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Archive for the ‘it’s all that guy DNA’s fault’ Category

That’s the only way to describe last week.  Thursday was reasonably quiet.   Well, except for the imminent snow storm.  Yeah, I know ya’ll up North would kill to only have an inch or two of snow, and I get it.  But in Louisiana, that’s debilitating.  It garnered a Friday snow day for everyone. 

Friday we were supposed to go back out to see Mom whom they had finally put into a regular room.  The brothers came out for a little while to watch Zombieland and took Pascal home with them.  An hour later, they called to tell me that an old friend of the family had died.  It was incredibly sudden and shocked us all.  Jimmy Dale had been in and out of hospitals and nursing homes for the last few years.  When we were at the ICU with Mom, there were several local families that we knew visiting relatives in the same ICU including Jimmy Dale’s family.  Dave and Will were probably the closest friends Jimmy Dale had for the last decade since his mother had passed away and they walked down to visit with him while we were in seeing Mom.  Jimmy Dale was up talking and laughing.  He looked fine.  The next morning he went into cardiac arrest.  We were completely shocked and the Brothers rushed out to the wake that night and the funeral was held over until Saturday.  That and the snow meant that we put off seeing Mom until Sunday.

Mom has seen a couple of different specialists and one thing is very clear:  The doctor that did the surgery on her leg and was responsible for her broken arm and wrist has destroyed the use of her last good arm.  This is the same doctor that tried to force her into a nursing home and who sent her home too early causing her to have a second surgery on her leg.  What does it all come down to?  Cash.  It wasn’t good enough that she had health coverage because he couldn’t make her profitable enough for him.  The second leg surgery made it clear that he had messed up when they put her in one of the nicest rooms in the hospital.  They don’t do that for Medicaid patients.  Yes, I understand the realities and how Medicaid and sometimes Medicare force doctors to work the system and move patients around.  However, that was the last straw.  I started saying to Tina, “It’s time to let a lawyer look into it and sort it out.”  And, we’ve all agreed on it.  I don’t expect much to come of it, but the guy needs a hand-slap if nothing else.

Then last night, Tina was hit with her own last straw.  Mom was released last night and sent home.  However, since her leg is now considered to be weight bearing, she is supposed to be charged to use the ambulance service.  She can’t use either arm and up until now has been refusing to go into rehab for her legs; Mom has given up and doesn’t care about being left in a wheelchair at this point.  Then as they released her from the hospital they dropped the bombshell that the cost of the trip home would be $2600.  Oh, but if the non-emergency service comes, it’s only $900.  Tina lost it and started crying.  The doctor worked around it by saying that Mom’s legs had to stay elevated (part of what was complicating her condition is that she had over 40 lbs. of fluid on her body).  Mom no longer has a choice.  She must walk SOMEHOW. 

Now, we have to find a way to force her into rehab.  Paladin and I talked about it last night and if worse comes to worst, we might have to take it to court and have her declared incompetent.  She will not listen to reason or pleading and since she can talk, the medical personnel must give in to her wishes.  Mom’s only wish is to be at home.  Tina is giving the home health nurse and Mom’s doctor a chance to talk her into it first.  Paladin suggested that after that we talk to Social Services and see what they can do, but if neccessary, I will take it to court.  Mom just can’t keep living like that and Tina and both of the Brothers are spending their entire lives catering to her.  The least Mom can do is make it easier for them and get off her butt.  I understand how she feels but I’m just plain mad at her at the same time.  Paladin and I were talking last night and I was explaining to him about my maternal grandmother (her own treatment of her children including how abusive she was to her daughters) and how Mom is repeating that pattern to some extent.  It caused me and him to realize why I just cannot be brought to suffer whores.  Grams was an out and out user/whore that would come home when it suited her to come and mooch anything she could lay her hands on and was allowed by everyone around her to get away with that behavior her entire life.  In the end, she was in a hospital bed being catered to by her sons.  Sound familiar, Mom???  Mull???  No, my mother was never a whore, but manipulating the people around her into taking care of her has always been her M.O. and Mull does the same.  Though, I guarantee you neither woman would ever admit to that; in their eyes, they’ve just done the best they could.  I’ve told Bell several times that I understand exactly where she is coming from because I lived it.  You love them, but at the same time, you know they are asking unreasonable things of you.  Fortunately, I’m an adult and I have a choice.  I just need to get my siblings to stand up to her too.  We all have at different times, but never as a group.  I don’t look forward to the next couple of days.

