Sunday, May 19, 2013

I'm done

I've decided that someone else can have my job.  I'm giving my notice. I quit. No need for severance.
I'm tired of the fighting. The yelling. The name calling. The broken things. The holes in the walls.
Throwing things at me when I don't make the right thing for dinner.  The "I don't care what consequence you give me, there's nothing you can do about it."  The "I don't care if you say I can't do __________,  I'm gonna do it anyway."   The breaking into my room and taking whatever he wants.

I am no longer an effective employee.  If there's any question about this, look no further than the other two charges in my care.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013


This is the text I received yesterday, "We need u to babysit a cute stray dog.  We took it to the vet.  No microchip.  She's too sweet to take to pound.  Or he.  Put out a Craigslist ad.  No reply.  If she is still at our house when we get back"  Before I even finished reading this, the phone rang.  It was my sister asking if I had read her text about the dog.  She said the dog wandered into her yard when one of the kids left their gate open.  They had just driven to Bend to pick up a rescue Border Collie and couldn't keep another animal.  So she asked if Egypt could look after him.  Just days before this, I had been scouring the internet looking for an Australian Shepherd rescue dog.  Even rescue dogs are very expensive (more so when you don't have a job to buy one in the first place!).  I had found an adorable mini Aussie in West Linn and emailed twice about him.  But no answer. 

I guess we were waiting for God to drop Jasper into our lives.  I keep telling the kids not to name him.  He's just the sweetest animal - obviously was cared for at one point.  He knows several tricks, is very friendly and doesn't bark at us and follows Egypt everywhere.  But Australian Shepherds have really thick fur and it's really easy to let it get matted.  He loves being brushed and smooshes his face into your lap wanting to be petted.

I'm praying if the owner comes forward, that it happens quickly because the kids are already attached to him.  They are convinced that this dog was meant for us - how else would  we end up with a stray
Australian Shepherd?

Monday, May 13, 2013

What If

Things just keep getting progressively worse.  How is that even possible?  I thought we had hit the lowest point in this journey when we drove down to Springfield and dropped Holland off at a residential facility?!  Now it looks like we are going to be doing the same thing again.

It doesn't seem to matter how much we love this kid.  It doesn't seem to matter that we have tried doctor after doctor; countless medicines; diet changes; behavior modification treatment plans; various forms of punishment and praising of good behavior.  His damaged brain just will not learn that we love him and his actions beget consequences like calling the police.  We are working with Catholic Community Services.  We have a mental health team in place at school.  We are working with a psychiatrist.  He has all these skills that he's supposed to have learned from his stay at the treatment center in Springfield.  And still.....

He is becoming so dangerous and violent that the only way to keep the family safe is to get him into Treatment Foster Care.  And the only way to get him in that placement is to first get him admitted into a residential facility again.  This is what we were trying to do when he first was released from Safe Center.  The recommendation was for Treatment Foster Care.  But because of all the insurance tie-ups, there was no way to get him into that.  Plus, DHS was not backing that recommendation.  So his transition from a very structured residential placement to back home took place and we are now looking at getting him into another residential placement so he can enter the Treatment Foster Care system.  Because he is considered in a "safe" placement being at home, DHS will NOT place him in a foster care home right from here.  So we have to get him into residential, and then get him placed into a Treatment Foster Home.  We are talking a MAJOR traumatic event in this child's life.

And there's nothing left to do about it.  We are out of options.

He doesn't trust me.

Every time I say we're going to a doctor's appointment, he doesn't want to get in the car.  And why would he? 

This week is shaping up to be one of the worst in the history of our family.  And to top it off, I was reminded yesterday, the Mother of all Days, that I have failed in this one job I have been given.   On the way to church, I made the boys get out of the car and walk back home.  They had been arguing all morning and I told them they had until 10:30 to get themselves ready.  I was going to leave at that time, whether or not they were ready.  I sat in the car as they ran with shoes and still yelling at me that I didn't wait.  I pulled over the car, and said "get out.  You've made me late and I don't want you with me."  So they did.  How's THAT for a mother's day treat?   Then I had Egypt crying that I wasn't buying the family a dog, because their cousins just got one.  I almost turned the car around and dropped her off at home as well.  To top off the best of all days, there was a baby dedication at church.

