Monday, June 26, 2006

Should have known...

That if I blogged about the judge taking so long....we'd get a decision. Well, my attorney called today wanting me to get an affidavit signed by my MD saying that despite what my job description says, I still can't work. That even though it's sedentary, it's still not something I can do. She says at least we will have this for when we appeal, which means we've lost.

I did get the cast off today and for now that is what I am going to focus on...the one good thing....because I am so upset about losing my SSD case (almost $2,000) a month that would have been coming in, that we are totally back to where we started.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Funky funk

That's where I have been. Feeling overwhelmed. You all know that I broke my ankle right? And you remember that it was the right one, yep, the one that you drive with? So, I haven't been able to drive and have had to rely on other's to drive me here there and everywhere. Cheryl's mother has been great, but she's 80 and I don't want to take advantage of her. She has been carting us to school (which thankfully is out now), to MD appointments and every other durn thing I need to do.

But, sometimes I just want to go and do things myself. I have missed being able to have a few minutes here or there to run to Target, or Panera's to get some soup and sit and read. Even just those few minutes to breathe and think! So, the cast should come off on Monday, and I really need to stop grousing about the whole thing already.

So, that brings me to Grandpa....I have totally been like an ostrich with my head in the sand. Nice thing for a trained clinical therapist to say huh? He is still on the vent, although my mother says they were going to put a trach in sometime this weekend. All week I have heard that they were going to wean him from the vent, but since I have been too chicken shit to get myself up to the hospital I don't know anything first hand and have to rely on everyone else to get my info. So, I am assuming that he's too weak to breathe without the vent and that is why they are going to put the trach in. My mother and sister told me the other day that they had to restrain his hands because when they rouse him he pulls at his tubes. He has a feeding tube in his neck to feed him pure nutrients. Mom says they are going to pull that one and put on in his stomach. So, maybe once they get all the tubes out of his mouth and neck, they can release his hands. My poor Grandmother has been up there alone and Mom says she doesn't think she really understands what the MD's are saying. But, Mom can't get up there to be with her, my Uncle needs to work, I can't get the picture. My MIL is leaving on Thursday to go to Kansas for her family reunion so that limits my ability to be without Katie to go up there too.

While I am in the middle of my pity party, let me just complain about the fact that we have no money since I haven't been working. Back in March I decided to take a leave of absence, but financially we just can't do it and since the judge who is deciding my SSD case is taking his ol sweet time, I am back to work 6 hours a week...BTW, can anyone tell me why it's taking this judge 3 months so far to decide that I am disabled? We so need the money....since I can't work full time to make it myself. But that is a whole other pity party...finally admitting that I am too disabled to work, only to have to sit before a judge and now WAIT! It means that we aren't doing ANYTHING this summer other than going camping the last weekend in July when Cheryl's sister is up from Florida and her brother is up from DC.

Let me just end on a good note! I went to my back MD on Thursday for a back injection. And it's working! I have much less pain...although I am doing too much and needing to learn some new limits. Sitting is still a big one for me. But I feels somewhat hopeful.... I know I will never be able to work more than 6-12 hours a weeks, but it's something right?

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Picture that went with the article I wrote!

In the picture: Cheryl (holding Katie) Wendy, with Gillian next to me. Kathleen is out minister and Cheryl's mother!

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Another Katie funny

Katie just told Cheryl, "You are the most beautiful Mama I ever made eyes on!" Oh my goodnes...could this kid get any cuter?

The other day when I came home from the hospital, I was sitting on the couch and she came up to me and crawled in my lap and asked me, "Mommy, why are you so sad?" I told her that my Grandpa (who she knows, but not well) was sick and I was sad because of that and she just sat on my lap and told me, "It's OK Mommy, you'll feel better soon". We decided then to play a game and she did something funny and said, "See, you feel better already". She is just the sweetest child I have ever met.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Really need to talk

So, most of you know what is going on with my Grandfather, which is why I haven't been around much. I am so, so sad. Tomorrow he will have surgery. Only God knows if he will survive and if he does, whether he will be OK. I already mentioned how sad I am so I won't say that again.

I will update tomorrow after the surgery. Thank you all, for you comments, for your good wishes and positive thoughts. You will never know how much i appreciate everything.

