Posted in Family

The Ladies Who Lunch

Every so often, as often as we can manage it, my mother, my sister and I get together for lunch. We’ve done this for a long time now, longer than I’ve been driving kids to school because I remember having to work around my sister’s carpooling schedule and that was 8 or 10 years ago! Even though we technically live in the same town, we live in three different ends of it and don’t often see each other. So planning lunches is necessary.

The nature of lunch has change a bit over the years. Where my mother was in her mid 70’s, now she in her mid 80’s. Where my sister had three in high school/middle school, now she had an empty nest and a grandchild to babysit 2x/week. Where I had littles with little problems, now I have four teenagers, some with fairly large problems.

My mother used to actively participate in the conversations. She often now will sit and listen to my sister and I talk. She will be 86 in two months. (My father just turned 87) and it is a little hard to see. Firstly, I am amazingly grateful that I still have two parents. I know this is rare, especially at my age. But it is hard when the conversation turns to “five years from now” and know that my parents will probably not be part of our lives anymore.

Both of them, but especially my mother, are becoming forgetful. She forgets things you said within the conversation you are still having, as well as something said a few months ago. I’ll admit that if I hadn’t seen my sister go through this with her in-laws, I would have gotten fairly exasperated with having to remind my mother. But understanding that Mom just can’t help it has made me gentle, either reminding her or letting it go altogether.

As of now, both of my parents can still do the daily tasks required for life–food prep, eating, self-care, bill paying and what have you. My sister, having walked this road before, has an educated eye on what to look for. I’m slowly catching up. This is one of the reasons we moved back–so that my sister wouldn’t have to carry the burden alone. (And so that we could be there for my MIL, who is in her early 70’s and lives alone.)

I earnestly hope that my girls and I get to be friends and have lunch together when they are old enough. It’s been such a blessing with my sister and mother.

Posted in Kids

Grown and Flown

If you are a mom and have teenagers and are on Facebook, please check out the FB page called Grown and Flown. Oh my goodness! It speaks to me in a way that I haven’t been spoken to in SOO SOO SOO long!

These are not the moms in the trenches of potty training and sleep training and learning to crawl. These are not the moms getting together for playdates. These are not elementary school moms commiserating about PTO and playground duty.

These are ME. Teenage angst. Teenage sleep issues. Teenage anxiety. College and scholarship searches. Sleeplessness and hormones (for mom, that is!, as well as for the teens!) and stepping back to let the chicks start to try out their wings. And fail. And pick themselves up again. Hopefully.

Almost every day, there is a post or two that I stop and read and find myself totally agreeing with, or having more understanding of.

Where we are, where I am, is tough. Emotionally, socially, financially, medically…it’s just a VERY TOUGH YEAR.

Yesterday we completed Laura’s FAFSA. I’ve known it was coming, and known we had to deal with it, so when an article (On Grown and Flown!) mentioned it, I took a deep breath, typed in the phrase on Google and off we went. It took awhile, but now it’s done. With Bennett doing a gap year, only one was required. Whew. We’re currently waiting on the SAT’s to make their way to the Admissions office of West Chester University. That’s all they are waiting on, having just received her transcript this week.

It’s gettin’ real, people!

The teenage years are not for the weak!

Posted in Health, Kids

Neurology Out, Psychiatry In

So, in the good news/bad news front, the EEG and MRI are both done and both show only the expected. Which is:

Periventricular leukomalacia (PVL) is a type of brain injury that affects premature infants. The condition involves the death of small areas of brain tissue around fluid-filled areas called ventricles. The damage creates “holes” in the brain. “Leuko” refers to the brain’s white matter. “Periventricular” refers to the area around the ventricles.

(Quick Back Story: My first pregnancy was quadruplets (please feel free to read back posts for more about that!), which ended in a premature birth at 25 6/7 weeks. Baby A, Connor, passed away about 12 hours later. The other three all had various and sundry issues from the birth, one of which was called Intraventricular Hemorrhage, or a brain bleed. Bennett’s was a Grade II, aka NO BIG DEAL. Laura and Ethan both had a Grade IV, or THE WORST POSSIBLE. The neonatologist said there was a possibility of a “vegetative state”. Which, obviously didn’t happen, thank the Good Lord.)
The MRI only showed the results of that prematuring, and the EEG basically showed the same thing. So, what’s going on with Laura is NOT neurologically based (as far as they know), it’s more psychological.
What that means, at least to me as a parent, is that we need to step it up a notch with the psychiatrist. Our current one, well….he’s ok. We see him because we have to. The practice has hired a woman who is an adolescent psychiatrist (YAY!), but she’s still going through the process of getting approved by insurance companies. Which is no bueno at this point, because that can take up to three months and Laura can’t wait that long.
I have a call into the secretary at the practice to see where she is in that process, and am investigating other options. Unfortunately, our insurance company’s website is not that great when it comes to specific information about doctors–they can give me general psychiatrists, but not specifically adolescent ones. Sigh. I want Laura to be doing better. Talking to the MRI nurse about why we were there (Laura wasn’t in the room) and how the person I knew three years ago is NOT the same kid I see every day now. I want her back, if possible. If it’s not possible, I want her to be getting through this life far better than she is right now.