Yay It’s Finally Wednesday!!!

What a week it has been already!!!  

But it is now officially, where is sit anyways, WEDNESDAY!!!

DO YOU KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS???!!!!  

OOOOO  The weekend!

I love weekends….

With my Wee…  Love weekends…

Without my Wee…  Love weekends…  And those weekends really love me sometimes…. !!!

I can’t wait….  The weekend…

But right now I’m thinking about yesterday…  Thinking about today…  Thinking about tonight…….

And thinking that I’m happy.

We can talk…  And we can be honest… And we listen…  We really listen…  

And I think that’s a concept that both of us are finding foreign….  

I know I am anyway…. 

It’s rare to find someone that you can talk openly and honestly to about anything…  And you know they’re listening to every word.  

I hope that from this point forward we keep in mind the fact that yes, we have found that in each other….  

I hope that we always remember that we have that…  

And I hope that when trouble dose surface, we continue to use it as well as we did tonight…  

 

Without Communication, there is no Relationship; Without Respect, there is no Love; Without Trust, there is no reason to continue.. ~ Unknown 

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The Longest Of Days….

Funny….  Not Haha…  But funny….

I received a text from Greg today…  I just picked it up bro… Sorry…

It is very fitting though…

Image

And boy was that true for today….

What a long day.

What a FRUSTRATING day.

The number of times I just wanted to scream and cry and throw a fucking hissyfit…  I lost count.  Seriously…

But the day is done…  Work is done for today…  The waste of my damn time meeting with the VA is done…  The cupcakes for Wee’s dance class are done…    And ‘the talk’ is done…

Of all of that; work went as work does…  The meeting with the VA went as predicted…. The cupcakes are simple but very pretty and very yummy looking….

And ‘the talk’ ended in the words “I need to think”….

Those words weren’t said by me…  They were said to me…

*shrug*

I guess the majority of the day going as predicted isn’t a bad thing…  For a Monday…

Oh, and I saw my doctor after the meeting with the VA.  He wanted to know how that sideshow went for me….  He’s given me some sleeping pills for the next few days that I’m terrified to take….  And he’s asked me to consider a different medication…  Just to help with the anxiety and panic…

I’ll think about it.

Tomorrow…  More work…  Wee’s final dance class…

Tonight, I’ll finish my tea, listen to some music that speaks to my soul, shower off the dust from this train wreck of a day….  And contemplate those oh-so-very-tiny sleeping pills.

Tomorrow is a new day….  And there is much for me to do…

My life, as always, demands to be lived!  And I’m gonna do it with a smile on my damn face and a song in my heart….

Cause that’s the only way I know how to live it.

Good Times… Good Friends….

It was a fabulous weekend.   Really it was! 

Thanks to Rob and Nikki for inviting me to Burke’s Basement Party…  that was a ton of fun…  I’m sorry we couldn’t stay later… But what we were there for was fabulous!!! Thank you.

And then many thanks to April for the invitation to Wee on Saturday to attend your daughter’s Princess Birthday Party…  she still can’t stop going on about meeting Rapunzel!!!  

And then there was Sunday with baking and play-dates and more fun…  

What a great way to end a great weekend….  That is now going to roll into another week where, hopefully, I can make some progress with one battle that has been dragging on for way to long…  

The VA…  

I’ve been back in front of them a few times in the last little while; asking for their help, asking them for any assistance at all…  or even referrals to assistance…  and it has all fallen of deaf ears…  as usual.  

But I have another meeting with them Monday…  my second in three weeks…  my fifth in two months…  and I’m hoping that maybe, perhaps, maybe….  

Oh, who am I kidding!!!

The problem is, and will continue to be, I won’t play the game by ‘their rules’.  Not even for a second….  

You can ask any member of the military and they’ll tell you…  The VA doesn’t like it when you don’t play by their rules.

So, why not just play… Even for just a while???  