Monday, June 12, 2006

My article

I have gotten such a wonderful reception regarding the article I wrote. You can read it here What I Believe. I was really nervous about getting hate mail, but I have gotten so many positive e-mails and face to face thank you's that if I got hate mail now it wouldn't really phase me.

I still want to blog about pride but things are still serious with my Grandfather. If you had a chance to read the article, leave me a comment and tell me what you think. There was a great picture of our family with the minister, but they didn't run that online. I will try and scan it later.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Sunday morning 4am....

Well, I certainly didn't think that I would be posting from the ICU waiting room at 4:30am on Sunday. What a day Saturday was. I was all ready to post about Pride and the overwhelming feelings left from it, but here I am, in the ICU waiting room, waiting with my Grandmother while my Grandfather fights for his life. They arrived here in Syracuse on Sat. and brought my Grandfather right to the ER. He's had a least one mild heart attack on the way up here and another moderate/severe on once they got him here. The next 24-48 hours are critical for him.

It's almost surreal sitting here. Who would have thought that there would be a computer in the waiting room where I could sit and write. I have so many things to write about, but my mind is still in emergency mode...Saturday was the most emotional day that I have ever, ever been though.

Please, if you pray, please say a prayer for my Grandfather. Pray for the team of doctors that are working around the clock to save his life. Pray that he stay's comfortable. And if that isn't enough prayers, please, pray for my family that we continue to have the strength to hold each other as we journey through this together.

Thank you....

UPDATE - 6pm. Grandpa ate some fruit and some lunch. That is the good news. The bad news is that he is spitting up blood. They are trying to find out if he has a blood clot on his lung(s). They can't do a lot of the tests that they need to to get answers because of his diminished organ functioning. He looks so sick. It's so hard to see my once strong and robust Grandfather look so sick and fragile. Prayers continue to be accepted and are working. The minister from our church was up last night (Thank you so much Kathleen) and provided much needed comfort to us all. I am tired, but did get a nap after church this morning. I got some very nice comments about the article I wrote and was feeling proud to have the courage to write what I did. I still need to do a lot of processing about Pride. The rabid protesters were out in force and really upset Gillian. She was mostly upset with then saying that we (meaning Cheryl and I) were going to Hell because we are gay. Our minister, Kathleen has agreed to talk with Gillian about this and try and calm her fears. I hate that they got to my child this way, but I am proud that she stood up to them and marched proudly when givin the option to sit it out. I will write more when I get some sleep. Thanks again everyone for your prayers and good thoughts.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My Gillian

Summer is coming. Unfortunately for Gillian that means summer school. Those of you that know me and have been reading me know that Gillian was diagnosed with a severe learning disability last year in 7th grade. For those of you who don't know, I will give you a quick update.....Since Gillian was in 4th grade we have had concerns about her reading. She just wasn't comprehending what she was reading. I asked for her to be tested and they told me that she was really OK and they put her in a reading lab for the year to boost her comprehension skills. In 5th grade her teacher thought maybe she had some ADD problems, not learning problems. Now, as a clinical social worker, I have worked with many, many ADD/ADHD kids and I knew Gillian didn't have ADD/ADHD. She had a learning disability. Another year went by with no testing. In 6th grade Gillian started at the middle school. This was the first year that our district moved the grades around and so things were crazy. Add to this that starting at the end of 5th grade Gillian started to have horrid diareah. The horrible diarreah continued through the summer and we wrote it off to the stres of her going to middle school. The first week of school was so horrible for her and then I noticed that there was blood in her stools. She was admitted to the hospital for 8 days and after a colonoscopy was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. What a year that was. She was on high doses of prednisone which made her very angry and we had lots of acting out behavior. She continued to struggle in school and I again requested she be tested. That fell on deaf ears. As soon as she started 7th grade, I demanded she be tested and her teachers concurred. At the end of the testing it was determined that she was reading at a 2nd grade level and doing math at a 1st grade level. This kid had worked so hard in school and PASSED, sometimes being on honor roll. I blew a major gasket. She was diagnosed with a severe perceptual visual delay. Basically, when she reads anything her eyes jump all over the page so she doesn't know what she is reading. We took her to the eye MD where they said for $1,000 they could do vision training, but couldn't guarantee that it would make a difference. So, we didn't do it although if we become independently wealthy we will. As you might imagine this has created a lot of stress in the house. I feel so helpless. I wonder all the time if there was something that I did that caused this in her. I keep thinking back to when I was in labor with her and the lack of oxygen she suffered necessitating the crash C-Section that I had to have. Next year Gillian will be in a 12:1:1 class. If she wants to graduate with a regular high school diploma she will have to go to school for an extra year because as far as diploma's go, next year won't count for her. She is totally sucking it up and doing this so she can get a regular diploma.

