Friday, May 31, 2013


Daughter's prescription issues have never gone away.  So the pharmacy the agency uses and that delivers prescriptions to the homes won't fill her prescription for test strips for anyone on Medicaid.  It is so frustrating.

Yesterday her blood sugar was 300 at lunch time.  She was given way too many carbs for breakfast.  I probably did too much yesterday and today, and I just don't have the energy to deal with any of this. 

Tomorrow I have a graveside service.  The family wanted a woman to do it, and the colleague they originally asked has a wedding at the same time.  I probably shouldn't have taken it, but it's hard to say no in a situation like this. 

I went over to the church today to write the graveside service and finalize Sunday's sermon.  I got them done, so my only obligation tomorrow is the service.  I think that will be enough.

Thursday, May 30, 2013


I received a phone call this morning from a regional church official.  He was looking for a congregation that would be willing to have a guest preacher on June 9.  someone had dropped the ball, and so he was trying to fix things and make it work.  I sent out an email to check with the board, and now I don't have to write a sermon next week.  I'm grateful.  It will give me an opportunity to take care of some other things that need to get done before I go on vacation. 

My lawn is being mowed by a member right now.  I am grateful for these gifts as I continue to recover from my injury.  I made it 4 hours today at the office.  Now I'm resting before this evening's choir party.  Daughter is making her special cole slaw for it.  I will be in the office for a while tomorrow.  I still have some work to do on the sermon for this Sunday, and I have a committal service at 1:00 on Saturday....

Wednesday, May 29, 2013


There is an end of the year choir party tomorrow night.  If I want to go to it and be coherent, I can't work a full day in the office.  (I've been managing about 5 hours a day before I'm too exhausted to go on.)  Tomorrow is the day Daughter volunteers in the office.  The world's best Administrative Assistant is going to pick her up in the morning.  That will enable me to stay home in the morning and go in a bit later. 

I have someone who has agreed to mow my lawn for me this week.  The incisions on my arm are healing well, and the swelling and pain are both going down. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Easing Back In

I went in to the church late today, and when Administrative Assistant got ready to leave, she told me I had to leave.  She was right-- that was 5 hours, and that was enough.  I was pleased with what I accomplished while I was there.  We decided that I would not go to the all day regional meeting 90 miles away from here in 2 weeks.  I decided it wasn't good use of my limited energy-- plus I don't think I'm up to the drive yet.

It is very frustrating for me not to have the energy to do the things I want to do.  I want to get out and start walking again, but know I'm not up to it.  Hopefully I will be soon.  I did discover that when I'm sitting at a desk typing and researching I don't have as much pain.  I'm not trying to lift anything or move in ways that cause pain.  That was good news.

We've been having some storms here today, and Daughter called me this afternoon to tell me they were scaring her.  She was about a mile east of me, so I was able to reassure her that the storm would be over quickly, as it had already gotten better at the church. 

Monday, May 27, 2013

Staff Issues

Thursday Daughter got to the church, and realized she didn't have the pills she is supposed to take at supper.  Staff gave her the insulin, but not her pills.  Treasurer volunteered to take Daughter back to get them.  I was very grateful.

Yesterday when I picked Daughter up, she told me she'd given staff a list of what she'd need for her time with me.  Last night she got ready for bed, and discovered staff hadn't given her the bedtime pills.  It was late, I was tired, and I decided I didn't have the energy to go get them.  So, she didn't get her night time pills last night. 

Today I emailed Home Owner.  There were several issues-- including the medication issues.  Daughter called shortly after I got home.  Home Owner called staff, and now staff was calling Daughter a liar.  She wants to move back here.  Sigh. 

Facing Reality

It looks like I'm going to have to acknowledge that I had major surgery 2 weeks ago and it is going to take me a while to recover.  I planted some corn seeds in my raised garden bed, and then had to come in and rest. We went out to lunch and came back and planted some strawberries.  I'm done for the day. 

Daughter has been super helpful, doing everything I ask of her.  It's kind of nice to be waited on....

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Slow Going

I picked up Daughter this morning before worship.  Once again I was there just to worship, with no leadership responsibilities.  After worship we went out to eat and then did a little bit of shopping.  I had visions of working in the yard today, but buy the time we got home all I was good for was a nap.  I'm frustrated by how slow my recovery seems to be. 

Daughter has been super helpful today.  She even carried the 10 bags of mulch I purchased around to the patio in back for me.  She came prepared to work, but didn't complain when I needed a nap.  She has been on her computer while I've been sleeping.  Maybe tomorrow we'll be able to do some of that yard work. 

I told Administrative Assistant I'm going to come in a little later in the morning-- once I get there, it's hard to leave.  I know I'm not up to working full time yet.  I hope I will be up to leading worship next week.  I'm going to have to figure out how to pace myself-- not an easy task for me....

Saturday, May 25, 2013

A Good Phone Call and Bills

Daughter called this morning, happy and upbeat.  She didn't try to convince me that she needed to come here early.  She knows I will pick her up tomorrow and she can spend Sunday and Monday with me.  She's accepted that.  She didn't try to manipulate me.  I like that. 

I'm still recovering.  I tried to do too much earlier in the week, and I've been paying.  Yesterday and today are both low key sit in the recliner and snooze days.  I'd love to be outside, but I know there isn't much I can do with one arm. 

My insurance has begun paying my bills.  I'm grateful I have good insurance.  Even with good insurance, I'm going to take a financial hit on this.  At least I'm through my maximum out of pocket for the year.  I wonder if I can convince the surgeon to remove the plates and screws before the end of the year.... 

Friday, May 24, 2013

Blessed, Again

This morning there was a mini-invasion.  One of the saints came and stripped and remade my bed, scrubbed out the bathtub, and ran the vacuum.  A couple came and used their equipment to pick up and deliver 3 yards of garden soil to my raised garden bed, filling the two new ones, topping off the two old ones, and filling in the holes left in the yard when I had a tree removed.  They also trimmed, weeded, and mowed.

I am paying for my excesses earlier in the week.  My wrist is swollen and sore.  I've been walking around holding my hand over my heart, in hopes that the swelling will go down.  It hasn't gone down, but I don't think it's gotten any worst. 

I picked up Kitten last night.  She was still with the friend who was going to care for her while I was at the Festival of Homiletics.  The friend had to fly out this morning for a family emergency.  It's good to have Kitten back.  A man just back from a European tour stopped by to visit, too. 

I am so blessed to be serving with this congregation.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Conversation with Daughter

Daughter is with me today, and so we finally sat down and talked.  We had not really talked since I fell and broke my arm.  I told her the story of how it had happened.  We talked about her conversation with birth mother and brother.  I told her that the drama she hoped would get her my attention succeeded in pushing me away.  She acknowledged that she had claimed the foot pain to get attention after my injury.  I told her that if she wants to spend time with me, she needs to cut the drama. 

Yesterday I did too much, and today I'm exhausted.  I've never been very good at pacing myself.  Maybe I should learn.  I'm going to take Daughter out to eat and then drop her off at the church for choir.  Someone else will take her home.  I'm grateful. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Spoke Too Soon

I arrived at the church today and announced, "I'm back!"  I had come up with some ideas for fall worship this morning, and was feeling great.  I sat down and began writing newsletter articles and working on liturgy for worship. 

Four hours later I had to admit that I wasn't back completely.  My neck and shoulders were hurting.  I shut down the computer, done for the day.  This evening I have my regular overnight retreat with my colleagues.  It will be our last one until fall.  Sister Best Friend is picking me up for it.  I'm thinking Thursday I will begin driving again. 

It did feel good to get back into the routine, but I didn't like being forced to face my  limitations.  I'm glad I'm not going to be preaching this Sunday....

Monday, May 20, 2013

Board Meeting

We had a joint board meeting tonight and revisited the goals we set in January.  The goals that had been set for me were the last ones we considered.  The first goal:  self-care.  I didn't think the laughter would ever stop.  They were pretty much in agreement that I was failing on that one.  I offered no defense. 

It was a good meeting.  We were looking at all the growth we've had in our ministries this spring, and it is very exciting to see how God has been at work in and through us.  I am so grateful to be serving with these people. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

They Listened and Remembered

Every year on Pentecost I go on a rant.  We aren't comfortable with the power of the Holy Spirit.  We don't like it when God comes in and shakes everything up.  I wasn't scheduled to preach on Pentecost, and a couple of weeks ago I preached on a story in Acts where they are struggling with the fact that God would give the Holy Spirit to gentiles.  I talked about how they moved from resistance, to amazement, to acceptance.  I beat the point home, pointing out the pattern in the Bible and in the history of the church.  I told them we want things to be done decently and in order.  I explained that since I wasn't going to be here in Pentecost, and so they were going to get my annual Pentecost rant early.  God doesn't always do things decently and in order, despite what Paul said in Corinthians. 

