5-23-11 - Jeannie Shares Her Personal Journey and Early Intervention Services

In case you missed it...

Rosie started today's broadcast asking Jeannie about her husband's recent health scare.  Jeannie said her husband has been having back pain for about a year.  He's gone to several doctors but no one has been able to diagnose what is wrong.  He's been feeling quite frustrated that no one he has seen could find a reason for his pain.  He described the pain like his ribs were going through a cheese-grater when he moved. Around Mother's Day, his youngest daughter felt what they thought was a muscle knot in his back.  Jeannie said it was about the size of an egg.  On Mother's Day, Jeannie had her brother, who is an orthopedic surgeon, feel the "knot" in her husband's back and he ordered him an MRI immediately.  On Tuesday, they identified the mass in his back as a "neorufibroma."   Most neurofibromas are benign but this one is growing in his ribs toward his lung and needs to be removed. Jeannie said they still really don't know if it's cancerous or not yet and have an appointment to see a surgeon on June 1st.  The mass has to be removed whether it's cancerous or not because it's on the nerve and it's possible he may lose a rib or two.  Rosie was shocked that Jeannie's husband Dan has had previous MRI's and no doctor has found it until now.  And she thought both Dan and Jeannie were handling the news really well.  Jeannie said her hardest time of day is the morning right now.  She said she does much better when she keeps busy and is to distracted to dwell on the "what ifs."  Jeannie said she and Dan are really holding on to the philosophy of there's no need to worry until they tell them otherwise.  Jeannie said her husband has been joking about it and walking around the house doing his best Arnold Schwarzeneggar impersonation saying, "It's not a tumor."  Jeannie talked about how the effect of getting this kind of news has really slowed her down and how beautiful it's been reconnecting with her husband again and really appreciating how much they love each other.

The conversation brought Janette to tears!  Janette thought Jeannie's strength was remarkable.  Jeannie said she wasn't being remarkable that one has no choice but to deal with what has been given to you when this happens to you.  Jeannie said she thought it's harder to imagine what you would do than when you actually face it yourself.  She said her husband told her that he has prayed if anyone were to be sick in their family, that it would be him.  Jeannie said she's most looking forward to her husband being pain free right now and he's feeling very validated with the diagnosis.  Pete and Rosie offered sleepovers for Jeannie's children.  Jeannie thanked them and said she has lots of family offering to help right now but if she needs it she will ask them.

Janette spoke about the importance of being your own health advocate.  She said her father had lead poisoning and was sick for years without a proper diagnosis.  They blamed his illness on things like depression but no one ever thought to check his blood.  It wasn't until a local doctor discovered it. And lead poisoning leads to dementia and that's what he died of.  Jeannie wholeheartedly agreed with Janette on being your own health care advocate.  She said her mother was in a rehab center for her broken ankle and her brother just came to visit and happened to look at her leg.  He didn't like the look of it so he ordered tests and they found out she had undiagnosed blood clots!  Her mother had to be on bed rest and get blood thinners to get rid of them.  If her brother hadn't looked at it who knows what might have happened.  

Prayers for Jeannie and her family?  You're welcome to post them here.  Jeannie has chosen to keep her Facebook page private. xoxo Jeannie!!

The staff talked for a little while about the devastating pictures and stories coming out of Joplin, Missouri. Pete gave an update on what's happening in that area and said that was the biggest tornado to hit that area since 1953.  Rosie wondered if it is actually a worse tornado season or if we're hearing about them more now.  Pete said it's a worse season.  He said this year there have been 600 tornadoes in the month of April which beat the all time record of 267 tornadoes in 1967.   Rosie said the photos look like the end of the world and she wondered how anyone saves  themselves with only 20 minutes notice.  They discussed the people losing everything and struggling to build back up their livelihood.   Rosie asked how listeners can help.  Pete recommended giving to the Salvation Army and the Red Cross for tornado relief.  Janette reminded people to really give some thought about the organizations you give your money to before just blinding giving.

Video of the Tornado that hit Joplin

Rosie said she went to see Adele on Thursday night and she loved it!  She said she adores Adele and said she was so beautiful.  Rosie said Adele is not jaded and she puts on a very touching performance. Rosie said she cried through most of it because a lot of Adele's songs have to do with relationship struggles.

