Thursday, September 24, 2009

Girls Gone Wild!

Photo Credits: See below.**

I got Dear Son off the school bus today and his bus aide (she's also the aide in his classroom) told me what a great day he had. First, he went out into the community, as they call it, to Jewel with his teacher. Dear Son loves people and really enjoys going somewhere. He has a wonderful high school teacher that is young and enthusiatic. She is highly excitable and he really likes that about her. They get excited when they see each other every day at school plus she really makes him laugh. So today, he got to go on a trip with her.

Next, one of the younger female assistants from two years ago, who was also his favorite, came in to help out in the classroom. At first, he didn't pay attention until he took a double take and realized who it was. Then he perked right up with a big smile on his face.

And finally, as if it couldn't get any better, they had a pep rally at school. All of the high school seniors (Dear Son is a senior this year) wore a special colored t-shirt with their last name on the back for the pep rally. They went down to the gym at the end of the day however his absolute, favorite part, was the high school girls dance team. He had a big smile on his face when all of the girls ran out on the floor to perform. He really enjoyed their routine. What high school guy doesn't like that?

His aide said that he was really happy all day and it was the happiest she has seen him in a long time. I think the ladies had everything to do with that.

Once I brought him in the house after getting him off of the bus, I talked to him about all of the fun things he did today. I started dancing like I thought the girls might and saying some cheers like they do at the pep rallies and he started cracking up. I haven't seen him laugh that hard in a while. Nothing like a big old belly laugh! That doesn't happen very often at 17! I guess it can be pretty funny when you Mom does that kind of thing. Either way, it was definitely worth it!

Overall, he seems much better. His seizures are a lot better! He hasn't had any seizures on the bus in over two weeks. He is having very few at home, just a handful at night sometimes but overall nothing like it had been just a month ago. The medicine and the vagus nerve stimulator increases appear to have worked.

Only a few more weeks until our Make a Wish trip to Disney! We are looking forward to it.
**Dear Son has a progressive neurological disease and suffers from seizures, dystonia and severe mental retardation due to a random mutation of the ARX gene.
**Photo Credits: This is a random image of a high school girls dance team, that I got off the internet. This dance team is in no way affiliated with Dear Son, the post title, or anything on this blog. He does not attend that high school nor do we live in that state.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Cookware.com~Cuisinart Slow Cooker Review*

Cuisinart PSC 3.5 Quart Slow Cooker-Available at Cookware.com



If you're like me, you may still have your first slow cooker. I received mine back in 1986, at my bridal shower. I used my slow cooker on occasion however with fall fast approaching, I thought I might consider using it a bit more. Recently, I found a new recipe for a Chicken and Vegetable Soup from Heart Healthy Online. I am very salt sensitive (I don't have any heart disease.) so I began looking for a soup recipe that wasn't loaded with sodium. After making the soup on the stovetop, I thought it might be nice to re-create this soup using my old slow cooker however it didn't have a timer or a "keep warm" setting. I thought it would be great to put the ingredients in the slow cooker in the morning and then have it be ready for dinner when I got home. I am also very picky about what I eat. I prefer fresh, wholesome foods whenever possible and rarely eat processed foods. It was then that I began my search for a new slow cooker.
One of the things that is important to me is finding appliances that are smaller since I only cook for myself and possibly one other person. I don't have a lot of kitchen space so smaller size appliances are not only functional but a necessity. I have spent the last few years downsizing recipes and purchasing smaller appliances. In addition to a smaller size, I wanted additional settings and possibly a timer. I know a few people who have the Rival Slow Cooker that switches to the warm setting when it's done however the chicken is really dry. Still I wanted one that would keep the food warm, long after it's done.


