Thursday, April 27, 2017

I want a job like that.. A Vent



From March

So.... because there are program changes coming down the pike at DC's work program, my caseworker specifically requested and planned this meeting around a person who could explain (hopefully) how these changes will effect DC. She was not there (she had a good reason) so he requested that another person come into the meeting since we were already there. She did not, but relayed a very vague reply to his question. So..... we now have to schedule another meeting to go over the issues we should have gone over today. Was there really no one in that building that could have answered his questions? Really? That in itself is rather frightening.

I will be writing about those changes on my Official Blog Page when I have a minute to let it all soak in. I don't have much information but what I do have seems ridiculous.

(update: I let it soak and wrote about what I could piece together - here)

From Take Another Step Facebook Statuses


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Since the 23rd of March, my case worker has been trying to get in touch with the person who missed our last meeting.
I explained to my caseworker that it has been my experience that her MO is just not to reply to anything until you get tired of asking and give up...
He does not seem to understand this and keeps trying to contact her without cc'ing the director (the only way I ever get results)

****

April 13


Venting: First there was the meeting mentioned above (where the person we needed to talk to and arraigned the meeting around did not show up)
Then, my case worker sent me a list of dates to try to reschedule the meeting with this woman; April 5, 6, 12, 13, 19, 20 or 26. All of them were fine with me at the time. I thought it was pretty funny that my case worker actually believed that this woman was going to reply to his emails because what she normally does is just ignore you until you give up (I want a job like that). He started emailing her on March 24.
As Phil Collins would say... No reply at all..
On April 4th I emailed him that the 20th was no longer on the table because DC is now scheduled for a root canal. I can't keep the entire month open waiting for this woman who IS NEVER GOING TO EMAIL HIM BACK.
Today, I received an email from my caseworker (a cc from my caseworker to "This Woman", because he is still trying to reschedule the meeting. It's been four weeks of trying now) asking her if she was available on 20th or the 21st.
???????
(Deep Breaths Did Not Work and now I think there might be not one but two "highly agitated" voice mails on his phone because I was waiting for the option to delete and start again but it just hung up. I then tried a second time and unfortunately was not any calmer and again it just hung up)
I just emailed him last week that the 20th was no longer an option and the 21st was never an option and not on his original list! I am not taking two days off because she can't bother to reply and he can't even get the dates right. Of course he sent the email at 5:59 PM, probably right before he left the office for the long weekend, because isn't that always the way?
I have a job. I am expected to return phone calls. I am expected to return emails. I am expected to keep schedules straight. I know this may sound like a trivial thing to get upset about, but just about everything has gone this way for what seems like forever now. I don't understand why everything I have had to deal with lately goes just like this or worse. It's always a big mess and I am left wondering if it's really just me losing my mind, but I know that it isn't.
(Just to add to the hostility I am feeling; I had another annual re-determination with social security yesterday. I say "another" because we just did this in September. I must be on some list. Received the letter last week that I had to contact them by the 12th - I had to call them 4 times to get anyone to call back. THEY WROTE ME! THEY SET THE DEADLINE DATE. THIS WASN'T MY IDEA SO WHY SHOULD I HAVE TO CALL 4 DIFFERENT DAYS TO GET SOMEONE TO RETURN MY CALL?)
So anyway, once again I will look like the the B#&%h


****
On Monday the 17th, I received an email from my caseworker telling me he had emailed her that day about the 26th (the only date left on the list)
April 20th - I emailed him to ask if he'd heard about the 26th because I did have to schedule it with work.
No Reply at all...
*****
On April 25th - late afternoon/early evening - I emailed my caseworker to say:
I guess at this point that the 26th is out. Do you want to send me new dates in May so we can do this again all next month too?

*****
On April 26th in the afternoon I received an email from my caseworker.
"My Apologies, "That Woman" did email me yesterday (the 25th) saying the 26th was good and I missed the email. How about May 4th?"

******
I'm done....


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This blog is used for short posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time
 


Thursday, April 20, 2017

Just maybe he's getting used to the dentist too?


(Recent Facebook Statuses about the Dentist)

Two weeks ago

At the dentist with DC, realizing that I am actually sitting in the waiting room and trying to remember just when that change happened. 
#ItHasNotBeenAllThatLong 
#MomGoToTheOtherRoom

From Statuses at Take Another Step

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Two weeks ago
Just learned there is a root canal in his future. This whole "over being afraid of the dentist" may be coming to an end...... sigh. 

