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Thread: August update!

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    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Default August update!

    Hello!
    It has been awhile since I updated…so much has gone on this past month. I will start off with some bad though…I got a phone call on Wednesday morning (3am!) to come pick up Brian & the kids at the jail! Not a local one either, it was an hour away from where we live. Unbelievable…he got pulled over for speeding and OWI. I am so angry. I did not even know he was drinking on a regular basis (this was never a problem ever until now). With having the kids in the truck (he was coming home from up north), it is a criminal OWI instead of just a civil misdemeanor. I do not know what the heck he was thinking drinking when he knew he had to drive home 3 hrs with the boys! I am making him sell his truck tomorrow and buy a beater minivan to drive since he will likely lose his license and only be able to get an ‘occupational’ to drive to work and home. I picked out a minivan at a local lot and we will be seeing what they will do for a trade in for his truck. This is all unreal and something I never in a million years thought I would have to deal with.

    On to better things: Caitlin is tolerating her increase in felbatol…I had to inch up from 3.5 to 3.6 then 3.7, etc up to 4.0mL for the 7pm dose…it took a few weeks but she was so sensitive about going from 3.0 to 4.0 in one jump for that evening dose. But inching up like that worked and her levels were good when we had them drawn finally after reaching 4.0. I have seen a few breakthroughs but they were really minor eye rolling type things. I think we are just going to have to live with seeing those once in awhile. It is only a few times a week which is tolerable.

    Wheelchair: FINALLY had our wheelchair meeting! We actually are with our original rep from the company that sold us her very first & also current chair. She used to be with TC at Home until they stopped selling custom chairs. She said there was some politics going on and the manager wouldn’t tell people where her & partner went. I happened to stop in the office of company NM that we had met with in May to complain nothing had been submitted to insurance yet and saw her walk past the hallway! I saw her in the parking lot and we chatted. Over that weekend I thought, I should just call company NM and ask for her since the guy we had met with in May had been doing nothing on our order so I did just that and set up an appointment and she came to our house on Monday morning and we picked everything all out and just have to wait for insurance to approve it. YAY! We are going with a Ty Lite Aero Z fixed chair. I think I am going to pick the pearlescent white color for the metal…have to send her an email with our choice yet since I think that was the hardest decision to make about the wheelchair since she will have it for seven years.

    Caitlin also got botox in her hamstrings a few weeks ago, not sure if it has done much yet, they were pretty tight from her growth spurt. A little drama with insurance approval that I was able to sort out so she was able to get the shots…that is how I found out that the wheelchair rep had not submitted anything yet though when I asked that insurance lady to just check since I was already on the phone.

    School starts Tuesday, I am really looking forward to that! The kids have been bored the past week or so and playing too much video games. I do make them go outside and play but when I’ve been dealing with some of this other stuff going on, it is just easier to let them be doing their games. We had school open house yesterday and it was so embarrassing when Logan told all the teachers at the elementary school that his dad went to jail! Oh yeah, I could have just crawled under a rock! When we went to the middle school for the older 2 kids, I told Brian not to bring Logan into Brandon or Caitlin’s classroom. He will probably get jail time for having the kids in the truck while OWI but the lawyer we talked to said he would likely get the bracelet & Huber for that sentence. Just unreal. It is hard since I in favor of harsh punishments for this offence but I really don’t want our whole family punished for what he did. It sucks. Anyway, I think that covers the major stuff going on, I know there was some other things I was going to write but all I have on my mind is the big drama now. We are meeting with a lawyer next week.

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((((((((Lisa)))))))))))) ~

    Oh my goodness, dear friend, I'm so sorry. Wish I could reach through the screen and really hug you. So much stress and worry, and with school starting too. I can only try to imagine all of the feelings and emotions coursing through you, and all of the decisions you have to make immediately. And Logan innocently announcing your situation. Lisa, my heart just goes out to you.

    Would it be beneficial to Brian's case to seek therapy, counseling, AA, rehab? When you speak to the lawyer, don't be shy about the hardship this is causing your family, and the hardship Brian's incarceration would incur on your family. Brian can throw himself on the mercy of the court for his family's sake. He messed up, and he knows that, and this is his wake up call that he needs to change. Just seeing what this is doing to you and your children should be enough for him to realize that this can never happen again. Counseling or therapy of some kind might be helpful to Brian, regardless of his legal circumstances. He may need help to uncover what caused him to make this extremely bad decision.

    To your good news ~ that's great that the gentle increase in Felbatol is tolerable for Caitlin. Perhaps with more time to adjust, the breakthrough seizures will disappear. And you've finally got the wheelchair sorted out! YAY! Color ~ always the most difficult decision in the w/c process. I know. Isn't that interesting? I wonder why it turns out that way. Maybe we're so worn out from making sure we have all of the bells and whistles, that one last decision on color seems huge to us. But it's always been that way for me, and I've been through, oh, I have lost count, so many wheelchairs. Color. I always say,"Oh, why didn't I think of that before we had this meeting?" They fan out swatches of the color options, or hand you a book. I know.

