Wednesday, February 25, 2009

A fresh way of looking at things . . .

Sometimes all we need as parents of special needs kids, or as parents in general, is to take a step back and look differently at things. I know that I get so caught up in behaviors that drive me bonkers that they just send me over the edge. As soon as I typed that sentence Dustin started doing his newest annoying behavior. He opens his mouth stretching out his cheeks and then taps his cheeks to make a hollow sound come out his mouth. Drives me right over the edge . . . normally.

Today I had to take Dustin to his psychiatrist appointment. That is normally Robert's job, but since Robert is immobile right now, it was all me. He is typically horrible for me at appointments. I decided I would not allow it to happen today. I decided I was the problem. I needed a fresh way of dealing with the situation. I decided he would not push me over the edge today.

I went to pick him up at school and was thwarted. What the heck is with school secretaries? Are they hired for their irritated looks and their crappy attitudes? Is it a pre-requisite? It must be. She was irritated that she had to call my son's room and have him sent to the office. Holy crow! But I decided I would not let this woman ruin my plans. I was going to have a good day with my son. He finally came to office crying that he had to leave school. Seriously?

Anyway, we got to the doctor and I told him in the elevator that I would take him to lunch after the appointment. Just him and I. I told him that he got to choose. I decided I would not say my normal, "if you behave we'll have lunch" because I was not going to set him or myself up for failure. He waited so very patiently for the 40 minutes in the waiting room and was great in the office waiting for he doctor. We told jokes, we laughed and we talked like REAL people. The doctor was pleased with how calm he was and how pleasant he looked. And the difference was, I was not stressed. I was not feeding the negativity. When we went to get in the elevator I told him I would meet him downstairs and I let the elevator doors shut. I ran down the 3 flights of stairs and was standing at the elevator door when it opened. He laughed and laughed. It was a good sound.

He actually picked a nice restaurant and not a crappy fast food place. We had an awesome lunch. He had nice manners and was very pleasant to talk to. We laughed and giggled and ate until we about puked. I decided we would go visit my friend Angie's bookstore to pick up some stuff and he was pretty darn good there even with all the destractions. I was so pleased.

I went back to work for the afternoon and he spent some time with Robert. Our wireless router took a leap into the abyss of electronic death tonight after dinner and I had to run to Best Buy. Usually I have to force him to run errands with me to give Robert a break. When I said I was going to go, he WANTED to go with me. I almost cried. He wanted to be with me because I wasn't a crazy, grouchy, stressed-out, no-fun mom.

My grumpy, stressed out boy that does far better with his dad, was good for me! I suppose the better statement would be . . . I was good for him! We worked well together. It was a good day. It is so hard for me to remember how far we've come with Dustin and his various issues. It's hard for me to get past the behaviors and see the child every moment. Today I focused only on the kid, not the crappy stuff he sometimes does. I am not saying I don't ever do this, but I do it far too little. I need to step away from myself and enjoy this child who only wants to please. Who has been so very traumatized in the womb and out that he can't help but make crazy noises with his mouth and smart off to his parents.

Today was a good day.

I hope we get many more.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It is just hair . . .

I love that I am always willing to take risks with my hair. I figure, it's just hair, you can cut it or it will grow back, whichever suits the situation. I was feeling really poorly today, fuchsia always lifts my spirits . . . wouldn't this help you smile?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Let the whining commence . . .

Well, here goes. . .

Friday afternoon we headed out to a "celebration of life" for my grandmother. Robert really wanted to come and I was thankful. Problem was, the place was not handicap accessible at all. He did lots of steps and hopping. It aggravated his hip and he spent Friday night and all day Saturday in a ton of pain. I feel like we took 3 steps backward. *sigh* I did get out into the backyard and cleaned up about 12 weeks of dog poop which was strangely cathartic. . .

