Tuesday, October 26, 2021

I'm struggling right now with my anger towards Gracie.  Her actions had so many consequences that she seems to be oblivious to which makes me even angrier.  I spent my week off in Victoria, trying to get her son back to Alberta.  If I hadn't flown out there, he would still be in foster care there.  Her son went through the trauma of being assaulted by her and then being taken into foster care.  He had to live with people he didn't know for a week. Everybodies' Thanksgiving was ruined this year with stress and worry.  Her father killed himself, in part, due to her actions.  Her mother is now a widow, her siblings have lost their father and her son has lost his grandpa.  I'm still off work because of stress which means my coworkers have to pick up the slack.  Her mother is off work as well which means others have to do her job.  It just goes on and on and she doesn't seem to give a flying fuck.

She has video chats with Jack now and we facilitate that.  She tells Jack how much she loves him and how she'll see him soon.  She tells him that they'll have so much fun.  The chats seem to upset him, he gets loud and yells and I can't blame him.  I want to yell at her too.  

I felt better after I expressed my anger above.  I got a call from the Alberta social worker this morning and as of Thursday, Jack will no longer be in the care of the BC government and his case will officially be Alberta's problem.  My husband, Jack and I will meet with her on Friday afternoon and perhaps we'll get more answers about what's happening and what things will look like going forward.

I will see my counselor this evening via zoom and on Thursday, my doctor, as I'm still off and now will need a note from my doc.  I'm feeling better today, especially once I got everything off my chest.  I may have emailed a few friends as well.  Thank you ladies.

I'm starting to organize my life around a toddler again and it will get easier.  There is now a toilet training schedule up on the fridge and the big guy and I will have to divie up the household chores more equitably now that our household is three instead of two.  I want to keep working for now.  I need to do a better job of getting exercise and fresh air for me and Jack.   I will have to find a new way to balance life.  I did it before, I'll do it again.

Friday, October 22, 2021

I still haven't been able to figure out how to work my new post processing program and I really do not have the energy to deal with it right now.  It irritates me and I feel frustrated because I like playing with my photos.  To add to my irritation, my computer sounds like a jet engine revving up when the program is running.  I hate noise, especially machine noises.  I've tried to force a stop because the noise is awful and it won't cooperate.  

I'm feeling grumpy, obviously.  Jack and I visited his grandma, aunt and uncles yesterday.  It was nice to see her and we both cried a little.  It still seems unreal.  She doesn't know what she's going to do but will take six months off work to decide which I think is a good idea.  I've been off all week and everything is a struggle;  I can't imagine what she's going through.  I didn't ask any questions, just listened.   

I know it will get better.  At least the sun is shining.  I've been trying to go for walks.  The weather has gotten colder which is my excuse for not wanting to walk but I walk in much colder weather in the winter, so it's not even a good excuse.  Mostly I just want the last two weeks to be erased and for all of us to get a do over, but that doesn't actually happen in real life, only in the movies.

I have to go back to work next week which I'm not looking forward to at all.  Grief plus the grief of my patients is a lot to carry.  I know I'll be tired.  Meals will be a pain.  I'll worry about bedtime and getting enough sleep for the next day, even though none of that helps to get enough sleep.  Laundry.  Groceries.  Jack.

Jack was saying mama in the car yesterday.  I asked him if he wanted to see his mama and he said, No.  Last night he had a video chat with his mama, the first time he's seen her in almost two weeks.  He was nervous and held his hand up to his mouth.  Gracie seems to think he'll forget but Jack's a smart little guy and he has not forgotten.  Why would he trust her?  She hurt him.  She was drunk and she ignored him, neglected him and hit him across the face hard enough to leave a bruise.  

I'm angry and sad and worn out.  Somebody hurt my grandbaby.  I couldn't protect him and that's what hurts the most I think.  We couldn't protect him.  I feel like we failed which is how it seems to work.  We took care of Jack and we feel like we have failed and his mother who didn't take care of him and who did fail him, she seems to get a free pass.  To be fair, I have no idea what she thinks but I want her to get down on her knees and apologize to her son.  I want her to spend the rest of her life making it up to him, and not with toys and candy, but with attention and love and honesty.  

I don't think she can do that but who knows?  Maybe god knows because I sure as fuck don't.  

Monday, October 18, 2021

I feel quite broken and sad.  Jack is ok.  He's clingy and says he has an owie everytime he bangs into something or steps on something.  He wants lots of hugs and kisses.  He wants reassurance that he is loved and safe and we are giving him that.

