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Thursday, January 29, 2009

When You Change Careers, Do It RIGHT! LOL!

A gynecologist had become very fed up with malpractice insurance and HMO paperwork and was feeling burned out. Hoping to try another career where skillful hands would be beneficial, he decided to become a mechanic. He went to the local technical college, signed up for classes, attended diligently, and learned all he could.
When the time for the practical exam approached, the gynecologist prepared carefully for weeks and completed the exam with tremendous skill. When the results came back, he was surprised to find that he had obtained a score of 150%. Fearing an error, he called the instructor, saying, "I don't want to appear ungrateful for such an outstanding result, but I wonder if there is an error in the grade." The instructor said:
"During the exam, you took the engine apart perfectly, which was worth 50% of the total mark. "You put the engine back together again perfectly, which is also worth 50% of the mark." This equaled an A. After a pause, the instructor added:
"I gave you an extra 50% because you did it all through the
muffler, which I've never seen done in my entire career."

When You Change Careers, Do It RIGHT! LOL!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Vent of the day...


So, I am EXHAUSTED! I want to blog, but I'm just not sure I have the energy tonight... So, you guys get a very brief update:

Samantha has been hospitalized well over a thousand miles from me (which, in case you are wondering, sucks big green monkey nuts). She ran fever all weekend long and her O2 sats were... well, less than great at the clinic this morning. She has BOTH the Flu (and Yes, she did get a Flu shot this year) AND Scarlet Fever. Leave it to Sam to get horribly ill right after Mommy leaves town... (grumble, grumble)


Dad's incision from his "let's chop out 75% of your liver to get all the cancer" procedure has opened up enough that you can see the internal stitches. He went to the ER and they think he has another infection and are dosing him up on broad spectrum antibiotics while they wait for the culture to grow something shnazzy (and by shnazzy I mean "ewwwwww! gross!)...

And HALFWAY across the freaking country...

I am worried about Sam & my Dad and feeling utterly helpless and useless knowing there is NOTHING I can do to help. My Mom is going to run herself into the ground trying to take care of Sam and worry about my Dad too.

And without someone there to bug the royal CRAP out of my Dad (Yes, I KNOW you are reading this, and you KNOW how hard headed you are!), he likes to ignore/blow off/live in total denial of anything that makes him feel slightly off. Dad is the kind of guy who wouldn't mention heart attack level chest pain to anyone until you noticed him holding his chest and turning blue... And EVEN THEN he would do his best to convince you that "it doesn't really hurt that bad..."

STUBBORN MALE. Exhibit #1 - My Daddy.
(I just point this out because I'm so worried he will ignore something significant that will come back and bite him in the rear later...)

Please pray for Samantha and my Dad... and DEFINITELY pray for Mom. She gets to deal with Dad's stubborn nature AND all of the *SARCASM* "brilliant" medical professionals in that area*SARCASM*! Yes, extra prayers for Mom.

And for your daily dose of giggle, you should go check out Cake Wrecks explanation of why you should never order a cake over the phone . It made me fall off my yoga ball...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Angels & Pilots & Luggage, Oh, My!


Hello again Blogland! I am home now and finally feel recovered enough from my trip home to update. My four month visit with my family in Texas went (mostly) well. There were a few minor hiccups from time to time, but nothing major. I am thankful that my grandparents were able to put up with me, the boys and all our stuff in their space for four months. I was able to spend quality time with my family, be there to help out when Samantha had her operation, and be there to help Mom (and irritate the crap out of Dad) when he had his operation. I will tell everyone more about family interaction and operations in a later post (when the boys are NOT climbing the rafters).
I flew back to North Carolina on January 10th. I have never been a big fan of Delta Airlines, but since Army Support Services made (and paid for) my airfare to Texas and back I had no intention of arguing about HOW we got there. I arrived at the airport in Odessa an hour before my flight was scheduled to take off thinking that would be more than enough time to get checked in and through security (even with my four heavy carry on items and a gate checked car seat). I was apparently wrong. The one employee trying to get people checked in at the desk was way overwhelmed. She honestly was doing her best, but the people in front of me in the line had overweight bags that they decided to unpack and repack without moving to the side. By the time I grabbed my boarding passes (and later discovered I was missing one for each flight), rushed through security with the boys and our stuff and got to our gate, the plane was getting ready to leave. We were lucky that the door had not been shut yet and we had just enough time to RUN down the ramp and get into our seats before the plane pulled away from the gate. About an hour and a half later we landed in Houston, gathered our things and prepared to change terminals. An electric cart met us at the plane and took us as far as the bus that runs between terminals. After that, I was on my own. We were dropped off at our connecting terminal and discovered our flight was leaving from the extreme opposite end from where we had been dropped off. By the time I reached the gate, lugging four carry on items, a large car seat and two small (easily distracted) boys, I was in serious pain. I had started having back spasms and couldn't even think of getting comfortable enough to rest for fear that the boys would wander off and be snatched. We had time to grab a quick bite to eat and get loaded onto our plane.

