Friday, October 31, 2008

Boo! #2

So... I have MORE photos of Grey from *tonight's* Trick-or-Treating Extravaganza... AND photos of my husband made up like Captain Spaulding from "House of 1000 Corpses" (which, by the way, is FRIGHTENING, simply because ohmygoditISSpauldinginmyHOUSE)... but I feel like I'm partially crippled.  I still haven't recovered fully from pumpkin carving, what, 2 days ago?  And then I went ahead and did a whole crap load of other shit since then... and my body is REBELLING, oh the pain.  Yuck.

Today I had my Lyrica dosage doubled, and my sleep DRUG has been doubled as well.  *sigh*  Oh!  And I got my MRI report back.  Needless to say, I'm not thrilled.  I'm glad I have some form of concrete PROOF as to why my lower back and right side of my sacrum are just... well, screwed 6 ways to Sunday.  But?  This is a problem that will NOT repair itself.  I have a bi-layer herniation at the lowest two levels, and a TEAR in the lowest disc, as well.  And because of that, there is "decreased water content" in there... which means it's been leaking OUT of my spinal column and into... well, SOMEWHERE.  Mmm.  Appetizing.

This *also* means that I will be looking at spinal surgery sometime in the future.  Not NEAR future, if I take precautions to not further injure myself, but it's gonna happen.  I should be a bit, well, more *adjusted* to spinal surgeries, since, hmm... my dad's had god-only-knows how many discectomies, and *4* spinal fusions to date.  But, um... yeah.  I've only had one surgery in my adult life, and I WOKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF IT.  That's what happens when doctors don't heed my warning about having a high drug resistance and needing higher levels of anesthesia.  You'd think that, as SURGEONS, they would be aware of even the studies that have been done on anesthesia and REDHEADS, and how they typically require more due to a pain receptor that is linked to the gene for red pigment.  Dur.  All I know, I woke up with 4 surgeons IN MY FACE and in the most excrutiating pain of my LIFE.  *shiver* That day ranks 12 FREAKIN' times higher on the pain scale than my LABOR with Grey, I SWEAR.

Anyhow...  unless by some twist of fate my nighty-nite meds *don't* work for me tonight (which my GOD, if I didn't know better, I'd swear I'd be lights out as soon as my head hits the pillow)... the newest Halloween shots will be up TOMORROW.  I just don't even have the drive to go retrieve the camera from my coat pocket...  How sad is THAT?

Happy Halloween, y'all!  =P  I'm all pumkpined out.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Pecking

That is all I can manage to do with these keys after working for over an hour on two ginormous pumpkins which, after the fact, look like Jack Skellington and the other is NOT Jack Sparrow as I had originally intended it to be because the FRIGGIN' CARVING KNIFE BROKE IN HALF and I could find no other tool in the house that could offer such intricate detail to the god forsaken pattern that I was attempting:

And now it only looks something like, well, a last ditch effort at making a face with what was left of a decent pumpkin surface.
*sigh*
I will post photos of my two ONE punpkin that actually turned out the EXACT way I wanted it to.  Ya know, before the carving knife decided to commit stainless steel suicide.

*Doing a Happy Dance*

SCREEE!!!  My lost CD of my musical compositions (including all those that are still "in progress" and those that I did not include on my first mastered CD) has been FOUND!!!  Ahhhh!!!  Along with a copy of the software I use for notation and sound editing!!!

Can you tell I'm just a BIT excited?!?!?  OMG!

Sorry... I'll *try* to contain my ravenous joy at least a little, because otherwise?  I may never leave this computer for the next 84 days 48 hours while I go through everything that has been lost to me for the last FIVE FUCKING YEARS!!! 

Seriously.  It all got misplaced during my move away from the ex from HELL, and had pretty much resigned myself to the probablility that he had KEPT all of it, much like the numerous OTHER things that never made it back into my possession, though SOOOO not his.  Bastard.  Grr.  *deep breath*

But!  My music and I have been reunited!!  My inner composer can spread her wings once more!!

Of course, that's granted I find the TIME between school, PT, OT, pain counseling, psych appointments, pumpkin carving (yes, I am LATE!  I am tackling that, oh, say, NOW!), and shla;dhu;igdababn;adij;ndao'c ohmygodIhaveSOmuchtodo!

WHEW!  Maybe I should just play some of my work in the background while I carve... should stir up some MAD creative mojo, right?  Maybe it will help in writing my criminalistic screenplay for class, too...  Hmmm...

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Biofeedback and Cars: The Movie

Well, back to the land of busy, busy, busy!

Yesterday was spent with TWO FREAKIN' HOURS at the pediatrician's office, for the doctor to, for startes, tell ME to "SHUSH!" with his finger pointed at me when trying to tell him what was going on with Greyson... apparently, the word of a two year old is concrete, and "We don't need your help, MOM.  He's extremely atriculate - let him speak for himself."  WELL, then.  Fine.  I was also told by the doctor, "I'd hate to be his teacher."  Mmm.  'Kay.  Yes, he's VERY vocal, and knows what he's talking about.  Excuse me if I'm used to people, ya know, not *quite* always understanding the speech of a TWO YEAR OLD.  Bah.  A comment about him being, "not a very big boy," but having "a wide jaw - he's like a little man" made with a *complete* look of disdain and accusation, as if I'm not FEEDING my CHILD made me want to chuck my pocketed cellphone at the back of his big foreign head.  With brute force.  I was NOT amused, especially when we left the office without even a direct diagnosis, other than a muttering of, "Well, there's just the slightest inflammation here..." while poking at his eustachian tubes.  Hmm.  Ear infection.  Ya don't say.  OH WAIT!  I think I recall telling the nurse (who, by the way, entered "patin informality" into the computer when told that at 4 weeks old, Grey was diagnosed as having a patent foramen ovale) (dipshit) that I suspected that, since he was complaining of discomfort at the back of his jaw when chewing.  Hmm.  But no.  MOM NEEDS TO SHUT UP.  Hmph.

It also snowed while we were at the doctor's.  YES, you heard me, IT FREAKING SNOWED.  And today it was 55, and it's supposed to be *70 degrees* on Friday.  Riiight.  Gotta LURVE some Chicago wonky weather.

