Thursday, October 27, 2011

Still Not Healed, & Pissed Off

This is officially my 100th post in this blog... I wanted to make it an important one, so I chose to blog about my daughter's abduction, once again. It's been four years since her biological father & stepmother took her from our home (I call it "kidnapping", the legal definition is "parental abduction"). Even with counseling, she's still not whole... and neither am I. Whole-ness will not come until trust is restored.

Since last year, I can easily count how many events of hers he's attended. Final count for last year's Fall soccer -- 2 games. Basketball season -- nothing. Spring soccer - nothing. School events, 5th grade -- 2 (a conference and a band concert). Fall soccer so far this year -- 2 games. School events, 6th grade -- 1 (a conference; she hasn't had anything else, yet, though). He's called, on average, about once a month. He didn't call at all last summer.

Not that she wants to talk to him on the phone, anyway... When he does call, if we're even home, she lets it go to voicemail & doesn't call him back. No, I don't make her. She's old enough now to make that decision for herself; she'll be 12yo soon. She's not, however, completely ready to tell him to his face how she feels, but has started a letter to him. No idea if that'll help the situation, but it will help her by allowing her to get her feelings out.

One thing I've been thinking about doing, too, is allowing him to email her. On the plus side - it would allow her to determine when she "talks" to him and what she shares. On the down side - it is impossible to guarantee that it is only him that she's "talking" to. Her stepmother has a horrible habit of using bd's email to communicate with me; what's to stop her from doing it with Princess? Nothing. Still thinking about this idea...

He hasn't made even one attempt to try to pay me back any of the money he owes me -- remember, it's six attorney's fees judgments (averaging $4000 each), plus accruing child support. The support, alone, is currently just under $8500. In the past year, I've gotten a grand total of $193 -- none of them paid willingly. Not sure what he thinks that's supposed to cover... Both he & his wife have also told his mother that he's paying me $100/month, like he's supposed to. Wonder what she'd say/think if I sent her a copy of the child support printout?

And now, probably for no other reason except that his wife is making him (guess her own three kids & whatever she does during the day doesn't keep her busy enough; she has to piss on my parade, too), he's started some crap about not being able to volunteer at Princess' school. Really? After all these years... that's his angle?

Well, guess what? She doesn't want him to!! But, before pitching a fit at the school district, did he even bother to ask HER how she felt about it? No. Once again, to them, it's not about doing what's best for Princess; it's about what THEY want and what is in THEIR best interests. Time & time again, they've proven that they only care about two things -- (1) getting under my skin, and (2) getting what they want, regardless of who it hurts.

It was their own selfishness that got him into this situation... and it will be complete selfLESSness that will get him out. All the crap his wife likes to say against me -- claiming Parental Alienation Syndrome, etc -- is just her pathetic attempt to make herself & him look like the innocent victims. PRINCESS is the only innocent victim, here.

So, I look forward to whatever the outcome of this latest stunt is... but they should consider themselves warned: I will protect my daughter from anything, and anyONE, out to harm her.

Monday, October 17, 2011

It's Just One Person's Opinion...

...but MY opinion is: Kaiser sucks. Seriously. I may have been born at one, but that was over 37 years ago; apparently, times have changed. Or, maybe it's just their treatment of the elderly (I mean no disrespect by the term "elderly", btw... for reference, I'm talking about people over the age of 60).

Two weeks ago, I was headed to my studio (about 40m drive from my house), when my cell rang. My mother was on the other end (she was supposed to be my first client) & told me that she "doesn't feel well", had a call into her doc, & would I mind just doing her nail appt at her house? I thought, "Crap... now SHE'S getting sick on me" (my daughter had just recovered from a mild fever & small cough), but said, "Sure. Let me stop by the salon & grab a few things."

Thirty minutes later, I pulled into the parking lot of the salon and my phone rings again... "Never mind on the nail appointment; I need you to drive me straight to the doc's office." I still had another appointment later, so I had to grab some stuff from my studio, then I drove to mom's condo to pick her up.

I'd only been to her doc's once before, so in between the moans & groans of the pain she was obviously in (she said it was worse than labor pains & giving birth... but I don't actually know what that feels like since technically, I didn't "give birth" -- Princess was emergency C-section), she directed me to her doc's office. Apparently, the doc over the phone thought she possibly had appendicitis; she told mom to go straight to the emergency room if the pain got worse.

We got to the hospital, and I headed toward the area that says "Emergency Room" and "Urgent Care", dropped mom at the doors, and parked my car. I went in to find her getting her vitals taken by the UC guy, who then proceeded to tell me two things. (1) That "hospital" is actually not a hospital, but a "medical center"; they no longer have an ER, and (2) UC doesn't open 'til 2p, but he didn't mind taking her vitals & getting her up to her doc's office (two floors up) while I took care of her co-pay.

I then found her doc's office, where she was in so much pain, she was throwing up (Exorcist-style), but NO ONE would give her pain meds. They didn't know what was wrong (definitely NOT appendicitis), and were not equipped to find out. Someone asked me if I wanted to drive her to the ER (about 20 minutes away, btw) or have them call her an ambulance... um, duh? Ambulances are faster, right? HA!

Almost AN HOUR later, the ambulance arrived; the two techs obviously in no hurry (she's not dying, so they can take their time?!?!). They allowed me to ride with her, and gave her pain meds en-route. No lights, no sirens... We pulled in, they wheeled her to the ER desk, & handed the head nurse her info from her regular doc. She was given a room, and Mark (her nurse for the majority of the day) proceeded to take as good care of her as he could.