Which brings us back to the summer. She is going to be in a new program called Jump Start where they won't just go over skills from last year, but introduce some that they will be learning next year. She will be in summer school half of the day through most of the summer. Again, she is totally sucking it up because she knows that she has to do this.

So, yesterday I wrote about how proud I was of Katie. Today I wanted to brag about Gillian. While she gives us a run for our money, she is the most hard working kid I have ever met! WTG Gillian! You rock hard.....and I love you more than you will ever know!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

My Katie

My beautiful Katie. What a wonderful, smart little girl you are! Only 3 years old and you already know how to write your name, and some other words. How and I ever going to keep up with you...? I love that I can stay home with you. We have the best conversations. Thanks for being such a great kid!

Here you are at your most serious!

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

My Grandpa...

My Grandpa is sick. I am so sad about this. See, he isn't just a Grandpa to me, but a father as well. Most of you that read me know that my father died very tragically when I was 10. Ever since then, my Grandfather has been there in that capacity. Every summer, he and Grandma took us up to their camp in Canada where we got to go swimming and play with all of our other cousins. It's an experience that I will never forget and one that I hope my children will get to experience in their lifetimes.

My mother called today to tell me that my Uncle is going down to Florida to drive my grandparents back up here to Syracuse. My grandparents moved down there a few years ago. Last summer my Grandfather got very ill while they were up at their camp in Canada (see they winter in Fl and summer in Canada) and we thought that he was going to die then. He had surgery for a perforated intestine and pulled through. It was noted then that he had a heart problem that needed to be taken care of. He didn't do it and now it appears he is too weak to make it through that surgery so....

So, he is probably going to die. He's 83 years old and has lived a long and busy life. He can't do the things he wants, know the things that he has always done.

So, I just want you to know how wonderful my grandpa is...I already told you that every summer he and Grandma brough me, my sister and my cousin up to camp. Now that I look back on it, they took a week of his vacation to do this (before he retired). After my father died, I had no pictures of him (due to a house fire). One Christmas, my Grandfather went through all of his slides and pulled out the ones of my father and made an album for me and my sister. It has pictures of my parents prom, wedding and me as a baby. I will always cherish those pictures forever.

The college I went to offered a study abroad program. The second year I was there my Grandparents came up for parent's weekend. The professor that sponsored this program talked with them about the program, but I didn't think anything of it. On my birthday a few weeks later, Professor Martin handed me an envelope and told me "Happy Birthday". I was really surprised because I didn't even know she knew it was my birthday. I opened the card and it was from my Grandparents with a check made out to the college for the entire amount for me to go abroad. For Christmas that year, they bought me an entire set of luggage. I still have it. Oh, yeah, my Grandfather put me though college.

I graduated from Endicott College. It was a 2 year school when I went there and before I graduated my Grandfather asked me if I was going to go on. I said "No, I just want to be a pre-school teacher". He really wanted me to go on to college, so I applied to Syracuse University, not thinking for a minute that I would get in. I did. So, off I went to SU. I eventually not only graduated with a BSW, but went on for the extra year and got my MSW (Master of Social Work). I lived with my Grandparents for the year I was in graduate school.

So, I just want you all to know how special my Grandpa is to me. He is the best grandfather anyone could ever ask for. Thank You Grandpa. I love you.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Some things about me....

Tagged by Jen.....

