7 Quick Takes: Only 6 Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Daniel update. We saw the psychiatrist at the Autism Center again today and he is keeping Daniel on the dose of meds that we titrated up to last week. I didn’t quite realize until we were talking to him that Daniel’s behavior is actually good on this new dose. Now if we can keep him from waking up at 4:30 a.m. and bouncing off the walls…

— 2 —

Interesting… The psychiatrist commented that he has seen more than a few kids with Daniel’s genetic abnormality that is responsible for his autism and they tend to have similar behavior, food issues, etc. In other words, THIS IS NOT BECAUSE WE VACCINATED HIM.

(Seriously… there are STILL people who harp on this despite studies coming out daily showing that VACCINES DO NOT CAUSE AUTISM.)

— 3 —

Hematology. I saw my lovely hematologist on Friday afternoon and he referred me for more bloodwork. My red cells are funky, my clotting factors are OK, my folate is too high, and some of the other factors are off. I’ve tried googling this stuff and I’m not finding anything conclusive, so I’m going to have to wait until Tuesday when I see my hematologist again to find out what’s up. It might be that they’ll have me do repeat tests every so often to see if/when I’m heading toward anemia. We’re also going to see if a hysterectomy helps with it at all because it seems like my body is losing red blood cells faster than it can make them.

— 4 —

Rachel Held Evans. If you want to understand why I and many other Christians (Protestants and Catholics alike) are mourning her, read this hashtag.

— 5 —

School update. I’m required to do a mock employment interview for my Final Project class and I went to interview with the head of the BASAM program at school… who happens to be a former Fortune 500 VP who worked all over southeast Asia. It was interesting and also really good practice for what to say and how to answer questions that I might be asked. She asked if I would connect to her on LinkedIn in case one of her local friends has a job that might fit me. Score!

— 6 —

Game of Thrones. I’m betting on Daenerys winning the throne. Because girls and dragons! Not that I’ve ever seen more than a few minutes of the show…

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: CPAP FAQ, Ranting at the School Nurse, and Other Merriment

7 Quick Takes

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Ranting at the school nurse. Lest this be added to the “reasons not to homeschool send your kids to public school EVER” list by my current troll reader, I enjoy a really good relationship with Daniel’s school overall, and this problem wouldn’t exist if the school district hadn’t cut the funding for school nurses to the point that they are covering 3 schools on average. (Teachers at this school nurse’s other campuses and at Daniel’s elementary school has explained that this individual is “special.”)

School Nurse,

For some odd reason, you couldn’t be bothered to actually get my young prince’s individual health plan written/signed in SEPTEMBER, so I now have to remind you again that the only information you need on his G-tube is DON’T [EXPLETIVE] TOUCH IT, per the request of the General Surgery nurses at Seattle Children’s Hospital because they don’t want the integrity of the stoma compromised. That sucker is being held in place by a water-filled balloon UNDER HIS SKIN, and it is not coming out without that bubble being drained or someone pulling pretty darn hard on it with needle-nosed pliers.

If it does for some odd reason fall out, CALL ME DIRECTLY ON MY CELL PHONE AT 867-5309 (not at the first random number you see) as my sweet babu will probably be in a buttload of pain (again, that thing is NOT falling out on its own) and there will probably be damage to the stoma that requires an ER visit to Seattle Children’s. If you can’t reach me, call my parents (whose numbers you have) and they will get in touch with me PDQ. Again, DON’T [EXPLETIVE] TOUCH MY CHILD’S G-TUBE OR YOU WILL BE IN DEEP FECES.

Snuggles,
jen

— 2 —

The back storyregarding the above take. Dumb@$$ School Nurse (“DSN” for short) decided to call the first number their eyes came upon, and it was my parents’ landline. (I live with them, so it’s the back-up number. However, EVERY piece of school paperwork contains the words “call Jen on her cell phone at 867-5309“, and DSN seems to be the only person who has ever ignored that.) Thankfully, I happened to be home, but DSN managed to get my dad first… who was not amused by some random person calling and asking seemingly personal information about my kid. DSN finally explained WHY he was calling, and Dad called me to the phone.

When I picked it up, DSN apologized for “upsetting my husband”.