I wish I could have had a happier post.  I would have tried to end on a happier note, but the camera died completely.  😦  I went half-crazy Friday.  I’m still numb and I tried to pull myself out of my funk by getting a somewhat radical hair cut.  The stylist at the Deridder Walmart left it long but very choppy.  It was supposed to be like Jaclyn Smith and ended up EXACTLY like Jennifer Anniston after she got done flat ironing it (I pretty much have Jen’s hair color too).  I never flat iron my hair.  It looked kind of “old rock slag” to me.  Any time I see a woman my age or older with flat ironed hair I tend to think of Madonna for some reason and it’s not a pleasant association.  I couldn’t make up my mind whether I liked it or not.  Everybody else had one of two reactions: you look like one of those women trying to look like their daughter OR you just don’t look right without the curls.  I wish I could have shown ya’ll and gotten your opinion.  I thought it was ok.  The cut is GREAT!  I’ve washed it and now, I’ve got Lori Singer ala Footloose hair.  It’s cute.  I also realized that I had no nail polish or lipstick left.  I don’t know how that happened.  So I splurged on some of the cheap NYC brand stuff and their nail polish was really nice which surprised me considering that it’s only $1.  It was nice but it didn’t help my numbness.  I’ve been cleaning a lot and disappearing into old British sitcoms.  Poor Paladin wants to do something, but there’s nothing to do but wait another couple of weeks for tests to be finished. 

P.S.- Hey Ginger!  I found my address book this morning.  Let me know when would be a good time with all your classes.

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Paladin is off at therapy.  I just realized that I haven’t been here in like 2 weeks.  Ya’ll need a quick catch up.  So here goes: 

* We’re doing a menage a therapist thing now.  That’s right.  It takes 3 of them for us.  lol  Nah, it’s not quite that dire.  Dr. Mark went on a rotation for 2 months and handed us off to Dr. Max and Dr. Randy.  Dr. Randy is just for Paladin.  That was good because a fair amount of our time in therapy was being spent as one on one time between Paladin and the docs.  He needed his own thing for a while to sort through everything he’s gone through since his illness began all those years ago and to build this new life and find a direction for himself after his forced medical-retirement.  I kind of wish I were there though.  Paladin has significant short term memory loss, and I’m not there to be his short term memory bank.  As for Paladin and I, there are still issues but they are no longer BIG fights.  Just small quiet ones.  That’s progress.  Right?  Eh…

* Brian’s truck broke down and we spent several days shuttling his brother, Manjina around to temp jobs.  Manjina finally got enough cash together and the truck is back on the road… for now.  Brian’s step-brother, Ralph Jr., wants the truck back and since the VA has now taken Brian’s entire $900+ check, it’s a matter of time before the crap hits the fan on that one.  We’re keeping our fingers crossed that it happens off our property.

* The last kids weekend was spent coloring pumpkins (we’ll carve them this Saturday) and then Sunday after church, we had a picnic/tea party.  They had fun and I took a bunch of video for Youtube (honeywine2000 is the username if you’re curious) to send to the grandparents.  Paladin’s Dad got very emotional over the video.  He is a sweet man.  He and Paladin are both big ol’ girls.  🙂

* Here’s another kick in the lady balls for those of us with no children.  Did you know that if you’re married to someone on Social Security disability you only get benefits if you have children with them or are 62 or older?  Isn’t that lovely?  Doesn’t that fall under some sort of discrimination?  Seriously?

