Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I listened to "I Don't Like Mondays" this morning getting ready for work.  The Tori Amos version.  I thought it was an appropriate song for the day since I struggled with relaxing for a few hours and, around 12:30 when I was starting to drift off, Neil started crying.  He has never been as easy as my other two.  With them, if they cried at night and I was just too wrecked to hang tough through the tears, I could bring them to bed and snuggle.  Not Neil.  In the first place, he will not just lay beside me.  He must lay, belly down, on top of me.  No getting comfy for Mommy.  And then there is all the head lifting, looking around, slamming back down on my chest.  If I am lucky and he misses my eyebrow or cheek bone.  Which goes on for about an hour or so.  Till I give up and put him back.  So this morning it was from around 1:30-6:15 that I slept.

That didn't turn out to be a good reason to not like Monday's in comparison, though.  John had a headache.  That is one of the other big signs they have regularly told us to pay attention to.  He doesn't get them often, or really at all, if things are normal.  (whatever the hell that means!)  And since I still didn't have a "preferred sub" as of this morning, I was still functioning on the assumption that if I take one more day, I will be "asked" to take a "permanent leave of absence" without pay till the end of the year, I couldn't stay home with him.  I asked him to maybe write down what he was feeling.  At least to make sure to keep our friend who was coming to help with the kids abreast of everything.  Then, he sort of just stood there in the middle of the kitchen, staring.  Now we function in the realm of "is this a seizure??"  And other odd things like instead of putting 3 waffles in our large toaster oven so that Cilly and Neil could have breakfast, he put one waffle in for Cilly.  None for Neil.  Because, he said, Cilly would only eat one.  ??

His headache didn't go away.  I was in the planning room getting copies made for the day when my principal came in, an odd surprise.  We were discussing the substitute situation when the phone rang and my teammate popped in saying it was for me...I picked up the phone and saw John's number on the caller ID.  My heart hit my heels.  He had called NIH about the headache and he was heading in for scans.  They were worried and wanted to see him asap.  His dad was going to bring him in.  When we hung up, my principal kept talking about my sub as she had her back to me and was making a couple copies.  I sat down.  Noticed tears were tumbling down my cheeks without blinking them out.  The nice thing was that, when she turned and saw, she offered to watch my class for a little...my response was just that if I took a minute I would need an hour and I couldn't do that.

So we talked about magnets and elapsed time, checking the units you are working with so you don't regroup a chunk of 10 when there are 60 seconds in a minute, not 10.  I made it to lunch time somehow.  And realized I hadn't checked with a student who needed to complete the math work he'd avoided during his lunch and recess time.  So I did my best teacher speed walk back to my room to make sure I got a pencil, then down to the cafeteria to make sure he was seated separately and working.  And he wasn't so I was glad I'd checked.  Till I got back to the teacher's lounge and realized I had missed a call from John. erg!

The CT scan showed more blood on his brain, he was waiting for an MRI and then a clinic meeting to decide what to do.  He cried while we were talking and things inside me broke a little because it was his dad there with him and not me.  There was a significant chance, he told me, that they would need to operate to drain him. 

I spent the rest of lunch waiting in the office to talk with the principal, who was dealing with some big behavior issue with kids flowing in and out of her office and the office of the assistant principal.  Eventually, I was able to get permission to leave early.  I found my son, told him where he was going after school, and started toward NIH.  Till I realized I needed to figure out a lot more stuff before heading out of town!

Like, who would be there for the little ones, what about the dog, the cats, and then there was the little matter of my job.  If they did decide to operate, I was going to go be with him.  I would NOT leave him there alone.  So there goes my job.  I called the union rep, no call back.  I called the social worker at NIH familiar with our case, she is out till next Wednesday.  I called/texted several friends to find advice about what resources are available to us to help us not end up homeless once they make me take leave and to find out who could help with the little ones over the rest of the week.  Makes me tired just thinking about it all.

I tried the union rep again, and this time, instead of being at lunch like she was at 3:15, she was in a meeting.  So I left a message and asked for a call back.  Which still has not occurred.  And it's 11:40.  (maybe that is why I'm tired)

Okay, so I guess that means I call my principal and tell her I am going on leave and will need help finding resources for keeping our housing.  John and the kids receive disability from social security.  However, it is about $200 short of covering our rent, let alone paying for food, gas, bills, etc.  She interrupted me to let me know that she had JUST (4:00ish at this point) secured a sub who would be able to act as my main go to lady, my preferred sub, so that my students didn't have a "parade of people" teaching them in my absence.  So, for two days anyway, I can be with John and not worry about losing my job.  AWESOME!  I will take what I can get and say Thank you, Ma'am!!


The surgery went very well...John said several times that he must have "popped like a tic".  One thing I am now very familiar with is the way that he will repeat himself over and over when he is coming out of the deep anesthesia needed for brain surgery.  But Dr. Park said that he was very pleased with the way John's brain expanded to fill the gap completely after draining.  There was discussion of brain sag and droop, which didn't seem like words that should be strung together.  Basically, he has to stay horizontal for anywhere from 1-3 days depending on how he heals.   He wanted me to take a picture of him so that everyone would know that he was okay. 

And so, the Unitarian who feels that prayer comes in all sorts of forms, from a quiet reflection, to a god with a son and a spirit, to goddesses and supreme beings of all shapes names and sizes says, more comfortable than I ever thought I would be with a request like this, please pray for us.  Whatever that looks like to you.  Just hold us in your hearts, in the light, connect us to love and healing.  Before I left, I told John I don't regret marrying him for a single second.  Not one.  He can't keep the house clean for anything and I don't care.  He is mine, mess and all.  That's the good stuff- what makes it real.

It was nice to come home to a happy dog.  I'm not sure who out there is familiar with the episode of Friends in which Rachel convinces Phoebe to go running with her, but my dog runs just like Phoebe.  It is awesome. 

And now lavender lotion, soft music, and hopefully some good dreams and sleep deep enough to drool on my pillow.