Dustin and I spent Saturday running some errands and he was pretty well behaved. As long as I kept him away from the kids, he did well. As soon as I put him in a situation within 2 feet from the kids, he went bonkers! Do you know how hard it is to find an electric blanket this time of year? It is nearly impossible.

Today I had some more errands to do and once again, even though I really needed a break from Dustin (man, that sounds so horrible) I took him again. He was REALLY well behaved and helpful, thank goodness. As soon as we walked back in the door, he started in right away with the littles. Holy Mercy! He knows I can only do so many things at a time, and knows he can irritate them until I get to him. I am so at my limit.

We have 6 weeks more weeks of this "absolutely no walking" malarky. It is the hardest thing I have ever done and I am so over it. The stress is really wearing on me and my headaches have returned. I have suffered from migraines since I was 8 years old and I have had them under control for about 4 years. The meds aren't working completely right now because I am a big ol' ball of nerves. I also have some things going on that I am perseverating over and that is stressing me out that I cannot blog about. Aaaaaahhhhhh!

I want to find a hole and crawl into it until spring. . .

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Only in my house . . .

So, Dustin gets a card every day that says whether he had a good day or a bad day. Today I called home to see how his day was and Robert reads the card. . .

"Sad Face: not following directions in Listening Skills Class."

Funny. Sometimes if I don't laugh I will just cry!

More things heard around our house . . .

Harrison: Mommy I got a papercut today.

McCartney: I've had 2 papercuts before at the same time.

Harrison: Oh yeah? I had 16 at the same time.

McCartney: I had 50-10 before.

Harrison: I had . . . . INFINITY. You can't top that!

McCartney: Infinity papercuts? Me too!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Heard around our house . . .

Me: Alright you two. You can watch TV while trying to go to sleep. But if I hear hollering, feet on the floor, stomping, laughing, arguing, or talking the TV goes off. Got it?

Harrison: Can we giggle?

Me: No giggling.

Harrison: What if something is funny and I need to giggle.

Me: No giggling. It's bedtime.

Harrison: Can I smirk?

Me: *sigh* As long as it's quiet.


Harrison: Why is Cayenne (dog) afraid of Ozzy (cat) ?

Me: Well, Ozzy has shown that he is the kitty in charge.

Harrison: Ozzy's not a kitty! He's a MAN cat.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Today was a crazy day . . .

Today was a heck of a day. We had a 1 year old at daycare have a seizure. One child fell down and put their teeth through their bottom lip. Every child who ever had any behavior issues had one or more meltdowns today. Every staff member had a problem that needed solved. Every parent who walked into the office had an issue they needed dealt with. It was flippin' CRAZY! And Wendy's, who has perfect drive through service, forgot my nugget sauce AND my straw AND my sour cream. Zoinks!

It was also Dustin's birthday. He turned 14 years old today. We have now had him more than half his life. We went out to dinner with my mom, step-dad, and brother at a local mexican restaurant that is his favorite. He was pleasant and loving and very focused. My mom bought little cupcakes and he began to pop the whole thing in his mouth. I HAD to take a video.

Dustin and Nanny (my mom).

Dustin attempting to saw through the scotch tape on his gift from Nanny. It was painful to watch!

The Holy Grail of gifts for Dustin. . . PRINGLES!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Hilarious . . .

I nearly pee'd my pants at work laughing so hard. Oh my gosh, I needed that this Monday morning!

Thanks John!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

A million thanks . . .

I neglected to say "thank you" for all your prayers during last week as I spent time at my gram's bedside. I felt all your good wishes and support. It was a rough week and your prayers is what carried me through. Thanks for your kind words and all your good vibes. It was all very much appreciated!

Towel Holder . . .

Once again, inspired by Little Birdie Secrets, I made this towel holder. It is an updated version of the towels my grandma used to make that had the crocheted topper.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

And now, back to our regular programming . . .

So, I have been a crocheting fiend this week. It really has helped me not stress quite so much. I made a little bag for McCartney. She's terribly sick with a fever and vomiting so she can't model it for you, but I promise I will post a picture of her with it later. I even made a cute little flower for the front.

