Monday, June 30, 2008

Why I Want To Be President

When you're President you have many perks. You get your own chauffeurs, chefs, maids, butlers, gardeners and secretaries. While all those things sound amazingly inviting there is really only ONE perk that I want right now.

On call doctors and specialists. The best of the best. Right at your beck and call. No waiting rooms. No waiting for referrals. No medical billing red tape.

Not like me. Noooooo.

I've been in medical H eeee double toothpicks today. Neurology dept at Children's Hospital called to say they'd be calling back. Um, ok. Calling to say you're going to call. You know, later and stuff. Fine. Then the call back to say that because we haven't been to their particular clinic in a few years they are going to treat Ashley as a new patient.

Um, hello? We spent enough time there, LIVED in that hospital literally, to finance that new wing you've got there. New patient? Um, no. We were just there two weeks ago. Ok, no, not to Neurology. To the Spasticity clinic and to physical therapy. We're not new.

I've spent more time on the phone today than is physically good for me. Doctors, referral people, clinics, insurance, doctors again, nurses, and the list goes on. We can't make an actual appointment until they have the referral in their hands. Our particular insurance doesn't require us to have referral for services. We can pay! We have insurance. They want the reports from the paramedics that treated Ashley and the paperwork from the hospital that treated her afterwards. Paper paper paper. What happened to the digital age? Files can be sent over that new-fangled internet thingie. I should mention that to them during my next round of phoneapallooza tomorrow.

I can't imagine the stress that people without insurance must experience. Oh, I don't have to imagine. We've been there too.

So, I want to be the President. Ashley would have already been seen by the best of the best. She would already have had her MRI's and her EEG's and all the other things in order to determine the anti-seizure medication that she needs.

So make me a write in on the ballot people. I could really use the help.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Seizure Day

Yesterday started out normal enough but it sure didn't end that way.

Because we're on hubby's schedule--and he works til midnight each night--we don't go to bed before 1 a.m. most nights. Even the kids. This schedule works for us in the summer better than during the school year of course. Due to the fact that we go to bed so late, we're rarely up before 9 in the morning.

I got up bit before 9 and headed to the bathroom. The second I was out of my bed, Ashley climbed in next to her daddy for a daddy-daughter snuggle.

"Hey! No fair taking my place! Get out of there!"

She just grinned at me and slid under the covers next to her Daddy.

The next thing I knew, Lance was yelling my name and our bedroom door was flung open. He thought I'd gone downstairs and I couldn't understand why he was yelling. If you know my husband, you know he doesn't yell.

He had good reason to yell. Ashley was on the bed in the throes of a horrible grand mal seizure.

Her lips were turning blue and I admit that I lost it. I just....lost it.

The paramedics came.

We ended up at Mary Bridge Children's Hospital in Tacoma. The ER doc there consulted with her Neuro from Children's in Seattle. The Neuro clinic will call us on Monday to set up an appointment and testing.

Five years ago when we weaned her off seizure meds, the doctor warned us that as Ashley got older and began to enter puberty that there was a 75% chance that her seizures would return---with a vengeance.

Well, they did. Now we have some decisions to make.

I'm so grateful that Ashley wasn't in the bath alone or walking down the stairs when this happened.

I have no words to describe the feeling watching my baby girl with her eyes wide open but not seeing, her body jerking back and forth and all we could do is hold her and call her name.

My heart hurts...

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Need a Movie?

Today we got some boxes and are beginning The Big Packup in preparation for moving back to Seattle.

This means we have to go through things we own. Things we've collected. Things we don't really need.

Like movies. Lots and lots of movies. See?

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We don't need these movies. Most of them are Disney that the kids watched growing up. Really, who needs this many movies? And this doesn't show you all the DVDs that are in the box there. So most are going to the Mother of All Garage Sales, the rest will go to charity if they're not sold.

Those leather couches? I'm giving them to my brother. If you've seen them, I know what you're thinking. You're thinking I hate my brother. Why else would I give him that ratty couch, chair and love seat?

I don't hate him. He wants'em, he can have'em. I told him how they are and he doesn't care. Sooooo, now I need to stop wasting time here and get back to sorting movies.

Wish me luck.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Hillary Needs Our Help

Let me get this straight. Hilary Clinton wanted something so badly that she went into debt in order to try and get it. I get that. It was her dream, her vision, her bliss. Haven’t most of us done the same thing? Don’t we all have dreams that require a financial contribution to fulfill?