I also had seminar last night for my Criminal Justice Systems course... which was hilarious because we were given the guidelines for, get this, a SCREENPLAY that we have to write - by next TUESDAY! - about a burgular from arrest through sentencing.  TUESDAY!  Arrgh.  I think I might be a little LESS stressed about this if I *didn't* have a background in theatre and knew just oh SO much I could do with this assignment.  Bah.

And then today, today I had one of my wonderful and oh so interesting trips to the pain clinic, where I was hooked up to a computer with some whacked-out ELECTRODES to measure the electrical activity in my muscles.  Yeah.  I felt like a science experiment.  And I was!  I then got to listen to the droning voice on the "relaxation" CD while hooked up to this machine so we could see if there was any progress with the techniques.  Umm, if the woman (man?) on the CD were any more distraught sounding themself, I probably would have DIED in that recliner.  So, I'd have to say no.  Heh.

And then I had PT, where I was told that, "Hmm, you seem to be having some serious myofacial issues in this side of your back and hip."  Naawwww, REALLY?  Maybe that's why I've been in pain for the last 18 months?!? 

Why, yes!  I am a bit on the snarky side today!  Thanks for noticing!!

So, I guess I get to do a bit more "hands-on" treatment Thursday at my next PT appointment.  Fun.  I can lie there and hope he doesn't hurt me.  All while being reminded of the four evil words that MUST be removed from my vocabulary. LOL

On the upside?  Greyson completed a *24-piece puzzle* this evening - all on his lonesome!  I am GENUINELY impressed, since this particular puzzle is aged 4-7 years:

I know!  I'm so proud of my little monkey!
He's proud of himself, too.  Don't you love the t-shirt?!?  LOL

Monday, October 27, 2008

WOW!

I could survive for 1 minute, 32 seconds chained to a bunk bed with a velociraptor

Created by Bunk Beds.net

Breakdown

The sun is gone and the flowers rot
Words are spaces between us
And I should have been drowned in the rivers I found of token lost
And I should have been down when you made me insecure
So break me down if it makes you feel right
And hate me now if it keeps you alright
You can break me down if it takes all your might
Cause I'm so much more than meets the eye
And I'm the one you can never trust
Cause wounds are ways to reveal us
And yeah I could have tried and devoted my life to both of us
But what a waste of my time when the world we had was yours
So break me down if it makes you feel right (so break me down)
And hate me now if it keeps you alright (so break me down)
You can break me down if it takes all your might
Cause I'm so much more than all your lies
Hate me, break me down (so break me down)
So break me down if it makes you feel right (so break me down)
And hate me now if it keep you alright (so break me down)
You can break me down if it takes all your might
Cause I'm so much more than meets the eye
Seether - Breakdown

Trick or Treat! Too bad we got a TRICK.

I would love to say that yesterday's first Trick or Treating adventure stayed as happy as this:

Or, especially this:

However... we couldn't POSSIBLY be as fortunate as that!!
It all started off great... Greyson looked absolutely *perfect* as my own, miniature Jack Sparrow. I mean, honestly - the costume suited him SO well, I was truly impressed by the whole ordeal - and he was SO unbelievably excited to venture out into his first actual Halloween experience.
The first house we stopped at, the poor little boy was a tad confused, however... since he tried to go *into* the house when the caught-off-guard old Asian man opened the door to Greyson's Halloween cuteness. Heh. CLASSIC. After that, however, he was MUCH more adapted, and knew that, um, they're not opening the door for you to go IN, just so THEY can come OUT! LOL!!
He somehow managed to be the sweetest child ever during the entire process - thanking each homeowner profusely for the small piece of hyperactivity delight they put in his bag, and then running back to our sides with proclamations of, "That lady/man gave me MORE candy! Wasn't that so NICE of them?" Yeah - my kid's got mad appreciation, yo. ;)
All in all, he walked a good 4-5 BLOCKS on his little two year old legs and feet, managed to somehow lose his pirate sword in the process (there goes $1, down the drain, LOL), and thoroughly entertain numerous parents and children alike with his outright adorable little self. One woman even kept us standing at her house for a good 5+ minutes, just because she wanted to listen to his "cutest little voice" for a longer period of time.
In this time, we learned that one of her three cats is also named Greyson (Grayson?), since he is, indeed, gray. Hmm. Okay. On to the next house now, huh, crazy cat lady? Heh.
For wandering a neighborhood that was rather laden with people who either were a) not home, b) PRETENDING that they were not home, or c) somewhere ELSE because their house was on the market, he got quite a stash, including numerous treat BAGS from some of the more spirited contributors. =)
We got bombarded by some pretty fierce winds throughout our walk, and after about an hour or so, little man was ready to go home, satisfied with the endeavors of the afternoon. Whew!
Move on to me going to pick up dinner from KFC (no WAY was I in any sort of shape to COOK anything of substance after a LATE night at hubby's show AND Trick or Treating! Heh.). All was A-OK when I left, with Greyson happily playing on the computer.
30 minutes later... hmm, SO not so much. I walked in the door, bags in hand, to a SOBBING little boy, still in dark eyeliner from the previous festivities, pressed against the refrigerator door, with Daddy and Gia (grandma) at his side.
The world had apparently come crashing down on his sad little shoulders, and everything was against him, all at once. We *finally* managed to get him to agree that it was okay for us to go eat dinner, that Gia could sit down to dinner with us - but of course, he added the stipulation that "Caillou would help him not be so sad." Umm, okay. I wasn't aware that cartoons about a four year old BALD child who socializes with a rather LARGE redheaded population for being a Canadian cartoon had those healing properties, but SO BE IT. He stopped his sobfest, and kinda spaced out staring at the TV, only taking about two bite of the food that I honestly had to FEED him.
It was after the third bite went largely unchewed and then spit out onto a napkin, that he came to nuzzle against me... and I nearly recoiled at the fact that he was HOT. I mean, WOW, fever hot. And he started the tears again with claims that his tummy HURT. Even to the touch. Uh oh.
He registered around 102. He got some Motrin. I decided to give the medicine a little time, and see if I could get some more ANYTHING into him, if his tummy would feel better.
And so Greyson became a bit more like Greyson again in about 15 minutes. He ate a little more, had some juice. Seemed like we were at least *okay* for a while. Bedtime wouldn't be too far off (since he has played the role of "Super Grey, the wonderous two year old NON-napper" for God knows HOW long now), and we'd make it through this.
He fell asleep after some general grumbling and such just after 9:00. I followed suit I'm assuming about half an hour later... the wonders of my new medication. (Can you hear it? The universe sighing in contentment as a result of my ability to finally get some SLEEP?)
But! Lo and behold, it is 4am, and the young one, after a good 15 of squirming in his sleep, wakes up. And moves against me. And is scorching my body with his flesh ohmygod. Another temp check brings this "Attack of the Fever: Part II" in at nearly 103 degrees. I am NOT amused - not in the slightest. He has NEVER had a fever over even 101... and that was ONCE. Okay, get him some water, some more medicine... we can do this. No reports of anything hurting this time... just whining and complaints of wanting DVDs in bed with him. Um... don't think so, but here's something to drink!
I needed a brief sanity break, so around 5:30, I headed upstairs for a smoke (I KNOW, I know...) and to not be victim of the fidgety whining that was my feverish child.
I came back downstairs to Daddy laying with Greyson, and me getting bombarded by cries of, "You go sleep in the livingroom! DADDY is laying down with me! YOOOOOUUUU GOOOO SLEEEEEP SOOOMMMMEWHEEERRREE ELLLLSSSSE!" Eek. Okay. Couch is NOT my friend, so here I am... awake since 4 am. My two men, the big one and the little one, fell asleep somewhere around 6:00. Now I'm just waiting for the peds office to OPENDAMNYOU kindly begin their business day, so I can call up and make an appointment for, oh let's see, like ASAP. Either that, or I really have no problem of taking him to the ER if they won't see him today, because, um... 103 fever? NEVER in his life been this high before? Came screeching into existence a mere 90 minutes after coming home from Trick orr Treating with him being happy as a clam? I don't THINK so... not taking my chances, in all honesty.
So, wish me luck that the smiling precious one you see in the photos at the beginning of this post? That he comes back soon.
Thankfully, I myself have no appointments today. At least I can be attentive until I have Seminar for one of my classes tonight. *sigh*