I saw myself fourteen years ago, standing up there with Super Hero, as we were dedicating our lives to raising our son to follow Christ and praying for protection from Evil.   We have had many prayers surround us, but Evil has not tread lightly on us.  All I could think about was how I felt those prayers had escaped us these past years.  I believed that we would be protected and I pictured raising children to follow a Godly path. 

It is incredibly hard not to feel the sadness that goes along with this kind of life.  When we were first trying to start a family, it was always the "what ifs", when we we couldn't conceive children.  Now, it's the "what ifs" that go along with raising a child with severe mental deficits and the unknown outcome of his disabilities.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Mental Health System is Broken

Ever since Holland came home from the residential treatment facility, we've had access to really good services through the Oregon Health Plan.  It's really sad that it took Super Hero losing his job to get good health care.  Everything else about him losing his job has been horrible (not enough money for food; standing in line at churches to pick up food every week; barely being able to pay monthly bills; not being able to buy nice gifts for the boys' birthdays.)  But the health care has been the one plus of this whole situation.  I don't like depending on the government to "take care" of us.  But I'm really glad that there are programs set up like this - otherwise I really don't know, or want to think about, what we'd do if we didn't have this available to us.

We have a really great therapist that comes to our house.  That's never happened before.  Anyone who has been involved with therapy knows that there are lots of doctors involved and you are constantly driving all over the place.  With this insurance the therapist comes right to our house for family therapy and also therapy with Holland.  There are also "skills trainers" that come twice weekly.  So far we've had about 6 different people come out and take Holland into the community.  They've gone to parks, the library, out to grab ice cream, walks with their dogs, Goodwill to pick up computer parts and today the guy took him to Subway to grab lunch before our meeting with the psychiatrist.  Too bad he didn't eat anything except chips.  He said he didn't like their bread - even though they have gluten free, he didn't even want to try it. 

So there's what's good about our healthcare so far.  Here's where the breakdown happens.  In Oregon, some idiotic government people decided that at age 14, children have become competant enough to make decisions regarding their mental health and whether or not they should take medications.  At age 14 you're not allowed to: vote; serve on a jury; buy property; rent property; sue; be sued; sign legal documents; open a bank account; apply for a credit card; drink; drive a vehicle; get married (in most states!).  So by comparison, my child can tell whether or not he needs medicine that will help his dopamine levels even out, but not that Barack Obama will screw up this country for another 4 years.  Thanks for clearing that up.

When we went in for our first appointment with the psychiatrist since getting our new insurance, I had no idea that Holland would be signing for his own prescriptions.  In my mind, as the mother you go to the doctor, discuss the problems that are happening and decide on a treatment and get whatever medicine you decide together are appropriate.  What happens when he has pneumonia and refuses treatment for that?  This is just totally screwed up in my mind.  When the doctor was explaining what the medications were for (to help him be more calm and to sleep better), he said "no, I don't want you to give me medicine that will make me not like the computer.  And I also don't want to sleep in, in the morning."  He gets up at 3:30 in the morning and roams around the house doing the wii and the computer.  He doesn't want to sleep anymore because he'll miss time on the computer.  Yep.  That sounds like a totally competant person to me.  One that can appropriately judge how he may or may not need to take medication to regulate his mood and sleeping habits.  I now understand why his residental stay ended at age 14.  Because the state can no longer give him medication after age 14 without his consent.  And guess what?  NO ONE told me that!  Not ONE person on staff there mentioned that when we got home, Holland would be able to refuse treatment.  If they would have done that, I would have pulled him out of there before he turned 14, and gotten him on this insurance.  Then we would have at least been able to get him started on medication that would be regulating his mood and helping him sleep.