* Then Tina called asking if I’d talked to our Dad recently.  I haven’t.  Heck, I barely get the time to scratch my own butt half the time.  Tina couldn’t get anyone on the phone for a couple of days and finally started calling around.  Where was Dad?  JAIL!  Why?  Apparently, he and Step-slag got into it and he threatened to off himself.  She had the cops take him away.  I guess there’s a backlog of some sort because he’s been in jail a week now in protective custody waiting to see the regional head-shrinker.  Tina called Uncle Jim who lost his mind over this.  I was even surprised at the names he was calling the Step-slag.  At any rate, the last I heard a few of my uncles were getting together to go break him out.  Tina, Uncle Jim, and I have all offered to put him up over here.  Step-slag isn’t answering at their place in Mississippi and for all we know, she’s jumped ship with the contents of the house.  I guess he’s taking too long to kick the bucket.  All those multiple insurance policies must be getting expensive to keep up.  So, I guess I’ll find out eventually what’s going on there. 

* We’re also busting our humps to get everything around here done in preparation for spending more than 2 weeks in San Antonio starting the middle of next week.  A lot of it is that little stuff you do to get ready for winter like build a dog house and take out the air conditioners and repair a broken window.  But, when you’re trying to get all of that done, keeping several medical appointments, taking care of the kids, and taking care of paper work (Paladin is still trying to get his TDY crap fixed…we decided to get an advance for the trip because they’re backed up on TDY payoffs to the point that if we’re lucky we’ll get our last 2 TDY payments sometime in 2010), it all gets to the point where you don’t know what you’re doing from one minute to the next.  I haven’t even thought about what to pack yet!  And then there was special paperwork.

Yep, it took us forever and a day, but we finally got wedding 2 done.  🙂  I think it was my favorite.  It was sweet and simple and something of an international affair at that!  We just headed up to Natchitoches to Front Street and had the parish Justice of the Peace meet us there.  Front Street has such great scenery and even though it was a wet morning, we got great pictures.  We even had a local photographer who is also the Cane River Heritage Area office manager pop out and take a few pics for us and she posted them online here.  Then an older gentleman popped out and took our picture telling us that he only spoke French.  Before I could use my extremely limited high school French to ask “French Canadian or France?”, he disappeared.  Then when we went into the Les Saison candy shop for our wedding dessert (handmade chocolate truffles…mmm…so good…I get at least one every time I go), we were congratulated by a gal from London.  We were a real sight, I guess, because people were stopping and waving.  I do love living in the South sometimes.  🙂  Everyone seemed so happy to see us everywhere we went.  I would have thought they’d be jaded seeing people taking wedding pictures all the time on Front Street.  It was truly lovely.  It made me wish I’d skipped the first wedding and just had this one.  We had lunch at The Landing and then before heading home, Tina and I went into the local Goodwill.  If we were a sight on Front Street, we must have been something else at the Goodwill!  lol  One lady stopped me and asked if I was buying my dress because she was putting on a bride of Christ passion play.  😀  I’ll say it again:  I love the South.  Just to put the cherry on top of such a Southern experience, I bought several pairs of tap shoes for my Borrowed Girls (they look just like plain mary janes and I was desperate to find them inexpensive dress shoes for the holidays).  On the way back, we stopped at the Nat’l. Guard Armory and Tina dropped off the last of the ex-husband’s things (he’d left some stuff including his paternal grandfather’s coins behind and I wanted to make sure he got them before they deploy in the next couple of months) and he told her that his maternal grandfather died back in May shortly after he’d moved out.  I feel really sorry for them.  I loved his grandfather.  I really did.  Then, after all of that, we stopped at Mom’s to drop Tina off.  I wish I’d had the camera running because Mom was so happy she was about to jump out of her skin.  She said, “So now I really CAN say that they’re my grandkids!”  I just told her that I thought she already was.   They’ve been calling her Grandma for months now.  It was just a really happy day.  And here’s the proof:

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My fancy shoes!

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Of course, if you’re on my Facebook, there should have been a link to all the photos over on Walmart’s site.  I won’t even lie and begin to promise to talk to everyone any time soon.  I’m hoping that with all the down time stuck in the hotel room in San Antonio that I can catch up for a while at least.  I’ll talk to you soon-ish though!  🙂

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Are the Go-Go’s playing in your head too?

If I had written this post last night or early this morning it would sound something like this:  AAAAARRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!

Fortunately, I’ve come to grips with what happened yesterday.  Well, I’ve pulled my head out of the oven anyhow.  Here’s a quick run down of what the first 10 minutes at the lawyers sounded like:

Lawyer- What’s going on?