I get so wrapped up in the "Autism" of it all that the regular things that everyone has to do, like a root canal, totally throw me when they come up. Even after all of this time, it is always as if it has just hit me that "Oh, yes all of these regular things (like wisdom teeth, tonsils, root canals) can happen too". 
 Still have 2 weeks to talk to him about it and hopefully get him ready...

From Statuses at Take Another Step

**** Root Canal Day

Hoping that our success with his blood work last week carries over to his root canal today. So far he's treating it like a regular dental appointment and I tried to explain it just that way by telling him that his cavity is bigger so it will take longer to fix and he might need help keeping his mouth open that long. Fingers Crossed.  #MomIsSweatingButWhatElseIsNew

From Statuses at Take Another Step

 *****
I have to say that I was nervous about this. Until earlier this week when he had to get blood work, his regular dentist was the one and only person who has ever been able to give him a shot or use a needle without me having to bring reinforcements to hold him down. 
But blood work was one thing, Novocaine is entirely another thing. He has had Novocaine with his regular dentist but he uses some sort of vibrating thing so DC really never knew that there was an actual needle involved. (Why is this not standard equipment in all dental offices?)

This was a different dentist with no vibrating needle....
I had scheduled it to be done all in one visit because I was afraid if he got too upset at the first appointment, it would be a battle to get him back for a second visit.



 Doug, who gets a little claustrophobic during root canals himself, was more than a little concerned - so I spent the time giving him updates as we went along.

He got through the needle and the big thing they put over his mouth. That, right there was the battle in my mind.

He did start to get upset toward the end. It was a lot, but he made it through.

The aftermath (of him holding himself together for so long) was not fun at all and it took him a long time to calm down after we left the office - but even that happened to a much lesser degree than I expected.

I think we are finally turning a corner here....
(she says, quietly while knocking on wood)


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This blog is used for short posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time


Friday, April 14, 2017

The Doctor..... we've come a long way



(A collection of  random Facebook Statuses about the doctor and blood work)

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Last Month

We have an appointment with DC's neurologist this morning - the man who for some reason can not seem to get his blood pressure in one, two, three tries - which always serves to aggravate DC to no end. The last time DC was so angry the doctor asked cluelessly "Is he acting that way because he is trying to tell us something?" - UGH!

From Statuses at Take Another Step

I needed to get his blood work done before his next visit in May. This is always stressful. DC never had blood work until he had to begin taking seizure medication in 2015. Fortunately the medication he is on does not require blood work quite as often as some of the others do. This would only be his third time (Read about the first and second here)

*****

Blood Work Day

Off to have DC's blood work done. Fine way to begin a long weekend. He was singing "DC" the Brave" last night so he does understand where he is going... He was a little bit obsessive/anxious about it yesterday but so far this morning - he seems fine. Fingers Crossed!

(Clip from his first time having blood drawn)



From Facebook Statuses at Take Another Step

*****
He started getting very anxious as soon as we walked out of the door. It got progressively worse as we waited in the waiting room....







This was the best one yet. I think we're turning a corner...
**************

Next week we move on to another "something new"; a root canal. That should be an adventure.


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This blog is used for short posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time
 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Transportation Breakdowns. Water Bottles and Delayed Reactions

(A collection of Facebook Statuses)

Friday:

DC's transport broke down on their way to work this morning. They had to wait for a van to come from the agency to bring them the rest of the way. Knowing this was going to throw him, I face timed with him while they were waiting. Both DC and *Salli were a little bit upset (I think mostly worried that they were late) but they survived. 
In the confusion, DC lost his water bottle. 
I know this because he went "off script" when he called me this afternoon and told me that he lost it. The driver said he would check the broken car and have the agency check the van, on Monday. DC is very concerned that he now has to wait until Monday. This will be the topic of conversation all weekend. 
Happy Friday! 
#UnfinishedBusiness

From Facebook Statuses at Take Another Step

Later:



Update: the water bottle has been found. It was in the car that broke down. He will have it back on Monday. It's not as if he has an attraction to this particular water bottle, it was just that he knew it was lost. Now he knows it's been found and even though he doesn't physically have it - it's fine. It's been found. #TheWeekendIsSaved

Monday:
In case anyone was concerned.... DC was quite successful in his mission of spreading Autism Awareness to the entire neighborhood, outside at 7:30 AM. 
I hate it when his day begins this way
:( 
#WeHateMondays


From Facebook Statuses at Take Another Step

DC's reactions to things often come much later than the actual event he is reacting to. It takes some doing to try to figure out what is happening because by the time he reacts, I have forgotten about whatever has happened and since he did not react at the time, I don't have any reason to believe that it bothered him.

I have written about this before here.

