Monday, May 21, 2012

College. Oy.

{gif from pleated-jeans}

This was pretty much me in college. Which explains why my transcripts are so painful to look at. After 18 years I finally requested them, and it was pretty awful to read them. It was actually worse than I expected, and I hadn't expected much. Even now after nearly 11 years of sobriety, I underestimate how much it really affected me right from the beginning. I'm going to request my high school transcripts next, which should make for a nicer read. I was a B student for the most part, except for math which I still suck at. (I can't help E with his 4th grade math homework. It's quite humbling.)

So I'm  prayerfully considering going back to school to get my bachelor's degree. I have a lot of anxiety about this, probably because my two years of college were like Animal House and I lost all ability to be a student. I have been a stay at home mom for more than a decade, and aside from bible study I haven't exactly been working the brain too hard. I don't know what kind of student I am capable of being. Tom has much confidence in me, but he's biased. I am queasy at the thought of racking up student debt now, when we have to start paying college tuition for A in five years. It's intimidating. And my list of Excellent Reasons goes on.

My friend Heather has pep talked me repeatedly this week, sometimes being reassuring and calming, and other times telling me to get over myself. I know she is right on both fronts, but it's just going to take time for me to pray & work through all of my Excellent Reasons for why I shouldn't finish my degree.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Hold Us Together

This is my favorite song right now, for a variety of reasons....

Have a great weekend all....

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Alcoholism as an Illness


Q. How do you justify calling alcoholism an illness, and not and not a moral responsibility?

A. Early in A.A.’s history, very natural questions arose among theologians. There was a Mr. Henry Link who had written The Return to Religion’ (Macmillan Co., 1937). One day I received a call from him. He stated that he strongly objected to the A.A. position that alcoholism was an illness. This concept, he felt, removed moral responsibility from alcoholics. He had been voicing this complaint about psychiatrists in the American Mercury. And now, he stated, he was about to lambaste A.A. too. Of course, I made haste to point out that we A.A.’s did not use the concept of sickness to absolve our members from moral responsibility. On the contrary, we used the fact of fatal illness to clamp the heaviest kind of moral responsibility on to the sufferer. The further point was made that in his early days of drinking the alcoholic often was no doubt guilty of irresponsibility and gluttony. But once the time of compulsive drinking, veritable lunacy had arrived and he couldn’t very well be held accountable for his conduct. He then had a lunacy which condemned him to drink, in spite of all he could do; he had developed a bodily sensitivity to alcohol that guaranteed his final madness and death. When this state of affairs was pointed out to him, he was placed immediately under the heaviest kind of pressure to accept A.A.’s moral and spiritual Program of regeneration--namely, our 12 Steps. Fortunately, Mr. Link was satisfied with this view of the use that we were making of the alcoholic’s illness. I am glad to report that nearly all theologians who have since thought about this matter have also agreed with that early position. While it is most obvious that free will in the matter of alcohol has virtually disappeared in most cases, we A.A.’s do point out that plenty of free will is left in other areas, it certainly takes a large amount of willingness, and a great exertion of the will to accept and practice the A.A. Program. It is by this very exertion of the will that the alcoholic corresponds with the grace by which his drinking obsession can be expelled.
N.C.C.A. ‘Blue Book

Friday, May 4, 2012

Long Pregnancies

Long pregnancies linked to behavioral problems in toddlers

Children born after a longer-than-normal pregnancy are at increased risk for behavioral and emotional problems, a new study suggests.
The study found that attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is an especially common problem among children who were born post-term, defined as birth after a pregnancy of 42 weeks.

My son was born at 42 weeks gestation. I had been induced with my first child and had a horrible experience, so I was determined not to have to go through that again. But as the days ticked by, E remained unwilling to make his appearance.  I had non-stress tests done by my doctor who was certain that he would 'need' to be induced, which I passed with more than flying colors. I was told that by 42 weeks they would 'have to' induce me. I was told about how the placenta would deteriorate, etc, although I was never swayed that something magically happened at exactly 40 weeks for this to occur. At 42 weeks I went in for the dreaded induction, and was pleased to have a much better experience this second go round. E was born with excellent Apgar scores, eight and a half pounds and took to nursing well.