Around this time, I was also reading a book called, "Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker: Recipes for Two" by Beth Hensperger. It was a great book and not only did she include some taste tested recipes for two but she made them in smaller slow cookers and made a few recommendations on what to look for. Beth states that one of the main reasons to purchase a new slow cooker, versus the old slow cookers from ten or twenty years ago, is the multiple heat settings. Old machines, often had an off button and high and low settings. Newer machines have an on/off button, multiple heat settings and preferably a "keep warm" setting. She recommends that for 1-2 people, the 1-1/2 to 3 quart or 3-1/2 quart machines are best. While they come in round and oval shapes, she recommends the oval shape so you can put in various cuts of meat that may not fit in the round slow cooker machines. In addition to her recommendations, I also wanted a slow cooker with an insert that was dishwasher safe. I am always happy if I can wash anything in the dishwasher, versus hand washing pots and pans.


With this information, I set out to find a new slow cooker. I was looking for a slow cooker that included the following:
  • Small size-up to 3.5 quarts. This was for recipes for 1 to 2 people.
  • Multiple heat settings, including an on/off switch and a "keep warm" setting.
  • Oval shape preferred.
  • Insert that was dishwasher safe.
  • Timer-I wanted to be able to set the timer on low or high and have it switch to warm.
  • Clean, modern design taking up minimal cabinet space.

I reviewed many of the slow cookers for all different brands and chose the Cuisinart 3.5 Quart Slow Cooker available at Cookware.com. This slow cooker met all of my requirements: clean, modern stainless steel design with a removable dishwasher safe insert. It was a 3.5 quart machine with an oval insert. It had multiple heat settings including low, high and simmer, an on/off switch, a "keep warm" setting and a 24 hour timer. Best of all was the price, at only $58.95.

I have had this slower cooker for around two weeks or so. I made three recipes in it so far and they all turned out great. One of the best features of this particular slow cooker was that when I made the Chicken and Vegetable Soup, the chicken did not dry out. I know several people who have the Rival Slow Cooker, the one that automatically switches to the warm setting, and the biggest complaint is that the chicken is terribly dry. Now I should mention that slow cookers are best used for shall we say, less tender cuts of meats and the moist cooking method or braising method of the slow cooker is perfect for that type. Slow cookers are traditionally not used for leaner cuts of meat or poultry. I rarely eat meat and cook chicken and turkey in a rotisserie so I am used to very moist poultry.

For the Chicken and Vegetable Soup, I had pre-cooked the vegetables and had them frozen in zip lock bags. When I pre-cook my vegetables, I like to dice them in a food chopper so they are all the exact same size and look perfect. I place them in 1/2 cup bags in the freezer so that whenever I need some vegetables, I simply grab a bag and defrost it in the microwave. I microwaved them for a minute and put them in the slow cooker when I started the soup. I took two frozen chicken breasts and thawed them in the microwave. I cut them up and put them in the slow cooker when I started the soup. I cooked the soup on the "high" setting for three hours. In three hours, the soup was finished and the chicken was not only cooked tender but moist. The machine automatically switched to the "keep warm" setting. This was not the case with the Rival Slow Cooker.
I should mention that I didn't add the Barilla Whole Wheat Pasta until the last hour of cooking. They recommend that you add the pasta in the last hour or half hour so it's not overcooked. My chicken and veggie soup not only tasted wonderful, but looked absolutely beautiful too, far better than the picture in the link above! I used different vegetables than the one in the link above; I used carrots, broccoli, zucchini, onion and celery in mine. I diced all of them except for the broccoli. The contrast of the colorful diced vegetables next to the whole wheat rotini was quite lovely. You may have guessed by now, that I like my food to look as beautiful as my tablescapes. I would have taken a photo of this soup, but my camera is broken and I haven't made a decision on a new one yet.

Other things I liked about this slow cooker was the stainless steel design. The glass top was nice and the handle felt really good, not flimsy or cheap. It actually had a solid feel to it, much like a nicer hardware knob. The timer worked great and the recipes I made all turned out fantastic.

