Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Updating of the Update-DAY 6

The Greenhorn DHS worker called and apparently DHS/Child Welfare and DDSD had another conference call with the head of People Inc. Without all the in-between people BUT with a mediator/liaison. Perhaps a new ally.  I am going to have his information by the end of the day today.

They have assured me that Tahlequah have agreed to give son#2 a little while longer to adjust. And will keep him for a bit longer to see if these new meds will even out his behavior so he can exist there peacefully. The Marine & Mrs. Garrett will shift out more often than usual to try and alleviate the uprising of mutiny.

I was happily surprised to learn that DHS/DDSD & Child Welfare were all on the same page as I was, that the previous teleconference call was very one sided. Mutiny was heard, our side was not.
We discussed Tahlequah's "hands-off" approach to the kids. I said  I loved this since we were coming from such a handsy place like RR. However, having been in this position myself, you will have to use your hands to defend yourself & to protect Carson from himself, IF you want the episode to end with you still standing. And what's more, you'll feel less hope if you don't defend yourself. It's a very physical game, and a very mental game at the same time.

If things come to a head & he has to be admitted to in-patient, Greenhorn has assured me it will be a 30 day situation for meds to stabilize WITH the understanding to all parties involved, that Carson returns to Tahlequah afterwards.
We discussed some other possible band-aids for Carson to help him feel more comfort, and she gave my contact info to the Tahlequah employees to contact me day or night. Since they have not answered my correspondence I think they're probably not happy Carson isn't gone. And may be pouting.
As I would tell any of my kids, "You're only hurting yourself by not cooperating with me."

From here, Carson & I are on borrowed time. I have a million phone calls to make today and try to circle the wagons and find a plan B.
B is for Boot. There happen to be a lot of boots in Texas.
What is it Bruce Willis says at the end of the "Die Hard" movie?
Yippee ki yay...and all that jazz.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Mutiny on the Bounty

I just got off an hour long teleconference call again. DHS, DDSD, Child Welfare, Tahlequah & some other agencies were represented. I got a text with a number & code to dial in with. I asked what this was---DHS worker said it was a call about Carson if  I  wanted in.
I said when--she said now. I called.
I had son#3 with me and was in the middle of a ton of stuff at the church building.
Took the call and tried to just listen.
 I knew the Tahlequah workers were upset yesterday with Carson's outbursts and behavior over the weekend. They had taken him to the ER and started new meds at 5pm last night after he was attacking staff, peers & himself.  DHS/DDSD  tried their best to explain with his severity of autism, this was a huge change up for him & we needed to be patient. Let the meds kick in.

The staff all took turns speaking. The Marine spoke first---he went OFF. Crying uncle, saying he was beat up, scratched and was scared because he felt Carson had "nothing behind his eyes". That he'd been to war before, was 6 ft, 200 lbs and scared.
Mrs. Garrett the house mother, crying saying she was scared to come to work for the first time ever and she couldn't go on. That she came there as a kid and knew how scared a kid could be, but this was too much.
They said Rose Rock probably lied, that Carson had been acting this way all along and they didn't tell them. (no he hadn't--we took him on outings--he wasn't this way in the car ride over there)
They said they probably sedated him & didn't put it on record/file.
Another staff guy got on, saying no one had provided them any info on Carson or coping skills to help them.
So I couldn't be quiet anymore.
I said something along the lines of:
"I spent an hour and a half on the last conference call about transitioning, giving you every detail and pertinent info I could think of concerning Carson. And I understand what you're feeling physically and mentally. I lived it for a lot of years without someone to tap out with every 8 hrs in shifts. I took my beatings and I can tell you Carson's endurance/strength is exactly WHY there were 10 state troopers and 2 motorcycle cops needed on the side of the road when we had that incident. Because they all needed to tap out. I can assure you there is PLENTY behind Carson's eyes. They aren't dead, and I would ask you to remember he is still a child. My child. He is panicked and scared.

I also think I said from the beginning I didn't think this arrangement would work. Staffing wise or the house arrangement. And I do think this is an adjustment period and could work more smoothly for him once he settles into a routine.

