Monday, May 11, 2009

Swimming in the sea of hugs

G2 asked the question (scroll down one entry), how was your weekend? Hers was exhausting just to read about! Mine was pretty much exhausting, as well, but very different.

I worked at the 'girl's group home' for four and a half days, returning home just before dark last night. It's emotionally exhausting, which is a very different kind of tired. I bring my own daughter, who has down syndrome, and living in the house are three more young ladies of varying syndromes of their own.

One is a diabetic, and on a new variety of insulin that you don't have to refrigerate (yeah!), but to my mind anyway, is not reliable as to what effect it is going to have each time you use it. She needs her blood sugar checked every couple of hours or so and fed and medicated as indicated by the number you come up with. Every evening she gets a snack before bedtime (usually anyhow, sometimes her sugar is too high) in order to boost her blood sugar high enough (200 or thereabouts) in order to ensure that she has room for it to go down again and still be above the danger line in the morning. The late night sugar check is between 11 and 12. Diabetes is certainly a dance to monitor!

Another one has obsessive compulsive problems among her diagoses. Her obsession is with telephone calls. One must keep telephones out of her reach, or at the very least, not leave her alone in a room with one that she CAN reach. Everyone has a cell phone these days, including her roommates. I've been joking about constructing a bandolero to sling over my shoulder, with enough slots to load all of the phones into. The theme music to "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" would play as I entered the room. I'd be resisting the urge to intone ominously "Go ahead, make my day", mixing my Clint Eastwood references wildly.

Number three is a very high functioning young lady who is new to the house. Beyond a penchant for dropping her stuff at the foot of the stairs and forgetting about it, she's a real joy to have in the house, so far. There has been a fair amount of jockeying for position since the new resident moved in, but all in all, it hasn't been too bad.

***Information necessary to explain all the hugs*** Before I had breast cancer, I worked at a certain place, running their programs for special needs individuals. After all my surgeries and other necessary stuff, I informed the person that was my 'new boss' that I was ready to return. Sorry he said, you've been replaced. I'd had the job for nearly ten years, so I was at the top of the pay scale, and I had been replaced by someone at the bottom. Plain and simple, that was what was happening here, and while somewhat po'd about this, there was nothing I could do, as our state is an 'at will firing' state. This means there is nothing the employee can do about the treatment, you have no legal recourse. They don't even have to give you a reason, they just say goodbye. Nice, huh?***

But life goes on, and being glad as I was that I WAS alive, I chose not to potentially hurt myself by allowing anger to rule here. Financially I am ok (except for the dental bills), many doors have opened since that one closed.

Sooooo, one night there was a spring dance (which is an activity that I would have been in charge of, hence the foregoing discussion). All four ladies attended. Near when it was due to over I came to pick up my ladies. The last song was playing. I went inside to watch everyone (I really, really miss these guys). The song ended, and someone noticed me there. Sandra! I have missed you!, and I walked forward to be engulfed in an ocean of hugs. It was incredibly intense and emotional and spiritually healing. I have missed them all so much! Then someone said, "Sandra, look behind you" and there stood a young lady, beaming from ear to ear, with arms outstretched. In the past she has often seemed somewhat detached or off in her own world, but not that night. I can tell you that any time henceforth, that I am tempted to feel unloved, I will simply picture her beautiful, beaming face and I'll feel all better. What a night, what a balm to the soul.

This morning, my Ramona took me out to breakfast, a late Mother's day celebration. We do love Lena's! The best neighborhood diner, and lucky we are to have it :)


No comments: