Friday, January 29, 2010

Typical Eventful Experience

Let me just fill you in on yesterdays events. I took B to a wonderful children's hospital for some tests and physician consults. It took us over an hour to get there, and despite the very confusing construction signs and the lack of parking we still managed to make it on time. We got to our first appointment (10 am) and waited in the waiting room for 40 minutes. I was trying not to panic that our next appointment (on a different floor) was at 11 am. The receptionist assured me this would be fine; that they could track where we were in their computer and wouldn't penalize us for being late.

Well, I HATE to be late. It stresses me out. It makes me sweat. It is my biggest pet peeve. So not only were we running late but a child had a toy that made a high-pitched chirping noise with the press of a button. That darling held his finger on the button the WHOLE ENTIRE TIME we were in the waiting room. I was glad there were no forks around and I thought my head would explode.

The rest of day there went along fine UNTIL we were DONE with our last appointment. The kind doctor escorted us out of the exam room, at which point B tripped and fell against the corner of the wall, gashing that big head right open. There was blood oozing through the hair and a CHUNK of hair and scalp lay on the floor. Yes, that really happened.

At the point, the nurse manager, fearing a lawsuit, ushered us into another exam room while barking orders at other nurses to get gauze, ice, and etc. We had to answer a barrage of questions about whether the fall was caused by any foreign objects on the floor or liquids or whatever. I did my best to smile (although my stomach was feeling queasy from the blood) and assure them that the child tripped over their own feet and that it would be okay. Within 10 minutes a staff pediatrician was in the room examining the head, neck, eyes, etc., while the nurse manager came ushering gifts of various crackers and juices to cheer the broken patient. We sure didn't have to wait long then!

They got the bleeding to stop and decided that there was nothing they could stitch because the wall just took a chunk out of the scalp. We had to keep gauze on it to keep it from "oozing". Yum. We finally left an hour later, to make it home JUST in time to get the others from the carpool line. What a day! But, when you're in this family, you just come to expect these things.

I got to act like Jesus by being nice and polite and sweet while promising that we wouldn't sue the hospital, that I didn't blame them, and that "Hey, these things just happen". So I guess it was a successful day, despite the drama.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Are You Crazy? HAHA. Um, wait... what did you just say?

I know that I confuse a lot of people. Heck, I confuse myself most of the time! It must be genetic because I (we) have managed to pass down these traits to all of our children; even the one that was born of my heart, not in my womb. My goal is to give you a glimpse into every day life here in Chez Vogel, or the funny farm, whichever you prefer.

I am lucky enough to be the proud mother of four children with ADHD. If you know either my husband or myself, you can probably figure how the mix of our traits added up to this, but quite frankly, we never saw it coming. Now I'm not here to have a pity party or try to drum up sympathy, this is just how it is. Love it or leave it.

I've chosen to love it and I really don't know what "normal" is. There have been many times in my life that I've longed for "normalcy" or some hint of it anyway, but I know that God has gifted me with these blessings to refine my character and give me a spirit of compassion, love, and understanding. This is not to say that I've never gazed longingly on a "normal" family having a nice meal in a nice restaurant, or had a day where I didn't want to pull my hair out or "stab myself in the eye with a fork"; that usually happens at least once a day. My friends know when to say "Hide the forks!"

Each of my children is unique and possesses special traits and qualities that make my heart melt with love for them. In juxtaposition, they also have those that require the hiding of the forks. To protect the names of the innocent, I won't tell you who is who, but you might be able to figure it out.

Child A is sweet, caring, and generous. They struggle more with attention and focus than with hyperactivity. But when hyperactivity chooses to rear it's ugly head, watch out! They need constant encouragement as well as gifts. This child also suffers from clinical anxiety and self esteem issues. Medication and strict guidelines required.

Child B is inquisitive, smart, and cuddly. This child talks incessantly and loves to learn. They also suffer from a physical disability which requires a regimen of daily medical treatment and special physical accommodations. If you need this child to move quickly... good luck. Did I mention that this child talks incessantly? Medication required.

