Friday, February 29, 2008
Riley wants a little sister.
"Sorry honey. Mommy and Daddy aren't going to have any more babies."
Seth says, "Well, you might. Because they took out that thing that makes you not have babies. Remember?"
Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
They each have a few of these but I am over saving every piece of "art." There is no way. There are just too many.
But we had a snow day today, and they spent hours pouring over their portfolios, reminiscing about when they created each piece.
I guess it wouldn't be too much trouble to pick up a couple more binders.
* The top drawing is Riley's. It is Sponge Bob. As you can see, he is sparring with Sandy...but Sandy is going so fast, she's merely a blur. The bottom painting is of course, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, done by "Zeth."
This case is a very big deal.
Please if you can, put yourself in the child's shoes. Or in her parent's shoes. Now imagine one in 84 families going through this.
Thank you for reading it.
-Weird how close they were sitting to each other.
-Didn't like Hilary whining about lack of fun & lack of sleep on campaign trail.
-Didn't like Hilary's explanation/(evasion?) about her undisclosed tax return and the five million she lent her campaign and where it came from.
-Don't buy into Hilary's "looking mothers in the eye and feeling their pain..." when they have exorbitant health care bills for their child. I appreciate that she genuinely cares about health care but don't think she can possibly fathom what the experience is like from her place of privilege.
-Found offensive a local female blogger who was interviewed after the debate and who said Hilary didn't come across as "shrill." No male candidate would EVER be described as shrill(or not shrill).
-Thought it was a great exchange, they both held their own, but Obama "won." Of course I am biased because I'm rooting for him. He comes off as a sincere thoughtful compassionate intelligent person. She comes off as a "politician."
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
Finally, The Federal Vaccine Court has conceded that a child's "autism symptoms" were triggered by her vaccines.
While the government has "conceded," they continue to split hairs over words. Calling this child's autism a "mitochondiral disorder," aggravated by the vaccines. Not truly autism. Just looks exactly like it.
Call it whatever you want, but stop inflicting it on our kids and start putting your energies toward helping the ones you've already harmed, rather than protecting your own asses, motherfuckers.
Interestingly, many therapies that have helped Riley are the same therapies used to treat mitochondrial disease, most notably our beloved MB12.
A new day is dawning, people.
I have a long list of medical professionals I am willing to accept apologies from.
Thank you for your herosim in reporting David Kirby. Thank you Huffington Post.
Thank you dear readers for making this mom, feel like someone is listening.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Anyway...check out the "tude" of the girl on the cover of her first book, coming out in October. Isn't she fabulous? Don't you just love it?
Of course Courtney writes fiction. She isn't drawing upon any of her own childhood angst. It's totally made up.
In addition to My So Called Family, Courtney has already sold three more books:
Positively (2009),Sincerely, Sophie(2010) and Sincerely, Kate (2010), all to a tiny little publishing company you may have heard of called Simon & Schuster.
Courtney isn't afraid to tackle tough issues in her books from sperm donor kids to HIV. Those of us who grew up hanging on Judy's every word know how very important this genre is.
Go, go, go!
Sunday, February 24, 2008
Saturday, February 23, 2008
I want you to be concerned about your next door neighbor. Do you know your next door neighbor? - Mother Teresa
A teenage boy with Asperger's who had been "bullied for years" stabbed four students last week at his school in Pennsylvania. In a local newspaper article about the incident, Asperger's was repeatedly described as a mental disorder. There has been an uproar in the autism community, people are pissed about stereotyping kids on the spectrum as violent.
My daughter has Asperger's and she is non-violent. She has never, in her life, struck out against another person. Instead, she tends to "implode" when frustrated or afraid.
That being said, she has an extremely low frustration tolerance, which is typical of kids with autism. A child on the spectrum is much less able to "tolerate" the very behavior of the bully, so therefore his/her Asperger's does play a part in how much he can take and how he/she handles abuse. Dr. Ross Greene, in his book The Explosive Child (best parenting book ever, BTW)talks about how "affected" children get to a point of "vapor lock" and are no longer able to think rationally. These kids have so much to deal with already, it does not take much extra stress to push them over the edge.
I think Asperger's certainly did play a part in the stabbings, but the failure is squarely on the shoulders of the medical community that inflicts the condition on children in the first place and then fails to help them. It is not a mental disorder. It is a full body chronic illness brought on by repeated environmental assaults.
But the blame doesn't stop there.
Big pharma and the "profit before children's health" mentality, big government "owned" by big pharma, the insurance companies who deny coverage for needed therapies, the public school systems that deny services and deny teachers support and training...they all need to be looking in the mirror too. How is it acceptable that a child was "bullied for years?"
And what about people who have no involvement with autism what-so-ever? I know several parents who have expressed relief to me that their children are unscathed.
How "unscathed" are the children who were stabbed?
Wake up people.
