Saturday, July 31, 2010

OMG.... YAY! *Happy Dance*

Not only did I win my appeal... but I just received my back payment!

Whoever said money can't buy happiness was full of shit..... and they obviously had never gone without it. It sure as hell can buy temporary relief, which brings happiness...


Thursday, July 29, 2010

Burp and his Ladies!

Diva, Peaches, & Burp

My Little Eden.....

I was so excited today as I did my morning tour of my garden...
I have finally gotten two lovely Morning Glorys from seed. YAY! If those that the only two flowers I get, I'm happy.
I am a little sad. One of my roses isn't doing so well... but the other is gorgeous... When you walk outside, you can instantly smell it mixed with the sweet peas. Once again, YAY! It makes me so happy!
Here's my sweet peas... they're now growing over the top of the fence... Fantastic!
Here's a few other shots from around my little strip of paradise.
Pretty, pretty, pretty! Though I haven't had many butterflies... I do have lots of dragonflies, a cutie-patootie tree frog, and my mother's mortal enemy... a big fat garden snake. (Mom, I squeal when he surprises me too!)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ash's Post Surgical Xray

She put this up on her FaceBook... Damn, I wish I had a presurgical Xray!!!

More Updates....

So I had my appeal hearing yesterday for my unemployment. The judge seemed really nice. I was a little irritated because the adjudicator didn't provide the letters from the specialists that came in after she prematurely denied me, but the judge said he thought it was ok- he figured we could cover it with testimony. He asked "Ms Best" if she had a copy of the letter I wrote with my appeal application. When she said she did not, he said "Well, I think this letter is important, as it provides some background to her case, so Ms W, if it's ok with you, I'd like to just read it into the record." Sure! I said. When he was done, he said, "Now Ms Best, after hearing this and the clearly stated issues her son has, do you still feel you were right in denying her?" Ms Best sputtered a bit, the said, "I'm not trying to be heartless, I understand her situation, but based on my requirements.... I think that yes, I was and would be still required to deny her."
Then the hearing began. It was so weird to know that I'd have the right to cross examine her.... which I didn't... She said that she denied me because there were certain times that I couldn't work because of my son's "extra curricular" activities.
When it was my turn, I clarified. I had explained to Ms Best that with my son's "conditions" he would not be able to handle me working a fulltime evening shift position. During the school year, he would never see me. Emotionally and mentally- this would only hurt his progress. I had told her that I could work nights, and days, and some evenings... but not all. She asked me, "When can't you work, specifically." So I picked the days that he has scheduled activities as days I couldn't work.
Then the judge asked me more questions.. Periodically, through my testimony, he'd stop and say, "Ms Best, hearing this... does this change your opinion on this matter?"
At one point he asked Ms Best about the "hours normal to my position", and she stated that it's a 24/7 job. Again he asked, "Ms Best, knowing that her son has medical conditions, and that it's a 24/7 job, does this not change your opinion?"
She always maintained that "No, it didn't", That she believed she decided appropriately based on her guidelines. Which I get.. but the judge isn't bound by those guidelines exactly. So I am hopeful. I interpreted that he thought she should change her mind. I think she felt he thought that too!
He said he'd make his decision in a few days... and we both have the right to appeal his decision... so who knows from here... but I am hopeful. I might be able to afford his birthday and school clothes, after all.

On another note... Burp received his scholarship for swim... so YAY there. He'll be starting PreTeam in September. I'm a bit excited for it. I may have gotten him a second scholarship through Direction Service* that will pay the entirety of his next two sessions of swim lessons. Unfortunately, they only offer summertime activity funding. But that's still great... I can save the other scholarship for the school year! Who knows, maybe I'm growing a future Olympian! hehehehe

* Remember to sign up to vote for DS in the Pepsi Refresh Everything Progressive Slate contest so they can keep doing the awesome things that they do for families like mine!

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Help Make a Difference...

When we were going through the hassle of getting Burp's analysis for Autism Spectrum Disorder, I learned of a local non-profit organization called Direction Service. Their mission statement is "Helping People with Special Needs Live the Fullest Lives Possible."

What they did for me was give my son his own advocate. She essentially works for him, to make sure that he gets what he needs. She was able to tell me what to expect during each step of the evaluation process, and is now part of my son's IEP team. She knows what questions I need to ask, and she will demand that I get the answers I need. She will arrange to go to any meetings I might need her to go to, just so we have someone "on our side" who understands the language and processes. Her primary job for us is to help make sure that the school does what it needs to in order for him to get the most he can out of his education. They even called at the beginning of the summer to offer a scholarship for Burp if there were any summer activities he was interested in that I couldn't afford. Everything they offer to us is absolutely free. Most of their funding comes from the United Way.

