18 March 2012

the last 4 months...

for my special peeps. by Luna Soledad
for my special peeps., a photo by Luna Soledad on Flickr.

This is what I've been up to: http://no2nchb916.blogspot.com/

"It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped."
...Hubert H. Humphrey

22 January 2012

type 1.

type 1. by Luna Soledad
type 1., a photo by Luna Soledad on Flickr.
At least this one has a name. At least this one has some answers...

While most parents reel with tragic heartache, feelings of guilt and grief, and mourn the sense of normalcy and health for the child they’re suddenly told is no longer just like everyone else, the diagnosis of Type 1 juvenile diabetes was just another drop in the bucket for me... I went through that process long ago. And continue to live in that moment every day, mourning the life my special child could have had, mourning all that she could have been, should have been, had she been born “normal.”

That is not to say that I don’t adore my child in all her quirky, exhausting, pain-in-the-ass glory. That is not to say that I don’t celebrate her milestones, victories, and achievements, albeit delayed. And that is not to say that I do not adore my child and love her more than life; I do. But raising a child with profound special needs is a life-long mourning process - despite the blessings, despite the love... Mourning for a living being is a quiet, secret process that special parents do not dare speak aloud; it conflicts with the emotional programming we work so hard to maintain - that we cherish this precious soul, that there is a reason this angel was born to us, that she is just as deserving of having a good life as anyone else, and that we love her no less...  and we mean it, really we do. But to express grief over someone who we see and touch and love every single day seems hypocritical - and then we feel guilty about that too. So there it is, in all it’s ugliness; our big special secret.

There is not a special parent alive who wouldn’t cut off their right arm to make their child’s life easier... If I knew beyond doubt that my daughter could have the life of a typical 14 year old girl, painting her nails and texting boys and going to slumber parties - I’d saw it off myself with a butter knife.

Diabetes is nothing. Being insulin dependant for the rest of her life is nothing. Finger pricks, carb-counting, and 3-5 injections a day is nothing. I scoff at thee.

A few months back, we noticed that Bell was overcome with an insatiable thirst and peeing like a race horse. Naturally, the doctor wanted to rule out Diabetes... Diabetes? Ha. Are you kidding me? She weighs 60 pounds. She eats well, likes healthy foods, and gets plenty of exercise. Really? Surely, you jest? Turns out however that the doctor was right and I had a lot more to learn about yet another topic I never thought I’d need to know about...

The term “diabetes” is misleading when one considers that over 90% of diabetics in North America and Europe are Type 2 which, despite genetic predisposition, is generally preventable, and can sometimes even be overcome, with a healthy diet and lifestyle. Type 1 however, is an unpreventable autoimmune disease where the body wages war on the pancreatic cells which produce the Insulin needed to disperse sugar to the body’s tissues to burn as fuel. The healthiest person in the world can fall victim to Type 1 and, at present, there’s not a thing anyone can do about it.

It’s not been fun and certainly is not what I envisioned nor hoped for this new year, but Isabel has taken all this medical drama in graceful strides. Better than I ever imagined and most definitely better than I would have! --I firmly believe God instilled in me an irrational fear of needles to prevent me from being a Toredol junkie, not to mention, counting my carbohydrates?!! Cut back on pasta and rice and chocolate? Surely, I would wither and die.

While in the hospital getting Bell stabilized and learning how to do all this pricking and sticking, calculating and charting stuff from the nurses, educators, doctors and their gaggle of interns, I was horrified... and all I could think about was how I have failed miserably at every single fad diet that required even the most elementary of mathematical talents. Dear God, please help me not to kill my child!

Isabel, on the other hand, thoroughly enjoyed the rock-star treatment and being waited on hand and foot. She quickly figured out that a finger stick meant it was time to eat; never one to turn away from food, she was cool with that. And the injections, so long as she’s had her fill, it’s a small price to pay as far as she is concerned. The only rude awakening coming home for her was returning to a routine of doing stuff for herself.

True, I’ve been in survival mode; it’s what us special parents do. And there may be a moment somewhere down the road when I crash, the fog lifts, and I settle in for a brief pity-party (hey, we all do it, even those of us you perceive as invincibly strong), but for now, it is what it is and we’re all still alive... I’m even doing math.

About a week ago, I told Isabel that I was so sorry that this diabetes shit happened to her, that I hated that it was yet one more challenge and thing for her to deal with... I don’t know why this happened, I said to her, maybe mommie still has a few big important lessons to learn in all this... and in one of those rare and magical moments where the window of understanding is cracked just a wee bit and I am able to connect with my wonderful, beautiful, special angel girl, she smiled sweetly at me - the pure, good smile that lives in her soul and once in a great while, makes it out into the world - and signed, “yes.”

So I’m learning, yet again, and I’m grateful that it was just a drop in the bucket; thankful that this one has a name and some answers, because it’s a helluva lot more than I’ve gotten so far from anything Isabel.