    Please know that my prayers are with you, Brian, and your beautiful children. May you all find strength and healing to carry you through this crisis.

    More of these ((((((Lisa)))))) ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Thank you Rose! Yes, he made an appointment with a counselor that is 'in-plan' for our insurance, I think that is next week also. He has also looked into where he can go to an AA meeting. All the different lawyers we spoke with over the phone said that looks good for you if you do that. He also wants to do that so that is good too. Today we took his truck to a nearby auto sales lot and traded it for a Toyota Sienna minivan. So we are now debt free from the truck loan! We owed 10K yet on it, but since he will not be driving except to/from work once he gets an occupational license, we both agreed it should go. The minivan was only 6K, high miles, but looks nice and runs good and will fit all the kids and dog. Now we have matching minivans, lol! (mine is a Honda Odessey but they really look exactly the same) The van will get better mileage for him too so we will save $ there. I made an excel worksheet showing what all the costs will be due to his bad choice and that pretty much adds up to the balance of the truck. So basically by driving the van instead of the truck he will be paying off his own fees. I haven't figured out how it will affect our auto insurance yet. That was part of the rush too for trading in...I called the insurance agent at 3pm to tell them we sold the truck and bought a van and to switch for that...hoping his thing hasn't hit the insurance computers yet! It doesn't show up in the CCAP yet either (the Wisconsin circuit court access page-you can look up anyone's public court records online). I hate having to be all sneaky like this. I also am torn between wanting him punished but yet, not having it affect the rest of us. Ugh. Plus it was our 15 year anniversary yesterday. He brought home roses today for me but I am still kindof mad. Anyway, feels like a little relief to have swapped the vehicles out since he will likely have to have ignition interlock installed on his so I didn't want to have to do that twice. Thank you for the prayers...I think I am for sure going to need them....

    Lisa O.

    PS, and we got his official papers today in the mail, his court date is Oct 8 and until then he is done with driving until he can get an occupational license.
    Last edited by andromeda31; 08-29-2014 at 09:14 PM.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Lisa)))))) ~

    You, Brian, Caitlin, Brandon, Tyler and Logan have been in my thoughts and prayers all day. This is a big hurdle, but you can and will overcome it. Hold onto your faith and hope.

    That's excellent news that Brian wants to seek counseling and assistance. That is the first step. I'm glad and not surprised that the attorneys you contacted suggested this avenue. You might want to consider counseling for yourself, as well, although I know your time is more than accounted for right now. Think about it a little, and possibly pursue it, when you can. You are carrying a lot on your shoulders right now, Lisa, so don't ignore your own health and well being. Please.

    Consider enlisting the assistance of your parents or in laws during this time too. Transportation, child care, cooking, helping with anything. Take the help. Ask for the help. If you try to do it all yourself, you could wear out.

    I'm glad you were able to trade the truck in for the Sienna, and I hope that you're able to get a good rate on your insurance. I understand why you feel "sneaky," but please don't. Think about the profits insurance companies make. That's sneaky. You are protecting your family and your home.

    Perhaps seeing the devastation you feel, and how his actions impacted you and your children, is punishment for Brian far beyond incarceration. He must realize that he blew it big time, and maybe he even understands your anger, when you try to accept the roses for your anniversary. Not that there is ever a good time for this to happen, but this timing is laden with sentiment, memories, and expectation. I can't imagine the gamut of emotions you're going through. It must be overwhelming for you.

    You are a super organized and resourceful woman, so I suspect that your creative and analytical brain is working over time prioritizing and organizing. Squeeze some room in there for you. Get your exercise in. Eat properly. Take a moment to sit and enjoy the view from your favorite spot in your home. Breathe.

    Latch on to every moment you can to de-stress. It will give you energy to cope day to day, as well as long term.

