Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Some Say the World Will End in Fire, Some Say in Ice

I say it will be some nasty virus that will have us all bleeding out of our eyes and ears and buttholes.

Hi...I'm back.

SO...I'm all settled in to watch the AFC Championship game on Sunday night, and 20 minutes in we lose power. For the entire game. No snowstorm. No record temperatures. No nothing, except for the fact that we live in a shitty neighborhood in a shitty small town on a shitty grid that loses power at least once a week.

It's usually a quick flash, but sometimes, and always when I am doing something I really WANT to be doing, it is for hours. I really wish I could afford a good goddamn generator, the kind that I could have set up outside that just kicks in when the power goes out so I never experience Service Interruptus again.


But those things cost thousands. And thousands I don't got. I don't got hundreds neither.

Or grammar.

On the heels of that Carter gets sick with something, he's out of school for two days. Carter's kidney thing is also back...again. He's peeing blood/protein...again. This 'secondary infection', that rare (I've had enough of rare shit happening with my kids thank you very much) thing that happens to SOME kids after a strep infection in the kidneys that usually goes away?

His isn't going away as it is supposed to.

It is now seemingly getting worse, not better. A specialist visit has now been put into motion to be scheduled. Nephrologist. Pardon me in advance for this...FUCK IT FUCK IT FUCK IT. I hate worrying about both my boys simultaneously. It ages me in ways you cannot imagine.

I FUCKING hate it.

And now Bennett is out with the same fever/cold that hit Carter earlier this week. His Quarterly review (OH JOY) which got moved from late last week to this week may get moved yet again (OH JOY), depends on what happens with his fever/cold.

The agency who handles the Home Health Aide for us had been continuing to look for a replacement Aide for us. Couple weeks ago the woman there called and said they had found someone they were talking to, someone a bit younger.

Hadn't heard back for a while, couple days ago she calls and says she is sending someone over yesterday night to meet Bennett at 4:30 and see how it goes and maybe take the open slots.


At around 6:50 PM the phone rings, and the woman is on the phone (the one who is supposed to be coming, not the woman at the Agency). She is lost. Let's call her...Wanda. Short for Wanderer. (Not using real names here). She was calling from a gas station, as she did not have a cell phone.

Now I don't have a cell phone either so I can't really be a judge of anybody here, but I am also not working for anybody right now other than me and I am not commuting what would essentially be, for her anyway, FORTY minutes at least. That's a very hinky thing in my opinion, though as she later explained it she has yet to 'get on her feet'.

But it was at that point, when she called, I gotta be honest with you, that my Spidey-Sense started tingling. I need someone 'on their feet' already. Sound cruel? Harsh? Keep reading. You'll understand later.

I left at that point. I needed to go to the store. I needed to buy some straps. You know the kind of straps that you use when you want to, say, strap a motorcycle or ATV to the bed of your truck to transport it? Well, I don't have a motorcycle or ATV and I don't have a truck.

What I do have is a developmentally disabled kid who seemingly has no fear or no ability to really learn just how truly dangerous some things really are, and like a moth, he is attracted to glowing orbs of light. He now thoroughly enjoys pulling out a kitchen chair, climbing up on the kitchen table, and then reaching as high as he can to try to touch the large round kitchen light fixture.

This can happen with incredible speed even if you are watching him with dutifulness, which I was the other day when I saw him take a header off the edge of the table. It was only my mongoose-like reflexes and the fact that I possess the speed of a very fat cheetah that I was able to leap over and catch him.

It only cost me the pain-free use of my back for the next two weeks.

So the large strap is for the chairs. It is to be wrapped around the table and chairs, like a Christmas ribbon around a gift, to keep him from pulling the chairs out to use them as a step to climb up on the table. I swear to you...our house really is starting to look VERY bizarre with all the rigged shit in it. Velcro tape around stuff, padded edges, special screens on the vents, and it will continue to morph as he ages I expect.

In the Spring this year I will probably have to install some type of bar system on the windows. Not to keep out burglars. But to keep Bennett from falling out. I know, I just know, he will be pushing on screens.

Anyway, I get back from the is around 8:00PM. A strange car is in front of the house. This much I expected, as I figured Wanda would be there by then. I did not expect Wanda to be sitting in the vehicle. I pull the car into the garage and go out to the driveway and introduce myself and ask her why she had not gone to the door.

She said she did, but no one answered.

I went in and invited her in. Jen and the boys were upstairs. Bennett, who had just started to feel bad (and run a temp) had not napped that afternoon and she was putting them down (meaning 'putting them to bed', not 'you're Momma!'), so she had not heard the doorbell. Wanda was in the process of writing a note to leave on the door as I arrived.

We all chatted a bit, and that was when I found out where she lived, which ironically was in an area on the Southeast side where I used to live. Holy SHIT that's a hike. IN fact, such a hike, that to do it without a cell phone was downright dangerous. How in the world would she be able to tell us that she was running late? (I wondered internally...I was very pleasant in person.)