Today was Pentecost.  I was present in worship this morning.  The guest preacher was a retired professor.  He quoted the passage from Corinthians about things being done decently and in order.  The congregation burst out laughing, and a number of them turned and looked at me.  I'm delighted they remembered.  I explained their reaction to the preacher following worship, he was trying to defend his point.  I told him it was fine-- I just thought it was amusing, and was delighted to discover the congregation heard and remembered what I'd said several weeks ago. 


One of the saints picked me up for worship this morning.  Daughter was already there, practicing with the choir.  It was good to be there.   People were very pleased to see me.

I was wearing my sling, and had the arm wrapped in a light bandage.  People were concerned because my hand was so swollen.  I thought it looked good this morning, especially after last night.  I discovered that just because the doctor said I no longer need to wear my sling, it doesn't mean it's a good idea to leave the arm hanging down.  By early evening the hand was so swollen I could hardly move my fingers. 

During joys and concerns I got up with a very short thank you.  Daughter then jumped up to talk about how wonderful it was to have me home, going on and on as I glared at her.  She finally realized I was glaring and sat down.  After church she came over and started talking.  I don't know what she was saying, but it was obvious she was trying to create more drama.  I told her to stop.  Gem said, "I think it's time we take her home."  So they did.  As I was on my way home, she called.  I told her I'd call her in a bit.  She said, quite sullen, "I just wanted to say I'm sorry."  I thanked her.

I haven't heard back from her.  I suspect she got a lecture on the way home.  I'm so grateful she isn't living here and I don't have to deal with her right now.  So grateful. 

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Daughter's Reaction to My Injury

Daughter is not here this weekend.  I decided I couldn't handle her drama right now-- I don't have the energy.

When I fell, Daughter was at a dance.  I knew she would be calling me when she got home.  I also knew that she would panic if she couldn't reach me by phone.   I handed my cell phone to Gem (Sister's name for one of the saints who has been so supportive).  I told her Daughter would be calling, and would panic, and asked her to provide her the reassurance she'd need.  I also told her Daughter had had a conversation with her birth mother that afternoon, so could be less stable than usual. 

Gem's husband picked Daughter up for church Sunday morning while Gem came to the hospital for my surgery.  I heard all about Daughter's dramatic meltdowns.  She explained that the anthem the choir was singing was one of my absolute favorites, and she always looked out while the choir is singing to see me smiling encouragement at her, and how important that was to her.  Of course, she had multiple people offering hugs and reassurances.  When I was told the story, I asked how the anthem went-- as I didn't remember it.  Gem laughed.  I pointed out Daughter can tell a great story.  I don't think I need to say that I am not concerned with making eye contact with Daughter during the anthem.  That is my one opportunity to sit quietly and reflect during worship.  Daughter came to visit Sunday evening.  I don't remember much about it-- I think she read me part of I'll Love You Forever for Mother's Day. 

Monday I received a text from a friend at Daughter's program.  They had read her the riot act, and told her that she needed to show her maturity and how responsible she could be and not try to create drama and pull the attention back on herself.  I was amused, and hoped it might work.  Daughter's response was quick and decisive:  she went home and convinced her house that she had terrible pain in her feet and needed to go to the doctor.  Gem was chuckling about the pain complaints when she brought Daughter up that evening, and suggested she might want to wear more sensible shoes.  I agreed.  Daughter also informed me that she needed to talk to my nurses when she was up there that evening, because she needed to make sure she knew what was happening.  I alerted the nurse, who was great.  He said to Daughter, "What questions can I answer for you?"  She was embarrassed, and didn't come up with any questions. 

Daughter stayed home to nurse her pain Tuesday and Wednesday, going to the doctor on Wednesday.  I wasn't thrilled with this response, but wasn't going to spend energy on it.  The doctor ordered blood work, saying she might have arthritis or gout.  I was perversely delighted to hear that they had trouble getting her blood, and after digging around the first arm, had to go to the other arm. 

