What to do?

I’m at a loss and I don’t know what to do.

For years now my oldest son has had autism and has suffered from seizures. He also has severe cognitive disabilities because of it. He looks like any other child and is verbal, he just doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

At twelve years old, he has a really hard time putting his thoughts in sentences. He doesn’t communicate very much and when he does it is very awkward. But there are also times when he will express ideas that extend well beyond the maturity of a 12 year old boy. He tries so very hard though, especially around his peers.

About 5 months ago, he started getting worse. Almost to the point that he wasn’t talking at all and he was wandering off all the time. At my insistence, his neurologist admitted him for an overnight EEG (brain wave study) and we found out that despite his seizure medications, he was still having nocturnal seizures almost every15-30 seconds. His neurologist decided at that point that instead of him having a consistent dose throughout the day that she wanted to lump all of his seizure medication into one dose before bed. But something else… she was concerned about “seizure-like” behavior he was having during the day but with no documented seizure. She thought that he might be having seizures deeper in his brain that were not being registered by the EEG.

She referred us to a pediatric seizure specialist at Rainbow Babies Hospital in Cleveland. Apparently there was some research some years ago that showed that children with nocturnal seizures who were given low doses of valium at bedtime had greatly improved EEGs. So under extremely close observation in the hospital, they gave him the valium and lo and behold his EEG improved the first night by 65%. We were discharged with the prescription and things with his seizure related behavior, staring spells, wandering, confusion, etc has substantially subsided but…other things remain.

Even the psychological issues that have come up from issues surrounding his biological mother and through my divorce with his father, I am told are resolved. The people who have worked with him on these issues for the last 2 years, have told me that the issues are no longer psychological and at this point they feel he is better suited for behavioral counseling. I was on the same page.

I have great concerns over his safety. Seizure related behavior aside he still cannot cognitively grasp concepts that are essential to his everyday life. I have little hope left that he will ever have a “normal life” that I so desperately want him to have. There’s been talk at school about sending him to a school for the mentally disabled and more and more I find at home that if I am not with him, he can/will potentially hurt himself or someone else. Whether its the first degree burns hes given himself in the shower or the shock he could have potentially given himself by sticking a magnet in a electric socket or the time he knocked out his little brother’s tooth while acting out something he saw on TV…the incidents and the stakes seem to be increasing and I’m out of steam. I can’t keep up.

With his 13th birthday approaching there won’t be anywhere I can send him for daycare and I most certainly cannot trust him alone. My parents health isn’t great and his paternal grandparents are caring for two dying relatives in their home. Quitting my job to attend to him is becoming more of a reality everyday. With my college graduation arriving in a few short months – its almost ironic. Law school? I don’t even dare to think about it right now.

People have started to talk to me more about residential treatment for him. I just can’t wrap my head around it though. I fully admit that I don’t feel like I can take care of him at this point, but I don’t know how I can just let him go live somewhere where someone else does. I just can’t. I can’t even bring myself to do the research on it.

But not doing it might mean sacrificing any possibility he has at his OWN life. My life … my dreams. As his mother, I can deal with that. I’m willing to do that. But what about my other two children and their life and their goals and their dreams. What about how I always set them aside? Can I keep doing that? Should I…if there is a way that they can all be taken care of and live their own life?

Seems like no matter what I think/do – I find myself feeling guilty and  not having a clue what to do next. It sucks to not be able to ask your child what he’s thinking and to feel like theres nothing you can do to help him.

I’m just at a loss, a complete and utter loss.

My husband

A lot of people have told me that I don’t say much about my husband.  I assume that means as compared to how much I used to talk about my El Chuba Douchebag.

Why is that? Why do we have less to say when we’re happy?

I don’t have much to say because he’s a fairly simple man. He gets up and goes to work at 4 am so that he can work 8 hours before he comes home to meet the kids off the bus. He does homework with them and makes dinner on week nights so that we can sit down and eat when I get home. He even does the dishes. My girlfriends tell me that in the lottery of men, I hit the jackpot.

But he also snores, loudly, he omits smells from his body that I could never find words for, he plays video games for Christ Sake and he hits all my buttons when we disagree, it’s really annoying. He’s still a man, he’s done and said stupid, stupid things.

But the best thing about him, the thing that makes me know that he is without a doubt the guy for me, you know, THE ONE….is that he gets me. We can have an argument over laundry and hang up the phone on each other and when I talk to him again its as if it never happened. If I tell him I’m sorry he takes me in his arms and say he knows it was just stress talking, kisses me on my forehead and that’s the end of it. Sometimes when I get mad and talk crap, he’ll laugh just because whatever I said was so funny, even if it was in the heat of the moment.

I make it sound like we fight alot. And we really don’t but its usually those times when I notice that he gets me the most.

