Saturday, December 30, 2006

Glue, part two


Well, sometimes the glue isn't enough, then again...

I wish I had the pics to post, but I think my camera was left behind in Bob's hotel room. Bob just called to confirm this.

We went down to Sarasota last night and saw two more of our oldest and dearest friends. I met Bob (or Bawb, as he's typically addressed) the first day on campus at my alma mater. He now lives in California and is married. The last time we met up in person, to the closest any of us can recall, is 1998. He was about to move to California for a new job and Ed and I were about to purchase our first home together.

While the miles between us were many, the phone calls kept us in touch. It's nice to note that even though we hadn't seen each other in years, last night felt like it'd only been a week since we last hung out at one of our Long Island haunts. Donna had ventured down from Jacksonville, and it was a miniature WHPC reunion. The two of them had noticed a greek restaurant on the main drag in Sarasota, so we went over that way for dinner.

Dinner was awesome, conversation was never lacking and it felt really good to spend the evening in the company of friends. Nice to know that Bob's perverted and twisted mind still exists. For example, this jewelery item pictured? He informed me that it is a sexual toy, lol. I won't be looking at the Neiman Marcus types wearing this item without laughing my ass off now, thank you so much. As this blog is someone PG rated, feel free to contact me to find out what it is, but you can always google Adam and Eve's catalog to find similar products. Hee Hee.

I consider myself very blessed that 22 years later, we can all get together and not miss a beat. Good times.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas

Santa has arrived at our house, and in a few hours the kids will be happy to find the things they've asked for under the tree. This year, though, they'll find a letter from Santa. He's told them that the elves were really busy and the computer parts will be shipped to Daddy to put it together for them.

Heck, they've watched him put together computers before and so this probably won't seem that strange. Everybody wins, too, they don't get a machine loaded with crap they don't need and a huge hard drive.

In other news, my freaking leg is driving me nuts. The ointment works well, but it feels like I'm pouring sulfuric acid on my leg each time I use it. The ulcers are gettng much better, so I suppose the pain is a small price to pay to have a healthy leg.

Our Christmas Day will be spent at the inlaws, consuming smoked turkey and vegging. Curious to see how well Williams Sonoma smokes a turkey-I usually hate smoked meats. We're bringing sides and dessert.

The second pain pill that now is neccessary after applying ointment is now kicking in. Yay, I can sleep!

Friday, December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas from the state of Florida!

We got something in the mail that beats any present money could buy. The state of Florida has determined that Gameboy is eligible for Medicaid. This is a huge relief, as we can now get more services for him. The social skills therapy that three psychiatrists have recommended and we've been all for since the initial diagnosis, for one. We can get him occupational therapies as well.

This means that the financial hell that we've experienced will slowly get better. No one really wants to hear of anyone's money woes, but folks, we were there at the bottom of the barrel. At one point, I was seriously ready to sell my car and get a junker to pay for those meds that make his ability to function possible.

I can't begin to tell you how relieved I am-it is the thing I wanted the most this year. The letter is just the beginning-and the adventure ahead in learning what I have to do to get the child what he needs is going to be interesting!

A bottle of champagne is in order, but I'm on pain meds!

Thursday, December 21, 2006

On the mend

Back to the Vascular group today. Nurse M looked at my leg and likes the improvement. She did some debridement-not fun. I got woozy and felt like I was going to pass out, but fortunately, it wasn't as bad as it could have been.

Now I've got some festive green ointment that seals the wounds and pulls out more of the crud. Still hurts like the dickens, but I can see how much better it has gotten in the week since I last saw her. She concurred with Kathi, that I need to take the Vicodin on a regular basis for now and not just when I'm in excruciating pain. The swelling has gone down enough so that I was able to get the compression stocking back on the foot. Woohoo.

I also got my professional crocs and I must say, they look pretty good with a pair of dress pants. A note to any of you considering the crocs-the professionals probably have the narrowest fit of any of the styles they carry. If I didn't have the swollen foot, I would love this fact.

Back to have a follow up in two more weeks-hoping by then, the painkillers will be unneccessary.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Wedding Weekend

I promised I would write about the wedding. :)

It's December, so of course, I had to work Saturday. I worked until noon, then headed home to find Ed and the boys packed and my dress ready to go. I just had to throw a few things into the bags and we would be on our way. We did have to head back to the house because we forgot meds for oldest son.

We had reservations for one night at our favorite resort, the Polynesian, as we couldn't get two nights at anything but a Deluxe resort(thanks to hectic retail schedule, I didn't make reservations early enough). However, reservations made through CRO have a 48 hour cancellation window. On the way there, I called CRO and found a room at Port Orleans Riverside for two nights. That worked-the rooms sleep 5. Jane was kind enough to watch the boys through all these events-otherwise, we wouldn't have been able to go.

