Friday, October 20, 2017

I Write Because....



Why I write?
I never really intended to write a blog. My blogging began one day when I was writing an extremely long response to a blog post that I had just finished reading. After I hit “post” I decided that writing a response to this post on someone else’s blog was not going to make me feel better about the topic being discussed. I opened an account, copied and pasted that very long comment, on to a page and started my blog.
I was so worried that I would never have enough to say to sustain a blog, but I went for it anyway. It turns out that I do have a lot to say. I don’t know how many people care to hear what I have to say, but I say it anyway.
It is difficult to explain "his" autism to anyone without resorting to 1000 examples and 1000 stories. So I tell 1000 stories to make clear that there are other sides to autism than the characters seen in TV or movies. 
I read many blogs as well. Many of the blogs that I do come across are written by parents of younger children. Most are wonderful and very informative. There are many that I absolutely love, but I always feel that the parents of adult children do not have an equal voice in this community. We are cast aside, or worse, berated. I am not in any way saying my blog is the voice of parents with adult children, but I am ONE voice and ONE opinion in a sea of blogs and opinions that do not seem to make room for the parents that have been at it  for many years now.
I was very tired of being preached at and constantly being told how to feel by those who have not reached this point in their child’s life. I understand where they are coming from and in turn I believe they can or should try to understand where I am coming from. Whatever else you might have to say about me, I  have done a good job of raising DC.  Of course there was help along the way but as a single mother going on 23 years now, most of it fell to me alone.  I truly resent the fact that we, as parents are being made to feel as if after all these years,  we’ve got it all wrong. I know that there are instances where we did have it wrong. When DC was young, there was not any where near the information and services that are available today. (See: Autism In the Old Days
I hope that a little insight into what comes after “school age” may go a long way in getting people to stop and think before making blanket decisions, accusations and statements that may not affect their child the same way it will affect mine. There has got to be some give and take. Everything does not work for every one.
Having said that, I have learned quite a bit from other parents by virtue of my blog. I don’t always agree with every opinion and my readers, I’m sure, do not always agree with me, but I truly believe writing this blog and getting some of the feedback has helped me see some issues a bit differently or at least why some parents see things the way they do. I can only hope I can and will be afforded the same courtesy; and so far I have.
Life tends to be very different when your child “ages out” of the school system and at other times, it is exactly the same. When you are waist deep in school, therapies, programs and IEPs, what happens after 21 is not high on your priority list. Of course it is a priority and of course it is in the back of your mind but, the here and now takes precedence. There are so many new and different issues to consider, and it all comes to hit you in the face much faster than you expect. Your views and opinions can change dramatically from what you hoped for when they were young and what you hope for now. Your life changes drastically, while not changing at all.
In an earlier blog I wrote:
He will, someday have to live in the real world without me.
So I will keep writing with the hope that a few people might read and think a little bit about the future. I would never say that spreading awareness is not a good idea, it IS definitely necessary, but…..
all of the awareness in the world is not going to keep DC safe and happy when I am no longer here to protect him…..
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This has been a Finish the Sentence Friday post. This week’s sentence is “Why I write…” brought to you by  Kenya Johnson of Sporadically Yours.
Finish the Sentence Friday is a link-up where writers and bloggers come together to share their themselves with a particular sentence. If you’d like to stay ahead of future sentences and participate, join the Facebook group

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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

Please Arrive 15 Minutes Early....



(My friend over at Seriously Not Boring posted something the other day that reminded me to finish this post - a post that I started after a status she posted back in March 2016 )

One of my pet peeves, is scheduling an appointment with the doctor and then being told during your confirmation/reminder call to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time for paperwork purposes. 
Why can't they just schedule the appointment 15 minutes earlier instead of throwing that at you during the confirmation call?  If you want me there at 9:45, then schedule my appointment for 9:45. I really do not need to play mind games about what time I really have to be there.

Why doesn't it work that way?

DC had an eye doctor appointment this morning at 10 am (it was THIS morning when I started writing this
. But let's pretend that I did not totally forget that I was writing this - 'Kay???) This is a relatively new eye doctor for us and only our second visit; the last being over a year ago, so I really am not used to or remember their procedures. 

This office was recommended to me when I "decided" I had had enough of his last eye doctor (more about that in Part 2). When we arrived for that first appointment, we were told that their computers were down and that they could not even get a schedule of their appointments for that day. They had no idea who was coming in, at what time and for what reason.....

We just had to sign in and hope for the best.

Great!

His appointment went smoothly and they gave him a new prescription - perfect.

