Tuesday, February 1, 2011

News of My World...


Well, "the weather outside is frightful", indeed, and threatening to become more so...and there is, at present, no "fire so delightful" -- just a cold, dark grate in our family room. But, we make it our aim to not allow things to remain too dull here at the old Circle H Ranch, so a few tidbits [and what's the etymology of THAT word, anyway?]

Dust off that old Teaching Hat: Despite the fact that I once labored to instruct college freshmen in the fine arts of Composition and Rhetoric, not to mention Composition and Literature, I felt a bit daunted Monday, as I took my place at the front of a classroom. I worked all day sub-teaching in the grades 7/8 class at our little alternative school...and that teacher has big shoes to fill! Not literally, but she is one high-standards, expect-much: get-much teacher and a veteran of 30+ years in the trenches, also having homeschooled her own four. Not an inch of wiggle room or wasted moments in THAT lesson plan...take my word for it.

It was a long day, and I did my best. [Mercifully, I did NOT have to attempt algebra or fetal pig dissection for biology; the grandfather of one of John's friends is an M.D. who graciously superintends this---for four weeks!]

On the way home, one friend texted me that her daughter (in that class) "had a WONDERFUL substitute today!" How nice. She must have been in another dimension than was MY son, who smiled at me mischievously from the front row of class all day. On the way home, I felt emboldened to inquire: "So, John, how'd I do?"

"Well, it was just OK...you know, Mom, I wouldn't want to lie."


Sometimes a kindly intended white lie might be pardonable.

Lab News: In addition, we finally got some lab reports back from the RMH lab, [Ben's fainting episode and the notorious ambulance ride to the hospital next door] and apparently Dr. H. is "90% sure" that Ben is not DM1, but DM2---huh???? Can you actually be DX DM1 and then magically "morph" into DM2? Are alien beings involved?

[pardon the jargon..."DX" = diagnosis; "DM1" is "diabetes mellitus type 1/insulin-dependent," and "DM2" is "diabetes mellitus type 2/insulin-resistant"--where the pancreas is still kicking out a little natural insulin.]

In any event, AFTER the $340 pharmacy bill for both kinds of insulin 2 weeks ago (AFTER insurance, remember!), now he is off one kind of insulin; I don't think we used up even one pen's worth of medicine. However, I plan to hold on to it, since this seems to be an unsually tricky disease, leading you to one conclusion when in future it changes its mind.

So, now they are telling him to stay on the sliding scale day-time Humalog...short-acting insulin...and also put him on an oral med 2X /day...a combo of Metformin and Glyburide in one tablet. MUCH cheaper, however, and swallowing a pill beats poking oneself anyday.

Break out the snowshoes: Well, I must prepare to brave the elements now as I drag Johnny off to the Rockford Public Library downtown...for further dreaded work on his General MacArthur report. Of course, this is a bit of a lop-sided enterprise: he doesn't understand what all the fuss is about...going to a library for a research paper?....what the heck? Can't he just get everything he needs off of his sister's new Nook [Barnes and Noble version of a Kindle]? Who cares if he can't get sufficient information there for attributions and bibliography references? Isn't that where the "creative writing" part comes in?

"Gee, Mom, I kind of think you're making this too HARD...but, if that's what YOU really want to do..."

I keep having to remind myself that I did pass 7th grade myself a few decades back.

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