We were told to meet at the Poly for the bus to the dessert party, so we headed over a little early to view the decorations. First, I wanted a Kona coffee (damn, I was tired) and then a fruity drink at Tambu lounge, but we were worried that we would miss the bus. Had we known that the wedding party was dining in 'Ohana, we would have had that drink! We waited out front and boarded the bus that would take us over to Epcot.

After hearing of the couples friends and relations for years, it was cool to finally put faces to the names. Even met a kindred spirit on the bus-the best man's wife seems to be cut from the same chronic issue cloth (it's like we were twins separated at birth). It was also amusing to spend time with people who aren't into Disney at all and were just there because that was the wedding destination!

We were ferried to the party location at the lower French Isle in Epcot. The location is on the lagoon and is the perfect location for viewing IllumiNations, Epcot's nightly fireworks program. My favorite fireworks, if you must know. Once at the location, we found chocolate fondue heaven. There were three kinds of chocolate fondues, coffee, teas and sodas. The choices of dipping items was great-fortunately, someone noticed the strawberries and had them removed-the bride is severely allergic.

The next hour and a half was spent mixing and mingling with people who'd I'd heard about and knew peripheral things about. One of the groomsmen and his new bride honeymooned around the world, Disney style. Ed and I would have loved spending the whole evening talking to him about it-he's a great guy with a passion for Disney. It's cool to see him married and with a job that's perfect for him (I'd love his job, to give you an idea). The fireworks were awesome. The time spent with friends was far too brief. We got back to the hotel room and found Jane with sleeping children. She went walkabout, and we feel asleep pretty quickly.

The next morning, we awoke and headed to breakfast. No sooner were we back to the room that Jane took the boys and headed off to Epcot. It sure feels strange to not have the kids around-this happens about once every five years. We had some items to get (a shirt for Ed, gauze for my foot) and we found a brandy new WalMart right by property. We got dressed and headed over to the Contemporary. The reception would be held there-transportation was from this resort, and it made sense for our car to be there for afterwards.

Once on the bus, we found that it'd already picked up passengers-one of whom that was kinda rude to the bus driver. As the ride went on, I was getting a weird sense of deja vu-he was acting like my ex (a fact that Ed concurred with later). Now that I'm on the other side of it, I ask myself what I saw in that behavior!

We arrive at the Wedding Pavillion and it is gorgeous. The weather is perfect, and the view around the lagoon is one I don't tire of soaking in. Inside the pavillion, the architectural details subtly show Mickey heads, hearts and two rings joined together. Very nice. I could totally go for a vow renewal there.

The ceremony itself was very touching. As the bride and groom come from different faiths, it was nice to witness vows that express the important points of a marriage without the bride and groom having to jump through hoops to get wed in the other's church/temple. The musical selections were Disney based-the bride entered to a Sant Saen's piece used in "Impressions de France" and the recessional was from a Christmas parade. The bride's dress was very similar to Belle's ball gown in white.

Everyone in attendance was gathered on the beach for a group photo and then all but the bridal party were shuttled over to the California Grill for the reception. This is the restaurant atop the Contemporary Resort that has an amazing view of the Magic Kingdom. As we were in the Napa Room, the wines were plentiful. We each got a glass of Cabernet, then Ed overhears someone getting his favorite beer, Anchor Steam. I told him I'd finish his glass of wine, but he was enjoying it too much. This is about the time that we discover that they are bottomless glasses of wine. :) Can't complain about that-and the more I had of the cabernet, the more I liked it. Yes, we are entering the realm of drier red, lol.

As befitting a Disney Wedding, the tables had names like "Wish", "Imagine", "Dream" and "Believe". It was a more intimate wedding that I'd expected-I fully expected 80 to 100. It was flattering to know that we were in the small group that was invited. At our table was the Best Man and his wife, and we chatted throughout the night-great people. The meal was incredible-filet so tender it could be cut with a fork.

At the close of the reception, we all went out onto the walkway at the top of the hotel to view Holiday Wishes, the Magic Kingdom's fireworks show. All in all, a great day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

Glue

Sometimes, I'm tired of being the glue.

You wonder what that is? It's when you're the only thing keeping something together. When the ex and I still lived in New York, it was basically me being the 'cruise director' and coordinating all the activities our group of friends did and keeping things together. Once I moved to Maryland, it was frequent phone calls back to NY-but the calls were reciprocal. The difference was, my phone bill would be triple or quadruple anyone elses. I was glad for this-it was part of being the glue.

