Thursday, September 20, 2007


As promised, the Somerville Journal published my letter to the editor. Let the public lambasting begin...

At least I had the sense not to use the Lexington Street Park as an example. Nobody can say anything about that park without setting off a firestorm of public opinion!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

New Cat or Not New Cat: That is the Question

My cat Xander died over the summer. I was sad, but kind of relieved. He was a great kid cat. He let them pet him and he never hurt them unless they really did something bad to him. Then the might give a little scratch. But he was obnoxious, loud at night, he shredded furniture and puked several times per day on every surface of the house including my bed.

But my other cat is not happy being an only cat. He stays out all the time, and he's afraid to come in if the kids are around. He wasn't like that when X was around. And the kids really miss having a cat they can pet. But I don't want more things to take care of! But I want a new cat. I miss having a cat that hangs out with me. I just don't want a puking furniture shredder. Is that too much to ask?

In other news, Kaylee's transition to family day care 3 days per week was fairly seamless. I was shocked. There were no tears or recriminations on the first drop off. She's a fabulous judge of character and knows that the provider is good people. She's a bit clingy when I pick her up, but it's not too bad. But the best part is that I'm Getting Things Done here. I've actually had time to write, and the muse has been hovering somewhere near my house because it's happening for now. Although I'm blogging at the moment, not Writing. But it will get there. I've got a deadline! I need to complete a manuscript that I can submit to agents by September of 2008. We'll see how it goes.

Eric continues to thrive, but suddenly he's having 'accidents' again and I'm not sure what is up with that. I thought we were done with that phase. Sigh. Two steps forward one step back. It goes with the territory, I suppose. I'll send him to his room to change his clothes (unless I'm in a hurry) and it will usually result in him playing semi naked for nearly an hour while he whines that he wants me to put on his clothes for him. But eventually he'll get bored and want to go do something and he'll deign to dress. It's quite hilarious if you think about it.

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Sunday, September 16, 2007

Finally a Bit of Progress

"How's your tummy?" I asked Eric after dinner.
"It hurts a (muttered word here that sounds like 'tot'"
"It hurts a lot?" I ask Eric, because a stomach ache generally means we've made a mistake.
"It hurts a DOT." He said pleased with the description.
"Like only a little dot of your tummy hurts?"

Believe me, after three months of a gluten free diet, this is real progress. The best answer I've gotten to that question in that last few months is "It got a little bit better."

And he's putting a couple of foods back into his diet that he hasn't eaten for years. It's just peaches and bananas at the moment. But last May he had rejected them completely. And today he at least tasted some yogurt. At the beginning of the summer this would NOT have happened.

He's gained four pounds since June. He's never put on weight that fast. This isn't necessarily a good thing long term. But for now, it's showing that we're on the right track.

The weirdest thing about this disease is how little it takes to cause a reaction. With a regular food allergy, (not an anaphylactic one) most people can tolerate microscopic amounts of their allergens before they have their reaction. I have a friend with a wheat allergy and she can eat 'normal' oats without a reaction. Oats are grown in rotation with wheat, and stored in the same silos. Hence, they are not generally considered a safe food for celiacs, even though oats have no gluten on their own. So most celiacs can not have regular oats without reacting. There are special oats just for celiacs, grown in separate fields and stored in dedicated silos. But they cost like $10 per pound.

So, a gluten free diet is not too hard once you get used to it. But it's so easy to get tripped out when food is consumed outside of our house. If we get him a drink at Au Bon Pain, is there gluten on the gloves of the server that could to cause a reaction? You really have to think about this stuff. And sometimes you just have to take a leap of faith that it's going to be OK.

That's the exhausting part. That's why I'm hoping there is a cure for this in the next ten years. There's really great substitutes for ALL gluteny food. But in those instances where you try to be super vigilant and you get sick anyhow, I wish there was something he could take to ease the reaction. Just something to make this a little easier to be out in the world. But for now, this is and will always be his safe place to eat.

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