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Apparently...

Apparently, the medication the doctor has prescribed for me in order to help me sleep IS working.  Ralph told me that in the middle of the night, while he was *unsuccessfully* trying to get Grey back to sleep, Greyson JUMPED on me... and I didn't move an inch.

Apparently, this medication is most often used for schizophrenia and bi-polar disorder.  I do *not* have either of those conditions, but it seems that it's sedative effect does actually work on me.

Apparently, this medication also has a possibility of causing high cholesterol, hish blood glucose, weight gain, blah blah blah.  Niiiice.  My Lyrica can also cause weight gain.  I have *already* gained an unexplanable amount of weight over the course of the last 6 months... SO, I'm having blood work to check my thyroid among many, MANY other things.

Apparently, bill collectors are one of the LOWEST forms of life on this planet, and have absolutely *no* concept of not "having friends to give you money."  Because, since we are already to the point where Ralph is having to ask a friend to borrow money to pay our CAR payment so, ya know, we have a CAR... it should be "okay to lie about the amount" in order to give the self-serving bastard on the phone money to pay off a $431 bill.  Even though, "everyone has friends, and everyone needs help," APPARENTLY, my friends are those who should have barrels of extra money to generously throw at me to pay *my* bills.

Apparently, making a woman *cry* over the telephone with incessant threats and accusations is NOT beyond this particular breed's capability.  Neither is initially REFUSING to allow this woman's husband to speak to a supervisor.

Apparently, some people don't agree with making the choice to feed your young child over paying an outstanding credit card balance IN FULL RIGHT NOW.

Apparently, a certain person working for the local public school district have nothing better to do with their day than to maniacally switch between a position of support and brown-nosing and a venomous, accusatory, all-knowing WENCH.  Because, SERIOUSLY?  Is it REALLY necessary to telephone twice within a half-hour period with COMPLETELY opposing information that, in honesty, has NOTHING to do with the person making these calls?!?

Apparently, my luck has STILL not changed.

Apparently, I *can* still be bitter about my car being stolen and never recovered 2 1/2 years ago, while containing a $100 stroller, carseat base, clarinet, and tennis racket.

Apparently, I am finding that while I have a lot of support from places that I never would have expected it (and am SO grateful for it.  Seriously.  No words to express my gratitude here, people.), I do NOT have even an INKLING of support from about 99% of the places that I *would* have expected it.  I am suffering an absolutely bittersweet revelation from this fact.

Apparently, I need to completely rethink where my alliances lie... which saddens me completely.

Apparently, I am still able to manage a supreme functional capabilty when it comes to education.  For now, at least.  THANKFULLY.

Apparently, a certain person is finding it NO concern of his to pay a PENNY of $6100 after owing this exact balance for over FOUR YEARS.  Even though he is getting married in 9 days and owns a NEW FUCKING HOUSE.

Apparently, we may have to fill out paperwork for not just one, but TWO court cases *very soon*.

Apparently, I am feeling like a bit of a fuckup because I have yet to get pumpkins to carve or put up the very few Halloween decorations we have, even though Halloween is generally my favorite holiday.

Apparently, I need to stop blogging right now... because apparently I cannot find anything constructive or positive to address.

Monday, October 20, 2008

I have been... stewing in my own juices...

And therefore have been at a standstill as to what to type - what will be appropriate, and what won't piss anyone off.  The things that I feel and the things that I want, but won't cause a backlash.  So, I just sit and stew...

Anyhow, today was my follow-up after the *complete* evaluation at the pain clinic.  Gee, thanks - they gave me a diagnosis of Chronic Pain Syndrome.  Ya think?  The biggest challenge in this diagnosis is that, somewhere, there are bound to be people I come across that believe that it is a self-initiated behavior, since CPS cannot be idealized or pinpointed, and tends to not respond well to common treatments or medications.  It's also more common in individuals with depression - well, hello?  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?  I'd have to agree that my pain elevations definitely affect my moods, which then affect my sleep, which then affect my ability to heal, ad nauseam.  So... where does this leave me?

PT twice a week.  Four seesions of OT.  Weekly visits with a pain psychologist.  A new medication which will hopefully help me sleep.  An analysis of my current depression & anxiety meds tomorrow morning with a psychiatrist.  A follow-up with my general practioner to review my spinal MRI.  Over and over again, it seems, until someday, somehow, things fall into place. 

