Jaime Loves Stuff : April 2013

Sunday Music Break

I have been on a HUGE Macy Gray kick lately.  I have EVERY album of hers and I just feel she is so underrated.  Also, it's not a Macy Gray album without somebody dying or getting a piece of crazy.  Ha.


How about Boyz II Men covering Klymaxx's "I Miss You"?  I love this cover! My high school years were all about R&B, West Coast Rap, and grunge/punk.  I know... totally different from each other. Oh yes and 90s country.  Love me some Brooks & Dunn

Just enjoy the rest...

Why Don't You Just Go Climb a Rock?!

Pretty nifty title, huh? Just kidding.
At one time I enjoyed rock climbing.  I wasn't really any good at it.  In reality, I never climbed a REAL rock but just enjoyed the rock climbing gyms.  It was so much fun!  I dated two different guys who were into rock climbing and I would enjoy the climbs.  I really wanted to go climb a real rock but this was, of course, after Emma's injury that I met these guys at different points in my life, so that meant I couldn't really travel to any of the spots to climb and she couldn't come with me because she just couldn't climb. Yesterday, we attended our KEEN Phoenix session at the Virginia G Piper Sports Center for the Disabled (Official Paralympic Training Center! AWESOME!) and Emma got to go climb the rock wall!  Okay.  She didn't really climb it, she took one step and was done.  Ha ha.  A for effort, Emma.  I don't care that she did not scale the wall but I am just proud she TRIED! It made me really want to throw on the gear and get to climbing and belaying back down.  I was amazed at a little girl who climbed.  She is in a wheelchair and she was like Spider Girl climbing up the rock wall! It really, really, really brings home how much I take advantage of the fact that I am able bodied. I bring up, quite often, just how amazed and inspired I am when I see somebody who has a differently-abled body get up and do something.  I watch people who are amputees climb a rock wall, tetraplegics compete in wheelchair rugby, paraplegics compete in wheelchair basketball, amputees fencing, on and on and on.  There are NO excuses to not get up and do SOMETHING.  No excuses AT ALL.

This brings me to another point.  Recreation Therapy.  People have this convoluted idea that this is just "play therapy" but that is so wrong.  Recreational therapy creates the scenarios I described above.  Physical, Speech and occupational therapy help bring regain function- to walk, to eat, to jump, etc. whereas recreational therapy brings back the joy and purpose in a person's life.  All therapies are important.  100% important but recreational and music therapy are so undervalued.  These therapists mix the PT, OT and Speech goals into their domain.  They get people playing baseball, soccer, dancing, singing, and enjoying life.

My friend started a petition for the state of Arizona.  We need your help.  Please go HERE to sign this petition.  From Alicia's petition:
Recreational therapy is a vital healthcare service that helps individuals with illnesses and disabilities live healthy, fulfilling, meaningful lives through participation in play, recreation, leisure, and community activities.
Recreational Therapists…
• Teach people with and without disabilities, about the importance of leading a healthy leisure lifestyle to prevent disease, illness, and further health conditions. And, help them to modify their leisure lifestyle to achieve maximum health benefits & quality of life.
• Help people develop the skills they need to participate in play, recreation, leisure, and community activities (e.g., social, physical, and cognitive skills).
• Adapt toys and other recreation equipment/activities so people with disabilities can participate.
• Provide activities to help keep people healthy and improve their skills.
• And much more!

Please join us in asking the State of Arizona to INCLUDE RECREATIONAL THERAPY in the EHBP! Even if you don’t need Recreational Therapy services now, you or your loved one might need it in the future. Think ahead. Advocate for “essential” healthcare services NOW, before it is too late!

I agree with her.   Isn't prevention key? I think so. So should you.

There are volunteer groups who get out here and give back to the community.  They come out on their own free time.  They give up their Saturday or Sunday free time to come play and help out people who are in need of this joy that they bring.  KEEN Phoenix is one of these groups.  This is a group full of wonderful people who do just what I said above- they come out and give up their time to give back to the community.  These are the people we remember.  This entire group is dedicated to their non profit, they give themselves to a good cause and I love that they do this. They give me a break while Emma just gets to have FUN! The boy who was Emma's coach on Saturday told me that Emma cheered him up when he needed it the most- he was in an accident the day prior (no serious damage or injuries, thankfully!) and it really shook him up and stressed him out but coming out and playing with Emma and the other special needs kids really helped him out! That made my day.  He was such a sweet kid and it made my day that while he was helping Emma, he was being helped out, too!  If you are in the Phoenix Area, PLEASE- check out KEEN.  They need  more coaches and athletes! Go to their website (hyperlinked above) and find out more!

This is how I feel right now

I know, I know- I am continuously beating a dead horse but as a single mom, I don't get the chance sometimes to just stop and smell the roses and Saturday I did.  I got to relax and enjoy the time we had this weekend. I am finally finished (for now) with school.  I am sure, as I tend to over commit myself, will take on more educational opportunities but I think, right now, I want to focus on my building my business and giving back to the community.