With one in 84 boys affected, no one is unscathed. Even if you send your kids to a "no autism allowed" school, your children will be paying the cost of institutionalizing their peers who didn't get the help they needed when they were young. Or, they will be experiencing the effects of homelessness the likes of which this country has never seen.
We need to stop causing autism in the first place. We need to become conscious parents and stop over vaccinating our kids. We need to take the crap out of vaccines and make them safer. Most people spend more time picking out appliances then they do educating themselves on this important issue. We need to stop making disconnected, harried, tired, arrogant, pathetic sheep following the herd doctors, God.
We need to educate "typicals" about autism. Children have such kind hearts. Most kids, when given the information and tools, have deep reserves of compassion. My daughter's teachers have done a beautiful job teaching the typical children about the three in her class with Asperger's and what they can do to support them. As a result, her classmates won't tolerate anyone even attempting to bully these kids. It isn't cool.
And lastly, we need to look at the bullies. Hurt people hurt other people. Every attack is a call for help. A call for love. What's going on with these kids? Why are they hurting? How can we help? We are failing if we don't address the needs of these children too. If they felt good about themselves, they would not be bullying in the first place.
Again, most kids on the autism spectrum are not violent, but this issue is so much bigger than autism stereotypes.
I repeat, no one is walking out of this epidemic unscathed.
Friday, February 22, 2008
Naomi is an incredible mom. She is intelligent and thoughtful and loving. She is grace personified. I don't worry about Adam at all. Not with a mom like her and a Dad who writes songs like this.
Also worth noting, Zach is the brother to the fabulous Shannon Coates. Yes it's sick and wrong for all that talent to be heaped upon one family, but perhaps my grandchildren will get some of their good genes.
I'd read the book already, but during Dr. Post's presentation, I had a light bulb moment. He was talking about how chemistry in the body changes, and different areas of the brain light up when we do good, (or even just think about doing good).
Riley is fortunate to have a few little girls in her class who take her under their wing and help when she is afraid or disruptive, offering encouragement throughout the day. I feel an immense amount of gratitude to these girls, almost to the point of feeling apologetic or indebted at times.
It hadn't occurred to me that helping Riley is also helping them. Altruism releases feel good chemicals in the body. Altruistic people even live longer than curmudgeons.
If it's true that "good things happen to good people," Ms. Riley is a going to have a great life.
So are her sweet little friends.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
I waited a loooooooong time in the exam room, reading a hard hitting article in Glamour Magazine about "questions men really want to ask us but are too embarrassed to ask." I was riveted, but kept getting distracted.
I remember that.
Putting down the magazine I closed my eyes and silently talked to the baby in the next "womb."
"Hello precious. What a brave little soul you are, embarking on this journey. You are going to have such fun! I'm so glad you are coming, to make your mark on the world. Welcome, welcome."
We continued our chat until the doctor came in, catching me grinning, eyes closed.
"Sorry I'm late."
"Not a problem." I told her.
Later, HT called from work,
"How was your appointment? A waste of time?"
"No." I told him.
"It really wasn't."
* Check out the fetus. I think it's a close relative of Carrie's.
Can the Government Take Your Kid if They Don't Agree With the Treatments You Choose for Autism? You Betcha!
Okay, that's not fair. I know many social workers are doing a good job, but time and time again I have seen children hurt by the system that is supposed to protect them, and the "social worker" has usually been the one at the helm.
Monday, February 18, 2008
That little flash scared me. My daughter's behavior was insane. I was at my limit. We were in serious trouble, and we needed to figure out what was wrong.
Before we started bio-med therapies, I had no idea the child who had become my nightmare would one day again be my joy, but she is. She is my joy! She has been steadily recovering and she feels better. Because she feels better, who she really is can shine. Who she really is, is the most loving, gentle, sweet, innocent, pure, tender-hearted person you can imagine. Who she really is was not visible when her body was polluted and she felt lousy.
Riley is one of many children recovering to varying degrees, from autism.
Baxter, (the handsome little guy in the photo above) is one who has gone all the way. I don't know his mom, and don't know if she ever went through such a "dark night of the soul," but I suspect, most parents of kids on the spectrum have had their desperate moments.
This is for any parent who is in that place now.
Watch Baxter here.
Take strength in his story.
There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
For Immediate Release:
February 15, 2008
AAP Initiates Public Relations Effort to Counter Bad Vaccine Publicity
National Autism Association Requests AAP Instead Focus on Removing
Unnecessary Toxins From Vaccines and Providing Medical Treatments for
Children with Autism
Chicago - The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has initiated a "parent
spokesperson" campaign to counter recent negative publicity surrounding
toxins in vaccines, requesting parent vaccine proponents to conduct media
interviews as "part of our ongoing response to media stories regarding
autism and vaccines."