Classes are just now really getting under way, and while I am absolutely *thrilled* at the prospect of tackling this whole degree thing again, it adds a great deal more stress, as I am sure anyone can imagine.  I have taken on some at-home work, as well, which should start up within the next week to 10 days.  NEED THE MONEY, can't work outside the home - especially right now with everything else that has been scheduled into my life.  I can only hope that I get into the swing of it quickly, and can progress to making at least a *decent* income for what it is worth.  Finances are absolutely DESPERATE right now, and I'm literally in fear of having my car repossessed if something doesn't get fixed, and SOON.

Greyson has been, at least, SOMEWHAT better in the mood department, but has all but refused naps altogether.  Instead, he sleeps for 12 hours at night... but even then, bedtime is not necessarily a constant.  I don't know exactly what has done it, but actually submitting himself to sleep is a chore and something that he tries, with all his might, to delay and intervene.  Without a nap, it's *better* than when he actually does take one, simply because he's obviously more tired... but my gosh, child.  You NEED to sleep.  It's bad enough when Mommy is brainless and worn from no sleep, no need to throw yourself into the mix of that terror, too.

So, off I go onto yet another path.  A path which, unfortunately, I don't feel like I have the greatest support on, but one that I *need* to walk, for myself and for my son.  Whereas I don't expect anyone to understand fully my situation unless they have lived it, I, like anyone else, would like at least an attempt at compassion - something that I've been feeling robbed of.  Something that I have searched for and haven't truly found, even in the places that I thought I should never have to doubt.  I haven't thought my expectations to be too high, but maybe they are.  I don't even know anymore.

Things at home are... too complicated to go into.  I don't want to get backlash for speaking out and opening up not *my* personal life, but those of others in the process.  So, I unfortunately am having to bite my tongue in one of the places where I have tried to acquire an outlet.

I have class tonight, and I still need to make dinner.  I need to wrangle Greyson off the other computer to try and get him to eat, as well.  I'm looking at the next three hours with a kind of silent panic, simply because it's all coming at me much faster than I ever feel ready for - and even though I'm still alive, still in one piece afterwards, it never fails that the next time, I expect the absolute destruction.  I suppose it will take quite a bit of intensive time to undo what a lifetime has programmed.

Until next time...

Thursday, October 16, 2008

My Day in Pieces

*Didn't fall asleep until after 5:30am.  Woke with alarm at 8:00.
*Called Financial Aid regarding the block on my Student Account for Kaplan.  Discovered NOTHING was missing, and the woman I spoke with had *no clue* as to why it was disabled in the first place.  DUH.
*Logged into my account to check that was fine and good, then rushed to get ready to leave for my torture pain clinic appointment.
*Left the house at 8:35am.  Luckily, missed the rain by about 5 minutes.
*Arrived at clinic at 9.  Met with psychologist Idon'trememberhisname.  Nice guy, seemed to understand WHY I am a veritable train wreck of emotion lately.  Thank GOD.
*Met with Joe the PT at 10.  Apparently, the words 'jerk,' 'twist,' and 'jolt' are against his professional religion.  He is determined to eliminate them from my vocabulary, as well.  Otherwise, understanding in my pain issues, but ultimately *confused* when it came down to realizing that my pelvis is tilted forward and also at an upward angle to the right, and the fact that my right leg has no 'give' when weight is applied, whereas it should retract slightly into the leg-hip joint... therefore, I walk like I have one leg longer than the other, because in essence, I *do* because of the non-movement on one side.  He is "concerned, and definitely needs to look into what's going on in there."  Fantastic.  Just don't hurt me in the process, k?
*Met with Colleen the OT at 10.  Nice lady.  More than likely won't require sessions with her, unless she is insistent on getting me to lift and carry over 40lbs.  Which, eh.  I don't really care about it until Grey reaches that weight and by then?  He shouldn't be wanting to be picked up and carried all too much, anyways.  But we'll see.
*Spent 45 minutes filling out the MMPI - which eventually made my hand fall off, since it consisted of 534 T/F questions and DAMN BUBBLES that I haven't had to fill in 7 YEARS.  Seriously.  I am typing this with a pencil in my mouth, pecking like a bird.  Heh.
*Tried to get a soda from the machine in the hallway.  Put in $1.00 for an $.85 soda.  Was told to fuck off and use correct change.  Was given 2 golden dollar coins AND an additional quarter back...but no soda.  I gave up, and pocketed my profit.
*Waited until 1:10pm for someone to bother to come get me for my (what I THOUGHT was) appointment with the main doctor.  Apparently, all I was seeing was the team nurse for final paperwork and bullshit I had told everyone else I saw 14,234 times that morning.  Was told they were having a "team meeting" on my special ass tomorrow afternoon.  Was given an appointment for 9:00am on Monday.  Joy.  Can I go home now?
*Left the building at 1:30pm.  After being there for 4 1/2 fucking hours.  EAHUFEHFALDBFDL!!!!  NOT a fun way to spent the morning after only 2-ish hours of sleep.
*Got Wendy's for the boy & me for lunch.  Had one of their new "dipped" chicken sandwiches.  YUM.  Satisfied. 
*Realized just...how...fucking...tired I was.  Trudged upstairs to investigate my online classrooms a bit before ACTUAL seminar at 7pm.
*Took a nap at 4:30.  Woke up at 6, not feeling much better than before.
*RUSHED through preparing dinner for Grey, while leaving Ralph to fend for himself.  I had time for NOTHING, as class was starting, oh, THEN.
*LOVED my seminar.  Teacher is a lawyer, and used to run her own firm specializing in domestic violence and assault.  She's FUUUUUUNNY!  And the online environment & set-up is pretty snazzy.  Class seems enjoyable.  Teacher already praised my level of participation & assistance with other students.  Turning into teacher's pet on the first damn day.  Ugh, here we go again.  Heh.
*Checked out my OTHER class.  HOLY shitonastick.  Prof is a retired Deputy Director for the Criminal Justice Institute in...somewhere, LOL.  But he's ALL up in the discussion boards already, and seminar isn't until MONDAY night!
*Attempted to do my first discussion board post regarding the surrendering of personal freedoms in order to facilitate the safety of the general population.  Wound up typing half a FUCKING NOVEL before realizing, uh... he only wants a minimum of 100 words, and this is NOT a term paper.  Heh.  I think my brain went into HAPPY DANCE BACK IN COLLEGE MODE and tried to pile drive a thesis into the poor discussion forum.  Cut and pasted what I had typed for possible further use, and STILL couldn't make my brain slow down.  Instead, commented back and forth TWICE with another student's submission, each of THOSE being at least 100 words.  *sigh*  I gotta try and BREATHE a little on this, I can see.  Maybe I'm just all too excited, and not quite used to the "intro-type" classes anymore, since I've already got 2 1/2 years under me.
*Spent 11pm - 12:30am TRYING to get Greyson to settle the HELL down, instead of wanting to jump on the bed, or talk incessantly about the spider under the table making a web when we went for ice cream DAYS ago, or the fact that he has all of a sudden decided that he wants to pee standing up JUST TODAY, and managed to stay dry from 6pm on DUE to this fact, and on and on and blah blah blah ears bleeding now must make him stop.
*Thought I'd pass out once his eyes were *officially* closed.  NOPE!  I'm HERE!  And I'm trying to resist the ITCHING temptation to log back into class and attempt that DAMNED discussion Q again.