If there was one complaint, it was that the item description stated that it came with a retractable cord. I was pretty excited about this feature and it was actually the one feature that "sealed the deal" so to speak when I looked at the slow cookers. The cord was not retractable nor was there a spot to hold the cord. In the end, it didn't matter but it would have been nice.

If I could change one other thing, it might be the color of the insert. The insert is black and while a black stainless steel slow cooker look great on the counter or in the photo, I always prefer a white or light interior so I can see that things are clean, especially in the kitchen.


Overall, I'd give this slow cooker five stars out of five. It looks great and more important, all of the recipes I have made so far turned out great. If you are looking for a smaller slow cooker, I'd highly recommend it. If you have a larger family, you might want to try the larger 6.5 quart Cuisinart Slow Cooker. If you haven't purchased a new slow cooker in a while, it's definitely worth it.

I hope you enjoyed my review of the Cuisinart Slow Cooker.
*Note: Cookware.com has compensated me for an honest review of this product on my blog. I could choose any product to review and I chose the Cuisinart 3.5 Slow Cooker in brushed stainless. While I normally do not do any product reviews, I made an exception for this company.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Obama’s Healthcare Speech-No Change, Just More of the Same

I think most people will agree on a few things: 1) healthcare needs reform, 2) healthcare needs to be more affordable, 3) everyone should have access to healthcare and 4) we want to keep our doctors. I think most Americans would also agree that we shouldn’t go into debt to do it, we shouldn’t add to the Medicare and Medicaid payrolls, we shouldn’t make it harder for people to pay for healthcare and to get healthcare, and that our physicians and healthcare providers should get paid a fair wage for their services (meaning they need to be paid fairly as opposed to Medicare’s/Medicaid’s rate).

Last night Obama took healthcare head on. His goals were to:

  • Provide more stability and security to those with health insurance.
  • Provide insurance to those who don’t have healthcare.
  • Slow the rate of healthcare costs for families, businesses and government.

He stated that he needed employers and individuals to take responsibility. He made very clear that:

  • If you have insurance via Medicare, Medicaid, VA or your job, nothing changes.
  • Under this plan, insurers can’t deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions, no lifetime insurance cap, he’ll limit out of pocket expenses and he’ll require insurance companies to cover routine check ups and preventative care.
  • More importantly, if you don’t have insurance, he’ll offer affordable choices via an insurance exchange where you can shop for health insurance at affordable prices and if you still can’t afford health insurance, he’ll offer tax credits.

In addition, this public option would have low premiums and it would be self sufficient and rely on only the premiums it collects and will be able to do all of this by avoiding some of the overhead that gets eaten up by private company profits, excessive administrative costs and executive salaries.

More importantly, the public option won’t add a dime to the deficit and he’ll pay for it by finding savings within the existing healthcare system that is full of waste and abuse. He’ll also make Medicare/Medicaid more efficient and the savings from this will pay for most of the plan and the rest will be paid with revenues from the drug and insurance companies that will benefit from the tens of millions of new customers.

Oh, and the plan will cost 900 “billion” dollars over the next ten years.

What’s wrong with this plan? Everything. Let’s take a look at what the goals are and what doesn’t make sense.

First, if you have Medicare, Medicaid or VA, nothing changes. Probably one of the biggest chunks of the Health and Human Services budget is Medicare and Medicaid. This new plan will do nothing to decrease the dollars spent on the largest chunk of the budget. If anything, it will increase it.

Second, he states that the inefficiencies in these plans will pay for the new plan. While none of us doubt that there are inefficiencies, do we really believe that in the past fifty years or so with all of the former Presidents and administrations taking on healthcare, that none of them tackled this issue? Does he also believe that this administration is going to be able to find 700 billion dollars in inefficiencies to fund this new plan? I mean, 700 billion dollars is a lot. (Why do I say 700 billion dollars? Because he states that inefficiencies in the Medicaid and Medicare will pay for the bulk of the new plan so if the new plan is 900 billion dollars, I chose 700 billion as a ballpark figure.)