I rolled my eyes and told him, in a voice dripping with saccharine, that the gruff gentleman who answered the phone was my FATHER, and that he was not amused to get a call from a strange person asking seemingly personal information about his grandson. When I got off the phone (after giving him a bunch of information that he ALREADY HAS in various documents and emails), I told Dad that DSN thought he was my husband. Thankfully, Dad found some humor in THAT, even if I was spitting fire at DSN’s idiocy.

/stomps off to fix the student health plan for my critter AGAIN

— 3 —

CPAP Take #1. Kelly (our hostess with the mostest) asked to see a selfie of me with the CPAP mask on, and I’m obliging because I live to make Kelly happy. ๐Ÿ˜€

CPAP selfie!

— 4 —

CPAP Take #2. Kelly asked to see my mask, so here it is along with the strapping on it that holds it to my face. (The white things in the bottom corners are the things that fasten the mask to the strapping, and they attach to the mask magnetically.) My nose rests on the top of the mask on top of a hole that allows me to breathe through it. Otherwise, I breathe through my mouth. I opted for the full-face mask instead of the nasal pillows (similar to a nasal cannula but with a fatter base) because I couldn’t breathe well with them in. (They force air into your nose, which works well if you’re a nose breather… which I am not.)

Not shown in the second picture (because I’m dangling the mask from) it is the clear tubing that feeds the hot air into the mask, so I took the third picture to show the mask tubing and how everything is connected. The whitish stuff attached to the mask is rubbery and flexible tubing, and it goes on top of my head. The greyish tubing is a little firmer and what brings the heated moist air pressure into the mask framework. Most masks have the greying tubing coming out of the front. Mine comes out of the tubing on the top of my head.(I apologize for the quality of the pics — I’m taking them on my webcam in not-great light because it’s late at night.) I sleep on my side usually with the greyish tubing trailing behind me. If I’m on my back, it comes out the top of the rubbery thing and trails off my pillow and to my right where my machine is.

CPAP Mask
CPAP Strapping
CPAP Mask Framework

— 5 —

CPAP Take #3. Kelly asked about my machine, so here are some pictures of it. (Our email conversations are FUN! We also both believe in educating people on scary health issues, so I’m happy to answer questions.) Mine is made by ResMed and adjusts the pressure going into my mask automatically. It also has a modem in it which sends data to a website that my doctor, my home health person, and probably the Illuminati can see. The rule is that I have to be using my CPAP for at least 4 hours a day in order for insurance to continue to pay for it (it’s usually 8 hours for me and up to 12 if I go back to sleep once Daniel is off to school).

Here are the front and back. (I blacked out any personally-identifying information.) The clear thing at the right side is a removable reservoir where I put distilled water to make the air moist. I clean it out and refill it every 2-3 days. The tubing that brings the air to my mask attaches in the back.

The front of the machine.
The back of the machine.

— 6 —

CPAP Take #4. Kelly asked what it feels like to have it on. It was a little weird at first, and I’m really glad they had me try out face masks in the hospital before they attached all the wires to me during my alien abduction sleep study so that I would know which one felt most comfortable for me. When I put it on, I breathe into it to start it (provided it’s plugged in) and it feels warm and moist around my face. It’s been good because using it forces me to breathe deeply, and that deep breathing helps me get sleepy quicker. I tend to sleep better and deeper, which helps with the daytime sleepiness.

It doesn’t make an annoying sound — it’s designed to be white noise. And yes, my little ball of black fury has investigated it and rolled his panther cub eyes because Mama bats him back from it every time he tries to eat the tubing. #housepantherproblems #meanmama #mustbiteallthethings

— 7 —

The Superb Owl. (Yes, that spelling was intentional.) I honestly don’t know who to root for this weekend. I can’t root for the Lambs Rams because they’re from LA, and I hate on southern California teams as a moral rule. I can’t root for the Patriots because I take great joy in seeing Tom Brady lose. (The 49’ers of the 1980’s and early 1990’s are the best football team in history, y’all. C/S.)