( ) Smoked a cigarette
( X ) Drank so much you threw up
( ) Crashed a friend's car
( ) Stolen a car
(X) Been in love
(X) Been dumped
( ) Shoplifted-
( ) Been laid off/fired
(X) Quit your job
( ) Been in a fist fight
(X) Snuck out of your parent's house (sorry Mom)
(X) Had feelings for someone who didn't have them back
( ) Been arrested
( ) Gone on a blind date
( ) Lied to a friend
(X) Skipped school
( ) Seen someone die
(X) Been to Canada
(X) Been to Mexico
(X) Been on a plane
(X) Been lost
(X) Been on the opposite side of the country
(X) Gone to Washington, DC
(X) Swam in the ocean
(X) Felt like dying
(X) Cried yourself to sleep
( ) Played cops and robbers
(X) Recently colored with crayons
( ) Sang karaoke
( ) Paid for a drink with only coins
(X) Done something you told yourself you wouldn't
(X) Made prank phone calls…
( ) Laughed until some kind of beverage came out of your nose
(X) Caught a snowflake on your tongue
( ) Danced in the rain
(X) Written a letter to Santa Claus
(X) Been kissed under the mistletoe
(X) Watched the sun rise with someone you care about
(X) Blown bubbles
( ) Made a bonfire on the beach
( ) Crashed a party
(X) Gone roller-skating
(X) Gone ice-skating

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Pentecost Sunday...

Sunday school is all over for the summer and next week we will have our church picnic. Also coming next week is the column I wrote for the newspaper. I am getting a little nervous, not because of anything I wrote, but about how people will react with all the lesbian stuff. I know that God doesn't discriminate, but people do. I am afraid that people will write letters to the paper, damning me to Hell. Now here is where I am supposed to write that I don't care what people think, but I do. I know we live in a world where hate and bigotry reign...but I also know that Jesus lived to teach us all that we are all loved by Him. Doesn't matter what color our skin is, doesn't matter who we love, doesn't matter what religion we practice. What matters is how we live our lives. And I feel as though I live my life honestly and with integrity. So, I guess if anyone writes to the paper damning me to Hell, then I should invite them to come and walk with me and see that I do indeed, live as though He has taught us we should....but I am still scared and that is something that I guess I will have to live with. I imagine that Jesus was scared a time or two, but that didn't stop him from living with I will take my example from him and walk with my head held high. Because if there is one thing that I am not ashamed of it's my family. Who I have chosen to love, my partner who loves me so very much and whom I love even more. My children, both of whom were born out of love, both of whom are strong, smart and beautiful. Who know that they are loved beyond all time. By both of their parents who just happen to be women.

I will walk with integrity....just as Jesus did.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Now I've done it!

On Wednesday, in my rush to get the mail, I stumbled down the front steps and broke my ankle. So, yesterday was spent first going to the doctors office where they proceeded to send me to the x-ray place. 2 hours later we were told that I needed to see an orthopedic surgeon, and they sent us home because the primary MD needed to make the call. At 3:30, they called and asked if I could go back to the same building where the x-ray place was and see the ortho MD there. (Mind you this whole time I am hobbling around on this foot). So, off we go to the ortho MD where I got a beautiful purple cast. I let Katie pick the color since the poor kid had to sit through all these boring doctors appointments. I will have Cheryl take a picture and when they get developed come back and put it in so you can all see how beautiful it is.

There is some pain today, I can't drive because it's my right foot (although I do think I might be able to manage if I am careful. I don't do well when I have to rely on others, so this will definately be a test!

Katie is gone to Grandma's and I am going to sleep!

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Blogging for LGBT families day!

So, here it is, the post of all posts. Today is Bloggingb for LGBT Families Day. Won't you join in?

So, let me tell you about my wonderful family and why this is so important. I am married (well not legally, but in all other ways) to Cheryl. She and I are parents to 2 children, Gillian and Katie. We were lucky in NY that she was able to adopt the girls, but unfortunately, if we were to move to another state that doesn't recognize 2nd parent adoptions, she legally wouldn't be recognized as their parent. So, Cheryl is stuck in a job that she hates and really the only option we have is to move to another state for her to get another job. But we really don't want to do that because our options are limited. See here, in NY, I get domestic partner benefits through Cheryl's employer that allow me to stay home with the girls and still get medical insurance coverage. We might not get that in another state. Then there is the issue of her being legally recognized as the girls' parent. As it is, if Cheryl were to die tomorrow, I wouldn't be recognized as her wife and wouldn't collect social security and/or her pension.

All families deserve to be recognized - legally and otherwise. My children deserve to have the security in knowing that their family unit is supported by everyone.