Family 2015

Family 2015

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On why it's called "practicing" medicine....

I am not a hater of doctors.  On the contrary, I really like them.  I think they bring a wonderful gift to humanity and anybody who is about the business of trying to make people well is ok in my book.

They are not all created equal, however, and I really wish there was a way to pick out the really good ones just by looking at their name and their credentials.  No such luck.

One of my daughters has sported a significant hearing loss in one of her ears for most of her life.  When she was 4, she had an x-ray that showed her inner ear bones were slightly overlapping.  Since that x-ray, we have seen 3 ENT's.  They all told me (based on the x-ray) that they would need to do pretty major surgery to open up her ear canal and file the bones down.  However, they said, the bones may grow apart on their own at some point or the surgery may not correct the hearing loss.

A major surgery that involves opening up my daughter's head for something that may or may not work or may correct itself eventually seemed like a pretty drastic step to take.

So, we have waited.  For 9 years.

Now, I don't mean to imply that she can't hear at all.  She can.  But, she often needs to be seated at the front of the class in school, she often needs to ask others to repeat themselves; and I'm sure her dance teachers have, on more than one occassion, wondered why she completely ignores them if they try to talk to her from across the studio.  It has been a very big frustration to her and I have questioned whether or not I should just give the surgery a go more than once.

Anyway, yesterday we met with ENT #4.  Imagine my surprise when didn't even ask about the existence of any x-rays and simply pulled out an instrument that looked like a tuning fork.  He smacked it against his own leg to make it vibrate and then held it up to her good ear.  She immediately pulled her head back from the high pitched tone.  Then, he held it to the other ear, she didn't move.  "Can you hear that?"  he asked.  "Not really."  she said.  He turned it around and touched it behind her ear.  Once it made contact with her head she immediately said, "Oh, I can hear it now."

He turned to me and said, "Pretty simple, Mom.  She has a bunch of fluid in her left ear, probably because her eustachian tube is immature and it needs to be drained.  My staff will set up the appointment for you at the hospital, it takes about 5 minutes.  Any questions?"

I was dumbfounded.  He was so matter of fact.  Why didn't those other ENT's have a tuning fork?  I was wondering.  Don't they know about that trick?  Has my daughter really dealt with this for NINE YEARS and a simple 5 minute procedure will fix it?

I was ecstatic and furious at the same time.

Today, I am mostly ecstatic.  In less than a month, this problem that has plagued her most of her life will be history.  And I will always remember why they call it a "practice."

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

A devil behind every bush

Have you noticed that people obsess about why things in their lives are the way that they are?  I have.  Also, I have been guilty of the same.  There must be an explanation, and if things are not going my way; there must be a reason and I must be able to fix it.  Right?  Um, no.

This is a tricky one for me sometimes because I certainly do believe that God is involved with mankind in gneral and with my life (and yours) specifically.  As a way of deflecting some arrows before they are launched let me tell you what I don't mean by that.  I don't mean that I think everything that happens on this earth is God's will - seriously, what kind of a crazy God would orchestrate all of the events that we see around us???  Men have free will.  Also, we live on this imperfect orb.  Sometimes things just happen.

Which brings me back to my original point.  I am starting to think, as I get older and hopefully wiser, that life is much more about how I react to things and much less about why they happen in the first place.  For example - should I waste my time wondering why the power went out and grousing about how unfair it is or should I just get busy and find some candles? 

This is a tricky one to pass onto kids.  I mean, am I not admitting that I'm just starting to get it?  Kids have their "it's not fair" and "why me" meters set on ultra-sensitive.  Everything that doesn't go their way is seen as a conspiracy.  I have argued and argued against this notion in my kids' brains, but many times my arguments fall on deaf ears as I can almost literally hear them thinking, "Yah, yah, but why ME?"

Well, Mihailoff children, be warned.  This conversation is not over.  "Why me?" is the wrong question, and I am making it my personal mission to replace that question in your brain with "what now?" 

'Why me' is reactive.  'What now' is proactive.  'Why me' is the question of a victim.  'What now' is the question of a leader.  'Why me' shows immaturity.  'What now' shows that we are growing.

Yep, "what now" is what I'm after.

Monday, February 20, 2012


I cannot believe it has been almost 2 weeks since I last wrote...where exactly did those 2 weeks go??  How is it that time so quickly evaporated??

It is a strange phenomenon, the passage of time.  There are moments when it seems to drag on forever, like when you're at the dentist; and times when you can scarcely believe that a new day has already arrived.  I am discovering that the older my kids get, I have fewer and fewer "dentist" days and more and more "where did that day go??" days.

Seriously, babies and toddlers are sweet and marvelous and amazing and... mind-numbingly boring.  I can remember so many days of endless diapers, Blues Clues, fruit snacks and naps - days where I longed for meaningful adult conversation and talked the ears off of  unsuspecting grocery store clerks whenever I got the chance.

