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, February 10, 2011

Defining life by gallon-size zipper bags

There are always things one can find amusing about a crisis situation and since I'm a firm believer of laughter being the best medicine for weary souls, I dig deep to find those points of hilarity.

Of course, sometimes it requires a stretch of the imagination but hey, if you're laughing and getting those endorphins, who cares if it often requires black humor. Life isn't pansies and roses (although lilies are my favorite flower so I wouldn't mind if life was lilies... just sayin'.)

I have rehearsed and recited dialogues in my head so I am prepared for crisis situations. Sometimes I stand in front of the mirror and say phrases out loud so I can embolden myself. I absorb the miscellaneous doctor and therapy lingo like gluten-free noodles absorb water, with the intent of using those phrases later. The ideology is to sound confident, capable, determined, strong and knowledgeable. The last thing I need is to go weak in the knees and be weepy when EMTs or cops show up or when I'm being grilled by one of the FIVE people you have to talk to every time you show up at the ER with your kid for a psych evaluation. I've been known to be overcome by emotion that has caught me off guard but typically, if I'm teary-eyed in such situations, it's because I've learned when it is useful. Hey, my RAD has taught me that, if nothing else.

Occasionally, these self-induced rehearsals and tricks backfire and thus, it becomes fodder for black humor. This past Tuesday's crisis was no exception.

Sissy's medication vials are in a gallon-size ziploc bag, a trick I learned after the first trip to ER via ambulance. On that occasion I was shaky and overwhelmed so when the EMTs said I had to bring her meds, I found myself dumping the bin full of vials directly into a backpack, willy-nilly, helter-skelter. After that I said to myself, ok, that wasn't cool. Put 'em all in a ziploc and voila, they are ready to go in an instant. Really smart idea, works great for respite packing too and I highly recommend it.

That is, until the cops showed up THIS time. The ambulance was pulling away from the house, Sissy in the back doing her I'm-just-fine-and-dandy-thanks routine while I rode up front with the EMT that was a little annoyed that they were transporting a stable but suicidal psych patient (because apparently ambulances should only be used for the psych patients that are going psycho DURING transport - roll eyes), one of the THREE cops (yes there was THREE cruisers and an ambulance in front of my house - fun times) pulled The Dad aside and said, "what kind of house is this?"

The Dad said, "excuse me?"

"What kind of house is this," he repeated. "A group home or foster home or something?"

"No sir," The Dad replied. "It's our home."

"Well, I just thought, you know, how your wife had all the meds ready to go and all..."


Apparently, your home is a group or foster home if the adults in the home are prepared for crisis!

Man... that just kills me. Hysterical.

Eh, I guess it didn't help matters much that I have a padded cell in my living room, a motion sensor alarm for safety, a son with ASDs that didn't understand how to high-five with the police officers and my lingo on the phone with dispatch was clinical and precise (owing in large part to my personal rehearsals and proficiency in learning and using clinical language when speaking with other community professionals.)

What kind of home is this you ask?

MY home.
MY family.
MY mentally ill daughter.
MY life.
MY reality.
MY daily crisis-filled hell.

All wrapped up neatly in a gallon-size zip1oc bag, shoved into my mouth filled with clincal psychiatric language. Have a nice day.


GB's Mom said...

You ARE funny. Call if you need to vent!

Anonymous said...

This made me laugh so hard.

Sincerely Mama said...

What kind of house is this? Oh, holy craziness, that makes me laugh.

Happymom4 aka Hope Anne said...

I have found that the professionals are NOT used to parents who have their act together and are knowledgeable about their kids needs--whether it's pysch stuff or just other stuff. . . Sad, really, and makes you wonder what 95% of the parents are like, right? Or . . . are the professionals not seeing the parents generally who DO have their act together? Dunno.

Miz Kizzle said...

Black humor is indeed a savior at times. In my work as an attorney I've heard some astonishing lies delivered with boldfaced conviction. I'm starting to believe there's a vast RAD army of adults out there who really, truly believe that nothing is their fault.
As for "What kind of house is this?" Classic, just.. classic.
Keep your sense of humor. If you can laugh it can't be all bad.

cinch said...

I think you have to take their comment with a grain of salt. Look at what they usually deal with. They deal with the crazies out there. Ones that don't know up from down or left from right. They don't know what meds their kid are on...heck they might not even know they have kids or who the parents are of their kids...when someone has their act together they just have to assume that it is some sort of agency because they are answering to someone that is why their ducks are in a row. I say it is a compliment and leave it at that...lol

The Waggoners said...

You Rock! Sorry to hear you needed your gallon zipper bag-but yeah for you being so prepared!