A special mother

thanks to the late Erma Bombeck for this one…
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure, a couple by habit. This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen?
Somehow I visualize God hovering over the earth selecting his instruments of propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.
“Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew”
“Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Cecilia”
“Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint.. give her Gerard. Hes used to profanity.”
Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child”. The angel is curious, “Why this one God? She’s so happy” “Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.”
“But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.
“I dont want her to have too much patience or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child Im going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world and thats not going to be easy.”
“But Lord, I dont think she even believes in You”
God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”
The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”
God nods, “If she cant separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive.”
“Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.
She doesnt know it yet but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says “Momma” for the first time she will be witness to a miracle and know it.When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few ever see my creations. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see– ignorance, cruelty, prejudice– and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.
God smiles, “A mirror will suffice”

thanks erma for this one…
Most women become mothers by accident, some by choice, a few by social pressure, a couple by habit. This year nearly 100,000 women will become mothers of handicapped children. Did you ever wonder how these mothers are chosen?Somehow I visualize God hovering over the earth selecting his instruments of propagation with great care and deliberation. As He observes, He instructs his angels to take notes in a giant ledger.”Armstrong, Beth, son. Patron Saint, Matthew””Forrest, Marjorie, daughter. Patron Saint, Cecilia””Rutledge, Carrie, twins. Patron Saint.. give her Gerard. Hes used to profanity.”Finally He passes a name to an angel and smiles, “Give her a handicapped child”. The angel is curious, “Why this one God? She’s so happy” “Exactly,” smiles God. “Could I give a handicapped child a mother who knows no laughter? That would be cruel.””But does she have the patience?” asks the angel.”I dont want her to have too much patience or she’ll drown in a sea of self-pity and despair. Once the shock and resentment wear off, she’ll handle it. I watched her today. She has that sense of self and independence so rare and so necessary in a mother. You see, the child Im going to give her has a world of its own. She has to make it live in her world and thats not going to be easy.””But Lord, I dont think she even believes in You”God smiles, “No matter, I can fix that. This one is perfect. She has just enough selfishness.”The angel gasps, “Selfishness? Is that a virtue?”God nods, “If she cant separate herself from the child occasionally, she will never survive.”
“Yes, here is a woman whom I will bless with a child less than perfect.She doesnt know it yet but she is to be envied. She will never take for granted a spoken word. She will never consider a step ordinary. When her child says “Momma” for the first time she will be witness to a miracle and know it.When she describes a tree or a sunset to her blind child, she will see it as few ever see my creations. I will permit her to see clearly the things I see– ignorance, cruelty, prejudice– and allow her to rise above them. She will never be alone. I will be at her side every minute of every day of her life because she is doing my work as surely as she is here by my side.”
“And what about her Patron Saint?” asks the angel, his pen poised in the air.God smiles, “A mirror will suffice”

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Honest.. Not Racist

Im going to weigh in on the debate being raged currently over Bill Clintons “coffee” comment now. For those who dont know,Clinton is being quoted as having told the late Sen. Ted Kennedy that “a few years ago, this guy would have been getting or coffee”, when referring to now President Obama.

Its been raised as an issue that this comment was racist,and therefore Clinton should be chastised/etc for racism. First of all, Clinton has not (as far as i know) ever shown any racist tendencies. Lets get that out of the way right now.

More importantly, the comment (to me) seems to refer more to the fact that we have come a long way from our past. It *ISNT* too many years ago that Mr Obama would have been relegated to fetching coffee for white politicians instead of being a viable contender for the White House himself. I firmly believe that is what Fmr. President Clinton meant by his statement. I believe it was more of a “Wow.. look how far we have come, it wasnt too long ago that he would have been fetching coffee not running for office” than ” Ahh the good old days when he would  have been where he should be, fetching our coffee”

Honesty is not racism. It is not, has never been, and will never be “racist” to recognize, and be open and honest about the darker times in our history when racism was much more widespread and accepted than it is today.

Stop looking for racism where it doesnt exist, and congratulate Mr Clinton on his ability to recognize how far we have come as a country. Hes being honest, glad for change, and seeking even more change. Thats a good thing, so lets stop beating him up as a racist.

Is this really a problem?