Some of us go into debt to get a college degree, get a car, or put gas into our cars. People have gone into debt to get one of those very cool large flat screen televisions. I’ve gone into debt to get a house. It was something my husband and I felt we needed in order to raise our children and as an investment in our future. Heck, I've had to charge groceries before in order to feed my family, thus increasing my debt.


Ms. Clinton wanted the presidency because she felt it was something she wanted. She felt it was important. So important that she borrowed money from herself in order to fund her failed bid.
I also used some of my own money to purchase my home.


Now Hilary is coming to you via video with her hand out asking you to help her repay her debt.


Wow. Can I do that?


I’ve gone into the hole in order to get my house---in fact I’m further in the hole than I’ve ever been because you see my husband was laid off from his job due to the poor economy and we had to take out a 2nd mortgage in order to stay afloat until he could find another job. Now we’re going further and further down the rabbit hole of financial burden each time we stop by the pumps and fill our tanks.


My debt is obviously less than Hilary’s debt. I’m sure she’s never had to look in the couch cushions for coins in order to get some milk to put on the kid’s cereal in the morning. Her financial issues are on a grander scale than mine---than most American’s. That doesn’t mean that our financial burdens weight less heavily on us when we try to sleep at night.


So, my fellow Americans, I’m coming to you with my hand out. Can’t you see that I need your help to retire my debt? I can’t function and make important decisions and work for the good of my family with all this debt hanging over my head. I need your help.


Hey, if it’s good enough for Hilary, it’s good enough for me. She says she needs to retire her campaign debt so she can get on with the important work of helping our country elect the next Democratic president and make it possible to help her work on issues that she cares about.


If you help me retire my debt, I can work on issues important to my family—like how to pay for those leg braces my daughter needs because she has cerebral palsy, or how to pay for the gas in order to get her to her next hospital appointment, or how to pay for groceries to feed our three children.


Hilary Clinton says you can help her write the next chapter of American history together by paying off her campaign debt. You can also help me write the next chapter of American history by helping me pay off my debt so I too could focus more on the presidential election instead of popping antacids as I avoid debt collectors on the phone.


(The writer wishes to inform you that this was written tongue-in-cheek and she isn’t actually asking for a handout from anyone. Hillary, on the other hand, is obviously in dire need of a financial bailout, so all of you out there should dig deep. You know, because it’s not like you have your own debts to consider or anything.)

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Moving

Since we have been married, we've moved....let's see, ah yes. Three times. This will be our fourth move.

I'm looking forward to it with as much enthusiasm as I would a root canal or a presidential election. Both of which should be experienced in the haze of narcotics in order to dull the senses to the pain of it all.

I've been going through some cupboards in my kitchen in order to pick and choose what can come with me, what I need to put into storage and what items I'll use for our garage sale.

Yes, we're having a garage sale. I have far too much stuff. Stuff has taken over my life, my closets, my cupboards, my garage and every nook and cranny in between.

Once upon a time I packed up everything I owned in a little Toyota and it fit. All of it. How on earth did I collect so much...stuff?

I blame it on the children.

At any rate, so far I've given away the family room couch, love seat and chair to my brother. It's a cream colored leather and I've loved having it but I can't put two rooms of furniture into my dad's house. We're keeping the living room couch, love seat and chair and the end tables and coffee table.

I'm going to have to get a storage unit. Grrrrr.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Slumber Parties

I can hear the screeches and screaming and laughter from here. I'm not hiding---no, I'm not. Honest. I would never hide from eight little girls all hyped up on sugar and pizza and pop. I'd never sneak up to my bedroom and lock the door behind me.

Ok, I really would.

They're loud. I mean really loud.

And I'm tired. I had four hours of sleep last night and while that used to fly when I was in my teens and twenties, it doesn't so much now that I'm old(er). I'm a serious sleep deficit situation here. It's bordering on the critical. You see, last night when my husband came home from work around 1 a.m. I'd just fallen asleep. He woke me up because he, get this, couldn't find my purse.

Yes, you read correctly. At 1:45 a.m. my husband was tearing the house apart searching for my purse.

"It's downstairs hanging on the shoe-thingy" He went off to look and came back saying it wasn't there. Well, it had to be because the rest of the house (at least the downstairs) was spotlessly clean in preparation for tonight's slumber party fiasco.

There were three loads of clean laundry in our room, so he tossed some of that around and still couldn't locate it.

