Sunday, January 25, 2009

Time for quiet

This has been a long week. There has not been one day this week that has not held some huge change or horrific news for me. I won't go into details. I will tell you that I went to church this morning and found that it had all caught up with me.

I belong to the Friends church. I'm a Quaker, and although my church is not unprogramed (meaning the kind that sit in silent worship nearly always) we always have 15-20 minutes of silent worship during the service. Boy, did I have a shocker today. It took me forever to still my thoughts, and I realized that I had done everything I could all week during all of my turmoil to never have silence. I had the t.v. on, the audible books, the kids, the radio in the car, a DVD during the laundry (anyone get the picture yet?)

I had done my praying in the morning, as I always do, but this week, in a hurry, getting ready for work, no morning scriptures, no silence.

So many huge blessings, light heart, and through all of it I hid behind noise. I did give thanks, cursory thanks.

"Yep God, ah thanks for that.. big stuff, been praying for it for years, don't want to emotionally deal with it right now though... let's do lunch. air kiss. amen"

Huge sadness's, heavy heart (I'll miss you Sky, Nancy's Heather, my heart aches for you and I am also so proud of you) and again through it all I hid behind the noise. I did not ask for help, I did not pray for peace, or acceptance.

The Quaker belief is simple, you cannot hear God (not literally folks) if you are cluttered up with sound. I need to stop, and take the time to truly meditate.

This is easier said than done, at this moment I have a 12 year old actively trying to not take a bath (he's in there, with soap, just not wanting to use it.) and it's 9:22 pm on a school night. Dinner dishes just got done, and the coffee is ready to brew in the morning. I have to be up at 4:15 am to be at work on time. You get the picture.

I write this tonight, because if I went to bed before I did, it would play in my mind again and again like a tape recorder. Maybe I can feel the stillness tonight because I have faced that I have been running away all week.

Stillness, silence is a habit, like eating right, exercising, not beating your children when they think dirt is an inalienable right. It is really easy to lose these good habits with just a little bit of laziness. McDonald's is faster, I don't have time to exercise (can't play basketball now anyway) and frankly a fatal beating sounds effective right now.

I think I need to rework the good habits again, at least the silence, and frankly the good eating thing really needs to work itself back into the picture. Just the little time of forced silence in Meeting today really healed me, re-centered me, at least put me back on the path of trying to accept that my ways are not the ways of God, and frankly, his ways are not really my business. I just have to deal with it. In silence.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Quick update

No great philosophical hullabaloo today, just letting you know that after PT on Weds. Kim, my physical therapist, and I discussed surgery being the best option, and I am calling the doctor today to schedule this. The cortisone did some marvelous stuff. I can move my shoulder in ways that I have not been able to since the break. I just cannot move it past the area that the "junk" is in. So, that pretty much answers the question right away. No fuss, no muss, just get in and get it out so I can move on.

I'm glad it's Friday. I have to work tomorrow, but Saturdays at work are so much quieter then normal that I'm fine with that. I better get a move on though.. I need to shower and propel myself out the door...

Monday, January 19, 2009


Today, John is taking Spencer, our 15 year old kitty in to be put to sleep. He has cancer, and we have kept him at home as long as possible to keep him comfortable, but he is showing signs of suffering. We will let him go in peace.

The boys have not known a day without him, and when his sister, Tess died in April of kidney failure it was a really hard thing. They have been able to see the sore on his side though, and I think that has allowed them time to understand his illness.

The boys and Tess...

When Tess died, the boys wanted kittens. I said, "No, that's not fair to Spencer, he's an old man, and kittens running around would not be great for him." Huh... What I know, and what God knows are different things all together.

About three weeks after I broke my shoulder, I was doing the laundry (with one hand) and my amazing dog, Oscar, laid some little furry thing at my feet. I thought it was one of the boys stuffed animals, but it did not look familiar. I reached down and found that I had a completely unharmed, perfect 2 week old baby kitten in my hands. Well, long story just a little shorter, across the street was a family with 2 nursing queens. They took on another kitten.. the next day Oscar showed me where the other two kittens were, (I had looked the day before) in my compost pile, under brambles. I took the other two to the vet right away, they force fed the littlest one and told me to not expect him to live. The mother cats took over though, and I had them at my house at 6 weeks old.. They are alive and thriving.
I was asked several times if we were going to keep all three kittens, and of course we did. Well, how many times in your life does God (using a dog of all things) drop a kitten at your feet while you're doing laundry?

I tell you this because Spencer was fantastic with these new babies. He laid with them, protecting them and bathing them. I really think that he had missed having another cat around, having always had Tess. I think that they have made his last days happier. I know that having the new babies will make the loss of Spencer a little easier to bare. My heart aches to have him go. I think that I could not have born to have a house empty of cat-ness.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Another Birthday.