I’ll probably just go on SuperBowl.Com and watch the commercials or something. I mean, isn’t the Superb Owl is just fabulous commercials with annoying interludes of football and obnoxious Halftime entertainment? #stateyourunpopularopinion

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: CPAP Arrival Edition

7 Quick Takes

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Srsly? Nick Sandmann, the junior closest to Omaha Elder Nathan Phillips claims he was standing still to diffuse tension and smiling to show that he would not be moved. Uh, no. Dude, you may have your parents and your fellow MAGA twits fooled, but most of us are aware that doing the tomahawk chop and standing there smirking is inappropriate for the situation. How about you stop lying and apologize for misrepresenting your school, your Church, and your cause?

To those sending death threats to him and his parents: knock it off. You’re not helping the situation.

— 2 —

CPAP Update. My sleep doctor said it would probably take 2-3 weeks to get the CPAP ordered and fitted. It took six DAYS. Last night was my first night with it, and I woke up feeling better rested.

— 3 —

NEED. So, um, I really need this.

— 4 —

Duuuuude… Thanks to Bishop Stowe of the Diocese of Lexington for this.

— 5 —

Straight from Facebook. Some good news for a change!

— 6 —

From our hostess… Kelly’s pro-life post is on point.

— 7 —

Because Katelyn Ohashi! Her smile and joy are infectious.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Alien Abduction Results Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

I need this. Seriously, I need this.

— 2 —

Oh my stinking heck… One of the channels on Comcast has “Whose Line Is It Anyway?” on at night, and I’m watching it right now. Let’s just say that I’m laughing my butt off and waiting for the episode where Ryan breaks the light on Drew Carey’s desk.

— 3 —

Regarding my alien abduction… I got the results of my alien abduction sleep study today. Apparently, I have mild sleep apnea. My doctor sent the request over to my local home health care place today, and I will (God willing) have a CPAP machine in a few weeks.

— 4 —

State of the Union 2019. Because of the government shutdown and lack of adequate security, the State of the Union address might not be happening. (The DHS director says otherwise, but she is grossly underestimating the feces storm that is going to take place with all those security people having to pull this together in twoish weeks while being on furlough. I mean… we’re talking 45’s Secret Service detail and security for every member of Congress, the Supreme Court justices, and all the guests.)

It could be delivered in written form as it was up until ~100 years ago… or maybe Mango Mussolini will do it via Twitter!

— 5 —

Lenten disciplines. I’m pondering the idea of raffling off the chance to choose my Lenten discipline again. Any takers? ๐Ÿ™‚

— 6 —

*squees* OHMIGOSH! KELLY POSTED A HOUSE TOUR!!! SQUEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

— 7 —

Climate change. So, um, let’s talk about the fact that WE HAVE NOT GOTTEN ANY SNOW THIS WINTER AND WE’RE IN THE FREAKING NORTHERN USA!!!!

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: “Not A Zombie” Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Good news: I’m not a zombie. I got a “get in here!” call from my doctor a few weeks ago and got scheduled to be seen today. Last Sunday was Blood Pressure Sunday for our faith community nursing program and one of them noticed that my pulse was a little weird again. She told me to mention it to my doctor and I told her that I’d mention it when I got seen today. When I told my doctor about it, she tried taking my pulse using my left wrist… and couldn’t find it. This was a little weird because my hand wasn’t turning any weird colors and obviously I was sitting there alive in front of her. They had also taken my blood pressure on my left arm and done the pulse-ox sensor on that hand as well so we knew it was there. She tried on all my pulse points and she had a hard time finding it on my left side while my right side was fine. She finally decided to have her nurse take my blood pressure on both sides and see if there was any measurable difference. When they did, my left side was two points above my right side but still normal. Apparently, I have a very quiet pulse on my left side?

But hey, I’m not a zombie, so I guess that’s good news?

— 2 —

The 2018 election. Absentee ballots arrived in the mail today and mine is filled out and ready to mail. Having done my civic duty, I will issue the following reminder:

If you are eligible but don’t vote, you don’t get to complain about the people who get voted into office.

