Ding an sich

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I've been a bad blogger and I would apologize if I felt more guilt...but I don't. I'm too busy; teaching a summer class, trying to reorganize my syllabi, hooking a rug and keeping up with the vegetables from the CSA.  Did I mention the cleaning? Six months worth of cleaning and unpacking things still in storage boxes from our move last year.

I have some stories, but they aren't ready to be told. I have to wait until they are ready, but they rattle around...I promise.

Emily is off to camp again - 2 weeks away, two days home, 2 weeks away again. This allowed me to purge the unholy entity that had become her room. This photo doesn't even represent the room at it's worst - This was day TWO into cleaning - Quelle Horreur:

My first year of professoring has been pretty great. My student evals were nearly perfect; unheard of for a first year faculty. I like my colleagues and I see great growth potential here. I am encouraged and allowed to be Dawn - with all her Dawn-ness. This is a tremendous gift and one I do not take lightly. 

Emily has had a good year, making friends and settling in nicely. She is exotic and worldly in our new home. She looks forward through high school and tells me she wants to study history in university someday. Seeing as I had a full on anxiety attack when she was five and first received the brain damage and ADHD diagnosis, envisioning her living in my basement until she was 40 as I had clearly ruined her life - these words from my child bring hope and a tiny easement of guilt. 

In June, she asked if she could try medication for her ADHD again. She'd been on medication when she was 6 through age 7 when Terrance made the executive decision to take her off of them. At 15, she was asking for the opportunity to try them again. Terrance objected, then said maybe, then objected again. 

While I understand his concern, I also know that 15 year olds with ADHD will turn to other things to self medicate. I didn't want that for her. If she was asking, I felt like we needed to support her. We needed to allow her to say if it helped or not, to be in charge of her own feedback system. We started out slow at the end of the school year, a low stakes time to try a medication. This allows us the summer for her to fully understand what being on the medication did and what it didn't do. It doesn't, for instance, suddenly make her a math whiz. It does slow down her speech and help her organizational skills.

Adderall, for those of you not in the know, is a highly controlled medication. As in they practically frisk you and do a retina scan when you get the script. You get your 30 day supply and you don't refill until Day 29. You hand carry original scripts on special paper to the pharmacy. There is no "calling in a refill" to the pharmacy.  I half expect to be robbed by tweekers everytime we pick this shit up.

In my uber-parent camp planning glory, I had secured authentic refill scripts in late June. I knew that the refills would fall right between her camp days and I had believed I was good to go. We'd pick Emily up on Friday afternoon, refill her meds on Saturday and she'd be off to camp 2 on Sunday at 9 a.m.  My shit was tight. 

This found me, at noon last Saturday, standing in my pharmacy waiting for her refill. Except, it wasn't ready. Because they weren't allowed to refill it until July 22nd. A full day after she traveled 5 hours north. The pharmacist was apologetic. They weren't allowed to refill early unless a doctor authorized it. However, it was Saturday and there were no doctors in the office. I sighed, deeply. Surely there must be a way to make this work. 

The pharmacist explains that there is a nurse advisor who can perhaps get the doctor on call to authorize the day early refill. I sigh again. I mentally put on my armor and call the nurse advisor.

Now, I've been around medical people for a long time. I know what they are going to ask and how to explain exactly what you need. This nurse advisor was not following the script. First, she told me it was impossible. The doctor on call wasn't going to call in the refill. Then she asked if there was any way I could wait and get the refill on Monday. 

No. I couldn't. Emily would be 5 hours away. 

Could I send the script with Emily and have someone fill it where she was going to be?

Um, Hell No. I wasn't sending an Adderall script with my child and charging a camp counselor with wandering to a pharmacy and picking up a refill. 

Could she just not take her medication? Kids didn't need it in the summer, after all.

And here, my friends, is where the Kracken was unleashed. Get ready...it's coming.

No, I patiently responded. Emily takes her medication every day. She really does not want to go without it, particularly as she is going to be riding horses for 2 weeks.

to which the nurse replied:

"Well, she could just drink a mountain dew and eat a cookie."

~ Can you smell the brimstone? The sulphur? The sound of my leathery demon wings unfurling? My eyes narrow to reptilian slits as the gates of hell open  ~

I pause for a half a second then say: "What did you just say?"

