Saturday, July 5, 2008

Nightmares and neurotic dogs. Happy 4th of JULY!

Its the Fourth of July, the national holiday that appears each year as a cheery frenzy of red, white and blue and explosives. In Seattle, the tradition is to BBQ something under light showers of rain and afterwards gather in the glooming dark rainstorm to watch a well-regulated firework display set off on a barge on one of the city lakes. Personal fireworks are illegal which does not stop people from enjoying them on a small scale which lead to this belly-holding paragraph in the local paper. Friends on other continents, you will surely sense the absurdity here:

Thunderstorms Wednesday night also had an unexpected effect on pet owners' Fourth of July preparations, said Khadijih Harding, a veterinary assistant at Seattle Veterinary Associates' Ravenna-neighborhood hospital.

Many pet owners who had bought sedatives and anti-anxiety drugs for the cats and dogs before the Fourth exhausted their supplies during the night's erratic weather.

"We had prescribed medication for people weeks in advance, and they ended up using most of it because of the thunder," she said Thursday.

Apparently this is a well documented issue for American dogs who not only obtain prescription mood regulators but in Seattle can also enjoy dog naturopaths, dog accupuncture and dog massage.

Speaking of medical issues, Wren still had a fever this morning but it is lower, around 100, and he seems energetic but a little sombre. He is now napping.

For the past few nights I have been plagued by nightmares and last night was no exception. I dreamt that there was a huge downpour and the street filled up the water. One of the manhole covers lifted up and water poured out of the sewer. There had been a car crash on the street moments before so there was a debris field as well as the flood.

I watched out the window while neighborhood children came out of their house across the road [a house which in reality has no kids] to play by vortex of water.

Predictably [told you this was a nightmare] the toddler fell into the manhole and was sucked down after an awful almost-rescue swirling around in there. Then he was washed back out and his big brother who was about 5 tried to save him but fell in too!

Finally, both were rescued.

By this time I was outside and moved the children away from danger and went into the house and shouted at their mother. I can still remember fragments of the tirade but it was mainly stuff like "what are you thinking???" and it felt very liberating to castigate her for not looking after the kids. I was the Good Mother and Protector of Babies.

The previous night I dreamt that I took WrenFrost swimming in the Ganges in India and he drowned. I was carrying him out of the water [supposedly dead] when I realised he was breathing and injured by being in the water. So then Joshua and I had to decide whether to have him undergo surgery at a hospital in India or to risk flying him to a hospital near home [in the US].

I am sure you can see the themes here but it is still interesting to see my mind processing them. The dreams aren't frightening as such, just disturbing.

Frost had a hard time getting to sleep last night. He woke from light sleep crying and yelling and told me that he wanted a "private conversation". Joshua left us alone and he confided that he often had nightmares but they were not normally as scary. However, when I asked him what the nightmare was about he said "I don't want to talk about it". He repeated this with increasing vigor and my probing produced no results although I learned his nightmare was about "people". I tried to prompt more details but he said that he didn't want to have a "question and answer" conversation either.

I was a bit frustrated. I mean, isn't the conventional wisdom of nightmares that the fears are real until shared? How am I supposed to help diffuse the terror if he won't even talk about it? He doesn't write a blog. Argh. Why won't he talk about it? He's my son, right?

Friday, July 4, 2008

Blood draw results later

The pediatrician took a blood sample for CBC. This would identify bacteria in his blood which can indicate endocarditis. The blood draw was traumatic and Wren developed petechia in his arm and under his eyes from the pressure of the tourniquet and screaming. She said we needed to be a big aggressive in treating Wren and because it is a holiday weekend we may have to go to Children's if we did not do a draw today.

We should hear back by later in the day.

I since read that petechia are a symptom of endocarditis but I think in Wren's case it was due to the blood draw.

Wren's white cell count was normal! That means no endocarditis and this fever is probably viral. However, his hematocrit was a bit low (32) as were his platelets (153). She suggested we start Wren on iron to give him higher iron stores before his next procedure.

Fever and wren is caught by a homonym

Wren has had a fever since yesterday and I will be taking him to the doctor in the late afternoon. Since his fever is not high they were not going to see him until tomorrow but its a holiday weekend (isn't it always when they get sick?)we are going in today.

There is always a concern about endocarditis until a symptom emerges to explain the fever. It is not too high (101.6 last night and 101 again by 9.30am) and its probably a virus but I feel OK about letting the pediatrician do the worrying about the important things.

Now, the funny stuff.

The Bread Making Fiasco

This morning it was time to make bread. Wren loves when I make bread - he stands on his stool and helps by pouring ingredients into the bread machine. While the dough spins around he stands on tippy toes to watch it. After he had stood like that for 10 minutes I decided to move the bread machine to the floor and he sat mesmerized as the KNEAD cycle progressed.

Wren watching the dough go around.

After a while I ducked over to my laptop to check my email. This is what any parent of toddler does the moment their child is engaged in an activity that does not require their attention. I could see him from the desk so I felt fine about it. Eventually, Wren tired of watching and came through to see what I was doing. The dough had quieted down and was rising so I suggested we have one last peek at it and then it was naptime. The next picture shows what I saw when I opened the bread machine.

This is what we saw.

I shrieked and scooped the dough out. There were veins of bright purple and orange running right through it, not just on the surface, so there was no way to save it. My reaction saddened Wren and he was very sad when I told him the dough was no good and we had to throw it in the yard waste with the "yuck yuck". He cried and said "dough? dough?" as if to figure out what had happened.

"Dough, dough?" "Dough yuk yuk"

Of course it was not his fault that Wren had been confused by a homonym. Before we started making dough he had been playing with playdough which we also call "dough". He has seen me add flour and water to the breadmachine to get the dough the right consistency and while I was inattentive he had been innovating a tiny bit.

I did not have enough yeast to make another batch so I told Wren we would make a small bread. The small bread was fun to watch also and although nap was delayed a while the Maple Oat Sampler loaf is rising on the stovetop as I type.

Wren is napping, dreaming (no doubt) about multicolored doughs which invite retribution.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Bite me!

It was very hot on Sunday and the boys spent a lot of time outside playing with the hose. One game was for Frost to climb the tree and Wren to try and squirt him with water while he was up there. Josh came out and let Wren climb the tree.

While I was filming Frost went up to Wren and said "bite me" and stuck his finger into Wren's mouth. As Frost explained later "he never used to bite that hard!" Here is the hilariously painful movie of Frost being bitten by Wren (at his own request). In the second movie Wren is down from the tree and goes to find Frost who has run off crying due to the lack of sympathy from Josh. In the first movie Josh is heard to say "you asked him to bite you." Frost was not expecting the natural consequences. Wren is very sweetly seeking Frost calling out "ROST, ROST" as is his way.