Who I am

Ugh. You want to know who I am? Join the club.

Ok, first I'll tell you about this blog. This blog was originally started for a University of Oregon School of Journalism and Communication class, thus some of the weird entries in 2006 comparing old media to new media. The entries from 2004-05 are imported from a LiveJournal blog that I did during my 10 months in Lyon, France and 8 weeks in St. Petersburg, Russia. They're good. You should read them. Beginning in February 2011, I decided to dust off this (already) old thing and start blogging for realz.

So, now back to who I am. I have often thought that my life was better suited to the plot of a television drama series than to a daily existence — and not in a good way. Have you ever heard of that curse: "May your life never be boring"? Yup. That's me.

Let's start from now and work backwards. I am a stay-at-home mom to my identical twin sons, Malachi and Jaden. Despite my husband's frequent teasing that I must be pregnant with twins and our midwives' frequent reassurances that it wasn't twins, we didn't find out there were, in fact, two in there until my 20-week ultrasound. We got to worry about how it would completely change our lives to have twins for approximately two hours before a parade of grim-faced doctors made us understand that what we really needed to worry about was not having any babies at all as the ultrasound had also spotted several scary risk factors. This was our first experience with how terrifying ultrasound results could be, but unfortunately not the last. After 8 weeks of bed rest and 2 weeks in the hospital, I gave birth 10 weeks early. The statisticians and the doctors and everybody said I'd made it. The babies were alive and would need some time in the NICU, but things were going to be fine.

They weren't fine. Malachi had a Grade III brain hemorrhage leading to a diagnosis of cystic periventricular leukomalacia in both hemispheres. This means he has cerebral palsy. Read more about him and cerebral palsy on this page. Beyond that, we don't know much. I spend a lot of my "free" time researching and implementing various therapies to help him maximize his potential. Because my mommy brain won't let me say all this bad stuff without adding some good: they are both insanely cute and Malachi seems to have a natural charisma that already helps him charm the pants off anyone he meets.

Before all this baby business, I was a journalist at local community newspapers. I worked for the Tillamook Headlight-Herald, then at Pamplin Media Group in Portland as the editor of The Southwest Community Connection and then the West Linn Tidings. My journalism career wasn't very flashy, but I did interview Gov. Ted Kulongoski, presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich and was in a press conference with President Barack Obama (this close!). I also interned at newspapers in France and Russia, which turned out to be decidedly less impressive to employers than I anticipated.

My husband and I also had a romance that belongs in some teen drama. It went something like this: They want to be together but they can't! They're finally together! Now they've broken up! They're together again! Now they're thrust apart due to circumstance! They're together again! — and so on for many years. We began that process more than a decade ago but we were married in 2008 and things have been much more stable and less dramatic since then. He was worth the wait! :)

Other pit stops on the road of life have included my mom nearly dying of heart failure only to achieve a complete recovery by dancing so freaking hard that the defibrillator installed in her chest thought she was having a heart attack and essentially rebooted her. My dad is currently living out some sort of Jack London novel by working on a pipeline so far away from civilization that he's had difficulty receiving postal mail, let alone telephone or internet transmissions. My brother is a self-made businessman who runs not one but two successful businesses.

...oh, and did I mention my sister is in prison serving a nine-year sentence for being a "terrorist"? Yeah. More on that later.

So, that's me. Any questions?

7 comments:

  1. Good Sunday! It's Andi here, from Double Dose of Special. I just wanted to take a moment to thank you for taking the time to comment on my guest post on Our Typical Life. I appreciate that you were willing to share your thoughts with me, and that my post touched you in some small way. Please come over and visit me on my blog anytime. I've had you in my reader for a little while now, so it's nice to actually interact!

    http://www.doubledoseofspecial.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was sent to your blog through a friend of mine, and although our case is not as severe (or even clinically "diagnosed" yet), one of my twin girls' is being "tested" (if there is even such a thing) for CP. It's been nothing but a waiting game, and I keep waiting for answers, whether they be good or bad. You are a strong, amazing woman, and I look forward to following your blog!!

    http://markkatymaurer.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hello and welcome! There is such a thing as being tested for CP, but it's not like a blood test or something, so I can see how that would be confusing. I'm sorry you (we!) have to go through this.
    Your comment also make me realize that it makes people feel bad to point out that their child's case is more severe. I'll have to remember this when talking to others.

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  4. I am so glad to have connected with you! Your honesty, humor, and intelligence are inspiring! I look forward to working together and having you keep me on my toes.

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  5. Anonymous3:20 PM

    Hi, I have enjoyed reading your blog. One of my 19 month old twins also has CP. I would love to talk!

    Kristi
    Kmblois@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi!

    I wanted to thank you for your blog, for the ideas and discussion that you bring to the community. I am a physical therapist teaching at Temple University in Philadelphia.

    I've worked my whole career with individuals who have sustained different types of brain injuries, and I'm part of a research project with teenagers and adults (funded by the National Institutes of Health) trying to understand how CP affects a person's balance and ability to safely move around.

    I'm looking for ways to let people know about the project, and many blog administrators have kindly let me post a link and a brief comment on the study on their site. Would you be willing to let me post about it?

    If not, I completely understand and thank you for your time. If you're interested but would like some more information about the work we're doing, I'd be happy to send you some information.

    Thanks, and I look forward to hearing from you!

    Best,

    Liz Thompson, PT
    Clinical Assistant Professor, Temple University Physical Therapy Department

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Liz,

      I might be open to this, but you haven't left me a way to contact you. Perhaps it would have been better to send me an e-mail instead of leaving a comment here.

      Delete

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