She finagled rides over to see me Wednesday and Thursday.  Thursday she volunteered at the church, but Administrative Assistant is on to her, so she was cooperative and helpful.  Yesterday I had a series of texts from her telling me how awful her program was and how much she was suffering.  My response was the usual-- "I'm sorry you're having a bad day.  Take some deep breaths and listen to your music." 

Yesterday evening she called me, wanting to come spend the weekend with me.  She wanted to help me.  She'd make any recipe I wanted her to make.  She'd help any way she could.

"How are your feet feeling?"

I could almost hear her brain working in the silence that followed.  She knew there was no good answer.  "They still hurt but I'm pushing through." 

"I think you'd best stay home and take care of your feet.  I'd feel terrible if you came here and did something that caused further damage to them." 

She started complaining about being bored, and not having anything to do.  I assured her she did, and hung up on her.  She called later in the evening to ask about getting to church Sunday morning.   I suggested she called Gem and her husband.  They agreed to pick her up.  I have someone else coming to get me. 

I will be in worship tomorrow, just to worship.  We already had someone lined up to preach.  The congregation needs to see me, and I need to see them, to say thank you, and assure them that I am okay. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Doctor's Appointment

Saw the orthopedic doctor this morning.  He's impressed with the motion I've managed to get back in my wrist.  Said I can dump the sling and bandages anytime I'm ready.  I can get the arm wet Sunday.  Stitches will dissolve.  Can't pick up anything heavy. 

Appetite is back, still working on getting strength back. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

The Story Part 4

I returned home to a clean house.  It was wonderful.  I've had visitors and helpers, and one woman stayed with me the first night.  I am working on regaining movement in my left hand.  It is still very swollen.  I was supposed to be in Nashville this week, and so I already had a sub lined up for this Sunday.

Little things are challenges.  I never realized how dependent I am on my left hand.  Daughter has had her moments and was quite dramatic Sunday at church.  She got lots of hugs and attention.  Overall, she has done well.

My appetite is slowly returning.  I tire very easily, and am taking naps.  Tomorrow I see the surgeon.  I think I will need to ease back into things.  The program year was winding down, so that shouldn't be a problem. 

I am very aware of how blessed I am. 

The Story: Part 3

Around 8 Sunday morning I was headed to surgery.  One of the saints from the previous evening reappeared to offer a hug and a prayer.  After 2.5 hours of surgery, I had 2 incisions in addition to the large laceration, and 2 plates held in place by 12 screws.  I don't remember much about Sunday.  Sister and Short Niece arrived, and Saint left.  One of my travelling companions for my now cancelled trip to the festival of homiletics appeared with flowers and a prayer blanket.  They left and Saint reappeared with Daughter and my breathing machine for my sleep apnea.  They kept offering me apple juice, but all I wanted was ice water.  That evening an attempt to get up for the bathroom or commode failed-- I was too dizzy when I sat up.

Monday was better.  I managed the bedside commode and then walked to the bathroom.  I ate a banana and some grapes, then another banana with some peanut butter.  I sat in a chair for 30 minutes before falling back in bed, exhausted.  I conducted "final exams."  A number of the people I trained in lay pastoral care giving stopped by to visit.  I was impressed.  They had learned things and were wonderful.  I told them they passed.  I heard that they had discussed the possibility of showing up all at once and doing all the things I told them not to do.  One informed me that they had believed me when I said I was a klutz, I didn't have to prove it.  I also heard that people were lined up to bring food when I got home.  I heard that people were mad because I didn't ask for help with the 40 bags of mulch I bought on Saturday.

Short Niece demanded to talk to me on the phone.  She had to hear if my voice sounded okay now.  Saint came back with Daughter.  A colleague stopped by with his wife.  I slept a lot.  I got IV antibiotics every 12 hours.  Back at my home, a team invaded.  The yard was mowed.  All the mulch was spread.  My garage was cleaned and organized (all tripping hazards disappeared).  My house was cleaned. 

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

The Story 2

I landed in my driveway.  I tried to stand up, but when I lifted my arm it bent the wrong way, so I knew it was broken.  I tried to find people in my cell phone, but couldn't get it to work right.  The neighbor kids were outside, so I asked them to go get their parents.  Their mom supported my head, they called 911, and their dad called 2 couples in the church, who headed over here immediately. 

The paramedics arrived and cut open my sleeve.  When they saw my arm, they told me not to look.  They convinced me I needed to go directly to the trauma center.  My friends grabbed the things I needed and started making phone calls.  By the time I got to the hospital, they had lined up someone to preach on Sunday.  They kept Sister informed. 

