Disclaimer: This is a rambling, wandering, personal, pointless, and selfish post. But there isn't anything else that I can possibly spend more than two minutes thinking about without my mind drifting back to the issue at hand. So I apologize in advance if this wasn't what you were hoping for today.
I get lost in my own head a lot. I can drive for hours by myself with the radio off and be perfectly content because I can just be there and go through every angle of every situation in life. And driving up the rocky coast of Maine, sun shining, waves crashing, and windows down with Mrs. Ace passed out in the passenger seat is the perfect storm for me to get completely lost in my mind. Vacations are good for this sort of thing.
As I mentioned briefly in the comments last week, I found out I would be the target of a Children's Services investigation...for NOT restraining a client who was NOT a threat to himself or anyone around him. And during these types of investigations your organization totally abandons you. No communication, internal investigation, no assistance while speaking with CS, and a steadily increasing distance between you and your supervisor. I can't go into details, but it's total bullshit. It's especially total bullshit because I have called CS several times in the past about concerns over my own clients home lives only to have them do nothing and clients go on continuing to be abused because the system is so fucked. Like having a client who was sexually abused, and has now admitted to doing those same acts to a younger sibling, and CS doesn't even attempt to remove this client from that environment. That is what we call neglect, but apparently it doesn't apply to them. Being in a position of direct care, but not having the power or authority to do anything to help your client's do anything other than survive is a real fucking trip. But that's not what this post is about.
What the fuck do I really want to do? That's the thought that really dominates my mind on those lonely drives, especially with the potential change in employment status looming. And depending on the time or day there could be a million answers.
I want to get the fuck out of Ohio for no reason in particular.
I want to start a charter school because most of the ones around here are shit and just a money grab. Watching struggling kids fall through the cracks just to be ignored and struggle even more is frustrating.
I want to buy a bunch land outside of the city and open a dog rescue. That's a pretty fucking silly dream. Even sillier, I want to open a dog rescue attached to a restaurant/pub, so people can get buzzed and decide to take a dog home. Irresponsible and silly. But man I'd be lying if I said I didn't think about that possibility every single day.
The grass is always greener, right?
Tuesday morning I was going through my usual blog roll and read Grumpy's post from Monday. Here's a excerpt:
"Over the July 4th weekend friends who now live in Las Vegas came to Cincinnati to visit with their 4 month old son. The paternal grandparents had people over Saturday night to meet the baby and congratulate the new parents in person. Really cute kid, very photogenic and nary a complaint while being passed among strangers. But here's what I was thinking: In 18 yrs., when Jake graduates from high school, I likely won't be there to see it. It's simple math, really. It's how I've started to view the future, by doing the math."Sunday night I got a call my mom saying she was taking my dad to the ER because he has had indigestion for over 12 hours and can't get rid of the discomfort in his chest. At about midnight I got another call saying he was being transferred to a heart and vascular hospital in Toledo because it's obviously more serious than indigestion. Now this isn't anything new to us. My dad had a triple aortic bypass in '07 and two subsequent hernia operations, both full of complications. So him being transferred wasn't a huge shock. But it's obviously something. My dad is one tough and stubborn SOB who has been through hell and back in his life. From being an orphan, to a child whose only purpose was a farmhand, to Vietnam, and beyond, he's been through the gauntlet. And if he agrees to go to the hospital it's a concern.
Monday afternoon my mom calls, stumbling over every word trying to hold back tears because she still thinks I'm 12 when it comes to things like this, saying it's serious. She doesn't need to say anything else. I tell my supervisor I'm leaving and won't be back tomorrow and not sure about the rest of the week. I didn't need to wait for her response, I was on auto-pilot. I'm sure any child would do the same in this situation, but as an only child it's not even a decision. You just fucking do it.
As I arrive at the hospital we are just getting the official news; open heart surgery. Fuck. Right before I get into the room the surgeon decides to tell my mom, "this procedure will lengthen his life". He walks out and she is fucking hysterical. How the fuck are we supposed to take that? Lengthen his life? That's something I expect to hear when somebody is terminal and trying to live for another 6 months. Not MY dad.
So my dad is sitting in his hospital, disgusted that he has to sit there for 4 days waiting for surgery. A nurse comes into the room and asks to check his EKG or some medical bullshit. Before she does it, she asks if it would be okay if a couple nursing students came in to observe. He obliges.
Nurse: "Come a little closer, I'm just going to hook these clamps his port. It won't effect anything." (Hooks clamp)
My Dad: "(While convulsing uncontrollably)ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ!!!!!!!!!!!"
All the students jump back and the nurse lets out a squeak.
He's getting his money's worth if they are keeping him in that hellhole.
I get lost in my own mind a lot. Since Monday I have had a conversation with a surgeon about my dad dying at least 30 times in my head. Anything can spark it and it's the exact same conversation every time. And I know it's coming but I feel like I shouldn't stop myself because it's something that I need to be prepared for. The surgeon said this operation has about a 98% success rate, but I'll be damned if I can think about anything other than that 2% right now.
My dad is 66. The average male who lives to be 65 can expect to live to be 84 years old. With his previous health issues I have to think he would find himself in the below average group. Even if by some miracle Mrs. Ace pushed out a baby this morning, my dad still probably wouldn't see my son graduate high school. That's a real fucking sobering truth. It's not like this is the first time I have ever thought about these things. And I'm sure most of you guys have had similar thoughts. But when that reality is staring you dead in the face and there's no way you can brush it aside it's a tough pill to swallow.
By the time most of you read this my dad will be in the middle of surgery. And that's about the only thing that I can predict as far as the next few days go. Hopefully I'm just being a pussy and my dad will be out of the hospital in four days. But he has a knack for turning 4 day stays into 8 day nightmares. But hey, here's to hoping.
The majority of us are around that age where our parents' eventual demise is becoming more unavoidable to our conscience. I can't even imagine what that might feel like while having a kid to think about on the complete opposite end of that spectrum. I don't really think there is a good way to end this. But if you made it through all of this your reward is proof that Ide has went full hipster on us.
I appreciate your well wishes in advance. And if you're the praying type, feel free to pray that the surgeon is fucking nails today.