Mostly, I just like that we go to bed an hour before when we actually want to sleep because we know were going to lay in bed and talk about whatever enters our head, we’re gonna laugh, then we’ll cuddle up and some nights we fall asleep and some nights the snuggles leads to kisses and the kisses lead to, well….you get the point.  But no matter what he’s there every night when I go to sleep and he texts me every morning when he knows I’m getting up to tell me good morning and I love you.

I just like having a partner. I love that it’s him.

Bitches be CRAZY!

There’s this girl I work with.

The first time that I laid eyes on her in my interview with my firm, I had a feeling that she could be a real bitch. I’ve since told her this and she admits Im right.

For awhile, I was wrong, at least where I was concerned. She took me under her wing, allowing me to network with her, taking me to business lunches and dinners. Always calling me away from work to do non-work stuff. It was alright. We began to get really close. She began to confide in me about her feelings about her family, her relationships and I, in turn, followed suit. She also still remained pretty damn bitchy and two-faced to everyone around.

I kinda admired her because she had gone to law school while she was married and had kids, which is something I always wanted, but considered unattainable. It was nice to have someone around that I had a lot in common with…or so I thought.

Something else happened too. I didn’t notice it at first but then it happened so much, it was hard not to. If I went and bought a new pair of shoes, she went and bought new shoes. When I starting treating myself to pedicures, she started to treat herself to pedicures. When I bought a new car, she bought a new car. When I got engaged, she got engaged. It kinda became a joke in the office.

Fast forward to this past summer before my wedding. She begins to make herself indispensable. She helps with everything, knows someone who can do this or do that. Is completely supportive when people in my family start driving me crazy and when the shit hits the fan with my maid of honor, she even offers to step up and purchase the gown and be in the wedding – for me. She planned my bachelorette party, gave us a wonderful night out on the town and a night in a very nice (and expensive) hotel room. Two days before my wedding she got the office to pitch in and get me an hour long massage, sent me home early and gave me a paid day off the next day.

After the wedding and honeymoon, she decides to take a cruise with her fiance’ to the Bahamas. Before she leaves she discusses with me the possibility of taking on a huge project to manage our cases statute of limitations dates. (Sidenote: By law, all legal actions have a specific time period determiend by statute in which it can be pursued. For example: If you are in a car accident, in the state of Ohio, you have two years from the date of the accident in which to bring forward a claim with the court. Should you bring the claim 4 years later, you are barred from pursuing it due to the statute of limitations.) I literally know nothing, at that point, about workers compensation statues because they are run by an administration, like Social Security, but I agree to tackle this project with her. She hands me a printed info sheet from the Bureau of Workers Compensation about how to determine statute date for the claims (time starts based on last date of treatment) and tells me that we’ll figure it out when she gets back.

This is also the point in time where things with my oldest son took a turn for the worst. He ended up being hospitalized 4 times within 4 months due to changes in mental status and increased seizures. I missed time from work. All the while, I juggled everything, going into work on weekends to make sure things were done.  

One day after I returned from one of these overnight hospital stays, another girl in the office, comes to me and says listen, yesterday after she came in and asked where you were and after I told her that you were at the hospital with your son, she said to me that I was going to have to help her with the workers comp statute project because you were completely useless. Oh, really??? Because this is the first time she’s mentioned it since she returned from her trip. I take it into my own hands. About 5 minutes later, she comes downstairs and I ask her to review her calendar with me so that we can schedule time for her and I to develop a format for the database. She doesn’t ask me for the time – I ask her. We set the time aside, we decide how to proceed and the other girl and I begin tackling this project head on. In order to do this, we have to utilize the others office and computer with the proper software and case information. Nearly everytime we do this, she will rearrange her schedule and ends up needing her office.

A few weeks into this, my son has to be hospitalized again. When I go and tell our office manager, he tells me that things just aren’t working out with me because I have to miss so much time and that we are going to have to have a meeting with the attorneys in the office the next day. I’m devastated but there’s nothing I can do about missing the time….literally, the choices are: 1. Cure epilepsy and keep my job or 2. Go to hospital with son and get fired. I begin to panic and text her about it. She sympathizes with me, telling me shes a Mom and she understands, we’ll have the meeting and see what happens. It just so happens that I’m now left alone with the other two attorneys…so I go ask them both when they have time to have a meeting the next day. They inquire what for and when I tell them they both balk at the idea that I’m going anywhere. In fact, the head partner tells me “Hey, I’m in charge and as long as I am, you’re not going anywhere.” So this begs the question – if there are three attorneys in the office and two of them don’t want me to leave, where did the office manager get this idea that I’m leaving, because he doesn’t have that authority. I tell her no meeting tomorrow and what the main partner had said. Mind you, she doesn’t know I’m still at the office at this point. She calls the office. Other attorney picks up the phone. I can hear her screaming on the phone to him about ME. I overhear him tell her, “You’re just going to have to deal with it. These circusmtances are out of her control…yada, yada, yada.”