I spent 4 hours in the ER, with my friends beside me.  I was freaking them out, apparently.  My oxygen levels dropped, setting off alarms, every time I dozed off.  They finally started me on oxygen.  The surgeon decided to hold off on the surgery until Sunday morning, and with my entourage in tow, I reached my room about 1:00 a.m.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

The Story

Saturday I was doing outside work.  I bought 40 bags of mulch and unloaded them into the garage.  I did a bunch of weeding.  I was interrupted by rain, and finally decided I would call it a day.  I headed out of the garage to grab a tool and put it away.  I got my feet tangled in some wire, and couldn't catch my balance.  I broke my fall with my left hand, breaking both bones in my wrist. 

I'm now home, but exhausted.  I will tell the story, but not all at once.  I don't have the energy right now.

Monday, May 13, 2013


I fell Saturday evening and broke my arm.  I'm recovering from sugery.  It was an open fracture  so I'm getting Iv antibiotics. Details when I get home-- probably tomorrow

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Current: Independence Means Bigger Worries

Daughter called me this afternoon.  She asked me not to be mad at her, and told me she had something to tell me.  She tracked down her birth mother and called her.  She also called her oldest birth brother, who abused and molested her.  The last time she had contact with birth mother she ended up having 3 psychiatric hospitalizations.  The phone call was so hard on her that I decided that for her protection she shouldn't have any further contact with her birth mother. 

She assured me that it didn't bother her this time.  I hope she's right.  At least none of the birth family is in this area.  That's comforting.  I'm uncomfortable about the fact that I will be several states away at a conference for the next week.  She knows that.  She knows I won't be available for her.  I think she's got a good support system here.  I hope she doesn't need to test it. 

It also shows me her growing independence.  I am in control of less her of her life with each passing day.  I think that is a good thing.  It is also a very scary thing.  Very scary. 

Frustrations and Joys

Right now I'm very frustrated.  My mail order pharmacy was involved in a merger last year.  I was a little concerned because the pharmacy they were merging with had been a pain to deal with for my parents.  I saw my doctor last week, and she faxed in some refills for me.  It is taking them a week to process those refills.  This is much longer than I've ever had to deal with in the past, and unfortunately, that means I will be heading off to a conference without some of the medications I need.  Part of it is my fault.  I trusted that it would work the way it always has, and so it wasn't until this morning I went to the website to check the status.  The website is now less user friendly.   When I went to check on the status, it showed that several prescriptions weren't eligible for refill until the second week in July, even though they had last been filled in January.  I called.  It turns out that they are in limbo-- they've got them in process, so I can't order refills, but they haven't been completed, so it doesn't show the current order or a ship date.  I haven't looked to see what I'll be doing without.  I don't want to know.  Hopefully they will be here when I return from my conference.  Hopefully.  I should have been less trusting, especially knowing that the merger had taken place. 

Now for some joy.  Yesterday evening was our second monthly Friday night program designed to give parents a break and children some Christian programming.  We had more children participating, more volunteers helping, and it went extremely well.  Daughter signed up to help as soon as the sign-up sheet went out-- without checking with me, of course.  I hear she was very helpful.  I greet parents at check-in and check-out, and then was the story teller.  I really enjoyed it.  The kids were having fun, adults were having meaningful conversations, and it was fun.  We have a young woman who has been doing all the planning pretty much solo-- I have been urging her to build a team and delegate, but she has been slow to follow my advice.  I pushed a little harder, and yesterday evening she asked the adults for suggestions for next time and how it can be improved.  They provided some wonderful ideas.

We are going to do one more in June, and then will restart again in September.  It was great to see the parents coming in dressed for a date, and to see them return relaxed and smiling after an evening without the children.  I am so pleased we can offer this ministry to our community. 

Our community garden beds are all taken for this year.  This is the second year, and word of mouth got the 18 beds reserved very quickly.  I suspect we will be talking about adding some more for next year.

Monday morning I will be heading to Nashville for the Festival of Homiletics.  I'm looking forward to an opportunity to hear good preaching and learn more about how to proclaim the Word.  I'm going to make our reservations for camping, too.  It sounds like some folks from the church might join us at the state park for a weekend.  I think that's good news-- fortunately, these are people who I like and with whom I can relax.  I've never had members who wanted to follow me on vacation before-- fortunately, they are healthy ones who don't expect me to take care of them....

