I don’t know why I thought our appointment at Social Security wouldn’t take very long. We were there for almost two hours. But it went well: I had filled out Ryan’s application online, entered in all of the medical information online, and brought along every single type of documentation I can think of, so even though our appointment took almost two hours, we were prepared and thus didn’t drive the poor Social Security employee crazy. So, Ryan’s application for Social Security disability benefits is in. For good measure, I’m going to contact his current TSS, his BSC, and his previous TSS to ask them to write letters attesting to Ryan’s autism, anxiety, and PICA. We already provided medical documentation from various agencies that dates back to 2007, but still, when it comes to “validating” a disability for Social Security, the more, the merrier! The employee said that based on her nine years of experience with autism cases, she’s confident that Ryan will be approved with no questions asked – but if for some reason he’s denied initially, the appeal process will go smoothly and once his case is in front of an actual judge who can be subjective instead of in front of a caseworker who can only check to see if he fits specific criteria and has no leeway to “make” him fit, the approval will be immediate.
After our appointment, I had to abruptly stop in the middle of a rural road to rescue a lost Yorkie-something (-poo, maybe?) and return it to the house it wandered away from, and then we continued to our destination: a local grocery outlet to pick up some essentials as well as work snacks for Dan and after school snacks for the kids, then came home and jumped into making dinner. I helped the kids hang lights and garland outside (the tree Dan planted for me on my 25th birthday is now tall enough to have actual branches from which I can hang lights, yay!), raked leaves, cleaned up dinner, sent the kids off to bathe, and now we’re enjoying Charlie Brown Christmas Tales and popcorn. This year we’re starting a new tradition: one Christmas movie per night beginning on December 1st. (Next year we’ll start on November 30th, so that the last movie is on Christmas Eve and not Christmas Day – that was my miscalculation.)
Tomorrow will be freaking awesome, because THE KIDS GO BACK TO SCHOOL WHOO HOO! It’s been a long five days.
Our Black Friday plans consisted of nothing more than me meeting up with my mom to swap protein bars (I don’t mind the taste, but they feel like bricks in my stomach pouch) for protein powder (she hates the stuff; I’m not fond of it but I need it so gimme!) and to pick up Cat for a weekend sleepover; stopping by Target to grab an ottoman that Dan has been drooling over for months (during the Black Friday craze it was only $30) and picking up a Christmas tree (Ryan picked this year’s, and he picked good: not too tall, slim, branches are evenly distributed, and the tree has a slightly citrus-y scent – oh and so far no needles have dropped off!).
I can’t believe it’s December. There’s no way it’s December. But here it is, December 1st (and I have a festive layout up, whoo!). Our Christmas tree is up, we have a very small stash of presents for the kids, and I mailed our Christmas cards on Saturday morning.
Thanksgiving 2013 was both planned to be and is turning out to be a quiet one: the four of us in our PJs, holiday-themed TV shows and movies (although while Ryan and I are watching TLC’s Extreme Christmas Trees, Alyssa is in our bedroom watching Breaking Dawn (part 1) – she’s Team Edward, by the way), and dinner that is in the works, and should be done around 5. Nobody has to work today, though Dan has to be at work at 8:00am tomorrow morning (and is putting in a ten hour day, ick), and with the exception of going to pick up Cat tomorrow at noon, I’m treating Black Friday as a regular work day.
I hope you’re all having a wonderful Thanksgiving, whether it’s huge and crazy and chaotic like ours has been in years past, or is super-quiet and peaceful like ours is this year. Don’t eat too much turkey (although for post-op bariatrics like me, if you’re going to over-indulge, high-protein choices like turkey is the way to go)!
And on that note, unless you’re having something that isn’t turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, or a similar traditional Thanksgiving food, there’s no need to post it on Instagram. After all, we’re all eating pretty much the same thing today! And on that note, why not follow me on Instagram?
Alyssa, Ryan, and I can’t get enough of this song. Let the giggling commence.
Freelance writing & social media are sucking the creative writing juices right out of me. And yes, this is a personal blog that’s just a reflection of my life and thus no “creativity” should be required, but who wants to read a dull bulleted list of updates, let alone write it? And per Dr. Google I am having a bad carpal tunnel flare-up in my right hand/wrist/arm, and today in both, so once I’ve got the paycheck-generating writing out of the way, there’s really no follow-through on my desire to do the “fun” writing. Because it isn’t fun if it hurts. Dan lent me his wrist splint to use, but I can’t maneuver a mouse with it on, and I loathe using a trackpad. But whatever…first world problems and all that. I’ll adapt. Or just power through the pain and tingling and what feels like swollen, lethargic fingers.
A few weeks ago I was complaining of ADHD when it came to managing my work schedule. I’ve gotten a grip on that and am back to the usual flow of things, but now the ADHD has moved on to TV shows, which I don’t watch often but when I do, I do so in binges. Currently I am juggling House, Big Love, Orange is the New Black (which I am trying to suck Dan into; also, I read the book over the weekend, and it’s as good as the show – so definitely indulge in both if you can), and, as of last night, Breaking Bad.
Next month I have an appointment at our local Social Security office – I’ve finally taken the important step of filing for disability on Ryan’s behalf. His autism isn’t going anywhere. Even with the change to Asperger’s, if his progress (a mixture of achievements and setbacks) over the past few years are any indicator, along with the general “prognosis” for individuals with autism/Asperger’s, he’s going to face life-long challenges due to his social and emotional deficits and his sensory issues. Based on my knowledge of the process from research as well as remembering the hoops my mom jumped through with my brothers, I’m certain that he’ll be approved…eventually. We’ll probably get a denial, sic a disability lawyer on the appeal, and then get the eventual, reluctant approval.
Today is my four year gastric bypass surgery anniversary, and I celebrated by taking vitamins and drinking a protein shake, but forgetting to weigh myself before getting dressed and consuming the aforementioned breakfast. And then I failed spectacularly at reading nutritional labels and consumed a measly 4 oz serving of microwaveable tortellini, the full 8 oz serving of which packing a disgusting 43% of the DV of sodium. Consuming nearly 25% of my DV of sodium in a few ounces? Gross. And hello water weight (note to self: wear loose pants tomorrow).
Oh, and on the spectacularly failing front, the other night I managed to twist something while throwing up rejected chicken. Muscle? Ligament? Piece of intestine? I don’t know, but I physically felt and SAW it twist, and two days later it still hurts like hell if I move or breathe or press on it. But pain aside, I’m having no other issues, so I’m assuming that whatever it is, it’ll eventually resolve itself.