The instructions were simple. Get a stool sample, and get it back to the lab asap. Don't let it mix with any urine, don't let any diaper fibers get into it or it will be no good. And good luck!
I took the bag of supplies I would need and sighed. How on earth do you get a stool sample from a toddler who isn't potty trained yet? I wondered. And yet it was important. Beth has had the runs since before Thanksgiving. She has been losing weight because of said runs. She sometimes throws up, too, but not very often. She is not dehydrated, because we have been making sure she has plenty to drink, staying away from juice and dairy. She has the doctors stumped! Our doctor was busy, and so we saw the PA when I took her in yesterday. We ended up staying at the office for 2 hours. The PA talked with Beth's regular doctor. They are both baffled as to what it could be. And so, the testing begins.
But first, I had to accomplish the impossible task of getting a non-contaminated stool sample from a little girl who is still in diapers. After 4 tries this morning, I finally succeeded. The PA had given me a urine collection bag to put in her diaper and hope some of the diarrhea would find its way inside, so I could turn that in. Finally, around 11:30 today, after two previously failed attempts, I was successful. I cringed as I scooped up the bag, held at arms length with the tips of two fingers, and with the help of a tongue depressor, managed to stuff the completely covered urine sample bag into the specimen bottle, and get that in to the lab.
They will be testing for C-diff and Rotavirus. I will know the results for one today, and the other on Monday. And so now, we wait. We wait with the most boring menu known to man, and I get to find ways to get Beth to eat only bananas, rice, apples, or dry toast. She can have almond milk as well. I am also crushing up probiotics and putting them in her food, as she can't have diary so yogurt is out of the question. If there are any great recipes for making the BRAT diet more interesting, I am dying to know them!
Meanwhile, the snow has been coming down. Which makes me incredibly happy. I love driving down the street and seeing the uniform clumps of snow covered shrubs in peoples yards. I love the way the snow tops the signs, and there is an all around magical feel to the air. True, it is cold, and true, it does get dicey when driving, but the beauty far surpasses those minor inconveniences. I especially love sitting in my cozy house, with my precious children around me, reading and laughing and consuming cocoa. Oh, the gallons of cocoa we have enjoyed! Tonight will be a rare night where we have nothing going on at all, and I plan to read with Keith in front of the fire-place. My poor little chiddlers have been so cold, and it is hard for me to wait for Christmas because we got them all slippers. All three of them have been complaining about cold toes in these arctic temperatures, and while I remind them to put on an extra pair of socks... or any socks as that may be the case, I am so excited for them to be able to have slippers to warm their little feet! They would have come in very handy this morning, as we noticed that last night someone had changed the thermostat from heat to cold, so when we woke up, the house was a brisk 56*.
Keith let me into a little insight the other day. He and I have been fighting over what books he can or cannot read for his mandatory 20 minutes every day. I love that he reads Calvin and Hobbs, as I feel it is an excellent source of vocabulary building. But he reads that every night before he goes to sleep. For his 20 minutes, I really want him to focus on reading a narrative. I told him it didn't have to be a novel, it could be a history book if he wanted, but the flow of the words is so important. A manual wont work. A How-To with lots of pictures wont work. It has to be a narrative. And so the tears and the tantrums began. Finally, he settled on reading Fellowship of the Ring. I tried to explain to him that his choice was a particularly difficult book to read, and that he wouldn't get much out of it. I didn't read it until I was in junior high, and even then it was difficult for me. He insisted. Rather than fight any longer, though, I let him read it. Finally, a few mornings ago, I understood his desire to read such a difficult book. He said he wanted to read the hard books because they are more advnaced, and he likes to be ahead of everyone in his class. And so I told him about the importance of reading books he will understand, and lots of them. I showed him a book I had just read on Sunday. It was a book on his level, but I still enjoyed it. Reading is about gaining knowledge and understanding, and not trying to confuse yourself. When I was a kid I read everything I could get my hands on. I read the milk carton if the cereal box was in use. In the shower, I would always read the shampoo and conditioner bottles. Every single time. I read every single boring thing I could get my hands on, because I love to read so much! He will get faster with reading and have a deeper comprehension if he is reading books on his level. When Keith finally understood this, he eagerly grabbed a book our friend had loaned us, about a 2nd grader. Keith would be able to relate with that, easy. Within 20 minutes, the boy was already on page 36. He is reading it, he is understanding it, and he is loving it. I am SO glad I was finally able to get through to him. This has been a struggle since he was in kindergarten and finally, I think he gets it. Hallelujah!
And I guess I should mention Faye. She is just the same as normal. She has informed me that Santa can't visit a messy house. I don't know where she got that idea, but I LOVE it. She is struggling to get her bedroom clean, and I fully support the idea that Santa wont leave presents if the recipients have messy rooms. She still has energy I wish I could bottle and sell, because really, her energy is quite excessive. She doesn't need it all, it seeps out of her pores and wreaks havoc wherever she has been. It is never hard to know which room Faye has been playing in as there is a trail of destruction. She loves coloring and drawing and spending time with the adults in her life. She is a joy and lights up the world around her.