A few minutes later I heard him on the phone to the pharmacy refilling my perscription with their automated system. He'd found my purse and the pill bottle he'd been searching for. Ahem. Right where I'd told him it was in the first place. Have you ever noticed that males suffer from a testosterone-fueled disability as it regards looking under or behind things in order to find things they're searching for? That's another blog post in and of itself.

I won't tell you just what the Rx was for. Again, that's a wnole 'nother blog post.

So I was awake. Once I go to sleep and am awakened, I do not go back to sleep. Ever. Well, ok, ever is a minor exageration. I eventually drift off after three or four hours. This has happened two or three times in the past week, hence the sleep deficit.

Now because there are screaming prepubescent girls downstairs munching on pizza and popping sweetarts, I can't go to sleep even though I'd dearly LOVE to do so.

Yawn.

Monday, June 16, 2008

A new frontier...

I'd love to say I'm happy about this---and one some level I am very happy and pleased with the way my little Allison is growing up. She's so sweet and kind and is always thinking of others. She helps around the house without even asking, she loves to bake and she'll even rub my feet when I don't feel too well.

But soon...all that will change.

Allison's 6th grade graduation


She's going to be going to Middle School. Heaven help us all.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Cannon Beach for Father's Day

Today we loaded up the car, the wrecked one, onto a trailer and hauled it down to Vancouver, WA. It's going to be repaired by my, well, by someone in the family.

After we left there we drove to Cannon Beach, Oregon.

I LOVE Cannon Beach. I want to live there. I know that won't happen but a girl can dream, right?

The weather was gorgeous, albeit a bit windy. Ashley and Ally waded through a small river and up a sand bar to get to the ocean and then they went swimming in it. Well, sort of swimming. Hubby and I stood by, up to our knees in the frigid water. Eventually everything became numb and didn't hurt so bad. Meanwhile....they frolicked. See?



They were frozen by the time it was over.

We brought along a little barbecue and made some burgers on the beach. It was wonderful..

And now a few words about my baby daddy...

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He's the best daddy in the world. His children are so loved by him and he serves them. He has the biggest heart, the kindest way with them and a gentle soul. He's the best thing that has ever happened to me and through him have come incredible blessings.

I love you sweetheart.

Friday, June 13, 2008

Mothers in the wild

Pamela's Column for Pacific Publishing June 18, 2008

Although I do not condone mothers eating their young in the wild, now that I have teenagers, I fully understand the impetus.

Grandchildren, so they say, are God’s gift to you for not killing your teenagers. If that’s true, then I’m leaning towards forfeiting my chance for descendants in a big way.

I am not by nature a violent person. No, really. I’m not. I’m a pacifist of the first order. I always have been. People have called me a peacemaker, I would have put daisies in the rifle barrels of guns in the sixties had I been there. I even refuse to kill bugs.

Ok, I make my husband do it for me, but that’s beside the point. I personally do not do it. Just like Bush isn’t actually doing any of the killings in Iraq. I hold myself blameless for the deaths of spiders and such that have squirmed, crawled or flown into my home.
However, I am being pushed to the limits lately.

I have teenagers, two to be exact. One lives here at home, one is far, far away in another state attending college. I have two younger children who have been warned on penalty of death and/or dismemberment that they cannot enter into puberty. Ever.

The teenager who is far, far away is not raising my blood pressure. I love her from afar. Distance, in this case, is a beautiful thing. The other teenager, known as THE BOY, resides with us. Mostly we know he’s here because as he sweeps through the kitchen, much like a swarm of locusts decimating entire crops, he leaves nothing edible in his wake. Also locust-like is THE BOY’S ability to avoid the cause and effect train of thought.

For instance, he’s mad that he’s a whopping seventeen years old, in the prime of his life and he doesn’t have a car to drive. What he conveniently fails to remember is that he did have access to a car until he totaled the thing while he was text messaging his friend and took out a steel mailbox and then slammed into a tree.

Somehow the fact that he does not have a car to drive has become my fault. Well of course it’s my fault. I’m the mom! Global warming, the Iraq war, flooding and tornadoes, hurricanes and the zits on his face are also my fault. I’m quite certain that if you asked him he will tell you that I am somehow at fault for his wrecking the car. His train of logic will go something like this: she gave birth to me and if she hadn’t given birth to me I wouldn’t have been text messaging and crashed the car. Ipso facto, I am the cause of all bad things in this universe and quite possibly in several alternate universes as well. I really must learn to use my powers for good instead of evil because I’m really upsetting THE BOY.

