Lisa Holcomb graduated from Texas A&M University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in English. She resides in East Texas with her husband, 3 boys, and 2 cats. She writes fantasy and science fiction for both young adult and adult audiences. She has written for numerous blogs, newsletters, and the occasional poetry magazine. She has spent the last couple decades blogging at various websites about growing up adopted and living and parenting with chronic illness, finally combining it all into one blog at http://lisaholcomb.net. Her first full length novel is nearing completion.
My half-brother, Ray, passed away this morning. He was 48 years old and leaves behind a wife and two small children. Our birthmom has been stuck in Wisconsin, where she’d been visiting her other daughter, having had a series of small strokes. We are all really sad and scattered right now.
This week has been super chaotic in a million bizarre ways. On Tuesday first thing, I got a text from my massage place, reminding me I’d signed up for yoga for that morning which I thought was scheduled for another day because I was supposed to have physical therapy at 10am. It was 15 minutes til class and I live 25 minutes away, so I called the place and told them that I just couldn’t make it. The owner told me I wasn’t on the schedule because the system wouldn’t let someone without a yoga subscription sign up. (True, I don’t have a yoga subscription, but I’d bought a package earlier in the year that gave me one yoga session.) She said not to worry about it and we’d get me on the schedule next time I came in.*
Just after that the husband left for church, then our eldest showed up in casual clothes, looking for his trumpet and his Bb hymnal notebook. We had the trumpet, but the hymnal hasn’t been here for two years. As he left, the husband came back in, having forgotten his suit jacket, and did a double take because the eldest was not ready for church. *sigh* They both left and I got online to meet with my daily accountability partner.
A little bit later, our midkid’s dentist appointment got rescheduled** because the dentist had a medical emergency. This will be important later. At this point I checked the schedule and my physical therapy had been put on Wednesday and Friday this week. *sigh*
Right after that I got a call to finally schedule the 504 meetings for the kids, so I went looking up info on stuff in the patient portal to get documentation for that, and found out that one of the kids had an appointment for that particular issue that very afternoon. It wasn’t in my calendar right.*** This will also become important later. So I called the school, which has that 24 hour notice thing going on, and let them know we were picking him up later than originally planned.****also important later. While looking around the portal, I saw a very tiny new notice that said that this version of the patient portal was closing this week and that we should download all our files if we wanted them because they would not be available on the new system. (I already have an account on the new system, with the other hospital, so then I wondered if I’d need a second account or if they were going to merge them or what?) I spent a very long time downloading the three sets of data files I had access to. It won’t let me get David’s and David never set up a password to his after he turned 18, so those are all gone. Nick’s, too.
Then I got a call from physical therapy saying that I was still on schedule for Wednesday, but they needed to move my Friday appointment because I had another appointment scheduled at the same time and the new system wouldn’t let them double book a patient. ***** I told them that I was calling that doctor’s office today because I needed to have finished my PT re-evaluation before I saw that doctor, but it had taken two weeks to get into PT, not one, so that appointment had to move, not PT. It was on my list to call them, only all these other people kept calling me first. I called scheduling and got put on hold for 18 minutes, then transferred to someone that was not scheduling, but she put a note through the system to that doctor’s nurse to call me back because she was the nicest human I spoke to all week.
Then I spoke to other people about various other problems going on in volunteer organizations I am a part of. I learned so many special things. I just…can’t talk about any of it. At some point during those calls, I got a text from the system at my massage/yoga place telling me that I had failed to cancel within the proper time period and they were going to charge my account for the yoga session. I checked the account online and it had one note that said I had cancelled and one that said I hadn’t cancelled and one that said I was on the schedule for next week. ???
At the midkid’s doctor’s appointment, we got the paperwork and all that, but also found out that with the new, updated system the hospital is getting, lots of things were going wrong – like the router in the office being set to GMT instead of CST for the time zone. Which was why the appointment for Greg had looked like it was set for 8:30pm. And why they kept having that problem with other patients.(see ***) CHAOS. Oh, and in the middle of the new nurse being unable to take my kids blood pressure because he seemed unsure of how to use a regular blood pressure cuff instead of the automatic one, my phone rang and it was the nurse at the ortho’s office calling back to reschedule. (See *****)
Then that night, because on band time it was Monday, not Tuesday, I had to leave my Spiritual Practices class early to pick up my band kids because it was, of course, also a high holy day for my husband’s church, so he was busy.
Wednesday morning, I sent the ADHD paperwork to the 504 lady, just as the internet teetered into nothing. Good times. Then I went to physical therapy and found out even more insanity making things that I will not recount here. In the end, as it turned out, there’s most likely no thoracic outlet syndrome because my shoulders are healed. YAY! But there’s ongoing things wrong with my neck. So I need to go back to that orthopedic doctor and have him do different scans and write a different set of orders for physical therapy so they can deal with the neck thing. I did get one knot worked out of my neck area, though, and have ordered the special tool they used to get it out because it’s over the counter and can be used by laypeople as easily as physical therapists (they showed me how and sent me a video in case I forget).
