Still exhausted, but on vacation in Waldport on the Central Oregon Coast. When we arrived in Portland, before we drove out to the coast, we stopped at the Willamette National Cemetery where my brother-in-law is buried. The cemetery is beautiful, surrounded by trees with a view of the Cascade mountains in the distance. We said goodbye to Don, held hands, and silently prayed. Don, we love you, we miss you. Thank you for your service to our country.


We are visiting my husband’s parents and have rented a small charming cottage, near their home. If I climb up on top of this cottage’s carport, I can see the waves in the distance through the power lines. The skies are overcast and air cool, clean, and damp – a far cry from the sunny, hot, dusty part of California we call home – a wonderful respite, actually, perfect for slowing down and taking a deep breath.

Cottage view from carport of street, cottages across the street, telephone and electrical wires, trees, and ocean in the distance

My son and I are recuperating from last week. On Friday, he underwent an endoscopy of his upper gastrointestinal tract (EGD). Both the procedure and the taking of biopsies have left my son with a sore esophagus, making it painful for him to swallow. Poor guy. Hopefully, his esophagus will heal soon, and his post-op pain will be short-lived. His pediatric gastroenterologist said that my son’s upper GI tract looked healthy and the photos he took looked good to me (pink and intact, no ulcers), which is reassuring since he has regularly thrown up his whole life, due to migraines, acid reflux, and gastrointestinal illnesses. For the last few years we have medicated him with omeprazole to reduce his acid reflux (GERD).

When we visited my son’s pediatric allergist/immunologist, we learned that her assistant misinformed me over the phone that my son’s lab work was negative (that his tests showed no immune deficiencies). In fact, his lab results indicated elevated lymphocytes, probably due to a viral sinus infection which the doctor is treating with nasal irrigation and antihistamine (azelastine) and corticosteroid (fluticasone propionate) nasal sprays.

Worse than the viral sinus infection, my son is deficient in all tests for pneumococcal antibodies, so he received a Prevnar-13 vaccine. Four weeks following his vaccination, he will get follow-up lab work done to see if he has built up antibodies to the 13 Streptococcus pneumoniae the vaccine targets. At that time, his pediatric immunologist also ordered the mono test panel which includes testing for the Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and cytomegalovirus (CMV).

The lesson I learned here is not to simply and blindly listen (split infinitive purposefully used) to someone giving you a summary of lab results over the phone. See the results yourself and have them explained to you. My son’s lab results clearly showed problems – problems which we are now addressing.