Saturday, June 28, 2014

who am I now?

Pee Wee Herman annoys me, really and truly annoys me but this picture says it all:

I have never really considered myself a caregiver to Dennis (since I married him after his accident). For all intense purposes, I am my dad's caregiver in the respect that I am his only child and closest relative. I am the one that the PCH calls when there is trouble, he is sick or needs new anything -- but someone else (many other someone else's) do the actual day to day care of him.
I was Sam's caregiver (and mom) while he was at recourperating for the better part of 5+years...

... but now he lives on his own. Now he makes most of his own meals, pays his own bills and makes his own decisions... for the most part... we still help with things that are needed and work hard to guide him in a direction that should come as second nature to most 18yr olds. (Sam is still basically 2 year behind in most social aspects of development -- so he tends to act more like a 16yr old... a lot)
He calls us when medical issues arise, when there is a legal issue and so on and so forth...

I used to be a caregiver... but now what am I? I feel lost and as if I am floundering. I am trying very hard to not meddle or interfere (I am sure if you ask Sam tho I am failing at that). Am I still considered a caregiver when he is 18 and on his own? I know I will be again if things go sideways with his health.
Have you ever had to switch from caregiver to parent over night!? How did you do it? Which do you consider yourself? Because lets be honest here, lots of people are parents and lots of people are caregivers and sadly it is so freaking hard to be both!

So I ask again "who am I now?"

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

some things {just} never change

so to catch you up on the latest here in our corner of life:
Sam is now done with school, moved out to the town 30miles from us into a cool little basement suite and has been working for a local farmer there for about 2 months. 
He seems to really enjoy his job (working with both cattle and grain -- the grain seeding and all that is included in that is a new adventure for him). 
On this past Friday, Dennis and I headed into Brandon for a quick trip to pick up some farming supplies and received a phone call from Sam that should he go to the dentist to look at the tooth that the calf broke when it kicked him in the jaw!
We got things sorted and got him to the dentist before he left for the weekend and then off to the hospital to check on concussion risk and other issues that may have come from it. He was checked over by the nurse and sent for X-rays (in case of a fracture) then we were sent back to the doctor to have him fully checked out.
I went in the office with Sam for a few reasons (one of them being that we are not fond of this doctor or the bedside manner but in our small town {and saddly even neighbouring towns} there is no choice of doctors -- you hav to use the one they 'gave you' basically)but mostly for moral support as he is not used to having to deal with these medical issues on his own AND lets not forget ... well... he forgets!
So I was there to help him out.
Firstly, she didnt even look at his X-rays, stating that she could 'see he had no fractures', then when he told her about  his BI and seizures and whatnot, she 'listened' (using that word loosely here) because as it turns my concerns were totally founded -- but that comes later. She said he had no concussion but it was good for him to come home with me so we could be there if 'anything happens' (now what would happen if there were no concussion or fractures?!) Take it easy this weekend and no work til Monday...
NO CONCUSSION--- yet he had blurry vision and a headache... ok... maybe I am over protective.... but really!?
NO FRACTURE -- from a glancing look and a bit of poking with her fingers... ok no screaming from Sam either... so thats good.

Sam came home with us, slept crappy, ate very little and looked like hell on Saturday morning. Swollen face, circles under his eyes and tired. But he got thru the day and did a bit of tinkering, admittedly he went for a ride on the dirt bike (which I was against) and then headed home to meet some friend for a movie intown (but no driving). Woke up feeling a bit rough on Sunday but felt better than Saturday -- so he must be on the mend. Then up on Monday morning for work...
dizziness, nausea, blurry vision and a general feeling of crap. NO going to work, calls me and i tell him to get to the doctor again and make sure she looks at the xray  AND listens to you!
Luckily h is able to get in in the afternoon and this time she listens ... i think.
Her diagnosis is that Sam was having a delayed reaction to Fridays activities (concussion!?!?!) and he probably has an infection -- so med's so that it keeps a fever away and risk of seizures -- and no work for another 2 days! (updated count of days off now 4! Four days with no pay and Sam is stressing a bit from it...)
Some things just never change! I thought we were done with doctors and them not listening to us about Sam and his BI. Doctors need to start listening to the caregivers about things - no matter how small or 'insignificant' they think the information is! We usually know a lot more about BI's, symptoms, new treatments, expectations... you name it we usually know all about it! JUST LISTEN DAMN IT and stop making us feel small and crazy! We 'specialize' in this, they usually don't.

**sigh** Ok Rant is over: Sam is starting to feel better and hopefully back to work tomorrow.