There needs to be more research, and studies can be wrong. I should also say that in the support group where I originally heard about this study, there were plenty of parents speaking up to say that their ADHD child had come early or on time, and there were very few of us saying that our child had come late. We are only a small sample of ADHD parents so I'm not suggesting that this disproves the study, but just that it doesn't hold true for everyone. I do find this hard to believe because they can't point to why the two week difference would suddenly 'cause' ADHD, and also because I'm a born skeptic. I've also heard of studies that showed that premature birth led to ADHD, so maybe they just can't make up their minds.

I am choosing not to swaddle myself in guilt about this. I made the best decision that I could, and made sure my baby was healthy and safe before choosing to wait the extra time. I hope that other parents will give themselves the benefit of the doubt as well.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Juvenile in Justice

This just broke my heart. The boy pictured is the same age as my daughter.
Juvenile in Justice photo gallery - "Photographer Richard Ross captured images of over 1,000 juvenile inmates housed in over 200 detention centers and correctional facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada. According to his website, the "Juvenile in Justice" project explores the "treatment of American juveniles housed by law in facilities that treat, confine, punish, assist and, occasionally, harm them."
"The hope is that by seeing these images, people will have a better understanding of the conditions that exist," he writes on his website."

Tuesday, May 1, 2012


I often hear people say that they think that there are too many kids on medication these days; that parents are too quick to medicate or use medication as a cop-out. This may well be true for some parents, but I have to tell you that there are a lot of us that this isn't true for. We sought a diagnosis for many years, and didn't choose to medicate our son for a long time after that. We considered the options, the side-effects, the long-term studies about the effectiveness and so on.

The evidence that medication was the right choice for our son is evident in glowing teacher reports about the complete turn-around in his behavior. He still struggles with many things, but it's much better than it used to be. If that's not enough evidence, let me tell you why almost no parent would put their child on an ADHD medication unless they really felt they had to: it's a giant pain in the neck.

ADHD medications are stimulants, and as such, are controlled substances. This means that they cannot have refills, cannot be called in or digitally sent in, and cannot be filled early.

Every 30 days I call the doctor, wade through their menus and then leave a detailed message with a receptionist asking for the doctor to write a new prescription. I ask them to call me when it's ready; in the two years my son has taken medication, they have called me exactly twice. So I usually wait a few days, then call to be sure it's ready. (The one time I showed up without calling first, it wasn't ready. I was given an attitude and asked if anyone had called me to tell me it was ready. I said no, and informed Little Miss Attitude that no one EVER called me to tell me when it was ready.) When I get to the office I tell them I'm there to pick up a prescription, they ask for the name. I tell them, and then tell them it's in 'the back', because there are two locations that they keep the envelopes, and E's is always in the second one that they check.
I always check it before I leave the office, but thankfully it's never been wrong. I then do the usual trip to the pharmacy. If I am too early, they will not fill it. And by 'early' I mean more than a day before he runs out. For example, I tried to fill it today but they can't let me have it until Thursday, which is the day he takes the last pill from the previous prescription.

If I were planning a vacation, I would need to make sure the dates were not around the time of month when E's medication runs out. Because by law the prescription cannot be filled early, I would not be able to get it ahead of time before we left. So yes, I have to plan any trips around my son's medication.

Some might think that it's not a big deal since I only have to do this once a month. But it's funny how quickly it always sneaks up on you and 30 days isn't that long.

This all sounds fun, doesn't it? I'm not saying that over-medication doesn't happen. I'm just asking to be given the benefit of the doubt, and for people to consider that it's not as simple as they think.