I am very sympathetic with what you're experiencing and more so for what my son is experiencing. And I promise you, if I had any other "coping skills" to pass on to you about containing him, HE WOULD NOT BE LIVING WHERE HE IS RIGHT NOW--HE'D BE WITH ME."
There was probably 15 seconds of silence.
Child Welfare went on to ask Tahlequah what time frame could they give them to figure something else out for a living arrangement for Carson.
By the end of the conversation, Tahlequah workers all threaten to quit--and Child Welfare/DHS said they'd have to figure something out ASAP.
After the call, the Greenhorn DHS worker called me, I let her know I knew of a child who had followed the exact same road Carson had---Special Needs Petition---Rose Rock--Tahlequah/People Inc.---after he sent three of their workers to the hospital, the state of OK moved him to Texas Nuero in Austin.
Besides TX Neuro, I gave her the Dallas/San Antonio info.
I'm inclined to think the idiot that keeps saying NO to out of state treatment, needs to come to court next time and say it to my FACE. Look me in the eye you little twerp and look at my pictures of his treatment here, and then tell me no again punk.
So tomorrow, I am preparing to be ready to go to the capital, Channel 2 Works For You or the newspaper.
My child will NOT be strapped to a bed indefinitely in some in-patient hospital facility while you toy with his placement and yank him around again. 
That's where we stand. Thank you for caring what happens to a child most of you haven't met or have only a handful of encounters with. Thank you for not seeing him as a monster.
Prayers for Carson, his staff, (the director at Tahlequah left the state for family vacation the day after Carson arrived) and for me and anyone I might encounter. I am at a serious breaking point mentally. Whether it's me that breaks or I break someone else, I'm not sure just yet. And if anyone has a tropical island I could run off to when this is all over and just read in the sun on the beach---I'll pay you in hand knitted items.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

With Shade & Without Incendent

I've been up 14 hrs so bear with me if I ramble. I can feel myself loosing brain cells by the minute.

I took pictures of all his belongings I was taking to him. I kept thinking it must be like this when someone goes to jail. You keep a record of what they go in with.
I remember changing my earrings so I wasn't wearing dangly ones in case there was a fight & they got ripped out. Whether with Carson or HHT, I was prepared.
I was remembering the last transfer Carson did was in a police car in handcuffs the whole two hours.

I left at 6am with the Greenhorn DHS worker who had never done a transfer. And I'll be honest I was totally cynical and thinking, "Bring your coloring book and crayons chick, and you can sit in the backseat with Carson. I'll share his sippy cup and gummies with you."
And it turned out, she isn't as green as I had thought. A wonderful surprise & God-fearing ally.
 I like her. a 14 hr day together in a car will bond you.

We got to Rose Rock without incident and wouldn't you know it, they weren't ready for us.
Carson was ready--HHT had him packed up, but the very vital paperwork we needed that we could not get into Tahlequah with-- wasn't ready. The doctor hadn't filled it out.
Really hard to write 10 prescriptions I guess. We had to wait for her to get to work.
Of course, HHT passed that buck right to the doctor---I think as a paid, neuro-typical adult, perhaps you could have seen to that small detail in the week you've had to prepare OR maybe just before the close of the business day yesterday. Just a thought.
So we waited. An hour and a half total I think.
See HHT wanted us to come at 11:30am. We said no. Tahlequah said no. HHT says he had group to get through at 10am and couldn't possibly do it before 11:30.
I say, the reason is more likely that they get paid $400 a day for Carson, if he stays past noon. If he leaves before---zero dollah. 

I had this whole thing in my head I wanted to say to HHT. I wanted to go all Julia Sugarbaker of "Designing Women" on him.
Remember the Ray Don episode?????

I wanted to say how as a father of two, I really hoped his children were never put in a vulnerable position as my son was. And how if they were, I would  pray that they had caregivers, with more humanity, compassion and concern than he EVER showed for my son.
I wanted to say it and walk out of the room like Delta Burke. But the opportunity never arose.
However, I do believe what goes around comes around so I can relish in the delight that I will not ever have to deal with his sorry, disappointing soul again.

The crux of the trip was it went as well as could be expected. Carson got to sit in the shade. He had some snacks he loves. He watched his favorite movies and Greenhorn and I got to sing Veggie Tales with him. After his "birthday lunch" at McDonalds and his birthday chocolate chip cookies, he fell asleep the last 20 minutes of the trip. God gave us shade and no major issues with Carson or the vehicle. Prayers answered.

His new place has workers I like already. An ex-Marine who came to me & offered to wash Carson's bags of clothes and give him a shower. And a house mom we'll call Mrs. Garrett.
I wish I could tell you Carson was happy as a clam at his new place, but the reality is, even with his impaired knowledge of some of what is going on---he still understands a lot.
He wailed and weeped for about 45 minutes. Prostrate on his bed. Wailing with big crocodile tears.
I closed the door and sat stroking his back, trying to breathe around the huge lump in my throat. I couldn't cry. This was his turn. I sat rubbing his back, whispering to him every so often.
Even if your environment is filled with people who don't care as much as they should, or people who don't take care of you as they should--they are your normal after 2 years of living with them.
THEY are what you know.
THEY are who you recognize. Change is hard at any age. And to be completely alone in a new place without a soul you recognize or know---that's tough.