One year later, when I received the confirmation call (recorded) on Saturday, confirming his 10 am appointment, they also said to..... 


wait for it...




"Please arrive 15 minutes early to complete your paperwork". Grrr. Now, 15 minutes may not seem like all that much time, but in my life, it's a big deal and of course changes my whole schedule.

Arriving at 9:45 as requested, I found myself filling out the same paperwork that I had filled out at our first appointment and being told that they had no record of his first visit other than the fact that he was there. Nothing apparently had been "scanned in". - Those pesky computer issues.


Listen, I am old and tired and seriously have no patience for anyone other than DC anymore, so this was not making me happy at all. 

As I was filling out said paperwork listening to DC stim loudly ("waiting, waiting") I noticed that the time "10:15" was written on the top of one of the pages. 


When I went to return the paperwork, I asked what the 10:15 was for. The reply? "That is the time of your appointment".


So..... they scheduled me for 10 am (adding the extra 15 minutes like I wished everyone would do ahead of time), but never mentioned this to me (or to the people making the confirmation calls) and called to confirm my 10 am but still asked that I arrive 15 minutes early for paperwork purposes!!!!

Seriously? 


Through my teeth, as I have grown very skilled at speaking through a clenched jaw, I "explained" this to her. She replied - "Well, that's all right that you are early" (There is nothing I dislike more than when someone screws up - and screws up with my time - and then tells me it's alright!)



Now practicing the art of "yelling" through a clenched jaw...... "That's not all right!!!! We are NOT early, we arrived here when we were told to arrive! There's a lot I could have done in the half hour I will now be sitting here".... 


(One of the reasons we left the last eye doctor was because they made DC wait so long that he was just out of sorts by the time they were ready for him and would not always cooperate - That story will come later)

The receptionist kind of just looked at me and said, "Oh no, you'll go in as soon as I enter your paperwork" - which took until just about 10:15. 

Shocking! 

Given the story that will follow in Part 2, I suppose the added half hour and having no record of anything; the new prescription - nothing - except the fact that he was there still might qualify as a step up???

But, the Jury is still out on this place. ...


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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








Monday, October 9, 2017

VHS to DVD to Blu-ray to Digital to.......



DC came over to me, iPad in hand while I was on the computer and proceeded to sing the theme to Bye Bye Birdie in it's entirety.

His allergies had kicked in full force the day before so it was not an easy feat for him.

When he was finished singing, he shoved the iPad in front of my face. The screen was showing the "Buy It Now" option for the digital version of Bye Bye Birdie.

sigh.... 

heavy sigh...

Look, the guy loves movies. He loves Disney. He loves musicals. I get that and I support his love of media, but let's take a step back and think about this:

He is 26 years old.

We began our journey in the VHS era. He had hundreds of movies on VHS.

Next came DVD's - everything that he had on VHS eventually was replaced by DVD's (and I mean everything because he does not outgrow the movies that he started out with)

THEN, came the 20th, 25th, 30th, 50th Anniversary Special Editions of everything he already owned.

(There are very few things that DC likes - very few - movies, music and books are on the top of that small list. These are what he gets for birthdays, Christmas and any events that require a gift. So let's not say that he is being spoiled, there just aren't all that many things that he enjoys.)

Next came Blu-ray. DVD's will play on a Blu-ray player, but not vise-versa so we had to upgrade to a blu-ray player. When they first came out with blu-ray I envisioned having to replace everything again, so phew; replacing the player was not a big deal.

But WAIT! 

Now he has an iPad and it seems that we are replacing everything one. more. time so he can have the digital versions. 

(It is a plus that he finally understands that "Buy it Now" costs money - not that he has a complete understanding about the concept of money but he understands that he has to ask me first <that wasn't always the case>)

Last week when I let him purchase whatever it was he wanted at the time (I can't remember), I told him that was enough for awhile. I suppose he thought that struggling to sing the song with a stuffy nose, while coughing and sneezing in an attempt to provide an entertainment angle would help to make his case to me for the purchase of this movie.

He was right..... 


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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










Saturday, September 30, 2017

The Good Doctor and "All Things Autism"


I never fail to get that "shocked" look when people ask and I tell them I have never seen Parenthood, Touch, made it through a few episodes of The A-Word, did not see the Accountant or the Good Doctor (I did see Atypical). Why do people act as if I (or any of us) am/are "performing under par" or not living up to our "parental duties" by not watching every single thing that comes out involving autism?? Are they afraid we will miss out on learning something life-changing???? #ChillPeople

FaceBook Statuses 9/29/17

I did not watch the Good Doctor. I am on the fence about whether I will or not. I am glad that we are beginning to see more characters with autism on Television and in Movies, but these characters always seem to be at the same or around the same level on the spectrum, once again giving the general public a skewed idea of autism. I am also a little bit disappointed that they made the character a savant (although I do hear that it is explained in the show that Savant Autism is a different diagnosis), we have finally gotten people over the Rain man version of autism and now we are given another savant. Autism is a large spectrum and I am hoping we will eventually see other characters that represent other branches of this spectrum.