Someone slip something into my drink, please.  I think a nice sedative would do the trick. ;)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

You'd think God was a screwdriver...

For the way that I have been dealing with life lately.  (Did ANYONE catch that?  No?  Ah, HELL with it... I'm not trying to be witty anymore right now.  Hmph.)

I got an email timestamped at 5:33pm from Kaplan, stating that my student account was full-speed-ahead.

I *attempted* to log in at 8:17pm - UBER FAIL!  I got a message that my "Student Account has been Disabled."  Wha?

At 8:19pm, I call Technical Support, only to be told that according to them, there is a notation on my account that I am missing financial aid documents.  What are they?   They haven't a clue - just that Financial Aid closed... *19 minutes ago* and I'd have to call them in the morning.

I have completed my FAFSA, and gotten confirmation from Federal Aid.

I have signed my Master Promissory Note for student loans, and gotten confirmation from THEM.

I have ENROLLED with Kaplan for my first two courses... the first of which starts TOMORROW NIGHT @ 7.

I got my BOOKS for said course this morning.

I'm lost.  I now need to call Financial Aid at 8am BEFORE my 4 hour Pain Clinic session at 9.  Aaaaagh!

I was also attacked with guilt spoken to about the stress that the hubby is under about being the *sole provider* for the last 3 years.  Um, yeah.  I'm feeling it, too.

OF COURSE, that has been *quadrupled* since we got a letter stating that after a MONTH of waiting?  Unemployment has denied him.  Even though they told him they saw no reason to not accept him.  Hmm.  Appeal has been sent, thankyouverymuchyouevilshitheads.

So, I've been plundering through various job listings in search for SOMETHING that I could possibly accomplish while sitting on my ass still remaining at home and caring for my son & my own medical conditions.

Did you know that I can be a Greeting Card Writer?  Honest.  I am a published poet, so now I get to plunge through my YEARS' worth of poetry and then maybe try writing some more.  Hey - it's worth $300 a pop if they are selected. =)

I've also applied for a couple medical transcription jobs, since hey!  I did that when I worked at a podiatry office (feet - ewwww!), even mid-surgical assistance.  Yes, I am that good.  Hah.

So, we'll see.  It seems that's all there IS around here lately - a whole shitload of "we'll see."  It's what I have to tell Greyson every time he asks for a new toy he sees on television, or whether or not we can go someplace that, no doubt, costs money.  Hell, it's what I have to mentally tell myself every time I look at a bill that comes in the mail.  "Will this get paid?  Hmm, we'll see."  "Will they repo my car?  Hmm, we'll see."  "Will we be living off Ramen noodles and Kool-Aid soon?  Hmm, we'll see."

Meanwhile, I have *SO* much to look forward to in the morning, you know, with all the veritable poking and prodding that awaits me while I see not one, not two, but a battery of *6* specialists in the morning, to try and evalute my condition(s) and 'see what they can do for me.'  Ha!  I'd like to see what they can do for me, too - but don't expect me to not bring my worthless pain medication with me!  Take THAT, herniated disks and fibromyalgia!!

Who am *I* kidding?  It's 3:30am and I have to leave at 8:30... I'm screwed.  And it's NOT the nice kind, either.

Hope your Wednesday is better than mine is projecting to be!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Will Someone Find the Off Switch?

Greyson has been a whirlwind of terror for the last few days... well, more like the last week.  Especially when it comes to interactions between himself and *me*, specifically.  Everything has to become an argument, even if I suggest something that he himself brought up mere seconds ago, asking him not to do something either results in him stamping his feet and giving a resounding shriek of unfounded rage or agreeing - simply to return to the unwanted behavior IMMEDIATELY.

I was finally reduced to tears today, by the simple stubbornness and complete BRAT-like behavior that has overtaken my typically easy-going, lovable child.  He's discovered a new amplitude to his voice, as well - one that breaks the sound barrier at record speeds, most likely throwing off the flight of birds outside our home and sending the little forest creatures behind the house running in sheer terror.  Because, honestly?  That's what it makes *me* want to do.

I have tried being patient.  I have tried to accept that, hey!  He's almost three!  He's just pushing his limits and seeing just what he can get away with while struggling for independence.  He's way above norm on his verbal skills, as well as just general comprehension (we have now determined that he can honestly READ 25+ words, and those are only the ones I could RECALL to write down and test him on), and I'm sure that his brain is battling the limits of his still-small body.  But, OH. MY. GOD.  I desperately need to find the power button on his attitude.  Or at least a friggin' volume knob.

He hasn't taken a nap for at LEAST the past week, either... he would rather fill that time, when I am trying to comfort him into resting for a while, into moments of telling me not to touch him, look at him, speak to him, or tell him to do *anything*, and also has resulted to him telling me such things like, "How many times do I have to tell you to leave me alone?" and "I'm tired if listening to you.  Go talk to Daddy instead."  I've nearly lost my ENTIRE reserve of patience for this normally complacent child.

