Posts Filed Under Ramblings

Writer’s Block Does Not Exist

posted by Momo Fali on July 15, 2014

I am coming on here to tell you what a friend told me today; writer’s block does not exist. Elan said on Twitter that “…if you can say a sentence, you can write one.” So I’m here with nothing planned but what flows from my fingertips. This post is probably going to turn out to be what we call verbal diarrhea.

I certainly have no shortage of sentences to say. I talk on the phone for work, I tweet a lot and the conversations I have with my kids, alone, are enough to fill the pages of a book each day. Someone recently told me that mosquitoes are attracted to the carbon dioxide we emit, which would scientifically connect my numerous bites to my rambling mouth. Pass the Benadryl.

Oh, and the stories I have in my head! I have books and screenplays rolling around; their characters quite fully developed. But they, along with most of my words, get lost because I don’t make the time to write them down. I schedule time to go to the gym, since my DVT diagnosis I’ve been forcing myself to walk almost every day, I find the hours needed to cook, clean, and do laundry, and it’s high-time I set aside time to write.

Of course, I choose to make this statement just nine days before BlogHer ’14, the largest social media conference for women in the world…oh, and I MANAGE THEIR SOCIAL MEDIA. And, are you ready for this? We’re very seriously considering moving from the house where we’ve lived for 17 years so we can enroll our son in a different school district. I can’t think of a more perfect time to commit to more writing! Can you?

So, you see? I thought I had writer’s block, but it wasn’t that at all. It’s time block. Elan was right. I have the words. I just can’t spare a minute to share them.

There’s No Crying at Old Navy!

posted by Momo Fali on June 30, 2014

If I hadn’t been there myself I wouldn’t have believed it. My son made a stranger cry today.

My 12 year old with special needs, who struggles desperately with decision making, had a melt-down in the patriotic shirt section of Old Navy today. We spent 15 minutes going back and forth between the shirts and the register because he couldn’t pick the one he liked. Because we’re trying to get him to focus on this much-needed skill I told him that he had to make a final decision and couldn’t change his mind again – it was that shirt or NO shirt.

Of course, by the time we got to the front of the store he had decided he wanted a different one. Again.

So I took the shirt back and told him he wasn’t getting anything and that’s when the melt-down began. He doesn’t throw traditional tantrums with kicking and screaming, but with tears and thoughtful manipulation. He stood in front of the check out line with sweet, silent tears then said, “Please, mom! I will sacrifice myself for that shirt!”

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imagine those eyes, filled with tears

By the time we got in line, his face was red and splotchy and his shirt was dotted with tears. Did I mention the line was LONG. It looked like Black Friday and we were sandwiched between people in the front and back and the racks of impulse purchases on the sides. Well played, Old Navy. Well played.

My son continued his pleas and I continued to say that he was not getting a shirt, that he has to work on decision making because if he can’t make a choice about a t-shirt, how can I trust him to make big decisions later in life, to which he replied, “I WILL make big decisions! I will be a good driver and I won’t do drugs!”

Then I got tapped on my shoulder. I turned around to see the woman behind us crying. With heartfelt sympathy for the 12 year old she probably thought was 6, she said, “He’s making me so upset.”

I nodded and said, “I know. This is hard, but I’m trying to set a precedent here.”

Then my son looked at her with his sad, tear-filled eyes and said, “Sometimes kids have a hard life.”

As we neared the register we stood next to a bin full of miscellaneous things like dog antlers, plastic Slinkies, and Beanie Babies; to one of which my son became quite attached. Since he couldn’t get the shirt he asked if he could get the Beanie Baby instead. Because I’m the meanest mom ever, I said no. The woman behind us continued to cry.

And, wouldn’t you know, that lady who was moved to tears by my kids dramatic display ended up buying him the Beanie Baby? As she handed it to him she said, “Here you go. Now maybe your life won’t be so hard.”

