Making A Difference

I got the opportunity to give back today, and I am so glad I did. A few months ago I spent an entire Saturday training to be a Certified Craniofacial Family Advocate. This means I can be part of a craniofacial team meeting where plastic surgeons, geneticists, orthodontists, dentists, social workers, nutritionists, family practitioners, psychologists and speech therapists come together to evaluate a child. It is kind of like musical chairs in that all of the specialists are under one roof, and the patient gets to see them all in one morning. Then after all of the children have been seen, all of the specialists meet in a conference room and put together a course of treatments based on the findings of the whole group.

Today was the second time I volunteered, and it was so worthwhile. I sat in my own little treatment room and had children and their families meet with me. I gave them my schpiel about how "I am not a doctor, social worker or dentist, I am just a mom who is here to help you. I am your advocate in that evaluation room." That immediately opens them up. Some parents have gone through so much with their kids...some were so similar to my own experiences. We laughed, we cried, we hugged. They thanked me for being there and for telling them what the doctors leave out: that they are fine, and their children will be fine one day too. Doctors have legal issues, I don't. The kids I saw today will all be fine one day, they didn't have life-threatening issues.

The pictures I showed of Connor's progression put smiles on many faces, and said what my words and tears could not, miracles are performed here. One mother had seen Connor during the last phase of his dental treatments, but was seeing his new face for the first time today. Those pictures showed her what I could never explain to her...a real lip...a normal nose...a face no one will question you about.

If there is any reason to the insanity that is Connor's condition, it is to teach us all valuable lessons. His bravery and his happy-go-lucky personality are an inspiration. His journey has been recorded, and will keep being recorded, to help him and to help others like him. He is only 11 months old and already he has touched the hearts of so many.
There's a monster in my pants and it does a crazy dance

Just when I think Connor is getting out of the baby yucky stage (where babies are poppy and helpless) he lays one on me. We were in the waiting room of the eye surgeon who will do his tear duct roto-rooter operation next month when I look into the stroller and see poopy coming out of his shorts and all over his thigh. What follows is a brief transcript:

"Ewwwww, poopy. Ick. Connor stop. Ick. Awww. Eww. Gross. Connor stop."

This went on for about 10 minutes in the office bathroom as I actually used that extra outfit I packed in his baby bag and tried to depoopify my son, myself, and the surfaces of the bathroom. Just in getting his clothes off poopy got smeared on his head, on me, on the floor, on me again, on his legs. EWWWWW.

People listening outside must have been wondering what was going on. Connor is crying, I am freaking, poopy is flying. The nurse was actually waiting outside of the bathroom to escort us into the examination room by the time we were done. Hell of a thing to do to pass the time while we waited to see the doctor.

Then after all of that, 2 rounds of eye drops to make his pupils dilate, 1/2 hour for that to take effect, and an exam, the surgical coordinator is not sure she can coordinate the eye surgeon with Connor's craniofacial surgeon. If she can't, basically we have to wait till we get to MD for the surgery. I made the appointment with them, specifically telling them that I would only come in for an appointment if they could do the surgery with Dr. Stelnicki on May 12th. They said no problem.

I am a freaking Hollywood agent who deals in poop.

"Listen babe, if ya can't make it on the 12th then me and my client walk. It's that simple capishe? Let's do lunch. Speaking of which, my client has shit himself and I need to hose him down. Skewwzze me."
You know you are not a spring chicken when:

  • You hear a silly girl band do a cover song of Thomas Dolby's "She Blinded Me With Science".
  • You are walking through Toys-R-Us and hear a Cure song followed by a song from Dumbo.
  • You go to buy beer at the grocery store and the teenager at the register forgets to card you, then giggles at you when you ask her why she didn't. Even worse, her two teenage co-workers just giggle at you too, like you were making some kind of joke.

These are all true and all happened to me today.