Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas Review

Just thought I'd give a little more of a run-down here on the past week, Christmas and all that stuff. I've a couple pictures to share with you along with a few little stories too that we thought we pretty cute.

First, some news that started out rocky but has now begun to get better.

About three weeks or so before Christmas, Mandy got a phone call from one of her closest friends telling her that her younger daughter -Emmy -who is I believe 12 years old (give or take a year) was in the hospital down at Danville, PA -Geisinger Hospital, that would be. And considering that hospital is about 100 miles from here, if someone from this region is there, things are serious.

Seems that morning when Emmy woke up, she could not walk! Her legs were paralyzed and they had no clue what was wrong with her. I don't remember now the exact order of things -if they took her first to Clearfield Hospital and was transferred to Geisinger from there or if they took her to State College Hospital and they transferred her there, but anyway, it was a really scary time for Emmy's parents, Jen and Nick for the next couple of days and also, over the next 2-3 weeks as well.

Initially, the doctors at Geisinger thought Emmy had what is called "Conversion Disorder" -which is some type of psychological condition which causes the patient to have a paralytic type state. When they came up with that diagnosis, they recommended Emmy be transferred to Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA. Once at Hershey though, the doctors there determined it was not a psychological condition after all, but a neurological one called transverse myelitis. More tests, therapy was begun and finally, last weekend, Emmy was discharged, able to come home, but still paralyzed. She has to have therapy every day now for two hours a day and is in a wheelchair at home though. For the time she was in Hershey, her parents stayed there with her which left their two older kids home basically, on their own. Their son is 17, the older daughter is I think 14, maybe 15, so they were capable of taking care of themselves with a little aid from their grandparents and friends of the family looking in on them and a lot of phone calls back and forth from Hershey to home to check in on them too.

That's the good news there with respect to Emmy's illness. The rough news with all the ups and downs and absence of parents, meant a lot of extra expense which Jen and Nick could ill afford since he is currently laid off and Jen is unemployed as well. Gas may have dropped in price a whole lot but still, if you are trying to make a 120-130 mile trip -(that's one-way mileage) once or twice a week, the gas costs really mount up rapidly along with extra meal expenses and the like. That, plus the fact that although they do have health insurance for the kids, it doesn't cover the cost of ambulance transfer from one hospital to another, so the ride from Geisinger to Hershey was another unexpected bill of $1,500! Add to that, Christmas, being away, no time to shop, no funds either, made for a rather bleak picture for the family but Mandy found a way to get some assistance for them so that she and the administrator of donated funds went shopping and managed to get a few small gifts at least for the kids so they could have something for Christmas.

Now, that's the back story. Here's the rest of it.

On Friday, Mandy had to run a lot of errands and since that was the day I was totally under-the-weather (big-time), she didn't want to leave the kids here with me to worry about but Jen had said she could drop Maya off at their house and she liked that idea. Maya often goes and spends a couple hours with Jen and Nick and their kids as she loves all three of the kids -who dote on her -and never fusses a bit about being left there.

Maya knew nothing though of the medical issues involving Emmy so she was a bit taken aback when she walked in and there sat her bigger "buddy" in a wheel chair. Upon being told Emmy was sick and couldn't walk now, Maya immediately took it upon herself to be Emmy's helper -and instructor too as she told Emmy "Here, I'll show you how to walk. It's easy. Like this..." as she then sashayed about the room, giving Emmy a demonstration not just in walking but the fine art of running and skipping too!

Saturday evening, Mandy once again dropped Maya off with Jen and the family and when she returned that night to pick Maya up, she was informed that Maya had taken it upon herself to play "Preacher" apparently as she was going around from one member of Jen's family to another, giving each one a cookie or cracker, putting her hand on their head and repeating the prayer Pastor Carrie says to each communicant at church when she administer communion!

"The Lord bless you," along with "This is the body of Christ, given for you."

Hmmm. Well, we know she is getting something out of the church services now, don't we?

And just wait till Pastor Carrie gets back here from spending the week (she left Friday) in Wisconsin with her family and she learns that Maya is apparently getting ready to take her place as our minister too! That should be interesting, don't 'cha think?