Friday, February 13, 2009

It's over . . .

I got a call at about 9:30 this morning that I should come to the hospital right away. I hopped on the interstate and drove like a maniac. I didn't make it. Gramms passed away at 9:50, about 2 minutes before I walked into the room.

Rest in Peace Grammie.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Update . . .

I spent the day in the ICU with Gramms. She is doing better than anyone expected. She is still extremely critical, but they say she is making progress. Her daughters, my aunts, decided that they made a promise to her and still had the vent pulled even though the doctors thought it was premature. They wanted 2-3 more days. My aunts would not budge. I am glad I am not the one to have had to make that decision.'

So, they pulled the vent and boy, she was pissed. She began hollering, "I wanna go home!" And when that was met with "I know you do mom." She began to repeat, "NOW!" very loudly followed closely by "I want outta this bed!" I have no idea what to expect. Her heart is working very hard now that she off the vent but her pressures are sticking pretty good for her. Her heart rate is still skyrocketing.

She's a fighter. I know where my dad got it from!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Bad prognosis . . .

I walked into the room this morning and Grandma looked great. Her color had returned and her and her skin was even warm. She is however not doing well. Her already badly damaged haert is reeling from the sepsis and she is now in full-blown septic shock. Her blood pressure is dipping very low and her heart rate is racing due to the increased blood pressure meds and all the fluids they are pushing.

Her cardiologist came in shortly before I left for work and said things are not good. Her heart is not reacting well and they are concerned. She even asked to clarify her wishes. She does not wish to be resuscitated with shock paddles or even have chest compressions. I asked if that would happen soon and if I should stay, she said the next few hours are critical, but we are not there yet.

She really just wants to go home. She wants to see her parents, her brother Stanley, sister Mary and my father, her beloved son. She was asking for my brother today, and I called him. He came right up and was shocked at how old she looked. Since he has lived in Minnesota for the last few years he had not seen her in at least 4 years. She smiled a great big smile when she saw him and and mouthed the words, "Hi Josh. I love you." That's when things started to go downhill. My great uncle, her last brother, had been gotten there an hour before my brother. I think she was saying her goodbyes. I just don't want her to suffer any longer. . .

Monday, February 09, 2009

My grandma made it through surgery. She lost all her large intestine and part of her small one. She is extremely septic and is on a ventilator. Her wishes are not to be kept on a ventilator long term. She only wants 72 hours. The doctor wants at least a week, but he will honor her wishes for 72 hours. She looks awful. The family is considering giving it more than 72 hours depending on how things look at that time.

I am done. I cannot do this. It is too hard and I am not strong enough. I cannot take care of the two littles, and Dustin who is in full-tilt-overboard-crazy-behavior-mode and Robert, while juggling work and the hospital visits, laundry, dishes, and showering. I am stressed to Stretch Armstrong proportions. I had a big slobbery, sobbig, ugly cry tonight. That was good.

I have heard the obligatory, "God will not give you more than you can handle" speech today a couple times. Well, I think God has grossly over-estimated my abilities. I am beyond my limits.

This is truly the last straw. . .

This is no longer amusing. I got to work this morning and my mom asked if I had heard from my aunt Dot (my dad's sister). I had turned off my phone because I did not charge it the weekend, so I didn't get a call. I turned it on and got a message that my grandma is in the hospital and is not doing well. She has a blockage in her colon and has contracted C-diff colitis and has had another heart attack. She is not well in general anyway, she has had cancer a couple times, heart stints, open heart surgery, blocked colon 2x before. She is a sick woman.