If you’ve ever seen a teenager in a snit, you know what I’m talking about. You know the kind where they’re sure that something is entitled to them and they’re not getting it? Yeah, that’s it.
If a pubescent lion cub put on a snotty attitude with his lioness mama because he was told he couldn’t run down that tasty looking antelope over there by the tall grass because the last time they let him in on the hunt he did something stupid and alerted the entire meal, I mean herd, to their intentions, she’d more than likely swat him into the next life without paws. I mean pause. And with paws.

It’s a good thing I’m not like that. Nope, I’m a pussy cat. No, wait. Even pussy cats sometimes eat their young. I suppose I’ll just have to settle for being an imperfect human mama with a very slight case of wild-mama envy.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Seattle

Hubby and I drove to Seattle today. We were forced to amputate one of his arms and one of my legs in order to purchase a tank of fuel for The Beast in order to get there.

Our carbon footprint is mighty. Mighty I say.

In our defense, with four children we cannot drive a Mini Cooper. Yes, I know, we should have thought of that before having children. Thanks so much for pointing that out to me after the fact.

We got the kids registered at their schools, then we turned around and made a mad dash for home in order to get hubby to work on time.

But before we left the city limits we stopped at Kidd Valley where we shared a bacon burger that was as near to heaven as you can possibly get. There was a party in our respective mouths. I mean it. It didn't hurt that we were very hungry, but still. Heaven. In your mouth.

So we split a burger and shared some mouth-watering mushrooms.

Now you know the real reason we're moving back to Seattle. It has nothing to do with a job promotion and everything to do with the culinary delights to be found in the Emerald City.

Oy Vay. I can feel my arteries hardening as I type.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

On The Road Again...

Hubby had a long talk with his boss last night and it was strongly suggested that he take this promotion. If he doesn't he won't get another chance at it---and it's something he really wants to do. Plus, it will be easier on his spine, which is a biggie as he's had so much trouble with his back lately.

Add that to the fact that Ally is thrilled beyond measure that she'll be able to go to Middle School with her cousin Nicole. They've been burning up the phone wires discussing classes and fashion and people, not necessarily in that order.

Apparently everyone wants to move except me.

But I will. I will put on the Mother of all Garage Sales, sell off nearly everything we own, put my beautiful new home up for rent and move back home into the house I grew up in. Actually, we'll be splitting our time between there and my sister's travel trailer in order to get the kids into the school district they want to be in.

Yes, we'll finally have reached that pinnacle of success that we scarcely dared dream of: Trailer Trash.

Don't be jealous. We know this is a lofty and out-of-reach goal for most of you. Don't give up on your dream.



Ayup. Live the dream baby. Live the dream.

Thursday, June 05, 2008

Good news, bad news

Good news, hubby got a transfer and a job promotion.

Bad news, it's in Everret.

We could rent our house out and then move in with my father like he's been asking us to do for years, but that's not an option any longer as he's taken his offer back.

So I don't know what we're going to do. There isn't any way he can commute from where we are now to there.

It's not like I don't have enough stress in my life right now. Nope, not enough.

Time to bang my head against the wall now.

Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Waiting Game

When my Ashley Rose was born nine years ago, she was nearly two months premature and had suffered a stroke. She was diagnosed with Hemiplegic infantile cerebral palsy, among other things. This means she was having seizures and couldn't use the right side of her body.

We were put on a waiting list for some services (funds) that would have allowed us to get Respite (care for her so we could take a break), funding for therapies and other services and funding for medical bills.

Today I got a letter in the mail saying that Ashley's name had come to the top of the waiting list and they wanted to evaluate her. Mmm-hmmm. They evaluate her each year as it is to keep her on the DSHS Family services list which helps us pay for the braces for her leg. It's like they suddenly expect her CP to have cured itself.

Not that I don't believe in miracles--I do. But you know.....

The reason I'm excited about this particular letter is because last week when we were at Children's Hospital, a therapy called Constraint Induced Therapy, is now being offered. Nine years ago I was the one who told them about this therapy that was developed by a doctor in Alabama. At that point it was only being used on adult stroke victims---but I wanted them to try it on my Ashley Rose. They weren't doing it then.

Now they are. They are hosting Constraint Induced Therapy camp over the summer. They take a child like Ashley and put a cast on her good arm. This forces her to use her bad side.


It is very expensive therapy and quite time consuming. For a three week period we would be at the hospital for three to four hours a day.

Now we're on another waiting list. The waiting list for therapy camp.

I just hope it doesn't take another nine years.