Friday, April 29, 2011

Autism Awarness Month

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April is coming to a close, which means that all the blogs I read about Autism will stop the whole awareness thing. To me, that's a good thing. Not that the dialogue about autism isn't important, but that I feel as if all the sources I gain valuable insight and awareness from take a vacation to educate the autistic-laymen about very vague and general things.

This hiatus, for the most part, doesn't add anything to my life or my son's life and frankly, based on the comments I hear from outsiders, Autism Awareness Month didn't really educate anyone. I don't blame this on anything in particular, except our society's keenness on packaging all medical disorders into a nice, little, pretty box suitable for a sound-byte here and there or 5 minute blurb on the news.  Five minutes because its an awareness month and they are being generous.

If everything were cancer, it would be so much easier. (That seems to be my new mantra lately because our family is faced with conditions that are complex.) While there are many sorts of cancer, the root of the condition is fundamentally the same. With autism, it has some similar components, but experiences and affects of the condition vary greatly between individuals. The core of condition being fundamentally misunderstood by many, many people.

One core of the pieces is social functioning. What the media tells us is that autistic people lack the ability to empathize and feel emotions. This is incorrect and does a huge disservice to everyone having autism or caring for those affected. Autistic people have emotions, feel emotions and are capable of empathy. What they have is difficulty processing emotions. Social situations and feelings become entirely to intense and overwhelming to deal with, so they shut down. It's system overload, not an absence of a system.

A big, disturbing thing I hear from people is "I hope your son grows out of it". No one grows out of autism. They learn to adapt, learn to cope, and learn to fit into our society (which I'm not sure is inherently good) as best they can. And when an autistic person works their tail off to deal with stigma, bullies, boobs, dummies, bigots, liars and other socially icky but acceptable "normal" people throughout their life, they have to deal with idiots who say things like "you don't seem autistic, you seem normal". Well, duh, because they've worked hard to blend in-- a lot harder than neurotypical people work to be good citizens. (And as far as learning to deal and cope, those social issues aren't the only things autistic people have to work on. There are sensory problems, motor skills, anxiety, depression and a plethora of other components.)

Until these two things are adequately addressed, Autism Awareness is a moot point. Yet, we still take the focus off of helping people with autism to educate our fellow Americans about this grand spectrum. Except we don't talk to many autistic adults. We don't share enough real stories. We don't get the message across that debunks these myths and social stigma. We aren't telling enough people that are not enough services, interventions and supports for families. There are less resources for adults-- but more and more of these autistic children are becoming adults (cause, duh, they don't turn 18 and grow out of it, there is no autistic egg timer that dings when you're done with autism).

I am glad we are going back to non-autism-awareness in May. My only goal is to help my son and educate those around him. It's that act that is going to make people aware. It starts at home and spreads out of doors, into the homes of our friends and family.

Of course, I can't really say what's wrong or right with Autism Awareness Month or what we should be made aware of as well as this person, an autistic person, in this blog: Illusion of Competence.

The Joy of Spring

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It's so incredibly lovely, kinda like this:

Designed with RAKscraps April 2011 Mega Kit, Everday Mom Ideas Fast and Furiest Kit, and PSP X3 tubes

Don't be fooled. Spring has a dark side. While the everything is coming into bloom, the pollen puts my body on red-alert:

That tree appears to be mighty innocent, huh?

You know why? Because pollen. You know what pollen really is? I'll tell you: 
Mother Nature's deep, dark, vile secret.

Yep. Tree Sperm. Pollen is TREE SPERM. I am terribly allergic to tree sperm. It makes me sick. I get headaches that last for days. I itch, sneeze, and drip snot at random times because my body decides the mere act of inhaling pollen is cause enough to produce ungodly amounts of histamines to the point where I am utterly debilitated. 

So while I think nature is effing beautiful and wonderful, I effing hate it this time of year. Trees and plants become my body's mortal enemy. 

That means I always get the stuffing beat out of me because I'm not really good at fighting.

And we all know trees do this to get our ice cream. 

The End.

(check out everyday mom ideas for fun stuff!)