Next, he says that insurers will be required to pay for pre-existing conditions, be required to cover routine maintenance, have no lifetime caps and limit out of pocket expenses. Most of this is nothing more than talk. Currently, we have in place procedures so that insurance companies can not deny you coverage for pre-existing conditions. The law requires that if you were previously insured, the insurance company provide you a “Certificate of Coverage” stating that you were insured the twelve months prior or something to that effect. Most employer based insurance plans today are also self funded plan, which means that the employer covers the cost of health insurance for their employees and because of that, most plans cover routine maintenance. So most of what he says here, already exists and is not new. Health insurance costs are also rising, so if he wants to lower out of pocket expenses, who is picking up those expenses, the employer who is already strapped and trying to pay for healthcare for their employees? Has he seen the amount these premiums are increasing? Employers are asking employees to pick up part of that tab so they can keep providing health insurance to their employees.

For those without insurance, and he excludes illegal aliens, he offers a public option where he is going to make insurance more “affordable” by offering low premiums and tax credits. I am not clear as to how our President would define “affordable”, given the amount he spent on his vacation in the last month, but we already have some low cost plans, available on the internet through ehealthinsurance.com, so how is this public option different or how can mandating that people have insurance really help make it more affordable than what is currently out there?

And what about those illegal aliens? Do we still deny them care or are we just letting them use the emergency room as uninsured patients? I guess that keeps their costs down since they don’t have to come up with healthcare premiums like everyone else. And if the public option isn’t funded by the government and instead is funded by the low cost premiums it collects, then what benefit is it to anyone to exclude them? At least, when they use the emergency room, they have some healthcare dollars to pay for it. Of course, I imagine it sounds better if you say you’ll exclude them.

If anything, I don’t believe that mandating health insurance will result in a decrease to the Health and Human Services costs. I do believe that it will make it a lot harder for those without many resources, namely the poor and disabled, to make ends meet.

I think that requiring people to have insurance, will do nothing more than increase the Medicaid and Medicare rolls which is not the effect he wants to have. If people can’t afford healthcare, I don’t believe that requiring healthcare when they don’t have the money will result in them purchasing healthcare. Instead, I think they will choose the no cost option and apply for Medicare and Medicaid. Furthermore, when they do, they will initially increase the costs because they now have access to healthcare and may have medical conditions that required treatment that they were unable to afford previously.

His next point for the public option was that this insurance plan would pay for itself. Not only would it offer low premiums but those premiums would cover the healthcare costs for that pool of people. Sound too good to be true. Let’s think about this for a moment. We have a lot of people who for one reason or another didn’t have health insurance and let’s assume it’s because they couldn’t afford it. Now, they are required to have healthcare and they’ll pay a low premium. Having gone without healthcare for a few years, I would imagine this pool is going to have more claims than average and have more than routine maintenance claims. If this is the case and we have a spike in healthcare costs for this pool, what happens to this public option? Does it now go bankrupt because the medical costs to insure these people exceeds the premiums? And who will bail them out? Who runs this program?

And finally, he states that insurance companies are going to benefit from the tens of millions of new people enrolling in their plans. Huh? So let’s think about this. You have poor people and middle class people who have lost their jobs and many others who can’t afford health insurance. So now that the government is mandating healthcare, people who previously couldn’t afford any healthcare will now have dollars to “shop around” for coverage in what has been billed as the biggest recession in years? It just doesn’t make any sense.

So let’s go back and look at some of the goals for this plan. He states that the goal is to provide insurance for those who don’t have it. Is he really providing an option for people who can’t afford healthcare?

His speech reminds me of a situation that occurred many years ago at work. I had been hired to revamp the entire Client Services department for a national PPO. I was paid a salary plus a bonus that was based on client retention. This company struggled for years in retaining clients and if they were to grow, they really needed to retain these revenues. What made this particular job more challenging was that there were hundreds of different benefit plans since this PPO was a claims repricer as opposed to an insurance plan which meant that we had to look up each employers plan. And did I mention, this was before pcs were used in the offices?