Us- Indy…rash…infection…fake choking…

Lawyer- Why aren’t we asking for full custody???  Why hasn’t CPS been called???

Us- Uuuhhh…we were taking what we thought we could get, and we don’t know if the doctor called in CPS or not (base docs let crap slide a lot and I wasn’t at the ER to ride the guy about it). 

We found out that the copy of the original agreement that we got from the lawyer back in January wasn’t a full copy.  According to the agreement, we should have been getting the kids every other week beginning in June.  So now we don’t know why Mull was all, “When are you taking them for 2 weeks?”  Is she just sick of them or was she trying to put some points in her corner or is she just worried that she won’t get paid if we keep them half-time or did she forget that we were supposed to have them too?  I’m always saying that Paladin doesn’t give Mull enough credit for being sneaky, but he swears that she’s disorganized and not too on the ball to boot.  Time will tell especially since we just found out from Sanjaya2 this afternoon that she starts her paid training at the nursing home next week and that she made Bell come to work with her there last Friday leaving the kids with blind Jeremy.  When the lawyer heard that she might be going to work, he was practically salivating, although he didn’t really say why.  He did look like the cat that caught the canary pretty much the entire time and he didn’t even let me get more than 3 sentences out about the state of the children.  It literally was “Indy…rash…infection…Bell wanting out desperately and taking care of the kids 90% of the time.”  It was two hours of strategy and the lawyer pontificating while we were sitting there going, “We get it; let’s do something about it.”

The lawyer’s game plan is this:  Get divorced.  Get married.  One month later, sneak up and bite Mull in the ass with the property settlement.  Keep the kids like they’re a bag of weed and we’re Rastafarians through September.  Then show up at court with all our evidence and go, “Hells nah!  Gimme dem kids!” 

I took it hard.  Really hard.  I completely freaked.  I don’t completely freak too often but I did this time.  Paladin got paid a grand total of $1400 last month and $1100 plus a $200 car note went to Mull.  Does that give you an idea of how hard up things have been here?  We had a little savings and once-empty credit cards and we’ve been making do.  Then I turn around and hear: You need to feed and shelter 5 kids for the next month (if Mull lets us have them the entire time…we’re going to go in stages and play the “we didn’t have them in June the way were supposed to; why don’t we just keep them a little longer” card).  Yeah, I completely freaked.  I admit it.  I didn’t know how we’d do it.  I was stressed already and worn to the bone with Mom.  Now, here I am taking this head on.  Yes, I know it’s what we’ve been hoping for.  The difference is that we weren’t expecting it until after Mull had to give up some of that cash.  It’s damned hard to feed 5 kids under any circumstances and at this rate, she’s actually going to be getting about half of his income and the mortgage takes up nearly the entire other half.  Of course, at the same time I realize that this is temporary and if we can get through the next 3 or 4 months, we might actually get the kids MORE than half time. 

For now, though, I’m being pouty.  I’ve already warned Paladin and freaked him out over it.  If this legal bill gets big enough (and it probably will), it may mean losing the Extravaganza altogether and losing our chance to try to have a child.  I couldn’t help but cry over that.  I told him the truth.  If that happens, I’m just not so big a person that I won’t feel the tiniest twinge of resentment.  In my mind, I would literally be giving up my children for his.  It’s wrong of me to feel that way.  I know that.  I know its unfair of me.  But, I just can’t help it.  As much as I love him and as much as I love these kids, I still want something of me. 

I don’t care if Mull does fall off the side of the Grand Canyon tomorrow; she will always be their mother.  I don’t get that role.  I don’t get the satisfaction of standing up and saying, “That’s my girl/boy” when they graduate or get married.  They won’t be giving birth to my grandchildren.  All I get to do is sacrifice and work and try to make life better for them.  All the thanks I will probably ever get is the karmic satisfaction of knowing I did all I could for them, their smiles and good night kisses.  I feel like an absolute ASS, but yeah, I’d still feel that I’d lost out on something if I don’t at least try to have one of my own.  It won’t ever stop me from being there, but there would be this same hole inside that I’ve been living with for the last 3 1/2 years. 