The ex and I split, jobs changed, but through the years, I've picked up friends along the way and lost far too many of them that I wish were still in my life. As much as I hate AOL, I have to thank them for Instant Messenger, because it's how I maintain being the glue with a few friends who I don't even have phone numbers for (paging Dave, Jeff and Russ-this means you!). To an extent, the blog has some glue like properties, because it keeps you all in touch with what's going on in my life. The glue maintains when you call or email to bitch that I haven't updated in a while and I get to find out what's going on in YOUR life.

We attended a wedding yesterday (and I will report about that later when more time allows) that we enjoyed thoroughly. Afterwards, I pondered to Ed whether I'll see the friends much again. As much as I love and care about them, I don't see them much. The phone calls are fewer and fewer and we're all very busy people. In spending time with the couple, it made me happy to share in their day and very sad that I don't get to do this anymore. I explained to Ed that I can't be the glue all the time, and that bothers me.

Ed actually had a positive story to relate when he'd wondered the same thing. We'd attended Joyce and Tim's wedding several years ago. He had thought-will I really see them again? He'd been convinced that the end was near, that there wasn't enough glue to keep it together. I'm happy to report that 8 years later, we're closer than we were back then. Joyce recently gave birth to their third child and in trying not to interfere, I'd stopped myself from calling her (as baby's sleep patterns may not coincide with friend's calling patterns). Once again, we're back on the phone and commiserating about life with small children and being support for one another.

What is it that keeps us friends for 25 plus years? How is it that the person from Babbage's I thought I wouldn't be able to keep in touch with (due to overprotective wife) is the only one I'm still in weekly contact with? How is it that the former boss that drove me crazy is the same person who now calls to have a sounding board for her frustration and as a result, makes me laugh? How is it that the first friend I made at college (on the first day, no less) can spend time with us and it's as if we're back at the Pawnbroker?

By the same token, why is it that I can't keep in touch with people that mean so much to me? There are dear friends who are expecting a child any day, and I haven't been in touch, other than Christmas cards, since their wedding. There are some good friends back in Maryland that I just haven't kept up with-our lives are so similar, but I guess I don't have enough glue for everyone.

Weddings are magical in that they usually cause one to 'take stock'. I've got it pretty darn good, but I want more. Not the material but the intangibles-I want more glue.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Update to owwwwww

I'm back from my doctor's visit and still in pain, but this is the upshot:

1. I got to see the two nurse practitioners instead of Dr. S (Halleluiah!). The one nurse has pretty much seen me since I moved to Florida as she was involved in the first Doppler they did on my leg in July '04. Seems the wounds are getting worse because there is an underlying infection (who ever though that the capris I was living in prevented infection?).

2. We discussed the what and why and then they went to consult with Dr. S and Dr. J happened to be on the floor (in between surgeries-Thursday is his OR day). Both docs suggested
debridement, while Nurse M thought moist dressing and then an Unna Boot once the infection is gone. Nurse A concurred, and both nurses came to me with the treatment options.

I told Nurse M that I'd called my sister (nursing student) when I couldn't get in to see them, triaged and asked what SHE would do if I were her patient and sis suggested moist dressing, too. Nurse M laughed and told me my sis was going to be a great nurse. Majority to the nurses (and student nurses) and I avoid a painful procedure. (thanks, Kath!)

3. I got antibiotics and more pain meds, moist gauze and two ace wraps. Only down part is that the office staff was really busy and hadn't called in the Darvocet by the time I got to Target, so I may have to go later.

4. Recheck it in a week. If it's on the road to healing, or is healed, then we go to the Unna boot. If not, the debridement is my only option.

5. We haven't gone into what happens after we resolve this issue, but I know it will be soon. As long as I don't see Dr. S, the one dissenting voice, the rest of the team will keep me at work because they feel movement is the best option.

6. I now have a doctor's note to wear the crocs at work. While the plantar faciitis is probably not caused by the vascular disease, it is contributing to the pain and swelling and the crocs are the only shoe to minimize this issue. Boss has unofficially been letting me wear them (and pointing out my leg to anyone who has questions the shoes), but now it makes it easier on her to say 'doctor's orders'.

Now, I suppose I should try to round up some coffee as sleep will not happen without the pain meds. At least I won't have to worry about a doctor thinking I'm a junkie-Nurse M was suprised that I had a two week supply left from surgery (scrip was 20 pills, which means I took 6 back then). Another advantage is that the first thing out of her mouth before writing either script was 'What are you allergic to again?'. She remembered!

