Tuesday, September 20, 2011

This is how life is rolling these days at the Dumoulin house...

Last week, I went to 7 doctors appointments. One for Ethan, one for Lily and 5, yes, 5 for me.

Ethan's appointment was to confirm no additional complications from a marathon viral infection that lastest 12 days, missing 6 days of school. This week he is finally recovering some of his energy he lost from a constant fever for that long. He has just stopped falling asleep mid-day, yet still has a random cough that produces gags.  He is slowly returning to normal.

Lily's appointment was in Greensboro with her pediatric opthamologist. She will have eye surgery sometime in the next month for her accomodating esotropia. Her very strong glasses are not fully correcting her vision issues, so they will cut the muscle to tighten it. This procedure is done at a day surgery center and lasts about 20 minutes. I believe there is some discomfort the first day or two and then a week of a bloody looking eye, reminiscient of the worst pink eye you have seen.  Poor Lily.

My situation was a little more complicated, but the results were very positive. I had an MRI and mammogram and an appointment with my OB-GYN all in the same day (3 appointments right there). Talk about being exposed, poked, and prodded. I felt just one step away from porn status, really. As usual with my situation, I am declaring war with my insurance company over the MRI which is recommended by every medical board with my life-time risk of breast cancer being over 20%. It is actually 26%, but when you get over 20% does it really matter? Regardless, they won't cover it, which means $1,400 out of pocket for me each and every time. Aren't they gems?

The remaining two appointments were because they found some area of concern on my MRI. This the third time this has happened. Their recommendation was to biopsy the area assisted by MRI. After the procedure I was sent for another mammogram to note the location of an injected clip. The clip is used to mark where they collected the tissue. All very heavy and all very irritating at the same time. Not too emotional this go around, but more like, why is this happening again? At what point will I not have any tissues left to take? My MRI tech was quite a "McDreamy" making it all very interesting to be sitting there with the front of my gown open, exposing one side. However, my doctor pretty much destroyed that enjoyment by squeezing my boob as if checking to see if the melon were ripe...right in front of him. To be more accurate, I should say squeezing like a peach, as she tried to control the bleeding of the biopsy entry point. Nothing says "hot" like having steri-strips and neosporin gooped on the side of you, while incoherently saying you are fine with a gigantic red mark on your forehead from laying face down on your stomach for 30-45 minutes. The bottom line and fantastic news is that the results were negative for anything cancerous. Now, I just need to decide how much it is worth to continue with these "recommended" tests.  I am also reconsidering genetic testing although that isn't fool-proof either.
Ethan is running for student council, thinking about a hip hop dance class and participating in Cotillion. For those not in the south, Cotillion is a class that teaches manners, etiquette, and basic dance skills. Ironically, we were 30 minutes late to the first class as I wrote the time down incorrectly. Who is late for a class on etiquette?  The Dumoulins. 

The hip hop dance thing is unsettling to me. I know I am being ridiculous, but sometimes I just live in the 19th century, ok? He even said he was ok with taking jazz or tap if he had to as he might "enjoy" that. Gosh, I hope he really wants to do this because he knows he can meet some girls. Either way, as this "interest" sinks in, we will play the waiting game on exploring our options.

We, meaning Ethan, resumed morning swim practices today. I am most thrilled to report that our gracious coach has delayed the start of practice by 15 minutes. Now, I only have to have Ethan at the Sports Center at 5:15 am instead of 5:00 am. Nice. Wake-up time is an easy 4:45...still considered to be the night before, not this morning by me. When I returned home at 8 am, I had taken Ethan to practice, worked-out (translation: walked on a treadmill for 30 minutes at 3.5), made a run to Wal-Mart (NO ONE is at Wal-Mart at 6:15 am), grabbed a cup of coffee at Chik-fil-a, picked Ethan back up and hauled him to school. Of course, he left his gym clothes in the car which meant another trip to the school. However, I thought my productivity prior to 8 am was pretty admirable considering I can easily sleep until 9:30 or 10 am on weekends. Deep down, could I be a morning person? No. It is all because I love my son. It is now 12:30 pm as I type this and I can hardly keep my eyes open. Did I say how much I love my son? By the way, it was a first for me to go into a Wal-Mart while it was dark, only to exit when it was getting light. I thought people only did that when they went to bars in Europe.

Lily has taken to shouting out random math problems throughout the day.  Yesterday afternoon, as she lounged on our oversized chair in the kitchen, she announced that 700 plus 600 equals 1300.  Cuddling up with me before bed, she did a borrowing subtraction problem with 3-digit numbers out loud, without paper. If you don't know what that is, I think it was something like 318-189=129.  She is nutso over math and I do not get it at all.

What other ridiculousness is going on our family, you ask? Well, homeschool, of course. How does one homeschool when at at doctor's office more than her own house? Well, she doesn't. Complete fail last week for the most part. Here's another eye opener...using the instructor's manual is actually a helpful thing when teaching math. Sometimes I wonder how my children know anything. For the first time in our brief homeschooling journey, I have given up on a curriculum choice for one of my girls. The bible course I used with Sadie during 3rd grade is just too difficult for Lily. Words like attributes, polytheism, and atheist are not ones Lily can retain. At. all. Time to do some research.  Today we had some success with two little experiments in science.  One was throwing marbles in bowls of flour to demonstrate how craters are made and the impact they have on a planet's surface.  The other was melting butter to pour over custard bowl which was covered in four.  This was to mimic a volcanic eruption.  The key part to this was that when the butter cools, it hardens up a bit like the lava does when it cools. 

I have found that here is little substitute for the retention of information than hands-on study and/or video enforcement.  To compliment our study of Australia, our family watched a great documentary about Australia Saturday morning.  The kids squawked a bit through it and I threatened to give them a pop quiz.  Afterall, I am the teacher.  I can do that sort of thing.  In the end though, we all learned a lot and each child could give me 2-3 different facts about Australia.  Netflix has become our greatest ally in this type of teaching. Once we complete our notebook section on Australia, they might be ready to go eat some vegemite!  Next up...AFRICA in our semester of World Geogrpahy!  I have about 6 movies in the queue.  That will probably send them over the edge. 

As I down my third cup of caffiene today, I wonder how I will get anything else done.  The projects just keep piling up and home maintenance keeps getting shoved farther and farther down the list.  My view is that if God wanted me to get them done, then He would give me the time.  Right?

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