Also at PT, we discussed the ***** situation and I told them that while I had gotten the appointment changed, it wasn’t showing up as changed in my portal, but I would really like that Friday appointment, please and thank you. Since the appointment lady was scheduling in the new system and so was the ortho’s office, there was no longer a conflict, and I got my Friday appointment for PT. I asked about how to access the new portal because if my appointments were in there now, I wanted to be able to access them. The new system is vastly easier on the patients end of things. But the PT appointment lady had no idea how we were supposed to do that or when it would become available or that the old portal was being taken down so quickly.
I got home and made a discovery that meant I had to cancel my Breast MRI the next day. If you know, you know. If you don’t, well, I’m not telling. After that, I was going to write, but I got embroiled in some other organizations insanity and ended up doing something else until it was time to pick up kids, but I hadn’t made it to the donation center and there was no room for everyone and all the stuff. I missed my van for the second time this month. So I guess that’s not too bad.
On the way home, we had the much discussed “how to make our home a better place for all who live there” conversation again and we all agreed that the china cabinet must go. So I spent my evening emptying that and finding new homes for everything. That was all my own chaos, but it was easy to solve chaos and I liked it.
Today we reached peak chaos. First thing this morning, I got an email from the 504 coordinator that my message had come through without a file attached. My Wi-Fi had gone flakey yesterday at one point and that was probably when I sent that message. So I re-sent it and she sent some other stuff back that I needed to fill out and send back. I had time to do that, finish some PTA stuff, and write and all that.
Then the texts began. My midkid had a substitute for the permanent substitute and she had him on the “No FLEX Day access” list. He has all A’s. He should not have had to go to tutorials. He goes anyways because he didn’t have the nifty bracelet that let him into FLEX Day fun. There’s a different sub there now. She won’t look at the grades portal and won’t let him go to FLEX. So he texts me to see if I can do something. I call the school a few times and once got put on speaker phone by accident and listened to the chaos up there myself for a while. They couldn’t hear me saying hello, so I eventually called back. Meanwhile, I emailed the counselor to see if we’d missed something on the progress report thing. It had been confusing because they didn’t send out paper progress reports and the links they sent just lead to the generic parent portal. While I was digging though the parent portal, I noticed my midkids appointments on Tuesday (** and ***) had been mislogged, so I called and left a message for attendance about getting that fixed. I got an actual human on the line and she told me that everyone was in their FLEX positions and there was no one to answer my questions, but try again tomorrow. I pointed out that FLEX was my question and tomorrow would be too late, so she transferred me to someone else. I left a voicemail, but got called back immediately. I explained the kids All A’s status and she looked him up and saw that he was in a class that had had a lot of upheaval and in fact had a brand new substitute teacher who’d never taught before. She said she’d get my kid a note to let him out for FLEX and not to worry any more, mama.
But that, of course, wasn’t the end of that. Kid texted me that the sub had gotten a phone call and told him that his mom was there to pick him up and he should get all his stuff together and go to the front office. So he did. The counselors were there, teased him about his hair and his three ginormous instruments, and sent him outside to wait for me. After about 15 minutes he called me and asked where I was. “At home because you’re at FLEX?” “No, mom, I’m waiting outside the school. The sub said you were coming to pick me up.” Well, by the time I got there, it was 10 minutes til the bell would ring, my kid was incandescent with rage, and I was angry enough to not want to talk to anyone, either, so we left and got him a drink and then came back for his brother.
His brother had a decent time at FLEX, but was unable to buy coffee because the coffee place didn’t bring enough change. He was unbothered. I love him. He is just like his daddy sometimes. You know what else didn’t end up chaotic? Panda Express for the band fundraiser. Everyone got the right food. It was nice.
So, any bets on tomorrow’s chaos? I am going to bet that my PT didn’t get scheduled or that my ortho appointment didn’t get moved or that I totally forget about my kids 504 meeting. Or that the meals I ordered on Tuesday for the pre-football game band kids go astray somehow. Or something else to do with it being middle school band sit-along night at the football game. Who knows. I am so tired.
Today I spoke about “Using Enneagram to Create Character Conflict” at the Tyler Public Library Writer’s Club Facebook Group. I thought it went really well. 🙂 Here’s a link to the video, which you can access if you are a member of the aforementioned Facebook Group.
Today would have been my parents 53rd wedding anniversary and instead of being sad, I got to be awesome today. I spoke at Kathryn McClatchy’s Unleashing the Next Chapter writing group on Zoom. My topic was “Using the Enneagram to Create Character Conflict.” It went so well, y’all! I had an audience that was already pretty well versed in the Enneagram, so there were a lot of interesting questions and tangents into things I had wanted to put in the talk, but thought it was too much. Always overprepare! I love this group so much. Thanks for inviting me, Kathryn! Here’s a link to the video (which you can only view if you are a member of that group, but it is free to join.)
On August 25, 2020 at noon at the Tyler Public Library’s Writer’s Club Facebook Group, I will present a lesson on “Using the Enneagram to Create Character Conflict.” It is mostly the same as the one I presented to a more private group a week or so ago, but this one is in a more public group.
On Tuesday, August 24th at 2pm, I will be teaching a lesson on “Using Enneagram Types to Create Character Conflicts” at the Unleashing the Next Chapter writers’ group. I got sucked in while doing my research and have almost too much to share in one presentation. I’m really looking forward to sharing this one with everyone!