...And in the air, the fireflies, our only light in paradise. We'll show the world that they were wrong, and teach them all to sing along; singing Amen I, I'm alive. Amen I, I'm alive...

- Nickelback, If Everyone Cared

For All The Right Reasons Album

And I'm singing Aaa-ayyy-men, I'm alive!

William Leonidas November 12th, 2009
My only regret is that I cried so many tears while I waited for you.

"...I'll try ~ but it's so hard to believe. I'll try ~ but I can't see what you see. I'll try and try to understand the distance between the love I feel ~ the thing I fear ~ and every single dream. I can finally see it. Now I have to believe all those precious stories. All the world is made of faith ~ and trust ~ and pixie dust. So I'll try ~ because I finally believe. I'll try ~ because I can see what you see. I'll try, I'll try ~ to fly..."

Jonatha Brooke "I'll try"

Fear thou not, for I am with thee; be not dismayed, for I am thy God; I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Isaiah 41:10

Now the word of the Lord came to me saying, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you..." Jeremiah 1:4-5

For Thou didst form my inward parts; Thou didst weave me in my mother's womb. I will give thanks to Thee for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; wonderful are Thy works, and my soul knows it very well. Psalms 139:13-14

Monday March 5th, 2010

So Why Stinkerie?

It's simple, really. It's the first thing I whispered against my newborn little Dumpling's temple as I held him alone for that very first time. "There's my Little Stinkerie." And all was right with the world as I brushed my lips across his delicate dewy soft newborn-pink skin and sniffed at his sparse smattering of downy soft hair. Corny and sappy, huh? I can't help it when describing my new Little Puppy. But don't get used to it - I have been told I am "irreverent."

Anyway, it just came out and he's been Stinkerie ever since. As well as Stink Pie, Stink Pot, Stinkey Pete, Little Stinks, Stinks, Puppy, Ducky, Baby, Baby Head, Baby Head Jenkins, Jack, Jack-Jack, Jackie Boy, Jax, Snork, Snorkis, Snorkle, Billy Boy, Billy Bob, Bobby Sue, Billy-Joe-Jim-Bob, Will, Willie, Willister, and the name given by my mentor turned friend Beth - Snake. When I write to her I call him either The Snakester or Slither! And of course, Dumpling, because he is my Little Dumpling - warm and soft and comforting. It's alright to combine comfort food with baby names, right? Have you ever watched the movie Where the Heart Is? If you have, you'll know why I mention this in my defense!

Long story short, you're likely to encounter any one or more of these names in a single post. Because I can. It's my blog!

Something to Consider

Bad decisions make good stories.

Something to Think About

With any pregnancy, there are concerns. With any child, there are worries. When you have a diagnosis of Down syndrome, you know what to worry about. You know what to look for. You have a plan of action. With your typical child, there is no limit to the things that can 'go wrong' or 'happen.' There's no place to focus your worry and concerns. 'IT' will always be out there, waiting. You'll always be on guard. Even when the child is 55 and has grandchildren. With Down syndrome we have a battle plan. With Down syndrome, there is a finite number of things that can go awry. With a typical child, there's isn't. It's a crap shoot. I'm sticking with the Ds and taking the other two back to the hospital for a refund.

Head Above Water

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Friday, December 3, 2010

About Last Night

Yes I know there's a movie of the same title. This isn't that kind of post. Back in May I wrote Last Night, trying to get some of my wrath out. It's a long post about a couple of parents who should have known better, and more toward the end, a couple of people at My Middle Little's school, the vice principal and the district nurse, who both certainly should have known better. I unleashed my wrath at the former, but I really had to hedge in my anger to the latter. They'd done something horrible to our family and I was simply too wrung out to write about it at the time for one, and too cowardly to revisit the fears doing so would require, for another. So I wrote about their lesser offense and curbed my tongue. Comments have given me the courage to finally write it all out. It's long. You'd better get some coffee. And a snack. Maybe a thermos and a meal. Take some vacation time. Divert your mail. Stop your morning paper for a while.

I ran into the district nurse this morning. I won't have to deal with the vice principal again until The Oldest changes to Middle School next year because she changed schools. As if Middle School won't be bad enough, eh? Okay, so About Last Night...

