Tuesday, October 5, 2010


This morning the GI doctor's office called once again while I was in the shower. "I'm sorry, Mrs. Eby," the doctor said, "I hope I didn't wake you up." "Oh, no, don't worry about it. I was already up," I said, but I thought, "Don't worry, no matter what time of day you call, your certain to catch me in the shower." Do you have any idea how tricky it is to receive your daughter's biopsy results that you've been waiting two weeks for, while attempting to pull a shirt over your head and find a piece of paper and a pen to write with? Well, it's tricky, but I pulled it off (or on), because I excel at multi-tasking. Only, by the time I got the paper and pen the doctor was finished speaking and I was left to recall what she said from my memory anyway.

Here's what my fabulous memory recalls. Naomi's biopsy results confirm the diagnosis of Celiac Disease. The villi--little finger-like projections covering the surface of the intestine that help to digest foods and absorb nutrients--were completely flattened. This is characteristic of full-blown Celiac Disease and means that the intestine is unable to absorb many key nutrients. "There's nothing subtle about her diagnosis," the doctor remarked. The villi will heal and begin functioning normally after six to eight weeks with no gluten in the diet. We've completed almost two weeks now. Once her intestines have healed and she begins to absorb nutrients properly we should only see more improvement in her health.

Toby watched my every on-the-phone move from his high-chair. I released him and called my mom to tell her the results as I cleaned up after breakfast. He stalked me as I swept the beach of cereal crumbs from under the table, and as I washed the residual gluten from my hands. When I finally sat down, still chatting with my mom, he pounced on my lap and began wrestling me for the phone. Grandma was happy to oblige him, but he was reluctant to give up the hard-won prize when the conversation ended.

After dinner this evening Matt took all four kids to the backyard for a crisp-weather round of tag. Toby couldn't get enough of the running, tackling, swinging, and laughing. When I finally subdued him with his blankie and a sippy-cup of milk, Matt gave him a good-night kiss and said, "We had a good day today, Toby, didn't we?" Toby's sleepy eyes snapped back to life. "Gu-day!" he said, pointing to the patio door. "Yes," Matt laughed, "And we can have a good day tomorrow." "Gu-day ma-ma-woh!" Toby grinned.

I tucked him in bed, gave him a little kiss, and began to walk away. Toby stood back up in his crib and called out to me, "A pone! A pone!" I walked back, unsure of his request. "What, Toby?" I asked. "A pone!" he said, his eyes shining with hope. Then, seeing that I didn't understand, he placed his hand beside his cheek, diagonally between his mouth and ear and said, "We-woh! A di-ji-dawah-mawee!" I laughed, put my hand to my cheek and pretended to talk back to him. He felt fulfilled by whatever we said to each other, and after laughing at the joke he'd made, laid down happily and went to sleep. Sure he thinks phones are fun now, wait 'till he gets old enough to take showers.

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