Tuesday, March 12, 2013


Number one.

Number two:  These kids of mine are doing well.  I don't mean they're perfect or geniuses, or really anything related to those categories.  I mean they are becoming kind, hardworking, striving, hilarious, silly, earnest, lovely, grown-up human beings.  It's such a tough thing to describe without sounding like somebody's crazy mother, but I think this is the part, the observational bits of parenthood, where one feels one's heart swelling.

Number three:  Somehow, and the how part helps to make this extra amazing, things continue apace here - warm and dry, fed and studying.    It doesn't make logical sense that we're all motating happily forward, but we are.  It's maybe a little like adding two and two and coming up with five.  If you have a minute, stop by and I'll try to explain further.  For your trouble, we'll give you a tour of the budding backyard.

Q's better - much less gagging and no breathing treatments for two days now.  (Though I'm now holding my breath for a continued recovery...)  His personal care hours are up a tiny bit, there are prospects for some agency help, and the latest argument with insurance over prescriptions seems to be shaking out.  We shall see.  The girls had their violin recital Sunday afternoon and all did well, despite some last minute scrambling to reorganize after Q's illness.  They've had extra orchestra performance opportunities lately, so tomorrow will bring a redoubling of focus on schoolwork.

One more good thing:  I am grateful to be here.  The list of insurmountables just seems to grow - lately as though it's being fed a steady diet of Miracle Gro, Industrial Strength.   I can honestly say that I have no idea how we're going to manage the next bit of really anything.  And still.  Still!  There's so much to learn, to see, to do, to experience.  Every day presents a litany of striking opportunities for engaging with the goofy people in this house, with the amazing therapists and teachers and friend/family/pastoral types we love and interact with.  Each of those interactions spawns its own unexpected graces, opportunities, and kindnesses.  And from there?  Just wow.  I mean, there's no predicting where this stuff goes, and it leaves me daily just crazy-grateful to be here, right here, with no conditions or caveats.  I mean, I have caveats!  Serious things which need fixing!  (Come over.  Bring tools.  Yes, you.)  And still - wow, people.  Just... so, so much "wow" for which to be grateful.

Hope you're having at least a little of the same, right where you are. 


Saturday, March 02, 2013

Goodbye, February

And none too soon! 

Oh, hello.  It's been a few months, I guess.  Crazy times here - trying to hold All the Things together in reasonable form and to a reasonable standard of function.  Sometimes these efforts are more fruitful, sometimes less.

Q's been sick.  After a day of vomiting (post nasal, etc.) and several days of being reluctant to swallow anything that wasn't precisely as viscous as water, we went to ER for IV fluids and breathing treatments.  Poor guy was just becoming more lethargic, even with tea and honey, even with the coaxing of sisters who got him to swallow the formula supplement.  The loss of sleep over the last week or so has been a bit staggering, perhaps literally.  One should not have to choose between being able to stand up and being able to think through dosing and feeding schedules.  He's better, but still with the gaggy mucus crud that requires saline and suction and albuterol unless we're okay with more vomiting.  This makes me wonder if the bug wasn't RSV.  Ew.

To complicate matters, we're down in Medicaid Personal Care hours, which seems ludicrous, but hey, whatever.  At this point, the state's algorithm says that Q requires 97 additional hours of care per month beyond what a typical child his age would require.  So I'm not sure how to put this, but what. the. heck!?  That's used up on meals and meal prep alone, never mind anything else.  I asked for a re-evaluation, and we're waiting now to hear if the request for more hours has been approved.  The not cool EEG results (positive for epileptiform activity - January) may help Q to have more hours.  For this I have a response that you might expect - rather mixed emotions, and kinda frustrated out of my mind that this is what it takes, when the standard baseline number of hours used to be 200 per month.  Since this illness, we're back to needing the nebulizer, at least for the foreseeable future, so hey!  Another item to pop into the formula!  (insert indeterminate cursing)

Somehow, amidst all this (waves arms) the girls continue to trundle along, scoring well on assignments and tests, working their little tails off for their opportunities.  They're saving to buy violins, pay accompanist fees for violin recitals, and working off parts of piano and violin lessons, as well as the summer violin camp.  I'd wish for a little less work and a little more play for them, except that it seems to be serving them well.  Sometimes organic lessons in humility can be tough to come by, but not so much these days (she says, ruefully). 

I suppose most of what we're doing these days is figuring out how to make do with very, very little, plus the occasional sweet kindness of friends and even (seemingly) random strangers (entertaining angels unawares?).  I don't know how this works, except that so far, miracles of every size and shape keep popping up, just in the barest nick of time.  (Whispering.....  To be perfectly honest, it's wearing on me a bit.  Or it could be the crazy stupid pathogen and lack of sleep...)

So that's enough of that. 

I popped in here to write a quick update, and found that my playlist is loading again for the first time in I don't know how long.  The music is playing now as I type, and making me smile.  I have no idea what I was thinking for some of these songs, but the eclectic selection has me grinning.  The heart is abloom...  See the bird with a leaf in her mouth...  It's a beautiful day, don't let it get away...  What you don't have, you don't need it now...

One wildly unrelated note...  This week several teens and preteens around the country have performed really cool acts of sacrifice and service within their families.  Whether for parents, siblings, grandparents, or other miscellaneous relatives, each of these kids has put him or herself out when all other options were exhausted.  These kids have lent succor to those exhausted caregivers, good people just trying to hold the family together and keep everyone alive, pain-free, okay enough to heal...    People, we have some really fantastic young folks about us.  Notice some of them and say so, eh?  The tasks they've taken on over the last week or so are more than many reasonably well-functioning adults can manage under the best of circumstances, and these kids have been glad to help where they can, only wishing they could do more.  May they be blessed in their endeavors.  May you be blessed for knowing them.

We've got church in the morning, busy afternoon activities, and a full Sunday after that.  Here's hoping we, et tu, successfully carve out some really quiet, really calm, really, truly restorative time over the next 36-48 hours, and in the middle of it, do take kind care of someone who means the world to you - gentleness is such a revel-worthy thing.