Let me tell ya.  If you want to scare the crap out of a man that you’re practically married to, that’s a damned fine way to do it.  Paladin always goes to the “you’re leaving me?” place.  Heck, this time even Tina went there.  NO!  I’m not going anywhere.  I’m just telling you how I feel.  He  hadn’t thought of it that way, and he tried to understand.  He also didn’t know about what happened with Mom in the last post.  It came out of left field for him, and I was sorry about that.  But, I’ve been living my life one day at a time for so long now that I’ve just been desperate for down time and for something that’s about me and not about how to avert the latest crisis. 

Today, I spent all day trying to put a game plan together.  Turns out, I AM a Duggar!  Thank the lord!  I now have chore lists and menu plans at the ready.  I just have to figure out some things for these kids to do that won’t cost anything and will keep me from strangling them!  Oh, who am I kidding?  I don’t care if I strangle them as long as its cheap.  Ha!  And, by this afternoon, I was worried less about how to take care of the kids and had enough time to be sad about losing the 2 pieces of our puzzle that have been keeping me going. 

Paladin insists that we’ll make both our baby and our wedding happen.  It didn’t excite me one bit.  His actual words were, “We can do something (for the wedding).”  Yay.  I know exactly what that means.  It’s the same thing I did last time.  Scrape and dig and crawl for something that’s “ok”, but don’t ask for special.  My face told him how I felt.  Then he said, “GET excited.  Dammit!”  At least, it made me smile for a minute. 

Just before Mom fell, Tina gave me some wedding magazines.  I had ripped out a few pages of ideas and had them on my nightstand.  Last night, I couldn’t help but be a total drama queen.  I didn’t even want to see them.  I’m still having a wedding, but as of right now, it’s more for Savvy than for me.  Savvy has her heart set on being a flower girl and has explained to me exactly how it must be done.  Paladin wants it too.  As for me, I want to pout and throw a hissy fit and knock the wedding cake onto the floor.  That’s not going to happen though.  I’m just going to chug along and hope that the creative desire will overcome the destitution desperation.  I’ll be a recessionista bride, right!  Woot??  Meh…

Frankly, I’m a little sick of coming in last but getting Miss Congeniality.  Nobody ever remembers Miss Congeniality.  They see her smile and then she just fades away.  Sometimes I feel like I took an invisibility potion.  I swear I look down and I’m staring right through my hands.  I know.  Welcome to motherhood.  Where’s my badge and taser?

If you’ve got ideas to keep the kids off the streets, send them my way!  Mind you, I refuse to spend half my life cleaning up craft projects that they aren’t going to care less about a week later, but if it’s cheap or free, I want to hear it!  I’ve already looked at the library and all they’ve got is one bug expo and a Wednesday story hour.  😦

P.S.- Mom is coming home in the morning!  Thanks again for all your prayers.  🙂

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We finally got word from the kidney specialist this afternoon.  Mom’s kidney function is down to 20%.  At 12%, they will begin dialysis.  There’s nothing to do but watch her diet and hope that it takes a while before it goes down.

I was on the phone with Tina a few minutes ago.  She told me that Mom had said something about grandchildren.  My heart jumped a little and I thought she was talking about Paladin’s kids.  I think of them more and more as “our kids”.  Tina said that she wasn’t sure if Mom was dreaming or just mumbling because of the pain killers, but she said, “I’m not going to live long enough to have grandchildren.”  That has hit me so hard and on so many fronts.  I can’t stop crying even as I write this.  I don’t know what to say about it.  I don’t know how I feel about it. 

I know they aren’t our kids, but they feel like mine more and more.  I’ve never stopped feeling the need to have my own child, but that has never stopped me from loving these babies that are not my own.  I know what my mother feels.  It’s the same longing I feel.  But, I can’t make her any promises any more than I can make them for myself. 

Tonight, that rips me in two.

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I’ve only got a few minutes so here’s the short version:

Managed care sucks!  Mom is too well to stay in the hospital, but not well enough to go to the rehab.  The docs answer?  Put her in a nursing home.  Our answer?  Like HELL!  Now, we have until Monday to get the house practically rebuilt!  Damn it all!  I’ll be back soon.

