Archive for January, 2008

Doctor’s appointments

Sunday, January 20th, 2008

I’m getting behinder and behinder on posting, and I don’t even have any new photos to put up.  I’m pretty useless this week!  I’ve been pretty busy at work (that’s a good thing!) and my days off have been occupied with doctor’s appointments.  Nothing big, but I had to go last Monday for a blood pressure recheck and general scolding for gaining weight again (my blood pressure was improved, however, so the scolding was not as severe as it could have been.)

Anna had a visit to her pediatric ophthalmologist on Thursday morning.  She passed with flying colors.  She can talk well enough to identify pictures now, so the assistant was using little projections of a panda and a jeep and a tree and a house, etc.  Anna was scaring me a little because she could clearly identify them at the 20/40 level, but not any better.  Of course, she’s a bit contrary about things like that, so I’m never sure if she really can’t do it, or if she just thinks she’s being cute by acting like she doesn’t know.  In any case, after her eyes were dilated and the doctor came in to look at them, she declared that she was not nearsighted yet, and doesn’t want to see her back until next year.  She still thinks that because Anna has normal vision at this age, when most toddlers still are somewhat farsighted (I think), that Anna will become nearsighted as her eyes mature. 

As we were leaving the office, someone called out our name, and it turned out to be Tricia, from southern New Hampshire, whom I met on-line via a Yahoo group last year.  She was there with her son, Drake, home from China for about 6 months or so.  He actually has albinism, unlike Anna.  He looked wonderful, and it was a treat to meet up with someone I know only from the cyber world!

I had rather an exciting weekend on call last week.  Normally, I just have to suture a few lacerations, pull porcupine quills, hold a few hands, etc.  This time, I got to see a dog who ate some of the carpeting in his crate.  His owners didn’t know that; they only knew he was vomiting.  After taking x-rays and doing bloodwork, we decided that it was likely he had something obstructing his GI tract, so we went in for exploratory surgery.  I found two long lengths of wool carpet yarn and a length of Christmas ribbon.  I had to open his stomach and small intestines in 4 different places to get it all out.  He did well through surgery, and he was eating and drinking by the next afternoon, so I let him go home.  He wasn’t out of the woods yet at that point, and I haven’t heard how he did the rest of the week, but it was kind of fun to do a surgery I don’t get to perform all the time. 

Matching kids

Sunday, January 6th, 2008

As my family will remember, both Grandma and I were shopping on the Kohl’s sale pages before Christmas, and we both managed to order the exact same outfit for Will, in the exact same size.  Naturally.  We aren’t related for nothing!  In any case, as Anna is almost the same size, and she doesn’t really have any girly predispositions at this point, I decided there was no reason she couldn’t wear the outfit I bought.  What’s more, I decided today that I would dress them alike while I can still get away with it.  I tried valiantly to get a nice picture of the two of them after church, but Anna is in a sullen phase when it comes to posing for photos right now, so this was the best I could do.


I have far more “out takes,” and since they are much more entertaining, I’m sharing a few of them below.

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They’ve been doing a pretty good job of entertaining themselves this afternoon; Will on the tricycle watching the Wiggles, and Anna drawing in her coloring book with her new colored pencils.  She’s only fed one to the dog so far.  She’s a terror with crayons; she’s convinced they need to be “unwrapped,” so the paper comes off immediately.  Crayons are not very strong without their paper, so it’s only another few seconds before they’re broken, at which point there is an urgent emergency, during which Mama is implored to “fix” the crayon, and when that proves impossible, all out toddler meltdown often ensues.  I bought them each a box of 8 toddler-sized really neat triangular crayons for Christmas.  Anna’s lasted less than 5 minutes, and they all disappeared.  I suspect canine ingestion, but I wasn’t going outside in the -13 degree weather to inspect poop.  Thank heavens they’re non-toxic.  Will’s took a couple of days to disappear, but I’m not buying them crayons that cost more than $0.99 again. 


1-6-08-6.jpg 1-6-08-7.jpg He LOOKS like a pleasant child, doesn’t he?  He’s wearing a cute camouflage outfit from Aunt Ina.  Perfect fit.

You all may remember me complaining that Will has an odor coming from his mouth and nose which I associate with an infection, based on many years of smelling infected wounds and abscesses in dogs and cats.  I could not convince either our primary care doc or the fleet of specialists at Dartmouth of this, however.  They just recommended rigorous flushing with saline, etc.  We have been doing that without fail since that appointment, and in the past week, the discharge from his nose has only become more bloody, more purulent, and more malodorous.  I finally took matters into my own hands, and put him on a mild antibiotic that is still used in children’s ear and sinus infections.  In just 2 days, the whole character of his odor has changed.  It’s much less noticeable, and has lost the “infected” nature.  And there’s no discharge at all.  I can’t believe I didn’t just do this 2 months ago.  The antibiotic we used in China had no effect on the odor at all, but it was in a different class, so it’s possible whatever was growing in there was resistant to it. 