I have struggled in our relationship since my father died. We grew apart a little. When my mom remarried I think it hurt her and we weren't as close as we had been. Then, when we adopted Dustin we had the added pressure of family not really understanding his issues and our way of dealing with them. The family slowly floated away. . . And we were left being the bad guys. I had never really understood that until we went to my aunt's funeral a couple years ago and my uncle was quite rude to my mom. Then while there someone said to my grandmother, "Oh Martha! You must adore your great grandbabies!" And she made some comment about not really knowing them because I keep them away. I was devastated. I wrote her a letter and attempoted to explain myself. Over the following couple years her health has very quickly deteriorated and I have not been kept informed as much as I had before.

She has so much to share. Her grandfather was a Miami chief and she has a rich history in her head. I regret not pulling that out more. I just recently lamented to Jo that I had not explored that portion of my heritage. My grandmother was very interested in doing some Geneology work a decade ago but stopped when she ran into so many roadblocks with the Miami side. I wish I would've pushed her and helped her more. She always spoke of her spirit guides and "prayed spirits" to protect me and watch over me. My aunt told my this morning that she was been talking to her spirit guide "Running Fever" and saying she misses her mommy and daddy and Gary (my dad) terribly and would love to come home. This morning I was talking with Jo and she said something very comforting when I told her this, "seems unfair to pray for her to stay then...".

Yes, yes it does.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

OMG, they're good . . .

A while ago, I saw this recipe for shortbread cookies over at Little Birdie Secrets. They looked so fabulous I even stole borrowed their recipe and posted it on my recipe blog. (Have you gone there recently? There's a ton of new stuff . . Go on . . . we've got cookies!)

Anyway, McCartney and I made them today with a little addition of some pink squiggles. Aren't they cute? They are fabulous tasting! The girl's at work tomorrow are gonna love us!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Heart suckers . . .

I saw these on Little Birdie Secrets this past week. They use mini candy canes. Mine were the DumDum kind. They are not hard, but they are HOT. The tips of my fingers are a little traumatized.

I got irritated with the broken ones, so I crushed them and used a star pancake mold and made this big star. It took me forever to get it out of the mold in one piece so by the time I was done, it was too firm to put in a stick. Oh well, McCartney enjoyed it!

Really needed distraction . . .

I really need a distraction, so I have completed the second scarf for my friend. It thats cool ribbon yarn that I used for McCartney's scarf. I think I may even attempt a project that I saw on Little Birdie Secrets this week. . . I'm off to the kitchen.

It's actually becoming funny. . .

So, I go out to get in the car to run errands and someone left a dome light on AGAIN and the battery is dead! AGH! My step-dad was running errands and was almost home and turned around to come jump us. It took some time and he was concerned that the battery was dying a painful death.

I get on the road and the car was choking and gagging a little. I was on empty so I broke my biggest car rule and filled the tank while the car was running. I get on the road and head to the pharmacy. I pull into the pharmacy and the car stalls. It restarts easily, but as soon as you put it in park it stalls.

Happily, I am a block or so from an auto store. the nicest boy tested my battery and sure 'nuf it is DEAD. The nice boy charged me way too much money for a battery and installed it for me and we were off to run our errands.

I am almost afraid to ask what is in-store for tomorrow. . .

Doing something useful . . .

I am beyond irritated and frustrated and overwhelmed. What should I do? Crochet of course! My first commissioned piece . . . for McCartney's preschool teacher. She bought the coolest funky yarn. It was easy, I did it in like 45 minutes. Hope she likes it! I have another one she wants too, we shall see if that one gets done today. . . I have to run errands with all three kids, I may get arrested!

Keep the crap a-flowin' . . .

I found out yesterday that my grandpa has lung cancer. He fears cancer more than anything else.

When-o-when is this gonna end?

Friday, February 06, 2009

So today was not a good day . . .