There are pros and cons here. The columns are tied for me. Am I happy--I wouldn't choose that word. I am satisfied. He is safe and in trusting hands.
But that doesn't change the cons. They still exist. Today was the first & last day I can be in that house or his room. I felt like this must be what a college mom sort of feels like.
I can call once a week and check in. I can bring things or take him out, but not go into the house or his room. Not snuggle on his bed or hold him when he cries. It's the HEPA laws that protects the other kids. The kids who have no parents to come & visit them.
Life is hard. Change is hard. Carson & I are survivors, but just because it's a better choice, doesn't mean it will come easy. We'll adjust. Just not quickly.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Happy Happy Happy Birthday

Dear Carson---
Here we are and you're another year older--15 yrs old today son.
I wish I could be there today to take you out & celebrate with you--you know how I love to celebrate on the day and make it special--but I'm busy getting ready for the best present ever tomorrow. We're moving on up Weezy!!!
Mommy got you a better place to live!! I'm picking you up tomorrow and we're headed to greener pastures and much better people to take care of you.

I made you some birthday chocolate chip cookies I'm bringing for you. Your fav!
I'm getting your room ready. Gathering some of your favorite toys, dvds and some of you favorite things. I'm enjoying putting it all together. Your long red scarf of fabric you love to wave around and snap like a towel.
Your Blues Clues talking refrigerator with Mr. Salt & Mrs. Pepper---"Zee Straw-Bear-EZ!"
Talking Yoda with all his catch phrases and your Wiggle microphone that sings all your favorite songs. I hope you take comfort in having these favorite things around you baby.

I'm always honest with you CarCar and end up telling you what's really on my heart on our walks--wanna know a secret today? It's going to be hard for me to let those toys go. Really hard. I don't know, I guess those toys represent you, and I have memories of giving them to you. Memories of you enjoying them here in your home. Here with us. It hurts to let those pieces of you go. What if something happens to them & they break? What if someone steals them? What if they get lost and I can't replace them?
That would hurt me. Sounds silly doesn't it? I'm not even that wrapped up in "things" usually, but those things are special. They're yours and only yours. What if I can't keep them safe for you? Like I couldn't keep you safe.
What if I let something happen to them like I let something happen to you? 

This is the biggest step you've made on our journey in years now. I've been working on things, but this move tomorrow, your jump--this is HUGE for you.  I want to protect you, I want to make this smooth for you. I want you to be happy---it's one of my biggest life goals. I tell you and your brothers all the time to find your happy. Usually when they have a bad attitude going on or you feel something isn't fair. I have to teach you this. Life isn't fair. Ever. And it gives you no bigger struggle than finding a way to be content. I could give you no greater gift or lesson as a mom. Find a way. Make it happen. No one else will do it for you. But you baby, you can't really find your happy by yourself.
Mommy's gonna find your happy. I will make this better however long it takes me.
It's only been a year since I started this quest to find you the penthouse of all facilities for your forever home---but I'm getting there baby. One year and one step closer Weezy. 
We're movin' on up!!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2015

House Dropper--Big Head

If my grandmother was still alive, she would probably be warning me not to get "the big head" right now.
For those of you who's Grandma Bible didn't issue this warning, it means you're on the way to getting an inflated ego. I got a phone call and I can't stop smiling this evening. I feel pretty dang chipper even though I know the glory is all my Lords.

Remember the house that dropped on the Wicked Witch of the East in the movie, "The Wizard of Oz"? And how the munchkins sing that little catchy ditty afterwards?
Well, that's me right now.

I just got a call from a friend who's in the know, and who visited RRock today. She says as of just VERY recently, the woman who is the head of RRock, was let go.  ***A moment of silence.***
Apparently, there have been too many investigations since the beginning of the year and she wasn't really changing much. She was never warm or nice to the kids.
But I would REALLY REALLY like to think in my little mind, that the final push of that house over the edge, was maybe a certain charge issued from the Children's Hospital against her establishment.
Coming from a hospital & police report probably is a little harder to talk your way out of as opposed to promising state agencies you'll make changes. Especially to your boss.