Well, their logic is this:

“You see, this is where you have rated on the scale.”
“I’m well aware of that.  I know how I rate.  I know where I stand.  You seem to forget, I’m the one that was there.  I’m the one whose head you cracked open poked around in.  I’m the one who couldn’t sleep for almost a week and a half after your tests and assessments.”
“Well, with your rating, for us to even consider you eligible for any services through the VA, you need to take….  “

By the time he was done rhyming off the laundry list of medication that they need me to take to just be eligible for assistance through them, I’m pretty sure I had fallen into a coma.  

“Well, you see sir, here’s the problem with your plan of action.  I’ve been on all of those medications.  I then got off them.  I then learned how to live a healthy and productive life without them.  Why would I go back on them?”
“Because for us to help you, you need to–“
“But sir, you don’t understand, my life is productive.  I have a job.  I work.  I pay my bills.  I live.  I breathe. I SHOP DAMMIT.  I have my daughter.  I raise my daughter!  We’re happy!!! Why would I medicate that?”
“Because you want our help, “
“Sir, no offence, but that sounded more like a question than a statement to me.  And even if it was a statement, I don’t agree with it.  I’m looking for a support system.  I’m not looking for life in endless bottles of pills.”
“Well, if you don’t want to do what we are telling you you have to do to get our help, why did you come here?”
“Because sir, as someone who signed on the dotted line and put the uniform on for this country, I thought perhaps after all of the time, blood, sweat, and tears that fell from my body for this country, that perhaps the VA was the correct route to take to look for support.  I should have known better.  I tried this route before and the story was the same.  Thank you for your time sir; I’m sorry I wasted mine.”

Unfortunately now that I have kicked at that can again, I can’t just unkick it…  I have to go through the process.  I have to hear them out.  I have to attend their meetings.  And then they’ll cut me free and forget about me for another year or so at which time my file will again resurface for review…  

And the answer will be the same…  

As it always is.

You don’t want to play by our rules, we won’t help you.

Maybe one day they’ll see that their rules are failing more and more of us every day. That their rules are becoming the very thing that stop so many of us from being able to move beyond and start thriving in our own way…  Living a life that we feel comfortable living in.  

Perhaps.

But I don’t think that will happen in my lifetime.  

But that’s okay because I have my life…  My life that I live well…  Sure, it has blips…  There are times where it’s not such smooth sailing…  But those times are relatively few…  

And thanks to the great people that I have in my life…  And my Wee…  Those times, when they do happen, they pass and the smiles and laughter return.  

And even when the demons are walking…  There is still laughter…  There is still love… There is still fun….  

And that’s what matters at the end of the day. 

That really is the only thing that matters.   Really.  

Speaking of laughter, and fun…. 

The smiles have been pretty endless around here the last little while…   My step has been a little lighter….  My smile a bit bigger…  My days a bit brighter….  

I’ve met someone…  He’s pretty special…  And Rob agrees… He seems nice…  

He has the Best Friend Stamp of Approval.  

So we’ll see…  We’ll see where it goes… And him and I agree to enjoy our time together and whatever happens happens…..  

Perhaps this is the start of something good….  

Very Long Overdue…..

This post…  It has been writing itself for well over a week now…  But life gets busy; time slips.

And no one knows better what a busy life is than a parent with a frighteningly sick child….

When your child looks at you with that fevered gaze…  The glassy eyes that are never quite clear…  And cries…  Cries about the pain…  Cries begging you to make it stop… To make it better….  Cries because they’re hot, they’re cold, they hurt, they’re uncomfortable….  Cries because it’s the only thing they can do…

And the fear…  You try to cover the fear that you carry in your heart so they don’t see it…  So that your fear doesn’t affect them…

You do everything:  Change their bedding…  Change their clothes…  Cool cloths, warm cloths…  More blankets, less blankets…  Hot water bottle, ice chips…

And the entire time you’re feeding them Advil and Tylenol…  And watching desperately as the numbers continue to climb on the thermometer….

And you try to not lose your shit and join them in the crying because, really, where would that land everybody?  What good would that do anyone?

So you put on your brave face, pull on your mommy hat, run on next to no sleep…. And hide your fear.

Unfortunately this illness followed too closely behind the whole appendix scare…  She still remembers that…  She still remembers the needles… She still remembers her very kind nurses and doctors….  And she still remembers the needles….

