Category Archives: John

Why Does a Stranger Get to Control My Life?

This is as close as I could find to a representation of my last disability hearing:

People who have applied for disability and not been approved at the two earlier stages end up with a hearing. There is a door at the back where the possibly-disabled and their attorney enter. The seats closest to them are where they sit, as if disability of any kind was contagious. There is a stenographer to my left on the square of tables, and a disability occupations adjudicator at the table to my attorney’s right. Directly in front of me is a dais. Once everyone is settled in the judge will enter from a door directly opposite the one I walked through. In his or her black robes, of course. My judge this time is male, and I suspect is the same judge I had last time.

So before a word has been spoken the stage is set. The judge, formally dressed, sitting higher than anyone else. The stenographer and adjudicator sitting close to, but lower than the judge and at an angle toward him. My attorney sits beside me. He doesn’t know me at all, even though we’ve been through a hearing together before and everyone insists he’s great. He was assigned to me by Allsup, a company I’ll be happy to pay since THEY jumped through all the hoops for me. If you need someone, call and mention my name. I think I should have frequent flyer points to share or something.They have a 97% success rate!

My judge has a documented 38%  approval on disability cases, which I found out yesterday. The adjudicator guy will do most of the talking. He’ll list all the jobs I could do full-time, since I clearly can’t return to Nursing. Pretty much I sit there and they talk about me between themselves. This time I’ll stand and tell my own story. No one in that room knows me or my family or what we’ve been through.

If they did they’d all give me gentle hugs, tell me I was in their prayers, and approve me for disability all the way back to the start date of 2009. My children, too, since my pain screwed up both of their lives, plus Michael’s. I don’t think they give compensation to spouses, but he deserves something for all he’s endured.

My hearing is Tuesday (the 14th) at 10 a.m. I would be incredibly thankful if my friends could pray for me, send some positive energy, or just think about me that morning, please. I’d appreciate it SO much! Even if I’ve been a bitch to you lately (as I have to most of those closest to me) just think back to the good times we’ve had and think fondly of me, even if it’s only a minute or two.

Numbering, So As Not To Ramble

— 1 —

I admit it. I tend to ramble in blog posts. Also when speaking in public – except church. I always liked being a lector, but haven’t done it for years since both the Cross and the Book are too heavy for me to carry, and I can never predict what days I will actually be able to get out of bed, let alone showered and dressed. Hair and makeup are out of the question. Have you ever seen someone with a significant tremor try to put on mascara, blush, and lipstick? Just visualize the clown in “It”. I scare fewer kids if I go out with no makeup. Sad, but true! And my hair’s always in a bun or a clip.

— 2 —

I’m writing this Sunday night, because this weekend felt like a whole week. Maybe two. It’s Kentucky, so there was a frost, then a heatwave. I’m writing this in front of an open window, hoping for a breeze! A storm just blew through, so my neck is killing me. I was accepted into some sort of “chronic pain trial” and was told I’d be receiving a non-narcotic pain relief medication from the physician who’d reviewed my history. Yeah, right. Here’s what they sent me.

I’m giving it a try, just as I did the cervical spine sit-up machine at physical therapy they had to wipe my tears from every session (turned out my vertebrae had never fused from my second surgery, so each rep was pushing bone against my spinal cord), the muscle relaxer that made my tremor so severe I couldn’t feed myself, and ALL the others. I’m using it on my back and neck twice a day. But it’s Lidocaine. Great for a sunburn, mosquito bites, and toothaches. But I’m trying!

— 3 —

My baby boy’s nineteenth birthday is coming soon. It’s been YEARS since I actually selected my sons’ Birthday or major Christmas gifts. They just send me Amazon links, for which I am very thankful. I always get them little surprises, too, usually geeky little things 😀 But this year marks not only his nineteenth birthday, but the first anniversary of his close friend’s suicide. #StayStrange was the message they all wore on rubber bracelets the rest of the year. Or rather, until their next friend ended her life shortly before graduation. Then everything fell apart. It’s a miracle the remaining thirty-one kids graduated from their respective schools.