Diabetes is nothing.
"We now accept the fact that learning is a lifelong process of keeping abreast of change. And the most pressing task is to teach people how to learn."
...Peter Drucker

13 September 2011

1st dentist.

Liam's 1st dental visit. by Luna Soledad
Liam's 1st dental visit., a photo by Luna Soledad on Flickr.
Today marks another first: Liam’s first trip to the dentist... It was a HUGE success. Of course it helped that the office was incredibly cool and comfortable, complete with big screen TV and video games and even flat screen TV’s in the ceilings above the exam chairs. Wow. Dentisty has come a long way since I worked the field... but then again, working for the DOD and civilian offices in the two most disgusting specialties in the dental industry (namely orthodontics and periodontics), anything else looks fun. Let’s just say, I was rarely inspired to take photos while working perio and generally patients came armed with Valium rather than cameras so as not to remember their visit...

"I'm as old as my tongue and a little older than my teeth."

...Jonathan Swift

07 September 2011


cuffs. by Luna Soledad
cuffs., a photo by Luna Soledad on Flickr.
So recently, we had a client, a sweet older fellow likable in that good ole mutt kind of way, though clearly with some issues, who arrived at our office seeking representation for a misdemeanor possession of marijuana charge. Not uncommon.

However, the events leading up to his arrest is an entirely different matter... Hell, Cheech and Chong would have been proud because you just can’t make this stuff up!

It seems that Mr. Client had the misfortune of being robbed and severely traumatized by a home burglary a year or so ago to the point that Mr. Client felt it necessary to begin carrying an emergency 911 key fob with him on his keyring (similar to the “help I’ve fallen and I can’t get up” medical alert buttons).

Well, on that fateful day, Mr. Client was so stoned out of his gourd that he fell down his steps, landing on the 911 fob and placing a call to the police... who arrived promptly and arrested him.

As I said, you just can’t make this stuff up...

“When I was in England I experimented with marijuana a time or two -- and didn't like it -- and didn't inhale and never tried inhaling again.”

...William Jefferson Clinton

03 September 2011

Easy Reader.

Just finished watching the 2007 movie, "Evan Almighty" staring Steve Carroll with Morgan Freeman as 'God' (the squeal to the 2003 film, "Bruce Almighty" staring Jim Carey)... Cute film, but then I'll pretty much watch anything with Freeman as he is among my most favorite actors of all time, and well, I rather fancy the idea of Morgan Freeman as God. Much more so than George Burns or Alanis Morisette, but that's me.

As I am prone to spontaneous curiosity in this convenient age of information at our fingertips, I found myself suddenly wondering at how Freeman got his big break... so I Googled. --Interestingly, one of his earliest roles in the American media was in the early 1970's on the PBS kids' show "The Electric Company" as the character 'Easy Reader.'

Then it hit me like a recessed memory that bubbles up from the surface of nostalgia, Wow. I remember that! I grew up with Morgan Freeman! 

How could one not adore the talents of a man who had once sang about words and reading over the television in that silky smooth, hip, jivin' voice decked out in gold rings and bell bottoms to a little country girl in her pajamas every morning?
"I always tell my kids if you lay down, people will step over you. But if you keep scrambling, if you keep going, someone will always, always give you a hand. Always. But you gotta keep dancing, you gotta keep your feet moving."

...Morgan Freeman

09 August 2011


On our last day of vacation, we decided to have a nice family lunch to fill our bellies before embarking upon the 5 1/2 hour journey back to "civilization." Plus, this provided an excellent opportunity to talk Kevin into a quick trip to Forbidden Caverns before we escaped the 'southern charm' that is the Tennessee mountains. So we stopped at the Texas Steakhouse or Roadhouse or whatever it was.

Earlier in the week, I had sat salivating listening to Eve's tales of fresh Snow Crab legs on her assignment in Alaska, so when I saw the combination platter on the menu featuring filet mignon and Snow Crab legs for about $800.00, I HAD to order it.

"Please?" I asked sweetly, batting my lashes at my beloved.

"You're not going to stop thinking about them until you eat some are you?"

He knows me too well.

A short time later, our waiter appeared, his arms adorned with plates of food and began passing out the orders. Just as he sat down my platter before me, my young son jumped up excitedly and exclaimed (quite loudly) for the amusement of the entire resturaunt:

"Mommie's got crabs!"

To the waiter's credit, he did not even crack a smile until Kevin and I burst into hysterics. I'm just glad no one knew me there.

"Worlds can be found by a child and an adult bending down and looking together under the grass stems or at the skittering crabs in a tidal pool."

...Mary Catherine Bateson

02 August 2011



jellies., a set on Flickr.
A set of black and white jellies taken at Ripley's Aquarium in Gatlinburg, Tennessee last month on our first ever, long overdue family vacation that I haven't had time to blog about (along with approximately 38,003 other things). --Curiously, there are somewhere between 1,270 and 1,770 different species of jellyfish. Who knew?

I'm quite pleased with these. =)

"The Internet is like a giant jellyfish. You can't step on it. You can't go around it. You've got to get through it."

...John Evans