Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Kelli Stapleton

Good news!  Twin #1 does not have to have a 3rd surgery on her shoulder.  Her surgeon was pleasantly surprised when he saw her yesterday and told her she has 12 more weeks of therapy but no surgery.  Thank goodness!  Twin #2 will have surgery (her first) on her shoulder over Christmas break.  Hopefully she will not fall in her sister's foot steps and require a second surgery.

Has anyone been following the story about the mother who attempted to kill herself and her autistic daughter?  Her daughter is extremely violent and had beaten the mother unconscious on several occasions.  She was also aggressive toward her younger sister.  It's just a very tragic story and my heart goes out to the entire family. 

What has bothered me is the judgmental response that is being shown toward the mother.  This mother had reached a state of total hopelessness.  Insurance refused to pay for inpatient treatment, schools wouldn't allow the child in school and the mother was now experiencing brain damage from the beatings she was receiving.  People are judging this mother when they should be saying what can we do to fix the system?

Monday, September 15, 2014

My twin daughters will be 44 years old in December.  They are an age that has become incomprehensible to me.  Sometimes it seems that they are catching up with me since it only seems like yesterday that I was 44 myself.  I was 38 when they graduated from high school and 44 when they graduated college.  I recognize that my daughters are grown women and I enjoy our adult relationship to no end but yesterday I received a call from twin #2.  She called and asked if  we were going to be home awhile because she wanted to come over since she hadn’t seen me in the past two weeks.  Then she added….”I miss my mom and I want a mom hug”.   My eyes swelled with tears and it felt so good to still be needed for a hug.

Friday, September 12, 2014

House Divided

Last night Ron and I went to the Red Horse Grill and proceeded to try and solve the world’s problems over a hamburger.  Two hours later we looked up to see that we were the only customers left and they were starting to clean the floors.

I found this to be a testament to our relationship, especially since our discussion grazed over a few political issues and we are considered a “political odd couple” or a “house divided”.  Ordinarily our political discussions would end in someone (admittedly me) getting a little too loud when conveying my shock at what I consider the misguided beliefs of my husband.  But last night we managed to have a civil discussion although neither changed our basic political stances.  Does this mean we are maturing?

I have learned to see my husband’s loving behavior every day, and it trumps his impossible political attitudes. But sometimes I have to do a lot of mental work so that I don’t wake up in the middle of the night and bop him on the nose.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

To speak or text.........that is the question!

Our hospital had a very successful summer with our summer camp program.  Camp ClapHans is the first summer camp designed and built for children with special needs in Oklahoma.  This past summer was the second summer for Camp ClapHans and after the summer ended staff involved in the camp met to discuss what worked and what changes are needed as well as ideas for the future.

What was interesting was what the camp director shared as an issue that what addressed during the camp session that I found very interesting.  The director had banned all cell phones during the camp session for both volunteers and paid staff believing this would allow staff to focus on the campers and not social media.  This sounded logical and also protects the privacy of all campers due to cell phone cameras and video.

The camp director went on to say that he noticed a problem with staff during the first camp session.  They didn’t appear to listen to his directions during staff meetings.  Jobs were not getting done and assignments were not being completed.   He took the problem to the agency director and she suggested he try an experiment.  She said to allow staff/volunteers to have their cell phones during staff meetings and on their breaks.  Then she told him to text them their assignments and any other instructions he wanted them to have or complete.   He did so and immediately discovered that they did everything he asked and there were no further problems.  I found this really interesting.  I asked the director what prompted her to suggest the idea and she said she has found that by communicating to her teenage son and daughter by text any chores she wants them to do they are more apt to meet her expectations.

I can see man evolving into beings that do not have the capability of speech.  Maybe by then they will be communicating telepathically anyway and won’t even need to text.

Monday, September 8, 2014

Gnats and Ramen Noodles but not in that order!

Am I gullible or what?  Ron and I were watching the Shark Tank on tv the other night and I was caught up in the RapidRamen Cooker.   It sounded like something that would work for my brother.  Ramen noodles cooked to perfection in the microwave.  It sounded very simple to use so I ended up ordering it from Amazon.   I am always looking for anything Mike can fix for himself and he is doing pretty darn good with a microwave.

Well, yesterday when I went grocery shopping I checked out the Ramen Noodles.  And just my luck the ingredients list wheat flour and Mike is allergic to wheat.   Now, I guess I’ll find out if the RapidRamen Cooker will cook any other kind of noodle.   Oh, and after reading about Ramen noodles they don’t sound very healthy anyway.  Too much preservative added.

Speaking of Mike, he’s really been doing better about limiting the phone calls.  He hasn’t called me once at work since I returned last week.  He’s not calling us every 15 minutes at home either.  It has made such a difference and I’m actually happier when I do talk to him.  The more independent he is the happier we all are including Mike.

Ron watched a football game with Mike at his house on Saturday and Ron came home telling me how much better the house looked and that Mike is doing better keeping it clean.  We are definitely seeing  improvement.  Hooray!

Here’s a little tidbit of information that may be useful to you at some time.  Mike had an invasion of gnats at his house a few weeks ago.   They had gotten pretty bad and were annoying the tar out of Mike and anyone else who happened to stop by for a visit.  So I did a little research and made him some gnat traps.  I got small mason jars and filled them about a quarter of the way with apple cider vinegar.  I punched holes in the lids and screwed them on the jars.  I put 3  traps around the house where the gnats were and left them there for a few days.  NO MORE GNATS.  The gnats are drawn to the vinegar and go in through the holes but drown in the vinegar.  Easy fix!

Well, 326 more days until retirement……but who’s counting!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Back in the groove

I’ve been back to work for four days and I only felt like a fish out of water for the first four hours.  My computer desk top didn’t look the least bit familiar and I couldn’t find anything.  It was a little concerning for a bit until I finally found my sea legs.

The young lady who filled in for me did a great job.  She has so many more computer skills than I have.  I became very aware of our generational difference.  She has grown up with computers and is so skilled and getting the greatest benefit from them.   I never saw a computer until I was in my 40’s.  I know just enough to get by.   Jen is going to be such an asset to this agency.  I am going to try and learn as much from her as I can before I retire next August.   It never hurts to gain as much knowledge as possible.

Physically I’m feeling great!  My stamina is still a work in progress. 

Mike is also doing great right now.   He’s working on self-control and since I’ve been back to work he has not called me once.  I try to call him at least one time during the day to touch base and see how his day is going and so far it is working out well.   It is amazing just how much that has helped.  Before my surgery he called me 20 times a day just while I was at work.  So, I convinced him that my boss is so mean that I might lose my job if he doesn’t get that under control.   So….he’s really trying!

My plan is to retire July 31, 2015 and I’m beginning to realize just how quickly that day will get here.    Wow, life really does fly by…… stills feel s like yesterday that I came here and it has been 28 years.