Sunday, August 31, 2008

In Good Hands

Ten years ago the summer before Jackson started second grade, a routine physical revealed a vision change and we were sent to see an opthamologist. After his eye exam the Dr. told me he wanted him to have an MRI on his head. My heart sank to my toes. I knew he was looking for a brain tumor. The MRI was performed and within a day or two his pediatrician called to say he did not have a tumor but they had discovered a malformation and he needed to see a Neurosurgeon. No words can describe the helplessness and fear those words produced.

After another MRI the neurosurgeon, Dr. Shapiro informed us that Jackson had an Arnold-Chiari Malformation Grade I. (A dorky name for a serious disorder). In an Arnold-Chiari I malformation, the brain extends into the spinal canal. This is a narrow opening and a tight fit when the end of your brain is not supposed to be there. Chiari's are graded from I to IV with I being the least severe. Jackson was showing no symptoms and it was explained to us that many people are walking around with this disorder and don't even know it. Because of modern technology it was found.

Arnold Chiari - Grade I

He had another MRI the next summer with no change and has had one every two years since then. I have to add that Dr. Shapiro (now retired) is an excellent surgeon and world known for being a part of the team that separated the Egyptian twins at Childrens Hospital in Dallas.

Before Surgery

After Surgery

This past Thursday we went for another MRI. As we have always done Tom and I sat in the room with him for 45 minutes while the MRI banged, clanged and hummed like a futuristic machine in a science fiction movie. He has not used sedation to get through this since he was 10. (He needed to be alert when he got home in order to play Nintendo.) When he was little I could sit with my hand on his leg so he would know we were there. This time I watched his breathing looking for signs of nervousness. His results were good. His Dr. wants to do one more MRI in two years and if all is well he will be discharged from future visits.

Sitting in the Dr's waiting room I looked around at all the brave souls, children and parents waiting to hear their results. From tiny babies to young adults, I know they are in "Good Hands" and they are being seen by some of the best physicians at the best hospital!

Children's Medical Center - Dallas, Texas

Friday, August 29, 2008

For Better or Worse

Most of the time the only person I discuss "political preferrences" with is my husband. He is very knowledgeable in many areas especially politics and government. I on the other hand did not excel in those areas in school. When it comes to voting I read, listen and try to educate myself on the candidates and then I rely on the "little voice inside" or as some say my gut feeling. There are many personal issues and beliefs to be considered when you vote. Everyone has their own formula. Unfortunately I think there are many people out there that vote without any (or little) knowledge of who or what they are voting for.

I do know for sure that I have a real problem with McCain. Actually I have a lot of problems with McCain. He is portrayed as a family man with high morals. Mr. Family Man dumped his first wife Carol after returning from Vietnam and finding that she was not the same beauty he had left behind. After a horrible car accident and 23 surgeries later he was no longer interested in her. He started running around on her and met his future wife Cindy while he was still married to Carol. Some will say this was a result of being a POW or a mid-life crisis. There is no excuse. I hope you will take the time to read the story. Here is the link What does this say about the man?

For Better

Or Worse

And now there is a third woman in McCain's life. It's so comforting to know that if anything ever happened to him this woman would be leading our country.

Think about it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Three Cat Tails

You knew this was coming didn't you? Three kitties have been a part of our family for a very long time. The first to move in was Skipper. Molly picked him out and convinced me he was the one. I was concerned because he was the runt of the litter but he was so pretty. Part blue siamese, part we will never know.

Baby Skipper
He was a mama's boy. Loved to be held on your shoulder, was very affectionate with lots of hugs. He liked to be sang to and would join in with his own meows. When he was young he had a little Bert doll (Sesame Street) that he carried around and even slept with. He would sit on the side of the tub when Molly took a bath, fortunately he never fell in.

Here he is sitting on the seat of my exercise bike. Couldn't quite reach the pedals.

About 6 months later while shopping at the Mall, Molly saw this little orange tabby in the pet store that we just had to bring home. She was so tiny and cute and I didn't know until after we got her home that she was quite sick. Skipper became infected and after numerous visits to the vet and lots of money we finally got them well.

Rosie in Molly's baby doll crib

Rosie and Skipper were best buds. There were indoor cats until Jackson turned about 3 and was able to open the door.

I had a small pet door installed so they could go in and out through the garage. Only problem was sometimes things come in that have not been invited. (To be a future blog!) But the best uninvited guest to come was:


He was sneaking in at night to eat. Eventually he joined us on the couch but would leave by morning. This went on for about 6 months. I thought he might have two homes because he was so sweet natured and had been neutered, but Molly found him hiding in the gutter. One really rainy day he flew through the pet door and moved in for good. He is a big boy, weighs almost 16 lbs and has the most pitiful little meow. Despite Charlies size, Skipper who weighed about 10 lbs remained King Kitty. Charlie would always submit to Skipper or get cat slapped across the face. It was really funny to watch. Rosie on the other hand, hated Charlie and to this day hisses when he walks by. She has spent many hours of her life sitting on top of the refrigerator. I guess she is just a one man kitty, or it could be a couple of rides she took in the dryer that affected her thinking!

Sadly we lost Skipper almost 2 years ago. He was 17 years old. Rosie now 18 looked for him for a long time after he was gone.

We miss you Skippy!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Back to School

Tomorrow is the first day of school. My kids were always excited about going to school (at least the first day). I took care of their butterflies, anxiety and tears by having them myself. Each year it was easier to send them off, by the end of summer everyone was ready! This year I have two SENIORS. Jackson will be a senior in high school and Molly a senior in college. Where has the time gone?

Molly 1st Day of Kindergarten

Jackson 1st Day of Kindergarten

We have moved past the excitement and exhaustion of shopping for all the required school items, i.e. 8 pocket folders in all different colors with brads, pens, pencils, highlighters, kleenex, baggies, even candy. I could go on!!! That was just elementary school. In middle school you were given a list from EACH teacher. Once they got into high school the lists were shorter. Now as long as they have the basic pen, pencils, and paper you're set.

Secretly Iknow they are both still excited.

Clothes shopping is still on their to do list and this year Jackson added cologne as a must (Oh My). He even asked me to wake him up early today. So the excitement is still there, at least for one more year. As for me, I can't wait until the end of the day to ask them "How was your first day at school?" one more time.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Kat Tales

I decided for my first post that I would tell you why I named my blog "Kat Tales". There is a double meaning. First of all I love cats. I have two, Rosie is an orange tabby that I bought at a pet store over 18 years ago because Molly would not leave without her, and Charlie a large (16 lb) black and white sweety that strayed through my pet door 13 years ago. (He really has to suck it in now to get through the door!). Secondly, Kat being short for Kathy and my friends will tell you that I always seem to have a story to tell, thus the Tales.

You will eventually see pictures but we had a computer crash a couple of weeks ago and I lost everything. Back-up, always back-up.

I was inspired to create my own blog after first reading my niece Kelly's which then tumbled over into my sister-in-law Judy's blog, my brothers blog and all the blogs they look at. It became a morning ritual for me to read their blogs before I go to work. It's an amazing world of writers out there. I just had to join in the fun and I have lots to talk about.