Robert got into see the Orthopedic Doc today. Thank goodness we got a good explanation of what was going on from the PA before Dr. Arrogant came in. The PA explained that Robert is in excruciating pain due to the degeneration of the bone marrow in the ball at the top of the femur that fits into the hip joint. They believe one of 2 things is happening. There is no quick fix. The radiologist think he is suffering from Transient Oteoporosis of the hip. Dr. Arrogant "doubts" that, as he has not seen one case in a man in 10 years. (And if HE hasn't seen it, GOD FORBID it happen) In that case the bone marrow is degenerating and is self limiting. the less he bears weight on it the more it will heal. So he has been limited to no weight bearing for 8 weeks. At that time they will repeat the MRI in order to see if there is a change in the look of the degeneration. If at that time they see a difference in the surface of the ball or if the bone has begun to collapse on itself, we will have to do a hip replacement.

The other option eliminates the osteoporosis and goes straight to the collapsing. In that case it is a case of avascular necrosis. The bone marrow is dying and will not replace itself with time. It will get worse and he will have to have a hip replacement.

Either way, we wait for 8 weeks minimum. I just made a reservation for a swanky hotel in D.C. for our spring break trip 2 nights ago. I called and cancelled that today. No trips this Spring Break. I considered taking the littles to visit my mom in Florida while she is on vacation and decided against it.

So, we went to the DMV for a handicapped plackard, we went to get a walker and Dr. A. wanted Robert to get a wheelchair for home use so he would bear NO weight at all. In true insurance company fashion, it takes 8 weeks to get prior authorization for a wheel chair. I will remember for the future, if I think I may have an injury I will attempt to get prior authorization before the injury even occurs. Good to know. I also brought a twin bed down from the attic and downstairs (alone mind you) so that Robert can sleep downstairs. He is not allowed to go upstairs for 8 weeks. Oh my Lord, I am getting overwhelmed just telling you about it.

So it seems that my fear of him never being the same was slightly warranted. He may be fixed, it will just take some time. He may have lots of pain for 6 months to a year. He may be mobility limited for many months. Dustin will continue to push my buttons since his routine is going to be severely altered. I am not looking forward to this. But most of all, I want Robert to be pain free.

Good times. Good times.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Hump day . . .

Here's the fashionista with her new scarf on. Could she be any cuter today?! Note the fringe on the bottom of the scarf . . . I hate static. Her shirt says, "Saw it. Wanted it. Had a fit. Got it." Nice.

McCartney and I have the same shoes. Cute huh? American Eagle flats from Payless. Mine are MUCh larger!

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

I love clearance . . .

I am working on crocheting a baby blanket. Yesterday I stopped by a fabric store to get more yarn. I hadn't been in this particular store for yarn and I found a clearance bin in the back. I got some cool flat yarn and some raggy ribbon yarn for 50% off. I made 2 scarves. They turned out pretty cool. The blue one is for Harrison and the multi/turquoise one is for McCartney. My mom just got a coat for next year on clearance and it is turquoise.
This one I doubled the yarn, used a double stitch and used a 5.5 crochet hook. It was relatively fast, I finished it in about 2 hours. It is pretty heavy. It is also really soft especially for 100 % acrylic. Harrison said, "Fringe is for girls!" So the ends are naked.

This yarn was raggedy edged and I bought multi and solid turquoise. I doubled them up, did singel stitch and used the giant crochet hook that looks like it belongs in cartoons. It was pretty difficult to find your stitch, but once I got the hang of feeling for it, it went really fast. I finished it in well under 2 hours. Since I was informed that "Fringe is for girls!" I added nice long fringe on this one.

And here are the pictures of the new spectacles . . . please ignore the unplucked eyebrows. That has been my last priority lately!

Oh so original huh? LOL

No answers yet . . .

But, we are headed in the right direction. Robert saw the Orthopedic Doc this morning lets call him Dr. Arrogant or Dr. A for short. Dr. A. has no idea, but is concerned with the amount of pain. they did more detailed X-rays which did show some inflamed arthritis, but not enough for the significant pain he is having. He is sending Robert for an MRI (Thursday) and will see him again on Tuesday next week. He did give him some stronger pain meds (which freak me out*) and said if it is a joint issue he will fix it, if it is soft tissue injury he will have to be referred to someone else.