Now, for my other little story and this one requires a little bit of back story to it too.

When Mandy was about two, almost three years old, for Christmas that year, her big sister, Carrie, had recieved one of those Farrah Fawcett doll heads -the kind that little girls could style the hair and practice applying makeup to the face too.

It was one of the "treasured" items Carrie had received that Christmas.

And a couple weeks after Christmas, she came home from school and my Mom was at the house, watching Mandy and Clate -nothing highly unusual about that. Except that my Mom was afraid that Carrie was going to rip Mandy limb from limb because she discovered that Mandy had gotten into the make-up stuff for the doll and had proceeded to plaster the stuff on -smearing it about an inch thick (or so it seemed) ALL OVER the face. The coloring was so dark -reddish brown -that it most certainly made the lovely Ms. Fawcett's likeness look like she belonged to some totally different ethnic group or culture!

To this day -roughly 30 years later - Carrie still has not totally forgiven Mandy for that deal either!

Well, Miss Maya received a doll head -of one of the Bratz dolls -and it is similar to the Farrah Fawcett doll except this one doesn't have makeup -just a massive head of hair that the child can comb and "style." Oh no, you're thinking now I suppose -don't tell me that Maya cut the doll's hair?"

No, she didn't. But she did do her own special take on "coloring" the hair! Excuse the quality of the photos here -I'm not really sure if you can see all that much of the coloring bit but if you can't, just take my word for it. The doll's hair has distinctive tints of green and purples streaks -with a dabble of red thrown in for "interest" I guess!

Here's a somewhat blurry picture to give you an idea of the hair and the color it is supposed to be -all over.

And, this shot is intended to be sort of looking down at the top of the head which is where the tint job took place! Hopefully you can see a bit of the artistic action there!

Now when and how did she do this fine job?

Well, near as I can tell, it took place this afternoon when I allowed her to set up her paint set and brush, with a little tiny cup of water, on the chest-table in the living room so she could paint one of the balsam-type wood Bratz dolls I had given her for Christmas. It was a set of several of these type wood dolls -like a large paper doll type thing ya know -but that a child could then color (or paint) the clothes, etc., on the doll. She had actually done a fairly neat job -by that I mean, she hadn't slopped all over the place, hadn't painted the table or anything (that I was aware of anyway). As a matter of fact, she was so proud of her paint job -the clothing was green and she had painted the body all in black -that she mentioned to Mandy when she showed off her handiwork, that she had made the Bratz doll "a black lady." Hey, she's learning diversity too, isn't she? And that, we felt was a good thing too!

It wasn't until late tonight, after Maya had fallen asleep, that I noticed the doll head thing sitting on the floor in front of the tree and did a bit of a double-take as I caught a glimpse of the extra color in the hair. I asked Mandy about that -if the doll came with tinted hair or not and she said in a rather terse voice, "NO, it did not!"

Hmmm. I do believe I detected a lot of attitude coming from Mandy with that response. Yes indeed.'

And, I do believe too that when Aunt Carrie calls home the next time to keep tabs on us up here and if Mandy doesn't tell her what Maya did, you know, I will!

And I know Carrie will howl laughing and maybe even realize that you see, one of the things I always tried to teach the kids was that it was wrong to get angry and try to get even but much better to just sit back and wait. Cause if it was something that was meant to be dealt with in a "getting even" type manner, it would come about on its own.

There you have it -the proof is in the pudding, isn't it? Or is it that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree?

Either one, I think is an adage that fits the circumstance, don't you?


Maggie May said...

Poor Emmy..... that must be terrible for everyone. hope she gets her legs working again.

Paint and the dolls........ least Maya was kept happy!
Glad you all had a good time and I wish you all a Happy New Year.

terri said...

What an ordeal Emmy and her family have been through. They'll be in my prayers.

Linda said...

Oh my, that poor little girl. Is her prognosis good to be able to walk again? Is this a temporary paralysis or something more permanent? I will definitely keep the family in my thoughts and prayers. What a sad thing to have happen right before Christmas.

As for Miss Maya, looks like she has career options as a therapist or a pastor!