...early in February this year the Middle Little was rockin' out his ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder) and really having a time with himself. As a matter of routine, the kids line up for their morning meds first thing before breakfast. It's a safety feature, this routine, based on another incident two years prior. Hand them the meds, watch them swallow. I don't forget to give them to them and they don't forget to swallow them. And yes, forgetting to swallow a pill in your hand does happen with the variety of acronyms my kids carry as labels. The Girlie only takes meds on school days, but out of necessity, The Poddest of Pods gets dailies. I gave The Girlie her meds and handed The Pod his. And The Pod took the Girlie's med cup out of her hand and swallowed down the pills, setting his on the table with a sing song, "I~took~your~meeee-eeeds! Now~you~can't~take~theeeeeee-m! I~took~your~meds! Now~you~don't~get~aneeeee~meee-eeeds!" Great. But also, no big deal really. I had more meds for her, and what he'd swallowed of hers were actually less than half doses of the exact same meds he'd been on just the previous month. So, I being the nurse that I am, separated out the various drug categories from what he should have taken versus what he'd actually swallowed, gave him what he was missing from his daily routine. Got lunches packed and back packs stuffed, breakfast fed, etc, and got them out the door on their respective buses.

I have always had a great relationship with his teacher, Mrs GG. And being the responsible parent, as soon as the school office was open I called her. I'd let her know that the Middle may be in for a rough day, and maybe not. I explained that he'd deliberately taken taken his sister's meds this morning, if that was to be any indicator of how his day would go, but not to worry, that they were all the same meds he'd been taking just last month only in smaller doses, and that if he was out of control as a result of the smaller doses she could call me and I'd come get him. She was already in the habit of calling me at least four mornings out of five and four afternoons out of five to see if anything had changed for The Middle, had he slept well or poorly, had he eaten well or poorly, had he thrown up that morning or not (frequent and common side effect of the faster acting meds) had he been upset that morning? (Typically if he's upset in the morning he has a great day at school, and conversely, if he doesn't leave the house in a fit he has a bad day at school. Go figure!) and sometimes just so she can put The Middle Little on the phone with me long enough to talk him down out of his tree. Problem solved, right? Situation handled? Not by a long shot. That call took place at 7:45.

So let me give some history. In early December, The Poddest of Pods had been getting out of control much quicker, for much longer and to much further extremes. He'd been suspended three times the first two weeks for behavior, violence against both students and staff, throwing chairs, desks, etc. His daily cocktail had risen from 3 meds in the morning and 3 others at night to 5 in the morning and 7 at night. All with nasty side effects. In late December he developed some really nasty side effects from one of the meds and his doctor decided that he needed a fresh start with a clean slate. He wanted to do a chemical wash out. He couldn't continue the culprit med without the neuro side effects becoming permanent, but everything else was balanced against that one med. He would ordinarily hospitalize such a young patient for a chemical wash out, but he'd only been taking the meds a short time and felt that if I could devote 24-hour round the clock care to him, being that i am a nurse, that I would be diligent to call 9-1-1 for anything serious resulting from the chemical withdrawal. You know, stuff like sudden death, convulsions or seizures. No biggy, right? Oh yeah, and psychosis and hallucinations, too. All fun stuff. We did the med wash out at home. It was ugly watching my young son struggle with a body he couldn't control and muscle movements that were not of his own design. Google tardive diskinesia or Parkinsonian syndrome and scare yourself silly. There was lots of pampering and lots of extra little cares, but he was amazingly calm throughout and never developed the more serious effects of withdrawal. My phone was never more than at arms reach. The Girlie had been re-cued and rehearsed on how to dial 9-1-1. By the time four days were over he had full control of his body again and started back into the behaviors that wound him up on meds in the first place. Mania is his middle name, and rage his sir-name, with a little OCD for a first name. Back to the doctor we went for this newer, much less complicated, much fewer daily meds regimen.

And some even older history: The Pod was currently mid way through his second grade when all this crap came down the pike. Way back in kindergarten, at a different school with a different teacher, he'd pulled the deliberate switcheroo for the first time with his sister's meds, and the resultant great day he'd had resulted in a phone call to his doctor and an immediate switch to all of his sisters meds, in slightly higher, then even higher doses. It was an entirely different scenario than with the second (and final!) time he'd deliberately taken the wrong meds.