I have had to slow down on my advocacy activities due to needing to focus on what is important: Emma, Work and School.  Now that one thing is off that to-do list, I can put my focus and energy back to what is also important to me: Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention.  I also am working on building a nationwide network where we are an army of families who have been through this awful event and want to mentor others who are in this journey.  There is NOTHING more healing than helping somebody else survive what you have survived yourself.  I will get back in contact with my contacts at Phoenix Children's Hospital, the Maricopa County Attorney's Office and the Shaken Baby Syndrome Prevention groups and get the ball rolling again.

I am so excited to be able to start working on my product line! Sssshhhh it's still a secret! I will update you soon!

Much love!

Adios Tonsil, Child Abuse Prevention and Life in General

Prior to going back to the OR. 

I am writing this post after spending the last few days exhausted taking care of a little girl in a lot of pain.  Tonsillectomies and Adenoidectomies seem to be a right of passage by the time a child reaches a certain age.  Or maybe not.  This procedure is treated by the average every day person with no more thought than say, wisdom teeth extractions.  We think it's an every day part of life.  This is NOT a decision to be taken lightly. I jumped at getting her in the OR and having Emma's taken out.  However, it was not a decision I took lightly.  I never put my child through anything without making sure it's in HER best interest.  The concern over her snoring, lack of sleep and escalating anger/rage was what made the decision to proceed.  The ENT felt that this was the best option and removing the tonsils was a "no-brainer".  I spent the month after her appointment researching the POST surgery care.  I knew that removing them was the answer.  I still have no doubt in my mind that this is the best decision.  I dated a man, a very brilliant and promising man with a future ahead of him, who had a very severe sleep apnea (Emma has an obstructive sleep apnea) who died in his sleep due his CPAP failing.  From the moment following surgery, she has slept well.  Not great, not perfect but better than before.  Dr. Rizzo (Brian Rizzo, DO) told me following the surgery that her tonsils were just as enormous as he saw the first appointment and they were nasty.  This really made me feel terrible. No.  He didn't say I did anything wrong but it brought home that all her issues could have been resolved sooner if i had taken her to an ENT sooner BUT I am a firm believer in the universe flows in harmony for a reason.  I won't go into my beliefs but timing is everything.
In the post op
In her room for her overnight stay (that gown- AWESOME! Google Bair Gowns)

Getting ticked at me

First meal after surgery!

Hold on. Let me step back to post recovery.  It's terrible.  Tuesday and Wednesday- not too bad.  She ate some, drank some.  Pain under control. Not many complaints.  Dr. Rizzo forewarned me that day three and four would be the worst.  He stressed it.  The Pediatrician in the hospital stressed it (she stayed over night).  Nurses stressed it.  He (and the previously mentioned staff) stressed the necessity of water.  Of chewing.  Of pain control.  He said if I see blood, to call HIM.  A small amount of blood is normal and can be controlled with ice chips.  He stressed day three and four would be terrible for her because of scab formation.   He wasn't lying.  I am proactive on pain control.  Whether she's complaining or not, these two days- she's getting pain meds.  I am glad I am doing this.  She's sleeping, drooling, and being forced to drink water/gatorade mix.  Holy CRAP- her breath smells like a rotting corpse. LOL.  Terrible.  Today not as bad as yesterday.   I look forward to the healing stages and for my beautiful child to heal.

People have made innocent, well meaning comments that this is nothing compared to her previous surgeries.  I so disagree.  Her first surgery post head trauma? Major and much worse than her tonsillectomy BUT every other procedure? Post care was so much easier. LOL.

And before I forget:
April is Child Abuse Prevention Month.  I wear BLUE for Emma.  She survived being shaken and slammed . She lives with the life long disabilities from being shaken.  Child abuse effects us ALL.

 So, of course... timing.

Last week, I interviewed with the corporate office for my company to get to the financial end of radiology. I learned on Monday (April Fool's) that I got the job! Yay! Many pros- this is a good step forward to my career, I am closer to home and Emma's school/after school program. Here's my con- my nerves are SHOT! I have to work for a NEW manager! I have to rebuild the rapport I currently have.  I don't want to be the NEW person who has scheduling demands. My FMLA coverage for Emma transfers with me but I don't want to be on a bad footing and create a bad taste.  Plus... summer is coming and I get mad anxiety over making sure I have caregivers covered.  Yikes.  Nerves. It will all work out.  I have been with the company for three and a half years and it always works out.  Calm down, butterflies!

Love... sigh.  There are times I WANT to meet someone.  I want to be cherished.  I want to be loved.  I have spent the last nearly nine years of my life single.  I have dated but have not had any desire to be in a relationship.  I enjoy being single and enjoy that it's just Emma and I.  I touch on this from time to time- but I just can't see myself in a married, "Brady Bunch"/"Cleavers"/Name any perfect, serving wife marriage... life.  I can't.  I know that if I do meet someone and we click- I don't want to be with a man who wants to be with me every day.  I want him to have his own busy, packed schedule life and we see each other... whenever.  Or maybe, he has an entrepreneurial spirit and wants to build a brand with me.  Awesome.  I just don't want a clingy, needy man.  No thanks.

Graduating in a MONTH! ERMAGHERD! Bam.  I am almost done.  That means? Building my business.  I am excited. Nervous. Scared. Ready.  Joyous.  I have been planning and dreaming for some time.  I am get jittery thinking of starting! Yikes.  Wish me luck!

Until next time...

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