Monday, January 23, 2012

The Year of the Dragon

Gung Hay Fat Choy!!
Xin Nian Kai Le!!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coming to Terms With It

Diagnosed in 2004 with diabetes, David has fought this disease every step of the way.  Being honest about it, he is not great with his diet, but I'm on his case all the time. 

Something I never blogged about was December of 2010.  I don't know why.  It was awful, but it should definitely be marked down as a landmark time in our lives.  So much changed. 

December 2, 2010 David had his first surgery - a trial for a spinal cord stimulator in his back.  We needed to do something about the escalating pain from the diabetic neuropathy.  After some tweaking, he decided it was a go. 

December 22, 2010 David went in for a simple outpatient surgery to have a permanent spinal cord stimulator implanted.  He ended up in ICU, & they couldn't get him extubated until the afternoon of the 24th.  What I had found out was that they were keeping him hyped up on meds & trying to extubate him without me there.  When I finally got there, I made them let me handle David.  It took quite a while, but by the mid-afternoon, when they tried again, they were finally successful. 

The pain levels were astounding.  Why?  Well, no one paid attention to me when I said his dosages weren't being administered properly.  It took a lot of threats to get them to contact the doctor managing his pain throughout this event.  Let me tell you, the doctor was not happy at all.  He had left orders that he was to be contacted if there was a problem.    Needless to say, his pain meds dosages were finally adjusted.  When the surgeon came in, I asked about bringing David home.  I was up front about our experience in the hospital & that David would recover faster at home.  Thankfully, the surgeon agreed & David finally came home.  Oh! And, the surgeon will never go to that hospital again.  He has privileges there, but hasn't gone there in years.  He did it as a favor to us since it was convenient for us.

Erin had been staying with Jolene & her family throughout this week.  A few hours after I got David settled, Jolene brought Erin back home & left us with a care package since she knew we weren't going to be thinking of food.  She did this for us on her holiday - Christmas Day.  Let's just say that in David's eyes, Jolene is a hero.

He went back to work on February 1, 2011.  Within the hour, he was let go from his job.  His boss decided that rather than accomodate David & his needs, they no longer had a job for him.  And the fight was on.  We won! July 2011 David was reinstated as a disabled retired employee.  We also won disability from S*cial Secur!ty.

In the end, it was for the best.

David can't work anymore.  His pain meds keep him up till all hours of the night, & then he crashes from the exhaustion.  He has no ability to concentrate. 

In the last year, I have encouraged David to continue with his hobbies - astronomy, model building, saltwater fish tanks.  We've made changes to how he deals with his hobbies & the limitations his neuropathy has put in his path.  I insist he keep up with all of it to the best of his ability.  He's really doing well with it.  It takes longer to build a model.  I bought him a motorized cart for his telescope so he can move it easier.  Things like that.

Today we came to terms with the fact that he can't keep up with our fish tank.  It's a saltwater tank & beautiful.  He just can't do the water changes & other maintenance.  I've been waiting for him to make the decision & voice it.  He was waiting for me to voice my decision.  Now we have to find out how to sell everything.  And if there is anyone who even wants to buy it all.

And we're coming to terms with it all.

Unhappily but realistically.

Monday, January 09, 2012

Bribery? You Bet Your sweet Bippy!

It is official. 
We have joined you. 
The many.  The desperate. 
Yup.  We gave in.


Ah! Now that is a good question.

We did it because we felt we had no choice.

Oh! You want to know what we did!?  That's easy.

We have decided to bribe Erin.  She HATES to read.  (And if you know me, you know that we don't encourage the use of the word "hate.")  At her age, she should be reading with good comprehension & fluidity (Is that even a word?).  Erin will do anything to avoid reading.  She has really improved since last year, but it is still a major struggle to get her to read. 

After emailing with her teacher today, I found out that Erin didn't do as well as we had hoped on some of her standardized testing.  Mrs. W wants Erin to read everyday.  For fun.  Ha! That is just so darn funny!  Mrs. W knows Erin really well so I'm sure she felt she had to put that in writing even knowing that Erin hates reading.

Consequences?  They mean nothing to her because she refuses to read.  David, my oh so wise, guy came up with a plan.  Instead of taking away privileges, we are now going to bribe Erin.  With her allowance.

We started giving Erin an allowance each week.  It wasn't tied to anything - no chores, nothing.  Now we're bribing her.  She gets $1 a day.  As long as she reads for at least a half hour.  Smart kid asked what she would get if she read for a longer period of time.  I told her she would get the satisfaction of knowing she'd found a book that she enjoyed.  (Yes.  She rolled her eyes.  And, no, I didn't get upset.)

And what happens when she doesn't read? 

No allowance.

That simple. 

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Made In China

Tonight Erin was building the model she received for Chanukah from David & me.  Out of the blue she made the comment "Why is everything made in China?"  in a very negative tone.

I explained that many things are made in China because the cost of labor is cheaper.  I told her that people want to buy things made in America because that way we can keep people employed here.  Not everything made in China is poor quality.  Not everything made in the U.S. is good quality.

This topic came up before but she wasn't ready for the conversation - even at the most basic level.  This time I felt that she deserved an answer.

Why did "made in China" come up?  Because all around us, people don't think about what they're saying..  They don't realize the effect their words will have on those around them.

This is the perception Erin has of things that are made in China.

By the way, Erin was made in China.  So was her godsister.  So were many of her friends. 

The next time you are thinking of making a negative comment about things made in China?  Don't.