Like last night!  When we decided that he actually HAD done decently at dinner (I figured 1/4 of a filet mignon, 1/2 a small baked potato, and 1/2 of a small salad was GOOD for him), we'd venture out for ice cream on what could be one of the last "nice" nights to sit outside the local place and enjoy it.  And he wasan ANGEL.  We arrived, and he went right up to the counter and tried to get the counter-girl's attention with, "Hi!  I want a vanilla ice cream cone, PLEASE," - which of course attracted the attention of this 32lb, 3'3" munchkin speaking so clearly what he wanted with perfect grammar and diction.  And so began a cute conversation with a man that was waiting for his order, all about how he was "still only two, but in November, he will be three!" and a gracious "Thank you!" when the man joked that since he asked so nicely, HE would even give up his OWN ice cream to Grey.  He continued to chat about the pumpkins and witches and ghosts decorating the place for Halloween, and how he was going to be Jack Sparrow, because he likes Pirates of the Carribean, and on... and on... all with a pleasant little dimpled grin on his face.

And then!?!  He sat perfectly still while eating his cone (Pumpkin ice cream - YUM!), got up to throw away his napkin after wiping his OWN hands and face, and returned to the table with a simple, "I will sit here until the two of you finish YOUR ice cream, too, okay?"

Wha huh?  Just a mere hour or so before, I was struggling to get him to even keep his butt on his chair while eating his OWN dinner, and here he was offering to sit still while WE finished?

Again, we were struck by "Public Behavior Syndrome," which Greyson has had since he was BORN.  The child, honestly, has NEVER once acted up in public... even as an infant, he just kinda... hung out.  Restaurant?  He'd either be silent or simply baby-chatty.  Grocery store?  He makes requests, but there are no tantrums involved when it comes to me making the final decision.  Target?  It took us almost an entire YEAR to convince him that when we were there to actually purchase things FOR HIM, that it was okay for him to keep more than one item, instead of mentally weighing out which he wanted more, and trying to give the less-desired item BACK to be restored to the shelf or rack.  Honestly, most people, when I try to explain to them the sheer HORRORS that he can unleash on me behind closed doors... they look at me as I am slowly turning into the Blueberry Girl from Willy Wonka - something created by my own demands and selfishness.

*Am* I selfish for wanting my son to behave at home as well (or at least even HALF as well) as he does while parading in the eyes of the public?  I personally wouldn't think so, but here I am, stuck with a raving lunatic of a child, only made worse by his absolute refusal to take a nap until *he* requests one... at dinnertime, which is an OBVIOUS no-go... unless I want to deal with him being wired until 2am or later before he falls asleep for the night.

In his defense, I know that there has been *something* going on with him as of late.  He is experiencing some apparent tooth discomfort, which hopefully, can get looked at and taken care of by week's end.  Also, after a handful of days of very-random, off and on low-grade fevers (which honestly, have had NO other symptoms to tie into them), tonight before bed he was HOT.  Until now, I couldn't honestly interpret whether it was even a technical *fever* for him, simply because, since birth, he has run warm.  His normal temp honestly lies around 99.2 or so, and I really don't go running for the thermometer unless I KNOW he is hot enough to be an actual fever... which wasn't until today.  When it read 101 and some tenths.  And then I felt bad... a little.  I just still couldn't bring myself to allow that number to explain an entire week's worth of somewhat SELECTIVE rebellion against me more than anyone else in the household.  But you're damn right I will be on the phone in the morning trying to get him in to see the doctor... because as he was falling asleep, he, for the first time EVER, was playing with his right ears a bit.

I almost wish that he had actually HAD a known ear infection before now (if it is indeed what this is), because I don't know what to look for *in him*.  I have seen children go until the eardrum has ruptured without one word about pain in their ears, and it is simply stumbled upon at a routine visit.  And then I've seen those who SCREAM at the merest hint of fluid behind the eardrum.  I even cleaned his ears last night, and not once did he mention discomfort of any sort.  So, well... huh.  We'll see... I wish he had done the ear thing BEFORE falling asleep, so I could have pulled out the otoscope and taken a look.  (YES, we actually DO have one in the house, along with a stethoscope, an pulseoximeter, and numerous blood pressure cuffs... all of which I, luckily, know how to use correctly!) (No, they aren't the result of hypochondria... just a father who was in nursing for umpteen years and my ever-present knowledge seeking in the field, so THERE.)

So, here's to hoping *something* is discovered at the doctor tomorrow - IF we can get in tomorrow.  Otherwise Wednesday is going to be filled with personal self-destruction as I have to spend 9am-1pm at the pain clinic, then HIS doctor's visit, followed by my first Criminal Justice BA seminar that night.  I'm wiped out just THINKING about it all!

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~
On a lighter (stranger?) note, Grey informed me today when coming across the (TOTALY EMPTY) BB gun tucked behind a dresser in the computer room that it was "for killing scary people when they come in the house."  Huh?  The child's brain works on overload, and I am ETERNALLY glad that the *real* guns in the house (also unloaded) are safely tucked away in my parents' room.  Of course, it brings a future note to myself to my attention that when I am done with this degree and wind up with a police-issued firearm??  OH, the education I will have to DRILL into his head.  Much like what my own father did with me, actually at the age Grey is NOW, because (I know, I know) there have ALWAYS been rifles in my home... and I, to this very day, have never laid a hand on them, and never would, except in a case of dire emergency.  I do not fear handling a gun, however - no matter my father's condition, those are HIS... and *still* not mine to ever touch.

Greyson also declared his love for pickled okra...stems.  He is showing more and more of the same "texture issues" I have with food as time passes.  Once he hit the seeds inside, the okra was a no-go... just as applesauce makes him gag, as well as the inside of a tomato (though the "meaty" part is all fine and good).  It's amazing the odd things that apparently ARE passed down genetically...  too bad he didn't get my abhorrance for anything grape-flavored.  Kid loves him some grape juice.  Heh.

Now that I have scrambled YOUR brain almost to the consistency of MINE... I'm going to do some blog-stalking and see if I can make anyone laugh in spite of the spiraling day *I* had!