— 4 —

Michael and I did get to spend a longer time with John this weekend than we have since he moved into the dorm. It was awesome to spend time with him, but it’s also great to know he’s got good friends he doesn’t hesitate to bring by the house even though he’s the first to admit I’m not the “average mom” – LOL! AND that he’s working hard, enjoying his classes, and planning for the future. He got Michael hooked on Stranger Things last time he came by, so Michael returned the favor by hooking him on Bloodline, which I’ve watched over and over. I think The Crown next. I loved it, and History just doesn’t interest me. But Helena Bonham Carter? She’s had me since she was Ophelia to Mel Gibson’s Hamlet.

— 5 —

Winnie the Yorkie has been hanging with us this week, and she’s been particularly sweet. Her hair is a little long and I SO want to use a bit of mousse and put it up in a bow! Perhaps right before her Mom and Dad pick her up. Or perhaps some food coloring for devil horns!

— 6 —

Oh, John’s moving to a new dorm. With a room to himself but a common bathroom. He’ll be right next to two of his best friends, and it will be wonderful! He and his current roommate are on opposite schedules and the room is TINY so it’s been hard for either of them to rest well. But of course the Parental Units are not allowed to actually SEE his dorm room, so he just borrowed Michael’s dolly to move his stuff. I’m curious to see how it goes, since he didn’t move a single box on Freshman move-in day. THIS time he’ll have to move it all down from the fourth floor (no elevator) TO whichever dorm it is, and then up to another fourth floor room (no elevator). I wore flip-flops on move-in day, and KNEW I has no business doing stairs. So I just sighed heavily and moved interesting things from box to box until a half-dozen UofL football players (or drummers – they had short hair and muscles) offered to help me take John’s stuff up to his room and set it outside since John had not seen fit to leave me his key. They were MOST interested in the chicken-head mask from a former Halloween costume.

So when Michael and John FINALLY arrived after parking the cars all the boxes were moved and there was a group of students (and fellow parents who joined in when I fell UP the stairs) chanting “Chicken Head Man!” They all high-fived him and moved on, while John gave me his patented, “WTF, Ma?!” look. I’ll update you on that solo move. I may not be banned from campus after all 😉

Even Grown Kids Say Funny Things

There are some fantastic prompts this week at Mama Kat‘s. It took me a while to narrow it down, and I may do a couple of the others just for fun! But I’m stepping outside boundaries just this once to share a couple of things my sons have said or texted within the last week.  Aaron will turn twenty-seven next week and John will turn nineteen next month.  Even though they are far apart in age they are very close, and look eerily alike (except the hair).

Aaron’s hair is military-short, and hasn’t felt a comb since middle school. John’s is now long enough for a man-bun, and he’s fairly  proud of that. I’d planned to include pics of my sons here, but this is the screen I get, and it won’t let me scroll to anything else. I can’t even make a phone call or listen to a voice mail! Help!!

I can’t even attach the screen shot I took, but it only has three sections: Photos, notes, and phone favorites. And none of them are complete – ARRGH!! Going to try turning it off and back on, and if that doesn’t work my trip out tomorrow will NOT be pretty!

So John’s statement was earlier in the week. He said, “I was made for college!” I suspect all of his teachers K-12 would agree. He needs to be in charge of his own schedule, take the classes he enjoys most, and live in the squalor of a Freshman boys’ dorm for a year. I’d nipped at his heels like a yappy dog for years. Now he will see the cause and effect of all his actions. With UofL’s diverse campus he’s making friends everywhere he goes. If he was taller at age three I’d have just dropped him off on campus instead of Mother’s Day Out, and he’d have done fine. He’s going to love college as much as I hated it, and I couldn’t be happier!

Aaron was finally texting me what he’d like for his birthday – I gave up somewhere between X-box games and Raspberry Pi – and I couldn’t find the games he was looking for. I found things that were close, and texted those back to him. He replied, “Yes, autocorrect is harder while holding a baby.” Yes, especially a drooly teething one who has been watching Mommy and Daddy use phones and computers since birth. Are there drool-proof electronics cases or covers? All suggestions appreciated!

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