My tone was all it took for Emily to look up at me. The pharmacist, who had been standing at the counter, grew wide eyed and looked at Emily who just shook her head. 

"Did you just suggest that instead of taking her medication, my child should drink a mountain dew and eat a cookie?"

The nurse repeated herself. I exhaled and said "That was incredibly inappropriate. We are talking about the matter of a refill ONE DAY early. Her doctor has already given us the scripts, which are on file. I'm not asking for something she isn't taking and your suggestion that I tell her camp to treat a neurochemical medical condition with soda and a cookie is beyond inappropriate."

The pharmacist is just staring at me from behind her counter. I no longer see Emily and have no perception of the people around me. My crosshairs are firmly fixed and I am moving in for the kill.

The doctor on call approved the early refill within ten minutes. 

As the pharmacist-supervisor handed me the bottle he leaned it and said: "Did she tell you to treat ADHD with mountain dew and a cookie?"

I exhaled hard through my nose, pushing my demon bullish breath out of my body. "Yeah", I said. My nostrils flare, slightly.

He shakes his head and chuckles softly, handing me the bottle of pills. 

A letter to Paul from Sarah

Thursday, July 04, 2013

My dear Paul.

Yes, I see you a few rows over there with a fancy grave marker. People dressed in the attire of our "day" wander in and out of this graveyard all day, pointing you out. Some people leave you flowers. Nearly all of them point small devices at your grave, stopping for a few extra moments.

And where am I? Your beloved wife. Woman who bore you 8 children? Yes, count them. 8.
Nearly four rows over...buried next to your father. Who, forgive me for saying so, is a miserable grave companion.

On this day of days Paul, let me remind you of just who did the work of revolution in this fair city. Was it you and your friends? Oh, perhaps as recorded in the poems and histories of the events. But we both know who it was. The wives. The wives who spun and sewed the clothing. The wives who cooked and served meals and drink for children, friends and co-conspirators until late into the night. While your friend Sam Adams gets a huge statue down the road, we know who the real brewers were, right? Women.

We gardened, we harvested, we preserved and slaughtered the animals. We made soap, washed, quilted, stuffed beds with straw. When you came home at all hours of the night, I made sure you had food to eat, and a warm home in which to enter. I nursed and cared for 8 babies...until I died not long after our youngest was born.

Who stitched wounds, bandaged cuts, and wrapped the dead after the massacre and battles? Women. Who brewed that tea that you all eventually went crazy over for being too expensive? Who then served it to you in the silver mugs that you crafted? Yes. Me and the other wives.

Paul,my love, I am not saying that you and the other "founding patriots" of the day don't deserve recognition for your commitment to an idea that a society could be different. I am merely suggesting that the visitors to this grave yard do as Abigail Adams later exhorted her husband John - to "remember the ladies and be more generous and favorable to them than your ancestors."

Yes Paul. I watch you from over here. I watch the stream of people wander by you, struck silent by you - the midnight rider ( by the by, I thought that poem was pure hilarity - I know I was dead when it all occurred, and I felt for your second wife, Rachel...You galloping off into the night, with ten children at home. The poor woman was sure that you would be hanged before the sun came up.)

This woman stops at my grave. She peers at the name engraved on the stone. She brushes mud off the letters, as the damp spring ground sucks at her boots. She walks back over the sign near your grave and reads. She comes back, kneels close and points one of those devices at my stone. She stays awhile. She leans close, and in that terrible accent the people here have acquired, she whispers "Thank you, Sarah".

Yes Paul. She thanked me. She thanked me for weaving the fabric of the country with my body and my work. She thanked me for feeding and cooking and bearing new citizens. She whispered that it is not an act of heroics, or lofty speeches that make a patriot, but the unending toil that is life.

Indeed, Paul. That is what patriotism is - it is stoicism in the face of endless work. It is doing what is needed, not for acclaim, but because without that labor, life as we know it would halt. It is seeing your giant grave over there, and living with the knowledge that without me, without all of the wives, the American Revolution would have gone nowhere.

Happy Independence Day Paul Revere.

Your Consort,
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