Janette watched Lady Gaga on HBO this weekend and thought she was fantastic!  She wondered where all that talent comes from!  And she loved the costumes and creativity of her show.  Rosie likes Gaga too but said how extreme she is in her costumes and performances bugs her.  But then she said who is she to tell Lady Gaga what to do?  But she said she's so severe in her presentation sometimes she wishes she would just come out as a regular person sometimes.  Rosie liked her on Saturday Night Live though but sometimes she thinks all the costumes and garb take away from what she's doing. James' brother went to high school with her (then known as Stefani Germanotta) and has told him she was always very artsy and eccentric.  Rosie wanted to know where Gaga got her name and James said he heard her name is a reference to the Queen song Radio Gaga.  Deirdre isn't a fan of Gaga and said she heard she came up with her name in a marketing meeting.   Rosie said Lady Gaga has a remarkable voice and she prefers the older videos of her sitting at a piano and performing.  Here's a video of Stefani Germanotta performing before she went Gaga....

Rosie said she and her family celebrated Parker's 16th birthday this weekend!  She took him and his friends to the Mets vs. Yankees game in a limousine!  She said it was really fun though Blake really wanted to ride in the limo and Parker wouldn't let him.  Rosie told Blake she'd get him a limo for his birthday if he wanted.

Rosie said she caught up on some great television this weekend!  She watched the finale of Nurse Jackie on Showtime.   Rosie talked about how much she loves Merritt Wever who plays Zoey on the show.  She tried to explain to the other staff members what a great actress she is and how the nuances of her performance show her authenticity, humor and relatability in such a subtle way.  Rosie said she's able to say a million things in one line with her body.  Rosie said it's a sin Merritt wasn't nominated for an Emmy.  

She also watched an entire season of the show Shameless on Showtime which her brother Eddie recommended to her.  She explained the show for the listening audience and how it's about a narcissistic father who leaves his kids to fend for themselves.  Rosie said she called her brother afterward and told him she knows why he likes it so much.  She said she told him that was their family growing up, the kids taking care of each other and Eddie being in charge, though their situation was less severe than portrayed in the series.  Rosie said she really liked it and recommended it.    

Rosie also saw the HBO movie Too Big To Fail which she thought was really good.  It premieres tonight on HBO if you're interested!

"Too Big To Fail" trailer

Rosie said there's a new song her kids love called Put It Down On Me by Jeremih featuring 50 Cent and the lyrics shocked her!  They played a bit of it in the studio and Janette joked she needed a cigarette after listening to it!  The staff discussed whether music is getting worse or if they're just getting old.  Deirdre said she thinks music is getting worse and Janette doesn't necessarily think music is getting more sexual but she thinks the world is becoming more violent.    Jeannie said, "We Didn't Start the Fire."

"We Didn't Start the Fire" by Billy Joel

Rosie talked about a recent struggle she's been having on Twitter.  She said she's had to block some people because they "mention" her constantly and it's annoying.  And when she has to block people they get mad and she said she's dealing with that.  She said there was this young kid who wrote to her constantly and she ignored him because he was very young.  Then she found a producer from The Rosie O'Donnell Show on Twitter!  They began direct messaging each other and the producer wrote to Rosie and said she lost her address book and could she have Rosie's email and phone number.  Rosie sent it to her and it turns out it wasn't her producer, it was that kid who Twitters her constantly!  He admitted to her through email that he made up a fake account so he could get her email address and phone number!  Rosie wrote him back and told him what he did was not cool and she was going to have to block him.  He wrote her back and called her an idiot and threatened to put her phone number all over the Internet.  Rosie was kind of shocked that a 14 year old would come up with such an elaborate scam.  Rosie said it's now illegal to impersonate someone on Twitter.  She said she doesn't want to have him arrested but she was pretty astounded that he had no remorse for what he had done. Janette found the whole thing frightening.

