IMR: 1998: April: 23 -- Thursday, 2:17 p.m.
Crawford Hall, Univ. of Hawai`i-Manoa, Hawai`i
Sometimes things are a little too spooky.

This morning, I had just finished an impromptu photo shoot with Tysen and was settling down at AIB to answer some "Dear Professor Ozawa" e-mail when my mother called.

"Is everything okay?" she asked.

"I was going to ask you that," I replied, confused.

Turns out she didn't call for any specific reason. Only that she'd had a "weird feeling" about us, and wanted to know if there was anything wrong.

"Jen's all right?" she asked. "Are you guys starving?"

"We're not starving, exactly, but I think we'll visit this weekend to empty your pantry," I said. "Everything's great as far as I know... but now you've got me all paranoid..."

We had a good laugh. I returned to work.

Then, not ten minutes later, Jen called.

"Honey, I think we have to go to the hospital."

She'd found some blood in Katie's diaper. The doctor's office said it was probably another estrogen-induced, baby-sized menses, but we were told to bring her in just in case.

As my boss walked in the door, I raced out.

The nurse, then Dr. Boyens, checked out the diaper, and tried to get a sample onto a slide. Unsuccessful, they suggested we feed her and put a little bag in her diaper (attached to her skin with two-sided tape) for her to fill. When the deed was done, they raced it off to the lab and scheduled her for a blood test.

Dr. Boyens carefully looked her over, but couldn't find anything wrong. The preliminary lab tests were similarly clear. The diaper was the only proof of a possible problem, but as the doctor said, it was "very compelling" proof.

Jen started getting worried, but kept calm and played with Katie as she smiled, gurgled and kicked. I told her of mom's premonition, and she was awestruck.

"Mom told me she had a weird feeling just before we took her to the hospital the second time," she said.

Dr. Boyens disappeared for several minutes, but when he came back he seemed relieved. He'd talked to a pediatric oncologist, and she said she'd seen Katie's symptom before.

While rare, she said, it's caused by crystalized natural acids that sometimes make their way into urine when the baby is dehydrated.

The recommendation? Continue breastfeeding as usual, but supplement it with a little distilled water or Pedialyte. ("But Pedialyte tastes awful -- only a few kids like it and I think they're just weird.") Bring her in if it continues for more than a couple of weeks, but otherwise, don't worry.

Relieved but hungry, we zipped over to McDonald's for a quick lunch. Katie, exhausted from all the poking and prodding, was passed out. I dropped them off at home and raced back to campus for Chapin's class. I walked in three minutes late.

So here I am listening to Chapin revisit her "Idols of the Tribe" lecture from the beginning of the year. And I'm wondering if my mother's sixth-sense is hereditary.

In unrelated news, I finally took Greg's advice and set up a little notification list. Of course, after all that nagging, he's not going to get off easy. This list comes with a few twists.

I hope he likes it. Heck, I'm still trying to figure out what to get him for his birthday on Saturday.


© Ryan Kawailani Ozawa · E-Mail: · Created: 23 April 1998 · Last Modified: 28 April 1998