Saturday, December 1, 2012

Dodge Ball

Do you remember dodge ball from gym class? You know the game where people throw balls at you as hard as they possibly can and if you get hit, you are (mercifully) out of the rest of the game.  I never liked the game. But you know, they say everything you learn in school is preparing you for something you’ll need to know later in life. I’m still waiting for geometry to kick in but I guess I’m starting to see where everything else fits in; even this dodge ball game.

Lately it feels like I’m playing dodge ball; the only difference is that it seems to be me against a whole lot of people trying to get me out.  Ironically, the teams were always even in gym class--not so much so in real life.

So a few weeks ago, Caden had ear surgery; a week later his ear re-perforated.  The cultures showed his sinuses are growing bacteria, but it is bacteria that should be responding to the antibiotics that he’s been on for over a year now.  So we’re in a holding pattern and just trying to minimize symptoms because there doesn’t seem to be a better plan at the moment. Then his stomach pain is back.  We’re still treating him for bladder spasms and constipation and acid reflux but nothing seems to really matter. We’ve even started eliminating certain foods but the pain remains fairly constant.  He actually said the other day, he doesn’t care about the pain anymore.  Seriously should a 6 year old ever have to get used to pain?

Then there’s my dental “situation.” Yes I’ve escalated it to a full blown situation. In addition to having the tooth removed, the bone grafted, and an implant placed (which is going to take multiple procedures over the next year), I also have to have every filling I ever had put in replaced; I also knew I wasn’t a silver kind of girl.  Thankfully the dentist and oral surgeon have finally realized the full extent of my phobia and are now sedating me for everything.  Heck they may start offering laughing gas for when I need to brush my teeth—yep that’s how bad things are these days.

Then there’s my daughter’s declining neurological health.  No one seems to have any ideas yet, but she’s consistently dizzy, having horrible headaches that no amount of medication will break, and having difficulty with comprehension, short term memory, speech, and vision.  So far the eye doctor has ruled out his part and the CTscan came back negative. We did an EEG yesterday (and I actually think we finally have all of the glue out of her extremely long hair) and today she’s having a head MRI with contrast.  We see the pediatric neurologist at Mayo again next week and hopefully get some answers (and more importantly a plan). Until then we wait with a scared and frustrated 12 year old.

As an added bonus, recently Caden started in home autism therapy. The therapists are wonderful and so far he enjoys their attention. They work 2 hour shifts with 2 therapists coming in a day 3 days a week. These 12 hours are substituting for part of his school hours.  Thankfully they are able to integrate speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, life skills, and social skills all into their therapy sections.  Everything is excellently documented in a binder which you know I love. But I’m still adjusting to having strangers in my house and trying to keep my house spotless for them.  I’m also not sure what my place is when they are here.  I’m like the mom who is no longer needed.  Somehow it is a different feeling than when I was simply waiting in a waiting room at some hospital or clinic.  Thankfully his enthusiasm more than makes up for my discomfort and I’m sure in time I’ll adjust.

And then out of the blue we had some pet drama.  The day before Thanksgiving we had to say goodbye to my beautiful tail-less wonder cat, Kola.  Her medical situation had declined and there just weren’t any other options left for us to pursue to alleviate her pain.  It’s for the best but that doesn’t make my heart feel any better. Then two days after Thanksgiving Elf had to go to the vet for a bacterial infection. Thankfully it was localized and we caught it early but he hasn’t been able to go to school with Caden for the last few days and honestly I’m not sure which one of them that has made more miserable.

Let’s face it this game of dodge ball is just plain ugly. But then every once in a while I find a time out zone; you know one of those places where they can’t get you until you step out of the square.  Those time out zones have come in the form of Caden being moved to 1st grade for literature and math each day and being one of only three students who were invited to the E2 (3rd-4th-5th) grade room for lunch because of their hard work this year. 1st grade has been his dream so this is a huge accomplishment in his world. Another time out zone is that Ryley had to withdraw from traditional school this year and is doing a virtual charter school; this means that even though she has missed 1.5 weeks of school we’ll be able to use nights and weekends to get her caught up once she can resume school again. And then we can’t discount the fact that somehow or another Dan and I have been able to juggle classes for the last 3 weeks so that all of our classes are still exactly on schedule. Granted at some point I’m going to have to step off the safe block and then it’s all going to break loose again. 

I just don’t like dodge ball. It is overwhelming and darn it when one of those balls gets ya, it just plain hurts.  And there doesn’t seem to be a coach with a whistle to signal the end of the game which I guess since this is life we are talking about, that’s probably a pretty good thing.  So for now I’ll keep dodging and desperately looking for those time out blocks. But hey if you are in the neighborhood and would like to tag in and give me a break, I’d be more than happy to oblige.  I’m a little weary of Caden’s tale at the moment, but then again I can’t imagine any other tale I’d rather be living.