Monday, July 14, 2014

Tidbits

Why did I choose a black background with white text for my blog theme?

Because it's easier for me to read when I have a migraine.  Dark screen = good


That's it for random tidbits.
- SM

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Kiddo's Chores

I met someone today who was surprised that my little one (now, officially 3 years old) has regular chores. 

There are so many things I can say to that, but the bottom line is, my background as a teacher and special educator mean that I am all for teaching independence in areas that I can. 

Yes, I baby my little one and many people would say she's spoiled because she still sleeps with hubby & me most of the time, I still kiss booboos, I cuddle her when she asks...

But nevertheless, she still has responsibilities around the house. 

Here's what she is expected to do:
-feed the dog (we have a pre-measured scoop so no over- or under- feeding)
- put dirty clothes in her own hamper
- she is the designated salad-spinner
- clearing her own place from the table after meals/snacks

Now that she's three, we're going to add wiping the entire table after dinner, and "making" her bed. 

The bottom line parents (especially spoonie parents) is that we need to EXPECT our kids to contribute to household chores early on.  So many parents are over-worked and over-stressed because they do things for their children that the children can do for themselves-doing both ourselves and our children a disservice.

What chores do you make your little ones do? What is one task you can delegate to them to make your house run a little more smoothly? 

-SM

Sunday, July 6, 2014

Turns out, I don't have to fire my neurologist

I wrote a post a few weeks ago about Firing my Neurologist.  I felt that she and I were no longer communicating, and that she had hit a wall with my treatment, and maybe wasn't willing to speak up to me about it.

Well, I went in for what would have been my final visit to her last week, and she admitted that she was running out of treatment options and wanted me to see an acupuncturist and that she wanted me to see "the" headache specialist in our area. (Well, 60 miles away)

I was very excited to hear the words.  This doctor only takes patients with a physician referral from a treating neurologist, and I wanted to see him.

So, it turns out that she WAS hearing my frustrations about the daily headaches and migraines.

I'm glad that we were both on the same page about where to go next.

That goes to show that you should give your doctors a chance when you are frustrated with them, and that you should make sure that you communicate your wants and desires with them.  Many doctors are listening.

In the end, I did end up firing my primary care physician, because I gave him that second chance and he wasted it.  I'm happy with my new PCP, and I'll post the questions that I used to interview my new doctor later.

Because patients need to forget that they are not only patients, but they are also consumers, and they have rights.

Have a great week!

-SM

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Celebration of Toddlerhood

I love babies.  Love them. I'm one of the few people that don't mind the sleepless newborn phase of parenting.  (Probably because I was fortunate enough to be a stay-at-home mom and I was able to sleep when the baby slept)

I mean, newborns are fantastic. The smell good.  They want to be snuggled, fed, and changed.  Not too difficult.  I had no problem getting small chores done around the house because I wore my baby in a wrap-style carrier.  It was wonderful.

HOWEVER, today something happened that I wanted to share with you:

Me: Kiddo, do you want to go to the library and store with mommy?
Kiddo: Yes! Go bye-bye with mommy.
Me: Okay, go to potty and put your shoes on and we'll go.
(Kiddo takes herself to the bathroom and then puts on her shoes)

Not once in nearly three years of Kiddo's life has been going out been that easy.  Not having to check and refill a diaper bag, change a diaper, take twelve steps to get her dressed.  It was that easy.

So, although I miss having a baby, and I do want another one, let's celebrate this phase of parenting.

-SM

Sunday, June 22, 2014

Entertaining a kid during medical appointments

We've talked about how difficult it is for a mom of little ones to entertain kids during medical appointments.  Although it isn't easy, I have found one thing to help with entertaining a kid while waiting to see a doctor or during appointments when I need to talk to a doctor with minimal distractions.  

I finally got the idea to bring crayons with me so kiddo can color on the papers covering the exam table.  They have to change the papers between patients anyway, so why not let the kid have a big pallet to keep themselves entertained?



It's getting easier to keep the kiddo entertained during appointments as she grows older. It still bothers me that doctors that don't typically see pediatric patients don't look to see how to keep their offices entertaining and safe for children.  

From little things like electric outlet covers (hello, safety!) to simple toys and books, the steps to keep children entertained and therefore their parents less stressed during appointments are a great way to look at patients as whole people.  

I mean, even my church has bags for parents to take that are filled with coloring books and quiet toys to keep kids entertained during service, so why couldn't a doctor's office?  


Monday, June 16, 2014

Forcing Rest

I went on vacation this past weekend.  I pushed my body a little further than I would normally.

I climbed this sand dune, for example.


The weather has turned where I live to hot, humid, and miserable- that means more syncope for me and more swelling than usual.

I am having a particularly difficult period this month.

I'm starting to feel the familiar pressure of the facial neuralgia returning.

It's time for some landscaping projects at my house that NEED to be done, so I went plant shopping today even though I knew I needed to rest.

I have about 1200 loads of vacation laundry to do.

But, I am forcing myself to stay in bed for the rest of the evening. If I don't, I know I'll regret it.  My spoon bank account needs some replenishment. 

-SM

Bussiness making it difficult for folks with disabilities. Or why you don't park business equipment in handicap spots.

I've discussed in the past the judgement of people when they see folks worth invisible disabilities parking in handicap parking spots. It really bothers me.

Personally, I try to not park in handicap spots despite having a valid license plate and hanging tab. I try to find close spots that aren't handicap when I can, and I always avoid the van accessible spots when I can.  Having an electric vehicle has actually made this easier because a lot of businesses in my area have charging stations and parking spots that are close to the business entrance.  This isn't because I fear judgement, but because I try to leave those spots for people who also need them, or may need them more than me. 

Nevertheless, there is no anger like driving into a business and seeing someone illegally parked in a handicap spot. At least I thought so, until today.

Today, I did some errand running for landscape work being done at my house. 

At the fist place I stopped, there was a car with no handicap identification parked in the first handicap spot. I was seething.


 And then, an employee pulled a golf cart next to me in the blue-stripe area that is designated to van lift loading and unloading. Yup, I was REALLY REALLY REALLY ANGRY. I stopped, took a breath, and calmly walked in.

I found the employee who parked there and calmly explained to her that the blue-stripe area is for people who have wheelchair lift vans and need the extra space to be able to get out of their car.  The teenager replied "but it's not a parking spot." I again tried to explain to her that those lines indicated a specific use and that blocking that area was not only hurting people who might need to park there, but illegal.  She again said "but it's not a parking spot." Oi. Apparently, she wasn't the brightest.  I asked for her manager, and explained the  situation to him, and he had her immediately move the cart.  I'm not fooling myself to think that this won't happen again, but I made a mental note to write the owner and send them the information about blue line areas from the DMV. 

So, when I made my second stop today and saw this...

And, again the ONLY van acessible spot...

...you can bet that a marched right in and asked for the manager.  This time the manager argued with me.  He explained that they weren't busy today and that if a customer needed those spots, he'd be happy to move. NOT SMART to argue with me. 1) what you are doing is illegal. Period. 2) if someone is disabled and in a wheel chair, they might not be able to come in and tell you, BECAUSE THEY ARE IN A WHEEL CHAIR AND CAN'T GET OUT OF THEIR CAR BECAUSE YOU BLOCKED THE SPOT 3) you are in the wrong, don't argue, just smile, knod, and move the damned crap. 

So, I took the pictures, with plans to write the owners of each business and educate them. In the case of the second, more belligerent manager, I also plan on just sending the information right to the police.