Facebook Statuses 9/26/17

For the post that was the reason behind the post above, please see Walk One Day In Our Shoes' review and thought about The Good Doctor here: Walk One Day in Our Shoes - FB Review

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I do not believe that anyone is saying that the recent trend of new shows with autistic characters is not a good thing. Of course, raising awareness by putting more autism on TV is a good thing. I think that if we are going to go in that direction, we need to see more of the spectrum represented.



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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



Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Texts from the Dentist



(off topic)
Since September is turning out to be my month to complain and be just plain B#&%hy,  I may as well just continue... (believe me, I've got more)

Just a little "annoyance"

Most dentists and doctors use text messaging these days to confirm appointments. I really don't mind that. Since my phone is always with me, I can check on appointments by looking at my messages.

"Your phone has a calendar" you might say. It does and for a little while I was pretty good about using it and then it went the way of the rest of my organizational skills. Lost and never to be found again.

Side Note: Why do people go out of their way to ask how I spell my name and then spell it any way they want? I...E...!!!! Vick....I...E! Vickie.

One dentist in particular that I just started seeing in this year (replacing the dentist of: Holy Inappropriate Conversation, Batman! and the follow-up,  It's all the dentist's fault) happens to suffer from "text overkill".

Not only "text overkill" but they don't seem to eliminate mix-ups and scheduling snafus so they prove to be nothing but annoying.

I was there in June to schedule my first of 4 surgeries (a quarter of my mouth at a time).

The first surgery was scheduled for July 14.

Before I reached the parking lot I had a text to thank me for scheduling my appointment.

Okay. That's fine.

Before I reached my car I received another text - a survey.... "so how did we do?" and something about the appointment I just left. They wanted feed back for an appointment that nothing was done during and they apparently could not wait until a person arrived home, to get it.

Two weeks before my appointment, I received not one but two texts (at the same time) to confirm my appointment. Now, I am one of those people that needs a reminder of an appointment, the day before - even a week before, but two weeks before is not helping me in the least.

To top it all off, one text said to reply with a 3 to confirm and the other said to reply with a 4.
Me, overthinking as I do, did not know what to do. What if I replied with a 3 and the reply goes to the text that said to reply with 4 (what would 3 mean in that case?) and vise-versa. So me being me, decided not to take any chances and replied with 3&4.

I received a "Thank you for confirming" text, so it looked as if I made the right decision.

I went to the appointment on the 14th then scheduled a followup for the next Friday to have the stitches and pack removed and before I hit the parking lot "Thank you for scheduling..... blah, blah, blah..
and when I got in my car the next text "so how did we do?" - I just had surgery and the last thing I wanted to do was fill out a survey...

I arrived home to my house phone ringing.

"Hi, this is 'Dentist's office', I received your text and I wasn't sure what 3&4 meant".
They were calling me about a text that I sent two weeks ago confirming an appointment that I just had. What possible difference could it make now?

I explained about the two texts and she just said "Oh! I wonder how that happened?" - again.... who cares? The appointment is over.

So not only do they want your feedback immediately after surgery but they feel the need to call and talk about nonsense when all I wanted to do was take a nap before DC came home.

I went back the following week for the removal of stitches etc. after receiving more than one (not at the same time this time) texts to confirm, and when I was done I made an appointment for the next phase on September 8th.

You got it.... "Thank you for scheduling" and "How did we do?"

sigh......

Maybe I am getting more annoyed than I usually would due to all of these dental issues but I was annoyed.

Then of course the confirmation texts two weeks ahead of time....

Had phase two done on the 8th - 2 texts: Thanks for scheduling  and how did we do? and only one this time to confirm the follow up on the 15th.

After the follow-up I made the appointment for phase three for Nov, 3rd. Before I left they decided they wanted to take impressions so while in the chair I received the "Thanks for scheduling" but did not get the survey until later.

On the following Monday (18th) I had to go back again for what I thought might be an abscess. They took care of it and wanted me to come back for a follow up for the infection/irritation in a week. I made that appointment for the 26th of September.