Monday, April 25, 2011

Dear Chevrolet

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Dear Chevrolet,

I appreciate that you have manufactured a car that has essentially been worth the almost $20,000 I paid for it new. At 70,000+ miles and almost six years, I have zero complaints about its reliability and besides a hybrid, I have yet to see car that gets better gas mileage on the highway than my Willard (my car's name). The car tells me when the roads will be icy, its tells me when I need to start planning my next oil change and what that song is I like on the radio. While my neighbor cusses at her Ford, that she bought a year later than my Chevy, I pat my Willard on the dash with pride.

Now that Willard is getting on in years, his light bulbs are beginning to burn out. First the left blinker and now the right. This leads me to one complaint: I need a special certification to change the bulbs. I don't possess said certification.

I'm the kinda girl that has always been able to pop in some fluids, change some fuses, clean out an air filter and change bulbs as needed on my cars. All the sudden, I feel entirely helpless. I don't even own the appropriate tool to get at my cars bulbs. Even if I did, I would have to disassemble the whole confounded headlight casing after removing it from my car!

What the hell were you thinking. For $20,000 I should be able to buy my $3.00 bulb and insert the thing in my damn self? NO! I am not going to a dealership for them to charge me $50 for some space-age light bulb and $100 in labor for your Master Mechanics precious 5 minutes of sacred, car-god time. I'd rather pay some 18 year old peon to charge $10 for his time  and $5 for the bulb that cost his ship 50 cents. Or maybe $20 for some small town shop to laugh at me for not being able to figure this out.

Or maybe they'll laugh at how badly Chevrolet tricked its buyers into thinking that changing a light bulb couldn't possible be a huge fucking production.

I really wish I would have thought to wrap my car-payments in super, strong material, so that they would have had to call in a specialist to get to my money.

Really? You want professionals to have change a light bulb? Really? There was no easier way? Or do you over pay your designers? Did you they get drunk when conceptualizing this model? Stoned? Was it an office prank gone bad?

The next time I buy a car, I am going to make the salesman demonstrate how to change the oil, add all fluids, change a light bulb and a fuse or its no sale.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Gratuitous Uterus Pictures: Gratuitous Uterus does not have a bun in the oven.

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Gratuitous Uterus Pictures: Gratuitous Uterus does not have a bun in the oven.

At this very moment, I absolutely regret not paying attention when my mother tried to to teach me how to knit.

I think I found a new favorite blog.

Paranormal Evidence

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I took photos during our family's Easter egg hunt. It was bright outside, so the LCD screen wasn't easy to see. Around the time of the 20th photo, I noticed a glow around my husband when looking at the LCD screen. I thought it was curious, hoped it didn't ruin my photos, but kept on snapping.

When I got home, I reviewed the pictures, only to find that mystical looking glow in almost every photo. Here's an example where my husband looks like he has a halo and wings:

Froggy faces to protect the innocent (and not so innocent). Otherwise this photo is unedited.
Instead of immediately jumping on the angel or ghost bandwagon, I gave this a long, hard thought or two. First of all, it was incredibly sunny, warm and humid. Secondly, the 'anomaly' neither appears around my son in individual shots of him (he's on the left in the photo above) nor my sister in law who wore a black shirt. Everyone else was wearing white, which we all know reflects light. Plus, only two people had the halo effect-- my husband and father in law-- both of whom happen to not have much hair. I then remembered that I chose the "kids and pets" setting for the pictures. I was shooting kids, after all, and since they move a lot the shutter speed is slower, which allows more light to enter the shot.

This isn't paranormal, but to an untrained or over-enthusiastic person, it sure would look as if is were not of this physical world. What happened in these photos is simple: the shutter speed being slower than normal allowed the camera to pick up the light reflecting off of white shirts and bald, white heads illuminating the moisture, dust and pollen in the air around the subjects which is usually unseen by the naked eye (unless its foggy or hazy). Had I not had a basic (or simple, haha) understanding of photography and science or if I were more overzealous (especially in light--punny-- of my husband's recent health issues plus luck), I would have been inclined to think "hey, guardian angels showing themselves and I have proof!".

(I do think someone is looking out for my husband, but I never engaged the idea that this photo proves that idea.)

Still, it is a really cool effect to have show up on Easter, even though its completely of this world and not of the next. It also demonstrates how easy a ghost photo can be debunked and faked without any special graphics program. You don't even need to know anything beyond point an shoot to do it. Happy accidents like this happen all the time, but any one with a little knowledge of photography and science can explain why there is no "para" involved in a photo.

