Wednesday, March 31, 2010

An Article on Epilepsy

Jen, who writes the blog Austin, Ben, Connor, passed along an article to me and some others about Epilepsy. Asked me to keep passing it along, so I am doing so gladly.

You can grab it one of two ways. You can download the original PDF File which, for the uninitiated you use Acrobat Reader to view. OR I also converted it to a fairly decent sized JPEG and you can click the thumbnail below to see a much larger version that you can read with any program you use to look at JPEG's.


Enjoy...

OUT.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Maybe I'm On My Period


Maybe. I think men do have one a month. We just don't have the vagina cramps and junk. But once a month every dude I know has a down time. Mine has been the last few days. Just been bummed.

Shitty weekend, too.

Happens.


Watched a movie last night that helped to continue the crap mood. It was called 'Up in the Air', some comedy/romance with George Clooney. That was Wife's Choice, by the way, I would have not picked it in several billion years. Not a happy ending and there were tons of scenes with people being laid off. I needed that like a hole in the head.

It was Jen's birthday this weekend. We went out on Saturday for that. First time out by ourselves in quite a while. And wouldn't you know it, we got into an argument within the first 15 minutes and so pretty much the rest of the day wound up being a complete turd.

I take full responsibility. The stuff she brought up was valid, I just am super sensitive about some things right now and didn't want to talk about this particular subject at this particular time. I wanted to get AWAY from my problems with that 'date', not talk about them.


Is what it is, though. Like I said. Shit happens.

I did, yesterday, have one bright spot. I finally, after months, picked up my camera and started taking tons of pictures of Bennett again. Remember how much I used to do that? Then for some reason after the holidays I just stopped. No idea why. Just did. Maybe I was just not digging the reminder of his delays.


I guess something clicked in me over the weekend and I got over the silliness of that thought, and started taking pics and little videos again. Felt good. Got some good shots I think, haven't loaded them into the computer yet. When I do, I'll be sure to post some.

Been playing a TON of X-Box 360 lately. Much to the chagrin of Mrs. Lilly, who thinks I am using it as a shield against coming to terms with certain aspects of Life. Um, yeah. Like I don't KNOW that? Of COURSE I have my head between my cheeks. Keeps my old-ass bloated bald head warm and toasty.

For a week or two it was Bioshock 2. Totally awesome. Loved it. Then a REAL change of pace now with LEGO Indiana Jones 2. I had started playing it when I got it for Christmas but put it down...thought it sucked. It's just different than the other LEGO games.


But now that I have given it some time, I find it superior in every way regarding play experience to the first one. The only thing that is a shitty aspect to the game is that the bulk of the gameplay focuses on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. Holy smokes, Dr. Jones!

See, I would pay a LOT of money if someone could erase that film from my memory. What a tragedy to see how it tainted my love of all things Indy. Well, now that they did do that travesty of a film, I would be happy to see a reboot of the entire franchise. Treat it like Bond. Have anybody play Indy when the new one gets too old.

But wait til Lucas dies and someone else takes over the Lucas Empire. That way it might be good. The man has lost his ability to tell a good story.

Oh well...I'm done bitching.

Thanks for listening,

OUT...

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boy Oh Boy


Bennett is home sick again today. We think it is a sore throat. All indications are suggesting that. Sucks to not have him be able to TELL us what hurts, but a lot of the people who read this blog know exactly what I am talking about.

So it becomes Trial and Error Day, with a lot of screeching and wailing and sweating and throwing things and kicking and spitting stuff out. Not to mention what Bennett does.

Did I hook ya there? I hope so, I really tried.


So we'll see how he does. At the exact second I am writing this exact sentence he is laughing and playing. I like that. It changes on a dime, but for now, he seems OK. Hope it lasts for as long as it can.

Gonna be a long day, but I'll try to manage.

Jen is working from home today instead of going into the office, so 2 on 1 makes it a LOT easier. That and the fact is that lately he gets zero consolation from me. So when he has a fit of any kind (and by fit I mean when something I know not what but something happens that doesn't fit into his plan the way he needs it to) he will walk around in a circle on the lower floor of the house, through the kitchen, foyer, playrooms, back through the kitchen, screaming as loud as his lungs will allow.


I follow, try to pick him up, he wriggles away and screams more. Or then he will turn and reach for me, I will pick him up, he'll seem to settle, but then he figures out that while I have man-boobs they aren't quite as ample as Jen's and I have no hair for him to pull on for comfort (my back hair isn't quite long enough...yet).

So then he'll wriggle away with no concern for the height from which he might actually plummet if I didn't fight him for control, and I'll get him to the ground and he'll scream some more, continuing to walk the circle through the house. This can last for a half an hour.

No wonder his throat hurts huh?

