There are lots of things about Gracie that are irresistibly infectious – her cute smile, her beautiful blonde curls, her precociousness. Amazing Gracie can light up a room just by being in it. She is full of spunk and charisma. Everyone is naturally drawn to her.

Monday was Gracie’s first day back at school after her hospital stay. Everyone was glad to see her. Apparently one of the little boys in her class proposed to her, and many of the kids were fighting about who got to be her reading partner. She is popular. All the kids want to share her infectiously charming energy.

Of course, something else about Grace is infectious. We ran all over the city to doctor appointments this week – Tuesday to GI and Wednesday to infectious disease. The GI doc wants to scope Grace under anesthesia, as expected. He seemed quite alarmed about her infection; I’m guessing that although he seemed to remember us when he saw us in the hospital lobby this July, he actually knows very little about her medical history. Grace’s diarrhea has subsided since she began antibiotics again, and he thought that implied bacterial overgrowth. He said that’s a very rare condition, and I said he just said our words so that must be it. He didn’t get it. He must not realize how often we hear the words “very rare.”

Grace’s infectious disease doctor was also concerned, for more appropriate reasons. I am relieved that her level of concern matches mine; in the past it’s been very frustrating to try to convince doctors to be concerned about Grace’s infections, so it’s great that this doctor is taking the infection as seriously as I am. Gracie’s finger is still swollen and red and draining from the tip. By now, it should have been mostly healed. If she were responding appropriately to these “big gun” antibiotics, her finger would have been almost normal within a few days. I am not pleased with the progress and neither is the doctor. It’s a relief to have someone expressing appropriate concern; I know this doctor will work hard to get the infection under control.

We are back to our pattern of spending half our lives at doctor appointments, back to battling never-ending infections. Next week we will see ortho on Monday and infectious disease again on Wednesday. We had a good respite in the beginning of 2015 but now we’re back to this life we know so well. It’s okay, though, because we’re well familiar with the routine. I’d go to a thousand doctor appointments for Gracie. And hey, when she gets back to school all her classmates will fawn all over her. She’ll flash her infectious cute smile and they’ll all fall in love with her all over again.

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