Wednesday, January 5, 2011

It's Alive!

I stopped by the junior high to get some homework for Jackson. There was very little work for him. In fact, his reading/writing teacher even sent a note saying that the class was starting to read a new book, but there weren't enough for Jackson to take one out of school. Nice, huh? I'm so glad the hundreds of dollars I pay in registration fees and all the supplies I supply are serving him well. Anyway, I know the teachers don't know the details of his absence, and perhaps they just think he's out for a couple days with strep throat or something, but how sad that they can't spare a book for him.

I had an appointment with the family therapist assigned to Jackson on Monday at 1:30. At 1:10, they called me to cancel because the therapist had called in sick that morning. Understandable why it took them until after 1:00 to let me know.

There were visiting hours from 7-8 this evening. I called the nurse's station to explain my situation. "I know siblings are only allowed on weekends, but my nine-year-old daughter has a therapy appointment at 8:00 tonight. I won't have to time to visit Jackson and then drive all the way home to get my daughter and make it over to her appointment by 8:00. Can I please bring my daughter with me to visit Jackson for a little bit tonight?"

She had me hang on while she put the phone down to file her nails. She picked it back up and said, "Tough. Those are the rules. Deal with it, lady."

That pushed me over the edge. I've been holding back the tears, forcing a smile, staying strong, and pretending like everything is fine. But at that moment, the floodgates opened and I said (with a combination of nastiness and sobs), "Thanks a lot! Now my son has to go three days without seeing any family! I'm a single mom! I have six kids! I don't have anyone to help, okay? It would really be that bad to have a nine-year-old on the unit for half an hour on a, gasp, Wednesday?!"

Nonplussed by my crazed sobbing, she offered, "I could page his doctor to see if she'll give an order stating that your daughter can visit tonight."

"Yes, thank you. I would appreciate that," I said. Then I asked her to let me talk to Jackson since it was during their phone hour. She told me that he was in the shower and she'd have Jackson call me back.

I waited nearly an hour and then called again before the phone hour was up. I got through to Jackson and asked him if they'd told him that I'd called earlier. Nope.

Of course, no one ever called me back. No one gave me permission to bring Lexi with me to visit Jackson tonight. I still have no idea when he might be getting out. Someone is going to get an earful when I call tomorrow morning. I will not be crying like a baby and I will not be hanging up until I get some answers.

So many things really suck right now. But still, I refuse be dragged under. (At least, not for more than 10 minutes at a time). There's still funny to be found. In fact, while I was at the junior high, I went to Jackson's locker to get his books. A strange funk hit me when I opened the door. What I found was six sweatshirts and jackets. SIX of them! I didn't even know he had six sweatshirts/jackets! It suddenly made sense to me why Jackson was always saying, "Mom! I don't want to wear a coat to school. I'm not cold!" It's because he didn't have any coats at home to wear to school! As I dug through his veritable outerwear store, I uncovered the source of the stench.

A plastic container. I had no idea what might have once been housed in the container, but I was pretty sure it was now toxic waste. As I left the school, I passed a garbage can and almost threw the entire container in the trash, but my morbid curiosity got the better of me. I took it home. Then I told the kids where I'd found it and my estimated time of rottingness (8 weeks). One child was brave beyond the call of duty. Lexi grabbed the container to open it. "Noooooo!" I screeched, "Take it outside!"

I have no clue what this once was (I'm guessing cucumber slices), but it's all in my garbage can now. I hope it doesn't come to life and slime us in our sleep.


Unknown said...

Speaking of kids and their coats: I've noticed that this winter many of them don't seem to be wearing coats or jackets, despite the fact that it's brutally cold and there is still snow on the ground. The neighbor's teen was in the yard in walking shorts last weekend. And tonight as I was driving home, I glanced over at the car in the next lane, and the teen didn't even have a SHIRT on.


Could you maybe borrow the book for Jax from the library?


Hang in there, Dawn. I'm praying for God to ease your burden.

Anonymous said...

Oh i know that feeling(about the funky lunch container) I made miss 9 wash out her own gunk that had been decomposing in the bottom of her school bag for a few weeks. I think it started out at watermelon. EWW!

Luck with ripping the white coats a new one. They may run a tight shift, but they need to allow for for comprimise.

*hugs if you need them*

Kylie said...

Awww Dawn... Massive hugs coming your way from Australia. I know I am a lurker (sorry!) but please know that I (am I am pretty sure many others) are remembering you & your family in our prayers. You are a strong tower with your foundations firmly in Christ. What an inspiration you are!!

As for the unidentifiable goop - is being able to deal with that something that comes with being a mum? I can't even handle off milk or "dead food"(that is no-where near as dead as what was in that container!)... My poor husband has to clean out or fridge...

Sarah said...

So sorry you couldn't see Jackson. That does stink!!! Praying for your family. How is Austin doing?

MaBunny said...

That was lousy of the nurse to treat you like that, and temporary rant was justified! Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. oh and by the way, that container looked kind of funky,lol

Laura~peach~ said...

hang in there momma this too shall pass... and when it does things will be better for all.
love hugs and prayers... and GIVE IT TO THEM TODAY what a crock of ... sigh.

Gwen said...

When it rains, it pours. I'm so sorry that things are overwhelming. But I am so very impressed at how well you are doing, despite the lack of empathy from teacher and nurses. That slim was disgusting...I can't believe you opened it!!!

Anonymous said...

Oh Dawn, I know you have the strength and tenacity so maneuver through some stubborn phone jockey at the hospital. If it’s the one I think it is, my Dad was in their “older adult” floor many years ago. It’s daunting there. You amaze me daily with what’s been going on the past year or so.