Flight number 50 from Houston to Atlanta was where my travel experience made a turn for the better. After we pulled away from the gate the safety demonstration started and my boys (thankfully) fell asleep. My back spasms were getting worse and I could feel my muscle strength going as the pain got worse. Taking a muscle relaxer when I still had one more connection to make lugging the kids was not a viable option so I made the next best choice. When the flight attendants came by with the drink cart I ordered a $7 mini-bottle of rum and some orange juice. Halfway through my drink I could feel the knots starting to ease a little, but was still fairly certain I would be unable to make my connecting flight on time. As I was lost in thought trying to figure out a way to make my body cooperate, an angel appeared at my side in the form of a flight attendant named Gwen. She had the flight roster in hand and had noticed that I had requested help between gates. I explained a little about Fibromyalgia and that I was traveling alone with my two small boys. She asked if there was anything that she or the rest of the crew could do to help with the Fibro flare I was having, and I explained that I had purchased rum for that because it was as close to a muscle relaxer as I was willing to take with no one to help me with the boys. We chatted for awhile and she asked where my hubby was (because we are apparently a very obvious military family) and I filled her in a bit more about that. She took the time to thank me for my husband's service and our family's sacrifice (which always makes me tear up a bit) and then excused herself to speak with the pilot. When she came back, she let me know that they had radioed ahead for two wheelchair escorts to be waiting for us. One for the boys and I, the other for all our stuff. The flight crew also comped my drink for the flight. As our plane landed I realized I had about 30 minutes to get to my next flight... two concourses over.

The pilot came over the speaker to thank everyone for flying with Delta and their partners and then added a special thank you to the military members and their families on the flight. I felt the tears well up again as everyone on board burst into applause to show their appreciation. Gwen asked if I thought I could make it to the end of the ramp where the wheelchairs would be waiting and I gathered my things to make as much of a dash as possible. The gentleman who had been seated behind me was kind enough to take two bags to carry up the ramp for me and as I neared the front of the plane I noticed that the pilot himself had come out of the cockpit to help us up the ramp! As I settled into the wheelchair the pilot handed my youngest son to me and, again thanked us for our family's sacrifice. I thanked him as I was swiftly wheeled away and (once again) felt my eyes water over the acknowledgement. We made our connecting flight with, quite literally, seconds to spare. The rest of our flight home was thankfully uneventful and when we landed I was too happy to be home to even care that some of my luggage did not arrive at the same time we did!

So, to the ENTIRE staff of flight 50 from Houston to Atlanta on January 10th: Thank you from the bottom of my heart! You made a very stressful day so much better, and I do not have words to adequately express my gratitude. You have made my opinion of your employer go up quite a bit and I am so pleased and thankful that you were all SO WONDERFUL to my boys and I.

God Bless Every One Of You!
And to Gwen N.:
You Rock! Thank you for your compassion and understanding. You blessed my heart that day...

Thursday, January 08, 2009

The Good, The Bad & The Future...

So, today is my birthday and in two days I fly back to North Carolina. I am both happy and sad. I am looking forward to being in my own space again (and WAY happy that I will have my good bed back soon). Darrell gets 18 days of R&R shortly after the boys and I get back home and I am ecstatic about being in my husband's arms again! I'm looking forward to restoring the routine that helps the boys behavior so much, but has been impossible to keep during our visit to Texas.
I am NOT looking forward to leaving my daughter behind again. I know that being here with my Mom & Dad is truly in her best interest right now. I know that the same routine the boys thrive under in North Carolina would not work as well for Samantha. I know that my parents do a brilliant job of caring for her and creating an environment where she has grown and flourished. I know that she has reached SO MANY developmental milestones since she moved in with them, and I am certain she would not have reached them as quickly as she has, had it not been for the encouragement, love and support that she receives here. (Not just from my parents and grandparents, but from our entire church family and close friends.)

Even knowing that I am doing the best thing I can for her right now, it breaks my heart for her to be away from us. Her brothers love her and enjoy playing with her more than I could have ever dreamed they would, and they miss her almost as much as I do when she isn't with us. I think that it wouldn't hurt so much to leave her here if I thought I could meet her needs as well or better than they do here... But that is the kicker. KNOWING that I am not able to meet my beautiful girl's needs (and that someone else can) kills me inside. And I am so afraid of the day when she will get too big for any of us to properly meet her needs... at least right now she is with people who love her and will protect her from the bad and ugly things in this world. I pray that God takes us all home long before I have to put my daughter's care into the hands of strangers.