So I had to take my kids to the doc today,both little ones are sicky lately…turns out its some nasty viral issue thats going around *ugh*, but missmonkey’s peak flow numbers were dropping so I was concerned enough to take her on in. Turns out she is okay, no bronchitis or anything… but the doc stopped me to tell me that in 12 years of practicing, he cant recall any other parents that actually came in because they were paying attention to peak flow numbers enough to be concerned regarding a drop. And that he was so happy that I did, because it made it possible for him to discuss/evaluate her condition on “a higher level” with me…

It never occurred to me not to use the peak flow meter, it never occurred to me not to pay attention to the trends  on her numbers, and it CERTAINLY never occurred to me not to call the doc when the numbers start to trend downward..     So I put it to all you other asthmatics/asthma parents…is this just me being my slightly obsessive about info self, or am i normal? Is this really an issue? (parents not doing these things??)

Advocacy

I realized something the other day. According to the magazines about diabetes that my mother receives, about 24 million Americans have diabetes. Some portion of that is comprised of children, though Im not sure just how many are kids. According to both webmd, and my “Asthma for Dummies” book (thanks Laurie) at least 22 million Americans have asthma, and at least roughly 5 million of those are children. It is The Most Common Chronic Illness Among Children.

That being said, I keep seeing “Walk for diabetes research”, “Walk to Cure Diabetes”, Mary Tyler Moore is frequently on the tv asking me to donate to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Fund to help children with diabetes…Now, dont get me wrong, I dont think these are BAD things. In fact, Im highly supportive of researching and finding a cure for this disease, that affects so many and has so many unpleasant to say the least effects on their day to day lives. However, I wonder, why dont I see this same focus on asthma?

I know its more personal to me so perhaps I feel strongly than others, perhaps you included my dear readers. But sheer numbers says the focus on asthma should at least be approaching the focus we have on diabetes. And its not. Not even close.

Perhaps its that we parents of asthmatic kids arent spending enough time advocating for more attention, research and funding… We should be. Our kids deserve the same attention, the same focus, the same devotion to researching new and better treatments and, God willing, someday a cure.

I propose, therefore, that we begin banding together. Think on this, share it with anyone you think its relevant to. Lets find a way to get these kids the same fighting chance that we give children affected by other chronic disorders…

Suggestions are welcomed and encouraged as always.

Thanksgiving

Well we had a nice thanksgiving. Did the traditional visit with family and eat way too much thing lol.

Nikolas of course had his very first thanksgiving, and boy… well seeing as how he enjoys his food in general, this holiday was all kinds of exciting for him.

He also got his very first haircut. *aww* my baby boy is growing up so very fast.  And of course, i have pictures galore, of both Thanksgiving dinner and the haircut 😉

Brendalyn is doing fairly well.. Steroids suck but they do seem to be clearing her lungs so we’ll take what we can get. she has a follow up appointment with her allergist on tuesday.

Ive now upgraded from a paper 2 pocket folder containing all the important medical and dental paperwork for the kids, to an actual binder. 3 rings (which will be lovely once i get a hole punch but are relatively useless as of yet) and several tabbed pockets so i can separate all the papers into categories and more easily find the information im looking for.

Saw the movie adaptation of “Angels and Demons” with the family over the holiday. Its the sequel to “The DaVinci Code” and if youve not seen either movie i highly recommend them. More importantly if you have not read the books, i  highly recommend doing that first. Dan Brown is an amazing author. His books are hard-hitting, hes not afraid of anything in terms of subject matter, and the pace is remarkably rapid fire. Both books take place (the entire novel) in about a 24 hr period each.

I also have a new favorite reference book. I was given “Asthma for Dummies” over the holiday as well. And let me just say, it is a great resource. In true “Dummies” fashion, it gives a lot of information in a very clear, concise, easy to read manner. Also it covers just about everything and has a lovely appendix with lots of organizational and supply resources, complete with addresses, phone numbers, and websites.

 

Updates, Warning Random Dizzying Subject Changes Ahead

I mean that warning by the way, ask anyone who knows me well, my dizzingly rapid and seemingly random jumps from subject to subject are the stuff of legend lol.