I received a call the other day asking for assistance with a grant contest they are participating in for the month of August. This is The Progressive Slate contest in which 10 organizations are competing for 11 grants that could total up to $500,000 through the  Pepsi Refresh Everything contest. The way the winners are selected is simply through votes.
You sign up. In the "Who told you about it" box, put DS. They will send you an email once a day from Aug 1st to the 31st reminding you to vote. You can vote once a day. The form promises that your email won't be used for anything but this grant contest in August.
Please sign up! This organization has done so much to help me and other families like mine. I went through 3 years of hell before I found them and there would be no way I could afford the services they offer if they weren't non-profit. My first call to them, I just started bawling with relief and they told me I wasn't alone anymore... and it's so true!

Help us out. Sign up, encourage others to sign up. Vote once a day. Really, really... you're helping to change someone's life.....

Pass it on, PLEASE!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Krazy Kids....

Burp and Diva have been playing "house" for a week now. So far they have 5 children... 3 bears, 1 monkey, and a baby doll.
We've been joking for months about how they fight like an old married couple. They'll rage and scream at each other, then stomp off to their separate rooms and cry over it.
The other day, they had a big blow up. They were at Diva's house and got into an argument over the "family dog", one of Diva's stuffed animals. It ended with Burp screaming, "I'm leaving, and you'll never see Junior again!" As he made for the door, Diva screamed, "Fine! Leave! I HATE YOU!" as she threw toys at him.

Burp came home enraged, yelling at me about the fight. Diva's mom texted me, in hysterics after having witnessed the whole thing.
"Psam, I think divorce court is next."
"Do we have to jump to divorce?" I asked. "Can't we try marriage counseling?"
We snickered back and forth for quite awhile.
Two hours later, they were one big happy family again. Kids!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

TT: Odds & Ends..... addition

I promised to add the pic of Ash's broken leg when I got it...
I think the toes are supposed to be pointing up!

Talk Thursday: So I Have To Ask....?

So I have to ask...... Why do the people I know prefer to call me for medical advice, instead of their doctor? For the most part, I don't mind.... The investigation part is interesting for me, but I'm not a doctor, or a nurse... I'm a freaking secretary. Albeit an ER Unit Secretary, but my medical training is INCREDIBLY limited.

It started several years ago when a roommate had some lab work done and came to me concerned because her glucose came back fairly elevated. I asked to see her previous levels, and then asked her if anything had changed between the normal one and the elevated one. The doc had changed some of her meds in that time. I did a little investigation and found that one of her meds was contraindicated for diabetics.... The easy answer for me would be because it must mess with your sugars.... ta dah!

Yesterday, I got two calls. Call one came from my friend who broke her leg and just got out of the hospital. She hasn't pooped in a week and wanted to take a laxative, but the box says that if you're pregnant, call your health care professional.. My advice: Call your pharmacist.

The second one came at 2300, from a friend that just had lab work done and her Vitamin D came back low..... Why would that be? What causes that? Hmmm, I know she's outside a lot... No, she doesn't drink milk... But I also know that Vit D isn't a standard chemistry screen, so why did her doctor test it? I asked what meds she's one so I can investigate those.... Albuterol and a thyroid drug.. Hmmmmm, Vit D isn't really a vitamin, it's a hormone... FIve minutes later, I confirm... It's either due to the med or her thyroid hormone. I tell her to take the supplement her doc prescribed and send her a list for a Vit D rich diet. (It's always easier for your body to utilize what it gleans from food sources rather than supplements).

Last week, a friend without medical insurance calls me.. She's pretty sure she has pitted keratolysis, but can't afford to go to the doctor if she doesn't HAVE too. I get this. I did some investigation.. If she is right, it's caused by bacteria when the feet get hot and sweaty. She's a waitress.. duh. So, home remedies... I explain to her that if she went to the doctor they might give her a topical or oral erythromycin. Bacteria is pretty sensitive to pH, so I suggest she do vinegar baths and alternate with tea baths (tannin will dry out the affected area) and get some tea tree oil and use that topically. Also, change your socks, cotton, several times a day and alternate shoes, don't ever wear the same pair two days in a row. Go barefoot as much as possible. Unfortunately, there's no way to tell if my suggested treatment would really work, because she keeps forgetting and will probably go to the doctor anyway.