    Continuing prayers for all of you ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Thanks!! I am glad we live close by both our parents...we live smack in the middle of both...10 min from mine, 12 min in the opposite direction to his family. Both have said they will do anything to help out which will likely be watching the kids for appointments in the evening if there are any. Hopefully most of anything can be done during the day which I am glad school is starting up. I will have to think about counseling and see where I could fit that in. He is worried I will leave him....right now I don't know. I am kindof stuck in that I do not work (for pay anyway!). I always thought in my mind, what if he died ever, what would I do? We do have life insurance on us but I always thought, would I move to a cheaper house, get a job, etc. Yesterday he told me (when I asked) that he started drinking when C was so sick (like 2009)....so basically he traded cigarettes for booze since that was the year he quit smoking. I feel like, why couldn't you get addicted to exercise or something socially acceptable? I will be going back to the gym once school starts...I am in need of yoga class for sure! My TrueBlood season 6 dvd came in the library (I had it on hold forever-long waiting list) so I have been making the kids go to bed at their 'school bedtime' the past few days and when they are asleep, and my work is done, I have been relaxing and watching an episode of that. The plotlines are so ridiculous and far off what the original books were that it takes my mind off my reality for an hour. I was at my parents yesterday showing them the new van and my ex brother in law stopped to pick up my Dad's trailer and I told him about all this and he was shocked that Brian would do that with the kids along. I am still working my head around that too yet...probably some counseling would be good!! Anyway, I brought Brian & the boys out to his parents for the afternoon and I am taking Caitlin to see Malificent with my mom at the value cinema.

    Lisa O.
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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    Hi Lisa,

    One thing you might went to have Brian look into is a drunk driving program (ddp) in your state.. Many states require this type of class for people who have been arrested for a dwi. Counseling is a great step and seeking out AA. It looks better for Brian if he is enrolled in a program and they may have him get a drug and alcohol evaluation. I work in addiction counseling and this is what happens what happens in NY when someone gets arrested here and they usually lose their license for a period of time.

    Sorry that you are going through this. It sucks and the whole process is expensive.

    Marcie
    Mom to Jonathan 14, vp shunt and multiple revisions.

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    Distinguished Community Member Earth Mother 2 Angels's Avatar
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    ((((((Lisa)))))) ~

    Your parents and in-laws can help in other ways, besides watching the kids. And there may be an evening where you don't have anywhere to go, but you could use some quiet time. Take advantage of their offers of help. Maybe they could make a few casseroles to put in your fridge, so you don't have to worry about cooking or spending money on fast food/take out. How about dusting, vacuuming, doing a couple of loads of laundry? Mowing the lawn? Picking up clothes at the dry cleaners? Grocery shopping?

    Whatever assistance you can get, so that everything, the entire load isn't on you. At least for a few weeks. Don't be afraid to ask. They might not think of the things you need or that they could do for you. So don't hesitate to ask, "Could you make us a couple of meals I can put in the freezer?" "Mom, would you mind doing some laundry?" "Dad, could you mow the lawn?" It will make them feel better to be helping you, and it will help you, which will make you feel a little better.

    I'm not surprised that Brian's drinking initiated during Caitlin's crisis. He may be self-medicating, because he doesn't have access to appropriate coping skills to handle Caitlin's issues. Most men don't, which is why statistically and historically, the rate of divorce among parents of children with special needs is rather high. That's why I suggested counseling for Brian. He might also benefit from attending AA meetings. The sooner, the better.

    For you, there is Al Anon:

    http://www.al-anon.alateen.org/

    It might be helpful for you to learn more about alcoholism, and how the disease affects behavior, as well as how to live with an alcoholic. The internet if full of resources, so maybe venture onto the 'net and see what you can find to help you understand Brian and how and why this happened.

    Right now you are still in shock, and you're angry, confused, scared, and have a million emotions coursing through you. Take some time to allow yourself to feel these feelings, and to become more informed, before you make any major long term decisions.

    And for now, try to put your concerns about earning an income on the back burner. The ideal solution would be to work from home, with your own flexible schedule. A computer oriented business? Tuck that thought away. You need plenty of space in your head to deal with the current situation.

    Yoga ~ absolutely perfect! Definitely get back into that, and schedule an appt. for yourself, and make that as important as any appt. you schedule for your children. Escaping with a TV program ~ excellent. Making time for yourself, and insisting on it, excellent.

    How are your children handling all of this? Are they talking about it with you, asking questions? How are they behaving toward Brian? Here's where counseling might benefit you ~ where you can discuss ways to keep the lines of communication open with your children and learn how much and what to say to them. Given their ages, you might have four different ways to approach the subject with each of them. A professional would be able to guide you there.

    After you meet with Brian's lawyer, you will have a better idea of what needs to be done to receive a sentence, which impacts you and your children the least. Brian has about 5 weeks to demonstrate his remorse, understanding of what he did and its potential dire consequences, and to seek treatment. While you are meeting with the lawyer, ask about counseling referrals for you and your children. Be sure to mention your concerns about finding a job, earning an income to support your children. Lay it all out there, Lisa. In fact, write it down. That will be therapeutic for you, as well as informative for Brian's lawyer.

    Just grab onto all of the help you can get.

