Reflections on 2010

30 12 2010

Reflections of 2010


As we near the close of 2010, most of us look back and reflect on the year, vowing to make changes in the next year. I have never been big on making resolutions. Oftentimes we make resolutions so impossible to achieve, we set ourselves up for failure as soon as we write them and commit to them on paper (or in our heads). I downsized from resolutions to a “it would be nice if…” list and downsized from there to a “why bother” list. As the year progressed and I saw opportunities for growth and change, of course I took those paths. Perhaps it is the free spirit in me that did not want to get tied down to a list, wanting to bend and move the way a tree does in the wind.

Most of you who know me can already guess what the worst part of 2010 was for us.  Our relationship with Conroe Independent School District and its administrators. The corruption of these people runs deep, even a 2007 lawsuit brought against them for political racketeering and a violation of the false claims act.  

 The second worst part of 2010 was linked to that relationship and it was my health. Despite a pleading letter from the chief of rheumatology at three different hospitals in our prestigious Medical Center of Houston, a doctor who had treated me for 11 years, they continued to escalate the situation.  At one of our last meetings, I had a neurological event which landed me on the ground, unresponsive.  Do you think they called me an ambulance?  Nope.  They got a wheelchair, wheeled me in, let me rest for an hour and then wheeled me in with a wheelchair to the meeting, a meeting I have very little recollection.  Thank goodness both sides tape-recorded the meeting.  You can hear me slurring my speech, pausing for no particular reason, talking and making absolutely no sense, yet they still did not think anything was wrong.  They even knew about my pseudotumor cerebri and my brain aneurysm.  I still have trouble wrapping my mind around this.  I had no one with me and obviously was too impaired to advocate for myself.  Most of the rest of the summer I spent trying to regain my health.

For a school district who claims to have zero tolerance on bullying, they did not see any problem bullying the parents.

Not really the worst thing, but definitely an inconvenience has been these frakking kidney stones (now going on 3-1/2 months and 3 surgeries, anticipating having another conversation about more surgery on January 12).


The stent (aka) the coils of death


So now onto the awesome things about 2010.  By far, getting Patrick into a school that saw a child with potential and not limitations is at the front of the pack.  Let me give you an example of just how intellectually incapable CISD thought my son was:  At our meeting with Conroe in the spring, when we were talking about goals for the next year, when we got to his sign language goal, they suggested that 10 signs might be “too much” for Patrick.  I said, no, he learned 70 signs in 1 year (2002-2003) in their district with the right teacher who had the right training, so they can be learned, and again we got back to lack of proper teacher training and the desperate need for it to implement Patrick’s individualized program.  They felt that 6 signs for an entire year would be as much as he could learn. Within 9 days at his new school, he was signing 3 and 4-word sentences and had already learned 3 new signs. The best thing was to be able to drive to his new school every day and visibly see the progress both there and at home.  For the first time, we needed to catch up to them instead of me saying the school needed to catch up to us.

Another wonderful thing this year was my friends. Facebook friends, Twitter friends, friends from high school, friends from my childhood, new friends I’ve made this year, acquaintances I hope to develop friendships with, my immediate neighbors, friends I had lost touch with because I was always preparing for and sitting in meetings about my son that went on without end for nearly 5 years.  I was ready to join the human race again, and they were ready, able to willing to support us in the game plan for Patrick. Love wrapping you in a blanket, feeling wanted, needed and protected.   Through one of these friends, we were able to attend an Adam Lambert concert, a first for Patrick. 


Patrick's favorite: The laser lights.


One of the highlights of the year was getting to personally meet Lou Diamond Phillips, Matt Kelly, Raul Inglis, and Glenn Morshower at a screening of the movie Transparency at the Dallas International Film Festival. The coolest part is, after asking if any of his Stargate Universe fans were in the audience, and we “woo-hooed”, he recognized my face from my avatar and said, “PBMOM—NICE.” It made a tired mom fighting for her kid with autism refreshed and ready to go back and fight round 2 part 2 with those people. Gentleman, you were so kind to us and just class acts. (Side note, word is that Transparency is being released in 2011, so stay tuned. It is a action-packed movie. All my autism moms should buy one because Lou Diamond Phillips happens to be on the Board of Directors of ACT-Today out in California and has been from the start. I’ve found many sweet videos on You Tube where he is with the kids on stage. So please support his career and buy a DVD when it comes out because he is helping families with autism. 


LDP & I raise funds for FEAT-Houston

 This is Matt Kelly:


Matt Kelly, the producer (and original script idea)



 This is Glenn Morshower and me: 

Mr. Glenn Morshower and me.

One of the best moments is when Patrick came and sat down on the bed beside me. He took his arm and tapped my chest and said, “Mom” — not the sign for “mom” but said “Mom” (not Ma as he would do in the past while biting his hand). Tears of joy. I have been having many of those moments recently.

The kidney stones and reduction of stress in my life might have worked hand-in-hand in helping me to lose 20 pounds, a full dress size, without any exercise.   A definite highlight. 

After 18 years, Jeff and I have rediscovered ourselves after all the distractions of the school district were gone. That in turn led us to rediscover our marriage.


PBMom & PBDad 18 years ago


 Looking forward, 2011 will be remarkable. Patrick has made astounding progress in just 4 months; the sky is the limit. We will try to cultivate his newfound love of running into perhaps fun runs and see what happens. Or perhaps his love of planting things.

I hope to get my production levels up at work so I can make a part-time wage again at the very least. I hope to lose another 20 pounds by the spring when I need to attend a fundraiser and I’d like to purchase a very sexy dress.

And then the laundry list (so to speak) by cleaning this house from top to bottom.

And, joy of joy, for the first time, since I do not have to spend 6 months fighting with the school district, I can actually get started on my tax returns like Saturday, January 1.

I expect also that in 2011 the kidney stone issue will be PERMANENTLY resolved.

 At the end of January, we’ll be meeting the lovely Women in Sci-Fi up in Plano, Texas, a weekend of respite for Jeff and me. They have a great lineup and I am looking forward to spending as much time as I am allowed with each of them. Last time we were only gone 27 hours; this time, we’ll be gone a full 48 hours. We’ll see how well Patrick does with that.

2011 is already blowing my mind. Can’t wait to welcome the baby New Year.

Do you have any resolutions for the new year? Are you glad that something is over in 2010 now? Do you have any traditions to share? Post them away in the comment section.

Happy New Year to you all. May the year 2011 be all that you make of it.  





3 responses

30 12 2010

WOW what a year for you and your family. I am excited to see how this next year will be for you. Looks like a bright future for you all..


30 12 2010

I believe 2011 is going to be one of the best years ever in my life. I hope things will be the same for you and your family. Thank you so much for the kindness of posting the comment. I really appreciate you.


2 01 2011

Love your positive attitude! Says a lot about your character!


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