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Number six!

One week of school is almost over, and already I feel like we have barely seen Chickadee. Between school and marching band and homework and a new youth group and the general business of leading a life, she is busy and happy and I am trying to be grateful for family dinnertime and the five or ten minutes here and there when I can catch a smile and a hug and a shred of information about her day.

One month ago, we were offered a potential treatment for Chickadee’s ever-present rash and I watched with a mix of annoyance and amusement as several of you wagged your fingers in the comments, telling me I needed to force her to do it. And the thing is, even if I would’ve been willing to go that route, the doctor told her it was up to her. She took it to heart, and for a few weeks I kept bringing it up and we argued and finally, Otto suggested we give her two weeks to think it over WITHOUT BADGERING HER, MIR, and we would talk again.

Last night before bed, she came downstairs and told us she’s ready to try the new med, blood draws and all. She needed time, and to feel like it was on her terms, but she made the right choice, all on her own. It was a superb ending to an already good day.

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Battle of the terrible commercials

On Friday night I collapsed into bed feeling decidedly off. It had been a long day and we’d been out in the heat and I figured I was just hot and tired. But on Saturday morning I dragged myself out of bed and was considering a nap about five minutes later. Basically, I felt like I’d been run over by a truck. There was no denying it: I was sick.

Otto, who was skeptical of my crazy diet plan from the start, was convinced I had somehow poisoned myself with the restrictive eating plan I’d been following. He lectured me about how I had “completely obliterated my immune system” and was now reaping the results. I rolled my eyes and agreed to drop the diet to placate him, although that was an easy thing to do as eating ANYTHING would clearly interfere with SLEEPING, which was the only thing I wanted to do for the next two days.

So I slept for most of the day, and then spent the evening on the couch watching quality television with my family. Read: We watched a Hoarders marathon. I don’t know that any of us consciously chose to watch it, it just sort of happened. And then we made an interesting discovery: The target audience for these shows are apparently women with digestive issues. (more…)

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I like to jumpstart with crazy

Hey, remember back when a group of us got together and started Five Full Plates and vowed to lose weight and exercise more and clean up our homes and face our fears and generally become better, smarter, faster, and thinner than ever before?

That was fun. During the challenges we put ourselves through there, I got a ton of crap done—and I also lost 10 pounds. I felt GREAT.

A year and a half later, I seem to have… gained most of it back. Not all of it—most of my “victory clothing” purchases still fit—but enough that I just feel gross. And as I discussed ad nauseum over on FFP back in the day, as someone who was stick skinny until about 35 or so, this whole “dieting” and “being healthy” thing remains kind of a mystery to me. I mean, in general I eat very healthy foods. But I also suck at any kind of moderation, and even if I’m eating healthy, overindulgence is still a problem. Also a problem: Ice cream. And popcorn with real butter. (Mmmmm… butter.)

So it was clearly time to Do Something. (more…)

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The final (?) chapter of the rash saga

There’s good news and there’s bad news, when it comes to the latest on my darling daughter’s skin. The good news is that we didn’t have to see Dr. BadHair again; this week we saw the head of the department, who asked us a year ago how far we were willing to go to cure her, and this time finally told us what that meant.

The bad news is that Chickadee has thus far decided that actually, no, she’s not willing to go very far at all, thanks, she will just be rashy, that’s perfectly fine, actually.

But I guess I’m getting ahead of myself, a bit.

The truth is that Chickadee’s skin issues have gotten worse and worse over the years, to the point where I don’t think she even realizes how modified her life is at this point. There’s a level on which this is positive—better than her sitting around feeling sorry for herself, right? But things are… not normal. And that’s not okay. (more…)

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I was hoping to go on a diet, anyway

Don’t I look calm? Serene? Nary a care in the world? It’s the drugs.

Just an update on yesterday’s post, because I know you all care VERY DEEPLY: Our missing fence section never showed up, yesterday. Around 4:00 Otto called the fence company to say YES HI I AM WONDERING IF YOU EVER DO WHAT YOU’LL SAY YOU’LL DO and was told that our crew was on another job and then the equipment broke and they were delayed and blah blah blah FIRST THING IN THE MORNING, WE PROMISE.

First thing this morning the foreman of a THIRD crew (just in case you’re keeping count) showed up, and proceeded to sit in my yard just outside my office window—that wasn’t creepy at all—for an hour until his crew showed. They are working on closing the fence off with the final section, now. But it still needs repairs/replacements and we’re not dealing with any of that until next week when we get back from camping. So! Let us now ignore the fence! LALALALA!

Instead, let’s talk about my poor tongue. (more…)

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Apparently my tongue felt left out

When I last left my dentist’s office, it was in a state of semi-hysteria over having just been informed that I needed a $2,000 bite splint that my insurance (you know, that thing you pay for the pleasure of being told everything is ineligible for coverage?) wouldn’t pay even a little bit towards. I came home and had a small tantrum and then vowed to cure myself of TMJ the old-fashioned way—I would simply will it to improve.

