There is so much going on these days, my head is spinning. But first: last night we saw Paris Hilton's response ad to John McCain's campaign ad featuring her. It was about the funniest thing I've seen in ages--who knew Paris Hilton had that in her? I didn't. Oh my, it was funny. Good for you, Paris Hilton! That almost made up for that vile Carl's Jr. ad you did several years back.
Yesterday I went to see KidThree's former pediatrician to get a letter signed, and stayed to visit for half an hour with the pediatrician and her medical assistant, updating them on KidThree's progress and situation. The letter was for Victim's Comp. Victim's Comp is the most byzantine program ever devised by the mind of a committee, and is the bane of my life. They are supposed to reimburse for supplies/needs/care caused directly by violent crime, but every time I deal with them, I run into subtext and small print and exceptions and addenda and exclusions and prohibitions and why didn't you know that ma'am.
This time it was the $100 lifetime limit on OTC supplies UNLESS you send them a letter from a provider verifying that each item is medically necessary, why each item is medically necessary, and how long the victim will require the use of that particular item. Given that we use so much OTC stuff for KidThree's personal care, we go over $100 every month, sometimes in just a week or two. I had been previously told that a letter explaining the use of each item was all that was necessary, so I sent pages and pages of explanations on what each procedure was and what supplies we used during that particular procedure and why we used that particular item and not some other. I guess I just forgot to get a medical degree first. Drat my carelessness.
To make it easier for our wonderful former pediatrician, I wrote up a suitably serious letter in my very best medicalese and even brought a copy for the doctor to keep in her files. She did me one better, though, by having her medical assistant copy my letter onto their letterhead. Three pages of why 'the victim' needs each and every item on that list. Victim's Comp has $1500 of receipts from me that I am awaiting reimbursement for--this morning I fax over the doctor's letter and an insurance denial that I had lying around (rest assured, if you need a particular item because a roughly equivalent item just does not do the trick for your particular problem, insurance will not cover your particular item) and then I just sit and wait to see what my lady over at Victim's Comp can do for us. I hope it involves coughing up money, as I haven't paid the rent this month. Thank goodness for patient landladies who understand our situation and the difficulty of prying tax dollars loose from government clutches.
Today we head south an hour and a half to a special gym for KidThree. They specialize in dealing with SCI patients and will take two weeks (five visits) to develop a personalized workout program specific to KidThree and her needs. Pretty neat. Every SCI patient is different in what muscles they have control over and how much control, etc., so the routines have to be that individualized. At the end of the five visits (two hours each at $95 an hour--thank you Mom and Dad!), KidThree will have a videotaped workout routine to take home with her and use here.
The best news of all for the past week: I am out of hock with the library! No more skulking in the shadows of its hallowed halls, afraid someone might let my name slip when I'm inside their portals, no more using KidOne's card at the automatic checkout machine. I paid the entire fine, including a small fine owed by KidOne and a larger one owed by KidTwo. It was funny to find out that KidOne and KidTwo were still children in the eyes of the library. The wonderful librarian who helped me changed their records to reflect the fact that they were all grown up now and legally responsible for their own forgetfulness and fines. KidOne was quite pleased that the library now recognizes her adult status. KidThree and I left the library each in possession of a new library card and a new record and all my sins officially forgiven. (I owed them a bundle from back when KidThree was hospitalized--three months of riding back and forth to the hospital on the buses and leaving books hither and yon and never, ever remembering to return things on time. Having a kid shot will do that to you.)
I have been a reading fool since KidOne loaned me her card a month or so back. It feels so good! I just finished a book called 'Faith in the Halls of Power,' about the rise of American Evangelicalism in government and industry. It was fascinating. A lot of it I already knew but each time I thought I could set the book aside to return, the author moved to another aspect of the issue and I had to keep reading. I also read Terry Pratchett's latest Discworld novel, 'Making Money,' and thoroughly enjoyed it. I read recently that he has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, such a horrible diagnosis for anyone.
Yesterday I spent seven hours caring for my lady who has Alzheimer's. We have a wonderful time together. She likes to sit and hold hands and asks me about my siblings and my children. Every visit those subjects are new to her again, so we never run out of things to talk about. Usually she does not show an awareness of the Alzheimer's-ness of her situation but yesterday she did. At one point, she looked directly at me and said, 'I don't understand what is going on,' and another time she stood up, took a few steps, and when I asked her where she was going, she gave me a puzzled look and said she didn't know. That was very sad. I work very hard when with her to keep her happy and relaxed, repeating again and again and again where her husband is and what family member will be home first and that I would never, ever leave her alone and afraid. She is such a sweetheart, and so very funny. I didn't know her before this advanced stage of her disease, so the person I know is the pared-down version. Her kindness and gentleness are so evident still, and her good humor and love of laughter. Yesterday we found a peculiarly shaped rock on our way home from the park and she grinned conspiratorially, "let's throw it at someone's head!" I love to spend time with her and hate it when she gets frightened. I read a book (on KidOne's card!) recently called 'Dancing with Rose,' which gave such a tremendously good example on how to deal with people with Alzheimer's; it reinforced what I am doing with my little lady and that there can still be joy in our interactions.
Right now I am reading a biography of John and Jessie Fremont. I'm not far into it yet but am enjoying it immensely. I've also got waiting a biography of Marcus Garvey and one on modern global history. I'm waiting for John Lescroart's last one still but just finished John Sandford's most recent. I also read David Handler's most recent and discovered that I missed a book, apparently his fifth in the Berger-Mitry series. I think I will not read that one, as apparently the characters broke up in it and I'm happier with their reunited status from Book Six. There is enough sadness in the world that I can avoid that little bit extra.
In the home, KidOne and I are working on the living room, now that the kitchen is finished. Someday this entire little apartment will be all set up just the way I'd like. Goodness only knows when, but someday that will happen.
The trial for KidThree's assailants started two days ago, this a year and a half after the shooting and four continuances and six months since the original trial date. We are on telephone standby but don't know when KidThree will have to go to testify. She is terrified. Several days ago I went into her room and found her curled up on the bed. Paralysis notwithstanding, she had still managed to get herself into fetal position and was hugging her poor legs for dear life. All I can do it give her hugs and kisses and all the reassurance I can that she is doing the right thing and that anyone who wants to retaliate for her testimony would have to go through me to get to her. The poor kid. It is so awful to be a parent when your kids are faced with traumas that you can't take on for them but can only help them to bear.
That is it for this morning. Time to finish my coffee and shower, then get KidThree up and ready for our visit to the gym.