This is how the mentally ill in the country are getting swept under the rug.  The government is making it impossible for families to help their own children get treatment.  They declare children competant at age 14 (and in Washington state it's 13!) so they can refuse treatment without even understanding what a drug's benefit can actually be.  This is pure insanity.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Basketball Camp

A couple weeks ago, I jokingly posted on my Facebook wall, asking if anyone wanted to contribute money to help get Egypt to a basketball camp this summer.  I only did it because we don't have $200 to get her there and the camp is hosted by the former coach of Oregon City High School, Brad Smith.  He led the Pioneers to numerous State and National Championships, which date back to when I was in high school, over 20 years ago!

Two things happened:  people commented that there was actually a website for starting your own fund raisers; and I set one up!  I've posted several updates and included photos of Egypt playing in her second season of basketball.  She even has a nickname from the other parents:  "The Intimidator".  I love that she doesn't back down.  Even when they've played all-boys teams.  Her age group is currently set up for co-ed, but she's been playing soccer for several years with three other girls and we wanted them to continue to play together.  Then Egypt subbed on another soccer team last fall and I got to know that coach as well.  So we formed an all-girls team and we love it.  Last year when she played with boys, they never passed the ball to her, but expected her to pass the ball to them.  She's a very aggressive player and is the best defensive player on her team. 

Last week a friend from Egypt's arthritis camp shared her goal to get to basketball camp on her own Facebook wall.  And by morning we had two donations!  It was so exciting to know that people wanted to help her get to camp.  I've sent in a deposit to reserve her a spot - so I'm hoping that we can get all the money raised to send her to this two-week camp.  I've set up the widget on the side of my blog.  Check out the updates and even a couple bucks would help us get toward our goal!

Egypt - #6

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Life With Pepper

I'm finally getting around to posting about Egypt's new pet rabbit - Pepper.  Such an adorable little guy.  So friendly and curious.  Loves to be held and have his forehead rubbed.  She's done an awesome job taking care of him.  I've added "taking care of Pepper" to her list of chores, but it isn't really a chore!  She would do it whether I wrote it down or not.  She feeds him first thing in the morning and exercises him twice a day.  We finally got a play area set up for him on the patio under the deck where he can hop around among hay bales without roaming too far.  Our yard is too big and he'd get lost or squeeze under the fence and be gone forever.

Here are some pictures of the newest member of the family in all his sweetness.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Tumble

Egypt has been playing basketball for a couple of weeks now.  She's a force to be reckoned with on the court.  I would NOT want to be the person she is guarding.  She is totally serious and focused.  The coach told her to guard her person (they follow colored wristbands) and she does not let that player out of her sight.  I had been taking her to practices because Romania still had a few basketball practices left and they overlapped.  Plus, I wanted to know exactly what the coach said and sometimes when Super Hero goes to practice, I don't always get all the information I need.

But on February 7th, Romania had a Lacrosse meeting.  Mandatory.  That's what the email said.  And like all mothers that pay attention to sports emails, I decided to go so I could get all the information I needed.  So I sent Super Hero off with Egypt for her basketball practice and finished getting ready so I could drive the 5 minutes to the old high school for the Mandatory Meeting.  As I was walking down the stairs, I somehow missed the bottom two steps and my right foot went underneath me and I fell to the landing at the bottom.  I won't lie that I screamed.  Like a girl.  Romania came over.  I have never felt such physical pain.  Not even from childbirth.  Both my pregnancies ended up with c-section deliveries and me being put under.  I remember none of the pain (except when I woke and from having had surgery).  But this pain was horrendous.  Both my ankles had been twisted and jolted.   Romania got ice and put it in a bag and for some stupid reason, I got up, hobbled to the car, and drove to the stupid Mandatory Meeting in horrendous pain.

I couldn't even park close.  We weren't even sure where to go in and I hobbled all over the place with Lacrosse moms haggling for space at the uniform table, trying to get their kid's favorite number.  I love my kid so much, I grabbed #47 and said "Here.  Here's your favorite number now."  The place was packed with all levels of players and not enough seats for even half.  They had equipment for loan, but I was in so much pain, we just sat down at some tables, me with my swollen ankle flailing on a bench in front of me, waiting for the Mandatory Meeting to be over.  Romania had grabbed a bag and filled it with ice and I kept that on my ankle for most of the Mandatory Meeting.  At one point I looked down to survery the damage, and I swear it looked like my ankle was growing crooked.  This mom sitting next to me about fell off the bench when she saw it and asked me what happened.  I explained that I had fallen down my stairs, but for some stupid reason had still driven to the meeting.  You know.  Because it was required to sign in, and get my kid's uniform. 

