Dec. 30th, 2011 10:40 am
etumukutenyak: (Setting sun behind church)
It's been way too long since I posted here on DW (almost typed DQ, but I've just had breakfast). I shall have to import all the posts I made since That Day, nearly two years ago.
etumukutenyak: (Default)
Ah, times flies like a banana.

Anyway! We last saw our Intrepid Heroine dealing with the site visit and a hospitalized Sonny. The site visit went well, no major errors and a visit team that seemed to think we are doing a good job.

The Sonny was an inpatient for 10 days, then released to the Ex -- he chose to stay with her this summer, after she suggested that he stay with one person instead of switching every week -- and started outpatient care on a daily basis at that hospital. After two days of outpatient therapy, he indicated that the voices hadn't left completely, despite the decreased dose of Concerta, and they readmitted him. They changed his medications -- dropped the Concerta and his antidepressant, and added a drug that covers both needs -- and his improvement was rapid. He was released yesterday; he's been goofy and free of voices ever since the med change. His ADHD is less tightly controlled, but that's not an issue during the summertime.

His summer school plans have been cancelled; he'll retake Geometry this fall -- at least he isn't falling behind, because he'd actually been taking Geometry earlier than "usual" after doing Algebra in the 8th grade. He has to retake his tech course, but he will take a different one, and he ended up passing English after all. All he has now are the summer reading book reports, and possibly some math review.

Eventually, we'll have some therapy sessions all together. It will be interesting. I forgot to post about Ex finding out that I'm dating, at the family meeting for his first release from the hospital; it was special. The Sonny exited the room to think about picking one of us for the summer; the therapist turned to us and said something about how the separation was still an issue for him, and especially since we seemed to be "moving on", and she jumped in with "Some of us more so than others!" and whipped her head around to glare at me.

Reader, I lol'd. Seriously! Not at her, but later on, when I could relax a bit. Who would have thought that after dumping me, refusing therapy, blaming me for our shortcomings, and letting more than a year go by, that she would mind me dating? I certainly wasn't going to get her permission to do so. It still makes me laugh.

It made the FG laugh too.

The FG and I are having lots of fun watching movies like "Rocky Horror Motion Picture Show" (1975! Holy cow!) and "Big Trouble in Little China" (1986), hanging out with her friends for the Fourth, and other fine activities.

In other news, there was a kitten who appeared at my feet on one of the nights Sonny did not come home (the one where he was "passed out"); this kitten was brought indoors for some kitten milk and I attempted to find his owners. After three weeks, I went ahead and neutered him. He's still primarily in the guest room, although this morning I woke to find him running around after Cleo and Brady, neither of whom really appreciated having a strange kitten chasing them. The Sonny named him Rico, and eventually he'll fit in with the gang. The dogs have already become less frightening to him, and they meet noses nicely.
etumukutenyak: (Default)
One of Sonny's "friends", E, had lied to us the first time he went missing for more than 9 hours. When he was "late" getting home this past Wednesday, I called and texted E and told him that no one would believe him this time, because he'd lied, and that the only way to redeem himself was to help find Sonny. At that point, Sonny arrived home, and I dropped contact with E.

So this morning, after Sonny appeared at the school and we'd congregated around him, he admitted to "passing out" and said he'd been with friends all afternoon, including E. Well, that was my opportunity; while we were at the pediatrician, I texted E that "Sonny says he was with you when he passed out". E texted back while we were at the lab, waiting for phlebotomy etc.; he said he hadn't, but he "knew what had really happened". I wrote back that he should immediately talk to Mr. K, the school administrator for their grade, and then emailed Mr. K along with the security guards.

In about 45 minutes, Mr. K emailed: E admitted that Sonny had been drinking to the point of passing out. He told us that it had occurred at the house of a former student (as in "graduated last year and is over 18") near the school. We have the name of that girl and will involve the police in that as soon as possible.