He's gone back to daycare this morning and the daycare operators know and understand that his mother has a no contact order.  We told them what happened, including the fact that his grandpa killed himself yesterday.  I am so thankful that Jack doesn't know about all the other stuff swirling around him.  He's sleeping well and eating well.  He's safe.  He's loved.  He's getting lots of exercise at the dogpark which he is growing to love.  There is a hill there, actually there are a few hills there, which he enjoys climbing up and running down.  

I took a couple more days off to deal with all this shit but it's going to take time for everything to stop hurting.  I remember when my dad died.  I was thirty-seven years old and the thing that struck me the most is that life carried on.  It didn't stop.  People still needed to eat.  Laundry still had to be done.  I know this but it still feels like life should stop, for a moment at least and I suppose that's what a funeral is for, a pause to remember that someone who was once here has left us.

I spent last Tuesday with Jack's other grandma and I know how much those two loved each other.  They've been together for more than thirty-five years.  They did everything together and now he's gone.  I can only imagine the pain she is going through right now, along with having to deal with Gracie.  I can see this pushing Gracie over the edge too but I'm trying not to think about this because Jack is our priority right now.

This poem is for Jack's grandma.

Sunday, October 17, 2021

When you think things can't get worse, they always can.  I got a phone call this morning, Jack's other grandad, Gracie's dad, shot himself in the head.  This misery is never ending right now.  

Jack will never remember his grandad, a nice man who thought the world of Jack.  My heart hurts too much right now.  

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Jack and I arrived home last night.  Everyone was exhausted, including poppa who has been worrying non stop.  Gracie still has a no contact order in place and BC Children's Services are still Jack's guardian until we get things sorted out here.  

He's happily sitting with poppa now, relaxing and watching TV.

I guess we'll see what the future holds but for now, he's home and he's safe.

Wednesday, October 13, 2021

 I'm still in Victoria,  waiting for the wheels of bureaucracy to turn.  Jack is caught in limbo between two provinces and apparently the two provinces do things slightly differently. 

The social worker here is a lovely young woman who is doing everything in her power to get us home.

Yesterday Gracie's mom was here and to kill time we went to Butchart Gardens.  It was a beautiful respite in a hellish week.

I'm lonely and I just want to hold Jack in my arms again.   I miss him so much and I miss the big guy who had to stay home to care for the animals.

I'm OK when I'm busy but I'm not busy today. 

Gracie is on her way home with her brother and mother.  Hopefully she goes into rehab but I'm not holding my breath.  Her son however is still stuck here and I can't see him because I need a negative covid test to see him but you can't get a covid test here if you're asymptomatic. 

Fucking hell.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

We've had two video chats with Jack and he's okay.  He looked tired last night when we chatted with him but that's understandable.  He was playing all day with the other kids in the foster home.  We met the foster mother, she's a grandma too and seems very kind and loving.  I am thankful.  He had a new truck, a cherry picker, and liked that.  He also wore a Paw Patrol costume for most of the day.  The foster mother said she would send that home with him.

Gracie called her brother and was threatening to kill herself, so Gracie's mom and brother drove out to Vancouver to be with her.  Gracie took the ferry over from Victoria.  I don't care about Gracie right now.  My grandson has bruises on his face that haven't healed yet and apparently a really bad bruise on his behind.  He also has the diaper rash from hell. 

What the poor little guy is going through is the very definition of trauma and it breaks my heart.  The big guy was crying yesterday, me too, but we're getting through the days.  I cooked all day yesterday as we had promised my in laws a Thanksgiving dinner and we'll take that down to them this afternoon.  The pies turned out really nice.  Nothing fancy but a Thanksgiving dinner that my mother in law didn't have to cook herself which is a nice treat.  

I have a flight booked for tomorrow evening out to Victoria.  There will be a meeting on Tuesday, as Monday is a holiday here, and hopefully we will be granted temporary guardianship and I can bring him back home.  

Today we'll visit Miss Katie, I'll bring her a balloon like I promised last weekend and then drive down to Wetaskiwin to see my in laws.  Tomorrow I will have to find things to keep me busy until my flight.  I'm trying not to obsess about this with some success, although the house is very clean and tidy and all the laundry is done.  I also cooked all day yesterday.  Keeping busy stops my mind from obssessing.  

