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Archive for February, 2010

I have this friend.  Actually, she’s my boss, but I put her strongly in the friend category.  We immediately hit it off when she was hired.  We’re on the same wavelength.  She gets my dry twisted humor, I get her obscure cultural and literary references (most of them anyway).  We have laughed a lot in the past couple of years.

She came into my life right at the beginning of the “is it autism?” process, so she has been a first hand witness to all the subsequent very low lows and very high highs that are an inevitable part of the whole parenting a kid with autism experience.  She told me later on that she never knew what to expect when I came in to work.

Me:  Was I that bad?

Her:  Yep.

Me:  Yeah, I guess I was.  Thanks for dealing with that.

Her:  No problem.

I still am that bad every now and then.  I don’t really let her see it any more though, if I can help it.  I seem to have reached a point where talking about it with her is counterproductive.  This happened in two parts.

Part 1:

I was sharing some of Hank’s lab test results with her.  I pointed out some really impressive metal pulls on a stool analysis.

Her:  Hmmm.  You are spending a lot of money on these treatments, are you getting results?  Is he getting any better?  **she directs a look of sincere concern with a mix of pity at me**

Me:  …ummm…uhh…*stammer…stutter…mumble something…get the hell out of her office as quickly as I can*

I am raging pissed.  I have shared a lot with her about Hank’s treatment protocol.  She is open-minded about alternative therapies and such, and I shared with her in good faith that I had found a supportive ear.  Doesn’t she know that I have my own doubts?  It’s not like there is an established treatment regimen for autism.  There is no How to Reverse Autism for Dummies do-it-yourself manual that you can pick up at B&N.  I have researched.  I have chosen a path.  I have put my faith in a process.  As well-intentioned as her question may be, HOW DARE SHE compound my doubt?!  HOW DARE SHE question MY decisions about MY child?!  I don’t need a fucking intervention, and how in hell she thought it was an appropriate thing to bring up is beyond my comprehension.

I’m not sure my anger is entirely rational, but it is mine and I OWN it.  I mentally strike a big, black, permanent line (with an asterisked side notation of HELL, NO!) through her name  on the short list of people who I confide in about Hank’s treatment.

(The list pre-edit.)

Part 2:

Hank’s antics have been many and far-reaching of late.  I share some of his most egregious exploits with her.  Some of them are actually quite funny.

Her:  My God!  That would drive me insane…yada, yada…I don’t know how you do it every day…yada, yada…Your situation is so difficult…yada, yada…

Me:  Well, it’s not that bad…

Her:  No, it’s really hard.  I admire you for being able to do it.

Me:  Ok.  Thanks.  *Inwardly, I wonder why I am mentally cataloging the best ways to kill myself.  Do I go for scandalous drama with autoerotic asphyxiation?  Or do I go with the understated but always classy Vicodin overdose?  Jumping off of buildings and bridges is so overdone.  Where’s the originality?  Maybe I should go with something more covert like slowly atrophying my brain into a vegetable state by watching marathons of Rock of Love and I Love New York…

Me:  Hey!  Wait a damn minute. My life does not suck!  Quit acting like it does!

I don’t say that out loud though.  I’m back at my desk staring blankly at my computer by the time I realize exactly why that whole conversation made me feel so icky.  It turns out that there is a fine line between acknowledging the difficulty of someone’s situation and giving them directions to the nearest bridge to jump off of, and she is precariously straddling that line in every conversation I have with her about my dear, sweet son.  I mentally revise the list of subjects that I should just avoid with her.

Next post…Reasons why my life does not suck…

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Happy, happy, joy, joy…

I got to see my favorite band Saturday night…Sister Hazel.  Amazing lyrics.  Awesome music.  Most fun live show.  Nicest group of guys on the planet.  Seriously.