By the end of the meeting, it was clear I would NOT be driving home.  I texted Super Hero and said he needed to drive down and pick us up.  I don't know how I hobbled to the car.  I had to lean on Romania, who is a good foot shorter than me.  There should be some online course for how to help an injured person walk.  Because my family is no good at it.  Super Hero came and he was on the other side and neither one of them was any help.  I felt like I was on a trampoline.  They weren't walking in sync and I couldn't stop them to sign to Super Hero to tell him how to walk.  I gave up and hopped to the car.   Every jolt felt like someone was knifing me in the ankles.  Little sharks biting at me.

I took some Vicodin that Super Hero had left over from his shoulder surgery and camped out on the couch downstairs.  By morning, I texted him and said "take me to the ER."  I really thought I had broken it.  The pain was so bad.  The swelling made me look like The Elephant Man.  There was so much bruising.  The ER actually got me in right away to a room, but the wait was long.  They did several x-rays and the doctor said he was concerned about one area near my ankle that looked like it could be fractured.  Also, because there was so much swelling and bruising, torn ligaments is always a concern.  I was supposed to call the orthopedist when I got home to make an appointment.  But by the time I got home, their office was closed.

I was able to see the orthopedist on Thursday.  I called around to many places, trying to find a cheaper way to see someone and get further treatment.  Having no insurance makes even the people treating you nervous.  They're afraid you're not going to pay for service.  I had to pay for everything up front at the orthopedist - $158 to see the doctor and then another $76 for the x-rays.  Even though the appointment lasted way too long (we were there almost 3 hours from start to finish), I had a really great doctor.  When he came in and saw my leg all bruised up, he said, "who beat you up?!"  I laughed and said, "my stairs!"   He had looked at the x-rays from the ER and said it didn't looked like it was fractured to him, but he also wanted to x-ray a little higher up, near my knee.  He said oftentimes a break can occur when there is trauma down near the ankle from how I fell.  I told him right then that I had no insurance.  That my husband had been laid off.  He said he would do his best to keep my cost down.  He had no idea what my treatment would be and said if in fact I needed some sort of boot, he would do his best to find me one.

The x-rays showed no fractures, either at the ankle or near my knee.  So he said I would just have to wear this big ugly boot for 6 weeks.  He even said unless I have problems, that I didn't need to make a follow up appointment.  That would save me money as well.  Just goes to show you that there are still good doctors out there.  The nurses had a little trouble locating a boot for me.  I had to stick my head out of the door several times to remind them I was still alive and needed my parting gift before I left the game show.  They didn't have one my size, so we had to drive to their other office in Tualatin.  My mom and I and the kids stopped for lunch and then popped in the office, where I was fitted with a snug sock and a big ugly boot, all in 5 minutes.  My mom joked that if we combined both appointments, that about evened out the time it should have taken.

So, my down time on the couch, when I'm not sleeping from the Vicodin, is being spent reading and knitting.  I just completed my first project.  I'm calling it "knitting in the boot".

Aren't you glad I didn't post any pictures of my swollen, disgusting foot?  My doctor said it "looked angry", so we'll just leave it at that.  I have more pictures to post of the kids and their sports.  I'll do that in the next post.  Oh - and a new member of the family.  His name is Pepper.  Egypt has the best names for animals - the three hummingbirds that visit our feeder are called Lime, Flasherdash and Honeybelle.  So, you'll get to meet Pepper tomorrow.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

This is Life

When I started blogging several years ago, it seemed that I could write something new every day.  Now I seem to go weeks, if not more, between posts.  It's not that there's nothing to write.  It's that I don't have the time to write it all down.  I also starting posting more and more on Facebook.  That gave me the satisfaction of writing short blurbs about what was going on without spending a lot of time writing every detail of what was happening here at Casa Marineau. 

