Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Is 13 an Unlucky Number?

Tomorrow, my infant is turning 13.
That's how it feels, anyhow.

When did she turn 1, or even 10?

I can tell you in vivid detail - well, as vivid as things get when one is on her death bed.  (Which I was, by the way.  I am not just being facetious)  But, with great structure and many facts, I can recall the hours I spent in the hospital before, during, and after our little girls birth.
In fact, I had posted about the traumatic events that took place 13 years ago in Philadelphia, PA.
You can read all about it here

Anyway, Olivia is going to be a teenager tomorrow.  And while I am thrilled that she is entering this stage of  life, I am a little nervous about her entering this stage in her life.
You see, I was once a hormonal and (at times) thoughtless teenager myself.
Every time I say this to Olivia, I either get a roll of the eyes or an exaggerated sigh - as if to say, "Hurry up Mom!  I've heard this one before!"

When I was a teenager I was boy crazy, emotional, and full of self doubt.  While trying to fit in with "the other girls" I was constantly changing my look and bending my morals and convictions all in the name of belonging.  So, I really never took the time to find myself.
I usually "jumped off of that proverbial bridge" with all of my other friends.  It wasn't until much later that I finally started paving the way for who I am today.  But, back then, with my head full of the need to be accepted and not judged, I made many mistakes and poor decisions.  Most of those decisions weren't "life altering", thank God.  But, looking back on who I was back then and the crazy things I did, I sometimes wish I could do it all over - if only just to change some of the tinier things.
But, when I look at our daughter - the Olivia Joy that we have raised thus far - I am beginning to recognize some things that she is certainly doing better than I ever did.
Olivia is genuinely a sweet girl.  She is eager to please (and sometimes that can be a bad thing).  She is confident in what she wants to do with her life.  She is as loyal as they come.  And she is just downright beautiful inside - and out.

Sure, she has her - what I like to call - moments of pure insanity.  These are the moments when all of the good is instantly replaced with almost the polar opposites of what a "good girl" would be doing.  However, Olivia is quick to ask for forgiveness and is usually (not always, but most of the time)  appetent to make things right again.  Olivia is not one to hold a grudge.

I know that there will be fights and disagreements along the way.  I also know that Olivia will probably make me want to rip every hair off of my head.  But, I also know that John and I stand united in our parenting and furthermore - and maybe more important - we have told every lie in the book so that we could be "stupid teenagers".  I have no doubt that we will come out of the end of the "teenager tunnel" more wise and more understanding as to who Olivia is and who she is to become, albeit with slightly less hair on our heads.

So, tomorrow morning, when John and I get up to wish our beautiful and amazing daughter a very happy thirteenth birthday, I will try to hold back the tears.  I will hug her, give her a kiss on her cheek and then I will put the candle in her cupcake so I can sing - with great pride - Happy Birthday.

FYI - being that her birthday is on a weekday, her actual birthday cake will be eaten tomorrow evening, at my parents house and certainly after school lets out.  The cupcake is just so she can start the day off right.

So, happy 13th birthday to my Olivia.  My joy of joys.  One of the keepers of my heart.  And my life's true and ever lasting happiness.

Olivia and me

Olivia and John

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Seriously? Boy, that sucks.

This morning I woke up and smiled.  I couldn't believe what I was feeling - or - not feeling, in this case.  My pain was gone!  My feet didn't feel as though they were on fire with hot shards of glass stuck in them.  My legs didn't feel like they were going to explode from unbearable pain and agony.  My back - my amazing back didn't have that familiar "coming and going" pain that it always has.
I mean, how is it possible!  How could I wake up and not feel a.n.y.t.h.i.n.g.???
I usually start the day with a handful of pills and some insulin.  This morning, I can at least leave two of those pills out of my hands.  I mean, I don't need to take pain killers if I have no pain, right?

When I stepped into the shower, I actually enjoyed the warmth of the water as it cascaded down my to my feet and I took the time to stand there and I watched the water flow down the drain - instead of just hurrying up my shower so I could get out and get off my feet again.
I stood in front of the mirror and I slowly and meticulously took the hair brush to the all of its curls and took my time making myself  "knot free" and pretty for John.  Since I had no pain today, I was able to take the hair dryer to it and actually stand there and dry my hair.
After my time in the bathroom, I went out to the kitchen - without the use of a cane!  I couldn't believe it!  I could walk down my hallway and not be in any kind of pain whatsoever!  I slowly opened up the refrigerator and got my coffee creamer out.  It was weird not having to prop my cane onto the counter so I could lean into my fridge and get it out.  What was weirder is that I didn't have to check my blood sugar!  My type 1 diabetes was gone!
I cannot tell you how good it felt - that absolutely freeing feeling - of drinking a cup of coffee without having to stick my finger first so I could bolus for it!
That's right!  No more insulin pump for this girl!  I no longer have a machine attached to me via plastic needle and tubing with insulin running through it all day long.  I cannot begin to describe my exact feeling at this moment.  I mean, I could actually, if I wanted to - go to bed totally in the nude!  No worrying about wearing pants or at the very least, a sports bra so I can clip my pump onto something.

