Saturday, July 20, 2013

School’s Out for the Summer!

Back home, kids are almost to the end of their summer break.  But here in The Lux, we’re just getting started.  I’ve mentioned that our school calendar is a bit different – our summer holiday is the end of July through the end of September.  
Thursday was Hannah’s last day in Reception, which is similar to Pre-K in the US.  In the fall she’ll start Year 1, which is similar(ish) to Kindergarten.
Here she is on her last day:

Last day of school

It’s possible that this right here is the 1983 version of me.  I mean, I’m certain I had those same leggings and neon pink unicorn shirt tied on the side.  (Except I would’ve been singing Girls Just Wanna Have Fun instead of Call Me Maybe.)

And for comparison, here she is back in September on her first day of school.first dayof school 
The shoes she wore no longer fit and we’ve repurposed that frock into a long shirt.

We’ve had some tough times as a family this year – losing our dog, the deaths of three family members and having a new baby.  Of course the new baby was a joyous time, but a change and shift in dynamics nonetheless.  Hannah’s handled all of these things and adapted better than some adults would.
We’re so proud of her.

Oh, and also this:


It makes my heart smile. 
(And apparently all has been forgiven and forgotten regarding the “faffing about the loo” incident earlier this year.)

Hannah gave us some cause for concern earlier this week when she came home with an odd rash on her legs.  I knew it was more than an allergic reaction or heat rash so I called the doctor.  She was 90% sure she knew what it was but needed to rule some other things out so she sent us to Children’s Hospital for some testing.  For four days in a row, we were either in the doctor’s office or at the hospital being tested or evaluating new or changing symptoms.

The doctor was right about her initial suspicion and Hannah’s been diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder that affects primarily children in the 2-11 age range.  It’s okay – it’s not curable, per se, but it’s manageable and the symptoms can be treated.

When she has a flare up, which is what’s happened this week, she’ll get a rash on the lower half of her body, and a day or two later, her joints will swell (last night her ankles and knees looked bruised and were the size of small apples) and become tender and she can have stomach pains.  The main concern is kidney damage and her pediatrician is keeping a close eye on that.  So close, in fact, that she’s given me test strips and taught me what all those colors mean and how to test her urine for the things that would alert us that there’s something wrong.   See?  I feel like a nurse.  Or a Chemist.  Somebody get me a lab coat.


She also wants to see Hannah every two days until all her symptoms have gone and will continue to monitor her for the next six months.  I just tested her this morning and it appears that she’s still in the middle of a flare up, but the values are lower than yesterday, so she may be over the hump.  Although it’s hard to say because with this particular disorder, symptoms come and go randomly during a flare up.  It’s possible that this is the only time she’ll ever have an issue with this disorder, but it’s also possible that it can return.  But at least we know what we’re dealing with and can begin treating the symptoms as soon as they appear and keep a close eye on her kidneys.  

The doctor put an urgent stamp on the tests at the hospital so we had results back within a few hours, but the wait was still unnerving.  When your kid’s sick and you don’t know what’s wrong, well, nothing else in the world matters.
We’re so, so thankful and relieved that it ended up being something we can easily manage. 


And before I go, so that I don’t forget, a few quotes from this week.

We recently got new neighbors and they obviously don’t know that mowing your grass on a Sunday is a big NO-NO in Luxembourg because they were MOWING THEIR GRASS ON A SUNDAY.  (This is an even bigger offense than doing your trash wrong.)

“Dad, he’s mowing the grass on Sunday.  Do you think someone’s going to ring the police?”
It tickles me to no end when she says such British things.

“Mom, you don’t look much like a mom.  You look like a teenager.”
Bless her.

“Hey Mommy, someday when I’m a bride I’m going to shine.”
Yes you are, sweet girl.  Yes you are.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my gosh, how scary!!!! I'm so glad that whatever is wrong with Hannah is not life-threatening but an auto-immune disease is rough nonetheless. I'm glad you have a doctor who really paid attention and thoroughly checked Hannah out so she could treat her properly. I hope she is over the hump and is on the mend now.

    Her knobby knees in her last day of school picture crack me up. She is all limbs and just as cute as can be. I always like seeing how much the kids have gained confidence from the first day of school to the last. Their body posture and expressions always shows how much they have grown-up on the inside. (And you do look like a teenager by the way.)

    I'm jealous y'all are just starting your summer, I wish we could start all over again!