Last night was “Back to School Night” at the High School. Hard to believe it’s been only a year since I went alone to Maki’s school for the first time last year. Gosh, I was a wreck by the end of the night. But I’m a different person this year. So is he.
“Alli, you really don’t have to go to Parent’s Night, you know…lots of parents aren’t going to go…especially with this heat. It’s no big deal, don’t bother.”
“I’m not going because of other parents, Maki. I want to meet your teachers. Besides, I never miss it.”
“My goal this year is that you won’t have to meet with any of my teachers.”
“Let’s make it so that this is the only time I meet them then. I’d say that is an excellent goal.”
But actually I love meeting the teachers, when the year is fresh. I get a better idea of what Maki is going through every day. When Maki talks about his classes or homework, I can visualize what his teacher looks like and remember something of their personality and their approach to teaching, as they themselves explained it.
These are the people we entrust our children to for a whole year. It’s a privilege to meet them. Other than these Open House-type nights, I’d have no idea what his classrooms look like or where the lunch tables are. For Maki, High School is his world, so its nice to get a sneak peak.
The high point for me was “skipping class” during the PE segment and watching the sunset. These kids have a great view, whether or not they notice it in their rush between classes.
I also noticed this particularly encouraging sign on the wall of Maki’s Spanish classroom. Above everything he learns in that class, I hope he picks up on this. Nada es impossible!
The best part was coming home and discussing my impressions with Maki. He’s got some great teachers this year, and he seems to have a really positive attitude as he moves forward. Again, I think back to this time last year and am amazed and grateful for how much we have each changed. I think we both feel a lot more stable.
Thinking about this today, I realized that I approach Vernon’s medical staff a little like the teachers at Maki’s schools. I like to know who they are, I like to at least have a face to reference when I hear a name. For a long time in the beginning, I kept hearing about certain doctors and nurses that would check on him that I never got to meet. But now I am very clear on who the staff is; I have at least a face for every name these days, and in most cases, a lot more than that. It feels good to know who is in charge of which area of his life, specific people I can bring questions/problems/solutions to without wasting time circling around the wrong person.
But I have to respect their boundaries too. I got my wrist slapped a little for not running something through the Head of Nursing yesterday. I had talked to other people, and I thought that was enough. I never considered running it by her. Oh well, now I know, but I’ll have to be more cautious and respectful of her position in the future. It doesn’t matter how long we’ve been in the system, I’m still learning the ropes. And there are a surprising amount of people to have to run things by in a place like this.
On the other hand, I’ve been trying to keep everything above-board with the Doctor. I sent him the photo of Vernon drinking from a cup, to which he responded it would still be safer if we used thicker substances. I can respect that too. He also said he would be pushing for the Speech Therapist to re-evaluate Vernon for more therapy.
Today, while at Davita, I asked the nutritionist for dialysis-friendly food suggestions. She gave me a list. Vernon seemed hopeful.
And when the Nephrologist, Dr. S, overheard this, he insisted we order another Swallow Study from the hospital, and wrote the order straightaway. While I had his attention, I asked if we could move Vernon’ back to four days a week at Dialysis. This is something Dr. Dan wants for him too…I was just passing the word along. I think he can tolerate sitting a little longer again, and it would be great to give him an extra recovery day. I guess tests have to be run and charts have to be read before a change can be made, but the ball has been rolled.
How did I get from reporting on Back to School Night to talking to the various medical staff about changes to Vernon’s care? People have been placed in both Maki and Vernon’s paths in this time of their lives. They are people who mean them well, who want them to improve and grow in life, and yet each has a specific role and set of rules to follow. I’m just glad I’ve met them all. Even if it’s just an illusion, that alone makes me feel more involved. Simply put, I’ve got nothing else I really have to do but take care of my family.
Signs of improvement: here’s Vernon looking like Liam Gallagher on his chair. He is into watching TV with Joe now. American Football is his latest obsession. This is a first, as far as I know…its always been Soccer (English Football.) But now apparently, he’s a big fan. I’ll have to pay closer attention to the game season, just to keep up. It’s a good problem to have.