    Sending you positive energy and ~

    Thinking of and praying for you and your family ~

    Love & Light,

    Rose
    Mom to Jon, 48, (seizure disorder; Gtube; trache; colostomy; osteoporosis; hypothyroid; enlarged prostate; lymphedema, assorted mysteries) and Michael, 32, (intractable seizures; Gtube), who were born with an undiagnosed progressive neuromuscular disease and courageous spirits. Our Angel Michael received his wings in 2003 and now resides in Heaven. Our Angel Jon lives at home with me and Jim, the world's most wonderful dad.

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    Dear Lisa,

    I have been away up north where we have no internet and I am just reading your terrible news now. This is so awful and my heart first of all goes out to you. There is not another person I know who literally works 24 hours a day to give her family a 'normal', varied, healthy, active and loving life - not to mention keeping everyone safe when that is so difficult with Kaitlin and very active boys. So, I'm angry on your behalf. There, that's said.
    Everyone has already given very good practical advice on how the impact might be minimised on your family re the charges. But what about you in all of this (you and Brian come after you get yourself feeling a little steadier) - what about taking an overnight away with your sister? It's my gut talking here, but I think maybe you need some initial healing with your best friend? Someone who is completely non-judgemental and can hold on to you between tears and laughter. 24 hours of that kind of friendship might help to figure out how you feel now about Brian, his behavior and how you feel about trust in your relationship. Counselling will help with that too, but I'm just thinking of getting to the point where you feel OK enough to talk and remember what's been said. I am thinking of you and praying for you. It's so rotten. Sending love, Donna xoxox
    Donna, Mum to Natalie (22), ablebodied, kind and beautiful and Nicholas(26), severe CP, non-verbal, tube fed, multiple surgeries, chronic pain, happy kid except when the Liverpool football club or the Ottawa Senators Hockey Team are losing!
    Check out my blog: http://www.donnathomson.com


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    Whoa! I was shocked reading that Brian was driving drunk with the kids in the car!! I would be so pissed in your situation. I was even pissed when my friend started smoking again for that matter. I am sending you prayers that everything turns out for the best!! Glad Caitlin reacted well to the med increase and that you are making progress with the wheelchair. Sorry I am also replying late. I have been extremely busy.
    Mild Spastic Diplegia Cerebral Palsy and bad proprioception.
    My website for my original short films! http://cripvideoproductions.com/cripsnotcreeps.php

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    Distinguished Community Member andromeda31's Avatar
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    Thanks everyone! I was so mad about Brian's stuff I forgot to write about my Dad....kindof why I don't want to ask my parents to do too much for me. My Dad has always been in great shape, loves to powerlift (weights), very active, never sits around the house (he retired last year). My Mom made him go for a physical, I think in July, since his insurance was going to end and then he was going to start Medicare. When he went, they heard a murmur that they made him get further checked out....turns out he has a bicuspid aortic valve and his heart is enlarged and I think my Mom said there is so bulge already on the aorta but the criteria just changed to 5.5 (of whatever unit of measure) and his is at 4.5. So he had to get all this testing to see if he qualified for valve replacement surgery and we just found out Wednesday (so my Wednesday was really crazy since that was the DUI day for Brian) that they are going to have him wait 6 months and come back and retest everything to see if he has 'worsened'. He is not supposed to powerlift anymore and is supposed to take it easy....easier said than done! He did stop the weights but I think he is not taking it easy enough. Like they went up north to my uncle's cabin and he was helping cut down trees and clear out more around the cabin....these are giant pine trees, not little scrub trees. Anyway, when I was looking up about the heart stuff, that bicuspid valve can be hereditary so I e-messaged the kids' ped and asked if I should be concerned about that. She sent back, yes it can be hereditary and recommended they visit with a cardiologist to rule it out. So Caitlin & Brandon are going in September and the little boys in November. It was weird though, I sent a msg to my doctor and he sent back not to worry about it. So I figure I will see what comes out with my kids and if something shows on them, then I will go back to my doctor and explore further. So yeah, I really really have my plate full lately! I made up an outline of questions I have for Brian and sent it to my sister (who has a masters in social work) to look over to see if I missed anything. I want him to write a paper to me answering the questions I wrote down. I think it will be good for him to reflect on that all and have it down in writing. It is probably all stuff they will ask him in therapy anyway. I haven't given it to him yet. I am looking forward to school starting tomorrow...haircuts are done, nails are trimmed, going to pick out their clothes tonight so the morning goes easier! Will post some pics tomorrow. But here is the 'winner' picture of Caitlin in the session I did with her a few weeks ago...I found this spot while walking the dog around the 'hood. Really pretty trail/bridge with a creek running under it. Going to use this on my Christmas card...yes, I plan this early! LOL!

    Lisa O.
    20140819_282b.jpg
    Lisa O: mom to Caitlin (14-CP, VA shunt, seizures), Brandon (12), Tyler (10), Logan (7)...my babies are all getting so old!!

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