I was moping around Saturday morning because they were in town and I couldn’t see them.  John and I usually go see them together, and we had no babysitter.  John had pity on me and told me to go without him.  It was like he’d handed me a 6-pack of happiness and a funnel and told me to party like it’s Spring Break, 1993.  Woohoo!!

Seriously, these guys and their music make me so darn happy that I just cannot stand to miss a show when they are in the area.  So, I spent the afternoon trying to track someone down to go with me, quickly came to the conclusion that I am pathetic and have no friends, and then I finally found somebody.  Yay!!  My husband is a good, good, good, good man.

Sister Hazel concerts are really fantastic.  Everyone there is singing every word to the songs, and there is just a great camraderie between the audience and the guys on stage.  This was especially useful Saturday night because Ken Block the lead singer was not there.  Drew Copeland, the awesome back-up guy and occasional lead, had to fill in.  It was funny because he screwed up the lyrics numerous times and the audience backed him up every time.  It was casual and funny, and I had a great time.

I want to mention why Ken was called away because I would like y’all to put his family in your prayers.  He had to rush back home that day because his daughter was bitten in the face by a dog.  She required 5+ hours of surgery that day.  Hopefully, her prognosis is good.

So, as I was having a great time at a concert, he was dealing with tragedy in his family.  Prayers for the Block family.

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…at your worst, at your best, at your strongest, at your weakest.  In all your real-ness, without the everything’s-ok-really-it-is!! mask super-glued to your face.

This weekend kind of sucked.  I wasn’t feeling so great, tired and victimized by a bit of a stomach bug.  John threw his back out just in time for his birthday.  His parents took us out to eat, and I ended up having to take Hank out of the restaurant because he was throwing food and generally acting up.  Then, he was up half the night with apparent ear pain.  We had already been to the doctor earlier in the week, and Hank had been diagnosed with a double ear infection and croup.

So, fearing a relapse of the ear infection and not wanting to wait another day to go to his regular doctor, I decided to take Hank to the urgent care facility to get his ears checked out.  I gave John leave to stay home with Dagney and his aching back, but I didn’t want to go alone.  Hank can sniff out a doctor’s office a mile away, and I was feeling fragile.  I called my sister in for the assist.

I knew how this whole thing would go down.  I had that whole emotional-house-of-cards feeling.  I knew that I would end up crying and looking pathetic.  On the way to pick up my sister, I wondered for a moment if I really needed a witness to my breakdown.  Without hesitation, I answered myself with a resounding “YES!”  On that day, I needed a helping hand, an arm for support.

So, my sister saw me that day.  In all my teary, coping and not quite coping, a little bit crazy and yet painfully practical glory.  I let it all hang out because I was tired and incapable of holding back.   It was a relief just to let her see my struggle, the thing that I deal with every day, because she is one of those people…one of MY people.  Someone that I can bear all my flaws and fears to and receive only love, support and humor in return.  No judgment…no pity…only the good stuff.  I’m not sure why I held back as long as I did because I never expected anything less from her.  It felt good to be seen.

My sister.  She is awesome.  I love her.

And, to all of my other awesome people out there.  Here is a song that makes me think of you.

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Wow, already I am going weeks without posting on my brand new baby blog.  Really, it’s shameful.  I blame sickness and general malaise.  I’m better now, but I don’t have time to post much of anything at the moment.  So, I’ll just play picture catch-up!

These are from Dagney’s dance recital in early December…

Isn’t she the prettiest thing?  Yes…yes, she is.  Thank you.

Ignore that hole in her tights.  Apparently, she got in a fight with another little girl backstage.  She won, of course.  (I kid.)

Watch out.  I can feel you falling for her charms.  You must resist!

Wow.  Look at those dimples.  You could store dry goods in there!

Here’s a few more from another time…

AAAAaaahhhhhhh!!!!…Wow, it is scary how much she looks like me in this picture.  Don’t worry, folks, it’s just a big, squishy purple ball.

Yeah, this is just wrong, I know.  It was her idea.  I blame her.

More pictures later…

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