The negative publicity stems from long-standing reports from thousands of
parents that the mercury-based vaccine preservative thimerosal contributed
to their children's regressive autism. In 1999, the AAP issued a statement
requesting the toxin be phased out of vaccines, but has since continued
supporting its use as a preservative, even fighting against legislation in
several states which would ban the poison from children's vaccines.
Although the mercury content in many vaccines on the current schedule has
been reduced to trace amounts, these trace amounts are not regulated by the
FDA. Large doses of mercury still remain in some vaccines, including flu
shots. Other highly toxic substances including aluminum remain as well.
Parent advocates for children's health believe the AAP should direct their
resources towards increasing the safety of vaccines, rather than
damage-control media campaigns and attempts to censor fictional TV shows
such as ABC's "Eli Stone". "Their resources are so valuable," says Rita
Shreffler, parent and Executive Director of NAA. "It is my hope that the AAP
will stop defending the continued use of poison in vaccines and instead
direct that energy towards implementing promising medical treatments that
have thus far been denied to the vast number of children diagnosed with
autism. In the last several years, we have come to know that improvement and
even recovery from autism is possible when children receive appropriate
medical attention, yet the AAP continues to dismiss these treatments."
A growing body of scientific research including a Centers for Disease
Control study from 2000 indicates a link between thimerosal exposure and
several specific neurological injuries including autism. For years,
Shreffler and her colleagues have requested the toxins be removed from all
"If the AAP truly wants the best possible publicity for vaccines, they can
start by discouraging the use of toxic components."
For more information, visit www.nationalautism. org
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
and the next one isn't really birthday, but how could I let it go?
Happy Birthday to you Ms. Carrie Wilson Link!
Also...found this the other day on Brewed Fresh Daily. Saved it for today, because it's Valentine's day and because the birthday girl likes Post Secret.
Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Tuesday, February 12, 2008
When my brain is fuzzy from writing I take a break to look at art. Every week I check out a few oversized books from the library. I am not picky. Sometimes favorites. Sometimes artists/photographers I've never heard of. Rarely do I read the texts.
Unless of course I'm getting spanked by Obama.
Then, all bets are off.
Here's your one chance Fancy (I mean Chelsea) don't let me down.
They make such a big deal out of "protecting Chelsea" but suddenly it's okay to, if not quite "pimp," her out, then "use" her in this way now?
And then they work the stupid insult...to boost their campaign! This is what I don't like about the Clinton camp. Everything is a slick, measured move.
Sigh. If only all the Clintons had been concerned about protecting the dignity of young women.
Yes, the O'Neils are down for the count. Not the best week for Hot Toddy to have volunteered for extra hours at another hospital, (though no one was sick when he agreed to it).
I'm running on Airborne and motrin, and of course my good looks and winning personality.
Monday, February 11, 2008
He and a few others (Toni Braxton, Doug Flutie, Holly Robison Peete) are going to be on Larry King Thursday in what is being touted as an uplifting show.
I think they're doing the show as a little gifty to Carrie. It's her birthday Thursday and she really digs that kid. Reminds her of someone she knows.
* Photo by Eric Sucar, The Daily Messenger, via AP, published in USA Today
Saturday, February 09, 2008
Riley said "ain't" in a sentence today and I corrected her.
"It's not the best choice of word. Unless you are kidding, you know, using it deliberatley."
"Well if you use it a lot, people assume you're not that smart."
She pauses for a second, thinking, eyes looking up to the right, toward the ceiling, then says,
"But it's okay for Sandy (from Sponge Bob) to say it, right? 'Cause she's from Texas."
Friday, February 08, 2008
- Marianne Williamson
"What am I going to do when you're too big for me to carry?" I ask.
He pulls his face back a bit and looks in my eyes.
"I'll carry you." he says.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
Riley screams and screams, but Todd manages to get her (plus Seth) in the door. The teacher's aide accompanies them to the nurse's office, to look for some dry pants in the lost and found. She can wear them until her's are dry.
Everything Todd pulls out of the box is not right.
"THOSE PANTS ARE FOR BOY'S!"
She's never been so insulted in her life.
Seth's going to be late for preschool.
Riley continues to wail.
Todd tries another pair.
She screams, "This is so embarrassing!!!"
Todd throws up his hands.
"Riley. Why is it embarrassing? It's not like you peed your pants!"
The teacher's aide leans in and whispers, nodding in the direction of the little girl across the room.
"Mr. O'Neil. That little girl did pee her pants."
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
Per teacher's request we're making them this year, construction paper and scissors. Lots of stickers. Nothing to it. She had just a few left to make.
"C'mon Riley. We need to get coats on. It's time to go!"
Exasperated I ask, "How many do you have left?"
I zip up Seth's coat and help him with his boots.
"Just one left Mommy, only one."
"Okay, but make it quick. We gotta go."