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With any luck, Mom will be moved into the rehab today after less than a week!  She’s doing that well.  That’s 2 weeks ahead of schedule.  So we’re hoping that it won’t take the full 6 weeks to get her home again.  The problem is that the Brothers are going to have to fast track some home renovations to get the place wheelchair accessible.  Over the years, when Tina and I did minor renovations, we did think ahead and add grab bars and a wider bedroom door for Mom.  But, this one is going to be bigger.  We’re hoping that some community organizations will offer up some supplies.  We’ve got the labor (fortunately, the Brothers and Dad used to run a small time construction company that did home renovations for the elderly and handicapped…so they know what the legalities are).  We’ve just got to work with what we have for now.  If it’s not good enough for the home health folks, they will just have to live with it!

Tomorrow, we take Brian to the VA in Pineville and we are going to be able to see Mom again.  Tina’s been pulling the heavy load this time, but if nothing comes up, I’m going to try to sneak over next week and do an overnight stay with Mom.  Tina stayed the last 2 nights, but at least the room they have her in is big enough to be comfortable.  It’s got the sofa and sleeper chair of death.  Man, those are a pain in the butt (literally!) to sleep in.  Torture devices, pure and simple!  At least the pain management skills of the nurses is up to par instead of the way it was last year when I spent a week with Mom in the same type of situation.  I think it also helps that she’s in traction.  Yeah, she can still complain and wants to be moved around just as much.  But there are only 2 decent positions to get into this time.  That takes away some of the guess work.

I’m sorry I didn’t get around to the internet yesterday.  Scratch that.  I’m not sorry.  I slept like I was dead and it felt oh so good.  I got up later than I have in over a year.  I felt so good all day and without a drop of caffeine!  It was awesome! 

Then we went out to pick up dinner and it was a little less awesome.  We tried the mexican place around the corner again.  The last time we tried it, it was barely ok.  Then it shut down within days.  Obviously, it was a health department thing.  When we went back to the “new” place, it was the exact same people with a new septic system, a slightly different menu, slightly higher prices, and just as “ok” an outcome.  You’re actual Mexicans!  Aren’t you ashamed when you see this food go out?  I can do better and I know a real Mexican or 2 that can back me up on that!  Stop trying to Americanize it.  Do what your mama would do!  I guarantee the gringos will come!  It truly saddens me.  The other Mexican place is way better and it’s run by a Korean lady.  That is just wrong.

Oh and the zucchini…it’s back.  I had no sooner canned that last batch than I had gathered about that much more.  I figure I’m about two thirds through the entire zucchini season.  Seriously, I want those recipes!  🙂  Paladin was talking last night about wanting a zucchini bread recipe.  I’m obviously really bad for his low carb diet.

I’m off to catch up on ya’ll now.  🙂

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Well, Mom’s left leg anyhow.  The ortho doc ended up using only plates to fix both her leg and her knee.  They put her broken wrist in a brace, but they are holding off on doing any surgery to the broken shoulder hoping that it will begin to heal on its own.  There are conflicting replies to any specific questions, but so far, the answer is simple.  My mother will spend the rest of her life in a wheelchair.  The doctor’s say that she’ll only be able to walk a few steps.  Although we can hope for better with therapy, it’s not likely to get any better than that.  She’s going to be in the hospital for 3 weeks and then in the rehabilitation wing for another 3 weeks minimum. 

We have joked about it in our typical way, “Hey, it ain’t like she was walkin’ a whole lot before.”  It’s our way.  I can see it in my brother’s faces though.  I know that we joke but we also know that Mom’s been slowly going downhill for years.  I even repeated the “joke” to Paladin and Bell after I talked to Tina Sunday night.  I didn’t say anything about the diagnosis at first.  I washed dishes for about an hour trying not to cry.  Finally, Paladin came in from taking care of the little girls, and I told him.  He hugged me tight.  Bell was standing nearby caught up in her teenager stuff, but she was shocked and I knew she wanted to say something.  I told her it was ok that as people get older these things happen.  If there’s one consistent thing I hope I’m teaching these kids, it’s that when you get hit, you stand up and keep going.  It was incredibly hard to leave Tina and Mom in that emergency room and drive the nearly 2 hour stretch to Deridder.  It was even harder knowing that there was nothing I could do, but take care of these babies until I could get back to the rest of my our family.  It wasn’t any easier when the kids were begging me to let them stay another night and I couldn’t because they weren’t allowed in the ICU and I just couldn’t wait another night to see Mom. 

