Friday, December 30, 2016

Big Changes

It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since I posted here.  It's been an interesting year, to say the least. 

The good news: 
  • My arm has finally healed, and since the radial head replacement, I haven't had the pain in my wrist, so apparently I won't need surgery to shorten my ulna.  I was able to work in my gardens this summer, and can once again mow my lawn, rake, and lift things.  I have occasional pain, but it doesn't stop me.  It took 3 years.
  • We went to New York for vacation for a celebration of my niece's wedding.  We stayed in a motel, and toured the city.  Daughter was overwhelmed.  She has decided she does like camping, and keeps asking for plans for this coming summer's vacation.  
The big news:

Daughter is back with me.  There is so much staff turnover, and all of the staff members come with issues.  The current one was emotionally abusive.  She denied it, of course, but I believe many of Daughter's stories (not all of them, though).  The stories she was telling Daughter were triggering her PTSD, and she was having difficulty sleeping.  At 4:00 a.m. on Sunday, December 9, I decided I could not take her back. 

I got up to go to the bathroom, and noticed the light was on in Daughter's room.  I went in to turn it off, as I have done many times.  This time, she woke up, and was clearly terrified.  She was shaking uncontrollably and crying.  I had not seen her PTSD that bad in years.  She is so grateful to be back with me.  She is also very concerned about the safety of the other women in the house.  I have encouraged her to talk to her Case Manager about her concerns next week, and assured her there are other people watching out for the other women. 

She has been referred for vocational services.  At this point, my goal is to give her the stability she needs to succeed at a job in the community.  Long term, I'm going to explore building an apartment in my basement.  That would give her independence, and I could pull her upstairs when she hits a bad spell. 

For now, I'm looking to hire the young women who deal with our children and youth at the church to stay with Daughter when I have to be away overnight.  I have a retreat with colleagues 5 times a year, and I don't want to give that up.  I'm going to need it now more than ever.

The  last few weeks have been very challenging, and Daughter did a good job of going with the flow.  The week before Christmas we had two deaths, and I had a funeral on Christmas Eve.  Administrative Assistant took Daughter home while I went to the cemetery for the committal service following the service and luncheon at the church.  I also had two female colleagues close to my age die unexpectedly that week.  One had been my closest friend while I was in Tiny Village.  I'm going to work on getting healthy. 

Daughter has shown great improvement since being back with me.  She is now sleeping through the night, and her blood sugars have improved tremendously.  We didn't move her furniture and stuff back until the 26th, which was very frustrating for her.  With everything that was going on at the church, I was wise enough to recognize that was a stress that could be postponed.  Her bedroom here is much smaller, so she has spent quite a bit of time figuring out how to organize things.  My sister pointed out that cozy and safe is better than large and scary, and she has decided that is true.  She is coming up with a series of affirmations she wants to hang in her room, and safety is one of the top concerns. 

I am going to have to carve out time for myself very carefully if this is going to work.  This is going to turn my schedule upside down in many ways.  Daughter has matured tremendously in the 5 years she has been in group homes.  I'm hoping we can make this work.  Daughter is determined that she will do whatever is necessary to make it work.  I hope she is capable of following up on that determination. 

I suspect I will be writing more here as I adjust to this change.  The church people have noticed how much better Daughter is doing since she's back with me.  I  no longer have the worry of what is going on at the house and if they are handling her health needs properly.  They really weren't too bright sometimes.  One morning I had multiple calls insisting I had not returned her thyroid medication when I took her back.  I searched the kitchen twice and at Home Owner's request, went out and searched the garage.  They finally found them, right where they were supposed to be.  They had been looking for the wrong color of pill.  It wasn't until the 4th or 5th time through that they thought to read the labels.  Daughter had called me in tears because they were accusing her of losing them.  I will spare you all the other stories of their incompetence.  There were so many med mistakes that I had insisted that Daughter count all her pills before taking them.  She caught numerous mistakes that way.  For now, I'm focusing on the positives on having her back here.  The negatives will be there, but for now the positives outweigh them.