Thursday, April 30, 2015

Will Fiona's dental work get done??

At Amazing Jane's farewell party a couple weeks ago, I thought back on how long we had known each other.  She came into our lives in 2010 when Fiona first was placed in the Great School in the Big City.  At her retirement party it was revealed that she worked over 15 years at the Great School.

That is pretty amazing for most jobs nowadays, even more so for this type of job which has a high burn out rate.  I can see the difference in the revolving staff at the group home where my daughter now lives.  She has been there just over 2 years.  I have dealt with untold staff, 4 directors, and  2 clinicians,   It is sadly a not atypical situation for a field where people deal with a great deal of stress and are woefully underpaid.  The result is that people like my daughter, who need consistancy and stability, are all too often in the midst of change.

That is happening right now.  In fact, there is no house director at the moment and my contact is a gentleman who is a regional director and oversees a number of the group homes.  This is far from ideal.  I know they are in the process of hiring someone.  Meanwhile, Fiona has yet to have her final wisdom tooth out.  It is a bottom one and it is bothering her.

However she was extremely agitated the day of the appointment and refused to go.  The next day she went to the appointment but the dentist told her if she wanted she could be knocked out for the procedure. She wanted that but the consents I had signed were not for that so she had to come home without the work done again. I am unclear as to why she was even asked this as my daughter is not legally competent to make these decisions.

I was sent the scans last night.  I am calling the drs office today to clarify. I am worried about the anesthesia as the dentist we saw initially said she could not have this due to her airway being very small. He said that she would be difficult to intubate should there be a medical crisis.  Secondly the consent is for both the upper and lower tooth.  Fiona only wants the bottom tooth out and this is all it was supposed to be. The upper has not moved and is not causing discomfort.  I worry that she will be in too much pain if both come out on the same side. She had bad experiences with the previous two extractions and the worst one was the upper.  Her roots effected her sinuses. She is in allergy season at the moment. I don't want to borrow more discomfort and emotional disregulation here!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Struggles and Extractions

It was Patriots Day weekend, a long weekend for me with no work yesterday. This is a holiday that not all states celebrate, but ours does.  It was a low key weekend for me, though my wife says that is purely because I don't know how to relax.  She is right about that.  I hate sitting around.  I love to be doing.  I don't want to waste a minute of this precious life I have been given. Yet I know that actively appreciating can lead to frenetic racing, so I work constantly to try and balance my own high energy with "pauses" for the rest of the family.

I did a lot of swapping of closets this weekend.  Us folks in the Northeast have a deep abiding urge to shed the winter woolies. So since Saturday weather was warm, I did this. I knew it was going to get cold again later in the weekend, but I am sailing my ship with positivity and believing the warmer temps will be back sooner rather than later.

I got a lot of outgrown clothes either to the consignment shop or to the pod where one can donate usable goods for free.  I even sorted some of my shoes (my one real vanity) and consigned those that I have not worn and will not wear again. Once you are in the um, 50's , some styles just look down right silly on you!

Sunday was church and that is always a touch stone for my week.  Our minister spoke on genocide and there is much for me to mull over in the week to come.  I tried to write my piece to read tomorrow at Amazing Jane's retirement party. It is a work in progress.  There is so much I want to say, but I want to be respectful of Fiona's privacy as well at the gathering.

Fiona has been struggling and I have spent a lot of time on the phone with her. When she is disregulated she alternately pulls me close and pushes me away, blaming me for all the injustices both real and perceived in her life.  She refused to go to the new day program that I have been working months on because her hair was not done in extensions.  She did not ask for extensions until late the night before when it was not possible to even get clip ins to skate by on.  I am not sure if she is afraid and did this subconsiously to avoid going or if it is the fact that she has a total inability to plan ahead.  At any rate, that night she totally lost control attacking staff and another resident and requiring a hold and one on one presence for the next 24 hours. She would call me and rage at me, saying she didn't want me to be my guardian any more.  I tried to just let her vent and then we would hang up.  I would call back a few hours to say that I loved her and that I would always be there no matter what she felt she needed to say, she would cry and calm down, only to wash rinse repeat hours later.   Yesterday was the first day she sounded more herself and I am hoping the worst is over with as I want to bring her to Jane's farewell party tomorrow.