So back to now. At about 10:30 the vice principal, Mrs THJ, called to say that she thought in light of The Middle having taken the wrong meds, now almost 3 hours later, he should probably come home. I asked how he was doing and was told that he was actually having a great day. I explained that the meds he'd taken were the exact same meds he'd been taking just the previous month, but what he'd actually taken was a much smaller dose than he was accustomed to. That had been my concern, that he wasn't dosed enough, not that he'd taken the wrong meds. I also explained that what he'd taken was the exact some drug category that he was supposed to have taken. It was all very cordial and nice-like until she said that if I didn't come get him right now, she would call the sheriff and he would be turned over to children's services. Okay then. I got Jack bundled up to go get him and before I could get out the door, the school was calling again. It was the district nurse, Mrs GN. She was highly sarcastic and superior in her tone. She said that she wanted to see the actual medication bottles, that I had ignored all of her previous multiple requests for me to comply with this directive, and that if I didn't bring the bottles in, The Middle would not be allowed back in school. This was my third WTF moment of the morning. The Girlie was in fifth grade and had taken meds since mid kindergarten. The Pod was in second grade and had taken meds since before he started school. Never had I been asked to provide proof of what they were supposed to be taking. During every single IEP, which were this school year quite frequently more often than once a month for The Pod, his medications were reviewed. I notified the school every time his medications changed. And further more, I'd never even heard of this district nurse, much less had I ignored any multiple requests or directives from her.

By the time I got to the school I was infuriated. I could barely contain myself when Jack in his carseat and I were ushered into Mrs THJ's office. She started off pleasant enough, saying that they were only concerned for The Middle's well being (insert first posture change) and that she thought if her own daughter (fluttery jazz hands to her chest, second posture change) had taken someone else's medication, she'd want her seen by her doctor, (head bobbing up and down, third posture change) or taken immediately to the emergency room, (eyebrows raised, sitting straight up) if not actually calling 9-1-1 (hands spread expansively, ending on a shame-on-you note, side-to-side head movement). Yeah, she really said and did all of that. So, I said something to the effect of Has your daughter been under the care of the same neurologic psychiatrist for the last 5 years? Does your daughter have a history of having been on these exact same meds just a month ago? Is your daughter's mother a responsible, seasoned registered nurse who knows what to do in this situation? Is your daughter's mother well versed in the drug classifications, desired effects and side effects of these meds? Would your daughter's mother have called her doctor to make sure it was okay to send her to school and proceed as normal? Would your daughter's mother have been threatened with children's services as a result of the acts of a defiant little boy who has a well documented history of acting out? Because I can assure that all of this is true for The Middle Little. I seriously doubt that anything in your daughter's history has required that you advocate and protect her like the Middle Little's has. While I'm typing from memory, I'm pretty sure that's what I said because I can usually recount a good rant fairly accurately. OCD does come in handy sometimes! My rant was delivered in as close as I could muster to normal conversational tone. She said again that she was only concerned "for your son's well being," but her face had hardened and she pulled the massive bulk of her body up to sit higher and more erect in her chair. Instead of the semi-reclined relaxed position she had been in, probably so her lungs could still expand beneath her hugely obese body, she was now sitting forward and rigid. She'd picked a fight but hadn't really anticipated that I'd rise to the occasion. So I asked how that purpose was served by threatening to call children's services. She had no answer. And that's when the district nurse arrived, Mrs GN.