There was one employer in particular that was a non-profit. It offered a 100/0 benefit plan meaning if the employees went to a doctor or hospital that was “in-network” the plan paid 100%, however if the employee went “out of network”, the plan paid nothing and the employees would foot the entire bill. The employees that worked for this company were poor and lived in the inner city. Our phones were ringing off the hook to hear from employees who could not afford to go out of network. They were also worried because they wanted to see the same doctors and hospitals that they always had seen. Adding to the mix, many of them only spoke Spanish. Oh, and did I mention, most of them didn’t have a car and relied on public transportation to get them to their jobs. All of these challenges only made it harder for them.

This was a difficult situation because the employer was trying to offer health insurance to their employees but trying to conserve costs hence the 100/0 plan. These employees wanted and needed health insurance. Just requiring that these employees go “in network” wasn’t enough. We needed to do more to help them. We needed to understand their barriers to being able to go “in network”.

One day we got a call from a woman who worked for this employer. She did not drive, had a chronic health condition, took the bus to work and this was the only insurance she had. She could not afford to go “out of network” but couldn’t find a doctor or hospital that was close to her in her neighborhood that she could walk to. She was really upset. One of my employees worked with her and found out where she lived. She then was able to locate the nearest hospital and physician group close to this woman. Because this woman didn’t drive, she located the nearest bus route that ran from this woman’s house to this facility. She provided the woman with this information and the woman was able to get healthcare “in network” and have everything paid at 100%. It was a win-win situation for the employer and the employee. That year, I set a record and had a 98% client retention rate and both myself and my staff received bonuses.

What was important about this story was that just requiring the employees to go in network isn’t enough, kind of like Obama requiring people to get healthcare. You have to get into their lives to understand what the barriers are to access before you can come up with real solutions. And that’s the reason, I give this healthcare speech an “F”. He didn’t come up with any real solutions on providing healthcare coverage or reducing costs because he doesn’t understand the barriers to access. At the very least, if he were really serious about finding inefficiencies in the budget, why not start there and come back to us in two years with the savings from these plans and talk about how we might revamp healthcare with these savings.

And finally, I don’t disagree that everyone needs healthcare but I don’t think that his plan is the solution. I’ll talk more about what I think the real goals should be, what I think are some barriers to access and offer some solutions in my next post.

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Growing Up Slowly: What Happens When a Disabled Child Comes of Age

Dear Son-Age 13.5 years old.
It was a few years ago, when Dear Son and I were sitting in the emergency room at Big Academic Medical Center, when it hit me. The ER was extremely busy that night, there were little kids everywhere with their Moms and seats were hard to come by. We had been escorted back to one of the rooms in the ER and we could see the open area in the ER well. It had approximately six different beds and the doctors and nurses were scrambling around to tend to all of the children in the ER. One child in particular got my attention. The child was around two years old or so. As I watched that little boy, it suddenly dawned on me that Dear Son wasn’t a child anymore, heck he wasn’t even a little boy. He was a teenager and growing rapidly. It hit me hard in a way. It wasn’t the fact that he was growing that was a problem, it was the fact that he wasn’t a disabled child any longer, but a disabled teenager. It snuck up on me.

To most people, that wouldn’t be a big issue. They would think that yes, kids grow and they aren’t small forever. But it’s a big deal of sorts when your kids are disabled. When Dear Son was small, I remembered one visit to the neurologist in particular. I don’t remember the office visit per se, only my reaction to what I perceived his life would be. I doubt it was anything that he really said but more of the realization that Dear Son’s issues were more severe than I anticipated and I wondered if I could really handle that. No one prepares you for a child that is severely disabled and at that time, I wasn’t sure that I was the best mother for a child like that. That didn’t mean that I wasn’t a good mother but rather, I didn’t think that I had any experience to prepare me to be a good mother to a child like that. That day, I went up to my bedroom alone and cried. I worried about what I would do. After a few minutes, I came downstairs and picked up Dear Son. I held him close to my heart and kissed his head and his soft brown hair. When I held him, I knew that I loved him so much and that anything anyone would tell me would not matter when I held him because I loved him and that those two feelings could not exist at the same time. My love for him would override that feeling of inadequacy about caring for a severely disabled child.