Basketball season has begun, to my complete and utter joy. I know i know sports are (insert reason i shouldnt like sports here)

But i do. Well no, i just like basketball honestly. I really  never watch any other sports. But if a Rockets, or Mavericks game is on? Im so there

Rockets are playing well this year too, much better than most ppl had expected due to Mutumbos retirement, and Yao and McGrady still being out due to injury. But man we have some good young guys on the court.

 

Im currently mildly disabled, due to having to hobble around everywhere trying to keep my injured(we think) left heel off the ground so i dont accidentally put any weight on it. Current guesses are either i have something in it that we just cant see much less remove.. or i have MRSA… either way it SUCKS

Kids are doing well, growing and generally amazing me every single day *best proud mommy grin*

On an entirely different side note, theres a really good editorial in the Houston Paper today about Israel-Palestine… “Call us when youre serious about peace” And I for one agree wholeheartedly. Its a mess, its always been a mess, it likely to always BE a mess… Fact is neither side is “right” or “wrong” per se, they are both just stubborn as hell and want it their own way and refuse to budge an INCH for the other sides point of view. Its riddiculous, and the US continuing to send people over there to try and create peace is also riddiculous and pointless as well.

 

Twitter and WP.com- loving this idea

So ive enabled now the twitter-wordpress auto “publicize” option… since i generally tweet when i update my blog ANYWAY this seems a match made in heaven for me. Now if they’ll add fb updating i’ll be set.

More to come once i decide if i like this feature- stay tuned

Adventures in Ignorance

So my DD attends HeadStarts preschool program. Now dont get me wrong generally speaking i think HeadStart is a wonderful organization, and all in all i have been pleased with what attending has done for her. However there are times when one wants to pull ones hair out when dealing with people up there.

I had mentioned recently that i am taking said DD to have her eyes examined next month, she seems to need to be awfully close to tv/computer screens and given that I have vision problems myself as do several other family members, i thought it best to have it checked. I was promptly informed by our local “Health Services Coordinator” that *she* had checked my daughters eyes and they were fine. NM that she isnt an eye doctor, nor a doctor of any kind, and also nm that they seem to have missed that lil bit has a slight lazy eye. I blew that off and said well i’ll take her anyway, its covered and id feel better and that was the end of that talk.

Last friday lil asthmatic brought home her inhaler, so we would have it if needed over the weekend. She missed monday due to non health related reasons and then it got forgotten in morning chaos on tuesday and wednesday. Today i sent it with her when my grandfather took her to the bus stop. He proceeded to then bring it BACK to me, having been informed that she couldnt take it to school as i needed to fill out and sign a new copy of the “Medication Policy” and the report on her dosage. Mind you, i did this one month ago when i first sent the inhaler to school the first time. Also i did NOT get back my copy of the sheet that is supposed to be signed and dated when she gets the medicine and where any side effects/behavioral changes are noted.

We have on file with the school a written set of orders from the Dr that she is to be given the inhaler if she has any breathing trouble (because its a govt agency and therefore does NOTHING that isnt in writing). The inhaler itself has written on its prescription label, every 6 hrs and before PE/Play. I explained to headstart MYSELF that dr had said we didnt HAVE to give it every 6 hrs, just before PE/Play and if she was having trouble.

So i called up there, asked if i was going to have to do this paperwork every month or? Was told no.. its because the inhaler had been “out of the center” for more than the 48 hrs that cover the weekend. *sigh and roll eyes* Okay fine. So am i not supposed to get a copy of the sheet about time/date/side effects? “No you just need to fill out the top sheet” Yes i know but id kind of like to have the side effects etc since she usually only gets that med at school and i need to know that before i go to see her doc next so we can discuss it. “Well there isnt one because i havent had to give it to her” *Boggle* But shes supposed to have it before she goes out to play. “As needed”, they tell me. No, i tell them, its as needed during the rest of the day, and before she goes out to play as a precautionary. (What i dont add except in my head is “Like i already told you”)

THEN a couple of hours later, i get a call back from school. Health Svcs Coordinator, reading me the written prescription allowing her to have the inhaler as needed for trouble with her breathing. I say yes i know, but on the inhaler itself it says before she goes out to play. Then she asks me “well could you send that?” i reiterated that its ON THE INHALER.

Now i ask you… several things

Am i wrong to wonder WHY exactly someone who apparently cant read/understand a prescription is Health Services Coordinator?