Thankfully, I still had all of their medication bottles. I lined up the two meds The Middle Little had taken, with The Girlie's name on them. Pointed out the doses. Lined up The Middle Little's bottles with the previous month's date, the same drug name in significantly higher doses, that he had been taking in January, but was no longer. Mrs THJ was now fidgeting with her hands, jangling her bracelets. Next I lined up the bottles for The Middle Little, pointed out the ones he should have taken that morning, that I'd omitted today, and pulled my handy Davis Drug Guide for Nurses out of the diaper bag to show Mrs GN that the meds he should have taken were the exact same classification as the meds he had actually swallowed. She was quickly and easily confused. Mrs THJ was breathing a little heavy now and I thought I saw her swipe sweat from her hairline. I had to go over the classifications twice more, pointing out once again that he'd been on doses significantly higher than what he had actually taken that morning. She referred back to the drug guide several more times, flipping pages back and forth, getting lost, losing her place and finally going back to the drug index, pulled out his health office record to compare what was written on the bottles to the list, thought twice that she'd triumphantly found a discrepancy, and was sadly dismayed to learn both times that she'd been reading one of The Girlie's bottles. By now Mrs THJ is sweating profusely and no longer trying to hide the swipes at her forehead and face. I pointed out repeatedly that that I'd always kept the school up to date with his meds. She said something witchy about how I'd had yet to prove it though. So I informed her that I'd never before even heard her name, much less had I ignored "multiple requests" from her, just how were these requests conveyed to me? Through my autistic, defiant, high needs child? That would be effective. Through the US Mail? Haven't gotten any mail from her or anyone else from the school for that matter. I can check with the post office for returned mail, if she thought that was necessary. Or was it with phone calls? At last check, both my home phone and cell phones were in working order. And if "multiple requests" have been ignored, why was this never addressed at his then monthly+ IEP's where every medication is reviewed? And for that matter, since she was clearly at a loss to understand the medications, even with a drug book in her hand, what real value is this information to her anyway, besides being able to recount to EMS people in the event of an emergency? I was livid and I didn't bother to try to contain it. I was observing Mrs THJ's posture become more and more agitated by the minute. She was shifting positions every minute or so, she was having trouble drawing breath, she was fiddling with pencils, shifting paper clips around on her desk. The jangle from her bangle bracelets kept a steady rhythm and created an annoying buzzing in my head. That's when Miss L, the Middle's room aid, brought The Middle Little to me. I asked her how he was doing. He looked terrified. She replied while she stroked his hair that he'd been doing really well and had no behaviors, that he'd been doing his work well, was he leaving for a doctor's visit? I took a minute to reassure My Boy that he wasn't in trouble, then I looked at both Mrs THJ and GN and suggested Maybe we should call 9-1-1 right now! After a good 45 minutes of this crap I was finished. I asked the district nurse if she was done yet, had she gotten the information she needed yet, was she able to understand the information yet, or if we needed to continue this farce any longer? I collected My Middle and My Baby and left. Miss L had lingered in the hallway. Apparently she was concerned about The Middle and wanted to know if he was alright. I gave her the brief run down. The Boys were safely out of ear-shot so I told her straight out that I had notified Mrs GG early that morning that The Middle had taken his sister's meds on purpose, and that since that time, now 3 hours later, Mrs THJ and Mrs GN had turned it into a pissing contest, pure and simple. She said it was the first she'd heard of it and it was such a shame because The Middle had been having a really good day.

I remember trying to sooth The Middle's fears on the way home. He wouldn't be convinced that he wasn't in some sort of trouble. I explained that yes, by taking his sister's meds on purpose that morning, we had both gotten into trouble and he had to go home. He wanted to know what his consequences were going to be. I said that since he was supposed to be in school, he was going to have to spend his day with books, reading quietly. Okay then. Would he still get to eat lunch? Yes. Would he still be able to have recess? No. Would he still be allowed to use the bathroom? Yes, of course. I was still upset with him for doing it, but I was more upset by these two snots who were supposedly looking out for the welfare of my child, but were instead turning a molehill into a flipping lava spewing raging volcano, all with an undeserved, unearned air of superiority. It wasn't even noon yet and I was already tired.

We got home and went on with our day. At 2:10 The Girlie arrived from her bus. At 2:30 both of the gals from the ART arrives for The Older's daily therapies. I asked The Pod's Behavioral Specialist to join me for a diaper change in the nursery so I could fill her in on his morning. He would probably be full of discussion about it all and I wanted her to reinforce why he takes the meds he does and how dangerous it can be to take someone else's meds. As I was finishing up with her and zipping Jack into his out fit, the doorbell rang. And then the real fun began.

One Mr KB from the Department of Children and Family Services was on my doorstep. He had received an emergent call from The Middle Little's school, could he come in please? Fabulous. I guess if any of this crap could be considered good, it was actually good that Mr KB had been chosen to respond to the emergent call. He'd had 22 years of working with children and adults on the spectrum before coming to the county and was quite well versed in the sheer diversity of behaviors displayed by this beast. Of course he had to interview me, review what had happened that morning, review The Middle's life thus far, and speak with both of The Little's and their respective BS's as well. While I spoke he frequently nodded, interjected agreement at several points, and agreed that rather than giving him free access to my children to interview alone, their BS's would remain with them while the parent is absent. Just fabulous. When I was allowed back in the house Mr KB said he thought he'd collected all the information necessary, that he'd go back to the office and write it all up, that he'd call me in a few days to come pick up the paper saying that he'd closed the case out. But that's not what happened.

