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Setting the Baseline: Marking the Differences

Right here in the front is usually where I tell you how much I wrote the night before.  But there is a lot to say today, because then write anything last night.  Why is that?  Last night I got invited out for a Taco Tuesday gathering, where I met up with a friend who was out with several of her friends, and we sat around and ate tacos and drank adult beverages and generally had a good time.

Me and my friend having a good time.

Me and my friend having a good time.

Because I was out, by the time I arrived home with the head of liquor–but wasn’t really that bad–I knew I wasn’t going to achieve anything meaningful in the writing area, so I didn’t even try.  And the odds are good the next Tuesday I get asked out again, so I might not get any writing in then, either.  This is not a bad thing: considering in the three years I spent in Harrisburg I’ve spent most of that time alone, it’s nice to get out and walk around and hit a few places so that one may have some fun.

And have fun I did.

So, what does come next?  Well, the kids are still back in the hospital, in this excerpt gets us into a section that I had to do some crazy research on: you’ll see that coming up real soon.  In the meantime, let’s get this examination started–

 

The following excerpts from The Foundation Chronicles, Book Three: C For Continuing, copyright 2016, 2017 by Cassidy Frazee)

 

Kerry was in position on the bed in about twenty seconds; thirty seconds later Annie returned to the bay and as she was getting on the bed to Kerry’s right Coraline waived the security curtain close and activated the equipment over each. The doctor stood between the beds, held her arms out, and formed the glowing orange enchantment she used with her medical scanning equipment. She walks slowly from the foot of both beds all the way to the headboard, only the activating her enchantment after she allowed the glow to linger on the foreheads of each child for about five seconds.

As soon as she discontinued crafting Coraline begin checking the instruments, starting with Annie’s. She scrolled through the data for about ten seconds before speaking. “Hum. Not only is her nothing wrong with you, young lady, but you are disgustingly healthy.” She began examining Kerry’s instruments, scrolling through the data as she had done with Annie’s. “And you’re just as healthy as your SO.”

Kerry turned his head towards the school’s doctor. “You didn’t say there wasn’t anything wrong with me.”

“That’s because there isn’t anything wrong with you—not really.” Coraline gave him a sly wink. “There is, however, an area where your information is a little more wrong than Annie.”

“Where?”

 

At this point, if Kerry really needs to ask, “Where am I different than Annie?” one could say that is not really paying attention.  I mean, you know why you’re there, Kerry, and you have to know why Coraline is checking you out, so where do you think you’re different?

Remember, Kerry is still a little bit of a Captain Clueless when it comes to some things, and while his last question may actually be a bit rhetorical, it does make them look as if he’s not really sure what’s going on.  Then again, perhaps he generally is curious, but his method of asking is deemed a little strange.

Still, do you want Coraline to tell you what’s happening to you by asking questions?  Because this is how you get Coraline to tell you what’s happening to you!  And she does:

 

“Your hormone counts.” Coraline turned to Annie’s monitor. “Her estrogens and testosterone readings are right where they should be. Her combined estrogens are 33.7 nanograms per decaliter, right near the high end, and her testosterone is 3.9 nanograms per decaliter, which is on the low-end of the range.” Coraline tapped her monitor off and turned towards Kerry. “So what’s happening to you isn’t affecting her at all, at least not through your link.

“Now, when we look at your hormonal numbers it’s a slightly different picture. Your testosterone count 463.7 nanograms per decaliters, which is right in the middle of the range for a boy your age.”

“Why is her estrogen so much lower than my testosterone?” Kerry’s brow scrunched up. “Doesn’t seem right.”

Coraline stood by the edge of Kerry’s bed and looked down upon him. “First, when I described her estrogens count, what I’m really describing his account of three different estrogens in her body: it isn’t just something called estrogen. And second, that witches brew of hormones Annie has coursing through her veins is a hell of a lot more potent than your testosterone. It’s one of the reasons boys at your age generally just have to deal with just anger issues, while girls Annie’s age are dealing with a huge range of emotional variables—all because of the way our estrogens affect us. And speaking of estrogens, your count is 8.4 nanograms per decaliter, which is way above where it should be.”

Kerry kept his face as neutral as possible. He didn’t want Coraline think he was worried or, worse, scared. “What should it be?”

