Sunday, March 13, 2011

The Low Down on the AWOL

I have had this pain in my side for going on a week. And no, it's not the figurative pain my children provide, but actual pain. Very annoying pain. I have odd aches and pains all the time (when my fibro flares it tends to do so in various areas - when it flares REALLY bad, it's all over) but this one started off relatively mild on Tuesday  night. I woke up in the middle of the night with a pain in my left side like maybe I had fallen asleep with my blanket or my nightgown bunched up underneath me. So, i readjusted everything and went back to sleep only to wake up Wednesday morning feeling like someone had kicked me in the ribs. By Wednesday evening, the minor annoyance had graduated into a major inconvenience and by Thursday evening, had migrated from my rib cage to my abdomen. Even the pain pills couldn't keep it under control for more than an hour or two, so, off to the ER I went. Four hours later after having been cathed, IV'd, x-rayed, and CT'd, I was told NOTHING was wrong. My white cell count was "slightly" elevated but my CT and chest x-ray looked "perfect." So, they patted me on the head, gave me a shot in the ass and sent me on my way.

I love it when that happens. NOT. There obviously is SOMETHING amiss, otherwise it would not feel as though someone had kicked me in the ribs with pointy toed boots! It is somewhat better now - back to the minor annoyance stage - but it's still there. And for an added bonus, the skin over top of the area that's paining me is now numb. Weird. Follow up with the Primary Care tomorrow.

My FSS's ex-wife is disabled. She basically has no hip joint left. She desperately needs hip replacement surgery. It's going to be an ordeal because along with the hip replacement, the doctors would need to break her femur in order to lengthen it. A long and painful  process, to be sure, but one that is necessary because as it stands now, she is unable to function. And by function I mean keep the trash in the garbage can and take the bag out to the dumpster when it's full; find suitable clothing for the children and keep it washed; do the dishes; cook; make sure they go to bed at a decent hour so they can get up and go to school the next morning; supervise the little boy enough that he isn't lighting dog houses on fire or blowing up gas cans; provide enough authority that the little girl (who is 12 and more than able to) does her chores; provide enough supervision so that these children aren't out terrorizing the neighborhood. You know, do ANYTHING besides sit in her recliner and smoke her "medical marijuana."

And because she is unable to function, her children - my step-children whom I dearly love - have been removed from her care and placed in the temporary custody of my Former Supposed MIL. Not that she's much more able bodied than the Mother. But, whatever. I was asked if they could come stay with me, but I'm having just about as much trouble managing my own two kids. Part of learning to live with chronic illness is leaning what your limitations are. Taking on two more children, regardless of how much I would like to, is simply not possible for me to do by myself right now.

This has been coming for a while. Child Protective Services has been to her home on several occasions to tell her she needs to clean her filthy house or the children will be removed. And, I guess sometime on Wednesday, they showed up at her house again. To find a filthy rat hole. Again. Gave her a day or two to clean it up. Again. Or the children would have to stay somewhere else while she gets her act together.

And it has finally come to that. As of after school on Friday, my step-children are now living with my ex-mother-in-law.

I don't know about anyone else, but I know that if Child Protective Services showed up at my door and told me I had to clean my house up or they were going to take my kids away, I would SO be up ALL NIGHT making sure it was spotless by the time they came back. I mean, you would be able to EAT off of my floors!! And I so know that my kids would be right in there helping me. They may only be 4 and 6 but they know how to sack up trash and pick up their dirty laundry.

But, apparently, she didn't think they were serious about taking the kids away from her so she took them to McDonald's and then out to Wal-Mart to get toys.

So now, sometime this week, Child Protective Services has decided that "we" (meaning The ex's ex, her 24-year-old son, the ex-MIL, and me) need to have this "family meeting." Because The ex's ex obviously needs some help. So WE all need to get together and see what WE can do to support HER so that this doesn't happen again. CPS even called MY parents to see if THEY would like to participate. (That's what led to the freak-out from my mother. CPS called their house and got my dad (I would have liked to hear how THAT conversation went) who called my mom who called me and wanted to know WTH??!!)


I don't know. Maybe I'm over-reacting. But come the hell on. NONE of us are doing okay since the Former Supposed Spouse departed a little over a year ago. He was her sole source of physical help and my sole source of income. We've all been kind of left in a tail-spin. We're all struggling. And now, I'm feeling a little bit - I don't know - cornered, I guess. Like, even though I'm having trouble keeping up and it takes all I have to just do the bare minimum, now suddenly CPS wants me to drop everything and be at this "Come-To-Jesus" meeting to see what WE can do to help HER?!

The rest of us may not be doing it perfectly, but at least the rest of us are at least making an EFFORT. I don't always feel like cooking (Thank Goodness for Chef Boy-Ar-Dee, Indeed) but at least I have the common sense to know that when I have NO MONEY I shouldn't be feeding them McDONALD'S four days a week and buying new toys. And you know, more often than not, we are digging clean clothes out of the laundry basket instead of drawers but at least they're clean. I make sure my cat has a box to use and, even though I HATE it, I clean it out when it starts to smell because I HATE the STINK even more than I hate cleaning it out. And I would be MOR-TI-FIED if my kids went to school smelling of cat poop.

She's been offered help with the cleaning. Disability will PAY FOR someone to come and help her a couple days a week. She turned them down. If someone offered me help a couple of days a week, I would SO be ALL OVER that! She's been offered counseling for herself. She turned THAT down. So, you know, I have a hard time finding the willingness to help her when she WON'T help herself.


Copyboy said...

Yeah, I hear you about that. People can only get help if they want it. BTW...I made you blog of the day.

Lana D said...

WOW!! Thank you! That is so AWESOME! You're my very first award! I'm so excited!!

tinkerbelle86 said...

god, that sounds like a nightmare. poor you, ill check back.

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