So every time I would mention the doctor:

“NO MOMMY NO.  NO NEEDLES.  I don’t want to see Travis and his needles and the needles and NO MOMMY NO!”
“Okay dude…  Calm down.  We’ll stay home.”

Well, then one day I talked her into a clinic.  “Not the hospital dude.  Just a clinic okay? No needles.”

Off we go.

Unfortunately the doctor was a fucking ignorant idiot.  She didn’t listen to a word I said.  Did not listen to the case history.  DID NOT LISTEN.

Two days later; back again.  For continuity of care, I thought the same clinic, the same doctor would be the best option.  Again, she didn’t listen.

Now what occurred beyond that is not her fault…  Not at all..  But dammit, you’re a doctor.  When a patient comes in with a case history as complete as what I handed her, dammit, LISTEN!!!

And I have to keep reminding myself that even if she had listened, even if she had read everything, even if she had given a goodgoddamn for even one second, what happened next still would likely have happened.

But if she had listened, I would have been left feeling like I had a compassionate, caring doctor in my corner and not an ignorant idiot who just didn’t give a shit.

Long story short, she wrote a prescription.  Great.  Okay.  Wee will get well.

No.  Wrong answer.

She got sicker.   So.  Much.  Sicker.

A few days later:

“Dude, you’re not getting well.  You’re getting worse.”
“I know mommy.”
“We need to go to the hospital.”
“No mommy.  I won’t go.  I won’t.  Travis is there.  He has needles!”

Shit.

“Okay dude, I’m gonna make you a deal okay?”
“Okay mommy.”
“We have a good pharmacist at our drug store.  We’re gonna go talk to him.  He’ll listen.  If he says we need to see another doctor, we will go to St. Joe’s.  Not to where Travis works.  This is the nice hospital where they didn’t give you needles.  Okay?”
“Okay mommy.  Deal.”

Pharmacist takes one look at her; Go now.  Don’t wait.  She’s very sick.

Off we go.  She kept her word…  The pharmacist said so she went with no fuss.

We get to St. Joe’s and initially, we are told it’ll be about an hour and a half to see the doctor.  They quickly changed their tune when they heard the case history and took her temperature.  We were in within an hour.

Now, I have to say, yes, we got fast-tracked.  Yes we did.  And yes, the waiting room was full of people who were all waiting.  And some were quietly and patiently waiting… While others were complaining about the wait.  Honestly people, I understand your frustration but, really, you’re dealing with some of the best damn doctors and medical students out there…  Be grateful that at the end of your wait, you have some of the best damn care out there.

So, in we go.  We get a bed.  We get students.  We get nurses.  She gets pumped full of so much Tylenol and Advil I don’t think she’s too awful aware of what’s going on.  But they get that temperature under control.  Now, time to find the cause.

That’s when the shit hits the fan.

The needles.

Well let me tell you how quickly she went from the happy child to the screaming demon that crawled straight from the depths of hell to tear the roof off of that hospital and make everyone pay for the existence of needles.

I think that transformation took less than half a second.

It was a shit show.

The doctor, amazing man, did not want to traumatize her any more… So he ran all other tests and then arranged a direct transfer over to the Children’s Hospital where they would use special techniques to calm her and get the blood he needed.

Fortunately that transfer never had to happen because all of the other tests he ran came back positive for what he suspected.

Antibiotic resistant bacterial pneumonia.

YAY!!! *insert sarcasm*

He considered keeping the transfer going.  He said he’s seen this quite a bit the past while in children Wee’s age and that’s why he knew what to look for and what tests to run.  He said he was worried for her because she was going to get much sicker before she got better.  He also looked at me and said he was worried for me.  He asked how much I was sleeping.  He asked if I was eating.

He didn’t have to ask; he knew the answers.