*I probably will be clothed, though.  I mean, it is winter outside.*

As I was sipping my coffee this morning, I couldn't stop smiling.  I can go back out to the kitchen - again, cane free and pain free - and pour a big bowl of cereal - ANY CEREAL I WANT!  I no longer have to measure how much cereal I am putting into my bowl.  I can just pour and pour.  And I can add the milk as well, without having to worry about the bolus-ing I would inevitably have to do to use it on my cereal.
I then started to think about the rest of my day.  What would I do?  I could do anything!  I mean, I no longer hurt.  I don't have to worry about my cane and how far I could walk without crying because of the broken glass in my feet.
I decided that I would take my dog, Molson, out for a long walk around the neighborhood.  I mean, the last time I did that, I think it was back in 2011.  He's due for a nice long walk.
So, I finished my delicious breakfast, and I grabbed the leash, coaxed my dog off the chair and to his amazement (and mine) we went for a walk.  It felt great to walk my dog again!  We both missed it!  And he was so happy that we had that time together.  As was I.
I went back into the house and decided I was going to go for a drive.  I grabbed my keys and my first stop was to the middle school.  I picked up Olivia after giving a lame story about a forgotten doctors appointment, and for the first time in almost three years, I went to the mall with Olivia and didn't have to worry about needing a wheelchair.  We walked around the mall for hours!  I would've taken her to the park had it not been below freezing outside.  But, the mall was just as fun!  We did some serious girl shopping!  This store and that store.  We tried on dozens of outfits and giggled and stopped at the cafeteria for some girl gossip and lunch.  We had such a great time!!!
After we got back from the mall, I wasn't in any pain - I mean, I could go out to the car all three trips it took to bring all the bags in and not be begging Olivia for her help.  Besides, she was too busy ripping tags off of all of her merchandise to even care anyway.
I excitedly called John and told him the good news!  Of course, after hearing my almost unbelievable story of not being a type 1 diabetic and not having any more pain, he rushed home, just to take me back to the bedroom, lock its door, and... well... you know...
Anyway, after we were done - you know - we decided to take a vacation.  A vacation that didn't need to be planned around insulin, wheelchair accessibility, or pain pills having to be divided out to how many days we were going to be away.  We decided to go down south.   Where the weather was warmer and where I could do some serious "in-the-sun" walking.  And did we walk!!!  We walked for hours and hours and we shopped for souvenirs and we did some snorkeling and we did some deep sea fishing.  We went out to dinner and we ordered a big bottle of champagne.  We had reason to celebrate.  I was a free woman!

No longer was I tied to the house.  No more did I need to worry about my blood sugar or how many carbs there were in my food.  No more did I have to be concerned about the wheel chair and where it would fit and where it wouldn't.  No more did I to keep track of what pain killer I was taking or what day I would need to apply a new pain patch. No more did I worry about the functionality of my kidneys or how long my eyesight would last.   I was pain free and no longer a type 1 diabetic!
So, yes, we definitely had reason to celebrate.

I can't remember the last time I was this happy.  My whole life was again at peace.  I had no physical worries of any sort!  I had so much fun with Olivia and an incredible and romantic vacation with John.

I cannot remember the last time I was this happy.  

Seriously, when was it??


I woke up.

It was all just a dream.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Our Apollo (a cheesy little poem for my Siamese kitten)

You came to us tiny and scared
You looked at me with your blue eyes
Trusting and so confused
We took you in because we cared...

We knew your life was bad before
We wanted to show you something better
So we took you in and cleaned you up
But, the first few days, you hid in a drawer.

After getting to know us a bit better
You started to come around more often
Sometimes just to eat or play,
You certainly had being a kitten down to the letter.

Now you purr, cuddle, and love
And we couldn't ask for a better cat.
We have found a friend for life in you
You're like an angel sent from above...

Even as you climb onto our backs
And chase the red dot around everywhere
We still love everything about you
Even your silly and off the wall playful acts.

Apollo, it seems you're always on a mission
But it's never to chase those rats.
Your ears are slightly bigger than normal
They allow you to hear my voice and listen...