Until Mom shows up. She picks him up and he quiets right down.

That sucks balls, let me tell you. Sucks them hard. Not that She can calm him down so easily, but that I can't. It really bugs me in a big, big way.

And FYI...that just happened between 'No wonder his throat hurts huh?' and 'Until Mom shows up.'

Fuck. Maybe it actually will be a very long day.

OUT...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Why Me?


And I don't mean...'Why me having to have a child with Special Circumstances?'. Note the word 'Circumstances'. I refuse to use the word 'Needs'. Hey, some folks have a problem with the word 'Retarded', I have a problem with the phrase 'Special Needs'. But that's another story for another blog.

No, my title of 'Why Me?' refers to this.


Why in the world would any SpamBot actually take the time to post links to Asian Schoolgirl Porn in the comments section of my blog? I mean, listen...I'm an open-minded dude. You like that kind of thing? OK, cool...you do what you gotta do.

And hell, I'd be lying if I said I didn't have a love for Ze Wimmens. In fact, a friend pointed out a few days ago that the ratio of pictures featuring Ze Wimmens is VERY high in the photos that appear in my blog header, which I change frequently.

Inappropriate?

There's an argument there I'm sure, and I would probably understand either side of the argument. To me, there isn't anything wrong and I don't show anything you wouldn't see on TV, but some others might say 'Dude...you are THIS close to showing some nip in that pic...you sure you want to do that on a site that is read primarily by Mom's?'


I get that point.

Ain't CHANGING anything.

But I do get it. :)

But my point is...why have a SpamBot post a porn link here?

This I do NOT get.

I realize that we are talking about a computer program or something that goes around dropping it's...um...'stuff', wherever it can, but if you are going to take the time to design a program to go forth and commit Spamicide, wouldn't you be smart enough to do it so that it doesn't waste time or resources committing this act on a fairly insignificant website?


I mean...the blog is significant to ME, in the small scheme of things...I get something out of writing it, and there are a few people who like to read it. But there is only a very small following, not that many 'readers', or 'hits', so why not alter your program to avoid sites like mine (those that have low traffic and such), and only target those sites that might yield a few more people who might be into your porn?

Makes no sense.

Anyway, that's my long-winded (SHOCKER) explanation as to why now I have re-instated the Word Verification process for entering comments (known as CAPTCHA), since the porn links have popped up more than once. I hate the WV...it is a pain in the butt. But you gotta do what you gotta do, and this I gotta do.


My grammar blows sometimes, don't it?

You realize it is intentional, yes? If you didn't realize this, please note that I do it often for comedic effect. It might not always be funny to anyone other than me, but that's why I do it.

OUT...

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Might I Direct You To...?

Another week goes by. Not much has changed. The 'Blogularity Bug' has not yet re-sank its vicious teeth deep into my fleshy tissue, so I am not back to writing every day.

Not yet, anyway.

But soon.

In the meantime, and I don't do this as often as I should, I wanted to take a second to direct you to someone else's blog. It is called Single Dad, Disabled Daughter - Sometimes it All Seems Uphill, and it is always a good read, but this morning especially 'Single Dad' hit some notes on that piano that still resonate in my brain this afternoon.

Anyway...it's a great read, and some exquisite food for the skull.

OUT...

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Blogstipation


Haven't blogged in over a week. All bound up. Have blogstipation. Need some cerebral fiber.

You are all still on my mind of course, dear readers, enough that I was able to pull together my thoughts enough to dick around with my header image over the past week. I like doing that from time to time.

Not sure why I went with the grayscale scheme this time. I'm sure there is a deep psychological reason for it. Um...yeah. Or, maybe I was just looking for a change.

It's fun to change it up. And also this past week I've peeked at some blogs without commenting. Other than that? Same old.


Last Friday was tough.

Why?

March 5th. The one year anniversary of the first time Bennett had his first EEG and instantaneously received the diagnosis of Infantile Spasms. Which was at that time attributed to Cortical Dysplasia, which I studied hard. Later, after many failed medications and doctor visits, he was diagnosed with a Grade II Oligoastrocytoma, in other words a Brain Tumor, and then he had surgery almost immediately.

Now he has a diagnosis of Autism, or what they refer to as PDD-NOS, which 'falls on to the Autism spectrum', so they say.


I understand VERY little about Autism. Or PDD-NOS for that matter. All I seem to have right now is even more questions that I am not trying to find answers to. Why? Why this time around am I avoiding the research? Why am I hiding? What am I hiding from? Why do I keep my head in the sand over this? Why now and not 6 months ago?