As soon as we finished at the lab, it was time to drive to the (previously-scheduled) appointment with Dr. A, at which I quickly updated her on our new information. She decided we all would confront him with this, so we brought everyone in -- Ex had been part of this all day. Dr. A asked him what had happened, and whether drugs or alcohol had been used. Oh, no, none of that stuff. I hit him with the information that his friends had finally dropped a dime on him, squealed, grassed, informed, you name it. He looked stunned, but finally admitted to having a tiny bit of alcohol in his Coke. He didn't know what kind it was.

The sad thing is, his birth mother is not only a drug addict, but also abuses alcohol, just like her parents. In fact, her dad, his grandfather, died of chronic alcoholism -- a very hard and nasty way to die. He's a high-risk patient.

We then discussed our options while he sat in the waiting room with my iPod (the bribe to keep him sitting), and have a plan being put into action. Dr. A also increased his medications, now that she had not one but two sets of vitals taken at the appropriate times.

He'll be put into a substance abuse intervention program, as an outpatient for now. There's one at the hospital right across the street from my campus, very convenient. They have programs for kids ages 15-17, which is really sad news that there's enough kids to drive that kind of demand. Anyway, Dr. A also said he must have adult supervision all the time -- no excuses.

This means one of us -- mainly me -- will be picking him up from the main office at the end of every school day.

It also means that I'm emptying my house of alcohol. I don't have much -- wine, port, slivovitz, some old bottles from my grandparents -- but it's all leaving tonight. He's with the Ex, and they're going camping with the church group tomorrow. They would have left today, but Things Happened. He's her responsibility all next week, and she's also taking him somewhere next weekend. I'll need the break...this was one of the most draining weeks of my life.

Poor kid. He's got a rough road ahead for some time.
etumukutenyak: (Default)
Let's see, where to start?

Friday evening, end of Week Without Son, I finished up taking care of the animals and zoomed off to see the FG. My virus was in full retreat and we, er, celebrated.

Saturday, we eventually made it back to my house, walked the dogs, took our shower, and headed over to my friends' house (K and J) for movie and dinner along with the chance to meet the birds. The birds met and conquered the FG. We now have a picture of us sitting together on the couch and a bird on my head. We are both smiling a lot.

We all watched Inception, a very interesting movie. It kept causing FG to shriek and clutch my knee, which I do not complain about at all. No. Eventually the evening drew to a close, and we headed back to my house to check on the animals one more time. Just as well, because while everyone was running around, I realized that one cat was Not Well at all -- she couldn't lift her head (ventroflexion) and was incoordinated in her walking (ataxia). She was also alarmingly thin and not nearly as substantial as she had been earlier. I'd noticed a weight loss in the past few days, but this seemed accelerated. The ventroflexion and ataxia, however, were brand new signs and worrisome ones at that. I scooped her and we took her to the emergency hospital. Throughout the ride and wait, FG was fabulous. Initial blood tests showed dehydration and hypokalemia, so they kept her along with $1500 of my money as a deposit, and FG took me back to her place.

Sunday AM, while we were waking up, my blackberry rang: one of my techs called to inform me of an emergency. Since I was not on call, I was able to pass this along to the on call vet, and go back to my breakfast. I also got an update on Kedgie, and she was improving already.

I went home to prepare for the Sonny, who arrived after 5 pm. The FG showed later, so we all dined on Chinese food and watched some of the BBC show Merlin, which Sonny discovered at my folks' house on Netflix. After he went to bed, we watched "Everything is Illuminated", which was a fantastic movie. I will have to buy it.

Then I snuck out to follow her back to her place for one more night..

Monday I took him to his church youth group for the MLK Service Day project, and was supposed to pick him up around 6 pm; he called around 4 to say he had a ride home as they were done. The timing was perfect, as he got home and had a snack before the hospital called to update me on Kedgie and confirmed that I could take her home. I dragged Sonny along -- making sure he took his geometry textbook for studying -- and we got our Kedge-Wedge back home. She's still very thin, but not so weak and not ataxic. She's fairly mellow right now, but was hungry this morning and ate well of the wet food. She has a heart murmur, which may or may not be related to the anemia and dehydration, or may be secondary to hyperthyroidism. We're still waiting on labs (U/A and T3), and will need to recheck her on everything in the next few weeks. The cardio workup will need a recheck in 6 months.