Somehow I think I'm destined to write a book.  Not just because of all the things that have happened in my life.  Or that I have some great story to tell.  But because I can't stop writing it all down.  I have this problem that when I write emails to people, I go on and on explaining things.  I used to write letters a lot when I was younger.  Hand. Written. Letters.  Do people still do that sort of thing?  I still love writing on paper.  I love feeling the words come off of a good pen or a sharpened pencil.  But typing is just faster.  More precise.  Easier to change a thought or correct a mistake.  My thoughts come out of my head so fast, that my hand could never keep up with that momentum.  Here's a dumb little confession.  When I was learning how to type in high school, I would type what I was saying in my head.  I could type pretty fast, too (both in the real world and in my brain!)  Then, when I was learning sign language, I used to fingerspell everything.  I still do that.  When my kids ask me how to spell something, I have to spell it with letters on my hand.  Maybe that's why I'm such a good speller - or why I can't stand it when people have spelling errors.  Grammar Nazi.  That's me.  (I bet right now, you've gone back to see if I've misspelled anything!)

So with all this talk about writing, it seems I'm going to announce I'm writing some sort of how-to book.  How to be a good mother.  How to parent a special-needs child.  How to cope with a spouse being out of work.  How to not be depressed when it looks like everything around you is going down hill and everyone else's life looks like a joyous coaster ride.  How to deal with the school system that will not listen to you and place your child/test your child where you believe to be the most appropriate school setting.  How to argue with insurance companies about getting the best coverage for your child that needs to be removed from the home so he doesn't do more physical harm to family members.  How to homeschool your children in the midst of all the chaos of residential treatment for a sibling.  This list has been going on for some time.  I haven't really figured out what my job is at this point.  Does that sound crazy?  I don't even know what I'm supposed to be doing.  I'm not writing a book.  Not now, anyway.

All along the way, God has provided for us.  There is not a doubt in my mind about that.  It does not erase the fact that this has been the most difficult, the most stressful and most depressive time in my life.  I see things happen that are very good.  And at the same time, wonder why other things can't be worked out in a similar way.  Super-Hero lost his job in the middle of Holland's residential treatment stay.  We were dumbfounded, thinking, why would He open the door and allow Holland's placement there and then have Super-Hero be laid off?  Then, after I applied for OHP, we found out that for some unknown, unexplained reason, OHP was making the coverage retroactive.  It would mean double coverage for all of Holland's treatment at the facility.  We went from thinking we had thousands of dollars in bills, to probably owing nothing.  Then there's the food boxes from local churches.  Not only did they provide canned food and fresh food, we also received an organic turkey one week, and lots of bakery goodies that the kids love.  And a week before Christmas I got a card in the mail from one of the churches with $40 in cash and a $50 gift card to Fred Meyer.  I was blown away.  With some other money I had, I was able to buy a Wii console for the kids.  Ours has been broken for about two years and they had just been watching Netflix on it. 

I have nothing insightful to say.  Nothing very profound or earth-shattering.  Just a lot of confusion as to why this is all happening.  I look at Holland and just love him so much.  And hate that he has turned out this way.  It just kills me that I can't have a normal conversation with him.  Laugh with him about something without fear of him getting angry or misunderstanding me.  He has a good heart.  I've seen it many times.  Genuine concern for other people.  Remorse when he's done something wrong.  I don't understand why he does so well in residential and then comes home and everything implodes. 

My mom and I drove down on Thursday and took Romania and Egypt with us to visit Holland.  It was the first time since Christmas we had seen him.  We took some games down and some fun snacks - Monster Cookies.  Gluten free cookies with peanut butter, brown sugar, oatmeal, chocolate chips and m&m's.  They are a big hit with all three kids.  We ate those while playing Scattergories and had a great time.  Holland usually doesn't like playing board games, so I was surprised when he went along with this plan.  The kids came up with some great (and sometimes very insightful answers!)  One time when the letter was L and the clue was "something you keep hidden",  Holland answered 'lame underwear' and Romania said, 'love'.   The kids did fairly well for being in a small room most of the afternoon.  I took a short rest since it's a two hour drive there and back.  They watched a movie and Holland read a new book he got for Christmas during most of the movie.  Before we left, they all got to play outside in the covered play area.  It was good to see them all together having fun.  Just as it should be. 