“Less than 2.5 nanograms per decaliter, so right now your body is producing about three and a half times more than it should.” Coraline leaned against the edge of Annie’s bed as his soul mate turned so she could see him. “Last couple of weeks have you felt more moody than normal?”

 

Kerry more moody than normal over the last couple of weeks?  Say it isn’t so!  And we finally learn that part of the reason for his crazy emotional swings has been due to a change in his hormones.

"Just wait until you aren't you but you really are you, only just a different you!"

“Kerry, have you noticed a tendency to crave chocolate and a desire to walk in the rain?  Have you cued up Love, Actually and watched it on your computer in the last few days?”

Let me tell you, researching that whole hormonal range thing was a complete pain in the butt.  Mostly because it was extremely easy to find the testosterone levels in girls and boys Annie’s and Kerry’s age far easier than it was to find the estrogens levels for the same.  And once I found the estrogens level for kids their age, I had to hunt down a couple of other sources to determine whether or not they were accurate.

You’ll also notice that Coraline is giving the readings in nanograms per decaliter, which is a fairly common measurement.  However, most the readings I found online gave the hormonal measurements in picograms per milliliter, which means I had to find a calculator to help me do conversions, though they are actually pretty easy to do: if you want to convert ng/dL (nanograms per decaliter) to pg/mL (picograms per milliliter), just move the decimal one position to the right.  That would change Kerry’s testosterone reading from 463.7  ng/dL to 4637 pg/mL.  See how easy that is?

By the way, if you wonder why Coraline keeps saying “estrogens”, it’s because she’s measuring all the different types of estrogen hormones in Annie’s body.  There’s actually three different kinds: estrone, estradiol, and estriol.  Estradiol is the main one, and it’s what I inject every two weeks.  The other two tend to come into play when someone is pregnant, but they are also still in the body.  I will likely do a little bit more research on this in the future, since this is a first draft and I can always change it up.

Once again, about an hour and a half to two hours of research was spent just getting all those numbers together for that section of the excerpt above.  And now you probably know more about hormones than you ever wanted to know–particularly the fact that girls have a far lower hormonal count than boys while going through puberty, and yet seem to be affected so much differently and more powerfully.  Like Coraline says, girls have a witches brew flowing through their veins, which is why you don’t want to mess with them.

Where does this all get us in the end?  It gets us right here:

 

Kerry didn’t even need to get that much thought. “Yeah, since like the beginning of August. It seemed like sometimes I get depressed and start, you know, crying over nothing.”

“Beginning of August would make sense.” Coraline began tapping something on Kerry’s monitor. “But the third week of July there was a four day period where your estrogens count jumped from 2.1 to 2.9. I was beginning to think it was gonna start jumping higher and after about a week of that the transition would occur.” She tapped one last thing on the monitor and stepped back. “That didn’t happen, but you’re telling me a couple of weeks later you started feeling the effects of the estrogens in your system. Hence the moodiness.”

Once Annie realized that Coraline was likely done with her she sat up on the bed, crossing her legs in the lotus position. “You think there’s going to be a point where once the estrogens count reaches a certain point he’ll transition?”

Coraline shrugged. “It’s possible, but this is all uncharted territory to us: that’s why it’s important that we monitored Kerry as closely as possible. We’ve never been able to observe this lead up in any of the other people who had this Gift, so everything we’re seeing is happening for the first time.” She reached over and patted Kerry’s hand. “Gonna be a lot of people studying this for years to come.”

 

The conclusion to take away from this is that Kerry’s body is going through some strange stuff at the moment and that possibility that he’s gonna be something of an emotional mess in the coming weeks is a possibility.  Which is to say we may see a return to A Level Kerry, but who knows?  So many strange things going on these days.

Maybe those will finish up tomorrow…

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6 thoughts on “Setting the Baseline: Marking the Differences

  1. I’m so happy to see you getting out and enjoying the company of others. Frankly, I was getting worried about you being alone so much. I know you have us here, but it’s not the same as having human contact. I love you to pieces and am very happy to see you so happy! go out next week! make it a weekly event! who knows, it could inspire more ideas for your stories!

    • To be honest I knew some of this stuff, but only because it’s now a part of my life. Before then I didn’t know much about this, either. But even magical teenagers would have to deal with hormones–like they are doing now.

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