Wednesday, August 22, 2012

It's my last full day in Prescott Valley, Arizona. While Alexander and I have done some fun activities, I'm not leaving with a sense of satisfaction or relaxation.
My mom's still struggling with a lot of pain and COPD. Listening to her do her breathing treatments is emotionally painful. We met with her neurosurgeon yesterday and were made aware of the significant risks of another surgery and subsequent long and difficult recovery period. Then, the best case scenario is that her pain may decrease by about 50%. She seemed happy at the thought of that much lessening of her pain. I can only imagine how much it stinks to live day to day with that kind of suffering. If her pain could be better controlled, life would be better. But doctors are reluctant to write prescriptions for narcotics, and those are only partially dulling the pain. She tried the Fentanyl patch recently and found them to be ineffective. Scar tissue from previous surgeries prohibits epidural injections and modalities like chiropractic and acupuncture only provide slight, temporary relief.
She should not be living alone. She doesn't want to move to Minnesota and I can't move here to help. She's still mentally sharp but older folks are notorious for making poor decisions regarding their welfare and independence. She says she's not quite ready for assisted living and doesn't want to sell her house in this lousy market. Bottom line, though, is that I need to convince her that her safety is a priority and preventing a wreck is better than cleaning up afterward.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Summer is almost over! It's been a good one, though.
There was little league baseball for Alexander, which gave me more reasons to be outdoors and watch him a change from a clumsy kid who just wanted to goof off to a more athletic boy who really cared about the game.

There were a few weeks of summer school, which allowed me to keep and practice my skills with ASD kids in a more relaxed environment than the regular school year. I also got to be with the older kids as they "graduated" and toured their new school and met their new teachers. I was so proud of them; they'd progressed so much.

There was the time spent with Alexander alone and with his friends - at the beach, riding bikes, and more. I feel so incredibly blessed that I can have summers off to play with my boy.

There was Cub Scouts' Camp Akela, for which I am camping chair, and the extra time with A watching him learn woodworking, practice his shooting skills with BB and paintball guns, and really get into making beef stew with a couple of other scouts for them and their parents. The camp counselors said our stew was the best and I guess I believe them because they kept coming back for more.

There was Vikings training camp, where I watched my team up close in the early stages of practice and development for the 2012 season. I watched Adrian Peterson rehabbing his knee on the far end of the fields; our 1st round draft pick, Matt Kalil, lining up against veteran Jared Allen and having a great time doing it; and our recent acquisition, Jerome Simpson, who was amazing with his speed and agility. If he can keep himself out of trouble, I think he's going to be a great asset for the team.

Then, last weekend, I drove into St. Paul to watch the unveiling of  a statue of Hubert Humphrey at the State Capitol. President Bill Clinton spoke, in addition to VP Mondale and Senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar. I was happy yet somewhat surprised to hear the positive messages from all. I left with a welcome but unfamiliar feeling of hope. The sculptors are a couple married 22 years who've also made statues of Martin Luther King and religious figures.
Lastly, I've had plenty of time to make art this summer and I'm almost done with a collage that I hope to post tomorrow.