Though in the end he got his way and that was not what I wanted, part of me was moved by her gesture and how she was touched by this little boy and his sadness.

But, really? Couldn’t she have bought him one of those shirts?

Anatomy of a Desk

posted by Momo Fali on June 20, 2014

Let’s take stock of my current desk situation, shall we?

desk

Sure there’s a keyboard, laptop, extra monitor, mouse, pens and some paper; so it may look a lot like your desk too. You might even have a giant coffee cup or a post-it reminder with instructions of what to do before your kid has a sedated MRI.

But, do you also have your son’s prescription ear drops and a half-eaten doggie football? What about the things you can’t see stacked up behind the monitor? Do you have a dishtowel, a dog bowl, an unused extension cord and some headphones – all things the puppy was chewing on and brought to you?

People think I am so lucky to work from home. Sometimes I am, but sometimes I find an undershirt on my keyboard or the battery “borrowed” from my mouse and put into the remote. During conference calls you can hear the Wii, a dog barking, or a child asking, “Mom, what’s for dinner? Thank goodness for mute.

And, thank goodness I have a wide lap since it’s the only space I have left for taking notes.

Lessons from DVT – Call Your Doctor

posted by Momo Fali on May 30, 2014

I’ve thought about this post for a week. It’s one part health story, one part important lesson, and one part me bragging about being in touch with my body. I honestly don’t know where to start without sounding pompous. There’s a chance, though, that it could save someone’s life. So obviously, in addition to sounding somewhat arrogant, there will also be overly dramatic statements.

Fifteen years ago, I saved my daughter’s life. I was five months pregnant and wasn’t far enough along to be concerned with fetal movement, but when I noticed her kicking had decreased over a two-week period, I told my doctor. I stressed the change. I told her I felt like it wasn’t right. I told her there was a big difference in what I had felt to what I was feeling. She wasn’t worried, but scheduled an ultrasound. Four weeks after I first noticed a change, I had the ultrasound and my daughter was born via emergency c-section shortly after. The doctor told us that if we had waited just a week or two more, she would have been stillborn.

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If she wasn’t around, who would harass him?

Fast forward to three months ago. I started taking hormones to control post-surgical pain on my girly parts. Okay, I’ll say it. My uterus. One of the side effects of the medication is blood clots, but I discussed it with my doctor and because I don’t smoke, the risk was low. Two weeks ago, delightfully pain-free, I flew to Miami for work. The day after I arrived I developed severe calf pain. Did you know that flying can case blood clots? It can.

I chalked it up to my new shoes, took some Ibuprofen and dealt with the pain off and on for the next week. I felt the aching at odd times (sometimes when standing, sometimes when in bed) and that’s what made me call my doctor. I wasn’t doing anything to trigger it. I gave it a week, so I knew it wasn’t my shoes. There was no redness, no swelling, the pain wasn’t bad and went away with a couple of Ibuprofen, but it just felt odd to me. Something wasn’t right.

I ended up in the ER a couple of hours after seeing my doctor and started taking blood thinners for Deep Vein Thrombosis the next day. If you have the good fortune of not knowing how dangerous DVT can be, let me just tell you that it can kill you. The blood clot can break off and go to your lungs and you have virtually no chance at surviving.

Needless to say, I’m no longer taking those hormones. I am, however, taking a blood thinner for the next 90 days. I can’t do my beloved workouts; at least not at the level I was. I am limited to upper body strength training, nothing too strenuous and working my calf is forbidden. My uterine pain is back with a vengeance and I can’t have a hysterectomy until I’m off the blood thinners. Catch 22, anyone? Oh, and I CAN’T DRINK ALL SUMMER LONG. But, I’m alive and so very thankful.

Long story, long – KNOW your body. If something doesn’t feel right, get it checked out. Trust me, I know going to the doctor is inconvenient and there is a really good chance that it’s nothing, but there’s also a chance that it isn’t.

Don’t chalk it up to new shoes. Call your doctor. Your body will thank you for it.