Over the course of the next seven hours (!!), they took a blood sample, a urine sample, and made her drink some special concoction to make her insides light up during the CT scan. She had been given doses of morphine, but they weren't very good at keeping up with it. Many hours went by in-between doses (morphine wears off very quickly, so she should have been given doses every couple of hours). She can't take a lot of stronger meds; they make her sick.

Having not planned on being in the ER for (a total of 10) hours, I had only grabbed my purse from my car, so I had my wallet/money, but not snacks & water I usually have on me on all times. By 245p, I was starving, my phone was dead, and mom's was down to 2 cells. I'd been keeping my siblings, husband, & daughter in the loop, along with a bunch of mom's friends.

While she was getting her CT scan, I decide to go to the gift shop to grab some "food" (bags of peanuts & a Snickers bar), which held me over until I got back to my car later that night (it's amazing how your body isn't hungry when you're stressed out). Since, at this point, we had no idea what was wrong, I didn't want to leave her alone for too long.

Making sure Princess was taken to practice, I just waited for the CT results. Mom & I also made a list of who else she wanted me to call, what needed to be canceled, and what stuff she needed me to bring her while she was recovering. They finally brought me a corded phone, so I could finish making all my calls. I also found out why mom wasn't getting her meds within a reasonable time frame... The head nurse NEVER ENTERED HER INTO THE SYSTEM!

At 630p, I called my husband and asked him to come up to the hospital (at that point, I'd be in the waiting room) to drive me back to my car, but to wait until after Princess' practice was done. He asked if I wanted him to grab food for me, but I said no. I just wanted to get back to my car, and get home. Then, they took mom into surgery.

Ace & Princess found me a little after 8p; we drove straight to the Med Center (argh), got my car, and went home. At 945p, I got a call from the head surgeon that mom's surgery went fine; she was in recovery for an hour or two, then would be in a medical observation room for the night. They were going to transfer her to a "regular" room the next morning. I sent update texts to everyone I could think of, asking some of them to pass along the info. By the time I got to bed, it was almost midnight.

The next morning, I sent a few more texts (one in response to my dad, who had texted his concern and asked about mom's health -- apparently, Spook had told him what was going on). Then, I get another call from the surgeon... she had a "bad reaction" to one of the meds they gave her during surgery so she was now in ICU for observation (um, you mean, one of the meds SHE TOLD YOU SHE HAS BAD REACTIONS TO?!?! That info apparently never made it into her chart!) for the day. Argh.

So, I texted/called that update to a bunch of family & friends, and headed in to work (exhausted both mentally & physically). I first stopped at her condo to pick up a few things for her, and her friend Linda met with me there. Linda was going to go visit (she could still have visitors) later that afternoon, and didn't mind taking it with her.

While I was taking care of one of my clients, one of my sisters texted to tell me she'd talked to mom, but thought I should go up to visit. Um, hello? I was in the ER with her for 12 HOURS the day before; she has plenty of friends to visit, & I would be going back (with Princess, along with T's family) on Thursday. I felt like saying (but didn't), "If you think she needs company so badly, YOU come up here!" (She lives in CA.)

Thursday, she'd had a second surgery to stitch her closed permanently. At this point, she was on colored liquids. She could be released when she could tolerate solid foods; as early as Saturday.

That afternoon, after Princess got done with an appointment, we all went up to visit. Since she was still in the ICU ('cuz they didn't have any regular rooms available) at this point, but wasn't critical, we figured they'd bend the rules (no children under age 12, masks & gowns, one at a time, etc), but when we got there, they told T "no kids under 12" (Princess looks a bit older than she is; she didn't have a problem). Bug threw a FIT! "I WANNA SEE GRAMMY!!"

Mom's nurse (down at the end of the hall, in her room) overheard, so as we came in, he said, "I'm gonna check with your mom's doc; I'm sure we can relax the rules about that." Doc said yes; the little ones got to visit, too. We stayed for about half hour, then went to have dinner. I then left Princess with T, and I went home.

Friday, I met up with M.E., who is "hosting" mom during her recovery process (she's also retired, and lives alone in a nice house in the hills of town). I made sure mom had clothes, shoes, etc for her stay (up to 6wks). She could have stayed in her own place, but she would have needed a round-the-clock nurse. Another alternative was a medical recovery center. I'm grateful M.E. was willing & able to do this for mom because with my own family & job, I couldn't have.

That morning was also T & D's weekend anniversary trip (one of a few trips mom was banned from going on while she recovers). T, Princess, D, the little ones, & mom's friend all went (missing mom, of course), but still had a reasonably good time. Princess saw two plays, got a backstage tour, and did some babysitting of her cousins.

When they returned Monday, we all met up at M.E.'s again. Mom was settled & healing. Wednesday, I returned to give her a "clean up" pedicure and found out that the resident surgeon had called to check on her (bonus points). When mom said her bandages were making her itch, the resident said, "Those were supposed to come off 48hrs after surgery!" (which, btw, would have been BEFORE she was released!).

Yesterday, Princess & I went up to visit. We took a short, slow walk with her down the hill to the end of the block then back up. She is still sore (as to be expected), can't go far without tiring, & can't really lift anything but after her follow up this Friday, the docs may decide she's well enough to return to her own condo.

So, dear readers, how many problems with Kaiser do *YOU* spot?!?!

Disclaimer -- the views of this blogger do not reflect the views of the patient. Mom said to tell you all she has "no qualms" about how she was treated there. (rolling my eyes)