Overnight the rain and ice combined to create a hazardous slick of ice all over everything, so the schools closed -- Sonny's geometry test will be held on Friday instead. Now he's studying history and allegedly cleaning his room. I managed to drive to work, but FG was smart and arranged to work at home today instead of going to her office. The Ex also gets to work from home, but somehow that just never gets offered as an option for me.

The FG gave Kedgie permission to sleep next to me. At first, the Kedgie Princess was not having too much of me, but by morning she'd decided she wanted under the covers. The kittens did not dare bother the Kedgie Princess, but Brady was having hissy fits until I finally (1) rubbed my hands on his face, then on her and (2) smacked his butt for hollering at her, which surprised him and distracted him.


Sep. 10th, 2010 01:04 pm
etumukutenyak: (Default)
We had a second counseling session, in which she reiterated how awful it was to have to apologize for my bad behavior, my abrasive personality, which was why all her friends no longer came to see her...

Which is a load of crap, as you well know. Her friends from work are friendly to me; her older friends have moved from the area following grad school and she never wanted to invite anyone to the house because it was "a mess". Which, of course, was my fault.

She is cherry-picking the incidents that demonstrate my abrasive behavior, going back more than 5 years, so I know what this is: she got angry and then found things to justify her anger. Too bad for her that I don't buy it. I'm going to keep working on the underlying issues until we get somewhere, but I'm not letting her blame me for her unhappiness.

We also met this morning on the mediation, and our mediator had us begin the final steps: the "buy-out", or -- as I like to think of it -- how much do I have to pay her to GTFO? She wants more, I want less. There's room for maneuvering, but I have a slight advantage in two ways: I know how to negotiate (and I have more experience in this), plus I have the guilt factor working for me. I offered a low number, quite deliberately ($25,000), and her initial suggestion was double that.

On other news:

Last night I spent a few hours installing and checking car seats. I really must do this more often, as it gets easier with experience. It was a pleasure; everyone is always happy to be there and thankful for our volunteered time. Just before that, I'd stopped by the fire department admin building to get my fingers printed in the final steps for CERT membership. It's taken a while to get here, as I'd been playing phone tag with the CERT officer in charge of membership and then didn't immediately get around to signing up for the fingers. It's all on computer now, so no ink to wash off. I was the last appointment of the day, arrived about 15-20 minutes early (I'd budgeted enough travel time for traffic and did better than initially expected), which made the technician very happy. We had a lovely chat about things while she was printing my fingers, and then I drove around the very long way to get to the car seat check.

Last week, I took in a mom cat and her ten kittens; I'm fostering them until they are old enough to get into homes. We'd discussed trying to do this in conjunction with the local county shelter, but they are rules-bound and bureaucratic, so we gave up on that and went with Plan A. The woman who caught the cat is a semi-professional animal rescue person, just didn't have space to keep these guys right now, so I've got them in the former guest bedroom/swing space. Momma is skittish and hides; the kittens are all growing although two are much larger and three or four are much smaller, with four right in the middle of the size range. There's one all orange tabby, two little brown tiger tabbies, three all-black, two with black and white, and two black with orange and white. All are adorable. (!!) Momma is a calico DSH, by the by.

School has been successfully going for two weeks now; Sonny is driven to school by the parental unit with whom he stays that week and takes the bus home -- which is to say, my house. He arrives around 2:30, reports to the responsible parental, lets the dogs out or walks them, has a snack, does his homework, reports on the conclusion of homework and if acceptable, is allowed to watch tv. Not a bad gig for a 9th grader. We shall see how well he does; if this keeps up, his grades could even become excellent. One can only hope.

