Random bits o’ life…
Worst Things First
In my previous blog entry, I reported that things were looking good with Creegan and that, if things continued to go well, he would come home from the hospital that same day. Creegan did make it home on Saturday. Shortly after getting home, however, he projectile vomited. This was a bit unsettling, as this was the very thing his surgery was meant to cure. He projectile vomited again a few hours later, and then again many hours after that. Melanie and I had read that sometimes babies still projectile vomit for a day or so after having the surgery because that is what their bodies are used to doing. One nurse also said this to us, but everybody else—including Creegan’s doctor and the surgeon—said we shouldn’t expect to see any more vomiting at all. I wasn’t sure what to think. I wanted to feel completely at ease by this point, but I didn’t. And I hated the suspense of not feeling completely settled. On the positive side of things, though Creegan was still projectile vomiting, the vomits were getting further and further apart. I hoped this meant his system was just getting used to things again. I also took comfort in the fact that Creegan had pooped twice since his surgery, a sign that the surgery had worked. However, the pooping then seemed to stop. And, one of the projectile vomits that Creegan spewed after leaving the hospital was oddly thick, almost like clay or putty. These things bothered me, but Creegan did seem better overall. He looked immensely better, and when he was awake, he seemed more alert and attentive than he had ever been. We knew Creegan had a follow-up doctor’s appointment on Monday (yesterday), so we decided not to panic. I kept all my hope invested in the “readjustment period” theory.
The morning of Creegan’s doctor appointment, he pooped. It wasn’t a lot, but it was something. I don’t think I’ve ever been so thrilled to have a child defecate as I was at that moment. Then, at the doctor’s office, with the doctor watching, Creegan pooped a big one. He’s been pooping regularly ever since, and it’s now been something like 40 hours since he’s projectile vomited. I finally feel at ease, like life is and will be normal, both for Creegan and for us. It’s a wonderful feeling after all of this. Creegan’s doctor put him back on Zantac, still thinking that he has acid reflux, which could explain some of the post-surgery vomiting. As I said in my previous entry, pyloric stenosis wouldn’t explain the more active spitting up that Creegan experienced during his first couple of weeks of life, so I’m not skeptical that he has acid reflux. But I think the post-surgery vomiting was probably just his body adjusting back to normalcy. Things had almost completely mellowed out by the time the doctor saw him. But that’s OK. The Zantac does seem to help Creegan when it comes to normal, non-threatening, mild spitting up, of which Creegan is quite a fan. We’re going to keep him on Zantac for a month and then reevaluate. I’ll let you know what happens.
During the past week, I’ve often taken Edison and Peter out to the playground to play. I’m not sure where he got the idea, but Eddie likes for me to pretend that I’m a hunter chasing kids whom I plan to eat for dinner. He and Peter run around the playground screaming while I chase them. Here and there, they climb up on things and “barely” escape me by going down a slide as I come climbing up after them. Additionally, sometimes Eddie pretends to have a sword with which he can defend himself. It’s an especially deadly sword, a creation of Eddie’s own imagination. At the tip of the sword is—get this—a cactus needle! Just when you thought swords couldn’t get any more dangerous!
So, yes, living in Florida, we can still head out to the playground and play, even during the first week of December. I know that’s what some of you are thinking, and you may feel jealous. I’ll be the first to admit that there are many perks about our climate, such as not dealing with snow. But make no mistake, it gets cold here. And it’s quite cold here lately. The high for today is only 50 degrees. Morning temperatures are in the low 20s. It’s no picnic, even if you won’t get snow on your picnic blanket here. I feel I have to remind people of this because they often imagine that I’m living somewhere tropical, which I’m not. I remind you that I’m 15—20 minutes outside of Georgia, that Tallahassee is not a beach town, and that there is nothing picturesque about it.
The fall semester has ended. I’ve written what needs to be written and graded what needs to be graded. It’s over. Good riddance. I’m slightly disappointed with my not-quite-perfect grade in the one seminar class I took, simply because I think it would have been perfect had my first two papers been graded by the main instructor rather than by his assistant. That sounds like lame whining, but I have strong reasons for believing this and have been a student long enough that I can typically gauge how well I’ll do on things before I actually get graded. To share just one bit of evidence, my final paper in the course was an extension of one of my earlier papers. The instructor’s comments on my final paper were that it was “excellent,” “well-written,” “well-argued,” and demonstrated a “good command” of the material on which I was writing. Trust me, that didn’t come out of the little bit I added to it to turn it into a final paper, but the earlier version wasn’t nearly so well-received when graded by the instructor’s assistant. OK, OK, enough. From now until the spring semester starts in January, I need to be working on my special area exam, and I’m toying with the idea of trying to prep something to submit to a conference. I’m at the stage where I should be doing that kind of thing. It’s intimidating, but it has to be done. There’s a philosophy conference at the University of Utah in April. Wouldn’t that be cool if I got something accepted there? Grinders 13, here I come! Oops, I mean, family. Yes, of course, family is what I’d be excited about. Yeah. Sure.