Today Holland had another special visit.  My cousin lives down in Eugene, about 20 minutes from where Hollands is living.  My cousin had Facebooked me and asked if it was okay to visit him.  He took his son over to visit and they stayed 2 1/2 hours, playing on the computer, playing UNO and watching a movie.  Holland was already planning their next visit.  We spoke on the phone tonight and usually the first thing he asks is for me to read to him.  Every night I read him a couple chapters from a "Ranger's Apprentice" book we're reading together.  (Sometimes he calls me twice a day if he's bored).  Today, he didn't even mention the book.  He went right in to describing the visit, playing Roblox on the computer and how my cousin brought Life Savers and how they ate "almost the whole bag".   He even set up another visit in the next two weeks, wanting to take Holland to Red Robin.  I'm blessed with family.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

This and That

It's been an interesting several months with no job.  We've been busy with resumes, cover letters, job applications and countless phone calls.  It's a full time job looking for a job.  Super Hero has had one job interview.  It took about a month to finally find out he didn't get the job.  It was a really good company and he was disappointed.  He's only had one other interview and it was over the phone (on the video phone) and they said he wasn't what they were looking for.  He's applied to the top 10 firms in the area, and now is working on smaller firms and branching out farther geographically.

Meanwhile, I've been working hard with homeschooling and keeping the house intact.  Which isn't easy with Super Hero home.  You'd think having an extra body at home would be helpful, but it actually makes our school schedule more confusing.  We'll be in the middle of something and he'll want the kids to empty the dishwasher or help him with yardwork.  I tell him to act like the kids are phsyically gone at school.  He is also on the computer most of the day looking at job postings, or filling out applications so it also makes our schedule more complicated having to work around that since we use the computer quite a bit throughout the day.  Sometimes it seems like school can stretch to 8 hours!

We've also been driving down to retrieve Holland almost every Friday and bring him back home for a weekend visit.  They have not gone well for the most part.  I have seen improvements in many areas of his behavior - he is not as violent as he used to be.  But he still has that potential for rage and the littlest things can set him off.  The weekends are stressful and tiring from driving four hours on Friday and again on Sunday and all the fighting and arguing that happens in 2 1/2 days.  We spend all weekend trying to keep everything peaceful and then are exhausted at the end of it and enjoy very little, if any, of it.

There have been some amazing things happening though.  And I have to include those here.  Because although we are stressed, we've also been blessed!  We have been able to pick up food boxes from local churches for the past several weeks.  I found a listing of local churches that offer food boxes to those in the area, designated certain days and times of the week.  Usually you can pick things up every other week, or once a month, depending on the church.  We've had some pretty yummy things given to us (and some interesting things, too!), and each time Super Hero comes back with a box, I feel likes it's Christmas and Thanksgiving rolled into one day!  There is fruit and veggies, meat, bread, snacks for the kids, canned food, day-old items from local bakeries or Starbucks and sometimes even shampoo and facial soap.  One time there was even two rolls of toilet paper, and it was perfect timing, because I was completely out!  God provides.  It was amazing.

The other wonderful thing that happened was I had emailed my church about getting a Thanksgiving basket this year.  In the past, I knew that they had put together food baskets for those in need in the community.  So I asked if this year we could be included in that.  Unfortunately, they had such a low number of people request them last year, they decided not to do it this year (which is unfortunate).  But they said they would be happy to give us a gift card to a grocery store to help us purchase the items we needed.  Yesterday the secretary called me and said that she had the gift card and also an envelope that someone had dropped off with some money it in.  I said that Super Hero was out running errands and he could come by and pick it up.  When he came home with the envelope, there was $200 inside!  We all just stared at the money! (Well, Romania wanted to inspect it to see if he could see the clock on Independance Hall on the back of the bill!). 