The other idea we can take away from this is overzealousness does nothing for the fledgling field of paranormal research. Every time "paranormal researchers" put out a photo of the "paranormal" and say its "indisputable proof" or defend an image with their last dying breath, they hurt all of interested in making this a real science. Evidence needs to be able to peer reviewed and in order to be accepted or rejected. I'd rather reject a million pieces of evidence that can't withstand scrutiny even if they were real than have one easily debunkable piece fought over by researchers. Just like that meat in your fridge: Any doubt, throw it out.

I've seen too many people get incredibly personal with their evidence. It's not that I don't believe any of the evidence I'm presented with, its that I know evidence is no good if it cannot withstand peer review. And our peers include a variety of people, including skeptics, which is okay. It's how science becomes science. First and foremost, we, as a group of people trying to make paranormal research more accepted scientifically need to act like scientists with our evidence. Period.

We aren't doing anyone any favors by forcing our beliefs on the community we work within or the recognized scientific community. Even if you think or know that evidence is indisputable, others observations and thoughts are important and the means by which your evidence is validated or dismissed. When someone says "that could be moisture in that photo" and you say "but its not" (and especially if you have no humidity/atmospheric evidence to back up your statement), you are hurting all of us that want to making investigating the paranormal a more credible pursuit. How you handle your evidence and those that scrutinize it is the merit by which your skills, your methods and your results are measured.  

We must put our efforts forth to make sure we treat our data without bias. We need to take photos like the one in this post and put them under a microscope, be willing to throw them out or be willing to admit when we don't have the skills to make an accurate determination (and then hand them over to someone who objective, credible and does have the skills to make that call). That doesn't mean you can't follow your gut instincts or anecdotal evidence when helping a client, it just means you can't prove it to a jury of your peers beyond a reasonable doubt.

Defending that debubkable evidence destroys not only your credibility, but it takes the rest of us down with you. It also leaves the door continually open for these sorts of images:

Ghost puppy is watching you!

Friday, April 22, 2011

The Cat Top

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And here she is doing some birdwatching, 2011 style:

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Now for something...

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...completely different.

I like Dr. Phil because he has a decent, practical approach to life. Nothing is ever rocket science, its all down to earth and my husband is known as the "Dr. Phil" of his company (he's not a doctor, but a therapist). I imagine they subscribe to same school of psychology. The husband doesn't care for the format in which Dr. Phil conducts his therapy, but he respects the underlying philosophy.

Today, while browsing my facebook news feed, I came across this:

It really made me think. Ongoing feud? Why? Why on earth would you let your marriage have an ongoing feud? In fourty-one minutes, the questioned garnered almost 400 answers, most them of stating the particular feud in their marriage. Thank goodness some people answer that life is simply too short to get your knickers in a twist over hair in the sink, the toothpaste cap and not putting the toilet seat down. I agree with the minority.

I think that when you are truly in love, in real love, you find those idiosyncrasies endearing. You understand that your spouses sole purpose on earth is not to annoy you with a barrage of disgusting or different habits. You love their flaws because its what makes them different from you, what makes them uniquely human. My husband's hair in the sink doesn't bother me in the least. Sometimes I wonder how he does it, but instead of getting intensely frustrated that 6 years into our relationship we can't overcome that problem (because it clogs the sink), I actually think about him, the person, with warm, fuzzy thoughts.

I wonder about sink design-- why hasn't anyone developed a man-proof sink yet? That makes me think about how impractical men are when designing the nuts and bolts of household appliances and fixtures. If they don't clean it and unclog it, how do they know its a design flaw?

That's the thing about these feuds. What happens is that you think your partner is purposely doing something to annoy you. Then the offending partner gets caught off guard with you unloading this rather small, but intimate complaint in a big way. The offending partner feels bad for offending and what's worse is the culprit is an ingrained habit of which a second thought is never given. The offending partner feels personally attacked for being themselves (which no one likes!). They find themselves arguing that the behavior wasn't to punish you for X, Y and Z or because they wanted to stick it to you for the sake of mean-ness. Then it gets ugly, quickly.

Words fly, feelings get hurt, and one day you may even find yourself with irreconcilable differences because he's got to trim the beard he grew in order to minimize the hair clogs in the sink. Or maybe he never altered the behavior and the offended partner feels like she isn't important enough to accommodate. In whatever case, its easy to let facial hair, a tube of toothpaste, a toilet seat, or household duty sharing spiral out of control.