Friday, May 10, 2013

Current: 30 Day Review

This morning was the meeting to review Daughter's placement in the current house and her corresponding change in program.  The program changes were great, and Daughter is now doing cleaning, which means more money. 

The house issues are being addressed.  Perhaps most importantly, she now knows that Home Owner, Case Manager, and I will talk, and we will be on the same page.  She has been caught, and she knows it. 

Perhaps most interesting is that she is doing the same things at this house that she did when she was living with me.  It means they are doing a good job in that she feels like it is home.  It means that she is being very challenging to live with.  Overall, things are improving, so that is good. 

She came into the meeting with an attitude, and I informed her if she kept the attitude it would wear me out and I would be too tired to pick her up for the children's program at the church tonight.  She heard me, and managed to turn it around.  I am very pleased with the way it went.  I am glad that I no longer have to deal with the challenges that came when she was living with me.  Very glad. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Current: Lies

I am being told Daughter is refusing to eat all vegetables at the house.  When I ask her, she insists she is eating them.  I asked her again this morning on the way to the church.  She insisted she is eating them now, and described mixing her peas in with her spaghetti.  Except Case Manager was talking to Home Owner who said she continues to refuse them all. 

I confronted Daughter, which resulted in tears and yelling and drama and....  She finally calmed down, apologized, and asked to talk.  I have asked the home to make her servings smaller and allow her to add salt, pepper, salad dressing, or whatever will make them easier for her to eat.  I also told her she needs to apologize to the staff.  I hope she will follow through and do that.  We'll see. 

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Current: Summer

Daughter has begun her annual campaign, trying to convince me to let her go back to Tiny Village to visit.  She insists she can go on her own, and doesn't need me.  I told her to start saving money.  Apparently she's going to be given an opportunity to do some work at her program that will allow her to earn additional money.  I'm glad she's getting the opportunity, though it does have the potential to complicate things.  I've always been able to tell her she had to save a certain amount of money to do something, confident that she wouldn't be able to hold onto it that long.  I'll be in trouble if she actually learns to start saving money....

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Current: Emails Flying

The emails were flying today, and the dietitian visited the home to go over the diet again.  I think we are making progress.  The Home Owner even responded.  We have a meeting Friday to evaluate how she's doing since the move and the changes in her program.  Case Manager sent out a reminder today, and told us to prepare to be there for over an hour. 

I'm feeling a little more comfortable about being gone for a conference next week.  Administrative Assistant will be my back up.  She knows how to handle Daughter, and Daughter trusts her. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Current: Mama Bear Growls

Daughter was upset last night, because the Home Owner was concerned that she was using too many blood sugar test strips.   HO decided to limit the number of test strips she could have.  I never did get a response regarding the lunch issues, but assumed (hoped) that they now understood Daughter had to have protein in her lunch. 

So today Daughter began the day with 5 test strips, the exact number she needs to make it through a day.  When she checked her blood sugar at 2:45, it was 66, which is low.  If her blood sugar is below 100 she gets a snack before getting on the bus to go home.  With a blood sugar of 66, they needed to give her glucose tabs to bring her blood sugar up before she can have a snack.  They need to retest her blood sugar after treating to make sure it is coming up before she gets a snack. 

So Daughter called me, concerned, because she is afraid to recheck her blood sugar to make sure it's coming up because she doesn't want to get in trouble.  I tell her it's okay, she has to check, and if anyone complains, they should call me.  A few minutes later I get a call from a staff member at the workshop.  They have rechecked, and her blood sugar has dropped to 60.  They only have one test strip left, and are very concerned.  I ask how many glucose tabs Daughter has had, and they've given her one after each blood sugar check.  I explain that she should have 3-4 glucose tabs when her blood sugar drops to bring it up, and instruct her to give her another 3.  The staff member wonders if they can use someone else's test strips in Daughter's meter if they are a different brand.  No. 

I ask what Daughter had for lunch.  She says she had protein with her sandwich-- a "thin" slice of meat and a "thin" slice of cheese.  She also had sliced orange.  I suspect she may have been low on both carbs and protein, but for now the issue is getting her blood sugar up before she has to get on the bus.  She rechecks, and her blood sugar is up to 112.  I instruct them to give  her some trail mix and send her home.  I also state that we need to look at the orders for treating low blood sugars, because she should be getting 3-4 glucose tabs, not 1. 

