Friday, November 13, 2009

I need your grace to remind me to find my own

Let me tell you a story first. When Michael was a baby and then a toddler, he hardly ever ran a fever or acted like anything hurt when he was sick. I would take him for a well check-up, and the doctor would look in his ears and give me this "What kind of a mother ARE you?" look and say, "Were you aware your son has a raging ear infection?" Well, doc, no. Because he never gave me even the slightest reason to suspect that he was sick! We finally got the ear tubes in and the adenoids out and I bought a little doctor's light so I could always check his ears and throat for myself. Apparently, I had forgotten this lesson.

I couldn't stand waiting for Friday to get Michael's vision checked and then Monday to schedule a regular doctor appointment if necessary to determine the source of his headaches. It just didn't feel right. So I got him into his regular doctor yesterday. "Fever?" she asks. "Stuffy nose? Sore throat? Anything other than the headaches?" Nope, nope, and nope. She gets out her nifty little light and starts checking out the ears, throat, and nose.

So, apparently the child with no fever, no sore throat, and no sinus issues has a sinus infection. The doctor is 99% sure that is the source of the headaches and that a few days of antibiotics will have him feeling perky as ever. We went ahead with the eye appointment anyhow, just in case. (Just the tiniest start of near-sightedness, but not enough to warrant glasses yet.) He's now on the couch sleeping off the effects of having his pupils dilated. (Fun for all ages. Last time I had it done, the ensuing headache was bad enough to induce nausea.)

In the meantime, I've been hearing Joey cough a lot since yesterday. He assured me this morning it was no big deal. But every mother out there knows that a kid who's a little sick on Friday is almost guaranteed to be a lot sick as soon as the doctor's office closes for the weekend. Here's hoping I won't be kicking myself by tomorrow morning for not going with my instincts and dragging him into the doctor today, too.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The first and last breath don't matter, it's all the ones that are in between

The job is still the job. The kids have mostly settled into our little everyday routine and mostly behave pretty well for me. (Knock wood. Seriously knock wood.) Even the most shy among them have loosened up enough to talk to me at least a little. I still try to take a little time every day to get down on face to face, one to one level with each of them just to chat a little about something. I'm finding that having that connection helps a ton when I need them to really listen to me later on. Mostly. I think. Hey, it's a good theory? Well, if nothing else it makes me feel better, since I get the chance to get to know them all.

The middle school fiction writing class I teach is also going well. Even the more shy among them have loosened up and contributed in class. I still hear once in a while about our group brainstorming session which resulted in some spectacularly silly story premises. When I talk, they seem to be paying attention. When I ask questions, they really seem to have been paying attention. When I say, "That's your assignment for this week, you may have the rest of class to write," to a man they snatch out their pens and scribble furiously for the rest of class time. No complaints. No face-making. Lots of eager writing. I love that.

I managed to get back into a writing schedule for the last couple of weeks. This week so far, a good chunk of that schedule has been eaten up by shopping, both the regular and the Christmas gift variety. Good news is that I should be clear tomorrow and Thursday morning. Friday not so much, but I'll take two out of five and try to run with it.

Friday morning is not clear for writing because I will be taking the Michael-Monster to the eye doctor. I'm not convinced he has any real vision problems, but he's been complaining of headaches for a week now. No other symptoms, and he claims he can see fine, but the most logical step in a process of elimination suggested I start with the eyes. If that's not the problem, then next week we'll get his regular doctor involved, too. Most of the time when a child is not feeling well, I can make a pretty good guess as to what the problem is. I really HATE having no clue what the deal is or how to help him out.