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And A Good Renal Health To You


Oh yeah. Happy New Year and stuff.

We broke with tradition this year, we didn't spend the first week of the New Year in hospital because Tyl wasn't ill and dangerously underweight for a change. That is the good news.

But we did spend some time at the doctor's with our little guy. A couple of months ago we noticed that his left leg grew at a strange angle from the knee down. So we took him to a doctor, who advised us to see another doctor, and then they had to take some pictures and they saw that his epiphyseal plates were curved instead of straight. But when they did some blood tests, they found that there was some deeper problem here. Tyl had all the signs of vitamin deficiency. Now before you conclude that we failed as parents, let me assure you that we generally eat fresh food and that Tyl gets plenty of vegetables, fruit, dairy products and so on. We very rarely eat canned food or junk food. And of course, he is also small for his age and he doesn't gain in weight either. All this is very strange, because he eats like a tiger most of the time.

So more tests. A genetics specialist joined the gang, and then finally the doctors started to think about a possible problem with his kidneys. They tapped a couple of liters of his blood, and today we were invited to have a chat with the kidneys specialist (I am sure there is a proper scientific name for this type of specialisation). Anyway, it seems that Tyl has a problem with his renal tubule. For those of you who aren't specialised in how the kidneys work: the renal tubule are responsible for absorbing important salts and vitamins and other stuff that your body needs. Basically, Tyl doesn't absorb these elements very well and they flush out with his urine. This means his body has certain deficiencies, so he doesn't grow and gain weight and get strong bones like he is supposed to.

Unfortunately, this problem can't be cured. Fortunately, it is relatively simple to improve his condition. He just has to take a number of supplements to compensate for the fact that his body gets rid of a lot of the vitamins, calcium, phosphor and so on. This should ensure that he will continue to grow normally - the doctor even hopes that he'll catch up a bit. If all goes well, by the end of the summer his leg should be all right again. But he will need to take these supplements for the rest of his life, especially up to his eightteenth birthday.

And he will have to undergo regular medical check-ups, which means tapping some blood every time. Which means our ears will be well tested, because Tyl doesn't like needles. And when Tyl doesn't like something, he will make sure that the whole hospital and any neighbouring provinces are aware of his displeasure.

Sleepless in South Antwerp


Been at home today all day, with a sore throat. I've been sleeping much of the day, so now I'm wide awake at 11.30 PM.

I've been to the doctor's, he said I have to stay home for the rest of the week as I'm a hazard to public health.


As I recently mentioned to a friend: it never rains but it's showering tidal waves during an earthquake. In fact you can also throw in a massive volcano eruption and a deadly comet, and some hurricanes for good measure.

Last Saturday, Tyl was readmitted to hospital. He would barely eat since his return home, and on Saturday morning he puked up everything he'd eaten half an hour before. So Mrs.B took him to the doctor, who said he'd better return to the children's ward.

Wolf had to go back to school, so we couldn't sleep over like we had done the first week of January. So Mrs.B rushed to hospital after bringing Wolf to school, and when school was out she took Wolf to Tyl. Then at five she got back home to make dinner for us all. When I got back from work I'd eat, and then it was my turn to go to the hospital. Tyl won't go to sleep before ten o'clock, so I'd be home around ten thirty. Very busy days, as you can imagine. The last thing we needed was for Wolf to turn sick too.

Yesterday Wolf turned sick too. We were at the dinner table, and he wouldn't eat his fish sticks - which he eats by the box normally. We wrongfully assumed he was faking it to get attention now that his little brother got all the focus of our love. Even when he announced that he had to throw up we were having none of it. Five counts later we were having a lot of it, as he puked over half the dining room.

So now I'm at home from work looking after Wolf, while Mrs.B is in hospital taking care of Tyl.

We wished you a spectacular 2012 a couple of weeks ago, and spectacular it is...

On Probation

Tyl is out of hospital since Tuesday. The question is how long he will stay out of hospital, because this morning he had a 39°C fever. Mrs.B stuffed him full of pain killer and took him to the doctor. Luckily, he wasn't re-admitted to hospital and this evening the fever was gone.

Always keeps you on your toes, this little one.

In Hospital

I'm writing this live from the Saint-Augustine hospital in Antwerp, tapping as lightly as I can on the keyboard because Tyl is sleeping right next to me. There's not much room here, in fact the two of us share a small aquarium. He's a happy little fish in his little bed, but if I stretch so much as a fin I bump into a wall.

Tyl is doing better, I think his gastroenteritis is as good as over. But he still is his usual skinny self; at seven and a half kilos he's too light for his age. So the doctors decided to keep him in for the weekend and give him the foie gras treatment. He has a tube going down his nose to force-feed him at regular intervals. I on the other hand give him lots of biscuits and puddings and so on. Puddings WITH super-nutrient powder added.

We'll have to watch him, before you know it he'll be overweight for the rest of his life.

And A Good Health To You - The Sequel

Tyl is in hospital. For the second year in a row. By that I mean we had to rush him at hospital last year too, in the middle of the night. This year the circumstances were less dramatical, he went in today for a routine check-up. He hadn't been his usual energetic self the last couple of days. He slept a lot and did a mega-puke once. And because he's already very thin for his age, it doesn't take much for him to get seriously under-weight. So the doctor decided to keep him in hospital.