Now Sequel Youth Services, which is national, has brought in a woman who runs their New Mexico location. She is commuting back & forth and is already making positive changes.
Cupcakes for birthdays, not just for the birthday kid but for the entire unit!
Happy change there for some kids who could use it.
With this new interim CEO comes $10,000 in new funding!  With that they plan to hire THREE new certified teachers, turn one small playground into a sensory sand area & put in a gardening plot for the kids!!!!!

God literally knows how much change is needed up there, but I cannot tell you how happy I am even though it won't impact my child. This is just the beginning. I am telling myself that this is positive change & the squeaky wheel got some grease!!!!  Change for the munchkins started after that house dropped, and it's starting for these little munchkins too.

You should pat yourselves on the back because without your prayers, positive thoughts & encouragement--that house would never have dropped & started this $10,000 ball rolling right on down the yellow brick road!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Hold to God's Unchanging Hand

 Change is happening.  And like it does more often than not, it's happening swiftly.
I was involved in an hour and a half conference call this afternoon, where about 10-12 of us involved with Carson 's case discussed & planned his discharge from Rose Rock Academy NEXT WEEK. 
And it looks like it's actually going to happen folks.

It will NOT be to Texas, and I've struggled for the few days I've known that. Really struggled.
Before you get all unicorns & rainbows on me about finding the happy in this whole thing---I see it.
Trust me, I see it vividly. I see that my child being safe is of the utmost importance. Yet with this knowledge of Carson moving out of RR, comes with new issues. New doesn't automatically mean better for him. There are still major issues that will be at play. One will be him being left there until he is 18 yrs old & will this transfer make him less likely to be moved out of state before he turns 18.
The number one thing in my head is, this was not my end goal. 
You don't play football to put field goals on the scoreboard. You play football to score touchdowns.
Seven point TD's. And this folks, is a field goal. You're still on the board, but you'd rather be ahead by 7 than 3 points. Know what I mean Vern?

Now, all that said--there is a great relief in him leaving RR. No more HHT!!! That right there makes me do a happy dance, I won't lie.
No more worrying about neglect. And most of all, once he leaves RR, the door is shut. No more going back & forth. They most likely will NEVER take him back. I will sleep easier with that knowledge. And to be frank, I take great pride in knowing this has happened so rapidly BECAUSE I filed my two child abuse claims on the bites on his arms in March & April. And the nail in the coffin was when I took him to the Children's Hospital  a few weeks ago and the social worker took pictures while the doctor filed charges against them. Rose Rock is DONE with me. Probably more than they are with Carson.
And that, I can live with.

I will go down to this group home in Tahlequah this next Tuesday  to set up his new room. Which is very surreal to even contemplate.
Then Thursday the 23rd, I will leave very early and head to OKC with the greenhorn DHS worker. We'll get him packed up, checked out. Next is the scary part---a 3-1/2 hr drive with him to Tahlequah. Then get him checked in, unpacked there. It will be an entirely all day process.
I'm dreading it in ways you can't even fathom. The last time I took a 2 hr trip with Carson, we ended up by the side of highway 36 in OKC where my day ended with 10 State Troopers, 2 OKC motorcycle cops, an ambulance, firetruck, a news crew I screamed at, and my son's feet and hands handcuffed. I really don't care to repeat that.

Change is scary is a lot of ways. Most of me is terrified and can't even fathom this being good change, but it is. All I can figure is, because I'm so competitive, because I've been so focused the past year on one thing, because I'm like a dog with bone for my child--this feels like I've lost. Like I'm settling. Like I didn't come through for him.
I know I did.
I did. Right?
I know this is better.
But God help me, I hate to settle.

"Time is filled with swift transition,
Naught of earth unmoved can stand,
Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God’s unchanging hand. "

There's an old hymn I loved as a child, I thought of today after this conference call. It just popped into my head. I loooooved to hear my dad sing it at church. Sit next to him. He never sang loudly except in the car with our family, but I enjoyed his rumbly bass notes in this song.
I looked that hymn up today wondering why it jumped to mind. It was written by a woman who was turned invalid at the age of four years old being forever bound to a wheelchair and her bed.
 I like that the author had known a different than average life as a child.

"Trust in Him who will not leave you,
Whatsoever years may bring,
If by earthly friends forsaken
Still more closely to Him cling."

She turned to her love of poetry/music and began writing lyrics for songs & hymns. Once the lyrics to the song "Hold to God's Unchanging Hand" were written, Miss Jennie Wilson turned the words over to a songwriter.
So this man wrote the tune to this hymn I love, while sitting under a shade tree on his property, just west of Fort Worth in Palo Pinto County Texas.
 Discovering that, gave me a warmth in my soul. I felt it was God saying,
"Texas, I haven't counted y'all out yet."