Monday mornings in DC-land are not always the best. Sometimes they are just brutal. As Monday's go, we were having a pretty decent morning. Right before his transportation was due to arrive, I saw that change in his eyes that I see when he is getting anxious.

I asked what was wrong.

"Nothing wrong!"

The driver arrived and got out of his car with the water bottle that DC had been so concerned about on Friday and walked up the sidewalk to give it to me. Since he already had a different bottle filled, I went to bring the other one in the house but he was not having it. He wanted to keep it with him. Thinking that the water bottle was the cause of his anxiety, it was not a problem for me to let him take it with him.

But then "IT" began and went on loudly for quite some time. Fortunately in the midst of this spreading of awareness, he yelled "Broke Down!".

He wasn't reacting to the water bottle at all, he was having a reaction to the van breaking down on FRIDAY! He seemed fine while they were stuck and I was face-timing with him. His only concern when he got home was his lost water bottle and after he knew that had been found, I never heard a word about any of it..... until Monday morning.

Monday's vehicle was not even the same vehicle that had broken down, but apparently the car breaking down had bothered him more than he was letting on.

The driver and I had to convince him that this car was not going to break down. I do not like making those kind of guarantees to him because as you know, anything can happen - a flat tire - anything. Under my breath, with clenched teeth,  I prayed to the automobile gods that this car "better not break down".

Usually, due to a good amount of experience with his delayed reactions, I can eventually figure out what is going on, but this time I would have put money on the fact that this was all about the water bottle. If he didn't yell "Broke down!", I would have spent all of that time trying to console him about the water bottle. Which probably would have made things worse.

DC and I have officially done our part in spreading autism awareness this month. At least to the people living in our neighborhood because "Monday's" do not usually happen outside and if they do, not for that amount of time......

The car did not break down,(Phew!) he had his water bottle so all was well by Monday afternoon.


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This blog is used for short posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time














Tuesday, April 4, 2017

DC Speaks on Fantastic Beasts

                    (From Facebook Status)
In my never-ending quest to get DC into something other than Disney movies (and no, I would never try to replace Disney, just expand his interests) I got him to sit down with me and watch "Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them" on Sunday.

This is a big deal. As much as he loves movies, he generally does not want to sit and watch one with me, because he cannot rewind the same scene 47 times and he also feels like he is missing out on his weekend computer/movie time when I ask him to sit in the living room to watch something with me.

(He also tends to fall asleep when he watches something new while sitting on the couch)

I began telling him days before that we were going to watch this movie so he would be ready and expecting to miss some computer time.
I explained that it would be something like Harry Potter. He really likes Harry Potter, although only the first and second movie when they were young. Once they began to age, he was done and only just tolerated watching them for me. Generally he would do it for the popcorn and fall asleep as soon as that was gone.

Well....
He stayed awake for the entire movie and.....
HE DIDN'T WANT POPCORN!
Yes, you read that correctly. I had to take his temperature, just to be sure he was not getting sick or something.

First, Let's just mention, New York City (even though it was NYC, a long time ago - it was New York City, his favorite place!) -
That in itself held his interest until we made it to the beasts.

He actually was able to tell me about it, somewhat afterwards.

DC's Cliffs Notes and Review of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

Me: DC, did you like the movie?

DC: Good!

Me: Can you tell me some of the things that happened?

DC: Goblins (eww)
They fit in suitcase 
A lady
Crushing the wall
In New York City (my favorite place) 
Went to the forest in the suitcase - get back to New York City.  Snowing 
We went to Central Park
Tried to get it back 
Firefly's - arms - eww - shoo shoo. 
Big mess in the store. Woah! 
JOHNNY DEEP!!!!

A definite "Two Thumbs Up" as far as DC is concerned. 

(Unfortunately I read afterwards that Johnny "Deep" (DC-speak) has been replaced for the next installment. I don't think he caught or will remember the character's name so hopefully he will not notice. He may notice that Johnny "Deep" is missing but not that someone else is playing the character)


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This blog is used for shorter posts and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time






Sunday, March 26, 2017

The Grocery Store and (more about) Bananas

(A Collection of Facebook Statuses)

Saturday Afternoon:

DC: Oh, Vickie
(Oh???)
Me: Yes, DC
DC: "DC's beautiful mother! I L-O-V-E YOU!" 
(hahaha, now I know he is up to or wants something)
Me: I love you too.
DC: We're out of 'a-bannas'
(How is that possible?)
*****
-For those that may be new here: He is an adult and in his mind he should call me by my adult name (at times)
-We always seem to be out of bananas and I will hear about it every five minutes until we get some....