Owwwwwww

As I write this, it's 3:32am and I can't sleep. Why? Because my vascular issues in my leg have gotten so bad that I have resorted to taking the painkillers left over from my last surgery. Unfortunately, I took the last one last night-and I had no idea that it had gotten this bad in the two weeks that I'd started taking them. I think I fell asleep at 11:30 and was up at 12:05.

The best description I can come up with is that my lower leg stings as if I've gotten severe road rash. In addition, there's the sporadic stabbing pain-this is what prevents me from sleep tonight. I'm dealing with a double edged sword. If I wear my compression stocking, it adheres to the scabs on my ankle. This means excruciating pain when I take the stocking off (more intense pain than the stinging and stabbing), but by not wearing them, the sores on the leg are worse. Yes, I know it's gross.

My friends, you know that if I'm to the point that I'm taking the damn painkillers, it really hurts. Hell, the Darvocets were left over following the two day surgery marathon in March because I only took them for two days. I suck it up pretty good and withstand what I consider to be a high level of pain. (I never even filled the script from the second surgery.)

I tried getting an appointment with my vascular surgeon last week-the earliest with *my* doctor I could get is January 3rd. I kept calling and leaving voice mails, knowing that this might happen (the sleepless night) when the meds ran out. Finally, I got a call back that I could come in and see Dr. S on my day off. He's the one doctor (of the four) who is the young, arrogant jerk that gives surgeons a bad name.

Dr. S exudes the aura of "I know everything and you know nothing" that makes me boil. I can understand a degree of arrogance, but to think he knows more about me and my issues than I do is shortsighted. I can triage myself to any medical professional to the point that earns a modicum of respect. This is what happens when you've got a host of chronic issues.

The valve in the leg is to the point that it needs to be replaced-but there are only two doctors in the US doing the procedure and it is considered (last I heard) 'experimental'. The two senior doctors both have the same view-wait and see what the future holds. I've had no restrictions placed on me, other than the ban on exercise (walking, swimming and biking are the only things allowed). Dr. J (my regular doc) even has stated that working on my feet is the best thing to be doing-a desk job would slow down the already poor circulation in the leg.

My fear is that Dr. S will lecture me on what I already know (it's bad and getting worse), tell me that I can't work (not an option, and frankly, not one I'd consider anyway) and give me grief about taking painkillers in the first place. However, the way I see it is that I'm trying to go on with living and I'm not trying to cop out of working, or asking for a letter so that I can get SSDI.
I'm not even looking for major narcotics. I'm looking to identify the pain, figure out if it can be resolved and get something for the pain.

So, any ideas on how to get rid of this pain, short of having Ed pull an Annie Wilkes on my leg?

Friday, December 01, 2006

Will he ever get it?

The frustrations of Asperger's Syndrome:

Imagine if you will, a child with genius intelligence. This child can read at nearly college level and has amazing recall abilities. However, this 1o year old acts emotionally on the level of an 18 month old-temper tantrums and all.

He's stubborn, willful and wants everything HIS way. Never mind the fact that all the adults in his life tell him he has to do XYZ, he wants to do ABC. Rewards to encourage good behavior don't work-you give him an inch, he wants a mile. Punishment to discourage poor behavior doesn't work, either-he continues to be bad because he can't get his way.

I just got back from a visit to the school for something unrelated, but of course, my child is in the principal's office for shoving another student in his class after a morning of bad behavior. A child who must use a walker to get around. The principal and teacher are on the same page with me and Ed and said he wanted to call the sheriff's office-I told him to do it next time.

I don't know when it will end. Realistically, the medications should make it easier for our son to 'fit in' and behave, but if that's the case, why is he such a trial? I'm at the end of my ropes. Some days (and they're becoming more frequent) I wonder if the only thing I can do to help my child is to give him up to the state. That, my friends, is a scary thought, but it's the only way I can think of to possibly get through to him. No amount of yelling, sending him to his room, taking away his precious video games and talk of how he'll end up in jail (or worse) if he does this when he gets older seems to sink in.

Damn frustrating-Ed and I don't go out as a couple and have had only a few 'dates' since we've become parents because we can't in good concience subject a babysitter to son's machinations for the few hours we're out. If we DO go out, we worry the whole time that he's being a monster to whomever is watching him-which really puts a damper on either of us having fun. I think that's why it's been so important to enjoy my job-because the battle at home dealing with oldest son definitely isn't fun.

The kid's favorite whine (yes, it's nearly all whine)is "That's not fair". Yep, that sure is the truth. Somehow, we've got to get through the unfair stuff that life throws at us. Today is one of those days where I want to whine that life's not fair.

I won't get away with whining about it aloud, so instead it's here.