Rosie and the staff discussed an article about a movement by parents in New Jersey working to abolish homework.  The staff discussed the hours of homework kids have today and whether or not it was too much.  Jeannie doesn't think (in general) kids get too much homework.  And Janette pointed out that the United States has to do something to become more competitive in the world.  Rosie said her kids had a tremendous amount of homework when they went to public school.  More than she ever remembered having.  Pete remembered having hours of homework every night.  Rosie took a few callers on the topic. One caller discussed the struggles her kids have with homework.  One caller said the amount of homework is astounding but the quality of the assignments is poor.  She said her child recently had to do a craft project for an assignment about states and it was ridiculous.  Rosie said her son Blake recently had to do a project on the state he was assigned and he handed it to her and said, "This is the best thing I ever did."  She said Jackie, as his tutor, helped him with it and it's pretty amazing to her to see how far he's come.  Rosie said she wanted to take her kids away to Miami this weekend for Memorial Day but Vivi has a play on Saturday.  She said she was frustrated her school would schedule a play for a holiday weekend.  

Rosie recommended listeners watch the Oprah Farewell Extravagana today!  Rosie will be on tomorrow's Part 2 performance but today is sure to be a wonderful show!  Rosie said she can't wait to watch it again today.  They said they will NOT be talking about Celebrity Apprentice finale because Marlee Matlin didn't win.  And the staff is still watching Kirstie Alley on Dancing With The Stars though even though none of them could remember what night it's on.

Rosie and the staff discussed a recent article about Zach Galifinakis and how he states he has no interest in his fans or in being a celebrity.  Shoshana said she found part of the article funny but part of it turned her off a little.  Shoshana said fans make you famous and celebrities need to also appreciate them.  Janette said she appreciates her fans because without an audience, in a way, she's nothing.  But at the same time as a celebrity you have to find a balance because if you're too busy trying to please everyone, rather than being who you are, you can exhaust yourself.  Rosie talked about celebrities who were made famous making fun of celebrity and celebrities like Sandra Bernard, Kathy Griffin and Roseanne Barr.  She said it becomes difficult to make fun of it when you begin to become a part of it.  

Jeannie then introduced early intervention practitioners Dr. Andrew Vaughan and Diane Andross. Andrew is a Psychologist and Private Practitioner delivering Early Intervention Services and Diane is a Special Educator and Practitioner in the Early Intervention Program for the state of New York.  Jeannie and her guests discussed early intervention services, how once a child is evaluated and how a child qualifies for services.  The goal of early intervention is to help maximize the child's potential.  They start with children showing delays from 0-3 years old and help with fine and gross motor, feeding, speech and language, and social skills so that the children can enter school at their maximum level. There have been a number of studies done that prove that early intervention is a wonderful investment and it not only saves money in the long run but it changes lives.  

Jeannie and her guests were on Rosie Radio to discuss how today they're making cuts to Early Intervention programs, how important it is and what people can do about it.  Rosie asked about the increase in diagnoses of kids with disabilities today.  Dr. Vaughan said in his opinion there are many reasons for the increase in diagnoses including increased awareness, increased parental age, increased premature births and the fact that the criteria has shifted to include behavior we didn't used to include. He talked about the connections between writing prescriptions and the effects that come from it.  Dr. Vaughan said in 1979, 150,000 kids were medicated and today there are 3.5 million kids today medicated for psychological disorders.

Dr. Vaughan continued and said we have a disproportionate number of kids diagnosed with psychological disorders in this country and when Medicaid is involved there's even more likelihood of a antipsychotic medication being prescribed.  He said psychologists need to be more critical of the process and ask whether or not we can  have a behavior without having a disorder.  He said we need to be more aware of what we're pathologizing.   He recommended the book Anatomy of an Epidemic: Magic Bullets, Psychiatric Drugs, and the Astonishing Rise of Mental Illness in America by Robert Whitaker for people more interested in this topic.

Janette asked if the kind of work Jeannie and her colleagues perform help prevent children from going on  medication.  They said that's the hope.  The hope is the early intervention will effectively get kids to reach their milestones and let them continue so that they no longer need services.  Another advantage of early intervention is that the practitioners get to work with the kids in their own homes with their own caregivers.  Jeannie said they not only work with the kids but they work with the families and try to educate parents so that in their absence they can help their child develop.