Good night, and remember... Halloween is only 17 days, 1 hour, and 30 minutes away!  =P

Dentists & Doctors

Dear New Dentist to Which I Will Be Making an Appointment With for Grey:
     After a few days of his obsessing over the fact that his two top front teeth hurt (and yet, NOT the *one* molar with the actual cavity I have spotted), I have convinced him that the dentist is his friend, one to make his teeth feel better, even if it gets rather loud in the office because of the 'cool tools' needed to help his teeth feel better.
     I'd like to request that you A) do NOT attempt to get ME to sit in the chair and allow you to poke and prod inside MY mouth, as my dental issues are an ENTIRELY different story, B) that somehow you make yourself NOT remind him of a police officer, as he is somehow a bit skeeved about them lately, and C) never mention the word "sleep" if sedation is needed, because I will *guarantee* a 2-year-old rebellion even against the most powerful of drugs, simply because he has the willpower of a Tibetan MONK when it comes to staying awake.  Thanks.  Also, since he has become enamored with the optometrist since I received my new glasses, could you maybe fish out a nifty pair of sunglasses or something from your (hopefully present) 'treasure chest?'  Faboo.

And to the Doctor, Whom Grey Needs to See For a Possible Ear Infection & his Upcoming Three-Year Exam:
     His last ped was fantastic.  At this point in time, if you make a comment regarding his age, height, or weight, he WILL give you a dissertation regarding how far away his birthday is, how tall he is, and how much of a *big boy* he is.  DO NOT say the word 'baby' in his presence, or else he will begin to insist that he wants ME to have one, and how he is no longer one.  Just to summarize:  HE WILL TALK YOUR EAR OFF, and has quite a bit of medical knowledge, as one of his favorite pasttimes is to observe the sessions when Papa's nurse comes to work with him... including the trach change.  So, for your own benefit... you may want to seek out some earplugs.  Unless you are ready for preschool help in writing your next medical article.

Sincerely yours,
     The Mother of a Preschool KNOW-IT-ALL

Saturday, October 11, 2008

AHAHAHA!

72%LUSH

Created by OnePlusYou - Free Dating Site

MRIs & Why I Am HAPPY That Silver is NOT Magnetic

So, I went for a lumbar spine MRI today, with a 'qualifying' diagnosis of radiulopathy.  Anyhow... besides staring at a BIG gray surface a mere INCH from the tip of my nose (that is, when I wasn't closing my eyes and picking out cool bass riffs from the near-deafening THUNK-THUNK-THUNK of the machine and doing four-counts in my head) and having to lie, PERFECTLY STILL for 45 minutes - on what may as well been a slab of plywood as far as comfort was concerned...  I came out swimmingly.  Well, after I spent a good few minutes (with ASSISTANCE!) getting my broken self up off said contraption.

Until I came home and saw my films.

*insert expletives here*

Can I just say that while I am *seriously* intrigued to read the official report on the interpretations of my MRI... what both my dad (who himself has had, oh say, 10+ MRI's on his spine & 35 years of medical experience) and I saw... is NOT pretty.

There are at LEAST 2 separate levels where my pinal cord is NOT round... it's smooshed.  Like a tic-tac.  From the wonders that is called a MASSIVELY herniated disk.  Times 2.  Or more.

One level is bad enough that it is visible not only from the slices taken head-to-toe... but also from a SIDE view.  NOT good.  So not feeling optimistic here.

BUT!  There is true acknowledgement for why my back is DYING!  And my right leg sometimes wants to commit hari-kari!  HOO...ray... okay, maybe not so much hooray.

However, there actually is a bit of a funny here.

I walked in that office, prepared as could be, wearing yoga pants and a bra-tank, topped off with a t-shirt.  See!  No metal in my clothing!  NO gown for meeeee!  I didn't even wear my rings, so all I would have to stick in the locker were my earrings and my sunglasses... and my body, it would be metal-free.

Except in all of my WONDEROUSLY thorough glory... I forgot to take out my cartilage hoops.  And didn't realize it until, oh... 3 hours or so AFTER my appointment was over.  Yep.  REALLY grateful that sterling silver is NOT, I repeat NOT magnetic.  Heh.  Or else I'd have some hefty bleeding coming from my upper ears from the piercings being RIPPED out by the sheer magnetic force of the machine.  Yum.  Sounds like fun to me!

Of course, now I am left with the problem of HEY!  The Lyrica seems to be helping at least a little bit!  So congrats to Big Pharma for that and the competent doctor who prescribed it... AND sent me for an MRI.  BUT... (and there's ALWAYS a damned but, isn't there?  *sigh*) I obviously have greater issues going on that honestly, after about 18 months of pain from the initial injury?  Isn't likely to resolve on its own.

Which means spinal surgery.  I can't even PRETEND to try and wrap my brain around THAT one just yet, what with everything else that's been spinning around me at full force lately.  And C'MON!  I'm starting COLLEGE again on Wednesday!!  This is SUPPOSED to be a time of progress...  right?

Crap.

On a much more humorous note, here's a little something that Greyson pulled on us today.  There we were, eating dinner... and he pipes up with, "Mommy, you need to go get a pizza from Pizza Hut and put it in the freezer, so if I get hungry before bed, I can eat a piece."

Whaaaa?  The child is TWO.  I don't even WANT to think about what he will be saying by the time he hits those Kindergarten doors.


Though he DID report to us, once again, that he is going to be a doctor when he grows up.  He's been saying that since right around his 2nd birthday.  I'm sensing a bit of determination here.  Heh.  Of course, there ARE times where he wants to be a ROCKSTAR doctor... which I haven't *quite* figured out if that means he wants to be BOTH a rockstar AND a doctor, or if he plans to cater to the rockstar genre.  Hell, maybe he'll even tour with a few bands as their personal physician.  ROFL

Maybe he'll just grow up and be able to help fix his Mommy.  That's always a nice thought, don't you think?

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Braaaaaaaains!

So WHAT if I'm having fun with the fact that Halloween is in 21 days and 23 hours???

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Financial Crisis Humor?

I'd like to link to one of my blogroll's current posts over at Mattress Police. In the midst of the absolute financial crisis we are all going through (as Ralph was told today by unemployment, there are at a *literal* record number of unemplyed citizens in Lake County as of this point), I thought we could all use a little bit of laughter to maybe lighten the load a bit.


So, I bring you:



Laugh it up!

Speculums, Cheerleaders, and Singing Homeless, OH MY!

First off, let me just state that there are VERY few occassions where I am *unhappy* to be a woman - today being one of them. There's nothing like being invaded and stretched more than you should EVER be unless birthing a child by a foreign plastic (thank GOD, no longer frozen metal) object and having a small piece of you removed by something that rivals the sound of a small firecracker in your nether regions. *shiver*


I almost thought that I was in the wrong office, or that I had somehow made *that* kind of appointment at a doctor other than the one I needed. The waiting room was FILLED with children between the ages of 3 & 5, most crying &/or screaming in defense of having their skin barraged by needles. Hmm.