Oh no... not mine. My oldest child turns 12 today. As of 12:12 am this morning, he was 12 years old.

It seems to me that the time has flown by. I know that this is a platitude, but platitudes must be just that because they continue to be really true, in some sense anyway. Right?

What freezes my blood is that there is so little time left. I often tell people that my job, as a parent (as I see it anyway) is to make my children good citizens of the world. I do not care that they have Asperger's, I would not care if they were deaf, blind, or neurotypical... it does not matter. My job as a parent is to teach my children to live in this world we are all born into responsibly, with care for others, and with honor and integrity. This may mean that my job, because my children are different can be challenging at times, but when I had children I may have expected cute, baby perfection, and the natural progression of development laid out in the "What to expect" books, but God had other plans for me. I have learned to go along for the ride, and to try not to pilot the plane.

By the way, I had cute, baby perfection, with both boys. I also had my first child laughing at me when I tripped in front of him at 5 months.. He did not want to be held too long, even at 10 days old, he would hold a particularly interesting baby rattle for 15 minutes, just staring at it at 4 months old.. (I timed this...) just studying it. At 21 months he was using words like "annoying" to me. He would put himself into his playpen at 2 and just hang out for hours, perfectly happy to be in the same room with you, but separate, and quiet. We thought we had an eccentric lad, like my father. No harm there.

When he got into school, my quiet mild mannered child turned into a tortured, overwhelmed child, who by the 2nd grade was throwing chairs across the class room.

This all comes down to not having him diagnosed (what did we know about autism? Nothing!) and the school that he was at knowing nothing about it either. It took a brand new teacher, fresh out of college (God bless that young woman) to know what she was looking at, and the school administrators forbid her to tell us, as we might get upset. She realized this 2 weeks into 2nd grade. They told us in May. I am still angry about this.

We've moved past this, Sam is in a great school now. He starts Jr High next year though, and I worry. I know that there is a brand new class at one of our Jr highs here in the area that is for high functioning autism and that one of my friends, friend's child is loving school for the first time, but they are talking about closing the class already! (Ah, the networking that goes on with our children... all parents do this, not all are as aware that they are, I think.)

With Ben, we caught the autism earlier. There were different signs, and he is effected in different ways. As are, frankly all people with autism, there is no set rule of what ths diagnosis defines. As we were able to start him with help as he first went into school, he is completely mainstreamed, with assistance, but is coming along really well.

I like to think that we are doing fine on our way to teaching our children to be good citizens. It really seems such a short time that we have as parents to set down some pretty big ideas. A short while to teach habits to make sure that our children are compassionate and kind to all, and yet do not lay down and take crap from other people their whole lives.

The other day, Sam and I were talking about school, he is very overwelmed in his math class lately. He is mainstreamed in english and math class right now and math is in the afternoon, and has 2 different classes being taught at the same time. We were discussing the sensory overload, and I asked him if he wanted to use a carosel desk (one that has a sort of special wall around it.. like the ones in a library) he was horrified. He said that he did not! I asked him why? I said

" You know that you are different, this can help you to focus and not feel so distracted"

Sam replied..

"I know that I'm different, I accept that I'm different, and I'm okay that I'm different. I just don't want to be made fun of because I'm different."

Now, I ask you, does that sound as wise to you as it does to me? Maybe 6 more years will be enough time after all.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ouchie, momma!

I got the cortisone shot today... just one.

It hurt. Well, stings actually.

I hope it works.

No more typing today!

Monday, January 12, 2009

He's reading- something other than a manual!

Sam started reading some time when he was 4. No prompting, we didn't even know it until he started sounding out "21 bil-li-on" at McDonald's. We went out and bought The Bob Books that day and he read the first 3 at my mom's house and then said, "Can I go play my game now?" in exasperation at all of these stupid adults with their mouths hanging open.

I don't know why we were so surprised, I did the same thing. Sam has always loved a good story read to him, (I have a talent for reading out loud) but never really exerted any effort in reading a story to himself. Mostly Sam has read texts for video games. I know Sam, I know that they are DS or Playstation, or Wii, but I just say video for all of them. Yesterday, Sam had to start a new reading log book, and I handed him Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone. I gave him no choice. He begrudgingly took it, and didn't come up for air for over an hour. Then he couldn't stay away from it through out the day.

Ben really did not read in the same way that Sam has. He has had a real problem with his eyes tracking properly. Apparently 1/3 of the children with reading problems have issues with their eyes tracking, so that they cannot memorize shapes, like letters. He has special glasses, and has done lots of exercises to work on tracking and convergence. Because Sam has always read in Ben's memory, and because he cannot read as fast as Sam, he thinks he cannot read. Not true, all he lacks is confidence, so we keep working on this daily. I think that Ben will really take off with reading when he comes into his own too, even now, he checks out books about birds at the library. He really wants to know more about his animals.