— 3 —

Argh. Carolyn Hax had a letter in her column today about a mom who is butthurt that her son and daughter-in-law (DIL) aren’t calling her to be present in the week after they have their twins. The mom apparently had twins (the son is one of them) and *SHE* knows how much work twins are. One of the DIL’s kids from a prior marriage had surgery right before the DIL is due to have her c-section and the mom’s husband is making noise about requiring an apology before they go help (because they’re positive they’re going to be called in to help now).

Carolyn’s response: don’t be obnoxious and let the parents decide when and if they want visitors during that time. Beautiful.

For all my readers who need to hear this: being present after the birth of a baby is a privilege, not a right. Being a grandparent is a matter of biology and does not entitle you to impose yourself on the new parents because you want baby cuddles or to “educate” the parents on the “proper” way to take care of their babies. Srsly, knock it off.

— 4 —

Mama. This is fascinating.

— 5 —

Boggle. The program we use for improving our typing speed (Keychamp) has a Boggle-like game at the end of every lesson called “Wordchamp” and the highest score for each lesson gets posted for people to see. I may or may not have started playing “Boggle with Friends” on my phone to improve my Wordchamp score.

(Yes, it’s working.)

— 6 —

Church music take. We’re working on this right now. It sounds very Rutteresque.

— 7 —

Paul Allen. Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen died this week. It’s a BIG deal in these parts because he has given quite a bit of his wealth away, he owns various sports teams in the Pacific Northwest, he has invested in cultural things up here… I’m seeing people on the street in Seattle crying on various news reports. I’m wondering if it will be this way when Bill Gates passes.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.

7 Quick Takes: Live PD Edition

7 Quick Takes

— 1 —

Live PD. I have an addiction to cop shows and some friends turned me on to Live PD. My parents roll their eyes at it, but it keeps me entertained.

— 2 —

Answering G-tube questions. Reader mbmom11 left me the following feedback:

Iโ€™d be interested. I canโ€™t imagine how it works to get a non-cooperative kiddo to sit still for a feed. And if the kiddo feels better after having been on feeds for a few days. Thank you for sharing your experience!

This is an easy answer: Daniel doesn’t mind feeds and he doesn’t have to sit still for more than one minute while I get him hooked up. The feeding pump and bolus fit in a small backpack so as long as he’s careful about the tube staying connected, he can do quite a bit while the feed is going on. Usually, we are on my bed and he is playing with his tablet.

I’ll get an entry showing the step-by-step process done one of these days.

— 3 —

Check-up. We had a bunch of check-ups and a feeding therapy appointment in Seattle on Tuesday and Wednesday. The good news is that Daniel gained more than they were hoping for, so they’ve cut the number of feedings per day from 3 to 2. This makes my life SOOOOOO much easier.

— 4 —

Minion update. My little black monster is getting bigger and being my snuggle buddy at night as well as when he’s not in berserker mode. I keep some empty reusable shopping bags in my room for him to attack and sleep in. Occasionally, he’ll be asleep in one with just his long black tail sticking out.

My mom keeps commenting that his tail is 3 inches too long and his ears are too big. I keep reminding her that he uses his tail for balance when he jumps from the table to the counter.

— 5 —

Health System Portals. My local health system has an Internet portal that can be used to email doctors, send in prescription refill requests, etc. It’s a wonderful thing because I can actually have conversations with my health providers over it and it means that there is a record of communication.

When we were at Seattle Children’s this past week, they mentioned that they had one and I just about jumped for joy. It is going to be so helpful to not have to play message tag with providers there, and I think this will be useful for autism and g-tube stuff this fall.

— 6 —

Language-learning websites. I just want to highly recommend Duolingo again if you want to learn a language. I’m loving the site for my Spanish studies this summer, I’m using to review my French, and I’m even dusting off my Hebrew! (Pretty sure this is going to work better than my Hebrew class in seminary did!) I can’t wait for their Arabic course to hatch!

— 7 —

Tetelestai. A prayer for these days…

Into your hands, O merciful Savior, we commend your servant, John McCain. Acknowledge, we humbly beseech you, a sheep of your own fold, a lamb of your own flock, a sinner of your own redeeming. Receive him into the arms of your mercy, into the blessed rest of everlasting peace, and into the glorious company of the saints in light. Amen.

For more Quick Takes, visit Kelly at This Ain’t The Lyceum.