Yet, nobody gets divorced because of toothpaste. They get divorced because they feel unloved, they feel their needs weren't being met and the marriage became a very negative circumstance with hurt feelings.  You get divorced because these feuds have the underlying message that "He doesn't love me enough to consider how his actions make me feel". Or "She didn't love me enough to consider how her judgment feels to me".

We have this idea that we should just *know* how to have a relationship, how to exist in a marriage, how to navigate all the rocky seas of coupling instinctively. The problem is we don't have these instincts. As mom of an autistic kid, let me say that no one has a freaking clue. These things are learned and not all relationship education is created equal. We have this funny habit of assuming the other half of our marital unit should know how we feel, how to make us feel better or worse, and how fix their irritating habits for us to feel better. Rarely do we take the time to educate ourselves on how this actually works. Let me tell you, your partner doesn't know-- sometimes they just make good guesses based on history. Sometimes not. And changing habits? In marriage, it doesn't work so well solo. Marriage is about a team effort.

Part of the problem is our inability to choose the correct partners. We settle, we rush into relationships, we think we change our mates after the wedding, we don't realize that what our deal-breakers are, we are too lazy to work at it and think a healthy, happy relationship just happens.

We fail to realize that we have the super-power in our lives that has been known to save marriages: We get to choose how act and re-act. Should our partners change their annoying habits or should we change our reaction to those habits? I think the answer is somewhere in between. Combining appropriate action with appropriate re-action is freaking awesome.

Duh-da-da-duh: Super Wife and Super Husband with their uncanny abilities to put things in perspective!! A dynamic duo, indeed!

If there is something that really irritates me, I discuss it with my husband. I make it a point to make sure he knows that I know it is not something he intentionally does to hurt me. I make sure he knows that I love him. I explain rationally, calmly and without judgment (no way it ever helpful to say "you are nasty human being because you left the toilet seat up!) the problem *I* am having. After all, it is my issue and its something I need his help to resolve. In turn, he is willing to make me feel more comfortable by either obliging, working to a reasonable compromise, or allowing me to sort through why it bothers me in a supportive way. This is a great strategy for the big things-- parenting, money, work, intimacy, family-- not just the little. We communicate our needs pretty well so that there is no feuding.

Sometimes, I will exclaim something completely random when I am frazzled and encounter all my pre-rinsed, dishwasher ready dishes  covered in ranch dressing. I normally throw up my hands, saying "Argh! You people drive me crazy!" in an exaggerated tone. Just doing that makes me laugh out loud, but if it doesn't, my husband's deer in the headlight look does. I can't help but love the fact that he doesn't want to test my sanity with ranch dressing or other condiments. So, I apologize, explain that I'm just frazzled (or have PMS) and melt into his arms. I also make it a point to follow up my post-hug apology with a stunning compliment and a "I love you more than anything". He has his own ritual for changing asshole behavior to loving husband behavior. It works.

There isn't much that bothers me and it isn't often. I can't help but marvel at our capacity to love when I am unclogging a drain. It's is marvelously amazing that as his wife, I am the only person who knows his most intimate habits and flaws. He knows my strange habits and accept them as part of what makes me, me. On top of all this, we love each other. I think he's funny, brilliant, a great father and husband and sexy ass man (and vice-versa). I still get butterflies when walks in the room, despite the knowledge of those intimate habits (that many people find annoying).

I think about how sad it would be if those little, pesky facial hairs no longer graced my sink. How awful it would be if I didn't find empty protein bar containers in cupboard. If his cups no longer needed my assistance getting to the dishwasher. If he never, ever picked up a new toy instead of paying a bill. That would mean he was not with me. That is a very real possibility for us, so I cannot fathom why anyone would choose to argue and feud over such trivial things that when approached in a positive manner could actually further your martial bond.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Beautiful People

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A friend posted an image of this quote on her facebook page. The words really struck a chord with me, so in lieu of certain events today, I am going to post it.


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I have decided to down-load the latest version of Paint Shop Pro. I know, I know, everyone uses Photoshop and I suck for loving PSP. I know the program, I preferred it over PS before every buying a home graphics/photo editor and frankly, I'm feeling a little too old to learn new tricks. Plus, the price difference was stellar and my budget at the time was meager.