Child C is intelligent, nurturing, loving, and sweet. This child loves with an intensity and makes my heart melt frequently. Their classification of ADHD falls under the label of Asperger's Syndrome, which is on the Autism Spectrum, also called ASD (Autism Spectrum Disorder), and includes OCD, tics, and frequent meltdowns. This child cries a LOT and requires a lot of extra grace and understanding. This child, unmedicated, would have a hard time functioning outside of home. Excessive mood swings are exacerbated by the slightest of triggers, which vary from time to time and place to place. Pretty much, it's anyone's guess as to how this child will respond in a given situation at any given time. Any change in routine or plan is not good. Child C also has another separate physical illness which involves daily medical equipment and treatment. This child evokes my deepest emotions..... that undying, unwaving, mother-bearish, unfailing love....and then, five minutes later, I want to stick a fork in my eye because I'm as mad as a hornet. Medication required.

And we come to Child D. Child D is so lovable and cuddly and sweet. This child always aims to please and is very hard on themself when things don't go as they want them to. If this child steps out of line, they are very remorseful even to the point of self-inflicted punishment and feelings of inadequacy. We try our best to constantly remind our child of their gifts and talents. This child too, struggles with insecurities and self esteem issues. This child is NOT a morning person and lets the whole family know it and desires for us to suffer along, then beats themself up when reprimanded for their contagious crankiness. This child has a very hard time concentrating, even on medication, and is not currently being treated for clinical anxiety, but *sigh*, we are approaching a crossroads where I'm afraid this will be our only option.

These kids are great and they make life worth living. Our house is never dull (or quiet) and I know that without a doubt, God has big plans for these blessings of mine, because He has made them each so special and unique. Now that you've read about them, you can look forward to many entertaining (for you) stories in the days to come.

Love, Kirsten (Medication required)

Friday, January 22, 2010

I will never be caught up.

Yes folks, it's obvious! I have very good intentions of keeping the blog updated, but the demands of my life as a stay-at-home-mom and the other ridiculous things that distract me (like facebook) always leave me behind in blogging. The problem with this is that I get this back-up (like constipation, if you will) of things in my brain that need to be written out. For me, the best way to wrestle with things in my own head is on paper (either real or virtual). So now I'm trying to get some "fiber" into my system so I can begin to write out some stuff and give you all an update about life at Chez Vogel.

It seems that ever since I got back from Uganda in October, the enemy has been plotting against me. This past trip, in particular, really changed my life, my focus, and my direction. It made me a different person. Some said these feelings would pass, but they haven't and I don't want them to! I want to be more aware of the suffering around the world. I want to keep the images in my head of children who hadn't eaten in eight days. I want to feel differently about the way I spend my money. I want to be intentional in teaching my kids that the needs of others are more important than our own. I don't ever want to go back to being the person that ran out to buy the newest Vera Bradley purse or the latest fashion trend.

Now when I drive by Starbucks or my other favorite coffee place, I can overcome the "need" for my favorite Venti Skinny Cinnamon Dolce Latte. Instead, I think that I can just wait until I get home and make myself some coffee instead of spending the money that could be spent on a mosquito net that would save a child's life. Yeah, a mosquito net in Uganda only costs $4.50 USD, just like my latte.

I have changed, and I am different. It is obvious that some people don't like the change, or they think it is weird or that I should find some balance. Everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion, but if you don't like the changes in me, well ..... oh well. I'm trying to be less concerned with what you think about me (which has always been a struggle) and focus more about what God thinks about me. It is Him that I desire community with.

Being changed and being different is not easy, especially in a culture where everyone is trying to live in the status quo and keep up with the Joneses. It's been a lonely time for me. I've been fighting depression and anger; praying for wisdom and guidance. But it's not been easy; not at all. I've spent many a day and night trying to distract myself from facing the realities set before me in my brain. I have been unkind to my husband and my children for their lack of understanding. I am far from perfect and I am just trying to figure it all out...... the new person that I am and what the Potter is molding me to be.

If you love me, I ask for patience. I this annoys you, I will not apologize. I've reached a time in my life where I keep thinking of the story in Luke 10: 10But when you enter a town and are not welcomed, go into its streets and say, 11'Even the dust of your town that sticks to our feet we wipe off against you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God is near.'

God has given me a vision and a hope and I'm going to have to fight for it, that is clear. But I will fight because the battle has already been won.