Why on EARTH should i trust this womans assessment of my childs vision when she cant understand when/how to use her inhaler?

Why exactly should i put my child in your care for 8 hrs a day when you cant properly use her rescue medication???

And last but not least. If you knew that i would need another medication policy when the inhaler didnt come back on monday before it could come back, Why would you not have TOLD me this, and sent home the paper instead of forcing my child to be at school with no rescue med all day and risking her having an attack and having no way on hand to stop it?

NM that i dont much appreciate the 2nd call where she basically tried to show off that she was the smart “Health services coordinator” and im the ignorant parent who didnt know her own childs dose and instructions…. ah well she came out of that one looking more the idiot but it doesnt change the base issues.

*Sigh* Adventures in Ignorance

Anger and Acceptance

Realization smacked me in the face the other night. Ive long said Im not angry at DD’s biological. When asked, Id say Im not angry really because anger was a waste of precious energy, that Id not give him that power to remain in my life even that much, that mostly I feel pity that he’s missing the awesome amazing person she’s becoming day by day.

Objectively I know those things are true, and I do believe them. At least most of the time.

But from time to time if Im honest, I have to admit I AM angry.

Angry that she misses out, not so much on having two parents because that would require him actually Being one, but on the things I cant give her because its just me.

Angry that she and I muddle through the best we can.

Angry that when school started and she needed new socks and shoes, that was Just Me.

Her first day of preschool- Just me.

When she had surgery to remove her tonsils- Just me again, the hard road of recovery post-op was mine alone as well.

Her asthma? The doctors visits? The multiple medications every night? The nighttime wake up when she cant breathe properly? The worry and fear? Just me.

Those things are bad enough, but to add insult to injury, he has the nerve to identify as a “Proud Parent” on myspace, despite not doing any of those things.

Worse still, he claims parenthood, without paying the price. Without putting in the time, or the money. I buy her shoes, socks, toothpaste, shampoo, all those day to day things she needs. I budget closely to be able to since he gives NO financial assistance whatsoever.

He’s walked away completely, refuses to even admit he has done so, and apparently thinks he’s entitled to walk away, abandon responsibility, and still claim the “rights” of parenthood.

So yes Im angry, though I am trying not to be. First step is acknowledging my right to be angry I suppose and then not letting it consume my life.

As a footnote, I am stating here and now that I have NO patience for claims of  “not being able to afford to pay support”, No patience for deadbeats of either sex who abandon the children they helped create, and even LESS patience for those same deadbeats who then want to whine about their “rights”

The law has its own rules and I know that, however as far as I am concerned? If you dont pay support, then dont cry about your “right” to visitation, your “right” to make decisions for the child, your “right” to do ANYthing as a “parent”

With rights come responsibilities, and if you choose to abdicate your responsibilities, then dont cry to me about your rights. We all make choices, when you CHOSE not to do what is needed to raise the child then you CHOSE not to be a parent, and now I CHOOSE not to listen to any cries of “But my parental rights!”

Only parents have rights, because they do what they need to do, they meet the challenges, the responsibilities, the hard days and nights, head on. Those who dont do that? Not parents in my book, and certainly not entitled to cry about their “Parental Rights”

I had a bit of an epiphany last night. Its so stressful lately with my daughter i swear. she had been out playing with her cousin, theywere running around the driveway playing “soccer” (which btw miss monkey is actually quite good at it would seem) and she started to cough… and tried to tell her cousin something, only it took her forever as she stopped three times to take a breath. In one sentence!

Was trying to explain to mom how frustrating it can be, watching ones child struggle with a chronic condition. Another kid gets a cough its just a cough… but with mine? It often..usually.. isnt just a cough, its almost always the prelude to something worse.

It feels lately like asthma is running our life… she current;y on 5 different medications daily just to keep her OUT of trouble, and thats not counting the as needed rescue meds, and assuming i dont end up having to give her the steroids we have on hand just in case…..

And then theres the worry.. can she go play outside today? will she understand if she cant? is this a cold or the begining of a flare up and/or another round of bronchitis? Does the MASSIVE flu outbreak next town over mean we are gonna have issues?

*sigh*

WElcome to Holland Samantha.

Where are my windmills and tulips??

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