The dogs had a long walk yesterday and will get another long walk tomorrow.  I feel sick to my stomach but I know he's safe and that's what matters most.  He's safe.  He's safe.  He's safe.  

Friday, October 8, 2021

Gracie and Jack went to Victoria and they're still there.  Gracie was arrested this morning for assault and neglect of Jack and Jack spent the day in the hospital being checked over with a fine tooth comb by the doctors.  She was also drunk when she was arrested.  Jack is okay except for bruises but he's been taken into foster care until Tuesday.  

I was going to fly there tonight.  I was at the airport when I heard from the social worker that the foster parents won't allow me to visit him because of covid concerns, so we changed my flight to Monday.  There will be a hearing on Tuesday and hopefully we will be given temporary guardianship of Jack.  The social worker thought that this was likely as Jack spends so much time with us.

Both the big guy and I are gutted and I doubt I'll get much sleep tonight.  We did have a video call with Jack so it was nice to see him and talk to him.  He seemed happy enough and I told him I would see him in four days.  He had a big bruise on his cheek.

He's two and a half years old, in a strange city, in a strange bed, surrounded by strangers.  Fucking hell.

Wednesday, October 6, 2021

Very busy day at work today.  I told awful jokes to a patient while we put his port in to take his mind off what we were doing.  A lot of patients with very difficult IV starts which means lots of hot blankets and I used the vein finder quite a bit.  One poor guy ended up with an IV in his thumb thanks to me.  He was okay with that;  it was his fourth poke.

The last patient of the day was a man who is dying of pancreatic cancer.  His wife and he were waiting for his scan and we talked while I accessed his port.  She told me that she watches him at night sometimes to make sure he's still breathing.  He holds his breath and then yells "Boo!" to scare the shit out of his wife.  Fucker!  His wife told me that story, both of them laughing.  

I told this couple about another couple that have been coming in for the past few years.  They are an older couple, Muslim.  They wife looks like a proper Muslim lady;  she wears a hijab.  The patient has been blind for most of his life and his wife takes care of him, brings him to every appointment.  I asked him one day if his wife ever moves the furniture when she's mad at him.  He assured me she does not do that.  When I took him back to his wife, I asked her if she ever moved the furniture around when she was mad at him.  She said, "Oh yes", so matter of factly.  I love her.

We had a patient collapse after her CT scan today.  She became unresponsive and her blood pressure bottomed out.  My coworker also works in ER and she called a code.  The lady ended up okay.  They got her blood pressure back up after a bit and when I left she was smiling and apologizing to her daughter.  A good end to a story but codes always leave me feeling shaken.

Jack and Gracie come back tomorrow and I'm looking forward to seeing Jack again.  We've missed him so much.  I miss his cars lined up on the table and his laugh.  

I'm trying to stay present.  I'm reading Eckart Tolle, The Power of Now.  I like some of what he has to stay and I'm trying to stay in the present but it's not easy.  I'm trying to get my mind to shut up, with some success, even if it's only for a few minutes.  

I'm also reading a lovely book called "The One Hundred Years Of Lenni And Margot".  It's just such a nice story, maybe not nice, maybe bittersweet would be a better description, but I like it.

Life continues on.  

Saturday, October 2, 2021

The week in photos.  Nothing much has changed here, except an ICU nurse died of an accidental or deliberate overdose, they don't know.   Either the stress was too much and she went back to using or she'd had enough and wanted it all to stop.  The shit show continues. 

Last night I may have spoken rather loudly to a stupid woman at Walmart who refused to wear a mask.  I asked customer service to have her removed and then followed up with a phone call and they assured me the manager was dealing with it.  

Gracie and Jack leave for Victoria today because she needs a holiday, what with not working an all.  Apparently trashing our house took a lot out of her.  I pray for him every night.  

If I seem bitter, I am.  I'm worn down.  My father in law's health is declining.  I have an infection in my uterus and the doctor, or medicine in general, doesn't know how it happens but it does sometimes for post menopausal women.  Our government refuses to intervene in the worsening health care crisis coming with the fourth wave of Covid.  They are still asking nurses to take a pay cut and are at the same time begging for nurses.  It's insane and when you live with someone who is insane, you end up feeling like the crazy one.  

I'm going to walk in the trees again today because they are the only sane thing right now.  They understand the days are getting shorter, that winter is coming, that they must shed their leaves.  They know what to do and they just get on with it.  

This too shall pass but right now, I feel like this.