Dr. A. didn't impress me (much to his dismay) , but I loved the nurses and the staff at this place. Very kind and professional. Robert is disheartened that we do not know anything, but we ARE on a track to figuring it out so that helps. At least someone is listening. He is sad that he will spend his birthday Friday in pain . . . I said, "Maybe you'll spend your birthday high if these drugs work, just like when you turned 18!"

*I have a good friend who was pretty straight laced until he got a hold of some Oxycontin for an injury and became highly addicted. He began holding up pharmacies in our area to supply his and his wife's habit. He was known as the Oxycontin Bandit. This lasted for many months until he was busted in Ohio and is currently serving a 40 year sentence. This was not the kid you would've ever thought would end up in jail. He now s peaks out against the use of Oxycontin due to it's highly addictive nature. Robert did NOT get Oxycontin, but it is a very strong and addictive pain killer. So I freak out!

On a brighter note I am feeling fabulous with one and half days worth of antibiotic in my system! I feel better rested and my throat is only slightly painful today! Yay me!

Monday, February 02, 2009

Monday, Monday . . .

Okay, so I started antibiotics last night. I think I have a nasty sinus infection and the drainage is causing a horrific sore throat. It is definitely not strep or I would've been down for the count mid last week. I hope to begin feeling better by tomorrow.

The Superbowl was good. I am please the Steelers won. They did however give me a heart attack at the end! I was saying lots of bad words so I am pleased the kids were in bed. The commercials didn't much trip my trigger. I wasn't really looking forward to Springsteen, but it was pretty good actually.

Robert has an appointment with an Orthopedic doctor first thing tomorrow morning. They were going to make him wait until Thursday but I started to bawl uncontrollably* and they took pity on me. Actually I think they just realized how bad it truly was if I was willing to act like a fool on the phone. They would've gotten us in today, but none of the pain assessment docs are in today . . . damn Superbowl. (*Robert calls this the "crying woman discount")

I took the morning off work, but I need to get moving so I can get into work. I need to be off tomorrow morning so I can go with Robert and hopefully we will get some answers and a fix underway. . .

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Rescued . . .

So, my mom and step-dad came over to rescue me, but I was pulled into the drive of a house that is vacant next door so he couldn't get in far enough to jump me. My stupid car stays in the PARK position until it is turned on, so we couldn't push it out. I was so freakin' frustrated I cried. My wonderful nighbor came home in his big truck and longer jumper cables did the trick. I was free!

What does one do when one is crappy and stuck in a funk? Well, I had to go buy glasses since the script expires tomorrow. I did not want to pay for another exam so I had to get them today. So off to the mall we went . . .

McCartney posing with some fancy spectacles. We narrowly avoided a fit when I told her she didn't need glasses therefore we would not be buying these frames. I think maybe she knew I could not take anymore! But man, she sure looks cute, eh?

Harrison looks smashing in these Power Rangers frames. I have no idea what that silly smile is all about.

What does one sorry-for-herself-feeling mom do when she's at the mall with time to kill? She spends far too much money at Build-a-Bear trying to make herself happy be seeing happy children of course! It worked, how stinkin' cute are these kids?

Gee! Who would've guessed that McCartney would pick a Hannah Montana bear? Wow! Only every person who has ever met her. She is a walking Hannah Montana billboard! This was before the bear was dressed to the hilt in hannah Montana clothes!

Harrison LOVES puppies. So, of course he got a puppy. He named it Fluffy, how original. Later this dog became Spidey-Dog as he put on his stretch red suit to fight crime at the mall.

I came home and decided that even though it is winter I needed to paint my toenails. I think Ozzy likes them. Maybe looking down and seeing bright red toenails will help me get through the rest of my day. My glasses won't be done until tomorrow so pictures will be forthcoming!

Thanks for listening to me whine the last few posts . . .