There was a particular little girl who was toting around an extremely nappy-headed blonde cheerleader "baby" that repeatedly sang a snippet of "Wiggle It, Just a Little Bit" everytime her foot was pressed. Oh, and the other foot provided the classic, "We're #1, we can't be #2, 'cuz we're gonna beat the WHOOPSIE outta you."


Yeah. The doll owner was three. Mom didn't seem overly concerned with the, um, shall we say, NON-preschoolish undertones coming out of said doll. Eek.


Meanwhile, there was a little boy SCREAMING like someone was sawing off his limns in one of the back rooms. Apparently, he was only there for a preschool check-up. No shots, even. Hmm, AGAIN.


THAT being said, what a FRIGGIN' day to be without my camera! (NO, not for my VISIT, ya nasties! heh.) For the drive home.


While sitting at a stoplight, I noticed a very-randomly-toothless man skip out of the gas station on the corner, dressed in what could be passed off as someone's work clothes after a day at the local Jiffy Lube. He proceeded to the sidewalk, and began to twirl and two-step, all while singing something that I now wish I had turned down my radio to hear... all to his miniature bottle of booze. Yep. He was serenading the 3oz. bottle of what looked to be Seagram's. (Don't look at me just because I HAPPEN to have a general idea of what particular liquor bottles look like! This story is about HIM, not me. Heh.) I think it took me half of the rest of my trip home to catch my breath from laughing so hard... had to be the most amusing thing OUTSIDE of things my own son does that I have seen in a LONG time. =P


All that being said, I'm hoping that the fact I was put BACK on my treasured Seasonique will stop the monthly follicular cysts that I have been getting about 2 weeks before the dreaded visit each month. Oh, and the debilitating cramps. Because, seriously? They have been rivaling the CONTRACTIONS from having Greyson. Uh-huh. So. Not. Cool.


Otherwise, a decent day - happy with the doc I saw, not SO happy with some of the results of the visit, but nothing permanent, nothing serious. ACTUALLY got Grey to take a nap today, even if it WAS half the usual duration.


Of course, now that I have added 2 MORE prescriptions to my daily load, Ralph *literally* asked me if I was starting a collection as I fished all the bottles out of my purse, thinking that I had just *not* thrown away bottles that had recently become empty. Heh. Nope, these are ALL the things I take at LEAST once daily. The look on his face was PRICELESS. I outnumber him 3-to-1 on his prescriptions... and he's diabetic. Heh. How's THAT for using our insurance to it's full capacity?!?

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Surround

Tiptoe into what I hold dear


Whisper desires and dreams unto me


Grant me the wishes I had so journeyed for


Keep me from falling again


Picture me without these tears


Without all of these extra years


Aging in my heart


Speak to me with careful words


The ones I would die to view


Breaking down beneath this shroud


Keeping a smile built of these cries


Cry another tear just to watch it die


Teach me lessons I have lost count of


Show me that destiny does not sign off all


Pray for me


That I may move on


Or lose me in this wretched fog

Larissa Anne

Legalities... and Bastard Employers

My mother was informed today that she has until the end of this month to either resign or go on disability through the retirement system.

I'm not going to lay out all the grisly details, but the basis of it is that, starting back mid-schoolyear LAST year already, she was pinpointed and punished, after 30+ years of teaching AND supervisory positions with the SAME SCHOOL DISTRICT, for grossly unfounded accusations, loosely based on her physical limitations due to 3 summers of consecutive foot reconstruction and also the stressors of having a newly cross-categorical special education classroom with a FULL range of students from ADD to BD to TMH rolled into one.

Oh, and the fact that she "called out" the principal on the fact that there were violations of certain guidelines in the contracts for certain employees.

So, fast forward to THIS school year, a NEW building and teacher (since last year's debacle made it OUT of the question to remain in the same position)... and *THAT* principal takes it upon herself to address my mom with the statement, "This isn't going to work" - 3.5 days into the year!!! 

And then... sent her home with paid suspension pending full-scale evalutions.  The same road she traveled not too long before.  The same people, the same procedures, all with the same results... she is MENTALLY fit to perform her duties with simple adjustments for her physical heath.  Should be an easy fix, right?

BIG. FAT. WRONG.  She was bombarded today with snippets of supposed quotations from the evaluations in a report that the asshole "Big Man in Charge" never even let her see.  In fact, she came home with NO DOCUMENTATION whatsoever - including the initial explanation as to WHY this occurred in the first place.  Didn't get it at the start, still doesn't have it.

She has been harassed for almost the entire last calendar year now.  She not only has her teaching certificate, but her Master's.  She spent years as a coordinator for a LARGE load of children & programs in this same district.  In fact, she has worked for them since she graduated college - at age *20*.

We *all* have history with this district... and have ALL experienced degrees of discrimination during employment.  My dad worked in the district - until his job was "eliminated" while he fought with his most recent spinal fusion (his second one, mind you), and wound up having to fight the big fight for Federal Disability.  I have ALSO worked for the district in a number of positions, from Peer Mentor to substitute paraprofessional, to Computer Lab Aide.  Mostly, I got my ass kissed to some degree, because as a coordinator, my mom was NOT one to be crossed, and apparently that was felt all OVER the place.

Of course, now that she is only a few years from retirement, and back to teaching - but still entitled to pay on a scale of having a graduate degree AND so much time vested in the same employer - they have apparently chosen HER as their latest and greatest victim.

Let's see... no documentation that she has seen NOR possesed, an odd change of "convenient" wording that differs between what was told HER during evals and what The Powers That Be report, and now a forced resignation.  Hmm.  Sounds like our legal status has just been bumped up a notch from *possible* case to *You Bet Your Sorry Ass You'll Be Hearing From Our Lawyer*.

In the meantime, good thoughts are needed.  As you know (if you read here frequently), there are 6 bodies in this house... with one disability income, my mom's now teetering income, and a yet-to-be seen unemployment income.  We are NOT in good times.  Not. At. All.

Also, if you happen to have any *fantabulous* law advice, it would be MUCH appreciated... as with all the 'wrongful termination' and 'ADA discrimination' info out there, it's a bit hard to digest, especially while dealing with the raw wound of it all...

Thanks.