"These happy golden years are passing by, these happy golden years." Laura Ingalls Wilder

Sunday, September 16, 2007

"Eyes" OK

With back to school having started nearly two weeks ago, We've had our share of ups and downs with all things Nathan related. Being the possessor of an extra chromosome has its advantages and disadvantages. A few of the downers are health, physical and cognitive challenges. For example, each year his doctor checks for certain changes in his blood chemistry, particularly thyroid and blood count problems. Last year his thyroid test came back screwy ... but the second test came back normal. This year his white blood count was a little low ... not dangerously low ... but low all the same. At the end of September we will have this test redone and hope/pray that it's better. Just days before his blood was drawn, he was bitten by what I presumed was a snake while playing in our forested back acreage. Needless to say, it wasn't from a poisonous snake ... and it could have even been from some huge insect that left two distinct puncture marks that got inflamed and presented faint streaks. Worry wart that I am ... as soon as the doctor informed me that the blood count was low ... and asked, "has he been sick or had an infection lately" ... I began worrying about the worst of the worst fears that I can't even bring myself to repeat. You can imagine how difficult it is to even get him to visit the doctor what with having 13 or more surgeries in his young life. I usually save the details of our 'errand' until we pull up at the doctor's office and then he always asks if a shot is involved. This past week presented even another problem. He escaped the school grounds and was making his way to McDonald's for French fries. Now I have another meeting to attend at school regarding safety issues. He has to be watched like a hawk and has a lack of safety awareness. On Wednesday he had an appointment with an opthalmologist which went something like this: Assistant persuaded Nathan to sit in the big up and down exam chair. "Please read the top line in the mirror." She had little insight that he has unintelligible speech ... but soon switched from letters to numbers. After I informed her that she might try shapes, she dug out a slide with stencil looking animals, a car, house, etc. This proved pointless and she gave up. All the while he's trying to ask her if she plans on giving him a shot. Next, in comes the doctor. He plans on putting eye drops in Nathan's eyes ... but first is asked something about a shot. "No, we don't give shots here." In go the drops and after a few minutes, the 'dance' of unintelligible communication proceeds between the doctor, Nathan, and myself. I was the interpreter, and calming force. Somehow, the doctor, with the help of his hand held lenses, was able to deduct that my child is farsighted and has an astigmatism ... but does not need glasses.

Lost In Translation:

Here is a sample of Nathan's vocabulary:

ice (said while pointing to his eyes) = he's thirsty and wants some ice water. Since ice and
eyes sound alike ... he points to his EYES.

mirror = "come here"

boom = the name he calls his 'security blanket' which just
happens to be a little plastic yellow garden spade
Ma = all things related to Mom (me)

KeeKee = (older sister)

Wowa = (older sister)

baby = nephew Jacob

Ha-nee = Holly, his dog's name

voom-voom = said while each hand's index and middle fingers
touch. Used to be said when wanting a ride in our
65 GTO muscle car. Now he says this to ride in our
76 Jeep CJ7

eee-eee = said while signing to eat

no = no (the same in every language) his favorite word

Words he uses sign language for:

French fries, cookie, please, sorry, help, water, sleep, potty, eat, chips,
baseball, basketball, soccer, book, cat, ready, play, friend, Jesus, fruit

edit: the sign for 'vagina' was used incorrectly (much to my horror) as his sign for his Playstation Game. Two acquaintances asked if I knew what he was signing ... well, we now have an appropriate sign for the word game being used. :)

As you can imagine, one has to be well trained to be his mother ;)

Did I mention he's the joy of my life???

"Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love,
that we may sing for joy
and be glad all our days."
Psalm 90:14

Photo: Nathan, age 11


Phil said...

I wonder if that bite was from a spider. I found one in my backyard the other day... It jumped out at me when I was pulling a weed out of some stacked rocks. I could see that the spider had two fangs. Maybe a wolf spider.

I haven't heard of any biting snakes around here, so my first guess would be a spider.

Now that I'm writing this, I'm getting nervous... This is that time of year when the spiders start coming into the house. Eek!

Mrs. Mac said...

Phil ... now I'm even more scared. The fangs/puncture marks were over 1/2 inch apart.

Sara said...

first of all, praying for nathan and you from michigan. AND all the caregivers who God will assign to him. they need wisdom and insight to give him the best care. i will admit here that last tuesday i escaped work and went to mc donalds for a double cheese burger.

Mrs. Darling said...

Aw what a sweetheart! Praying that everything is okay next time you go to the doc. That would be scary!

Maggie Ann said...

You are a wonderful Mom...I had no idea that simply talking could be so different for Nathan. I can see how it would make you love him all the more fierce-ly...smile. It would me. & if McDonalds were within walking distance and I was 'in school' for all those hours, it would tempt me too...grin.

Pat said...

I love Nathan stories - they always give me a heart smile. Goodness - you better get a sign language book before posting anymore of his sign language! Loved the Playstation goof!

Margie said...

I'll keep praying for him! He is so darn cute!!

Tell him, next time, Sara and I will come get him, & take him to McDonald's...

Terry said...

Dear Mrs. Mac
You don't have to tell us that he is the joy of your life.
I saw that from the very first time that I met you and you have shared him with us so generously that now he is the joy of ALL of our lives!
I mean, how many kids moms make a separate site for their kid?
Yes he is certainly a gift from the Lord!!...Love Terry

Mrs. Mac said...

Pat, We actually do have a sign language picture dictionary. But Nathan invented his own sign for his Playstation game after seeing a certain symbol each time the game starts up.

Anonymous said...

Well since I'm trying to leave a comment again, I thought I would maybe say somthing witty but after reading this post, I can think of nothing to say but your speacial gift is mighty precious. That is such a good picture of him. And God bless you for taking care of him like I'm sure you do. Just Gramma_s

Anonymous said...

WOW, my comment has been saved !!!!! I'm impressed. :-)