My favorite call ever... About 3 weeks ago, I was at Ash's house (yes, the broken-legged laxative friend) and an exboyfriend started blowing up my phone. I ignored the first 6 calls, 6 calls in 20 minutes, then finally answered a bit annoyed. "What? Is someone dying? What's your freaking emergency?"
He responds in a frantic voice, "It IS an emergency!"
Me: Ok.... what's going on?
Idiot: Well, I don't know what to do... It's embarrassing and I don't want to go to a doctor...
Me (Rolls eyes) : Ok... What's going on?
Idiot: Well, I've been going to the pool a lot. And swimming.
Me (No shit? Is that what those are for?) To him: uh huh?
Idiot: And I had my lady friend shave my body.... my whole body.

(Did I mention we've been broken up for two years? All I can think is, poor lady friend!)

Me: Ok?
Idiot: And this is really embarrassing.... I have an ingrown hair, I think, on my asshole.
Me: ..............................................*choke back laugh*........ ok..?
Idiot: And I don't want to go have some doctor guy look at my asshole. My lady friend looked... I don't know what to do.. It hurts... Should I pop it? I called my mom and she said to sit in a warm salt bath. I called my cousin, and he said stab it with a needle... I called my other cousin and she said to have my lady friend squeeze it... My aunt said to leave it alone and go to the ER... What do I do?

Me: ............................................ Um, How long have you had it?
Idiot:  30 minutes!
Me (In my head: and you called me 7 times and half of your family?) To him (Still trying desperately to not laugh) : Well, Epsom Salt  bath would be good...  If it is an ingrown hair, or something of that type, that will help it come to a head... (but..I'm thinking probably a rrhoid) Yeah, ummm, I wouldn't squeeze it or STAB it... There's a fairly significant blood vessel that runs around your anus..... don't go stabbing at it. Really, there are several possibilities of what it could be.... But I don't want to look at it... Really, I'm not going to look at it... Ummm, if it gets significantly worse, or doesn't seem to get better in the next 4 or 5 days... You're going to have to have a professional look at your ass.. Sorry.

At this point, Idiot starts ranting and raving to the point that everyone in the room is staring at me with shit eating grins on their face and now the kids are interested too!

Me: Don't yell at me, dumbass, I'm not a damned doctor, most certainly not an ass doctor. You want a better opinion, go show someone your ass! Otherwise, chill out. You aren't bleeding. You're not going to die... at this point. (DAMN!) Wait and see how it goes.. it's been 30-fucking-minutes! Ohhh.. and quit shaving your asshole!

And I hung up!

Everyone knows you're supposed to wax it! Sheesh!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Talk Thursday: Odds and Ends

OMG! I can soooo do this one too!

This is the first day that I've actually had a whole 22 hours between scheduled events... albeit, half of that was spent sleeping.

This was Cub Scout Day Camp week, and Ohhhhhh what a week it was! This year I got to run the Tot Lot- lemme tell ya, it was so much fun!"TOO MUCH FUN IS NEVER ENOUGH!" I loved my Tots. I got all the younger siblings of the Scouts whose parents came to volunteer. At first I was like "OMG, how am I going to keep all these kids occupied??" Then I got the bright idea to get some river rocks, and spend a day making pet rocks.. It was such a hit, we did it all week! I couldn't tell you how many pounds of rock we lugged to camp, but the kids loved it and had tons of fun!!"TOO MUCH FUN IS NEVER ENOUGH!" I gave away most of my good ones.. but here's the paper mache one I made.
We had fun. "TOO MUCH FUN IS NEVER ENOUGH!"This year the Springfield Police Department, Oregon State Police, and the US Forest Service we such a wonderful presence at Camp.

One day one of the K9 Units came out and did a demo at lunch and the next day the SWAT team came out..(Ok, this pic wasn't taken at camp.. this was at the K9 Competition a few weeks ago, and this isn't even the Unit that came to camp- but I didn't get a pic of it) And the last day, Smokey Bear visited.