I've been making sure I reach out to friends to do things - met up with some friends last weekend at a pub across the county; one was playing with a group of musicians who apparently meet there regularly, and the rest of us came to hear them. A good time was had by all, and I hope to do it again this weekend. Other friends came over to the house for tea the weekend before, and another good time was had. We made plans to go to the Ren Faire this year, and just need to get this on our calendars.

My Aunt P will be visiting her sister, my mom, in early October, so I have a trip to make up north that weekend. I'll also be going south to Atlanta later that same month, for two back-to-back meetings. Of course, I'll make time for a Making Light gathering in Atlanta as well.

We had a baby shower at work for an Italian woman who is having her first baby. She was not familiar with the American custom, but was educated by her colleagues in the lab, and they had a splendid selection of food. I'd sent her the item she had listed at Buy Buy Baby, which she already got, but then got a hand-knit sweater and cap from Mom. I brought that to the shower, and everyone oohed over it. Mom's knitting is high-quality, and hand-made is always nicer than store-bought. Now we each have a small box of Hershey's Kisses in thanks from our soon-to-be madre.
etumukutenyak: (getting along like a house on fire)
We rang in the year at a neighbor's house, with good conversation, tasty nibbles, a choice of beverages, and a distinct lack of predicted bad weather. After midnight, we walked home and went to sleep. We slept late, until 8 even, and I spent much of the morning fighting off a migraine (weather-related; I drank soda at the party). Eventually, the lure of a fresh-baked cinnamon roll and a cuppa were too much to resist, and I caught up on the newspapers from Wednesday and Thursday. Around then, Honey reminded me that I needed to finish fixing the shower, which had developed a leak.

I dug out the plumber's tape (aka Teflon seal), wrapped the threads, replaced the head, and tested for the leak. I went through several iterations before the initial leak and subsequent discovery leak were satisfactorily eliminated, and then took a shower. Ahhh, a good shower helps take away a migraine.

Honey has a colleague who throws a huge New Year's Day party every year, so she put together hummus and naan for our contribution, plus we took a bottle of Cabernet as well. We left late, because Honey had to watch some of the game, Penn State vs LSU. I attempted to root for the Tigers, but her Lions were too good.

The party was the usual over-crowded pleasure it always is, with great food and all kinds of stimulating conversations. We were there at least two hours, closer to three, and came home for our traditional dinner of pork and sauerkraut. Since we'd nibbled at the party, we waited and watched the Rose Bowl game before having dinner, which was delicious. Honey knows how to cook pork!

Some other game was on, when Honey pointed out the presence of police cars in front of our house. Three police cars were visible, two pointed in the same direction as the car they'd stopped, and one on the other side of that car, facing it. They carefully extracted three young men, and what appeared to be baggies of drugs. All three were handcuffed and taken away in separate cars, and a fourth car remained with their vehicle until it could be towed.

In other news, Hercules seems to have developed a skin disease. I'd pointed it out to Honey, and asked her to bathe him with a coal tar shampoo, but he was still itchy so I gave him a bit of triamcinolone tonight. We'll see if that helps. They both get omega-3,6 fatty acid supplements, so most of their fur is glossy and fabulous. I suspect an allergy, but need to figure out what the allergen is.

The best part is, tomorrow is Saturday! More rest and relaxation!
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
The family went up to visit Honey's siblings, and do the gifty-thing with that crowd, while I stayed home because I'm on call. This just makes a nice quiet weekend for me.

So far today, I've cleaned the other side of the front room (another 4 bags of garbage) and vaccuumed the rug; fed the cats and inadvertently fed the dogs -- they stole the last of the Xmas cookies. Bad dogs. No more cookies for them! I've gone in to work to review the weekend report, and stopped at the store for more bread. Read the paper, took a shower, ate some leftovers...tomorrow, Brady will get one more injection of penicillin, which will get him out to 5 days post-last signs of infection (he last sneezed on Thursday, and has not had any issues since then). He has been sleeping under the Xmas tree, on the fluffy mat that covers the plastic. So cute!

