Monday, March 29, 2010

Stress, distress and distraught in a joyous world

Feeling a little blue today, I told my lawyer I was "distraught" when I arrived to be served with the papers my soon to be ex filed for divorce. The divorce has been inevitable for quite some time, so that was not causing my funk. Driving to the appointment my doctor's secretary called. She advised me that I have an appointment with a neurologist, May 27th. It is due to my concussion, I had whacked myself on the head playing hockey (with a very good, new helmut on) as mentioned earlier. I was glad to hear that the doctor was concerned about my concussion enough to book me into a neurologist, I only had wished that she would have saved the news until I saw her at my next appointment on this coming Thursday and let me know what her concerns were and why a neurologist is involved. On the up side it looks like I will have lots of time for golfing, the neck is almost completely healed from the whiplash that also occurred, and fishing this spring.

My mechanic who sorted out my engine problem on my free car is a fisher and has invited me to come fishing with him. He was the one that I mentioned, had told me to expect an $836 bill for the fuel pump. As it turned out it was low fuel pressure caused not by a defective pump, but simply the filter in the fuel tank and at a minor cost we are up and running, new muffler, rear breaks and an oil change cost me about what I would have had to pay just for the parts if I were to do the job myself. Would have if I weren't on doctor's orders to cool my jets and had I had my tools. I'll get my tools and "stuff" soon, I am not as fatigued as much (the concussion) this week.

Took the balloon girl out Sunday, all day, for 8 1/2 hours. Usually I try to take her for about three or four hours, she is very fatiguing even when you are at 100%. The care giver manager had told me they were desperately short staffed this weekend and had asked if I could take K for an extended visit to help them out. K mom says K is "happy enough", I think she is the happiest person in the world. To spend time with her is a lesson in joyousness. To watch laugh and smile almost nonstop and to see her run and skip with the exuberance that is equal to none, it;s invigorating and tiring simultaneously. Mind you, one must always be on guard. She can be very demanding. If you are not attending to her as much as she thinks you should be, she will quickly reorient you to her perspective. She will grab me by the chin and turn my head so that I am looking at her. She will pinch, drawing blood, usually on the base of my thumb if she is distressed, she doesn't pull my hair, although sometimes tries, as I have maintained a crew cut length style for some years now, in self defense.

As happy as she is, usually by placing my hand over my mouth to cause my voice to mimic the reverberations of a PA address and stating in a circus ringmaster tone "Ladies and gentlemen, children of all ages; Seal lion fans and aficionados" elicits a jumping, skipping, smiling laugh that is an expression of the purest joy. We watch the seal lion show at the Mall several times a week, for several years now, usually from the mall second level, outside the paying grandstand (did I mention I was frugal in a previous post?) but recently we have indulged in bucking up for the grandstand seats. She is as fascinated each and every time as if it were the first time. She recognizes the music that indicates the show is about to begin, I didn't catch on to this for a while, wondering why she started clapping and laughing so hard, but finally, good old dad made the connection, they always play a particular piece just prior to the start.

She can be a handful, once when she was getting tired, l let her lag behind me about 10-15 feet, usually I keep her within arms length of me as she tends to reach out and touch everyone that passes by, but the mall was quiet that day a few months ago, and I was tired of having to motivated her every step. She usually keeps up and grabs my shirt or my watch to maintain contact (unless she is tethered with the balloon ribbon, of course) but this day she was tired and lagging behind. I can usually motivate her to keep up if I just walk ahead a bit and she runs to catch up, but this day she didn't seem to have the energy she normally enjoys, and I was becoming impatient. There appeared to be no one around, so I let her lag. I didn't notice the small elderly lady coming down the escalator as I passed it, the lady passed between K and I and too close to K for her comfort. I heard a squeal and looked back and to my horror saw that K had grabbed the lady's hair as she does when stressed and was pulling quite hard. The lady's daughter appeared on the scene about the time I got to the center of action and started yelling, which of course stressed K even more. K's developmental delay exhibits as being unable to understand negative commands, telling to not walk on the road evokes walking on the road and only if you tell her what you want her to do, "walk on the sidewalk K" does she follow instructions easily, also diverting her by telling her to do something else, rather than something with the undesirable act works as well.

The daughter yelling at K to "let go, let go, let go" was not having the desired effect, in fact it was causing her more stress and I couldn't explain to the people the situation. Fortunately, I finally wrested most of the hair out of K's hand, she did maintain a few strands as a momentary souvenir of the event; humble apologies and thankfully, a stressed but understanding lady and an extremely annoyed daughter let us on our way with no threats of litigation or other redress.

This type of event is rare but is always in the back of my mind when out with K, it is stressful and I probably over compensate by being protective and willing to be vocal to people that are rude and cut between us, usually because they are being inattentive to the father and daughter trying to maneuver hand in hand in a crowd, they being oblivious to the world around them.

No incidents Sunday, we saw the seal lion show, I didn't try to shop, K hates it when you shop, not enough attention to her, we hiked up and down the mall a couple of times, had lunch, watched the skaters at the rink and went on the kiddy train. She loves trains, big or small. The look on her face as we went through the UV lit tunnel withe fluorescent "creatures" was to behold, she has been on the train many time, I quit paying to go with her and go as an aid but really I enjoy it almost as much as she does. To watch the expressions on her face as we enter the darkened tunnel, its amazing. Total absolute emersion, nothing can distract her from staring at the vivid orang and blue and green "creatures" and when we leave the tunnel a laugh, as if to say that was scary but I liked it.

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