On a good day, parenting will test the integrity of your character. On a bad day, parenting will test your will to live. Parenting children with trauma histories will cause you to test the integrity of everything and everyone you thought you knew, for the rest of your life.
~J. Skrobisz

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Can we love too much?

Social Security disability benefits [1] for Sissy begin on the first of the month.  Back pay will be automatically deposited in 3-5 business days.  Curious thing, the primary diagnosis that deemed her medically disable was PDD-NOS, the diagnosis I thought was bogus.  Well, I'm going to be tight-lipped about it now.  Secondary diagnosis was ADHD.  Wow.  I mean, hello?  With all the other diagnoses, it came down to just those two?  So strange.  I know people with children more significantly impaired than Sissy and AB who still have not been declared medically disabled.

On Monday, AB's psychiatry appointment deemed him PDD-NOS instead of Asperger's for the purpose of his claim.  AB is already ADHD.  He's in appeal for social security disability.  The representative I spoke with today said that based on that  diagnosis, he'll likely be deemed medically disabled too.  And get back pay and benefits. She crunched the numbers and with both of them on disability, we will get the maximum amount for both of them, monthly.

The poor lady didn't know what to do with me when I sat there and bawled. Bawled like a baby. This will significantly improve our quality of life. It completely replaces the income I was earning as a part time educator. And... i'm crying again.

Of course, all of that hinges on whether or not Sissy stays at home. The pdoc and I spoke last night and his initial impression is that if after 6 months of intensive home therapy after intensive therapeutic care at RTC Sissy still rages only for us, it's choice AND she won't stop. Therefore, it is necessary to discuss placement in another type of facility. He gave me the name of one such facility in our state and I contacted them at the pdoc's bidding. Their reply was that they are a basic care facility only and it would be an improper placement for Sissy.

However, with a significant increase in income, we could consider purchasing a larger home, one in which we could set up Sissy's room for isolation and safety when she rages. Currently, rages in the living room does NOT work. And it sets off AB. There is no peaceful place in our home. There is no adequate place for her to rage without annoying the rest of us.

It's a lot to think about. CBAY and the IFI team will be working together next week to help me rethink an entirely different therapeutic plan for Sissy. All of them can not believe she has snowed us all for this long (she's got some pretty jacked up sexual ideations that she's been talking about since Monday, things she's kept hidden.) Regardless of any future long term placement plans, for now, Sissy will come back home.

But what boggles my mind the most is how immediate the change was in our home after she left. Right now, AB and WG are playing TOGETHER, outside. No one is angry, no one is shouting, homework was done painlessly followed by art/craft time. AB, on his own volition, finished his science project and i feel like my head is clear, as clear as today's gorgeous blue sky. It's astonishing. Even more so, AB had a rare cognitive moment while painting his model boat. "Mom. What about Sissy? What are they going to do? She cant' keep screaming at us. I hate it. Can't they just send her back to RTC? I don't understand. Why is she coming home? She lies too much."

Which was followed by WG, "Yeah. All she's going to do is scream again. And you know we can't stand it. Mom. Just tell the doctors that, ok? She's going to scream and she won't stop. She needs to be in a hospital. I don't want her to come home."

And AB said, "Well, if she got better and stayed better, she could come home. i want that."

And WG again, "Yeah, but AB, you know that won't happen."

"Yeah. i know. Still. I wish she could stop lying so she could stay home."

OK. These kinds of conversations between AB and WG NEVER happen. And furthermore, they never talk this coherently about adult topics even when I bring up the subject. Which says VOLUMES about them and how much Sissy's trauma impacts our life.

It's 3:36 pm on an early release day. All homework is done with no drama. AB and WG even did a little extra to get caught up. We've had craft time and outdoor play time. I've done laundry, dishes, general housekeeping, checked email, called doctors, WG has let AB borrow one of her toy snakes for his rain forest diorama, we've played with the dog and had a really nice afternoon for the first time in 7 months. I have two amazing children and a beautiful life with them. I can not believe I let it get that bad with Sissy.

Sometimes, I think we can love TOO much.

[1] disability benefits is a need-based program. We qualified for the maximum for Sissy because of the income/expense ratio. In other words, we just barely break even every month and when big expenses come up (like our new AC unit) we have to borrow from family or get non-profit assistance because we simply don't have the cash. Oh, and we have ZERO assets and ZERO savings, benefits or pension. To be frank, we're broke.


GB's Mom said...

I am thrilled your life is going to get better! {{{{Hugs}}}}

G Mama Love said...

I used the Diva Cup for a while too, and loved it! Really useful, easy to deal with while out and about, empty, rinse and go! But now that my flow has inceased exponentially due to my softball sized fibroid, I'm back to disposable pads. Glad rags are wonderful and I've used them for years as well, and watered many plants with the nutrient rich soak water. Wow do they grow like crazy! but yeah, I find my flow to heavy for anything that soaks through, and wear overnights on my heaviest days during the day. Try it, Jennie! You'll like it! (revitalizing my blogspot blog) xo

Kelly said...

I could cry too. I am just thrilled for you. You are a wonderful mom and advocate for your children. Hope you have a wonderful peaceful evening.

Mama Drama Times Two said...

This is just amazing! So happy you finally have a light at the end of the tunnel! I'm curious to hear what CBAY and IFI come up with.