Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Report from the Trenches

In full battle gear these days, not by my own choosing. Last week we found ourselves in the hospital at E's bedside.

The saga began a week ago last Monday when E's aide called to say that E had fallen asleep at her desk soon after arriving at school. By the time I arrived at school, she'd fallen asleep again, this time at her scooter while waiting for the elevator to come. Even more worrisome, as she drove up to meet me at the main doors, she could barely stay awake, let alone carry on a conversation.

It hurt to open her eyes, she said. Everything was blurry and the light hurt. This isn't right, I remember saying. Something is very wrong.

I left the scooter at school, carried E to the parking lot (thanking God she's a little person), and called Children's from the car.

E didn't wait long in the ER, not with a history of aneuryms and symptoms like extreme, sudden-onset fatigue and blurry vision. The folks at the hospital moved quickly, admitting E and running a battery of tests to help understand what was going on.

The good news is E's home. The bad news is we find ourselves living in an unnerving in between place. We know what the episode wasn't, but we're not yet certain what it was, and we don't yet know what this all means for the long term. Tomorrow we meet with the first of what feels like a million doctors who, over the next couple weeks, will help us put this puzzle together.

Writing wise, I didn't have the time or energy to work on M&R during this latest saga, although I brought my mini Dell with me each day hoping I'd find the time to do so. For what it's worth, I did manage to keep a journal. Writing in it by hand the old-fashioned way seemed to work best.

Reviewing it now, I realize how much I'd forgotten about the last time we were in the hospital for days at a time. After each big ass test, the not knowing was the worst, because at least with the knowing, you can begin to assess and acknowledge the road you will be traveling on next.

And then there were the other details, the alarms and smells--some antiseptic, some not, and the haunted faces of the parents who passed me by in the hallways. After a while I got to know their faces, and after a while I realized that I probably looked as tired and stretched as they did.

We're returning to normal now, if you can call the place where we're at normal. E is getting stronger each day, able to stay up longer before she needs a nap. I'm slowly digging out of piles that grew while we were gone. What seems to be working best lately is to let the big A To-Dos prioritize themselves.

Yesterday, the big To-Do was an IEP for S where we talked high school and Freshman classes. Not a trivial meeting this one. I'd love to say we felt fully informed about the choices we were making for her. We didn't. A number of items that came up during the meeting remain open issues as far as I'm concerned, and they're on my list to pursue as soon as today's big To-Do is past.

Today the big to-do is my teen writers workshop. The topic: Characters You Love (and Love to Hate). I'm looking forward to tonight for several reason. The first is that I will be joined by long-time friend and writer extraordinaire Jenn Knoblock. The second is that in the past I've left my workshops feeling invigorated and inspired.

Toes and fingers crossed that tonight is no exception to the rule because my muse can really use the boost.


Carol Brendler said...

We're rooting for you all.

Michelle said...

I just gave you a blog award! Hopefully it will be a good distraction for you. :)

Anonymous said...

Thanks again for asking me! I had a great time--and no surprise, I'm re-inspired in my writing.