Yesterday morning I had a tooth extracted.  Apparently I am such a weirdo that I did not know I had an abcessed tooth.  There was no pain. It was found during my regular cleaning last week.  I had the tooth out in the morning and all is well.  They gave me a pain med which I did not need or even bother to fill. I took Ad*il yesterday, but today I don't think I will need anything.  The only annoying thing is that I won't be eating many salads this week. OK any salads this week!  I need to eat softer foods while I heal and salads are my favorite lunch.  I made them every morning and love throwing different add ins--egg, edamame, tiny bits of roasted veggies, salsa, you name it, into the regular base of greens.  My wife hates salads and thinks I am nuts.  So today it is pumpkin raviolis instead, but I really can't complain as all went so well.

All day long my wife kept telling me to go lie down and I kept saying "why?"  LOL  So we got the camping gear out of storage and organized instead as it is only 5 weeks till I take the kids for the first camp out. Now THAT makes me smile!

Friday, April 17, 2015

He's 11!

 Plopping pictures in my blog gives me fits. I am really bad at organizing them and they seem to defy all my efforts!  However, hopefully they capture a bit of the joy that was KC's 11th birthday.  I am still wrapping my mind around the 11 year old facet of things.  In some ways he is so much more grown up--in other ways, still just the same KC as always.  I think the being on the cusp of added maturity is challenging for him.  "I'll still always be your baby," he said to me this morning.  Yup, always son.  He wanted Star Wars and a snippet of the mural is in this post.  We are all in the mural somewhere. There are some of us as Ewoks.  Chet is Chewbacca, Lissa is riding in the people mover thingie.

The cake came out amazing.  It is home made as KC really hates the taste of store bought.  (I can't argue, I do too!) But I ordered the cake decorations on line and it looked fantastic!

He got his much dreamed about tablet--Kindle Fire HD and he has it charging as I write this.  As we had the party, his friends from church and dance were calling in to wish him greetings. It was very cool.  Happy Birthday KC!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Baskets and Birthday!

The shopping for a small gift basket has morphed into a dance studio wide gift basket gather for the girl who was hit by the car and her family.  KC presented his idea to Miss H, the dance teacher and she was 100 per cent behind it.  She gave him a big piece of poster board and he made a poster to explain and she gave him tape to hang it up in the studio.  I love that the school as a whole want to help out. I love that my son wants to do this. I love that by helping, we all feel better and heal.

This dance school is a very friendly group--not at all the "Dance Moms" kind of nonsense one sees on TV or reads about.  The school does no competitions and our kids often enjoy hanging out outside of the dance school.  One of the moms ran off some little flyers that could go home with the monthly newsletters. Then she texted me and said she hoped KC wasn't upset or thinking that she was trying to steal his thunder.  In actuality, he was thrilled that the word was getting out in a multiple of ways.

Tomorrow that kid turns 11.  Matching digits and a huge star wars mural adorns our dining room.  The young Jedi will enjoy his day! But this mom still can't quite wrap her head around the fact that he is nearly 11!  The year just past has brought really increased maturity, the mood swings of puberty and an increased passion for his interests and for "changing the world."  He is funny, sweet, talented and often a bit overly sensitive. But he also can crack the most amazing jokes and always senses when someone needs a hug.

I love you KC  Happy Happy Birthday!

Friday, April 10, 2015

Marathon Bombing Trial

Boston strong.  That phrase became well known and important after the Marathon bombing two years ago.  I remember that day so vividly.  That year we were surprising KC with a birthday party a day before his "real" birthday.  He had never had a surprise party before.  The weather was really warm and beautiful and we were outside.  I had been remembering that in years past, the company I worked for at the time invited employees to bring their families into town.  We would brunch, watch a RedSox game and then see the end of the Marathon right out in front of corporate headquarters.  The year before my company had been sold and that beloved outing was a thing of the past.  But although I was not in Boston, I had friends running the race.  I had friends watching the race that day.