What a fucking two faced bitch! All along – it was her orchestrating this whole, ‘Get rid of Stephanie’ plan. Why the fuck would ANYONE do that??? Is she a sociopath? Seriously, if you had issues with my attendance why not just tell me instead of sympathizing and acting like my hero? I can’t figure it out. Did I miss some class that they teach women about being catty, back stabbing bitches? It’s just beyond me, mostly I guess because that is something I would NEVER do and since I wouldn’t do it I did not recognize nor can I understand it. Why go through all this trouble of pretending to be my friend and doing all this stuff, being in my wedding for God’s sake! WTF did I miss, people? But, the kicker is there’s nothing I can do because obviously, its a job and I need to support my family.

The other girl in the office tells me that she thinks she is threatened by me because while she’s playing nice and playing intelligent….I actually am. (Just realized that was a compliment to me)

Anyways, I decide not to call her on it and see how it plays out. The next day she storms into the office, retreats to her office and slams the door. The other girl in the office and I can hardly contain ourselves at her bratty, spoiled child routine.

I go to the hospital with my son. Of course, when I return The other girl tells me all about how she has been bad mouthing me at every turn. Serisously, wtf? We continue working on the workers comp project and start discovering that she has already missed some statute dates. This is NOT good. This is actually malpractice. I bring these issues to her attention quietly and keep on with the project. I notice that there is a lot she doesn’t know about working these cases and by the time I’m done with the project, I’m not longer asking her questions about the cases, she’s asking me. I also take note at how shitty she is to the other girl. Asking her to take on responsibilities she isn’t trained for or hired for, more or less because she’s trying to create the appearance that I’m never around to give these things to and its burdening her, but she’s not buying it and catches on as well.

In the meantime, the main partner is on the verge of retirement and she and the other gentleman attorney are trying to buy out the practice from him. I notice how precise she is at turning on the fake respectful charm with the retiring attorney and how fiercely disrespectful and catty she is behind his back. She actually came to us at one point in time and tells us that we have to push the retiring attorney out. He’s hogging up all the cash at the top. She acts as if shes owed, shes entitled to the practice on her terms and if he doesn’t like them, tough. Did I mention she’s only 2 years older than me and only 3 years out of law school??? Unfortunately, the other gentleman attorney isn’t privy to catty female tactics and isn’t a leader so we start becoming increasingly concerned that if the main attorney goes, SHE’ll pretty much be in charge and as shady as she is now to the people that work for her, that would not be an inviting work environment. Turns out we’re not the only ones who notice…because retiring attorney comes to us on the side, and asks us to start updating him daily on EVERYTHING that happens in the office. He takes a vacation, pretty much leaving the other two with enough rope to hang themselves. He asks that we begin CCing him on all our emails while he’s gone so that he knows exactly whats going on.

At last, the workers comp project is done. I compose a memo regarding the completion and those cases which have missed statute dates that need to be addressed immediately and CC the main partner. Turns out he knew NOTHING about this. He sees the email and comes into my office fuming and rightly so. He wants the files, he has me go through them with him, he sees all of my notes, he sees nothing has been done by her, he gets the picture. So…with me in the room he picks up the phone and dials her cell, he presses his finger to his lips for me to remain silent. He asks her about the email, he asks about the files. Not only does she lie and does he know that she lied, she blames me.

After doing all this work, her work …. she blames me. She says I didn’t do the list fast enough and she had been asking me to do for over a year. Turns out the statutes that were blown happened before she even asked me to start this project, (Remember the paper she printed out the day before she left for vacation – well guess what? it had the date it was printed on it, and guess what? I kept it.) and some of them had passed before I even worked there. Which now makes me wonder – did she set up this whole project because SHE KNEW she had already blown the statute dates and she needed a scape goat so she just tossed me under the bus???

All this backstabbing bullshit has pretty much lead to the main partner deciding that he is NO WAY dropping his 30 year practice into the other twos lap right now and he’s pretty much going to make it as hard as possible or just sell it out from under them. He told us about a month ago when he took us out to lunch. He broke the news to them today, but in reality, he’ll sell just not to deal with this shit anymore.

I know this is a long story but this is the best part. We’re leaving the office at the same time today and she looks furious and dejected. I ask if she’s ok. She turns and says to me:

“I just don’t like being jerked around or playing head games.” 

Seriously???? I could’ve died.

I just don’t get it.

My first born turns 8

Today is Jedi’s 8th birthday. He really is the world’s greatest son. I’m convinced of it. I have never known a child to have such a huge, wonderful heart. He is so caring, so sweet and smart too. He’s just a great kid. I mean that. I like him as a person, not just because he’s my son. I’m very proud to be his Mom.