I actually own(ed) PSP X2 (? I think ?) at one point, but the computer it is on now belongs to my husband solely. I feel creepy about putting all my crazy girl scrappy stuff on his big manly computer. I'd rather have my stuff on my little laptop. Besides, that's where all my photos are. And my cute little graphics. And my links to other cool elements and stuff. (Somehow he has an awesome computer chair that makes me want to throw this all out the window and I'm not sure how I get the where-ever seating)

My goal is one day have a drawing tablet of some kind:

That way, I can take my ability to doodle aimlessly and unproductively to a whole new level. I have very simple, yet moderately expensive dreams. For now, I am going to install the try before you buy PSP X3 software-- and then I'll buy the actual disk at some point so when I need to, I can re-install it. Wish I'd gone that route the first time.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Easter Snaik

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I never thought about religion much when I was a kid, save for my Irish Catholic BFF's mom, who thought I had the devil in me, God (and hell) talks. My mom was a Lutheran who thought that religion was done wrong in America. So, we weren't any particular religion at all and I got to explore faith any which way I liked. And because I think I screamed so much the few times my mom tried taking me church services and Sunday school that our family was asked to never return. Of course, Easter being what it is, I knew the story of the resurrection and such from my mom and from said BFF (and BFF's mom).

My dad is a funny guy who isn't particularly religious. Growing up, he loved Easter because he always got a box of Whitman's chocolates and tons of other sweets. He HATED dying Easter eggs (aka Spring Spheres), sorta. He really hated the part where young children with excited fingers grabbed at permanent die in our house. If it were up to him, it would have been an 'in the grass at the neighbor's house' activity. I think he died a little inside each Easter and there were times I was surprised he didn't stroke out (like when my nieces and nephew died eggs in their toddler years).

There were several rules when it came to egg dying. These rules were debated passionately by my parents and these debates sometimes ended in threats of divorce. Other times it would end in a snarky kid saying 'Cut it out! We are making eggs for Jesus!'. Why we were making eggs for Jesus, I have no idea. Two-thousands years of hard-boiled eggs has got to wear thin on a Messiah, but then again I suppose he could change them into little cupcakes or whatever trendy snack en vogue (Dear Jesus, I hear doughnuts are the next big thing!).

The first rule is that you must never use copper pans to boil your eggs. Or is it aluminum? This would start the parental debate as my mom would have to prove to my dad that her stock pot contained no offending element, even though she had the same pot for like ever.

The second rule was the Rule of Paas. Never, ever could anything but the ORIGINAL Paas Easter egg dye be used in our house. Period. No tye-dye eggs. No fancy colors. There are 12 (or was it 9?) colors acceptable and those colors were dictated by the Paas people. No Paas dye, no Easter. End of story. I still get a little apprehensive whenever my mother-in-law pulls out something other than the traditional Paas egg dying kit before Easter. We will not tell my dad that my son hasn't ALWAYS used Paas's original kit-- it might kill him.

The final rule was that you must use a white crayon to make the most important egg of them all: The Easter Snaik egg. And yes, its S-N-A-I-K. It was the only time a misspelled word was appropriate and your egg would be spared the infamous Library of Congress red pen (all our pens came from the Library of Congress-- heck, until I was 9, I thought everyone got their pens from the LoC). While my parents corrected my spelling until I was 32 years old, this special and holy spelling spelling of 'snaik' was a crucial part of our Easter tradition-- the Holy Grail of all our holiday celebrations.

So, my dad would draw this 'snaik' in white crayon on an egg and then write the words 'Easter Snaik' underneath (that)**. Yet, this is no ordinary snaik. This snaik has 4 legs with feet, 3 polka-dots and is always smiling, open mouthed with his forked snaik tongue sticking out.

It wasn't until I was much older that I realized the gross contradiction between Easter and the snaik. Later I learned that most of the religious traditions that our culture engages in are actually NOT Christian, but rather have deep pagan roots. Bunnies have nothing to do with Jesus. Eggs are for fertility, celebrated during the Spring Equinox. And as a parent living in a very judeo-christian world, where poking fun at Jesus and religion (or atheism?) isn't readily accepted (unless you are famous and a comedian), my dad found the most amusing ways to poke fun at the inherent contradiction between mono-theism and poly-theism.