Those days don't really exist anymore.  For one thing, a few of my children are now quite interesting conversationalists.  We have graduated from, "I love you, but if I have to read  'Goodnight Moon' one more time I will spontaneously combust" to "Tell me what you think about this.  How do you think this should be handled?  What are your feelings on...?"  It's terrific, let me tell you.

Also, I rarely stay at my house all day.  That is shocking as I used to rarely leave my house.  You might think I'm kidding but I'm not.  A little outing to the store when you have to pack a diaper bag, buckle 5 car seats, work around naps and then navigate potential meltdowns is not as fun as it sounds.  I would usually elect to do all of my errands well after bedtime meaning that I spent most days in my house.  Now, my days are completely broken up by getting everyone everywhere...on time.  It's not exciting, per se, but it does make things seem to move a little more quickly.

So, all of that to say, wow!  It's been two weeks! 

In my defense, I did have 2 kids that had birthdays and one that went to the hospital, so I have been a little busier even than usual.

Still.  I love to write and I love all of you, so I will try, from now on, to not let time get the best of me.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Full Circle

So, I seem to remember that about the time I started this blog was the same time that Pierce started speech therapy.  Now, he's done.  "He has made great progress," said his therapist today, "all his goals are met, he's a hard worker....and, I don't need to see him anymore."

Hearing her say that was like a sucker punch to the heart.  Sheesh, what is up with me???

If you know me well, or probably even if you barely know me, you have figured out that I'm kind of the analytical type.  I'm a woman, yes, but I'm not known for making emotional decisions, having major emotional breakdowns, or even really caring that much about emotions.  I have'em, sure.  But, what good are they?  They change as quick as the wind and they are not good indicators of the reality of any situation.


I have not really ever been the type of Mom who can't stand to see her kids cry.  Wow, that sounds cold.  But, that's not what I mean.  Of course, I don't LIKE it, but even in the moment that they are upset; I can usually keep a pretty cool head.  I can assess WHY the tears are there and respond without getting all caught up in the moment.  You know, if they're hurt - fix it.  If they're throwing a fit - walk away.  If someone is being mean to them - talk to the people who are in charge.  If they are upset, hug them, encourage them.  But, I've never seen the need to join in or panic.

So, that is why today was such a shock to me.

Here is this lady, who at the beginning; I was feeling a little antagonistic towards; telling me that my son is done.  He has accomplished all this great work.  I should feel proud.  And, I do....

But mostly, I'm trying real hard to swallow the lump in my throat and hoping she doesn't notice that my eyes are misting over with tears.  Done??  But, he likes you!  I have gotten used to coming here on Tuesdays and you feel like a friend to me now.  I enjoy my lunch date with my boy after speech therapy and before school...I don't WANT to be done. means that time is marching means that even as I enjoy these moments with not just Pierce, but all of my kids, that they are means that although I love to watch them grow up, I don't really want them to.

*sigh*  Emotions are for the birds.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


I assume you're expecting me to talk about that whole mess....and I probably will.  But, not tonight.  Tonight I am sick of talking about that whole mess and I'm just glad it's over.

Tonight, I would like to talk about something significantly less controversial. 

So, here goes.

I have been enjoying, all day, the sounds of my kids playing together.  We have church at 4:00, so our Sunday mornings are very relaxed.  We sleep in (hallelujah) and then my husband and I usually go out for coffee.  Many times, they are all sleeping when we leave the house, and when we return, they are up, enjoying their relaxing morning and waiting for donuts. :)

They watch a little t.v., but usually well before noon; the t.v. is off and they are playing together.  I just love to hear them concoct their imaginary tales.  I love to hear them laugh as they act them out.  I love that they can be satisfied with a bin of legos, some scraps of material and each other.  Love it.

There have been times when I have been frustrated that we haven't always been able to provide them with the latest and greatest in terms of technology.  But, you know what?  Now, I realize I'm glad that I couldn't.

Don't get me wrong.  I like to watch t.v. and I enjoy the computer.  But, I am so glad for the memories I have from being a kid - when there were 3 channels on the t.v. and no such thing as a computer.  I'm glad for the memories of having nothing to do for the whole day except read, play with friends, chase fireflies, roast marshmallows.  I'm glad that I learned how to be alone.  To think my own thoughts and figure out my world without the constant barrage of the media.

I'm glad my kids have that option too.  They are growing up into wonderful people.  And, yes, ever-evolving technology is a reality that they will live with; but I like to think that their memories of these sorts of days will stick with them and help them distinguish true relationships from social networking.  That these family times will be an anchor for their souls.

That they will never lose the ability to enjoy the simple.