Monday, March 26, 2012

Iron Man

Collin had some routine blood work done a few weeks ago - the same stuff he gets every six months or so to make sure the ketogenic diet isn't messing with anything in his body. When I got the call with the results, though, the doctor said that Collin was anemic. Fairly anemic, in fact. He said the most likely cause was iron deficiency, but iron hadn't been one of the things tested in that particular blood draw, so he ordered another round of tests to determine whether the anemia was a false reading and to see what Collin's iron levels were. We weren't going to be able to get the blood drawn for almost a week, so I immediately put red meat, egg yolks, and spinach in Collin's food just in case.

The normal range of iron levels for a 3 year old is anywhere from 50 to 212. Collin's is 16. And his iron stores are 8. In other words, crazy low. No wonder he's anemic. The main symptoms of anemia are exhaustion and weakness, so I couldn't help but think, If he's been doing this awesome while anemic, (and we don't even know how long he's been anemic, because a borderline reading wouldn't have necessitated an iron test - we could be looking at 6 months to a year of iron deficiency) imagine what he'll do when he has energy again!

It took a few days and several phone calls to get in touch with the right doctor to devise a plan, but once we did, they just prescribed Ferrous Sulfate (fancy iron drops) and said to get another round of tests in 6 to 8 weeks. Easy, right?

Ha! I laugh in the face of doctors who claim they're giving me a quick fix. Collin doesn't do quick fixes. I knew that iron supplements can cause nausea and constipation. Collin + nausea + constipation = retch city. So I polled his nutritionists and another doctor and came up with a modified plan: slowly work up to full iron dose over the course of 2 weeks, give it with a meal (to protect stomach) and with a dose of vitamin C (which aids iron absorption). Recheck in 8 weeks. We're on day three and so far, so good!

Speaking of Iron Man, Collin has added bicycling to his walking and swimming hobbies. I hope this doesn't mean he's gearing up for a triathlon, because I don't think I would be able to keep up.

This is the Topeak child bike seat Collin bought with his Christmas money (and his awesome monster bike helmet that he got with his gift card from Aunt Carol and Uncle Robert!) This is NOT a piece of adapted equipment. We bought it right off the shelf at Schellers and he does better in it than any other seat he owns. He sat up, never let his head fall, and enjoyed himself immensely. As you can see. And this wasn't even when I was pedaling.


Sunday, March 18, 2012

Happy Weekend

It's a beautiful weekend here. We carved out a few days to spend just the three of us with no outside commitments and we're all the better for it. It's amazing how rejuvenating it is to do nothing.

Here's one of our favorite songs/videos around here just to add a little joy to your weekend, too.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Farm

I was camped out in the basement with Collin during our own severe weather alert when I first heard that tornado warnings had been issued for the counties surrounding the farm where my parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins live. When I got a call from my dad soon after, my stomach sank like a rock. He told me right away that everyone was okay, which brought simultaneous relief and worry. From our conversations over the next few hours, I could only determine that things were very wrong - wrong in a way you can't convey over the phone.

When we finally made it there the next day, here is some of what we saw:

A line of utility trucks stretching out of sight.

The garage.

Our neighbor's house.

A 'clearing' behind my grandmother's house.


My favorite barn.

The cow barn.

The old tobacco barn.

The last barn standing - mostly propped by the equipment inside.

The walk back to my parents' house.

We spent three days hooking up generators, making the inside and outside of the houses safe and cleaning up debris from the yards. The rest will be left to professionals. As with all things with my family, there was a sweetness to our time there. We made time to visit with each other, concocted meals with whatever we had, and had lots of good laughs. Collin approached it all with his usual good humor.


Most agree that the tornado was an EF3 when it passed over the farm. We are profoundly thankful for the safety of our family and for the chance to be with them during this time.