I have managed to convince myself that human doctors just don’t encounter the kind of infected wounds that vets do on an everyday basis, so they aren’t as familiar with the common presenting signs, like odors.  Sort of like the simple everyday emergencies that come up in a small animal practice.  You very rarely encounter something like a cesarean section, or a pyometra, or even porcupine quills at the veterinary schools, because they are handled at the practice level.  We get out of school having dealt with a few uncommon conditions and complicated surgeries, but almost none of the common things.  The professors in school are unlikely to have seen the common conditions in real life, either, because they usually go straight through school to an internship and residency, never going out into the real world.  It’s a shame.  Anyway, I hope this course helps clear up Will enough that he is more comfortable and I can get close enough to him to give him hugs.

Well, it WAS cold!

Sunday, January 6th, 2008


One of the disadvantages to being pokey about posting on your blog is that by the time you get around to posting something, it may no longer be relevant.  We had some really nasty cold weather this week, with lows well below zero and highs in the single digits.  Thursday was the worst, with a high of about 5 above.  I took the photo of the information panel of my car as we were driving home from an outing to our favorite bookstore.  We should be accustomed to this; we do typically have several days or a couple of weeks in the mid-winter where the temperatures dip to about 20 below at night, and often don’t go positive during the day.  We just haven’t had any yet this winter, so it was a bit of a shock to the system.

But never fear, by Friday it had warmed up into the 20s, and was in the low 30s yesterday and near 40 today.  Of course, that means our snow starts to melt, and they’re predicting some rain this week, which is even nastier.  It just puts a thick layer of ice on top of our snow.  That’s when it gets really treacherous.  We always hope it won’t happen, but it seems to be almost a given that there will be a partial thaw in January.

Happy New Year Birthday!

Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008

This is what Anna came up with at the end of the day today, with regard to everything we celebrated today.  Yes, it was young Will’s birthday today; he turned 4!  It was all a bit confusing for him, because we still haven’t looked at all the gifts we got a week ago, and suddenly, a whole new crop of things shows up.  He went with Baba to go pick up Auntie Renee, and I did a bit of decorating while they were gone.  He walked in the door and just looked around.  Not a word.  He had no idea it was for him.  And more presents?  Geez!

Thankfully the winter storm we’re having today didn’t keep our guests away.  We’re back up to about 2 feet of snow on the ground again, and are slated for another 4-6 inches tonight.  It’s turned out to be a very good winter for our local winter sport-dependent economy!

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Auntie Cilla joined us, too, and we had lovely cupcakes and cookies with Funfetti frosting.  Both Will and Anna found the frosting to be more to their liking than the cupcakes, but Will at least managed to consume some of the cake.  Anna has decided that the term “cupcake” refers only to the frosting.  It’s very similar to her attitude toward butter.  Bread and cake are clearly only designed to be inedible vehicles for delivery of the good stuff.

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Then it was on to presents.  Will’s big gift was a My First LeapPad, very similar to one that Anna already has (a kind gift from Jackie and Hannah).  He got three cartridges to go with it; Cars, Thomas the Tank Engine, and a Dr. Seuss module.  He hasn’t quite figured it out yet, but I think he will enjoy it soon.  I discussed Will’s birthday with Anna for the last several nights, so she knew that it was his birthday and not hers, but when it came time for presents, she was still convinced that some of them must be for her!  Fortunately, I had several LeapPad cartridges for her, too, so she had something to open.  I even found one featuring the Wiggles, so she was in heaven the rest of the afternoon.

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1-1-08-13.jpg Anna introduced Antie Cilla to the Wiggles, and they “woke up Jeff” many, many, MANY times over the course of the afternoon.

1-1-08-17.jpg Will spent much of the afternoon trying to wrangle multiple balloons simultaneously.  He finally figured out he could grab them by the “necks” and carry them more easily.

1-1-08-18.jpg Will’s Oklahoma relatives will be thrilled to learn that he is just as fond of black-eyed peas as Anna, and he can anticipate a wonderful 2008 if there is any correlation between the number of peas consumed and the good luck earned as a result.

Anna modeled one of her new Elmo outfits earlier this week.  It was so cute, I had to include some photos.  She’s still wearing her cowboy boots from Aunt Ina, but they’re getting a bit small, so I’m going to have to look for a bigger pair soon. 

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