He did call in a few days. He said that even though both The Olders had been seen by a physician for their physicals in the last six months, they had to be seen again for repeat physicals, go to the local county urgent care facility, shamefacedly say that we were referred by DCFS and there would be no charge. Drop off the paperwork to him in the next few days and we'll get this closed out. Fabulous.

So the next day I keep The Olders out of school and head off to the county urgent care facility. And since we were there without appointments, we had to go into the holding area with all of the people who were there for colds and flu. Fabulous. After waiting for two hours I approached the desk and was told that we were in the wrong area. There is a pediatric urgent care facility right next door that we were supposed to have gone to instead. Crap. Once we get over there, I explain to the lady at the desk why we are here. Thank God above she was wearing her angel wings that day. While we waited for another hour and a half with sick pediatric patients coughing, sneezing and hacking all over my healthy children, she made about 52K phone calls to various departments and finally said that for this kind of thing, we had to see the nurse manager for the county and we could only do that by appointment. She gave me her name and number. I came home and called her and explained to her voice mail who I was and why I was calling. Called Mr KB to relay the information.

By week two, the nurse manager for the county returned from vacation and by week three had gotten my information and had to call Mr KB back to find out just what kind of physicals the children needed. By week four she relayed that he had gotten back to her, and she said that he'd left a message on her voice mail that since this was still an open case so far, they should probably have forensic physicals, that she was going to call him back and keep calling him until she spoke to him personally, because she thought this was over kill and was I aware of just exactly what a forensic exam would mean for my 11 year old virginal daughter? Yeah. It meant exactly what you're thinking it meant. A gynacologic pelvic exam my my daughter who had done nothing to bring this upon herself. I hit the roof. Bless this woman. She had already heard the whole scenario had already agreed that the school had stepped quite out of bounds, in the light of The Middle's history and that I had reported the deliberate mishap myself. After I raged, railed, cussed and swore that I'd make my daughter disappear for regions unknown before turning her over to such a violation, she calmly and gently said, "That's why I'm making sure you know this, becuase I don't think Mr KB is aware of just how detailed a forenic examination gets." Turns out it's even worse than that. Any one having a forensic exam gets a thorough inspection of every body cavity. Mouth, ears, nose, throat, parts, front and back. After sixteen consecutive every two hour for two days calls to Mr KB's voice mail, the county nurse manager called me back. No, Mr KB had not been aware that a forensic exam was so extensive. No, he did not feel it was warranted. Yes, I could take them to the regular pediatric urgent care for regular pediatric physicals. So again, bright and early the next day, we are once again waiting with all of the sick kids in a hot stuffy room, and we are once again turned away becuase "The nurse who does these for the county is out today." And this news was delivered by the triage nurse who raised an interesting point. She understood why The Pod had to be seen, he was the one who'd taken the meds over a month ago. By why did The Girlie need to be seen? Mr KB's answer was because she is a minor child in the same home. She glanced at Jack asleep in his stroller and asked, "What about the baby?" Well, I'd find out soon enough. That day in fact.

Because this bs had not been 'closed out within a reasonable amount of time' Mr KB had made two more appearances in our home to 'check up.' He always gave me advance notice of when he wanted to visit and when The Girlie wanted to be 'absent from the home' for a school dance when he'd wanted to visit, he kindly rescheduled his visit so that she wouldn't miss out. I left him a message that we'd been turned away again because the nurse was out that day. He called back within the hour and dropped the next bomb shell on me. Since Jack was a minor child in the home, he was part of their now 'ongoing investigation.' Great. Just F&*$@#! Great! Here we go again. He took a complete health history from me, since I grew Jack, and was aware that a team of obstetric specialists had made the decision that Jack would be born almost a month early. Given that Jack was born prematurely, a registered nurse would visit us to go over all of Jack's information. Would tomorrow morning be convenient? Eeeesh. It's no fun getting hit with the shit-stick. Much less getting hit with it repeatedly. All of this on top of managing all the early on doctor's appointments and therapies for Jack. And life. And grocery shopping, house cleaning, bill paying, life managing. Not fun.