I knew it would be hard to hold it together with the usual insanity, but then we got added nuts.  When I took off Indy’s diaper, that baby had about a tablespoon full of discharge from an infection filling her crotch!  I was so damned mad.  First thing Saturday, Paladin took her to the ER and came back with a diagnosis of vaginitis and an anti-fungal cream (according to Paladin, Mull was shocked when he told her…yeah, it’s easier to see infections if you’re actually taking care of your child and not just leaving them to fend for themselves).  Of course, Sunday was Martian’s birthday and he had a rather annoying and slightly rude friend stay the night for it along with our usual compliment of 5 plus Sanjaya2.  Then somewhere along the way Bell told me that she’d packed enough clothes for a week because Mull told her they were staying the week with us.  Mull either changed her mind or chickened out because she never said boo about it.  Paladin went by on Monday to drop off the bike we bought Martian for his birthday and Mull told him we could have them another day.  I don’t know.  Maybe she was planning to slip a week in throught he backdoor one day at a time?  Paladin explained about Mom and that we couldn’t take them.  Today?  Bell calls up asking if they can come by to pick up something.  I’m guessing Mull was just nosey and was making sure we really were going to the hospital.  I felt so bad sending them back there when they were begging to stay with us.  Blondie spent all weekend telling me, “I love you” (that’s kind of a big deal with her because she’s very attached to her mother).  Savvy even brought me a present.  Indy spent most of the weekend acting out by fake choking (she coughs a few times and then says “I’m choking” and coughs some more) and going into her “I scared” mode where every single thing makes her recoil and yell “I scared”; we started potty training her here this weekend and when she pooped her panties she came to me crying and begging for a diaper like it was the end of the world.  It ties me up in knots.  First thing Monday, we made an appointment with the lawyer (we’ve tried to make others over the last couple of weeks but couldn’t get one).  I’m hoping he’ll pick up the phone and call Child Protective Services on her because Paladin and I won’t unless we have to.  Up until now, his lawyer has obviously considered this an easy case.  He’s WRONG.  It’s about to get a lot more heated unless by some miracle Mull just rolls over for it.  I doubt that will happen.  Mull gets everything she has ever had or will have from giving birth.  It’s part of her psyche and she won’t let go of those kids without an argument.  But, we’re not going to go easy on her.  Enough is enough.  Like I said, my nerves were frayed the entire weekend and I was getting through hour by hour on almost no sleep.  If it weren’t for the kids, I think I’d have been sitting in the hospital crying the entire time. 

I am so grateful for where I am right now.  I stood in the hospital room today with Tina and Paladin arranging Mom’s pillows (it took the 3 of us to get them the way she wanted) and I knew that I couldn’t get any luckier than I am right now.  If Paladin hadn’t been helping me through the day to day stuff this weekend, I’d have lost it.  I’m sure I hid it well, and he probably won’t know until he reads this, but I was pretty low.  I’m so glad I have him.  We may drive each other up the wall at times, but most of the time, we are right there holding on to one another for dear life.  I thank each and every one of you for all your prayers.  Not just for those of these last few days, but for the prayers and hopes of all these months that have gotten me where I am today.  I went from a settled life of mainly inward conflict to a crazy melodramatic life of constant upheaval, and I’m the better for it. 

I called my Dad on Friday night for his birthday.  I hadn’t talked to him in a lot of months.  I let him talk to his soon-to-be-grandchildren for a few minutes before the step-slag made him hang up.  I was still glad that I did it.  My life is a shambles and I want EVERYONE, past and present, to be a part of it no matter what. 

I know that this post probably isn’t making sense, but I’m too overwhelmed to make sense of anything anymore.  Sorry.  I’m going to try to get some sleep tonight and come back tomorrow making some sense. 

Love, Anna.

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