Rosie asked about adopted children and how there is are even higher diagnoses in adopted children. Dr. Vaughan said the early years are so powerful and they have lasting effects.  There could also be genetic factors and drugs taken in utero that can affect a child's development.  Rosie said adoptive parents go in with a naivete that love will fix it all but there's a primal wound when a child is adopted that will always be there.  Rosie said she's been asked if she would mind if her children asked to meet their birth parents and said she she hopes they choose to because she knows if that were she, she would have wanted to.  Rosie said because her mother died she knows what it's like to not know who your mother was and she said if she had the chance to meet her again she knows she would have wanted to. Rosie and Dr. Vaughan talked about the wounds of adopted kids and how they express those wounds to their parents at sometimes surprising times.

Rosie said it's interesting to her to see how many adopted kids are prescribed medication.  She wondered if sometimes the adopted parents don't identify the behaviors of their adopted children as familiar and therefore choose to medicate it.

Rosie asked what people can do to help.  Jeannie's guests said we need to raise awareness about how valuable early intervention services are and that we need them.  They said parents need to advocate for early intervention services so that they continue in the future.

Rosie said she'll be watching the Oprah Farewell Extravaganza today!  Janette said she'd watch tomorrow because that's when Rosie is on.  :)

Jeannie told Lou that The Bachelorette starts tonight!  Rosie said "BARF" and said she'll be watching Intervention.  Janette is watching Two and a Half Men and Hawaii Five-O.

And somehow they started talking about whether smelling burnt toast really means you're having a stroke?  Pete looked it up and said it's actually not true that it's actually that your sense of smell is altered.  Janette said she used to live on Zicam and her sense of smell is always altered.  Rosie said her whole house smells like flowers because Oprah sent her a giant arrangement the size of her table!

Rosie closed the show.

and that's what you missed - kw
7 shows left....


  1. I was so touched today by Jeannie's bravery and openness with the audience. Much love and prayers to her and Dan. It is another example of trust your gut and listen to your body. We too often don't and trust the doctor.

  2. sending positive healthy vibes jeanne and her husband's way!!! i will be keeping them in my thoughts.

    my girls are in first grade and we spend at least an hour every day on homework. RIDICULOUS.

    i am a SLP too - i work in the schools with grades 4 and 5. as much as i love my summers off, i think i truly belong in early intervention. maybe one day...

    hmmmm... that twitter story was creeeeeepy. anyone else think the 14 year old is not really 14??? seems a bit too crafty for a teen. be careful- there are a bunch of kooks out there in cyberia. i have met a few of them- yikes.

  3. And more healing vives in Jeannie's and her family's general direction.

  4. Sending strength and positive thoughts to Jeannie and her husband Dan. I was very impressed with how brave Jeannie was as she was sharing the situation.

    I thought the same thing Liz about whether the guy was really only 14.....a very disturbing story.

  5. Jeannie's story is really unsettling -if her brother wasn't a doctor who know how long her husband would have been undiagnosed.

    The twitter story is scary. I was trying to follow Rosie this weekend and two people were arguing back and forth-I was hoping Rosie would block them. A 14 year old thinking to use the name of a ROS producer seems pretty sophisticated. Be careful Rosie.

  6. thank goodness for the rosie recap - the internet connection to Rosie's repeat of her daily show is broadcasting a load tone only. No access to her show today - the other Sirius channels are working fine.

  7. omg i love reading the recaps--and esp your comments you add--and then i see how many shows are left, and then i'm bummed. :(

  8. Thank you so much for investing so much time and energy on this blog, Kelly! I don't even get to listen to the show, but I LOVE your recaps!!
    Will you write recaps of Rosie's show on OWN or of Janette & co. radio show? I would read it if you did! :)

  9. I read about your Twitter story and then was reading on Roseanne's blog, where Stace made this comment that relates to your experience,
    May 21, 2011 7:06 AM

    "A new age is here, and its called social
    networking. You just got to know how to handle it because its broken down massive barriers and for that we should be grateful but also must learn how to deal with it because its not like normal interaction at all."

    I am not on Facebook or Twitter but I have been enjoying all of your blogs. Thank you!
    Love to you and your family Ro ~ mm ;)