I stand there glaring at her, Dr. Greene's words ringing in my ears, "If you have a child with flexibility issues, it does not make sense to match their inflexibility with your own."
Taking a breath I exhale and ask, "Who's that last one for, anyway?"
"Riley." She says, smiling proud as she smooths the final sticker in place.
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Dripping water all over his chair and the floor, he wipes the jelly off his hands.
"Seth, if you need to clean your hands go wash them, don't dunk your napkin in the water. Now please go get a paper towel and clean up the water you just dripped all over."
He gets a paper towel, and as he wipes up his mess says,
"Mom. Did you know they make a towel that doesn't leave a streaky trail like other paper towels?"
And my mom sent me this article, which makes me kind of weepy with joy.
There is hope for a new generation of physicians. Doctors who will prescribe meds based on what's healthiest and most affordable for the patient rather than who sent them to a "continuing ed" seminar in Hawaii, or who took their wives shopping while they went golfing, or who gave them the best dinners or lunches, or the best pens, or travel mugs, and on and on it goes.
Like it says in the article, the sacred doctor/patient relationship has been compromised by big pharma, big time.
We want change.
There is hope.
Monday, February 04, 2008
Sunday, February 03, 2008
Friday, February 01, 2008
“Every hand that touches me in the hospital is a healing hand and expresses only love. The operation goes quickly and easily and perfectly. I am totally comfortable at all times.”
I let out a breath.
My previous experience with gynecological surgeries has not been good. Two c-sections, both traumatic in their own way. Before that, a D & C due to a heartbreaking miscarriage; the fear of that surgery magnified because I worked in the same OR and knew every employee there. I’d seen unconscious women left up in stirrups, by “unconscious” OR staff, long after it was necessary. A woman’s private parts all out there, for any janitor, orderly or pharmacy tech delivering meds(me)to see.
Five years ago I had an IUD put in. We were in crises with Riley. Seth was a little baby. We did not want to get pregnant. There was no time to negotiate vasectomy. There was no time to think. The IUD was quick, easy, held little risk and could be removed in an office visit at any time. It was the perfect “for now” solution.
But it wasn’t perfect. The literature they gave me said two weeks after insertion, check to make sure the “strings” are in place.
The "strings" are supposed to dangle out of the cervix, making that office visit removal a snap.
When I questioned my doctor, she tried to shame me.
“What were you doing fishing around up there anyway?”
“It said to check, on the directions you gave me.” I glared at her.
“Well, what happened is….your uterus has a funny shape, it’s kind of folded over, so it was really difficult to judge how long to cut the strings.”
Translation….your body is the problem.
“How old are you?” She asked.
She counted on her fingers, “34, 35, 36, …..well, the IUD is good for ten years, so you’ll be forty-four. By then it might be time for a hysterectomy anyway. Or I could take the IUD out, of course it would now have to be a surgical procedure, but I could reinsert another one.”
The thought of finding a baby-sitter for my screaming toddler was more overwhelming than the thought of a surgical procedure, though I knew for a fact I would never let that woman touch me again.
And so, the IUD has been with me for five years. Even though it screwed up my menstrual cycles, the benefits were worth it.
But recently my new friend Little Thyroid spoke up. The type of thyroid problem I have is auto-immune, and she asked, “Is it really a good idea to have a piece of plastic lodged in your uterus? I mean…is it good for your immune system to have a foreign body in there?”
She had a point. Time to get it out.
Little Thyroid is so smart. She has me doing all these self-love affirmations from Louise Hay and she’s vigilant about meditation. She does not put up with any of my self criticism. She just won’t tolerate it.
The nurse spotted the cord to my walkman and asked about it. She didn’t think it was allowed. My new doctor came in to talk with me, shaking her head.
“But you’ll be sleeping.” She said.
“I will still be hearing,” I countered.
Finally, the cool anesthesiologist gave me the green light.
“I’m going to give you something to help you relax.” She said. Cold sensation in my arm….music, my meditation music, plays in my ears and I think to myself,
“Every hand that touches me in the hospital is a healing hand and expresses only love. The operation goes quickly and easily and perfectly. I am totally comfortable at all times.”
I repeat the affirmation silently again. “Love” is the last word through as my lights go out.
“What is that you were listening to?”
I smile and hand her the headphones, the music is still playing and she puts them on her ears.
She jots down the name of the CD and the artist.
“We should hire you to come teach meditation to everyone who passes through the OR.” She says. "You were so relaxed, it was amazing. We need more calm patients!”
“I want to see you in two weeks.” she says.
I stop her as she leaves,
“By the way…is my uterus odd shaped or folded over?”
She looks at me sideways and says slowly, “No? Why do you ask?
“Nevermind,” I tell her.
I put my headphones back on, close my eyes,
And Little Thyroid smiles.
Throw in the fact that they tackled the autism/vaccine controversy in their opening episode...
what's not to love?