When you nap with me during the day
Or cuddle with me during the night
You are a pretty cool cat
Full of strange personality, I'd say.

Thanks for making my frowns go away
And thanks for keeping me company
I love you so very much Apollo
Now, go kill a mouse!
And in this house you can stay...

Monday, February 3, 2014

No. I will NOT press 1 for English or Too Much of the White Stuff... (Take your pick)

Phone rings.  A version of "Midnight Rider" is playing on my phone.
I either reach for it or I "robble"   (see post http://sylviaolley.blogspot.com/2013/01/the-definition-of-robble.html) out to it to see who is calling me.  I mean, who has the nerve to call me during "The Young and the Restless"  or a brand new episode of "Ghost Hunters"?
Only a person who lacks TV in their lives or someone who is incredibly rude.


Seven or maybe even eight times out of ten, it's a doctor's office with test results or the pharmacy telling me that prescription is ready.  Sometimes it's my mom.  But, then, there are times when it's a complete stranger calling me to talk about "FBI reporting crime rates"  or "This is Sprint.  Are you happy with your current package of service?"  At times, it's a person (that sounds just like a credit collector) asking for somebody named "George".
By the way.   George, you owe someone a whole heck of alot of money.

But, one time, and this is the most recent phone call,  I got a recording!  A recording!  Calling me, barking orders at me to "press 1 for English, prensa dos para Espanol"...
This used to happen more frequently with my old phone.
But, that isn't why I opted to get out of my old phone, and into a new phone...
I mean, how easy is it to just hang up on something as annoying as a recording???  Pretty darned easy...

No, I got my new phone because my old phone line was a part of a family of phones and I wanted to completely stop communicating with said family.  They had over stepped some pretty large boundaries and were pretty hurtful to me.  That and because every time there was a problem, all I ever heard was "How bout I just stop paying the bill for your phone?"
Yeah, um...  Do you really think I care?  (Hence, the brand new phone I have)  I was sick of the manipulation and hassle that my old phone brought into my life.  And now that I have an even better phone and I am the owner of the line, I haven't had a single phone call from them...

Now, I have a new set of problems... Like, all of these annoying phone calls I keep receiving.  I probably shouldn't even pick up the phone.  I'm sure just by answering the phone, I am put into some system somewhere that keeps a log about when I picked up, what date it was and what time it was.. So on and so forth..
So, I am going to download an app or two that will prevent unwanted or unknown phone calls from even getting through.  That will solve this little dilemma.  I'm sure of it.

Now, on to other news.

This snow!
This latest storm was first mentioned a week ago and the words the weatherman used was, "Flurries are possible for Monday".  Then it turned to 1 - 2 inches for Monday.  The next night, John and I heard 2 -4 inches possible for Monday.  After that, we had heard 3-6 inches of snow expected for Monday.  Then, as recent as yesterday, we had heard that 6 -9 inches was coming for Monday.  John and I looked outside and saw almost a   FREAKIN FOOT of snow!!!   Now, the weather man is predicting something like "Feet Possible" for a snow storm coming our way for this coming weekend.  Not to mention that on Tuesday night into Wednesday, they're calling for more snow + ice!  Four to eight inches of snow, plus ice.  Nice... Freakin great...

At this rate, Olivia will not even have a summer vacation...  All of this missed school is making her happy now, but just wait till the weather is warm and the mornings are mild and birds are singing and the trees are green and the skies are blue... Then, she'll be wishing that she hadn't missed a single day because of all of this white stuff called snow.

With Olivia's 13th (WOW!  Did I just say 13?  Where did the time go?) birthday rapidly approaching, we've been planning something really great for her.  My parents are coming over on her actual birthday to sing "happy birthday" and to bring her birthday present for her, but John and I are planning something really great for her.  I know she'll love it.  We were going to take her to a salon to maybe get a new hair do or maybe a mani and pedi for her, but what we have planned now, we're SURE she is going to love.  But, if the weather continues to work against us, we'll have to put her big birthday surprise off till later.  Of course, we'll still have cake for her and something for her to open, but, we have actual travel plans for her birthday.  We are planning on even leaving Pennsylvania for awhile!  That's how nice her birthday will be...

Olivia wants to also donate some food and supplies to the local animal shelter.  So, in addition to her gift, John and I are buying a bag of cat food and bag of dog food, and maybe some toys/blankets for the animals at the Berks County Animal Shelter.  She wants to bring it the animals and then visit with some of them as well.
She only turns 13 once, and this year it's going to be a birthday to remember.  One for the books!

Well, I suppose that's it for now... Thanks for reading, my few but dear audience.
Till next time...