That means that Mrs.B will spend the night with him, as she did last year (for a full week). But then she was still breast-feeding him, so she had no choice but to stay over. At least this time we can take turns.

And so 2012 begins...

Duke Pukem

This is a story of woe and sorrow, and of children. So you know what that means, right? Puke party!

It started with Wolf, who had been complaining about pain in his tummy for a couple of days. He spent hours on the loo, but relieve didn't come so his body decided to try the other exit. I was sitting in the sofa at the very moment, with Wolf standing on my left side and Tyl sitting on the ground on my right. And then it came, in big gulps at first, then streaming out like raw sewage out of a hose pipe. All over my trousers and the floor.

I yelled for my wife, while I yanked Tyl out of the way. Meanwhile, vomit was coming out of Wolf's nose and all. Mrs.B came running in with a bucket and the kitchen roll, while I still endured the tidal wave and tried to hold Tyl back, who was very interested in this curious phenomenon.

The upside was that Wolf felt a whole lot better now that his stomach was free. I dunked him in the bath and cleaned myself up, while Mrs.B went at it in the living room with a shovel, a couple of buckets and a small bulldozer.

The next afternoon, I was in the last hours of an all day meeting when I felt a pain developing in my stomach. An hour or so later on the train, I wasn't feeling well at all. The bus ride home was an absolute nightmare, because I felt like throwing up and a wobbly city bus is positively the worst mode of transport in such a situation.

I drugged myself with everything I could find in the medicine cabinet that evening, and I managed to keep the contents of my stomach where they more or less belonged. Put I couldn't bear the idea of having dinner and I went straight to bed. That was Wednesday, and I'm still rather nauseous and a bit wobbly in the legs.

Of course, the misery didn't end there. Yesterday afternoon I had Tyl on my lap, who was thirsty like a mummified camel and sucked vigorously on his water bottle. Then, suddenly, his 4 o'clock fruit salad squirted out, on my trousers again. With the amount of water he'd been drinking, it soaked me right to my under garments. I sent Wolf for a towel, while Tyl kept sploshing me with molten banana in regular intervals. Unfortunately, the towel was hanging out of reach, so Wolf had to grab a chair. Tyl was still going at it. Wolf reached the towel. Tyl still played irrigation hose. Wolf walked back over with the towel. It was of no use any more at this stage.

I walked upstairs like a troll with a haemorrhoid, my nether regions soaking in wet baby goo. Tyl, surprisingly, was not that badly hit, protected as he was by his plastic bib. But I still had to change all of his clothing, after I'd quickly removed my trousers.

They never explain to you in advance that fatherhood involves changing a baby standing half naked with your gonads covered in vomit. Good thing the right door neighbours weren't home either, because their bathroom window is right across the window of the changing room, and I'm not precisely sure what they would have made of this scene. I suddenly realise I could have found myself in jail by now...

I'll Sleep When I'm Dead

Both Wolf and Tyl are ill, Wolf has an ear infection and a lot of fever that just won't break. Tyl on the other hand has a bug in his tummy and does these giant explosions of vomit and puke. Mrs.B has to change clothes six times a day and I'll have to repaint the ceilings when this thing is over.

At night, we have these short naps that are painfully interrupted when one of the two starts to cry. My wife generally takes care of the baby, because her boobs have more milk than mine, while I run up and down between Wolf's room and the kitchen fridge where we have to keep his pain medication. His left ear is eating into his brain or something, it is very painful. On top of that he has this itch all over, although he doesn't have the mumps or anything.

At day, my wife and I stumble along, each day with less energy. The children get on our nerves, we get on each other's nerves and we're all heading for a nervous break down.

Yup, winter is approaching.

Black Smoke Of Death

With a loud bang and a mighty flash, my computer's power supply became toast. At the moment, it's unclear if this affected any other parts in the computer, such as for instance to name just one: my hard drive. If I remember well I recently made a back-up one year ago (-ish). So nothing to worry about.

I'd like to run to the store to buy a new power supply, but alas I am tied to the couch because of a nice case of bronchitis. Luckily, I have Wolf to keep me company, because he has the same symptoms. In fact, he started it all, he brought it home from school. So whether I'm going to get the rest the doctor prescribed me, is entirely open.

Itchy And Scratchy

Wolf has the chicken pox. I'm told that this is a good thing, because if you don't get it at an early age, you will suffer much more when you catch the infection as an adult.

I disagree. Now we have to get up each night to put drops of that red disinfectant stuff on his pox and cuddle him and calm him down and read him bedtime stories, only to restart the whole procedure thirty minutes later. If he's grown up, he'll be able to tend for himself and we'll have a quiet night.

Although we thought on a number of occasions that Wolf would get it, because on of his buddies at the daycare or at school had it, we didn't see it coming this time. Last Friday I took him to the doctor because he was coughing like a Russian diesel engine that comes to life after a harsh Siberian winter on the open steppes. But then the doc said it was just a mild infection in his throat.

Incidentally, on that very occasion Wolf managed to crap in his pants just moments before we saw the doctor. So in addition to his cough, he smelled like a tank of manure in the blazing sun.

Anyway, according to the doctor (second visit, this time with clean shorts) it will all be over by the end of the week. Which is just as well, or he'll infect the Easter bunny.

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