As for the container, I agree, it looks like they were cucumbers. Ick.


Jen@Scrapingirl said...

Oh, Dawn!!! I wish I lived near you, I'd totally be over there to give you a hug. And maybe slap a few people around. :) As for the container, I would've thrown it out without opening it. Or, depending on my mood, open it at the school, then throw it away there. Let them deal with the smell. :)

V1nce said...

It's in every boy's DNA to become a mad scientist just like it's in every girl's DNA to be daily bloggers or ballerinas. Some are able to resist, but others cannot help the primordial call to create swamp monsters out of vegetables. Jackson is pretty smart and realised that cucumbers are the closest thing to swamp monsters and all he needed was a closed, dark, dank place filled with sweaty sweat shirts and coats. Allowed to ferment in such ideal conditions for a few days longer and Jackson would have become the proud Mad Scientist of a new swamp monster.

Way to go mom. A dream now unrealized, plus a world without a newly formed swamp monster...

... wait a sec did you say you put the pre-swamp monster goo in your garbage? A garbage can holding refuse from 6 kids?!


Swamp Monsta's done!!!!!!


Katherine O'Brien, MA CCPS said...


I just wrote a long comment, then had to sign up with blogger.

Anyway, you and I will both get through this with our sixpacks. Hang in there - I'm praying for you. Let's both get answers today. My M is having more psychotic episodes, not less. No clue what's up with F; I missed the visit last night and have to work tonight. We meet with the Social Worker today. At least you don't have to deal with serious animosity from their dad while you are trying to get info.

Hang in - God'll get us through!

Nicki said...

I'm so sorry you are having to deal with all of this on your own. It is tough, but I have every faith in you. I'm not sure if you have let the school know why he is absent, but we ended up having to tell the guidance counselor when our son was hospitalized because we were getting notices that our son had exceeded the maximum days allowed for absences and blah, blah, blah failing the year. They helped us work with the various teachers and were able to write off some of the assignments he had missed because they did not want to add to his stress.

As far as the jackets and unidentifiable substances -- boy thing. It has to be because all three of mine do this. Odd little creatures, but you have to love them. :)

Robin said...

I'm really sorry that things are going this way for you. It's really too bad that the thousands of cyber-friends you have all live so scattered out. I know I'm not alone in saying that I'd be there to help if I could be!!

Good call on the cucumber! That was my guess too!! From your nasty food posts I'm getting better at identifying such grossness! : )

I'm glad you can "still find the funny" in life. Laughter really is the best medicine. I'm praying for your family to heal from this past year (and beyond) and that you're able to keep looking up and moving forward. You're stronger than you know!!

Unknown said...

Dawn- I know you have your faith and some very good friends, but it's time you make your family step up to the plate and help you out. Your parents, sister, and even Joe have got get their shit together and help you out. I know you are strong but you have to demand respect. Enough is enough. You and the kids deserve better than this. Just because they say they can't deal with this, they have to. They shouldn't have a choice. You and the kids are their family and this is their problem too. Fight Dawn. Get what you and the kids deserve. I know you'll get through this. I'm sure that ALL of us readers are praying for you in one way or another.

MamaLemma said...

Just want to be one of the faceless horde letting you know I am thinking about you and your family and hoping things get better soon. "Finding funny" can get us through the most trying times.

Oh, and that nurse needs a serious -- personnel file serious -- reprimand for the way in which she treated you. Neither you nor your kids are criminals, and deserve empathy and compassion, even if she cannot bend the rules. She was way out of line. Go get 'em tiger!

Unknown said...

Hugs to you, Dawn! I agree with the other posters that you should definitely put that nurse on report! There is no excuse for her treating you or anyone that way. What if she had a child in this treatment center and someone did that to her?
BTW I would have just brought my daughter with me after that phone call and simply acted like I had permission to bring her. I did that when my FIL was in intensive care and kids under 14 were not allowed in. My 10 year old was with him when he had the heart attack that put him in intensive care and she needed to see that he was going to be OK. I just brought her in to see him and didn't ask anyone's permission! No one said a word, but if they had, I would have told them that he was alive because she knew to get help and she needed to be able to see him! Tough cookies for them! Sometimes we need to break the rules and stand up for ourselves so long as it doesn't harm anyone! You go girl!

Beverly said...

Keep finding the funny! Continued hugs and prayers your way.

nutralady2001 said...

I think every mother in the world has been confronted with a lunch container like this.........mine usually grew rampant mould.

I hesitate to ask but where is Joe in all this? Is he supporting you in this and taking an active part in Austin and Jackson's therapy???? I'm assuming not but you know what can happen when you assume. (((Hugs)))

Abby said...

As a junior high teacher, I second the comment about telling Jackson's school/teachers at least a minimum amount of info about why he's out, if you haven't already.

Regardless, I have had a few students out for a week or more for family/medical/psych issues and I rarely send things home during that time. Most of the time it's because they really need to be taught how to do the assignments first (and it's usually a waste of time for a kid to try to figure it out on their own with the additional stress going on anyway). Also, I'm sure his teachers can wipe out some of the work if they know he's got such big stuff going on. Especially if you ask them directly how they can help him be less stressed!

Case in point, I recently had a student miss 3 weeks because of the parent's psych hospitalization and she had to go stay with other relatives. I only had her do a couple short assignments when she got back since I know that she's got bigger things going on than trying to learn the math right now.

Anyway, keeping up the prayers that he & the rest of you get through this all as soon as possible. God bless.

Vadercat said...

"But what about the S.O.U.O.?"
"Slime of Unknown Origin? I don't think it exists."
-Slime jumps out of garbage can-


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