Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Peepee in the Potty - Brigit Style

When we were potty-training Rory, every time he would do his business successfully, we would do a little song and dance routine, "Peepee in potty, Rory went peepee in the potty, peepee in the potty." Visualize, if you will, two very white parents doing the white man's overbite very VERY badly.

Every time Brigit has successfully peed in the potty, we've broken out the song. She even sings it to me when I do my business. Yay, Mommy!

Well, two nights ago, after bath, she was sitting on my lap, wrapped in a towel (you see where this is going, don't you). All of a sudden she hopped up and said, "I peed on you." Oh yay.

So we hustled to the bathroom, where she sat on the toilet and did nothing. Ok, not exactly nothing, she did make a cookie out of toilet paper.

When she was "done" and walking back into her room, she started to sing:
"Bridgey peepeed on the Mommy, Bridgey peepeed on the Mommy."

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Cackle PSA: Get your kid's [body part] unstuck

A friendly firefighter passed this bit of wisdom along. I've yet to use it, but I trust this guy (despite the fact that he completely soaked me at work the other day by shaking the tree I was walking under. To prove that it was "raining." Bastard. I am still plotting my revenge - suggestions welcome.)

Anyway, should your child (or you, because honestly it's not just kids who are stupid sometimes, right) stick a finger, a toe, something in a hole from which he cannot extract it, douse the affected body part with Windex. Yes, Windex, not soap, not butter, not oil. Windex. Et voila, the body part should slide right out.

If you have occasion to use this method, please let me know, as I trust my firefighter friend, but you know, I can't throw him very far, so verification is always appreciated.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Medical management

You are looking at one day's worth of Tyler's medications. One of my Saturday chores is to get his pills ready for the week. There are 17 pills from 7 different prescriptions + vitamins. (Missing are the omega 3 supplements, because the only ones I have left are ridiculously huge and he doesn't like them.) Looking at this makes me especially grateful for the incredible medical insurance we have through my work. We have 100% prescription coverage. At my previous job, while we had very good coverage, we still had to cover a portion of prescription costs. We were averaging about $250-300 per month on Tyler's meds alone.

Probably the most important role I play in my husband's mental health is the role of manager. I manage his medications, making sure he remembers to take them and ensuring that they keep coming. I contact his doctors when he needs refills (his nurses all know me by name and have finally FINALLY stopped asking for him when they call the house), take charge of any new prescriptions he brings home. I put together a spreadsheet with all his medications, including dosage and frequency, so he could simply take a printed list to each doctor's appointment. It is too much to remember without a cheat sheet.

I manage his appointments. I make them and reschedule them. I take him to them and most often, I go into the visit with him. (With the exception of his therapists and shrink.) I do this because he does not deal well with doctors. He doesn't always remember everything, and they tend to treat him either like he's stupid or he's crazy. Case in point - a couple of weeks ago, he saw a nurse practictioner for allergies and a head cold. That is specifically what I told them the appt was for when I set it up. While I did go with him to the appt, I stayed in the waiting room. Mostly because my own injured knee was killing me. I wish I had gone back. Somehow the NP got it into her head that Tyler didn't have allergies (really? Did you notice the red watery itchy eyes? The sneezing? No?) but did have a staph infection (that would be skin irritations from having shaved his beard and you know, acne). So instead of listening to him about the congestion, the drainage down his throat, the coughing up of phlegm (the size of silver dollars he told me this AM), she wrote him a prescription for a skin infection. That he doesn't have. It's not just that he doesn't get the treatment that he needs in situations like this, it's that he completely shuts down. And spirals down. Because of this run-in with a jackass, he was down for the rest of the day. And refused to see anyone else.

It is easier when I go with him.

Everyone needs an advocate, and none more so than those with mental illness. It is too easy for a harried (or not) medical practictioner to not pay attention, to not get beyond what they're told, and get to the heart of the issue. My husband will not tell most doctors what they need to know, not without prodding. Because he does not trust them. Because he has had so many instances of doctors not giving a rat's ass.

Without an advocate, it is very easy to become so overwhelmed by the pills, the doctors, the appointments, insurance, so easy that many depressed people simply don't do it. Don't take their meds, not enough or on schedule. Don't go to the doctor unless they absolutely cannot avoid it. Don't go to the shrink or therapist because they cannot deal with the office policies or personnel.

I am an advocate. I am his advocate.

In which we learn the poisonous effects of lotion

Until last week I had never called poison control. Ok, that's not true - I called animal poison control once when our dog Buster drank from the toilet. The toilet that I had just that afternoon dropped one of those blue cleaning tablet things in in prepartion for houseguests. Turns out, a dog his size (100 lbs, half St Bernard), he would have had to have eaten the tablet for it to do any damage. That dog, man. He ate socks, remote controls, pillows, nothing stopped him. Except for ham. Who knew that ham was a powerful emetic for dogs? I'll tell you who - ME. Now I know that.

But the kids had been poison free. I have, on occasion, shamefacedly overdosed them on medicine. (What?? 2 TEASPOONS? of narcotic pain meds? Not 2 TABLESPOONS? What??) But I've done a fair job of keeping the lethal stuff locked up or out of reach.

Until last week.

We're an itchy bunch. These pasty white people complexions of ours are very prone to the itchies. So I have a number of anti-itch meds on hand. Earlier in the day I had smeared Aveeno Anti-Itch Lotion on Rory. (And, total aside, I love all things Aveeno. If Aveeno ever wanted to, you know, pay a blogger to rave about how much she loves Aveeno Anti-colloidal oatmeal lotion or Aveeno Hydrocortison cream, I wouldn't say no. Just saying.)

The cream was applied. He turned pink in all his itchy spots (why is this stuff pink when it dries?). And the lotion was forgotten. On the end table. Within reach.

Of Brigit.

I was in the kitchen. She came walking in, holding the open lotion bottle.

"Mama, I pretty!"

It was all over her hands, her hair, her face, her MOUTH.

After my heart started again, I called Washington State Poison Control. Where the lovely woman on the line assured me that she had had numerous calls from the parents of 2 year olds just that day. 2 year olds, it seems, are nefarious with their will to eat anything.

I am pleased to report that Aveeno Anti-Itch Lotion is not, in fact, lethal when consumed. It will cure constipation, however (a fact that bore fruit all day on Mother's Day - thanks for that present).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Whether times are good or bad or happy or sad

Are you not impressed with my Turnoff Week commitment? Almost a month, baby. Of course, I kid, because I have been online, just not here. So we're going to call this the "Don't Blog Because You Suck" month.

Much has been going on here in the Pog-Udy household, but we're still here, as Al Green put it, whether times are good or bad or happy or sad. We're here.

We're here, today was a good day. In the end. There have been many not good days in the last month (knee injuries, dark depressions, poisoned kids, work problems), but today was a good day. And that's how I'm going to leave it. Today was a good day.

And now, since there is Chinese food waiting for me, and piles of laundry to fold, and the Vicodin gods (ahem, knee injury) give me precious coherent time in which to eat and fold, I'll leave you. I will be back, to share the good and bad and happy and sad.

But let me close with my spectacular parenting fail from this evening:

"Brigit, get off the stool [before you topple to your death, such is my luck]."


"Brigit, Wow Wow Wubbzy's on, you don't want to miss that!"


Some days, TV is a good thing.