I'm still waiting for the delivery of Kedgie's pheromone refills, because she's really grooming herself into chicken-leg territory.

Tomorrow I will be back at the church for bell ringing -- we did two services on the 24th, one at each church -- and then I can rest. Someone else in the choir had asked to store the "love buns" in our large freezer (rather than at the church), and they came by today to pick them up.

Band of Brothers is being run all day, so even though I've watched it umpteen times, I might just spend the day with Easy Company -- unless I can find some decent movies on TCM or some holiday movies that I haven't already watched. I got the DVD of "Up" for Xmas, but they took that along to PA -- love that movie. Best line: "Who wants the ball?!?"
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Thursday, I was off (comp day, reward for being on call the previous weekend), and I vegged a bit. BT had started not eating all of her fud, so I prepared the syringe and carried it downstairs -- and she suddenly didn't want any pettings. I left the syringe on the file cabinet and ignored her.

Friday AM, Honey fed the cats, and I didn't have to do anything at all -- the garbage pick up was delayed one day because of Monday's holiday. It was raining heavily, so the dogs absolutely refused to go out. ("NUH-UH!") I watched some tv, caught up on the newspapers, attempted to let the dogs out ("NUH-UH!") and eventually succeeded ("Ahhhh!"), then made dinner. We had our usual pizza anna movie, and thence to bed, for Saturday was an early departure. Friday evening I fed the cats, and BT had decided that I was to be tolerated. My evil plan had worked! I grabbed the syringe, grabbed her, and gave the injection.

Saturday AM, the routine chores plus garbage taking-out ensued. BT had eaten most of last night's fud, so the injection took effect within 12 hours, a good sign. As soon as everything was done, we were on the road to PA, to walk in the Memory Walk for Alzheimer's. Our team was walking in honor of Honey's mom, who died just over a month ago from advancing dementia. All of Honey's siblings were there, as well as some of the grandchildren and one great-grand (Sonny -- technically, he's now just a grand, but he was born a great-grand). We walked from City Island across an old bridge into downtown Harrisburg, around and back. They provided us with lunch, a choice between pizza and Indian fare -- we got the good stuff: rice, chicken tikka, and vegetable korma. After the walk, we all went back to Sis-in-law's house to look at the last remaining items from Mom-in-law's belongings; things like christmas decorations, CDs, baskets, candles, and other tchotchkes. Along the way, we also consumed coffee and cake. It was still mostly raining, although not as heavy as on Friday.

Home again, with dinner at a stop about an hour out from home -- not great but decent buffet in Thurmont. Dogs happy to see us, as per usual; cats, mostly happy. BT didn't run and hide, and all her fud was gone.

Sunday, I posted on Facebook about how quiet it was -- I had only fed the downstairs cats, cleaned their litter boxes, gone to church to help Honey set up tables, gone home for breakfast and the newspaper, had a nap, gone back to the church to pick up Sonny, checked his Science homework, taken him to a Scout project, gone back out to the store for mayo and milk, made the pasta salad, and gone to a choir party.

What can I say? It felt quiet.

Monday AM, go to work, clean the lab, meet the boss, check the patients, wait for information by email, and get an import approved. Not much at all. Tonight, choir practice -- don't worry; I only play handbells. I will never inflict my singing on others. ;-)
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Laundry continues. Sonny is matching socks while he watches television. Since his sock-matching skills are already iffy, this will be interesting.

Shopping has been committed. We have purchased his presents for Mom, he has duly wrapped them; we have partaken of the TJ burritos for lunch (Chicken Chile Verde), and the musical copying continues as well. Which reminds me, it's time to change the disks.

Anyway. ::imitates Eddie Izzard mentally reviewing a list:: Ba ba ba..oh, yes. Honey just called to say she's stuck in traffic, big surprise. She'll be stopping by the store as well, to get cheeses and crackerses for our special dinner. We had talked about doing Dinner, only we have two services at the church tonight, including both choirs, so we're already busy. Instead of a Ham and Trimmings, we do the traditional Jewish dinner of Chinese, plus the cheese and crackers for between services snacking. Then after the 11 pm service is done, we'll come home and crash.