So the nurse arrived right on time. I recognised her. She'd been surprised to recognise my name in their case files and asked for this case specifically so she could see me again, so she could handle a newborn baby in general, mine in particular, and what the heck was going on with the school that this had gotten so out of hand? She said that when she heard the details of our 'case' she rearranged her day to make sure that we were handled as respectfully as possible. So we got down to business. She didn't comment on Jack's Ds and I didn't offer. I was afraid it would open a whole new can of worms. She held him, cooed at him, commented on how sweet newborns are, and checked out his diaper area to make sure there was no rash. You know, from neglect. She reviewed what and how much he ate and how often. I'd already gotten in the habit of asking for copies of doctor's notes at every visit, so with his weight and length dated two weeks ago, I would not have to haul Jack in for an additional visit. After that she took an extensive medical history from my pregnancy with Jack and concluded that No, he was not born prematurely due to drug abuse on my part, and that Yes, A team of doctors had all agreed that I'd already been getting the maximum care possible to continue the pregnancy, and that Jack was indeed safer out than in. Since she probably wouldn't have to see us again once if this case was soon closed, we had coffee and chatted about her life since we'd last seen each other. She already had all the intimate details of mine. She left me with a hug and a peck on the forehead for Jack.

The next issue at hand was that the nurse who should have done The Older's physicals wound up being out for an extended time. Her replacement was being found. For weeks on end the county nurse manager kept me up to date. Since the case wasn't closed out, Mr KB made frequent visits to our home and every sniffle, sneeze and cough had to be treated by physicans who were qualified to treat a cold, sooth a cough, set a broken bone, but not opine on my children's general health to the extend of providing a valid physical. The county facility nurse had to do that. Finally, after three and a half months, Mr KB called back again said that he'd gotten permission for me to take The Olders to our regular urgent care for their physicals, if I could get the paperwork in to him within the next two days, he could 'close us out this cycle,' in mid May. I packed Jack up and yanked both kids out of school and had the physicals into his office that afternoon.

Which brings us to yesterday and about Last Night. The Middle Little's IEP that had gotten cancelled until the end of May when I wrote Last Night, didn't exactly go smoothly. We'd been dragged through hell by Mrs THJ and Mrs GN. When I was given the date of the IEP I specifically requested that they not attend. I was assured by Mrs GG that they would not be there. I assured her that if they were, I would leave. Again, she assured me that she'd cleared it with the district superintendant and that it was all set.

When I arrived for the IEP there were significantly more people in the room. The Dean of Student Affairs, The school pshychologist, The District Superintendant, the principal, his regular SCD teacher, his inclusion math teacher, his one-to-one aid, some sort of special child life counselor whoes title I have forgotten, his room aid, the librarian, the lunch lady, and the groundskeeper. Okay the last three weren't there, but you get the picture. And sitting right in the middle, looking smug, was the district nurse, Mrs GN. I asked Mrs GG why she was there. She spoke up for herself and said, I remember clearly, "I am the district school nurse. I have every right to be here." Also clear was my reply, "You have no rights when it comes to my children." She said she was there because The Middle Little took daily meds, and again "It's my right to be here." I said, "You have absolutely zero knowledge about his medications or what they do for him. You have zero power to prescribe or even influence what he's given by his doctor, and unless you've significantly increased your knowledge base on his medications, I can see no real value in having you here in this meeting except to take up space." I was pissed. I felt betrayed. People were begining to rise out of their chairs. And I'll be danged if the vice principal, the hulking form of Mrs THJ, didn't choose that moment to make her entrance. My heart was pounding in my throat. I'm sure my face was red and my pulse could have been counted in my neck at 50 paces. I was tembling. I was furious, but I was also extremely frightened. Envisioning what had narrowly been avoided for my daughter still had me scared enough, sickened enough, terrified enough to cause a physical reaction. Almost every one was out of their seats now and several were saying things like, "Calm down. Every body calm down. Wait a minute here. What's going on? What's this about?" General alarm sounded in the room. I was leaning slightly over the table, still holding Jack's carseat, in the general direction of Mrs GN, still seated. I wasn't finished. I said, "Answer the question. Have you, or have you not, educated yourself about his medications any further since the last time we met, or do you remain completely ignorant about what they do and don't do for him or any of the side effects?" More Calm downs, and Now let's see here's and There's no need for thats! "Answer the question!" I was looking directly at her. She was shuffling the papers in front of her. Her eyes were down cast. "I thought not!" She had nothing. People were begining to retake their seats, but the principal and the dean of something-or-other remained standing. I pointed to both Mrs GN and Mrs THJ and said that I'd been told they would not be present, and that after all the crap they'd victimized my children with, either they left or I would. Defense rose from both of them, "We didn't do anything to your children! We were only looking out for (Insert The Middle's name here)!" I said again, either GN could recite even basic knowledge of The Pods meds, or she had to leave, and that Mrs THJ had to leave regardless, or I would. What came next was many people speaking at once, trying to explain the two asshats' roles in the meeting. "Okay, then." I took Jack and exited through the door I'd entered. Once out in the hallway I was shaking so badly I thought I'd fall down. Hands touched my elbows. My vision was blurry. People were talking. My head was buzzing. I was turned around, nudged forward. Someone took Jack's carrier out of my hand and led me to a small room with a hand to my back. I was sat in a chair. Stood back up. Looked at Jack asleep in his carrier. Couldn't sit. Had to move. Fight or flight. Leaned over the table. Caught my breath. Visions of The Girlies terrified face stabbing at my brain. Trying to explain Why you have to let the doctor do this to you to The Pod. Tried to speak. Couldn't. Cried instead.