We spent most of the week painting rocks and going to the playground. On occasion the kids did just play in the Tot Lot! I got lots of compliments that this was this years Tot Lot was the best ever! The kids seemed to have fun and wanted to come back each day. "TOO MUCH FUN IS NEVER ENOUGH!!"
The Big Kids had fun too!"TOO MUCH FUN IS NEVER ENOUGH!!" Burp is tanned and covered with mosquito bites. I have a groovy bite on my forehead. This years camp theme was CSI: Cub Scout Investigators.  They learned how to pour molds of foot prints, learned to make and care for campfires and how to cook on them, the standard sports they do every year, and of course... bbgun and archery.
One of the most favorite things of camp any year, is the obstacle course. On the last day, a good friend of mine decided to give it a go, as her son had been begging her for years. Ash fell from the zip-line and broke her tib/fib in glorious fashion. I'm trying to get her husband to send me the pic of it... I might have to add it later. The ambulance came and the took her to the ER and the next morning she had a plate, a rod, and a bone graft put in. She's to be off her feet for the next 6 to 8 weeks. I feel really bad for her. She's 10 weeks pregnant and everyone is giving her shit about "Your pregnant! What were you thinking?" Well, she didn't fall cuz she's pregnant... she probably fell because it was hot and sweaty out. And the baby is fine... and the OB-GYN wasn't concerned at all. I'll probably be at her house helping out quite a bit for the next few weeks... Not only does she have 2 kids, but she has 2 live-in residents that she cares for- a 50 year old Down's lady with Addison's and a 36 year old mentally retarded lady.
There was a bit more drama than usual at camp this year, but it mostly involved adults who apparently hadn't gone through the Scouting program as youths because their behavior was deplorable. Luckily, the boys were pretty oblivious to it all and still had a lot of fun.

My 22 hours is up... time to go to a birthday party.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Talk Thursday: Respect in the Morning.....

It figures, huh? I haven't done a Talk Thursday in quite awhile.. and this is the one that strikes a chord..... LOL.

When I was younger, there were a few birthdays that my mom got my annual numerology reading or a few times that we went to psychic fairs and had our cards read.... Somewhere, at some point... I was told that my life lessons this time around was to "learn to temper drugs, alcohol, and sex..." Looking back, I have to wonder (just a tiny bit) if that was mom's way of slipping in the message... Did you slip someone a $20 to give me that message? hehehe

I've done pretty good with the drugs and alcohol.... I tried pot... that was all I was brave enough to have a go at, and OMG it makes me horribly ill. Alcohol, I had enough examples of who I didn't want to turn out like, and a strong mother who never hid the ugly truths, so drinking was never much of an issue. Sex...... Well, who hasn't made bad choices, right?

I think I've finally figured out the sex thing... When your younger, despite all the sage advice a young girl is given, sex is still the bloody weapon that hangs over your head to threaten your happiness. "He wouldn't want to if he didn't like me," or "He won't like me if I don't." As an adult, I've finally come into my own. I don't need a man in my life to make me whole. Yes, it would be nice... but it isn't required. I've learned to listen to what the man says, not try to interpret what he does.... cuz men aren't that smart. If they say they don't want a relationship but still want to have sex. It's just sex.. No hidden agenda. They don't play games like girls do... "Ya get what ya get."

Most important.... In the end, it doesn't matter if HE respects you in the morning... What matters is, will YOU respect YOURSELF in the morning? Men come and go, but you have to live with yourself forever. If you can, that's all that matters.

For the last month, I've been turning down sex on a regular basis.. and to be honest... part of me is like "PSAM!!! what are you doing??" But the sane, logical part knows that I wouldn't be able to respect myself... Too many personal rules would be broken. We've been friends for several years. We've screwed around before, just never closed the deal. But... I have someone else that I see on occasion... We're not "in a relationship", but you shouldn't take your car to multiple mechanics.... right? And.. this friend, he has a live in girlfriend.. who I've met, who is sweet and nice- and that would just be wrong. He's tried to tell me it would just be once.. to get it out of the way.. but if you break the rules once... it makes it easier to break the rules a second, third, or who knows how many times. Monogamy isn't just for marriage, it keeps the vagina healthy and happy! and well, your vagina is your best friend.

So my other "friend" that I've mentioned... we collaborate on occasion. No relationship, we've both agreed that isn't what we're looking for in one another... His sister is a good friend of mine, we spend a lot of time together as we're neighbors and our kids are close friends... Yesterday, he got drunk and tried  to tell me that if I continued to be friends with his sister, then he and I couldn't be friends anymore.... Ohhh no you didn't! We had just had this conversation the day before... That I will not be controlled or have my actions dictated to me. I don't know what the hell he was trying to prove... But that shit don't fly with me. I politely responded, "I'm sorry you feel that way, but that's your choice."  Apparently, he sobered up pretty quick, cuz he was like "Ohhh honey, baby, I'm sorry..."

My mama taught me that boys only call you "baby" to manipulate you. Not exactly her words, and I've broadened the lesson a bit.. but same diff.

Anyways... I think I've learned my lessons. I've got this!

Thank you mom!