So, Shriner's Hospital is essentially holding Darin in his disability right now. I'm not thrilled. I'm sure this will be resolved soon. It's just tough having to be in a position where Derek and I spend many hours a week navigating medical systems so that Darin can be well. It turns out that Shriner's hospital must deem Darin's need for surgery as less urgent, looking to fit him in for surgery in August. Now, we are back at the pediatrician's office looking for a script for a new leg. But, then, they just called me and said, "nevermind - we are able to fit in him in May." End of May, Darin will have surgery. This means that he will miss his orchestra concerts.
It's sunny outside, my day off and my throat feels like razor blades. Darin had a fever, sore throat and was generally unwell this past weekend and now his symptoms have moved to a dry cough and conjunctivitis. Looks like an adenovirus to me. I don't have a fever, just sore throat & fatigue. When I awoke for work yesterday, I just couldn't bring myself to run. After working all day, I felt like I could do at least 3 miles when I arrived home and ended up running 5 miles yesterday evening. I was so tired I didn't even eat dinner - just drank water and went to bed.
It was about December when my MA told me that she was pregnant with another surrogacy. She was about to get her 20 week OB U/S. I thought I had known her unpregnant, but I never did, since I started my job in September. We have been working closely together and discussing her pregnancy since then. She is having her delivery on Cinco De Mayo. Just weeks away now. She will be on a recovery leave until early July. To my surprise, yesterday my nanny divulged that she, too, was due at the same time and will be delivering in the next 2-4 weeks. Apparently, I never knew my nanny unpregnant, or any babysitter we've had while living here so far!
Speaking of pregnancy, our medical group had the meeting where it was discussed that I'd be willing to get medical privileges again and start deliveries. The group let out a sigh of relief and thanked me for that consideration. I had three OB patients last week ask me if I deliver, inquiring about whether they can switch care to me. The main OB physician is out of town now for another week and so when she returns I'll ask her for a time line. I'm sure they would be happy if I'd start sooner rather than later and I am in agreement. I was generally uplifted in that meeting and I had those warm, fuzzy feelings when I left. I honestly almost cried out of sheer relief and happiness.
Since I will be looking for another nanny, it looks like we might have different needs, as well. This changes how much we offer to pay as well. A schedule is crucial to all involved.
A lot of moving parts, as usual. Hard to advertise for a new position when I don't know what I need, but I'm sure that can be sorted out with some additional communication with work.
We are slated to begin kitchen renovation this summer. I have been more interested in renovation than ever, but with all the home/work changes it's taken a backburner. We will get a refund of half of our security deposit, the rental company having retained our deposit as our "lease break" fee. That turned out to be a lot cheaper than we anticipated in severing our lease on the rental house. We cleared inspection and we were essentially granted to keep our security deposit in entirety.
The focus of most of our energy, as of late, has been Darin's mobility and psychiatric wellness. While he still has moods of tension, the Ritalin has improved many aspects of Darin's life. The teacher told OHSU, "he went from a good student to a model student." He underwent neuropsychiatric testing at OHSU that was comprehensive and multi disciplinary. The team reviewed the results with us, which took an hour. Darin is at or above age level in all criteria measured (social, cognitive functioning, academic performance, etc), except for math and attentiveness. He scored "superior" in math and "under expectations" on attentiveness. He doesn't fit all criteria for ADD nor ADHD. Our diagnosis was not changed much, other than he seems to have an "emotional dysregulation," which is a new manual diagnosis this year. The recommendation from this academic center was that the better management of his mood that can be obtained, the better his cognitive functioning will be. Once school is over, I think it's reasonable to d/c his tutoring and then restart in September to give him a good start to the new school year.
His mobility has been an issue as he is on crutches or in a wheelchair while the medical system figures out whether he needs a new leg or surgery first. We got a disability hangar for the car so that we can park closer, which has been a tremendous help. I never thought about the importance of having extra room on each side of the car so that the wheelchair can be brought to the side of the car, but this really makes a difference! We have been providing transportation for him every Wednesday so that he can still attend orchestra practice. His wound is intact, pink and healthy again. No pain. As a family, we have learned to find ways to have fun where we don't or can't walk. For example, walking on the beach is not possible with a wheelchair or crutches. Instead, we go where wheelchairs can go, which is actually many places. We have also decided that kayaking would be a really fun activity and Darin agrees. Activities we have traditionally known such as walking on the beach, camping in the wilderness, hiking, community runs, etc are not good choices for now. I choose not to think of it as a limitation or disability, since these experiences only enrich and engage us. If we are fortunate, Darin will be fitted for a new leg and will walk or even run again.
Ever since we treated Emma and her ear abscess, she has been a good dohg. It wasn't until the dog daycare chirped that she wasn't being a good dog that we realized what a good dog she really is! We have been taking her on our weekend outings the past few weeks and she has been a perfect dog. She likes being with us, no matter where we go. She no longer has car motion sickness either.
I guess it's difficult to think about my children as being smart or not smart, because we never compare them to others. We move so often that it would be difficult to compare even if we wanted to. I quickly stopped comparing my firstborn to other children the same age because Jenna was woefully behind in all motor skills except verbal. Her first unassisted sitting & moving came simultaneously. She started doing a "crab crawl" on her first birthday - she would scoot her butt and use one leg while sitting. She never crawled. She didn't walk unassisted until 16 mos (shakily). She only weighed 17# at 1 year old. Jenna was always "behind," when I would compare to other babies, so I stopped doing that quick. I tried to reassure myself that everything was ok. Darin hit all the milestones on time and even started walking unassisted at 18 mos ... with a prosthetic and having had a major musculoskeletal surgery before he was 1! With academic testing, inadvertently, we have learned that Darin is above or superior in skillset. Some skills were at age level. It's just weird to have a medical specialist advise us of this, especially when we were looking for brain injury LOL I just received an email from his orchestra teacher telling me that Darin is "quite talented at the violin." In Jenna's state testing, her bars are most always at the very top and she has always fallen in the top categories, no matter what state we are in. We recycle those score sheets. I try to pay no mind to it. As I've learned as a parent, it's not about how smart or not smart the kids are, but how capable they are of achieving happiness. I worry for Darin's self esteem and so I believe it's imperative that he can see past his leg and see the possibilities for his life.
I am also learning to navigate what it means to parent children with different needs. Sometimes I believe that I fail them as a parent, because the kids are so capable of most anything they set their minds to achieving. It's my job, probably, to expose them to various skills, to challenge them and to think about ways to satisfy their inquiring minds. Jenna, at 6th grade, would be perfect for an entry level college class on Spanish, as she told me that she signed up for Spanish as an elective for next year.
If she learns Spanish as fast as she learned the piano and guitar, she will be fluent before next year begins.