It's interesting: Isaac Asimov is credited with the saying "The only constant is change," but the sentiment, in a variety of words, goes back to at least Plato.
I wonder if perhaps the only constant is plagiarism.
At any rate, changes have been coming fast and free in 2008. In Ella news, the January operation didn't really do much. She came out of her endoscopy in perfect, if totally unchanged, health. This, by the way, is a fluoroscope of her liver:
The "string of pearls" is, essentially, the bile ducts in the left side of her liver. Scar tissue and repeated expansion have transformed them from a straight line into a twisted maze. That, however, is not the problem. The problem is that her bile is not draining into her small intestine, as it should be.
Consequently, Ella's going in for a "Kasai Revision" in late March. Essentially, this means that the doctors will detach her liver from her small intestine, cut away scar tissue until they find a viable bile duct, and reattach her liver to her small intestine. The operation should take four or five hours, and she will be out of commission for a month or so. I'm going to live with her for a week, and her high school friend Janie will be staying with her for a few weeks afterward.
Ella has prepared for this extremely well. She has lined up people to help her, is getting internet for the time when she will be out, has dealt with Medicaid and gotten them to foot the bill, and has organized communication between her original doctors, her current doctors, and various other health-care professionals throughout the country. In the meantime, she's found the energy to teach her classes, make art from her bile, and get a brand new haircut. The kid amazes me.
In the meantime, I've been doing a lot of freelance work and temp jobs, as they've been leaving me free to bolt off to Pennsylvania at a moment's notice. The wife, meanwhile, has gotten a new job, which she loves even more than her old job. The daughter is now in a new daycare that is right down the street from our house, which gives us about two more hours of personal/family time per day. In other words, things are, as usual, mixed.
Unfortunately, all this impending reality has left me very little time for my blog responsibilities; frankly, I have been amazingly neglectful with my posts, not to mention my failure to comment on your blogs. I will try to rectify as soon as possible!