"Build your hopes on things eternal,
Hold to God's unchanging hand."

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The Lone Ranger & Tonto

( This first part may seem like rehash if you've followed the saga that is Carson's life, but bear with me--there's a tiny twist.)
 The last time we were at court the judge issued a court order for son#2 to see a medical doctor outside of his residential treatment facility. This was because his facility has been lying since March about the treatment of his wounds on his arms from March & April.
After two court orders to provide his medical records as proof he DID in fact see a doctor--not just the psychiatrist on staff--when we went to court last week, the judge had a copy.
Now the court order said Carson's attorney, our attorney, the judge & DHS should all receive Carson's full medical records.
The judge made copies for us all from hers.
By the time I got home that day, the DHS worker called to say she read through his medical records and had NOT in fact seen a doctor outside of Rose Rock.
Now, fast forward to today, where I took a copy of those records with me when I came to take Carson to see a doctor.

After 10 days of me trying to get an appointment with a doctor in OKC for Carson, because no one else had time (You know I have an abundance. Just buckets full.)
DHS finally stepped in & called the doctor and was told we should just take him to urgent care/ER at OU Children's Hospital. I was told this yesterday at 4pm.
So within 12 hrs I had left my house at dark to head to OKC.  DHS had informed HHT **see previous posts for a thorough explanation of what a HHT is or to discover one near you** 
that I would be picking up Carson no later than 8am, and he better be ready to go--he had an appointment off campus I would be taking him to. And our new DHS worker couldn't arrive until 9:30am. The Lone Ranger rides again!!!!!
Amazing how I can do all the "work" stuff for everybody, yet share custody with the state of OK and receive no paycheck.

Ol' Silver and I found our way to the ER at OU Children's which is conveniently 10 mins down the road from Rose Rock, while Tonto ate his cereal happily in the backseat. We check in, right back to a room and I could NOT have asked him to behave any better for me. Which is good since he's 5'7 and weighs 138 now.
I showed anyone who would look old pictures, recent pictures, and obviously the doctor gave him a once over in person all nakey.
She decided to call in the "Abuse Team". I agreed, however the Abuse Team a.k.a. The Justice League, was in a meeting and would be down to see us in 30-45 mins. We wait Kemosabe.

Enter new DHS worker. Good timing to get there when all the fun stuff is about to go down. Why is she here again??
Well, anyway, I like her. She's young. I can mold her. I can teach her. She's a little scared of me.
I like it.
I was friendly but not overly so. Keep the fear intact. I want her a little unsure of what I'll do. Keep her on her toes till I break her in and feel I can trust her.

The Justice League was led by Doctor Brown who I liked IMMENSELY after watching how he talked to Carson--actually the entire staff treated him very well & I only had to tell them things once. We totally got each other and Dr. Brown was not impressed with Rose Rock's "care" of my baby.
DHS worker pipes up, that Rose Rock is currently under an OCA (Office of Client Advocacy) investigation. SCORE!!!!!!!!!!!
They took pictures--Carson also had a green, big, bruise in the middle of his back--and checked him from tip to tail. Even a black hole/puncture mark on his thigh that looks like someone stabbed him with a mechanical pencil. I first found it Memorial day. Still there. Heaven only knows.

Dr. Brown decided on Clindamycian--an oral antibiotic used usually for MRSA/staph infections.
And Bactroban distributed by these super cool giant nicotine looking patches that fit over Carson's arms/wounds. The unusual features about the patches are, they contain SILVER to promote faster healing in burns. And since we have no real definitive proof of how the wounds on his left arm originated, he felt like this would cover all bases. The other cool feature is these patches stay put for a very long time. But should you NEED to pull them off, they will remain sticky to re-apply like say, after a shower. Pretty nifty stuff. Oh and they keep him from being able to pick at his arms.

Dr. Brown & The Justice League are also filing a CH-25 I think he said--don't quote me on that lingo. Which he told me boils down to filing charges of" medical neglect" and "lack of supervision" against the facility caring for Carson. 
In an attempt to be fair, I will tell you Rose Rock has been applying Bactroban for the past few weeks--how often, I couldn't say. I'd need his full medical records to know THAT. Ahem.
The doctor sent us home with prescriptions and extra patches. We'll see how RRock keeps up with it. THAT is the kicker to me. HOW on earth do we monitor those little boogers?!
Today, I don't care. Today I spent hours with my favorite 14 year old. And today things were done to help my baby. That's all I care about today. The rest I will fight on another day. Tonight The Lone Ranger & Tonto sleep.