Look, she was a nice woman, and it was clear to me that she could use the job. But in the end, that's not good enough.

With our last Home Health Aide, I let my emotions cloud my judgment. I liked her. I let the fact that I liked her personally influence how I handled her job performance, which had some ups and downs. I let her get away with things I should not have, and THAT IS MY FAULT. I swore to myself that when the time came, I would not let my emotions get in the way again.

The time had come.

So today, I called the agency and told them to please call Wanda and not have her come back as Bennett's Home Health Aide, and I explained why. I said it was nothing personal. She seemed like a very nice person, that she might have even had a great rapport with Bennett, but she never even MET Bennett, as she didn't show up until around 7:30-ish, had no cell phone with which to call and tell us she was lost, and everything else from above.

I told the woman at the agency that in my experiences of managing employees, and I have had about 8, the ones who live the furthest away always call out sick the most. It is an absolute fact. And it is almost always related to weather, but still, it happens. And the fact that she had no cell phone to be able to tell us that she was going to be late would drive me crazy, because it used to drive me crazy with our last Home Health Aide who HAD a cell phone and did not call to tell me she was running late.

I have a HUGE pet peeve about tardiness. HUGE. If it starts like this, and you get a bad vibe, you gotta go with your gut.

There were other things, some intangibles, that I wish to keep to myself.

Look, I want the help. We NEED the help. We are in the red as far as stress levels here at the house. But I also will not settle. Period. Not worth it. Call it foolish pride. Call it learning a thing or two from seasoned veterans like SingleDad, men I have learned to admire and respect in how they manage their lives and how they navigate the bullshit.

Call it what you will. But we will wait until we find the right person, we will not just slide a body into the mix to fill the slot.

So, that's been the last week in a very large nutshell. That, and Matthew is still hanging on, though barely. The latest update from his Mom, written this morning, was this.

Matthew is still here with us. Barely. We were up practically all night, he got morphine and atavan every hour to keep him calm and comfortable. I've been holding him since 5 pm last night. I don't want to let him go.

I know many of you carry your Christianity cards with pride. I don't. I shredded mine a while ago. I didn't throw it away. It sits in a pile somewhere next to a roll of Scotch tape and the possibility of reconstruction. But the rest of you still have yours, so use 'em.

Not for his recovery...cause we all know that isn't happening. For his family. I cannot imagine anything worse than this. If there is a Hell on Earth for a parent...this is it.

I really feel such a stinging, raw sadness for them and hope that they can find some strength within each other to make it through the days to come. I have a sense that it's getting closer now to the conclusion. What an awful, awful, awful thing for anyone to have to go through. I really just don't get it.

At all.



  1. yeah...sorry for those times I was late to work back at Palisades...

    I hope Bennett feels better soon and I hope Carter's specialist gets him on the track to healing up quickly, safely and with very little BS.

    You are right to go with your gut on the Home Health Aide. No question.

    Sending you wishes for peace, rest and happy strapping...

  2. Using my card,and praying for precious Matthew and his terrified and heartbroken family.

  3. Oh and of course for Carter.Hoping you all get to the bottom of this.No fun for sure.

  4. So I FINALLY decided to look for help. And I cyberclicked with this one girl. She sounded so promising. A prenursing college student who was looking for part-time work as a nanny. She lifeguards and is a swim instructor. Perfect...this summer I get a nanny and a swim instructor all in one. So I finally meet her face-to-face last night. She's pregnant. Due in April. But she doesn't think the pregnancy will affect her job performance but would like to know if she can bring her baby to work.

  5. Oh, god. You do have a lot on your plate and you're even very kindly holding others' plates as well. You did the right thing with Wanda. I can just see her, in the gas station, calling you. Yikes. The description of your rigged-up house is awesome, and it made me laugh and cry, too. Sigh.

    I'm sending prayers and healing thoughts to your friends. To Matthew. Healing is different than curing.

  6. Oh boy...wonderful. Could she have told you that BEFORE she met you? I have much more to my own story as it turns out, as the woman was NOT called before she came to the house for the following evening.

    That was pleasant.

  7. ...and maybe you can do a post highlighting some of your rigged-up soulutions in your house. My inner-MacGyver is super curious!

  8. Wow, lots going on right now.

    I hope you find a replacement soon. You were right to go with your gut. It's always the best way to go. I always have a hard time letting my emotions get in the way, maybe I can learn from you here.

    Also, hope both the boys feel better soon and some answers are found about Carter's problems.

    As always, you guys are in my thoughts and prayers..and now Matthew and his family.

  9. man for going with your gut and your head on that choice. The only thing worse than having to deal with everything on your own, is watching someone incompetent dealing with your child. Not worth 5 minutes of high blood pressure. You did good, for your kid and for yourself.


A Beautiful Blank Page

Christmas is over. That sound you hear is my sigh of relief. The tree is not actually down, as the opening image suggests. That was a t...