****
Later that night:
Just now: His nightly ritual - 
DC: Good night, Mom. Sleep tight. Don't let the bed bugs bite. 
Me: Pleasant dreams.
DC: (going off script) I have good dreams. 
Me: Oh? What are you going to dream about?
DC: Tipps
(The grocery store, because as you may or may not have heard .... we are out of bananas)


****

Sunday Morning:

The List:

First thing this morning, he made his shopping list. Yes, he does yell "check" and make a check while writing the list instead of checking the items off when he gets them. We're working on that.
His shopping list for this particular grocery store is always a bit different than his list for the larger grocery store that we go to weekly.


Bananas, paper and black markers will always be found on both lists. But chicken wings and a black and white cookie do not appear on the list for Tipps. Instead you will find pizza and a whoopie pie
.



DC has particular reasons for visiting each grocery store. Long ago he discovered that this particular store carried Stromboli. He decided that this was his favorite thing to eat. This was the only reason he ever chose Tipps over the larger grocery store. It has everything a pizza has but there's more bread. Stromboli is also the name of a character in Pinocchio, so he could also pronounce it perfectly.

Later, he discovered whoopie pies. 

Unfortunately, as with almost everything DC loves, the store recently stopped selling Stromboli, so he opts for a frozen pizza when he is shopping there. Yes, frozen pizzas are available in the larger grocery store, but THAT store is for wings, so frozen pizza will only be purchased in Tipps.

But the real draw now that Stromboli is no more, is his new-found love of the whoopie pie...


Last week's Birthday Post (Breakfast of Champions):


DC just has a love of grocery stores in general. So much so that when I run out of Birthday or Christmas list items for the friends and family that always ask me what to get him; when the movies, band-aids, paper, markers, scotch tape and books have all been doled out (not that he can ever have enough of any of the above), I have resorted to assigning someone a grocery store gift card. 

And he is always happy to receive one!

Sunday Afternoon:

Bananas - Check
Whoopie Pie - Check
Pizza - Check
Mission Accomplished

Here's the funny part.... I said earlier in this post that this store stopped selling his favorite thing, Stromboli a little while back so he made the switch to pizza - not very willingly at first, but the switch has been made.

Today there was a whole section of Stromboli and quite a few with the ingredient combo that he prefers: Sausage, Pepperoni and Cheese. Believe it or not, he refused to get one!

He made the switch to pizza and pizza is what is on his list....






So, end of story.......

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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time










Thursday, March 23, 2017

'Chills', My Favorite Place!


We celebrated DC's Twenty Sixth (Twenty- Sixteen: DC-speak) this week. His favorite thing about his birthday (other than cake, parties and gifts, that is) is going "out to eat". It is expected and he seems to do a good deal of "going out to eat" around birthday time.

There is also a very strict list of DC-approved foods for eating in restaurants. He will eat other things at home, but in a restaurant he must have:

Wings, a Cheeseburger (sometimes with Bacon) and French Fries.

If we happen to be somewhere that does not serve the food listed above, then he will move on to the "B" list and order Pizza, mozzarella sticks or in a pinch, ribs.

We always have to study the menu before going anywhere.

OH! There must be bread!

DC has had a favorite restaurant ("My favorite place!") for many years. It is a lobster house.

Now, he will call whatever restaurant we happen to be in at the time, his favorite place and just last weekend while visiting the Catskills he announced that Vastra's Bistro was has favorite place before he even got to the table. You can not always believe that somewhere is actually his favorite, but this particular lobster house, I can definitely say, was his favorite place.

Will he eat lobster?

No!

Will he even taste it?

No!

He orders wings, a cheeseburger and french fries every single time. He just wants to eat them there apparently.

We have gone there for EVERYTHING; his birthday, Mother's Day, his graduation dinner - any occasion you can think of, we have spent at the lobster house.

Quite frankly, I was getting tired of it.

The staff changed, the menu changed, we had a few bad meals towards the end aaannnnnd they stopped serving his favorite desert, Chocolate Fantasy Cake - but still... that was where he wanted to go until... he discovered somewhere better...

This year, finally he changed his mind. He did not even mention the lobster house when requesting his birthday dinner - He wanted to go to "Chills" (Chili's - DC-speak).

I think what pushed him over  to "Chills" was the chocolate chip cookie skillet dessert. (Much better, than chocolate fantasy cake, in my opinion). They do not have bread, but they have chips - and he loves chips.

He got his chips, wings, cheeseburger, french fries and a song with his cookie skillet...




And just like that, he has a new favorite place......

(They also have a lighter menu options so I can pretend to stay on my diet)
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This blog is used to copy my posts (as back-up) from my official site and also for longer Facebook statuses. Please visit my official blog site at: Taking it a Step at a Time