Saturday, January 31, 2009

New blood test results

Every two months I have to get a blood test.  I need a complete blood count and also a test which sees how my liver is functioning in response to the drugs for the valley fever.  The liver results were encouraging with normal levels.  However I noticed that my platelet blood count has decreased by 1/5 from 3 months before and my white blood cell count was low.  This is a side effect of the medicine.  My Cleveland Clinic doctor that I am emailing said that it's only borderline low, so I need to just keep following the normal routine with the medication.  She expects that I need to take the meds (fluconazole, 400mg.) for at least a year.

So, I will carry on.  I'm thankful for my naturopath friend in AZ who provided me with some vitamins and supplements that will boost my energy a bit.  I would appreciate your prayers for energy (I really need to pace myself or else I get wiped out), weight gain (I'm too low and can't seem to gain--another med. side effect and also probably adding to my fatigue), and wisdom as to how to spend my time well.  Also, that the cavity in my lung would actually close up.  There was some talk last summer with the Dr. that if it didn't close up and if I was still coughing blood, I would need to have surgery to get my lung resectioned.  I am so, so thankful that I haven't coughed up any blood for more than 2 months.  So, how I pray that it is healing up.

Also, another side effect of the meds is hair loss.  My hair has also been falling out slowly for a few weeks.  I usually only wash it like once a week or so and I think that has helped a bit.  You can't really tell right now, I've just gone from thicker hair to thinner hair.  Maybe my new hairdresser friend can help me out a bit!

Sometimes you just need to be yourself.

Our hairdresser lives right down the street.  She stopped by the other day and said that she'd love to give Hannah a free haircut. We set up the time and parted.

Hannah and I showed up at our scheduled time, but she didn't answer.  So we returned home and got involved in a card game with the boys.  I love having them home from school and want to soak up every minute of course.  The buzzer rang.  It was the hairdresser.  I greeted her (she's in her 20's and really sweet). Not wanting to leave the quality time with the kids I explained to her that the kids were on vacation and I was playing with them. She gave me a little smile, we rescheduled, and she left.

Then I laughed.  Two things must have been funny to her--first, the boys were swinging down the banisters and jumping down the stairs.  Did she imagine me playing that?  Second, most women here don't usually play with their kids.  They send them outside while they clean the house and cook.

Oh well.  Sometimes I don't have to do as the Romans do, I just have to be myself.

Friday, January 23, 2009

We're surviving!

We just completed the 3rd week of school. (I say "we" because you know a mom goes through it all with them!). There have been plenty of funny stories, laughs, tears, snack preparations (2 snacks a day!), and good talks on the walk to and from school. This has provided great cultural insights for us all.

The 2 big kids just received the results of their 1st semester tests and they passed (of course, it is 1st grade!). It's pretty humbling though when I need a "free translation" to read the teacher's comments. Maybe I should sit in their class too!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First day of school

Our kids started at a Arabic/French school on Friday. They were put down a few grades in order to learn the languages and were happy to be placed together. They are making some great cultural observations and meeting kids. I'm sure that there will be good days and bad days but overall we are thankful for this school (about a 10 to 15 minute walk from our home).

B had some laughs about her achy legs due to the 1st grade desks. I guess that occasionally she stood up and stretched! Cracked me up. They've had great attitudes.

Can you see our kids?

I can't yet put into words the emotions that I'm feeling as the mom "letting them go," but I'm trusting God that this is a wise and good decision. May they be motivated to really learn these languages and love the other kids.

J's 9th birthday

I can't believe that this little buddy is 9 already! We sure love him.

We went on a little rowboat in a lagoon about 30 min. south of our place, looking for many species of birds. It was a fun adventure!

E made J a wood burned spider on a piece of wood from a cork tree. (Patrick saw the felled tree near our house and took E and their little saw to clop off a chunk.) Really cool!