Geesh, more non fiction.....

Friday, January 9, 2009

What I know (huh, not much)

So, I told you I'd give you an update. My doctor looked at the MRI with me on Thursday and said that there is some "junk" (his word not mine) in the shoulder socket. Now I know that there is a specific, scientific name for this, but you're going to get socket. Anywho, my doctor wanted to inject cortisone and wait for about a month to see if it was better, but agreed to wait until the radiologist had a chance to read the MRI, (they had not yet sent the report to him) to see what the "junk" is.

So, the doctor called today and spoke to John, because I was at work, and I have a small tear in the rotator cuff and some calcification (that's the junk apparently, at least I think, he spoke to John) so I will be trying the cortisone shots (yep, two) in very specific places on Tuesday morning. We will wait for about 2 weeks to see if I am significantly better, and we will be giving it a full month to work. If it doesn't then I will have surgery.

Look, I am willing to try the cortisone, but honestly, I am so done with this injury, that I just want to scream, "Take it out of there and let's get on with this!" I just keep praying for acceptance and understanding about this issue.

In the meantime, I will continue to try to keep my children from yelling too much at each other (never mind the furtive hitting and throwing of things), figure out what friday night dinner should be, and see how many inches I can get done on the body of my fair isle yoke sweater, I'm at 12 1/4" right now and I have completed 2 short row sections and will do another at about 16".

See, I have plenty to do to keep my mind off of all of that shoulder stuff!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wonders never ceasing

Today, after my MRI (yep already done, I find out tomorrow what the pictures all mean) I came home with a raging headache expecting hours of homework resistance, dragging my feet through the door, with my hand upheld in front of me. I was warning off all talking until I could get 3 Advil into me. (It didn't work by the way) I was, however, pleasantly surprised to see that Ben had finished all homework, and Sam hunkered down and did 2 pages of math with minimal assistance, and an entire handwritten composition completely on his own. With no complaining.

Frankly, I am a little bit afraid. Dinner is done. Dishes are done. (Thank you Mom!) and I am going to sit and knit.

I find out tomorrow at 10:15 am what is going on with the shoulder, I even have the x-rays and MRI prints here, but, as I cannot read them, I get to wait for the expert to translate for me.

I have to really hand it to the Doctors and staff, they got me into an MRI today, just hours after my appointment, and they are squeezing me in tomorrow.. Really cool that I am not having to wait for weeks.

I'll let you all know the scoop tomorrow.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Homework = Catherine Wheel (for all of us)

Right now, this very instant there is a soon to be 12 year old boy, on the kitchen floor wrestling with converting fractions into decimals. Right now.

He is so not happy with the onslaught of homework again. My boys have had 3 1/2 weeks off of school.

This is not a good thing. There is serious retraining that has to go on here again, not just for them, for all of us. There is no TV or video games until the homework is done. When I got home, the TV was on and it is almost impossible to pull the eldest away from any electronic influences once they've begun.

Ben is easier, he will do his homework when requested. Once again, it is like having Wolverine do his homework, there is a lot of growling going on under his breath.

"gerrr, why do I have to write the whole page!"
"gerrr, I don't want to read this book!"
"gerrr, huff, gerr, huff... Mom! I'm done, can I go now?!"

Sam, has been privately tutored in the art of dividing the lower fraction into the upper fraction to get the decimal equivalent... by yours truly, thank you, and understands the concept, and has a calculator to finish the work.. and he is still whining about this stuff. It will take him 4 minutes, tops to do this if he is threatened with no video games, or no recess, and it drives his teacher and I nuts!

We still have a reading log to do tonight and have to figure out the topic for the next paper he has to write... he has to pick a topic beginning with the letter "I" . Can you believe that? I had to walk away so that he doesn't have anyone to whine too, this sometimes helps to speed up the process.

Don't think that I am unsympathetic to Sam, he is so tired that his eyebrows are red and he is alternating between tears and laughter. He needs a nap as bad as I do. Poor guy.

There is still dinner to think about, and frankly there is no wonder that I have no time to work out.

It will take weeks to get back to the routine of getting homework done with only an hour long whining session. Right now, that sounds okay.

But life is not all bad, I have about 10 inches maybe 9 1/2, or, of course, 9.5 of the 17 inches that I need to do on the body of my sweater, then I get to knit the sleeves, and then start the color work. This is all on a size 6 needle, so it is taking a while.

Sorry about the bad pictures again, I need to start using my real camera instead of my phone camera.

