indeed! We deal with what we can while here on earth, since they are all we have, but sometimes I sure long for those heavenly bodies that are waiting for us! Things like I have related here are annoying and can make life difficult and the days a little long. But they aren't true suffering. In my next post, I do plan to address the issue of suffering and why God allows it and what our response should be when those times come.

1 comment:

  1. I pray that your body, and the rest of the family, will be given a break soon. It is so hard to live in a constant state of pain, it really wears you down quickly. My oldest (9) has been on allergy shots now for over 3 years and has been doing great as long as we keep up on them. Our allergist said we needed to move to Hawaii, where there are less pollens to agitate his system. Can I get a prescription covered by insurance for that? :) You continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.