This years Easter Snaik Egg

My dad made his point in a way that his children could marvel at (and shock her friends parents at the same time). He made it so we came to love the tradition for the simplest human and most godly reason-- the love of ones family. I have no doubt that God has a sense of humor and is decorating his own Easter Snaik egg with his own son.

 ** If you didn't get that aside, than you obviously don't read Cake Wrecks

A long time...Dog Stool

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Since I've posted anything. I am really good at not finishing stuff. Or getting distracted. Or something.

The husband was diagnosed with a Chiari Malformation (CM for short), (or maybe its an Arnold-Chiari?) about a month ago. I'm sure you have no idea what that is. It's a rare congenital defect of the skull and his kind is going to kill him. Well, it would kill him if not for his super-star neurosurgeon, Dr. Sugarman, who preforms 4 such operations a year.

Most CMs are quite benign and can be managed with physical therapy and pain management. Sometimes there is a syrinx present (a fancy way of saying fluid filled cyst inside the spinal column) and not all cases require surgery. A few CMs are progressive- not only is the skull misshapen, its also pitted and perhaps with jagged edges. When the brain rubs against the skull, the tissue becomes damaged (and you become officially brain damaged). And because you have to be a bad-ass with a rare condition, your brain doesn't just push down a little into the spinal canal, it pushes down a lot! (If you don't know what I'm talking about, you did not click on the link). It doesn't stop slipping-- well okay, it does stop slipping once the brain stem has been crushed enough by the brain to cause your body to stop doing things like breathing or pumping blood).

My husband is a bad-ass. A rebel through and through. He's got that hot shot CM that gives doctors boners. Seriously. In the land of routine and preventative medicine, several doctors have gotten to see something most never see in their entire career. He made these doctors bad-ass by default.

Even I find the science behind it interesting. I'm not sure if it was helpful for me to declare how awesome it was that they were going to take bones from a cadaver and graft it to his skull. But c'mon, a dead person parts are going to be inside of you! It way outshines a blood transfusion-- which frankly I thought was cool to have a part of someone else coursing through my veins in a (Anne Rice, not Twilight--yeech) vampire kinda way.

In a time in our lives when are just starting to gain real traction-- because the husband, me and maybe the kid all seem to march to an invisible drummer boy that no one else seems to hear-- we get this mind blowing news that the husband either has surgery or he dies. So, duh, he's having surgery. Traction turns into a hard braking, slip-slid-ee, pit stop in the middle of a foreign country with no map and no grasp on the language. It took us two days to grasp what we were collectively facing. We went from stressing over the normal financial stuff, parenting stuff and family stuff to stressing over our finite existence.

Now we are talking advance directives, wills and power of attorney, insurances, and social security applications instead of  paying off debt, living simply, future career plans, retirement planning, 401Ks and savings. I'm 34 and never, ever expected to be in this territory at this moment in my young life. Plan for the worst, plan for the almost worst, plan for the moderately okay and hope for the best is my new long ass motto.

The surgery is May 19th at Christiana in Newark. Dr. Sugarman does four of these surgeries a year, which in the realm of rare conditions is a substantial number. We are making plans for the 7 days minimum the man will stay in the hospital, but beyond that we are completely flying blind. We are supposed to get a packet that will tell us more of what to expect, but that packet hasn't gotten here yet. It better hurry up because May 19th is that far off and we are busy. Hell, since this condition is so rare there isn't a lot of good patient info on the internet. There are plenty of research papers and the like, but I'm no neurologist, or doctor (but I probably should have been, except I hate the inside parts shown on the outside).

I am taking the stance that this is all going to be okay, we'll get through it and my husband will live (even if he forgets who I am or some other awful scenario I've imagined). I told him that if he sees a light RUN the OTHER WAY. Do not walk, RUN.

In the mean time, we have things like Easter to distract us... or spend the entire holiday and family time talking about my husbands bad-ass brain and less about bunnies pooping chocolate eggs. Which reminds me-- the husband asked why dogwoods are called dogwoods. The kid responded because its where dogs made their stool. (5 points for not saying "crap", kid!!)

On that note, I'm out.

(and at least now my husband can say "sorry, brain damaged" when he f's up-- and yes, its okay to laugh, humor is the best medicine, isn't it?)