Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Duck... Duck... GOOSE!

Well, here's a new experience! I've been tagged by a fellow blogger. One I'm not even sure I know, but that's hardly a reason not to play. Right?

So... NeedSleepy wants me to tell you, my imaginary friends, 8 random things about myself. Then I have to find 8 other bloggers to tag (that may be the hard part...)

Here goes nothing...

1. I have been to nearly all 50 states. When I was a kid my parents took us on at least two "cross-country trips". The first when my brother was just starting to walk and then second when he was a little older. I wish I remembered more about the trips, I only remember bits and pieces. Like being allowed to walk barefoot in a rose garden (oh yeah, that was a GREAT idea). Getting a drink from a stream somewhere. Staying at a motel with a playground that had dog poo in the sand. Eating at a restaurant where the menus were attacked to wavy sticks and could be used as fans. And an crocheted orange kangaroo hand puppet that I got as a reward for being good in the car.

2. I entertained the idea of becoming a Franciscan or Carmelite nun briefly while in High School. The idea of spending my life praying for peace appealed to me.

3. I am fascinated by body art. But I hate pain and don't like being on the functional end of needles. I also wonder about people who don't have health insurance but spend hundreds of dollars on ink and body modification.

4. I loved working as an RN in the ER... but my real dream is to work in emerging infectious disease research. People that know me don't believe that I really do not want to work in a situation where I have to interact with different people all the time.

5. From the time I was 2 or 3 until I was around 6 years old my best friend in the world was my next door neighbor, Robin Tomlin. She moved away around then and I cried and cried. I regret that we lost touch. I remember my Mother telling me that I would forget her as I bawled my eyes out when her family drove away for the last time. But I never have.

6. I love my brother. He's my favorite family member. But when we were kids he was totally evil. I used to beg my parents not to make me babysit him. We would fight and he would chase me around the house with butcher knives. Funny thing, he now has culinary arts training and is a great cook. Thank goodness he learned a productive way to wield a knife!

7. When I was in grade school my best friend was a black girl who lived in Watts. We would take turns having sleepovers at each others houses. One time we were walking to the 7-11 near where she lived and a grown woman walked up to me and spit on me for being white. She said horrible things to me. It's an experience I've never forgotten.

8. EIGHT! EIGHT! I FORGOT WHAT EIGHT WAS FOR! ...oh allright... bad Ami, I couldn't resist the femmes reference. But stheriously... I actually discussed, with the nurse that worked at my high school, my decision to have sex for the first time. Don't laugh, she was actually really cool! I had a lot of migraines in high school, and was in her office often to get my prescription Motrin. She asked me if I had a car would I loan my car to this guy for a whole weekend without knowing what he was doing. She asked me if I had researched birth control. She told me that I might regret the decision later when he broke my heart, but what I should really consider was how I would feel about it 20 years later. Would I be embarrassed about who I chose? I'm not, and I'm fond of the memories I have. Thanks Donna!

O.K. Now to Tag 8 others...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

OOOOOh! LOOK! A chicken!

Time passes, things change.

Found out last night that Raul (see previous post about hat) no longer works at the pharmacy I use. I'm told they caught him stealing drugs. That surprised and saddened both of us. Especially after one night he he even talked to us about the fact that he would never do that. Then again, you can never know what someone is capable of until they do it.

Which brings me to Baby Girl... The Great State of California felt that her mother deserved a second chance (second?? I think we were up to somewhere around 7th chance at this point, but whatever crazy) at starving the child. So after excluding her husband (BG's Daddy) from the process they set up a "voluntary family maintenance plan" which involved Mom staying in a real emergency homeless shelter, rather than the catholic charity flop house she'd been staying at. From what I understood it did not require her to do anything else about the psychological illness that's causing her disordered behaviors.

Somehow the social workers completely missed the fact that what brought this child into the system (this time) was the fact that Mom's behavior had placed the child into such a state of malnutrition that she became chronically ill with a bacterial gastrointestinal infection that she should have been able to get over. Instead it required medical intervention, and that intervention only happened AFTER social services got involved because Mom refused to follow through with prescribed treatment.

As soon as the court social worker handed Mom the paperwork she got ugly with me. I refused to rise to her baiting me, and it culminated with her telling me to "Get the fuck out of my life." Oh-kay sweetheart. But by the way... I still needed to "return" Baby Girl to her. I refused to do it anywhere but at DCFS offices. She was positively spiteful... which was to be expected, I guess.

At any point I don't see a need to rehash it much more. There are conditional happy endings...

The top photo was taken before the hearing, the first day Dad has seen BG in over 3 months. He had just returned from the war in Iraq a few weeks beforehand. The second photo was taken just a few weeks ago. She's happy, growing and thriving. She's looking like a healthy baby and not a sickly infant.

I think one of the biggest milestones for her is that she's really letting Dad know when she's hungry. She was not doing at all when I first started caring for her, and was only beginning to do when she left our home.

How she came to be with Dad isn't the way I would have done things... but I have to admit that I'm okay with the end result. Still, I pray each day for her continued safety.

I also pray each day for her Mom. Who is out in the world doing God Only Knows What with God Only Knows Who. I suspect that she is also plotting a way to get Baby Girl back. Which is the main reason I pray for BG's safety. It's hard when you love someone that is on a path to their own destruction... but even harder when their actions are harming multiple others.

In the meantime my life goes on... The trip to NIH, while it produced some interesting lab work, was basically fruitless. When I returned my neurosurgeon said "Controversial diagnoses will remain controversial." He also warned me against what he called "analysis paralysis". I told him it was too late, I was already there.

After much discussion with family and introspection I have decided to take a chance on surgery. Four years is too long to have my life on hold. Yesterday was my 37th birthday, I want to get back to my life. I want to work. I want to go back to school... I want to have the life that my beloved and I have dreamed of.

On December 1st I will sign consents for surgery and hopefully be given a surgery date. I am expected to go on a family cruise in December for my parents 25th wedding anniversary. So I will likely not be able to have surgery until next year. But expect picture laden posts, from both events!

In the meantime I'm furiously knitting on a Juliet Sweater somewhat like this one that I hope to be able to wear on the cruise.

Molly Dog is doing okay on some new medication. However we're told that her prognosis is between 6 months to two years. We're loving her up lots and watching her carefully. We're more concerned with the quality of her life rather than the quantity.