Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Lots of Stuff

It has been a busy several days. Saturday David, Jackson and I packed up and headed to Harker Heights to visit the In-Laws. Jackson got quality time with his Omi and Grandpa and his Uncle Kris, whom he adores.

We had a huge dinner and I ate way too much and had a couple of margaritas and got kinda talky (sorry guys). I had a really good time and Susanne, of course, gave us generous Easter bags with clothes and candy. She knows I love chocolate from Germany. Milka is the brand. It is infinitely better than a Hershey bar. It is richer and tastier and creamier and I can eat two or three squares a night and make a bar last for weeks. It is somewhat hard to find. Susanne found some at World Market. Which is funny because though it is Made in Germany and certainly has been around since my Husband was a kid in Germany, it is distributed by Kraft Foods out of Illinois. Says so right on the back. Anyway, thanks Susanne, I love the chocolate and new jammies.

Sunday morning, Jackson and I got up and headed to Santa Anna to visit my Dad. My Uncle Dan and his family were at Dad's visiting for a few days. It was kind of a trip to see their oldest son, who I held as a day-old baby. He's 15 now and such a young man. When he was born, my Dad took my picture holding him in the hospital and later painted an oil painting from the photo. So Kenny got to see a painting of me holding him when I was just about his age. That makes me officially old.

Visiting Dan and Kate and their boys was a treat. I haven't seen them in so long. Kate is stricken with MS and has lost a lot of motion in her legs and must use a cane to walk and a wheelchair for anything more than a few feet. Her husband and 3 sons help her a great deal and she gets by pretty well. I don't really know what to say about it other than it really sucks ass that there aren't more treatments that could stop the degeneration. Stem Cell treatments look promising, but the USA is not a leader in such research, go figure. I just know that I admire the hell out of Kate for her strength and ability to live her life with love and humor. But having been in a life or death struggle myself, I know that you just do it and get through and enjoy everything you can. There simply isn't another choice, not for me and not for so many people living with disease and illness. You just say "It's not going to effin win" and you keep going.

Jackson had a ball playing with the boys, who are 11, 13 and 15. They are outdoors boys who like nothing more than a few balls to throw or kick around. And having come from up north, they really took advantage of the nice weather to be outside as much as they could. Jackson just ran around after them and kicked his own little ball. They were really good to him and were careful to watch out and not run him over. I forgot my camera like an idiot so don't have any pictures of them running around.

Yesterday, Mary Ellen finally posted the cast list for The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. I am going to be Angel, one of Mona's working girls at the 'chicken ranch'. I am so excited! It is a good part. A few decent acting scenes and several solos in at least one song. And the best part is that several good friends and tons of other cool people are also going to be in it. My best friend, Andrea, got a fabulous part and gets to sing the best song in the show! I am so excited to be in a show with her again. It has been awhile. Years, in fact. The read-thru is tomorrow night and I am very excited. Did I already say that? Yup, I'm excited.

I can't believe how affectionate my son has become. This is the baby who at 5 months old couldn't stand to be held when he was tired; who would only sleep in your arms when he was burning up with fever and feeling terrible. He has not been a lovey little guy and I learned to accept that I didn't have a cuddler.

Well, now that he is four months shy of turning three, he has decided that he loves his mother. He wants me to hold him and he actually puts his head on my shoulder and hugs back! This is a huge shift for him! He likes to stand in front of me while I am working and put his head in my lap. He says he loves me all the time and cracks me up by asking all the time, "Do you love me, Mama?" This he got from his father, who asks me several times a day if I love him. Jackson has taken up the habit and it is so cute. When he is showing me affection, he says "Oooohhhhh". He got that from me. Whenever I sneak a hug in while dressing him I say it. I don't know why, I just do. Same reason when I hug someone, I pat them on the back. My mom says I have done that since I was a toddler. Don't know why, I just do. So I am enjoying all the hugs and kisses and "do you love me's" and "ooohhhh's". I figure he may go back to his old anti-hug self at any moment so I'd better relish it while I can.

What else? Oh yeah. I had a PET scan this morning. I was supposed to have a PET/CT scan this morning, but Aetna, who knows better than my doctor apparently, decided that getting the CT at the same time as the PET would be too convenient. I was already hooked up to the IV and laying in the machine that does both tests. But it wasn't to be. The tech told me that lots of insurance companies, as of January, are requiring that the PET and CT scans be on different days. No one knows why other than to cause as much inconvenience as they can and possibly make the patients pay more. Two office visits, two IV starts, two scans, patient pays 20% of two visits instead of one. Of course I suspect that after I meet my yearly deductible and out of pocket, that they let me do both scans at once like last year. We shall see.

Of course this isn't such a hardship for me as it is for the patients coming from nursing homes who can barely walk and have hard-to-stick veins. The tech said it was really sucking for the sick and elderly people. Such an arbitrary rule that has absolutely nothing to do with doing the right thing for the patients. Just whatever the insurance says is what the healthcare industry has to do. And you people who are terrified of socialized medicine, what is the difference exactly? How is this any better?

So at some point soon I will have a CT scan, hopefully not in downtown Austin in morning traffic. I will let you all know the PET results when I get them later this week.


The Holmes said...

The toddler affection is awesome.

Ronni said...

Congratulations on the rôle! And the trip, and the hugs.

American chocolate has wax in it, I think. That makes it slightly resistant to melting. German Chocolate is really the best!

I pat when I hug, too, and taught my kids "pat-pats." "Pat-pats" were very popular during those periods when the kids didn't want hugs. Sort of a hug substitute.

Someday, I hope, this country will be run on the principle of caring for citizens, not on making money, and all those health insurance lobbyists will get one chance: repent or be shot.

Jooley Ann said...

Yay! Congrats to you and Andreá!!