The whole idea of the bombing seemed somewhat surreal.  I don't think I am used to the idea of terrorist acts on our shores yet.  There are countries (Israel springs to mind) where dealing with this has gone on so long that one suspects they must have developed a different mindset surrounding this.  I am still in the shock stage when such things happen in the USA.  I remember getting updates on the situation, checking with friends that they were all okay, and then mostly shielding the kids who were that much younger.  KC had his party and it felt odd to be doing that, knowing that 50 or so miles away, some people's lives and dreams had been ripped apart.

I was relieved that the bomber was caught (well, the younger brother, the elder dying when his brother ran him over).  I expected a guilty verdict and was not surprised at the outcome yesterday.  But what I was not ready for was the virulant diatribes on social media.  People who said not only should he get the death penalty, but he should be killed slowly and inhumanely.  So much hatred spewed across my computer screen from so many sources that I shut off my computer for the night.

I am not a pacifist.  I do support the death penalty.  But there are things to remember. This is a relatively young person who I do think was very emotionally swayed by his revered and charismatic older brother.  Even if we decide that the death penalty is what he must have, can we not also remember that he is someone's child.  He was once a promising student, a friend, an athlete?  Choices have consequences and I am not diminishing that.  But the flood of hatred that came forth made me feel that we as a society were perpetuating the hatred of that horrible act.

If I had been in Boston that day and it had been my child who was killed, I don't know how I would feel.  My kids are my life.  But I hope that I would remember that what I love best about my kids are their loving giving spirits and that it would dishonor those spirits to react with hatred and virulence.

There is a line between justice and retaliation and last night on social media the line was crossed for me.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Dance Drama

Monday night I brought KC and Lissa to the dance school as usual.  There is a class of really little kids that dance right before KC has his jazz class.  The class came out and the mothers gathered their chicks (literally, these kids are chicks in the upcoming recital)  One mom has a little girl who dances in that class and 2 other children with her, a young boy and an older girl.  Her oldest, probably around 9 or so, is autistic and she and I had talked a few weeks ago about the difficulties in obtaining services and how proud we were of various achievements our kids had done.

Tragedy struck as this family left the dance studio.  S, much like my Chet, often wears headphones to diminish the hubub of sensory noise in the world around here.  Sadly on Monday this meant she did not hear her mom calling her and she ran out into traffic and was hit by a car in front of the studio.  She will be all right, though she was quite badly hurt.  Ambulances arrived, the police cordoned off almost the entire street as they sorted out what happened, and rides were arranged to get the two younger sibs home while Mom rode in the ambulance. It was very hard to tell at the time how bad things were, but it certainly did not look good.

I sort of freaked out inside because i know that mom and she is a good parent.  I have also walked her shoes, trying to help my autistic son have safety awareness.  Chet was oblivious to traffic and i have had many close calls with him.  I have been lucky.  This mom wasn't.

For KC and his class, the accident seemed to have the most impact. The younger kids just knew they were hanging longer at the school. (none of us could move our cars while the accident reconstruction went on.)  But KC and his group are between 9 and 11 years old. They are at the age where mortality is known to them and death is suddenly both real and scary. They were very much impacted.

After class, I walked one of KC's friends down past the cordon to her mom.  I hadn't been able to reach her by phone and as she drops D off, I knew she would freak when she turned onto the street and saw all the flashing blue lights.  She did but saw D and KC and i walking towards her so all was well.  However we walked past the bloody street and that unnerved all of us a bit.

KC had a hard time processing and judging by the phone calls flying to and from his friends, I think the rest of the class did as well.  KC decided that he wanted to do something for S, the girl who was struck.  I have chatted with her mom and found she loves art so this is going to be an easy friendship care basket for KC to create.  From one artist to another!  It will be good for S to have something as she recovers. She is hopefully going to be discharged from the hospital by Friday at the latest but the healing will take some time. It will be good for KC to do this,not just because i want my kids to be compassionate, but because it will help him as well.  In my experience, doing something always helps.  There is less feeling of swirling about in a tide of chaos or fear if you can do  something, even something small.

So Saturday we will shop for a small basket of fun and easy art supplies. And we will all heal a bit together.