Tuesday, November 20, 2007

OT: The Challenges of Raising Children

Raising children certainly has its challenges, but the last week (especially the last 24 hours) was more than I needed right now in my life!

It started last Tuesday when I received a phone call from my 15-yr old son, Kyle, from the Emergency Room. He had wiped out on his gas powered scooter and injured his hand so his father took him to the ER. Kyle called me when leaving the ER and told me that his hand was broken in three places. They put a splint on it and made an appointment for him with an orthopedic specialist for Monday.

Accidents happen. Kids get hurt. I can deal with this. But I was not happy when I learned of the circumstances of this injury. Kyle has battery operated lights on the scooter so he can ride after dark. However, on this occasion the batteries were almost dead. He had asked his dad for some new batteries, but his dad didn't have any. Instead of telling Kyle he can't ride in the dark without lights, his father gave him some money and told him to ride to the store to get some. What?!?!?! His father sent him out in the dark on a scooter that goes about 35+ mph. That's ridiculous. And what happened ... There was a folding chair in the middle of the road, Kyle didn't see it, Kyle hit it, and then he went tumbling off the scooter and slid across the pavement for a while.

Then on Thursday, my 12-yr old son, Jack, came down with a cold and had to stay home from school for a few days. No big deal .. I can handle this. He went to his father's for the weekend so I made sure I informed his father that he had been sick and throwing up. Apparently his father didn't believe me. On Saturday, his father took him to Buffalo Wild Wings for lunch so they could watch the game. On Sunday, his father took him to the movies. On Sunday night, his father returned Jack to me. Despite the fact that Jack hasn't had an asthma attack in probably a year .. Sunday night, shortly after going to bed, Jack woke up with a severe asthma attack.

I tried everything but couldn't stop this attack. So .. off to the emergency room we went. They tried a different medication and were able to stop the attack. Whew .. that ordeal was over. Let's head home and try to get some sleep. Of course, by the time we got home it was 6:15 am and neither of us had gotten any sleep yet. I figured I'd keep Jack home from school again so he can rest up. Me, on the other hand, couldn't exactly do that. Kyle's appointment with the orthopedic doctor was this morning. I figured I might be able to steal 2 hours of sleep before having to get up and get ready ... but that wasn't in the cards either. An hour after I fell asleep, my phone rang 3 times in a 10 minute period. Arrgghh!! I guess I might as well give up and get out of bed.

So off to the orthopedic doctor I go to meet Kyle and his father. The doctor told us the hand was actually broken in 4 places, not 3. The doctor told us that he could either put a split on the hand, leaving his thumb and forefinger available for use, or he could put a cast on the hand, which would only leave the thumb available for use. Kyle and his father wanted the split option. I pushed for the cast. Kyle had been told by the ER to NOT remove the split and don't get it wet. Kyle, however, was non-compliant with those instructions. He removed it daily to take a shower and when he reapplied the splint, it was very loose, leaving his fingers (which were broken) loose and able to move. Now let me say at this point that Kyle has been living with his dad, and once again, his dad's poor parenting skills played into this. His father knew Kyle was doing this and didn't enforce the instructions from the ER. So based on all that information, I thought the cast was a better choice, and so did the doctor. So a blue cast was applied and we were sent on our way.

Whew, one more ordeal over with. Now to get home, get some lunch, and then try to get some sleep. Wait, I have to go pick up Jack's new prescription first. Then I'll get some sleep. While I was checking out at the counter, my cell phone rang. It was Kyle. He told me he cut his cast off. What?!?!? Are you serious?!??!? Where is your father ... let me speak to him!

Apparently, his father didn't take him back to school after the getting the cast. Instead he took him back to his place, and then left to run some errands. When he got back, Kyle had the cast off. Kyle said that it was itching and burning and he couldn't stand it. Here's where I mention that Kyle has Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) so it doesn't surprise me to know that the cast bugged him. But what did surprise me was that he went to the extreme of cutting it off with scissors, vise grips, and a saw! Oh .. and did I mention that his father had failed to fill his prescription so Kyle had not had is OCD medication in the last few days?

So much for my plans to get some sleep. I picked up Kyle and took him back to the orthopedic doctor. This time they put a splint on it .. and lectured Kyle about the importance of leaving it on and NOT removing it. I also had big plans on lecturing his father on that same issue and making sure that he assisted Kyle with wrapping it in plastic and waterproof tape before each shower. By now it's after 5:00 pm and I just want to get home and get some sleep.

It's about a 30 minute drive from the doctor's office back home, but we're in 5:00 traffic, and we came to a screeching halt. The main artery from the doctor's office to my house was completely shut down due to a major accident. They were diverting traffic down a side street which couldn't handle the flow of that much traffic. Add to that, there was a semi truck several cars in front of us and he couldn't make the turns through the neighborhood. Arrrgghh! Could this day get any worse?!?!?

I phoned Jack who was back at home and asked him to bring up MapQuest on the computer and help me out. Jack did great and gave me directions on how to get out of that mess and get home. Finally, home and exhausted. Jack and I ate a quick dinner and then went to bed ... at 8:30 pm! Thirty minutes later, the asthma attack started again! This time we were able to stop it and finally, we got some sleep.

I sure hope today is nice and calm!!!!!!!!

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