Friday, April 18, 2014

Again Once More into the Breach... Or Tummy Aches

This week has been spectacularly low on actual school work. Amber has had a whole week of stomach pain and we aren't sure of the source. We thought she might be sick, but then it looked like something related to her FM. After missing all activities prior to Thursday, Amber is marginally better but still in some pain and very puny.

Originally we had a hike with the homeschool group scheduled for today, but Amber can't manage it so instead we are having a calm day at home finishing some school items and baking. 

On the school front, Amber did complete her standardized testing this morning which means we are free to resume regular school next week. During her extended downtime Amber was able to finish the current literature book, The Tale of Troy. We've yet to have our last discussion on that book, but we are preparing for her final literatur book of the year, Famous Men of Rome. 

Amber also watched a few more episodes of Drive Through Ancient History when she started to recover a little. While it's not my favorite resource, it does give her a different perspective on her current history topic with a little humor included. 

(LEFT) Ready to serve at the confirmation dinner last weekend.  In two year's it's her turn to be confirmed.
(RIGHT - TOP) Pretty much how she looked most of the week.  Watching Warehouse 13.
(RIGHT-BOTTOM) Feeling a little better today.  Kitty cuddles make it better. Allergy shots still haven't started though.

Mostly Amber read lots of her fantasy books and we allowed her to watch Warehouse 13. I've been a fan since the pilot episode, but Amber was too young back then in 2009. Now that the final season has started we allowed her to watch the episodes from the beginning. It's been enjoyable to rewatch a series I love with Amber.  There has been quite a bit of pausing to explain numerous historical references so that Amber understood the "artifacts" on the show. 

I've been trying more new recipes this week to increase our catalog of safe treats, snacks and breakfast foods. With Easter this weekend, I needed a few special items for Amber to eat when everyone else has the standard Easter treats.  I still LOVE Gluten Free on a Shoestring. Just when I need a new recipe Nicole is there with the perfect one. I do usually need to make a few substitutions, but there is no way I could develop these recipes.  

As a baking tip, crackers apparently NEED sugar. Swapping dextrose for sugar results in "softers" not crackers. How do I know this? I attempted it with our tried and true sorghum-teff thins, otherwise known as Wheat Thin Copycat crackers.  I didn't bother to look up the chemistry of this little blooper, but after two batches of softers I gave up and returned to sugar.  Oddly enough the next batch was perfect. 

(LEFT) Just about ready for Good Friday services.  We played bells too.  Well, she played, I made a mess.  I'm getting worse, not better.
(RIGHT-TOP) Fructose Free peanut butter cups for Amber's Easter basket. 
(RIGHT-BOTTOM) Roll dough ready for overnight refrigerator proofing. This will be Texas Roadhouse style GF rolls tomorrow. Trust me, they will.  I've made them before.  :)

We met again this week with Amber's dietician who commensurates with us over the reactions and agrees that there is still something we are missing causing random reactions in Amber.  She laughed with me over the whole oats incident, knowing off the top of her head that they would have failed. We left the appointment with more recommendations for food trials and even the dietician's endorsement to participate in a drug trial. It's not a new drug and really is just a replacement enzyme. The only hitch is that it was originally developed for a different condition but might, and that's a big might, help FM kids tolerate more fructose.  Thus the drug is in trial status for FM patients, but in use for the original condition. Still since Amber had lost weight this time we need all the help she can get. Amber is supposed to gain a pound a month, not lose 2 pounds. We see the GI doctor next week and will go forward from there. 

On a positive personal note, I'm back to exercising 6 days a week (on average) and even have the resistance on my bike back up to the maximum level I ever achieved. I'm exhausted when finished, but am able to complete at least 60 minutes of cardio biking each session. I let my diet and exercise slide the past year while Amber has been sick and have now gained 8 pounds that I want to lose by my birthday next month. It's hard with Amber's carb and protein heavy diet to not join in the fun, but a healthy body that can keep up with the needs of our family is more important. I kinda forgot that along the way this past year. 

That's about it for this week. I pray everyone has a great Easter. Here's to hoping for a productive and tummy-ache-free week.

Happy Easter!

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  1. I am sad to hear about amber's tummy trouble. Can't wait to read your review of Writing With Skill.

  2. Even though she has had tummy trouble this week she's a beautiful girl (and I wouldn't give up my cats either lol I'd rather the shots or even barring that the stuffiness lol)

    1. Thanks Chrystal. She's doing better this week and now we are just hoping that all of the special treats on Easter didn't mess her up.

  3. I am sorry to hear of Amber's tummy troubles again. I understand about trial drugs. On Philip's relapse he was given a trial chemo drug that showed promise. It was a risky move but there were not a lot of good options. That drug is now one of their front line drugs for the cancer he had.

    I have never heard of Warehouse 13. I had to go look it up. It is on a channel that we don't subscribe to and up to now never had anything worth watching on. DVD's of that might ended up being bought for Christmas.

    1. Warehouse 13 is on SyFy here and when it first came out there were actual shows on SyFy that I was interested in watching, like Stargate (maybe just Atlantis at that point) and Eureka. There were even some crossover episodes with Eureka. I miss that show too.

  4. I hope Amber was feeling better for Easter! I'm going to have to check out Gluten Free on a Shoestring. I've bee gluten and sugar free since January and want ton stay the way! I feel so much better. I know how youn eel wanting to keep a healthy lifestyle for your family but itS not always easy! You've also got my curiosity up about Dr. who. I am one who has neve sen it, but this episode at least sounds interesting!

  5. I'm so sorry that Amber is having trouble again. I hope you are finding some answers. I don't know about Warehouse 13. I am going to check it out. Yay for the exercising. I need to get back to my treadmill. I was so good all Fall and Winter and now...nothing! Have a good week and give Amber a hug from us.