His concern was not just for her; it was for me also.  He asked if I would stay with her at the hospital if he transferred her and admitted her.  I told him hell would freeze before I left her.  He told me to take her home and tuck us both in bed and sleep.  He told me I needed sleep and there was no way I would get sleep on those hospital cots.  He told me what to look for, he told me what to do, he set up notations on our phone number so that 911 would know what was going on if I called, he made sure her chart was at the Children’s Hospital, he wrote a prescription, and he sent us home with a ‘follow up with me this day, this time.  I know it’s early but it’s either this way or I admit her’.

“No, this is fine.  We’ll be there.  Thank you.  Thank you so much for helping my daughter.”

And I shook his hand.

And Wee gave everyone hugs and waves as she left…

And that there, that made their day.

You could see how the simple handshake, the thank you…   And the smiles and love from a little girl who was sicker than all get-out made their day.

And that was an important thing for my Wee to see; a very important lesson for her to learn.

When someone helps you, even if it isn’t pleasant…  Say thank you…  Let them know you appreciate them.

Two days later, when we saw the doctor at oh-fucking-stupid-o’clock in the morning at the Children’s Hospital, she was already a new child; already a million times better.

He was happy.

I was happy.

Wee was happy.

She gave him a hug.  She said she was sorry for screaming at him about the needles. She said thank you.

I shook his hand.  I said thank you.

I learned a lesson in all of this as well.  A very valuable one……

If we can’t get in to see our regular doctor, trust the hospitals; trust the Urgent Care Clinic at St. Joe’s; that’s what they’re there for.

My child….  She is definitely my child….  She can take a simple illness and turn it into some new and exciting plague and let it grow and mutate…  If she is sick enough to require a doctor’s care and she can’t see her doctor, take her to the Urgent Care; at least there, you know they give a shit; they’ll listen.

The wait may be long…  The doctors and nurses may be over-worked…  But they give a shit.

They care.

And when your child is sick, care and compassion; it’s priceless.

I Had A Million….

Seriously; I did…  I had a million words…  likely more than a million…  but then after the adrenaline stopped flowing….  after the Wee was settled in for the night and her nightmares had stopped and the fever had dropped….  after a couple glasses of wine and some great conversation for me…  after exhaustion set in…  well, those words are saying that they can wait until tomorrow….

But for tonight these few words do need to be said….

Hug your children.
Hold them tight.
Let them know you love them.

I don’t care if you’re a full-time two parent family or a part-time mom part-time dad family…. Make sure your children know that you love them and that you are there for them and that everything they face….  you will be RIGHT THERE facing it with them.

Because life changes in an instant…

All of this may seem melodramatic considering my Wee will recover…  she WILL get well… She will run and jump and sing and dance and play and grow and learn and….

This…  this…  on top of her recent appendix removal…  well, it has shown us that life changes in an instant….

And the words I love you, I’m there for you, I’m with you no matter what….  they can never be said to our children enough.

Ahh Parenting…..

Parenting…..  What a rollercoaster it can be!

First there’s the seemingly endless sleep deprivation that you suffer from when your child is first born…

Then quickly, fears set in…

Some odd:
OHMYGOD the baby slept through the night!  Is it dead!!???

Some unusual:
OHMYGOD the baby ate a bug!!!   Will it die????!!!!

And some very justified:
OHMYGOD the baby has a fever of 103 and won’t stop puking!!!  Did I break it??!!!!???

And then, right before your eyes…  that ‘baby’ grows into a running, whirling, mud-slinging tornado of endless energy that jumps and dances and sings and….  Through EVERY moment of EVERY day.

Time slips like water through your fingers as you watch the changes…. and as you try with all your might to keep up….  and you try to relish and cherish every moment…

But sometimes, sometimes, you’d just rather choke them.

Especially when they freak the fuck out in the middle of a store or restaurant or any other public location where you can feel every judgemental gaze shift to you.

And then that passes too. One day, those days of unconsolable tantruming just….  Stop.

And that’s because, for the most part, logic and reason has set in.

You can actually, for the most part, TALK to your child and they get it.  For the most part.   Sometimes.  Sort of.  Occasionally.

Actually, that’s crap….  But I figured it out tonight.  It’s not that logic and reason has set in… it’s that the boundary testing phase has set in and they’re too busy trying to be super crafty to throw a full-on fit.

What do I mean?