Anyway, this is very exciting! I also steeked my gauge swatch to make sure that when I did this later on I would not destroy my sweater, and it worked! See?

Very nice! Time to go help the boy figure out what to read for reading log, as he is floundering over picking another book that does not include instructions on how to get past his current game level.

By the way Pam.. I hope your day back was peaceful, and that all of your kids were ready to start working for you. (I'm kinda laughing here, because I know that's a pipe dream, um sorry, hope you have a really relaxing night! )

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Promised Shoulder Story

So I promised you that I would share the shoulder story, and here it is.. in all it's long, drawn out, grisly glory.

On July 5Th of 2008, yes, this last summer, I was watching my goddaugther, Asha, while her mother and sister went looking for her birthday present. (July the 9Th she turned 9) I was in the garden, hoeing, while the kids were looking around for the snap game (not exploding snap.. we are just lowly muggles here) and, because it was easier to get the game myself as opposed to explaining to the kids that it was on the 3rd shelf down on my cookbook book self in the kitchen under the counter, I walked into the house to get the game for them.

Now Sam usually wraps himself in a sleeping bag during the day when he needs to feel confined, yes, even in the summertime, and he always leaves it on the floor. I always pick up the sleeping bag, and yell out as I do "Someone is going to trip over this and really get hurt, pick it up off the floor!!"

Ummm, except this time. This time I just walked over it, and I tripped.

The funny thing is, that I really remember this all in slow motion, like in the movies. I realize now that when you trip, you automatically lift your foot forward to catch yourself, except of course, when your shoes have hog tied you into a sleeping bag and you start to fall flat. I also realize that your arm shoots out to try to catch yourself.. especially onto convenient stereo speakers that are like 4 feet tall. Did I mention that I am 5'1 and 1/2"? Well, my body went down, and my arm stayed up and SNAP! I felt it inside, I knew that I had done something wrong, and I had done this right in front of all three kids. I honestly think that I would have lost consciencesness if the kids weren't there, I just kept thinking that I needed them to call someone.

Ben ran over right away.

"Mom, are you okay?"
"Momma's okay honey, Sam, I need you to call Muma" (Amuma, grandmother in Basque)
"No" Asha said, "Call my mom!"
"No, Asha honey, call my mom.. Sam the number is. (and I proceeded to give our home number not my moms) No wait, I mean.. (gave the right number)"
"Mom" Ben said, "are you okay?"
"Yes honey, Momma's okay"
"Mom, I brought you an ice pack" Sam announced
"Muma?, Mom fell down, she isn't getting up and says that I need to call you. No, she can't come to the phone, she says you need to come right now." Long Pause "Okay"

phone hung up , more long pause

"Sam, what did Muma say?"
"She's coming"

"Mom" I bet you can guess who said this "are you okay?"
"Yes, (sigh) momma is okay"

My mom only lives a mile away, so she was here really quickly, and when she leaned over me (because I was smart enough to stay right where I fell) I grabbed onto her shirt (with my left hand) pulled her to me and said through gritted teeth,

"It is not okay!!"
"There is something really, really wrong, call Heather, we need to go to the hospital now!"

Well, I will gloss over the emergency waiting room visit, except to say that the nurse told my that he was so sure that I did not break my shoulder that he was willing to bet his next paycheck.. It is very hard to break this bone apparently.

I was really nice to the guy after the doctor told me that I had broken the Humorous bone, the 2nd hardest bone to break in our bodies I was told. How nice, I have always been an over achiever. I broke out the corner of the bone.

Anywho, I was off of work for 4 months.

I am a big believer that everything happens for a reason. Platitude though it is, I have a philosophical bent, and frankly, the time I had off, although painful physically, was really a wonderful time. This was the first summer that I had off with the boys, and my husband. John and I work separate shifts, so that we have no daycare issues. This means that we see very little of each other and it was wonderful to discover that I still really like the guy. I was always aware of loving him, but the fact that I really truly enjoy his company after 15 years is a real treat.

A lot of things happened this summer and fall that proved to me again and again, that I really needed to be home during that time. When I did go back to work, it was also wonderful to see that I was missed and that I was welcomed back.

I have worked really hard to regain the use of my right arm, my physical therapist has been really great, and really happy with me. Unfortunately I have a set back right now. I don't know what has happened, either there was always a rip in some lining, or the open area of bone that is still growing together (they say about 18 months for total recovery) ripped something out, or there is some big major swelling, either way, I feel like I'm back in October beginning to move the arm again for the first real PT session.

I'm really kindda pissed off about this.


I'm feeling done with this whole episode.

I know, I know, I just went on with the "there is a reason for all of this" but frankly, I am a little UNreasonable right now.

I go back to the Doc on Wednesday and I was told that he will be ordering an MRI.