Text: Thank you for scheduling
Text: How do we do (they are VERY needy)

The day after (19th) the abscess appointment I got a phone call at 7am.
Now, it is not uncommon for me to receive texts that early from work, sometimes Doug or *Salli's mother about transportation issues, but when my phone rings that early, I immediately think that something is wrong.

Receptionist: "Good Morning, this is 'Dentist's Office' I just wanted to make sure you're not coming in today"
Me: (panicking thinking I forgot something)
Receptionist: I just wanted to catch you so you do not come in today, You already had your appointment.
Me: I'm confused. I did not have an appointment today. I was in on Friday for my scheduled appointment and again on Monday for a problem.
Receptionist: I just wanted to make sure that you didn't think you had an appointment because you had your appointment on Friday.
Me: I wouldn't think I had an appointment, because I did not schedule an appointment. So, no I wasn't planning on coming in.
Receptionist: Okay, I just wanted to be sure you knew that you don't need to come in today, you already had your appointment.
Me: Ooooookaaaaay......



Later that day they called to cancel my Nov. 3rd surgery....

Today was the scheduled appointment for the follow-up for the abscess/infection or whatever it was.
As I was leaving my office, I said to my friend "It's weird that I did not receive 18 texts about this appointment (18, being an exaggeration, but seriously) ........

I arrived and guess what? They did not have me on the schedule! I had to leave work early once again and they did not have me on the schedule. I showed her my confirmation text and they did take me (although not the dentist, the assistant). After she checked out my mouth, she said I could wait around to see the dentist - apparently I was putting them out by showing up for my scheduled appointment. I told her I was fine. Then she said "Well if you have any problems, feel free to pop in again."

Pop in?

There must have been a seminar that this office was required to attend, called "Never let them know it is your fault" - Much like the receptionist who just wanted to make sure I did not come in for an appointment I did not have. Who went on and on as if trying to convince me that I did have an appointment originally, but I should not come in,  this assistant skillfully decided to rewrite their scheduling screw up and decided to talk to me as if I just decided to "pop in". 

Coincidentally that early morning call about the appointment I did not have just happened to be on a Tuesday.  Hmmmm - is it possible she could have been looking at the wrong Tuesday when she called to tell me not to come to the appointment I did not have and cancelled the appointment for the following Tuesday that I did have ?

Even though I had the text and showed them the text, they chose to talk to me as if I just decided to drop in.....

While there I had to reschedule my November 3rd surgery that they had previously cancelled.

October 20th - that's all they had except for the week before Thanksgiving....

Text: Thank you for scheduling..... blah, blah, blah

and as I sit here writing this.....

Text: "So how did we do?............


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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, September 17, 2017

It's the dentist's fault....




(off topic)
Last week, I posted a Throwback Thursday post on my face book page. It was about some of the ridiculous things, you know, things that make you wonder, that I had done over the last few years.

Reading it over and altogether, I resemble a walking disaster area, but they happened over a long span of time so it probably wasn't as bad as it appeared to be on paper.

While reading it over, I realized that there was a more recent "biggie" that should have been added to the list.

I am always willing to make fun of myself..

See Post/List here: Somethings Coming.... Old Age?

Before I tell you what I did, I have to give you some background.

I had a dental appointment scheduled. It was early so Doug had to come over to wait with DC for his transport so that I could leave.

It was a Monday and Mondays are generally hard for DC - harder over the past couple of years.

I do not remember what was going on but I was in near tears by the time Doug got here.

Before I left, I remember telling him:

"If they give me that (Insert Colorful Metaphor) woman again, I am just leaving!"

Well, I arrived at the dentist's office and she was exactly who they gave me..

(For some background about this hygienist - Read: Holy Inappropriate Conversations, Batman!)

Whether you read the link above or not, the bottom line is that I have told them for years that I do not want my appointments to be with this woman.

When I wrote the post at the link above, I had just gotten stuck with her for a second time (after telling them I did not want her any more).

There was one time that they assigned her to me that I was able to get it switched with another hygienist that was there (and not right in front of her) but today like the last time, she was standing right there and I couldn't/wouldn't say right in front of her that I didn't want her (maybe I just should have) so I said - I have to cancel and walked out with all of them staring at me. 

It was a bad morning before I even got there and I am sure I am over reacting but I have told them so many times. It got to the point that every time I mentioned it when making an appointment, the receptionist would get really snippy and say "I know!". Well apparently she didn't know.

I just couldn't bring myself to endure that much pain while listening to cringe-worthy stories about her son today. (Facebook Status/Comment 7/18/2016)

So I left. Never to go back there again after 20 years as a patient. Maybe it was an over reaction but I think I should be able to book with who I want and not have to suffer at the hands of this woman. I hope the dentist did not have his heart set on that new summer house that I would have surely been paying for with all of my dental issues.....