Well, here’s an example:

“Wee, eat your dinner.”
“Okay Mommy.” ….  Two seconds later “Mommy, I’m full.”
“You had how many bites?”
“LOTS!”
“Mmhm.  Sure.  Here, you eat this and then you’re done”…  Section off a very TINY portion of food.
Two seconds later a beaming smile “Mommy, I ate it all.”
“Where did you hide it?  The dogs aren’t here for you to feed it to.”
“No where, I ate it.”

Insert ‘The Look’ from me to Wee.

“Right here Mommy.”

Mmhm..   Yes…  Crafty….

So, soon after that incident, while she was dawdling over the tiny amount that I asked her to eat to be done, she asks:

“Mommy?   How do you know all of the stuff I do?”

Now, anyone who knows me knows I’m a pretty fair person when it comes to parenting.  I don’t lose my bananas over the little stuff.  You have an opinion, I do want to hear it.  You want to throw a fit, you have that right but I also have the right to not witness it so do it in your room please NOW.  Manners are a big deal.  Honesty is a bigger deal.  And pick your stuff up otherwise I’ll throw your stuff out; I’m your mother not your maid.

And intimidation, I don’t use it.

But I thought it was time to make an impression on this little child of mine because the ‘crafty behaviour’ and the boundary testing was driving me bugnuts crazy; so I lean in REAL close to her cute little face…  Real close….  Inches…  I drop my voice to a whisper…  I keep a straight face….

“I was your age once too and the stuff you try to pull over on me, I created most of it.”

I leaned back in my chair, I put a sly smile on my face, I cocked an eyebrow at her and dipped my head.

Insert wide-eyed, stunned expression on the face of my four year old….

“REALLY???  You used to hide your food too?”
“Yeah dude, only I had reason to; my mommy couldn’t cook.”  (As a side-note, for any of you who know my mother, you know that’s true.  If it didn’t come out of the slow cooker, it had to be soaked in ketchup or gravy just to make that shit slide down.  She would cook everything until it was dead again; including vegetables.)

Insert wider eyed look on my four year old’s face…….

“REALLY???  Did you sneak out of bed too?”
“Dude, I’m telling you…  All of it…  I did it all….   And I did stuff you haven’t thought of yet…  So stop thinking you can pull the wool over my eyes.  You can’t.  Just do what you’re told and we’ll get along just fine.  And stop wasting your energy trying to trick me; it won’t work.  I invented all of it.”
“Okay Mommy.”

So here we are…  Her having been told flat-out that I see all…  And her trying desperately to find ways to exert her independence..   And me, me struggling to just slow time the fuck down for five minutes so that I can just take a big, deep breath and actually take the words of advice that everyone loves to throw around like beads at a fucking Mardi Gras parade….

Enjoy it…  They’re only young once.

It’s So Nice….

It appears that spring is actually here… Or well on its way to being here!!  YAY!!!

I actually got out this past weekend, in amongst the fun and the relaxing and the working, and I did yard work!!  YES!!!

I raked the front.   I made sure our one flower patch is where I want it, I put away the last of the winter stuff…..  

It was great!!!

And I took the dogs for a nice long hike through the wooded area near our house.  

It was muddy.  It was gross.  It was right fucking treacherous in some spots where the snow wasn’t all gone yet…  

But it was AMAZING….  Amazing to just smell spring in the air!!  

Other than that…. It was a pretty fanfuckingtastic weekend….  Friday night was a great start (Thanks Pete and Rob…  I had a BLAST!!!) and that was followed by a lazy and restful Saturday that rolled into a Saturday night watching a movie with Rob and Nikki (Thanks guys!!!)….  And then Sunday I was all kinds of productive…  It was great!

And now we’re back to the weekly grind…  Work, working out, work,  school for Wee, work…  Packing lunches that won’t be eaten… Sorting through newsletters and flyers and school fund raiser material….  *sigh*…

The time just slips by doesn’t it?  

Easter is just around the corner and I have such great ideas for what I can do for my Wee….  

And I can’t wait….

Cause SPRING IS HERE!!!  

YAY!!!!