Thursday, October 24, 2013

Living the Dream

I really don't mean to complain so stick with me until the end. It gets better.
A couple of weeks ago I got a cold. It would NOT go away and the accompanying cough kept getting worse and I felt miserable. Thanks to a weak swallow and cough, I have had Pneumonia so many times that I know how it feels. I texted my doctor who agreed that, with my history, I needed to come in for a chest x-ray. Sure enough. So I went on medication and within a few days I started feeling better.
Ever since the stroke, it has been impossible for me to sleep deeply. I'm not totally sure of the medical reasons why but I require medication to get the sleep I need at night, and on occasion, even that doesn't cut it. So last Friday I was up until 3 a.m., Saturday it was 7, Sunday it was 7, Monday it was 5 and Tuesday was 2. I talked to my doctor (when he was delivering the still warm brownies his wife had made-bless them both) researched my pills, changed what and when I ate, etc. But, as sometimes happens, I just could NOT find sleep.
Then yesterday Jain got sick. Really sick. She was throwing up ever 15-20 minutes for 9 hours straight. Her eyes and cheeks were sunken and she didn't want stories or T.V. or anything. All I did all day was lay by her, tickle her back and arms, and try to get her to sip Gatorade. Finally, she started feeling better but even today she has dark circles under her eyes and just wants to rest.
By last night I was a mess. I had not put on makeup or worn anything but sweats in daayys. It felt like the last two weeks were a big blur and -gasp-I am totally sick of my bed!!
Right before bed last night, Robert and I felt that because Jain had spent most of the day in our bed, the sheets should be changed. As I was pulling the old sheet off, I lost my grip and tumbled backwards. I would have fallen if I hadn't hit the wall instead. I immediately burst into tears.
Robert stopped what he was doing to come over and hug me. I just cried to him that I felt totally useless. I couldn't even change the sheets. I had not made dinner in too long and if not for him and my mom, the house would fall down around us. I told him that I just didn't know what I would do without him. I love him with all of my heart and he takes such good care of me.
He has told me over and over that it is all worth it just to have me here. He hugged me and told me that again. He also told me that I do more than I realize and that I am a good momma and wife. He's a good liar.
Then tonight Jain was chatting with me and said, "I hated being sick. I threw up more than anybody ever has. But you know what I did like? You took careva (care of) me. You didn't go to work or the store or the kitchen. You stayed by me. Little girls need their mom's when they are sick."
I need to be taught over and over and over. The dishes will still be there, my hair is healthier when I don't blow dry, Spaghettios and apples are a perfectly acceptable dinner, all 3 kids in my bed watching a movie is better than a vacuumed rug, and Robert and I turning off the lights and chatting and laughing for an hour before sleeping is worth having baskets and baskets of clean, unfolded laundry.
I have a great life. I just forget sometimes.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Sorry, Scotty

When I first moved in to the house in South Ogden, next door to skip and his family, I had no need to really address him. he was just the dad of my friends. I was even a little frightened by him and mostly just stayed out of his way.  As I have said before, before the abuse came the "courting" of both my family and me. he started talking to me and actually being nice to me. Very nice. I needed to call him something besides D or T's dad. he was an adult so calling him by his first name seemed odd. Because he was a grown up, very intimidating, and I felt very inferior, I started calling him sir. he seemed to like it so I figured it was acceptable.
I called him sir for the whole time he courted and abused me. I realize now how much he must have relished the term and how very much it tells about my feelings of the trust and influence he had over me.
When I began working at his dental office, I was told by his daughter, T, that we were to call him dr. nielsen. It was not a suggestion or a request. It was a demand.
When I would see him at church, most often on the stand with the Bishop, I was to call him brother nielsen. Strange that he would do whatever he wanted to me the day before but act righteous at church and feign deserving of the title, brother.
It was not that he ever earned my actual respect, he just liked to hear himself referred to in those terms.
Also, he absolutely despised being called mister nielsen. I guess Mr. was too generic?
On a side note, I once referred to him as skip in front of others. he said that my saying that had really turned him on and he liked it. I never said it again.
From that time on, I have had a very difficult time with terms of respect. First, my respect is not given just because of a position or calling. One has to show through both word and action that they should receive it. Second, just saying the words sir, doctor, or brother, gives me to chills. I hate them.
But I know that these terms can and should be used.
My brother is a Lt. Col. in the USAF and he has gone to school and worked very hard for many, many years at prosecuting criminals. He deserves respect. He deserves to be called sir.
The many doctors with whom I work have become experts in what they do and on numerous occasions have used their position and knowledge to better or even save my life. You bet I respect them and calling them Dr. is something they have earned.
A few months ago I took my daughter with me to one of my numerous appointments. This one happened to be with our very good friend, Dr. Scott Stallings. When we walked into the office, busy with patients and medical personnel, my daughter spotted Scott and yelled, "Scotty!" across the whole room. Everyone started to laugh and his face went bright red as he laughed and yelled "Jain!" right back to her.
Although it was a comical moment, I realized that I was passing down my "lack of respect" to my children. They should understand that at times it may be appropriate to show a little respect, at least verbally. I will try to work on that with them.
But as for "Scotty" honestly, can they be expected to respect a person who owns a blue wig and may or may not wear it to BYU games?

Friday, October 4, 2013

Aleq Update

As I wrote before, Aleq had a really rough year in 4th grade. He has had difficult years previously but wonderful, caring help always seemed to be everywhere for him and although he didn't love school, he did well academically and socially.
Last year was different. There were a few different reasons but the result was that he was forever getting in trouble, often felt singled out for punishment, only had average grades and dreaded going to school. I will never forget waking him up for school and even before he was totally awake he said. "I don't want to go to school." I still get teary thinking about that.
Medically he was messed up, too. We tried countless meds and that meant new side effects, switches and shocks to his system, withdrawal symptoms and many nights when his body would just not slow down enough for sleep until the early morning. He had so many sick days that we started receiving letters from the district.
So, working with the school, we set up a system that provided some specialized options for him in a 504 plan.
We never needed it.
This past summer, he started a new med that is much more gentle on him and seemed to just take the edge off for him. He began to be the "real" Aleq that he had been trying to be. He is able to have his real personality and I have thoroughly enjoyed him. He is funny, sweet, is sleeping well and seems happier than he has been in months.  Maybe years. It is absolutely an answer to our prayers.
But he still struggles with the ADHD aspects of it all.
This year, within the first few days, I requested a meeting with his new teacher, Mrs. Wood. She had already seated him right next to her and made a few minor adjustments. She wasn't even aware that he had a 504 plan but she wasn't really concerned. She told me that her son had ADHD. She said that it can be difficult with a teacher who...(she searched for the right word) didn't understand ADHD. It is her opinion that these kids will take over the world one day because they have the energy and the intelligence to do it! She felt that their personalities meshed well and they were already becoming good friends. She and I agreed to keep the lines of communication open and if we ever needed to use the 504 plan, we could look into it later.
Since that time, Aleq has mentioned things like, "She noticed I was getting bored so she had me..."
I ask every day how school went and he is always very positive. He totally adores her! He tells me about the jokes she tells or the fun things she does. I asked him the other day if school had gone well. "Derrr! It was awesome. My teacher"
He has not wanted to miss even a single day so far this term and just today he brought me his report card. 3 is the highest possible. Straight 3's with one 1 in handwriting. I cried.
That's my boy!
We have been blessed.

Since we are nowhere near the subject:
The other night, Tommy asked if Robert thought he would be a good dada when he grew up. Robert told him that he would be a great dada, to which he said, "I'll just follow the steps that you do."
How sweet is that?!