There were a number of other reasons that this office was already on the edge of losing me as a patient, like the time he did surgery on two teeth (apparently misunderstanding what my regular dentist told him to do) and in reality, one of them was supposed to be pulled. So I had to wait a few weeks until it healed for him to pull the tooth that he just did the "crown lengthening" (not sure of the proper name) on... you know; things like that.

Being upset before I even arrived there, you can imagine how upset I was after I left.

On the way to work, I tried to call my other dentist because I have had my teeth cleaned every three months for the last twenty years (a lot of good it does) and I was afraid of letting the cleaning go too long because something horrible was bound to happen. Note: Something horrible always happens anyway but one can hope...

I happened to get my friend, who works at my other dentist's office on phone when I called for the appointment so I told her the whole story. By the time I was finished and had an appointment booked, I was sitting in the parking lot at work.

Still all bent out of shape, I got out of the car and went inside.

I calmed down a bit during the day at work (those are words I would never have expected to be writing in the same sentence - Let me correct: I calmed down about THAT situation as the day went on).

When it was time to leave for the day, I could not seem to locate my car keys. I searched everywhere.
I emptied my purse, checked the staff room, my office and anywhere else I might have put them.

I wondered if I had left them in my car as I was not thinking clearly when I had arrived that morning.

I went out to the car, hoping the doors would be unlocked. It was July, it was HOT! I tried the door and phew, it opened. I stuck my head in to look for the keys and wondered why the inside of my car was so cold. It was HOT out.

Then I realized that I had not only left the keys in the car, but I had left it running, in the parking lot, unlocked, keys in the ignition, air conditioner blasting ALL.  DAY.  LONG!!!!!! A tribute to how quiet my car is, without a doubt.

It still had plenty of gas but I was a little bit afraid to drive it. I was imagining it blowing up or something because it had been idling all day long.

I shut it off, convinced that it would not start again, but it did. I got it home with no problems.

To this day (and this happened last summer) I have only told about 5 people that story.

It is funny to me now, but at the time I really thought I was losing it completely.

But now a year later I can see how this was all the fault of my former dentist.
That's my reasoning and I am sticking with it.

I do not seem to have a lot of luck with the medical profession at all.

But  don't you all just feel so much better about yourselves right now?

Glad to be of service.

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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








Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Road Race, Coffee and Yay!..... Some Bread




Just a quick synopsis of THIS year's 5K (I re-posted last year's post just the other day)

DC, along with his Unified Running Team ran in the Labor Day Road Race again this year. 

(Unified Sports Programs are part of Special Olympics and are "dedicated to promoting social inclusion through shared sports training and competition experiences, Unified Sports joins people with and without intellectual disabilities on the same team." )

If you did not read last year's post; you can read it here: On Your Marks, Get Set and Take a Bow.  He has participated in this race for many years and every year he improves and learns just a little bit more.


I learned a few things myself along the way.....

Notably: Get coffee on the way there.

After standing in "line"; a line that stretched out the door and across the street, for the entire race last year... I learned my lesson.


Coffee in hand - Check
Bucket Size - Check

I was ready....

We met up with his team, checked in and got his tag to put on his shirt.


As I was pinning the tag on to his shirt, he looked down and announced...

"Mom, I do not want any beer!" 

I told him that he did not have to have beer. I am not even sure that he knows what beer is but he knew that whatever it was, he did not want any of it.

He repeated it a few more times just to be sure he did not have to have any.

The beer discussion ended finally and it was time to stretch...




Stretching over; it was time to go to the starting line and get ready to go.




And they're off.....


This year (coffee in hand) I got to see him cross the finish line..



While running, he did, after much coaxing - throw the water cup on the ground instead of looking for a garbage pail. He did not run with the water though. He stopped to drink (working on that)

Note to the water bearers.... if you are holding two cups out, DC is going to take both of them.



After the race and back on the green is when DC decided, without coaxing; to chuck his cup on the ground, in full view of a garbage can.

When to throw the cup on the ground and when not to throw it on the ground, still requires some work.

Although there was no bow to "his" public this year, there was a bow for me while telling me that he won the race once again.


He did cut 5 seconds off his time from last year, so that is cause for a bow.

This year, he came in 2462 out of 2732 runners, so I guess no one else was aware that he had "won" the race again. I REALLY have to speak with those officials :)

He knew there would food at the end but DC, being DC exited the food line with nothing but bread...


Fortunately he loves bread.




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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