When I had myself together I realised that the Principal and the Dean of Student Services had followed me out and had ushered me and Jack into this room. I mumbled raggedly that those two women had terrorized my family and that I would not sit in that room with them as if it was all okay for them to hurt my children. They exchanged glances. Stated that they were only aware that a referral to children's services had been made. Someone brought me water and kleenex. They sat with me and I explained in brief detail all the crap we'd had to do since that day, including the demand that my ten year old daughter be subjected to a pelvic exam. That both children, having autism and an unrealistic grasp of situations, feared daily that today would be the day that "That guy from children's services" took them and their baby brother away. The hysteria over every little crisis, the nervousness and tension in general was exhausting to both them and me. The torment they experienced every time they had bad dreams. I never did clarify that The Girlie hadn't had to submit to a forensic exam. They asked if I'd take a few more minutes to calm myself before I drove. I said yes and drank more water. They returned a few minutes later saying that both "ladies" had been excused from the IEP, did I think that I could join them. I did. It went well. In spite of the meds, the chemical wash out, the hourly, sometimes minute-to-minute quirkiness of My Middle Little, he was progressing academically on all fronts. Reading at a 4.5 grade level. Was finally at grade level in all other subjects, having started the year at or below a first grade level.

So I have to assume that this is what Mrs GN was talking about yesterday when she said she'd had no idea that DCFS would go to such extremes. I didn't clarify the differences in the forensic exam they didn't endure, and the regular old run of the mill physical they had been given then and I didn't clarify it for her yesterday. Let her feel the shame of at least 1/100th of the terror I felt for my children. At some point yesterday, The Girlie had sidled up to me to lean her head on my shoulder, her quiet signal to me that she wanted to leave. Mrs GN said "I can't explain it..." I said "Explain it to her" with my eyes toward My Girl. She said, "I can't." I said, "Do you think it was any easier for me to explain what was going to happen to her?" The Girlie was oblivious to what we were talking about and I viciously allowed Mrs GN to remain oblivious that The Girlie had not suffered this insult in the end. Call me small. Call me a heartless bitch. What I can tell you for sure though, I am a mother who's eyes still sting and who's heart still quakes for what might have happened to my children. All for the ignorance and pomposity of an overweight, out of breath and sweaty vice principal and an overly puffed up ignornant district nurse who has the information at her finger tips but is too full of hubris to seek it out. They are bullies. Nothing more.


Holly W said...

oh my god...
I would have been living in fear for months...
what a couple of crazy-high power wielding bitches who have no idea.
I can't even begin to fathom what you went through...
people like that make my nuts...what goes through their small-minded heads?

Tracy said...

Thanks Holly!
It was hard, even after all these months. I'm wrung out from even writing it and going back to that place and time. The rub is that being in SCD, there are no choices of schools. There were a few other minor little victories I had in speaking to the distric nurse yesterday...if I can form a clear thought later I'll add them to the post. Thanks for giving me the courage to even write it out! Hugs!

txkerri said...

OH MY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am speechless! So very sorry you and your family had to go through that mess! I am so glad that you are/were strong enough and smart enough to stand up to them. Wonder how many parents they have bullied? I bet they will think twice before they pull that crap on someone else. Ridiculous!!!