Daughter calls from the bus, worried about getting into trouble at home.  I assure her she did what needed to be done. 

She calls from home, sobbing.  The only thing staff is concerned about is that she used up all her test strips.  A low blood sugar wipes her out, emotionally and physically.  She wants to move.  She doesn't feel safe there.  They won't listen to her.  I'm frustrated on a number of levels:

  1. The staff at her program hasn't had adequate training.  The nurse scheduled and conducted the training without consulting with me or the dietitian.  Daughter is suffering as a result.
  2. It sounds to me like we still have issues with her lunch. 
  3. The nurse cut me out of the training, and as a result we have a staff that isn't adequately equipped to handle Daughter's diabetes.
  4. The staff at her home seems to be more concerned about counting test strips than helping Daughter feel safe and secure.
  5. When she got home after a low blood sugar, she needed hugs and reassurance, not scolding and blaming. 
Yes, I've sent off a couple of emails.  I'm scheduled to be out of town all next week, and at this point I'm very uneasy about leaving.  I desperately need the break, and I'm very concerned about the way the new house is handling Daughter's emotional and health needs. 

Sunday, May 5, 2013


Apparently, I have become too predictable.  Yesterday one of the men went into the cold pond and tried to clear the drain.  Another man took a picture of him and posted it to facebook.  I was surprised, because there weren't many comments.  Then I realized the gentleman who had posted it only had 21 friends, so I shared the picture on my page, where there was much more action. 

This morning there was quite a bit of conversation about the adventure in the pond.  The original poster said, "I knew if I posted it to my page, you'd share it to yours and lots of people would see it."  I think I have become a bit too predictable....

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Current: Busy Day at the Church

Today was spring clean up day and we also had a sewing bee to make little dresses for Africa.  We had lots of people there working.  We spent much longer than we intended working on the dresses, but once we got all set up, we didn't want to leave.  When I got home, I realized I'd missed the entertainment outside.  One of the men had gone out in the pond to clear the drain.  Last week it was snowing, and we've had a couple of warmer days since, but the air temperature was only in the low 70's, and I'm sure the pond was cold.  A picture was posted on facebook.  I hope he was successful in getting the drain unplugged, but he sure looked miserable. 

Daughter has a friend moving into her house today, so I'm going to pick her up for church in the morning.  It's kind of nice to have a quiet Saturday evening at home.  I think I'll be going to bed early this evening....

Memories: The Road to Adoption

Once Daughter was free and available for adoption, I began to move forward with the paperwork.  Daughter had been with me almost 5 years.  I knew she had many challenges, and that life with her would not be easy.  She had suffered greatly at the hands of her birth family, and the scars remained.

Her Case Worker came with a colleague to do a pre-adoption visit.  Among the papers they had me sign was one stating that I understood that Daughter had suffered abuse which might lead to her developing serious problems, and I would not attempt to return her or sue the county should that happen.  I signed it, and both case workers witnessed my signature. 

Unfortunately, this wasn't good enough for the county attorney.  She demanded that I drive an hour to the county offices so I could sign the form in front of various higher ups and she could witness it.  I knew that who witnessed it made no difference as to whether it would hold up in court.  I was not happy about driving an hour (each way) to sign it again.  I was even less happy when I got there and discovered the attorney had forgotten about it and wasn't there.  I had to wait another hour for her to show up.  Case Worker was apologetic.  She thought it was ridiculous. 

Daughter was going through a rough patch, so my life was pretty stressful.  When I got in before all the various officials to sign the form again, Attorney cheerfully asked how Daughter was.  I said, "Disturbed.  You have taken over 3 hours out of my week that I didn't have to sign a form that I have already signed.  It doesn't make any difference who has witnessed the signatures.  Because I've had to take 3 hours to come sign this form, I will have to work longer.  You have taken away 3 hours I could have spent with Daughter, hours that would be much better spent with her."  Smiles froze on faces.  The tension was thick.  I quickly signed the form again and they witnessed it. 

Caseworker called me later to gleefully report, that the director had commented when I left the room that at least they knew Daughter would have a very strong advocate for her needs.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Current: A Day Off

Today  was my day off.  I hosted supper for two young colleagues and then we went to see a musical at a local high school.  It was very well done. 

