Thursday, November 27, 2008

Running (or strolling) for arthritis

It's that time of year again. I've just signed the whole family up for the Jingle Bell Run (or walk in my case) which raises money for the Arthritis Foundation. LMI and I will be walking 5K, the OH will be running 5K, and PuffyFingers is going to run 1K.

This will be our third year, but it's the first time PuffyFingers has done the children's run. She's walked with me and LMI in previous years (or been carried on my shoulders).

We're part of a team, "Team Pip", which is organized by a lady who runs an exercise class that I participated in for a while. Our team goal is to raise $5000 dollars. Our family goal is to raise more than last year.

If you're in Seattle and fancy a walk or run around the city center on a Sunday Morning in December with jingle bells on your shoes then you can sign up here:

If you're not in Seattle, or don't want to get up early, but would like to support our efforts then please sponsor PuffyFingers:

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Are British accents cute?

I'm bemused as to why LMI's daycare teachers think that imitating her Britishisms is cute or funny. She's 3 years old. She won't understand why they laugh. I don't think it's funny. The teachers would never so the same things to children where English was their second language. So what is the strange appeal of the British accent?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Acronyms: JIA or JRA?

JIA = Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
JRA = Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis

The name de jour is JIA. Juvenile arthritis was once thought to be like full blown rheumatoid arthritis (RA) but in children rather than adults. Hence JRA. And then some bright spark pointed out that juvenile arthritis isn't like RA in all respects and along came JIA as a moniker.

JRA is still in use by many people, but JIA is seen as being more accurate these days. If I could be bothered I'd do some research and find out just how long the term JIA has been in use. But I can't be bothered.
  • Juvenile - Children (or not adults, I'm sure lots of teenagers will get worked up at being labelled a child)
  • Idiopathic - (this is the good bit) Without Known Cause. Yes, indeedy, idiopathic means the doctors having got a flaming clue what causes this.
  • Arthritis - Inflammation of joints (from Greek arthro-, joint + -itis, inflammation. Greek bits courtesy of wikipedia:
Top quote: Isaac Asimov noted a comment about the term "idiopathic" made in the 20th edition of Stedman's Medical Dictionary: "A high-flown term to conceal ignorance." (courtesy of wikipedia again).

I'm happy to relate that according to the same page that they got it slightly wrong in House. The lovely Hugh Laurie (House) says that idiopathic: "comes from the Latin, meaning 'we're idiots, because we don't know what's causing it.'" But, unfortunately, idiopathic comes from Greek, not Latin. Whoops.

So there it is, PuffyFingers and many other children like her have inflammed joints and no-one knows why.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

New Passport

Today's thrills and spills include going to the post office to apply for a new US passport for PuffyFingers. Officially, I'm sat here printing the passport forms. Unofficially, I'm typing up this entry (telling the OH the blog address could have been a mistake). The old passport runs out in December and we hope to make it over the border into Canada for Christmas. PuffyFingers could leave the US and get into Canada on her British passport, but trying to get her back into the US might be somewhat problematic.

The first step was to get an accurate height to fill in on the form. I was totally prepared to add a bit on to the height from the last hospital trip, but OH took great delight in producing a tape measure and marshalling* the troops to stand at attention against a wall. 47 inches was the result.

The passport application process is amazing, as she's under 16 we have to produce all the same documentation you do for applying for a first time passport. Obviously, US officialdom believes that at some point in the last 5 years my own birth certificate or the OH's or, indeed, our marriage certificate could have changed. Plus, we all have to appear in person; PuffyFingers, me and the OH.

I realise all that all of the red tape is probably a very sensible precaution to make sure children aren't being smuggled out of the country when families break up. But, right now in the Fingers household, the trauma of trying to find various bits of paper, that prove we are who we say we are, is a tad too much. And I'm blaming George Bush (why not? I haven't blamed him for anything else since I woke up).

We haven't even got to the photo stage yet. It's going to be a long morning...

The Naproxen is going down well. It's obviously heavily laced with something attractive to children (apart from being virulent orange). Puffy consumes it with delight. LMI is rather jealous that she's not getting any medicine.

* Spell check doesn't like "marshalling", am I wrong? Or am I being strangely British again?

Friday, November 14, 2008

Welcome to Puffy Fingers

One more blog to read, and life is already so full. Does the world need this blog? Probably not. Will it help me to write it? Probably yes. Therefore, dear readers, I'm going to rattle on for a while and I thought I'd better introduce the cast of characters chez the Fingers Family.

There's PuffyFingers herself, a small child of the female persuasion. She's just turned 5, going on 15.

The temptation to nickname PuffyFingers younger sister "Snot Face" is quite huge, but I shall resist. After all, I could lumber her with it for life, and I am confident that she will at some stage grasp the intricacies of tissues and nose blowing. So, for the time being, she shall be known as Little Miss Independent, or LMI.

Then there's the grown ups: I'm Andy, and there's the Other Half.

There will no doubt be guest appearances, especially as when we get visitors they tend to be here for a while. No-one thinks it's worth coming all the way from the the UK to visit us unless they stay for at least a week, or, in the case of my parents, 5 weeks.

Back on the Naproxen

PuffyFingers has been off the Naproxen since May, but today we start again. Big sigh...

I noticed her right index finger (pointer finger for the Yanks) looked a bit swollen a week or so ago. This morning she complained of pain in it and that she couldn't bend it. All bad signs; we've been here before.

A call to the rheumatology dept confirmed my thoughts and she starts back on the Naproxen 5ml twice a day at dinner this evening. Unless anything gets drastically worse that's how we'll leave it until her regular check up in December.