In the next few years, when things came up, I learned that it was better to not look too far ahead, where Dear Son was concerned. I had no idea of what life might look like with him and of course would not know how to handle it. I ended up dealing with life one day at a time and with blinders on, never looking too far in any one direction. It was easier to take care of him and not know what I was missing in terms of him having a normal life, and me too, and just concentrate on doing what I needed to do. It was a coping mechanism for me and perhaps for other Moms like me.

But that night in the ER it hit me. It was the realization that Dear Son was not always going to be a disabled child and that someday he would be a disabled adult. That was an important distinction. Disabled kids are cute, they can’t help themselves. You want and need to help them. But disabled adults, not so much. At least that is what I felt back then. I think it's harder for parents of special needs children because our brains still think of them as children since we do so many of those childhood or toddler tasks, from feeding them their dinner by hand, to changing their diapers, dressing them, etc. and then all of sudden you see them getting bigger or you see things getting harder, like lifting them, and your brain can no longer ignore those signs. Parents of normal children don't face those issues because they make changes all along. For us, our children change more slowly, if at all, which makes it harder.

As I faced the reality of him becoming a disabled adult, I wondered how would I reconcile this in my head? The issue of course wasn’t really whether the kids were cute or not, the real issue was whether or not I could handle him as a disabled adult. It was back to square one just like when he was a baby. How would I do things like give him a bath? How would I move him around when I can’t lift him anymore? What happens to him if I die? All normal questions.

Of course, I know all of those answers now. I learned that as Dear Son grew nothing really changed. If anything it got easier. Moving him from point A to point B could be solved with a hoyer lift. Giving him a bath is tough but Dad helps out with that. What is easier now is that I am confident and experienced. I know what to do. There aren’t medical emergencies where I don’t know what to do. It’s easier too because he has matured. Yes, I still change diapers and it’s harder to change them on a grown man but when I tell him I will change him in a minute as soon as I put my contact lenses in, he will wait. He understands when I talk to him. He is happy. He enjoys school. Overall, I feel like he turned out really great and I couldn’t be happier. In the end, you realize that there isn’t any difference in how you feel about them now that they are a disabled adult. You still love them, you still want the best for them and deep down, nothing has changed.

So why am I writing all of this? Because I got an e-mail from a dear friend of mine. We’ve never met in person but we’ve been friends for many years now corresponding by e-mail and occasionally by phone. Her daughter is severely disabled and is now growing up. She can no longer lift her up the stairs and in a year or so, neither would her husband. That fact, prompted discussions of the type of changes to make to her beautiful home, none of which would be beautiful. The real issue wasn’t the fact that changes needed to be made, but that her daughter was now in high school, soon to be a grown woman. The lifting, well, that opened the door that she’d be a disabled adult and all that went with it, meaning: who will care for her when they die, how will they do things now that she is larger and what changes do they need to make to their home now, none of which seemed very pretty. But through the tears, she remembered something I said, that Dear Son growing up, was easier. And she asked how I dealt with that, and how I do it now that he is full grown.