We all go up to PA tomorrow for the traditional Meal With Family and then I return for the traditional Caring Of the Dogs. Breakfast on Friday with an old friend, plus a consult on one of her family's dogs with an "eye problem", and then I'll have a quiet house for resting in.

Time for the next load of laundry and disk to copy.
etumukutenyak: (skull with nails)
Saturday, we had our delayed party for our birthday boy, the newly-minted teen. He had invited some friends from school, of which one was able to join him, and his best friend along with BF's younger brothers. Everyone met up at a laser tag place to play, and we got the two game deal for them. Honey and I joined in as well, and we all trooped off for the first briefing. I've never done laser tag before, although the boys all had -- BF's brother had a party there last year, and they come to this place often. Honey, despite her military training, shrieked every time someone surprised her, which was often. I managed to get a few hits on a few people, and ended up getting ranked 12th out of 19 -- not bad for a first time player! After 20 minutes, we got a 15 minute break, during which we attempted to eat some pizza, and then they called us back in for the second game. Since we'd only started our meal, I stayed out to guard our belongings/food. They came back out, Honey laughing over having screamed in surprise at someone who then fell over backwards. Some poor random stranger fell because she shrieks at the drop of a hat. Good thing her Army training didn't mean she would ever set foot on a battlefield, even though she looked tough in BDUs and Kevlar.

Sunday we had a bunch of things for me to do. I had to drop the boys off at church (BF stayed over), race over to the psych office building to pick up Sonny's new prescription (we get 30 days' worth at a time, which means new prescriptions every 30 days); stop by work to quickly review yesterday's report, race back home and change into decent clothing, pack up the present for Marilee, head downtown, park, walk around until I found [ profile] janetmk, chat with her until [ profile] mjlayman apparated in front of the pub, sit down to a light lunch with them and albatross WINOLJ, present the present to much surprise and pleasure from Marilee, apologize for my early departure, race for the Metro station to meet Honey and the boys for the trip into DC for the TSO concert, march in to Verizon Center along with the rest of the herd, fall asleep during the slow and boring part of the concert, wake up and enjoy the light show/rock music, flow out with the crowd into the Metro station, wait for the train home, run back to my car, get stuck behind slow drivers on single lane roads all the way, take the dogs for a walk, eat dinner, run back out to the store for Honey's contact lens solutions, run back to work to review today's report, zoom home and go to bed.

And then it was Monday.

Now it is Tuesday, and I have been feeling sinusoidal all morning. That should be no surprise, as Monday was warm and rainy (yes, nearly 65 degrees at 8 pm last night! This is around 18, 19C? Warm, I tell you.) and today is chilly and drier. I've been reading about neti pots and hearing people talk about flushing out the sinuses for some time, and today the pain drove me to the ultimate.

I got a bag of saline, and a 19 g needle. I found a quiet room with a small sink. I laid out a toalla multiusos (multiuse towel, sorry, I think of it the way I read the box alla time). I prepared the saline, leaned over the sink, and poured it into my nose. I could feel the cool fluid making its way through the sinuses and then it was dripping out the other side, with no pain. Not at all like getting water up your nose in the shower, nope.

So, poured one side out for a few minutes, blew the nose, switched sides, poured the other side out, blew it. Hm. Smells different. Feels less pressurized. Might need another bag later.

I must think of something other than a needle, though. The hub is a little difficult to keep the nostril closed up against. No, no -- the sharp end is inside the bag, and it's just the hub that goes against the nose.

Now I just need to figure out how to donate my suddenly-unused Use or Lose Leave, thanks to President Shrubbery who gave us all -- quite unexpectedly -- a holiday on the day after Xmas. He's never done this before, as he hasn't been thinking of anyone besides him. Someone should have thrown a shoe long ago.


etumukutenyak: (Default)

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