No Appointments Today

14 06 2011

It’s Tuesday, and for the first time in 15 weeks I don’t have a doctor’s appointment today. According to my diary this is what the last 14 Tuesdays have involved:
* Took Emma to the GP because she was spotty again (probably german measels)
* My initial appointment with the GP to discuss my fatigue and initial blood test
* My follow-up appointment with GP and referral to gastroenterologist
* Emma’s 12 month injections
* My initial appointment with gastroenterologist
* Appointment with GP to discuss Ben’s digestion problems and possible coeliac disease
* Ben’s blood test
* My gastroscopy
* Follow up appointment with gastroenterologist and confirmation of my coeliac disease
* Ben’s follow up appointment with GP and confirmation that he does not have coeliac disease
* My follow up blood tests
* Buffy’s vet checkup and injections
* My follow up bone densitomitry scan
* My follow up with GP and discussion about possible thyroid disease

I’m so thankful my Mum is on long service leave at the moment and she has been happy to look after the kids every Tuesday. It’s become my routine to drop them off and then go to an appointment. Today I didn’t have one. So I went shopping instead. Bliss!

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Coeliac Disease – Road to Diagnosis

11 06 2011

So for those who haven’t heard, I have been officially diagnosed with coeliac disease. My gluten free life begins now. (Actually it began 5 weeks ago but I’m still a little lax at keeping up-to-date with the blog).

The diagnosis was not surprising as my Mum was diagnosed with coeliac about 4 years ago. Her road to diagnosis was much longer. Her symptoms began in her late 40s and included diarrhea, vomiting, anemia and loss of bone density. At the time little was known about coeliac disease so she was told it was probably menopausal and given supplements. When she was finally diagnosed correctly and began her gluten free diet she said she felt better than she had for the last 10 years. That’s a long time to feel sick.

Soon after my Mum’s diagnosis her sister was also diagnosed. They both agree that their mother, now deceased, was probably also coeliac as she struggled with conditions like osteoperosis and thyroid disease. Subsequently two of my older male cousins on that side of the family also began eating gluten free and felt much better for it.

Given the strong family history of this genetic disease, I had a blood test to see if I might also have the disease. I was pregnant with my first child at the time and I was having a number of blood tests anyway so I tacked it on the list and got it done. Unfortunatley the results were too confusing for my obstetrician at the time (I can’t really blame her for not being totally up-to-date on coeliac serology). She told me that as only one of the three tests was out of range, I should leave it until any digestive symptoms manifested.

Fast forward four years and two babies later, I found myself requesting another blood test. Not for digestive symptoms but for fatigue. I’m always tired and never able to get enough sleep. And while 2 children who get me up in the middle of the night and do not sleep well in the day certainly contribute to this, I felt like it was more than that. I interact with other mothers who do not seem to be as drained as I always feel. So I thought I should get a few things checked like iron levels, vitamin levels, thyroid function, and sure go ahead and recheck those coeliac antibodies too.

The blood test results were a little bit surprising – iron levels were fine, vitamin levels were fine, thyroid function a bit overactive, and coeliac antibody levels super high.

The gastroenterologist said that given the serology and the family history there was little doubt I had coeliac disease. But I went ahead and had the gastroscopy and small bowel biopsy to confirm it. This confirmation is required to be able to join the coeliac society. It’s certainly the most expensive and invasive membership fee I’ve ever had to pay.

So there it is. The day after the gastroscopy I started eating gluten free. And besides having to ask my mother a hundred questions I haven’t found it terribly difficult. I am lucky to live in an age where there are hundreds of gluten free products and substitutes available. The follow up biopsy in 12 months will tell me if my insides are healing. But as the only symptom I have is tiredness it will be difficult to judge if the diet has an impact. In 12 months time I will have weaned my 1 year old, she will hopefully be sleeping better, and my overactive 3 year old will finally be allowed to go to kindy. So gluten free or not I’m sure I’ll feel better next year.





Leave of Absence

11 05 2011

It’s been a while since I posted on this blog.

Ok, it’s been quite a while since I posted on this blog. Nearly 2 years in fact. Which is quite a long time given the speed in which things like technology and social media change these days.

Here’s my excuse:

I think it’s a good one.
First she made me too sick to blog, then she made me too tired to blog, then she made me too busy to blog.

Not surprisingly Emma is now almost the same age Ben was when I started the blog. I think I am starting to put my head back above water again. Starting to feel on top of things again.

So I thought I’d have a look at my blog again.
Oh good, it’s still there!
Hmmm….password?? Thanks gmail search function!
And we are back up and running.





Artistic Skill – Ben – 21 Months

4 08 2009

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Bedroom Update

28 07 2009

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I know, I know… this photo looks just the same as the last one I took when I was washing the windows and curtains. But there is one difference – can you spot it?

Yes, the bookcase. There used to be a stack of large plastic storage boxes in this corner – holding clothes that are too big, too small, or too woolly. Now that these have been shifted under the bed, I moved the bookcase into the space. This poor bookcase has moved 4 times in the 5 years we have been in this house but I felt that it matched well with the new bed. Plus purchasing a new bookcase to put in the living room where this one came from will double our bookcase space – essential for keeping things out of reach of inquisitive toddlers. It also meant that we could set up our stereo in the bedroom again which is really nice on the few occassions that we are in there longer than 5 minutes before we fall alseep.

I’d really like to do something about the doonas on our bed. The ones you can see were actually David’s and his brother’s back when they were living in Bundaberg some 15-20 years ago. I have bought a king size doona and some material to make a cover but I’ve put it off because of other priorities and also because, actually, these two single doonas are so practical. I love being able to decide if I want the doona on or not and not having to wake up in the middle of the night because the other person has decided they are hot and thrown the covers off. We use them all year round in Brisbane, with an acrylic blanket in winter and with a cotton blanket in between seasons. Hmmm, maybe I should just make two single covers with the material. I’ll think about that until I find time to actually do some sewing.





Words and Sentences

1 07 2009

Ben’s vocabulary is expanding exponentially at the moment.  I have given up keeping track of what he does and doesn’t know.  When I say something new or interesting he walks around repeating it for hours until he has internalised it.  Because of our holiday he has learnt lots of words that probably aren’t very common for 20 month olds, like “seagull”, “lighthouse”, “wine” and “cave”.

He is also occassionaly speaking in short sentences like “Mummy cuddle Ben?” (oh, how sweet), “Ben did drawing!” (uh oh, where??) and “I like Weet-bix!” (he is currently eating 3 for breakfast every morning.  I’m dreading what that will become by time he is a teenager.)





Where Did June Go?

1 07 2009

It’s been a whole month since I wrote a blog post.  Here’s what I was doing instead:

Packed for our holiday.  Flew to Perth.  Visited Perth City, Fremantle, Rottnest Island, Swan Valley.  Drove to Bunbury and stayed with uni friends.  Drove to Margaret River.  Visited 25 wineries.  Saw some of the local attractions , although not many because it was raining most of the week.  Drove to Perth.  Flew home.  Looked for a rental house for my friends moving back from Japan.  Had a lot of swimming lessons with Ben, to make up for our time away.  Had my brother and sister-in-law come and stay.  Had my parents-in-law come and stay (they took Buffy to Bundaberg while we were away).

I have heaps of pictures and a ton of things I could blog about.  But I think I’ll just take it slowly, bit by bit.  I’m really hoping that after next week things might slow down a bit around here.  (How many times have I said that in the last six months?)