Oh, and one more thing.  I called Oregon Health Plan to find out what kind of coverage the kids have for their medical plan, so I know what doctors to choose.  I was told that Holland's care had actually started on August 15th.  I had to ask that to be repeated.  I said, I didn't even apply for it until September and we won't be out of our private insurance until the end of this month.  Are you sure?  Because I don't want to be paying something back later on!!  I had two different people check it.  And yes.  They back dated his coverage.  Guess what this means?  This means that his entire stay at the residential facility has had two insurances covering it.  Primary insurance paid quite a bit and then we were going to have to pay for the rest.  And after Super Hero was laid off, we worried so much about how we were going to pay for his treatment.  Then, out of the blue, comes this information that OHP has backdated our insurance and now they can be billed as a secondary insurance to pick up the rest of the bill for his treatment.  I was just floored.  So I started asking questions about getting him approved to stay longer since the private insurance had terminated his treatment.  Still have not heard about that.  We picked him up today for an extended home visit.  I'm completely expecting him to come home for good.  That's been our plan and I didn't even inquire about this until this past Tuesday.  There is a lot of information that needs to be passed around and looked into and we probably won't get an answer until after the long weekend.  But I'm confident that Holland will end up where he's supposed to be.  I felt that every week when we were approved for that additional week of treatment every Friday.  Our therapist was completely floored every Friday when he would come into our room and say, "well, they've given him another week.  I've never seen anything like this before!"  When I called and told him yesterday that OHP was now our secondary insurance and could possibly be paying for additional time at the facility, his first response was to swear under his breath.  I don't think he's ever seen the hand of God in anything before and he seriously does not know what to think of it.  So glad that we were able to help him see that wonderful work!

Now pray for us for this very long, and probably not very happy weekend together.  Pray that Holland will WANT to change.  Pray that he will RECOGNIZE his misbehavior before it occurs and want to change it.  Pray for enough sleep for me and no migraines.

Friday, September 28, 2012

ob-la-di, ob-la-da, life goes on, brah

La la how the life goes on.  It's that song from "The Wonder Years."  Yeah.  I know it's a Beatles' song.  But this is how I remember it.

Hard to believe it's been one week.  One week ago I was doing school with the kids and was checking email.  Got one from Super Hero with the subject "bad news".  He's sent me emails before with that subject and it's usually something about 'don't spend any more money until next paycheck', or 'I don't get to play golf like I wanted.'  But this one actually was bad.  He got laid off from his job.  No warning.  No two week's notice.  In thirty days we lose our insurance.  In thirty days we have no coverage for the massive bill we're going to get for Holland's medical care at the residential facility.

He came home with about 10 huge boxes of his stuff, several large framed pictures and lots of stuff the kids had made and pictures of us as well.  It was so sad.  When he left his other job, he just moved all his 19 years worth of belongings to the new office. 

Two days after he was let go, we drove down to see Holland.  We had another family therapy session and an annual review IEP meeting.  Talk about a full weekend.  Then the next day was the kids' meeting with our ES for school.  It is just so crazy around here.  Plus I helped Super Hero rewrite his resume; write several cover letters; fill out job applications and look at job openings online.  He's under so much stress that people on his FB wall are telling him (and he's actively thinking about it) that I need to go find a teaching job.  They're telling him that he can stay home and teach the kids, while I go work.  Not only does it frustrate me that he wants me to go back to work, he couldn't even do my job if he wanted to.  Get Holland to school; go to IEP meetings; cook all the meals (including gluten free ones); teach all the subjects I do; doctor's appointments (not to mention he couldn't even communicate with the doctors without an interpreter).  Sometimes I don't understand why all this is happening.  I try not to ask "why me?"  But seriously.  Why is ALL this happening?  Don't we have enough of our portion of learning God's grace going on?

Last week during church, my pastor was telling a story of how his daughter got sick on a Disneyland trip (it related to his sermon, believe me!).  Afterwards, he spoke to me for just a minute saying how sorry he was that Super Hero lost his job.  And that he was praying for us.  "What an adventure you're having!"   I said, "I'd rather be having it in Adventureland!" 

So I'm still taking one day at a time.  I'm trying not to think about all we have to do.  Which is hard to do when your husband tells you if he doesn't find a job in two weeks, you will have to find a job or we will lose our house.  When was the last time he looked at the salary of a teacher?