I wrote back and told her all of the wonderful things that there are about kids growing up and about Dear Son now that he is an adult man. I told her that in the end, nothing had really changed. After that, I gave her feedback on the changes she was considering for her house and then designed a new bedroom for her daughter; I sent her pictures of some possibilities and told her what types of things she might want to think about in terms of accessibility in the room but most of all, I made the room beautiful. She wrote back and was amazed at the changes. She said that I gave her hope and that she was finally feeling a little better that things were going to be all right. And some days, that is all we need. Some days, hope is good.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Dear Son Update

Dear Son's seizures are much improved. The latest medicine change seems to have worked and I am no longer seeing any more seizures. They have had two incidents on the bus where they thought he was having seizures and the bus pulled over however after talking to them, I am not convinced that it was seizure activity.

That being said, Dear Son did have some issues this weekend. On Friday night, I noticed he breathing was pretty rapid. I gave him his midnight meds at around 12:30 a.m. or so and noticed he was breathing rapidly, around a breath a second. He felt hot like he might have a fever so that coupled with the rapid breathing gave me concern. I gave him some Motrin to fight the fever and knew that I couldn't go to sleep with him breathing so poorly. In the past, when Dear Son starts breathing this fast, he will usually deteriorate quickly in two hours or so, so I had to watch him carefully.

At our last visit to the pulmonary doc, she had written a prescription for some albuterol for the nebulizer. She recommended that when Dear Son's breathing got bad, to give him two nebulizer treatments a day until it improved. I had the prescription filled but never used it; as for the nebulizer, I had a new nebulizer that I got for Dear Son a few years back but had never used it. I was determined to keep Dear Son out of the ER and did not want to spend Labor Day at the hospital! I took the nebulizer bin that I kept in the garage and read through the instructions and then sterilized everything. I figured if I needed to, I could give him a breathing treatment to help him out. I stayed up until around 2:30 a.m. or so and by that time the fever was breaking and he breathing seemed better so I went to bed.

On Saturday morning, he looked terrible. His breathing was crappy and his fever was coming back. I gave him some more Motrin and his breakfast via the feeding tube. By that time, he was wheezing pretty bad and his breathing was poor. His face looked terrible, his pupils were dilated and I was fairly certain I'd have to take him to the ER. I don't think he could look any worse. He felt warm but didn't have a fever altough I had just given him the Motrin three hours prior so he shouldn't have one. I gave him a breathing treatment and some time after that, he started coughing or trying to cough things up. Within a few hours, his breathing seemed better.

On Saturday evening, I started him back on the Doxycycline, an antibiotic he takes for acne. I had been getting the antibiotic at the local pharmacy and switched to the mail order prescription. The mail order prescription was delayed (Yes, I had mailed it in plenty of time.) so Dear Son had a lapse of about a week or so where he didn' t get the antibiotic. While I could have contacted the local pharmacy for it, I thought it was only going to be a day or so before I recieved it since it said it had been shipped however when I didn't get it, they had to locate the shipment. I thought it was o.k. to miss a few days-after all, it's used for acne and it's not like it's used for seizure control. The Doxycycline however, being a low dose antibiotic, had kept Dear Son well. We had started it a few years ago to control his acne and I had noticed that he hadn't gotten sick when he used it. Now I remember that he needs it all the time, and that it has benefits beyond just acne control.

Once Dear Son started back on the antibiotic on Saturday night, things improved and he is now feeling better again and breathing normally without any fever. Yay!

I did write a blog post today and hopefully will get some time to put the finishing touches on it in the next day or so. I apologize for the delay in posting. I dropped the camera that I use to take pictures for my blog and broke it. I am not sure if I can get it fixed or if I'll have to get a new one. I have also been very busy with some personal items on my to do list that are taking a lot of my time. Nothing is wrong, it's just that I had to make time to take care of these issues and that left little time for blogging. I should be able to get back to a regular schedule this week.
9/8/09 Monday Update: I spoke too soon. Dear Son had a bad seizure this morning while waiting for the school bus. It escalated fairly quickly. I used his VNS three different times and finally had to take him inside and use the Diastat (rectal Valium) to stop it. Luckily the nurse who rides his school bus was able to help me. He is sleeping now. Unfortunately, I have to call off work.
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