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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Paperwork and Other Things

If you don't want to read my wallowing in self-pity, then skip over this post.  Because the reality is that today is a bad day.  Actually, if I am being honest, it has been a difficult several months.  I am constantly overwhelmed and exhausted.  There never seems to be much of a break from the stress.  Being a mom of a child with special needs is far more tiring than I would have ever expected.  It is all-encompassing, from the physical to the mental to the emotional.  And that doesn't even take into account my other two lovely cherubs.  And, unfortunately, I am not super human.  I do not have the time, strength, and energy all  the  time  to do  everything that needs to be done for Miracle Man, immediately when it is required.  I try to do my best each day and tackle several different tasks beyond the daily cooking, cleaning, caring for the children.  But I am only human.  And there are only so many hours in a day.  And I only have so much strength and energy.

Miracle Man has been going through a lot of medical testing.  Too much to blog about individually.  I just don't have the time to go back and write up quirky or sentimental posts about each of his experiences over the past few months.  So I have decided that I am not going to try.  This time in our lives is just too crazy busy.

In addition to all of the medical testing (still hoping for the answers that are difficult to come by), we just recently made the transition from Early Intervention to Preschool Special Education.  I have to say that I am in shock at how involved it is to transition, and how many stacks of paperwork have to be completed.  And, although he began in his new preschool program yesterday, there is STILL more paperwork to fill out.  There is so much, I actually have to ration it out over the course of this coming week just to accomplish it.  And I am the only person who can do it.  But what if I don't want to fill out ANOTHER social history????  This is the third one in less than a month.  And social histories are about a gazillion pages long...and they are not fill-in-the-blanks or multiple choice questions, people.  They are essays.  Pages and pages of essays. To tell everyone in the entire universe EVERYTHING there is to know about my sweet little guy.  All of his medical history.  All of the goals we wish to accomplish.  All of our concerns about him (that one is an enormous list).  All of his likes/dislikes/relationships/reactions to stimuli/waking times/sleep times/eye blinking times.  Okay, so that last one is a bit of an exaggeration.  But, really, that is how it feels.  And to have to write it all over and over is "over" whelming.  Naturally, I do it.  And I complete it carefully and thoroughly.  But I wonder why they can't just make it easier on parents of special needs kids. Parents who are already physically, mentally, and emotionally drained.  Parents who are strapped for time, but still want the best for their child.  You know, like why isn't there just one universal social history form that gets copied and passed around to each school and agency????  I don't know.  Maybe I am just too intelligent for the system?  Haha.

Mountains of paperwork.  Always.  That's the stage we are in.  As if the transition paperwork weren't enough, we recently received a provisional qualification of disability from the state.  Which means...guess what?!?!  More paperwork.  Yup.  I could swim in a sea of paperwork and tasks right now.  Just for Miracle Man.  It is fabulous that we received this letter of qualification.  Truly it is.  It will help us access many different programs that are intended to make our lives somewhat easier.  But there's the whole "red tape" thing that gets in the way a bit.  Calling programs, filling out applications, researching the resources.  It.is.all.too.much.  I need a secretary.  Heck, I need two secretaries!  And it really is no joke.  I am actually holding off on looking into all of those programs until the preschool transition is completed and the last bit of paperwork is handed in and off  my desk!

And then there is the emotional toll of transitioning to preschool.  Spending a year, or two years, or more working with therapists who come into your home to help and love your child is wonderful.  It is a connection that you make that feels like family.  The therapists help you and your child with their whole  being .  And you come to rely on their expertise in making decisions for your child.  But more importantly, you begin to rely on their friendship and the sense that you are "in this together".  And then, 2 years later, your child transitions to preschool, and BAM!  No more.  The connections, the extended "family" you have made together are severed.  Maybe not so drastically or completely (gotta love Facebook for that).  But still.  It will not be the same.  It is unnerving.  It is sad.  It is hard.

Aside from Miracle Man's Mount Everest of paperwork, I have just enrolled Chub-Chub in a nursery school program for two days a week.  This means even more  paperwork.  Having Chub-Chub attend nursery school will be so great for him.  He will get to play with other children.  He will learn.  He will experience new things and new people.  And he will be at Miracle Man's school, too!  They are in separate programs and classrooms, but they will get to see each other on the playground, which is something I am very pleased about.  Yesterday, I was told that Chub-Chub went right over to Miracle Man and gave him a hug and rubbed his head.  So sweet!   Of course, we are currently going through a very rough bout of separation anxiety on Chub-Chub's part.  And yesterday's drop-off at nursery school was no walk in the park.  It was more like a frantic sprint in a dark alley with a gang of thugs following closely behind.  But, Chub-Chub being in school will help me out.  I will eventually get a much-needed break from my lovely kiddles, once everyone settles in and I have crossed all t's and dotted all i's.  And maybe I will even find some "me" time.  For now, though, it's a transition.  And more...paperwork.

Then there is me.  Somehow I fit into this equation, too, right?!  And right now I am going through some very difficult decisions and transitions.  My health has taken a turn for the worse.  I struggle daily with the pain and the fatigue of fibro, but lately, because of where my pain is and the intensity of it, my doc believes that my scleroderma may be progressing.  She also gave me the results of my most recent pulmonary function test and there is decreased functioning in my lungs.  She is tweaking my meds and therapies and we are hoping for the best.  But she is also keeping me out of work longer.  For at least a year.  And I am struggling with coming to grips with that.  I don't know when or if I will be able to go back to work.  I miss it terribly.  I miss the students.  I miss having my own group of sweet children to educate and nurture.  I miss studying fun topics with the kids, and going into more depth because they are fascinated by what we are learning about.  I miss being silly and having fun with the children.  I miss my colleagues.  I miss being part of the building; the camaraderie, the support.  And now I have also been told that my job has been moved to a different building.  Which means that I will most likely never again work with the people I knew and cared about.  And I will have to clean out my classroom.  It feels final.  Even if it isn't.  It feels  that way.  All of the hard work and effort I put into my education and my classroom has to continue to be put on hold.  And that is very sad.  And scary.

I know there is a light at the end of the tunnel.  And I can sort of see it up ahead in the distance.  But the tunnel is dark. And long.  And I am crawling through it.  One knee at a time.  Right now, I am feeling very emotional and fragile.  And I am relying on anybody and everybody who offers kind words or actions of support.  It is what feeds my soul and helps me keep going, even if just for another minute.  Respectfully, I am not looking for any advice on how to handle any of this, no matter how well-intentioned it is.  I can and will  figure it all out.  I just needed to vent...and I did warn you ahead of time.  I am having a low point and it is a bad day. :(

Sorry to be a downer,

Marathon Momma

2 comments:

  1. Kerrie-
    Don't worry about packing up and moving your classroom items. There are many willing friends from GM that will help once the school is accessible again.
    Just an idea in regard to the paperwork. Write the medical and social history in a word document. Then attach it to all the applications. Just say see attached. That way you will have it on the computer and can email or print when necessary.
    Let me know how I can help.

    Deb

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Deb,
      Which Deb is this? An initial from the beginning of your last name would help! ;) Yes, I know there are many who would be wiling to help. But it is reassuring to hear you say that! The typed up info is a good idea. I did that already with some of the medical info, but I should do it with the social history part, too. Even if I separate it into paragraphs and cut and paste, it might be easier than hand-writing it. I have trouble writing too much with my hands right now. It would be useful to type it up even if I only have to use it for this one form right now. Thanks so much!

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