"I should not talk so much about myself if there were any body else whom I knew as well."
-Henry David Thoreau

Wednesday, October 15, 2014


I have to brag on a few people right now.  For one, look at what my super awesome sister in law, Misty, made for us! 
I can't think of a better fall painting than one that is pink & purple.  It almost makes me like fall, just so I can hang this up to enjoy!  
Braeden had a super great hit in his baseball game last night.  He hit a double, but that's not the only cool part.  The next batter hit the ball and instead of just running toward third base, he watched the ball and listened to his coach while leading off the base.  I'm no pro, but I do know a few things about baseball and I was super proud of him for having such awareness of the play.  His favorite part was getting to run home to score and going for the slide.  
After the game Drew & I were telling him how great he did.  

Me: You got a double & got to slide into home!  I was so excited for you!
Braeden: I know, I could hear you.  

Yeah, I guess that's about right.  Even on my best behavior, I'm the crazy aunt.  Of course.  

Know what else I love?  When this goofy girl wants to hang out with me.  My my, how Kayla has changed and grown up in the last year.  

Drew & I went out for dinner after Braeden's game.  We were hungry and we wanted a place to watch the Royals game.  For people in our area, I would definitely recommend Johnny Brusco's (we've been to the Bentonville location before, but this time we went to Tontitown).  It's super good pizza and a fun environment.  
Even once we were home, we had to finish the Royal's game, which means that we stayed up too late.  It was worth it though and now the Royals just need to win one more game to be in the World Series.  Woot woot!  Did I mention that we looked into getting tickets to a playoff game when we were in KC?  Um, yeah... Kansas City was so pumped up about the Royals making the playoffs for the first time in 29 years and we had no idea what that meant.  It meant that the only available tickets were $135 each and it was standing room only.  I'm just as happy to watch from home and root for them.  
I walked with Cheryl this morning and she was nice enough to slow her pace so I could keep up.  My feet are bothering me, the right one in particular, and I could only go so fast.  I've had pain in the balls of my feet before, but that pretty much went away when I let Fleet Feet analyze me for the right shoes. That was almost 2 years ago and, for the life of me, I don't know why I didn't just go back a few months ago and get a new pair.  It was obviously worth it.  Instead, I found a pair on clearance at Academy over Labor Day weekend when clearance was an extra 50% off.  So, for the last few weeks I've been bragging to anyone who would listen (mainly Cheryl) about my $24 shoes.  No more.  My $24 shoes aren't up to par for my weird feet and the amount of walking that we do each week and my feet are paying for it.  

Dear Mandy, 
Go back to Fleet and fork over the money for the shoes you need.  Seriously.  Like, now.  
Sincerely, Your Feet 

I have one more thing on my mind before I close.  Doctors.  Drew & I went through many doctors with Alex & Emma.  From the time Alex was just days old until she turned 6 and we met Dr. LePichon, we saw lots of doctors.  Some were well meaning, but at a loss.  Many were simply not up to the task of our unfamiliar situation.  Some blew us off as overreacting parents.   And, of course, there were also quite a few who I simply didn't click with.  I'm not talking about a couple of doctors, I'm talking probably 20 or 30 doctors of different specialities.  Then, we found Dr. LePichon.  We knew from the very first time we met him that he was the answer.  He didn't immediately know the answers, but what he said was this... "I believe you.  Something isn't right and they both have whatever it is.  I don't know what it is, but we going to figure it out."  Oh my goodness, you guys.  You have no idea how scary and how absolutely wonderful it was to have a doctor say those words.  He was thorough, professional, patient and approachable.  We didn't (and still don't) love him because he has all the answers, we love him because he listened to us, got to know our girls and did something about it.  He was never afraid to say he didn't know, but was always willing to go as far as necessary to find out.  He never dumped tons of possibilities on me, because he instinctually knew that I would go home, research it and worry myself sick.  In fact, one of the first times he met with us he stopped, looked at me and said, "Put the pen down.  I'm just thinking out loud with you right now and you don't need to go home and learn anything about any of this until we can narrow it down.  I will tell you when you need to start writing things down."  From that day on I trusted him to tell me what I needed to know and be completely honest with me.  
I'm telling you all of this again because last week I took Grandpa to see a neurologist.  It was scheduled months ago because of some memory loss, occasional confusion and poor balance.  We met this guy about 2 months ago and he sent us down for lab work, scheduled an MRI and referred us for a memory evaluation.  So, we go back last week as he asked and I was much less than impressed.  We sat in the patient room for 45 minutes before he walked in and the first thing he did was say, "Sorry about the wait, but neurology these days is very complicated and I..."  Whatever, dude.  I felt like he went on for much too long about how important he is and how complicated his job is.  That's lovely, but now you are in a room with an impatient old man and this girl.  From there he spent the next 5 minutes (and that's it) giving vague results from the MRI, but never really answering my questions.  For the record, it was really just one question... "What do you draw from that?"  He didn't seem to understand what I was asking, so I asked it many different ways.  By the end of our 5 minutes, all he had told us was that the atrophy and white spots on Grandpa's MRI were indicative of memory loss, confusion and poor balance.  Well, it's a good thing we came back so you could tell us what we came to tell you the first time!  His only further suggestion was that he could refer us to a memory specialist.  Um, dude, you did that last time and we already have an appointment scheduled.  I know I'm complaining here and that the most honest assessment is that his personality just didn't click with mine.  There are two things more true than that.  One.  I've spent a great deal of time in a neurology office, done much research, taken care of my Grandma while she died of Lewy Body Dementia and taken care of both of my daughters as they died of a progressive neurological disorder.  I'm not a doctor and won't claim to be, but I do very much appreciate a doctor who is willing to have an intelligent conversation with me and answer my reasonable questions.  Two.  The bar has been set high.  Very high.  I acknowledge that you are not Dr. LePichon.  It would probably be very difficult for any doctor to meet that standard in my book, but I also think that it is reasonable to expect your attention in the few minutes we have with you.   
I'm stopping now.  I will take Grandpa for a thorough memory evaluation next week and that should at least give us a baseline to compare against, should he have more problems in the future.  The jury is out on if I will be able to convince Grandpa to go back to this same neurologist in the future.  Honestly, I don't really blame him.  Dr. LePichon is the gold standard of a doctor and a man and I will try to remember that few will ever compare... and that's that.  

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