What's it really mean, this Autism thing? Why is Autism different than Mental Retardation? Why is Mental Retardation now a bad thing to say? How do I define to a person in a fast fashion what the deal is with my son when they look at him funny at the mall? With so many different KINDS of Autism, what KIND does Bennett actually have? What caused it? Was he Autistic before 1/5th or so of his brain was removed? Was he Autistic before the seizures started? Or did he become Autistic after the seizures attacked his brain hundreds of times a day for 6 months?


I have WAY too many questions swirling around the vast chasm that is my egg-shaped melon. I will say this...my wife is attacking this whole thing with an intensity I have never seem from her. Books, possible dietary changes, all kinds of things she is attempting to understand. Kudos to her.

So anyway...funk explained. Sort of.

Obviously I have to give it a lot more thought. And research. I have to face it all rather than distracting myself with photographing product or organizing shelves or doing household projects or punching up the portfolio and shit like that. I think, and this is coming to me as I write this, that maybe what I need most is a starting point. Sometimes a journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step, I get that. But in which direction do I TAKE that first step?


That's the real dilemma.

OUT...

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Some Cuts Hurt More Than Others


This economy sucks.

I hear varying reports on it too. Some people say it is in a state of recovery, some say it isn't. Who knows? I know plenty of people, myself included, who are unemployed, so if the economy is REALLY recovering, wouldn't some of those folks have new jobs by now?

And everyone I know has been affected by how bad things have become. Sucks. I know that for us, in 2009, we had to be a lot more aware of money, especially with all the new expenses we got tossed at us with Bennett and his condition. Insurance covered his surgery obviously, and his medications, but it did not cover travel, hotel stays, that kind of thing, even though they were all related to the medical condition.

This year, we have a lot of luck on our side financially. Thank you OHIO. And you have a very cool flag, btw.


Therapies are covered by county-based Early Intervention. Bennett's new school? Almost fully covered by the state-sponsored Medicaid Waiver that Bennett applied for and was granted late last year. We even have someone who comes to the house 5 times a week for 4 hours each of those 5 days in order to help with anything related to Bennett's care. That's huge.

But still, with the unemployment comes the need for a much harder look at one's finances. So we've been going through all our regular 'expenses' and trying to figure out ways to shave a little here, shave a little there, and so on. Sadly, this house was a STUPID purchase. If I could go back in time, I never would have bought it. And we can't sell it cause now it appraises for less than what we paid. Bullshit.


So other than that SWEEPING thing like getting out of the house, what kind of things can we start doing without? Do we really NEED the upstairs hook-up to the satellite feed? No, that's an easy one. We'll lose that. Do we really NEED the alarm service on our house? Hmmm...maybe, undecided. We'll come back to that one. Let's make sure we use the Camry for Jen's travels to/from work since it gets FAR better mileage than my 4-Runner.


Instead of going to the post office every day for my eBay junk, let's cut that back to twice a week. Done. Is there a way to hook something up to my bicycle that I could use to bike to the post office which is only 2 miles away? Let's investigate that. What electronics can we turn off to start being more energy conscious?

For food, let's try to plan some meals ahead of time and work within a set budget. I'm in charge of that one, since I am doing meals now. I look for meats that are on sale, veggies that are on sale, stuff like that. After a week or two I will have enough info in order to create a set budget for a weekly food expense.


And so on and so on.

Sometimes though, you get to something on the list that really hurts to cut. And as it probably is with ANYONE out there who is having to cut down on expenses or outright struggling, those cuts involving the kids are the ones that go deepest and hurt the most.

Yesterday, I negotiated Carter out of his current 6-month commitment to Taekwondo. The people at Perdue's Westerville Taekwondo are all exceptional, especially Mr. Due. He is one of the nicest, most down-to-Earth people I have ever met, and I use to enjoy chatting with him during Carter's classes.

Yet, I was frankly embarrassed to tell him I was laid off, and I was talking to one of his employees who spoke for Mr. Due and they were SUPER accommodating about getting out of the contract with no penalty whatsoever. They did not even insist that we pay them what we owed them, they figured since Carter had only been there the first 30 days of that 6 month period (he then missed a month for illness and weather and the following month because we hadn't paid our bill and weren't sure how to) that it could be qualified as the 30-days satisfaction guarantee they offer and we didn't have to worry about the rest of the cash.

They made sure to let me know Carter would be welcome back ANYTIME when things improved for us. Frankly, I was flabbergasted at how cool they were.


Now of course, here I am trying to figure out how to go tell Carter he can't go back to Karate. Sweated over it for a while. And then when I finally do tell him, what does he say?

'YAY! No more Karate!!!'

Then he turns and runs back to the playroom to continue the Dragon attacking the Castle thing he was into. I don't know if I buy it, since he always resisted every time we took him but after he came out he always had fun and was excited about it. That's just his way, looking at things half-empty first.


Oh crap...I wonder where he is getting THAT from?

Oy...

OUT...