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  • Writer's pictureElijah Ricks

Gluten for Punishment

There is much upon which to report from the week. The most life-altering thing that happened was that we learned Carver has Celiac disease.

I mentioned last week that he had been to the doctor. That visit was to get a series of biopsies from his digestive system, which is the only way to conclusively make the diagnosis. We learned the results Thursday, and have been slowly coming to grips with it.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition where Carver’s body damages his intestines when it detects gluten: a protein in wheat, rye, and barley. That explains why he is so skinny, why he was anemic months ago, and why he seems lethargic at times. There is presently no treatment for the condition other than cutting gluten out of his diet entirely.

Kira has generously joined him on the path by also going off gluten, and even took him on a grocery shopping trip to find a variety of foods he can use to replace his common staples of granola bars and such.

He is taking the whole thing very well, perhaps not fully understanding what this all entails. Kira and I are still learning all about the lifestyle change, such as keeping dishes uncontaminated, and learning how to read ingredients lists to catch everything that could affect him. We are supposed to meet with a nutritionist in the near future to get some more info. 

Another big event was Merritt’s official birthday! We did not do much more for it after our celebration on Sunday, but he has been playing with his new toys like nobody’s business. He did not care too much for his cake, as you can see in the photo above.

I got a surprise phone call on my bike ride home from the train on Friday. It was from the woman in charge of the school district writing competition. She called to tell me that Avey had won the competition from her school, and will be going to a finalist’s round at the middle school near the end of May. I’d be lying if I said I’m surprised, but boy are we all proud of her!

Here is the entry she made. It’s a haiku about the PARCC testing that they’ve been doing at school:

Bright sun, shining down  

Children playing in the breeze

Rain makes flowers bloom

But yet, here we are

Inside, no birds chirping song

Wishing to be free

Instead, we’re tested

Never-ending, boring Parcc

ELA and math

If only we were

Like the carefree animals

Enjoying their Spring

Hakan had a rough morning one day this week when he awoke throwing up. Kira was the first one on the scene, and said it wasn’t very much, but then he kept heaving every 20-30 minutes for the rest of the morning. The poor guy is so defiant that he kept insisting that he was fine and could eat, only to heave a few minutes later. By the afternoon he was back to himself, and nobody else has had the bug since, so we may never know what that was all about. 

I found out my summer courses were cancelled due to low enrollment, so that just opened up my schedule a lot. I am sad to lose the extra income, but I am a little relieved to have that extra time to dedicate toward moving and such. 

On that note, Kira and I decided to move forward with our favorite house on Wednesday, but then I learned on Friday that it was sold to someone else. I’ve been quite heartbroken about it, as I’d had my eye on the place for several months. It’s back to the drawing board, I suppose…

I have just a little more grading to do for the semester, and then I’ll be done with that. I’m supervising the research projects for 5 undergraduate students who have grants for the summer, so that is going to be interesting. 

There’s been some construction next door to us, tearing down an old house. The crew has dug up the hole for the new basement, and ended up trashing part of our fence, and digging a section awfully close to the house. It’s not ours, so whatever, but now we have no fence and a good 10-foot drop into a muddy pit in our back yard. That does not mix well with 3 little curious boys. They’ve so far kept their distance pretty well, after stern warnings from us and the caution tape that warns them of the danger. We hope they fix it soon.

That’s about all for the first week of May. Stay tuned for more!


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