Of course, to be ready for supper I had to do lots of cleaning.  I also mowed the front lawn.  I tried to new recipes, which were both good. 

Case Manager asked dietitian to take care of the lunch menu problem.  Dietitian said she would.  I haven't heard anything from Home Owner yet. 

All in all, it was a very good day.  The two young women I had over for supper are going with me to the Festival of Homiletics in just over a week.  I was meeting one of them for the first time.  I'm looking forward to the trip even more now.  I know I'll enjoy the conversations with them.

Daughter has called a couple of times, but seems to have had a good day.  A friend from the old house is moving into the new house tomorrow, so Daughter isn't coming here tomorrow.  I will pick her up Sunday morning for worship, and when I get done with my meetings, I'll bring her back here to relax her hair before taking her home.  She has a dance she is excited about on May 11th. 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Current: Challenge at the New House

Daughter called this evening, quite distressed.  Her lunch for tomorrow was going to be two slices of bread and an apple.  She said that was all the dietitian allowed her for lunch, and asked me to talk to the dietitian and straighten things out.  I was skeptical, but staff confirmed that the lunch menu did not include any protein.  I said she had to have protein, and they said they weren't allowed, I'd have to talk to their boss. 

Daughter had wanted to buy lunch at Subway tomorrow, and I had discouraged it.  After the conversation, I told her to buy lunch tomorrow.  I also emailed the home owner and copied Case Manager.  I realize that no place is going to be perfect, but I find it amazing that staff wouldn't realize that two slices of bread and an apple are not an appropriate lunch.  I'm very grateful that Daughter has enough understanding about her diabetes to recognize that the lunch was wrong....

Current: Back Online

The service tech showed up today and got me back online.  I'm grateful.  He wasn't within the time window they gave me, but that's okay.  I live close enough to the church that I just tell service people to call me when they are on their way and I will meet them at the house. 

Daughter was at the church today.  She did some shredding and also cleaned out my car (without being asked!)  I took her to supper, and now we're back at the church for choir.  She actually listened when I counseled her not to get involved in the drama that took place at the workshop today. 

I am tired.  I haven't been sleeping well. I know that I need a break, and one more week and I'll get one.  I'm looking forward to going to the Festival of Homiletics in Nashville on the 13th. 

For now, though, I have some work I need to get done. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Current: Duh

Sunday night I lost TV, internet, and my home phone.  Monday night I went online on my smart phone and did the trouble shooting.  When the trouble shooting didn't work, they directed me to a chat page which wouldn't load on my phone. 

Yesterday I called customer service from the church. 

"What is the number on your account?"

I dutifully recite my phone number.

"What is your problem?"

I explain that I don't have phone, TV, or internet.

"Is the number on your account a good number to use to call you back?"

"No, as I just told you, my phone isn't working." 

"Oh, is there another number where we can call you back?"

It took 20 minutes to get to the point where I was informed they couldn't help me because I wasn't at home in front of the box.  I told them I'd done all the trouble shooting listed on line, and it still wouldn't work.  That didn't make any difference.  I had to call back and get back in line when I was at home in front of the box (on my cell phone that tends to drop calls in the room where the box is located).  I was assured customer service lines were open 24/7.  I got home and finally decided to try again.  I went back online, and discovered customer service lines aren't open 24/7.  I called and waited on hold.  The recording helpfully suggested I go online and use the trouble shooter to solve my problems.  Finally I got to a person.  Once again I was asked if the out of order number was a good number to use to call me back.  I explained I had rebooted numerous times, that all the cables were securely attached, and that I had the red no service light flashing.  He made me reboot.  I had to tell him the color of each cable and which port it was in.  I had to assure him the cables weren't damaged.  Then he informed me my box was old and out of date and they'd have to send me a new one.  He instructed me that I should transfer one cable at a time to the new box to assure they got into the right port.  I asked how long that would take to get the new box.  Then he said, "Oops, they are on back order." 

Tomorrow morning a technician is supposed to come and replace my box.  I hope the technician brings a box.  I hope that's the problem.  I was also informed it could take up to 4 hours to fix the problem.  It is very strange, not having access to the internet via my computer at home.  The smart phone just can't do everything.  It has been a frustrating week.  Computers in the office were misbehaving today, too.  There are days when technology is not my friend.