It actually worked, if by “it” you mean “that whole ‘willing’ thing, plus changing my diet some and doing nighttime relaxation exercises.” I went from being unable to chew on the affected side to where I am now, which is hardly any pain to speak of at all. I mean, TMJ is typically cyclical, but let’s just all agree that my giving up chewing gum and learning to practice deep breathing is the real reason I got better.

And because I was no longer in pain, I totally forgot about it. Until I got a phone call reminding me that I had my regularly-scheduled dental cleaning this week. (more…)

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Paging Dr. House

Yesterday was a no good, terrible, horrible, very bad day, and every time I think about it I get mad all over again. It was the sort of thing where I couldn’t help just stepping outside of myself, mentally, even WHILE it was happening, and thinking, “If I wrote this up as a fiction story people would be all, ‘Yeah, it’s just not believable, I’m sorry.’”

Like that.

So I am too lazy to find the old posts and link back, but for anyone who’s new ’round these parts, my darling daughter has some sort of chronic skin condition that she developed when we moved to Georgia which has been steadily worsening ever since. We are about to begin The Four Summer Of Mystery Rash, only this year as a SPECIAL ADDED BONUS, Chickadee busted out the rash in December (the earliest yet!) when she had the flu, and though we sort of contained it for a while there, she came home from her band trip with a full-blown rash, as well.

We see a team of dermatology specialists at Big Atlanta Medical Center who supposedly Know Things, so we’d called to let them know what was going on, and yesterday morning they called and said “Can you be here in two hours?” (more…)

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Our kingdom for a therapist

It’s true that our “kingdom” at present doesn’t amount to much, and as many odd things as I’ve encountered thus far, I really haven’t gotten the impression from anyone involved that the offer of a deck badly in need of refinishing or a falling-down fence or even the pond full of peep-peep-peeping frogs would significantly improve our odds of being helped, but whatever we do have, I would happily offer it in exchange for the ability to:

1) Locate an appropriate child psychologist,
2) discover said professional takes our insurance,
3) admire said professional’s extensive experience in dealing with kids on the spectrum,
4) celebrate at the news that this doctor would be DELIGHTED to take Monkey on as a patient.

You know, Monkey? Cute, adorable, charming, Monkey? Who WOULDN’T want to spend a couple of hours a week with this kid? I’ll tell you who: Every damn therapist in this town, THAT’S WHO. I am trying not to take it personally. (more…)

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We call that a lesson learned

Things have been going along pretty well, post-Monkey-carving. Some might even say TOO well. (Please cue up the foreboding music of your choice right here. I’ll wait.) Despite my fears that post-surgical Monkey would be a giant ball of pain and anguish and HULK ANGRY HULK SMASH misguided energy, for the most part, post-surgical Monkey has been calm and agreeable and positively robot-like in his apparent inability to recognize that he might be in any pain at all, most of the time.

In fact, I was just reading Jean’s post about Jack’s recent dental work and laughing that slightly hysterical “Oh God I’ve been there” laugh that one does when having a there-but-for-the-grace-of-God moment. Because that’s kind of what I expected, this week, was a neverending MAKE IT STOP thrashing from my son. But no. He’s been perfectly fine. The model patient. Particularly if your patient is evidently impervious to pain.

We were thrilled. We were also, it turns out, perfectly positioned for a giant hubris smackdown. And as these things tend to go, I was completely unprepared even though afterward it was CRYSTAL CLEAR exactly what had happened. (more…)

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Day 4: Hey, I have another kid, too!

Monkey’s recovery continues apace. Yesterday was briefly a bit rough—he woke up in pain, pain bad enough for him to recognize—but with enough drugs TLC we were able to smooth things out and have a pretty uneventful day. By bedtime he was looking kind of ragged again, though, and as I gave him his last dose of pain meds I said, “How ya doing, buddy?” and he crawled into bed saying, “Not so good, actually.”

So either I’ve already made him into a full-fledged drug addict who doesn’t deal well with the monkey on his back (ha! a monkey on Monkey’s back!), or it turns out that having a bunch of stuff cut out of your throat/head really hurts. WHO KNEW?

By the way, THANK YOU to everyone who warned me that post-surgical stench-breath was a possibility. I am pretty sure they took out his tonsils and adenoids and replaced them with a mixture of burnt toast and rancid cheese. Lord almighty. And of course all he wants to do is curl up with me and rest, so let’s just say this week I’m learning more about the strength of a mother’s love than I ever thought I would. Monkey’s had a couple of visitors and I’ve struggled with whether to warn them and/or pass out gas masks or just pretend like we haven’t noticed. I had to settle for casting severe looks at the dog and saying, “LICORICE!” in an embarrassed voice, then explaining that I am so sorry, but she seems to have an intestinal disturbance. I think it worked. (more…)

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