Today (Monday) an acquaintance I only see once every few months asked me how I was. Well, today had been a very (VERY) stressed-out triply overloaded day. I should have told him my usual “bad day” answer: “Better Ask Me Tomorrow”. But I didn’t. I was honest.
For a week I had known already that today would be a whirlwind-er. I had agreed previously to spend part of the morning visiting a high school in the area. A friend whose daughter (who also has Down syndrome ) is Ricki’s age and I need to find a new school for high school, and we had agreed to check schools out together. So she set up an appointment, and along with an educational consultant that we trust, we were to see the first possible school. I also had to run to the pharmacy to pick up Ricki’s Concerta prescription, since the pharmacy did not have it in stock when they should have had it, last week. (Last week when I went to get it on the regular date, the pharmacist sheepishly admitted selling Ricki’s doses to someone else, and the replacement would arrive later that day…..) I also had to balance the month’s budget, and do a few household chores. A full morning, but do-able.
The afternoon (5-8) was more problematic. Usually on Mondays I take Ricki to her favorite activity of the week: Drama therapy and exercise/dance class. But an important meeting of a Down-syndrome group I participate in had been scheduled for the same hours. I was expected to come. I tried to find a replacement person to take Ricki to her activities, to no avail, so I explained to a begrudging Ricki that there would be no “club” this week. In addition, I suddenly received notice that (in the SAME time slot) there would be a parent-teacher’s meeting. I did not need to go to see Ricki’s teacher as I call her at least once a week. However, I had hoped to catch a few of the teachers who really are not making the needed effort to give me warning of what they are going to teach, in hopes of rectifying the situation a bit. Unfortunately, it was extremely clear to me (without even a seeing-eye-wizard’s crystal ball) that I would not be at the school between 6 and 8 pm. [My only consolation is that it wouldn’t have helped; these teachers are set on working out their lesson plans at one am the night preceding the class….]
Then my 20 year old son called me up five days ago, with news that his voluntary surgery was moved up…..yes, to December the 15th. He also mentioned that he had a friend accompanying him to the hospital, as well as our 18 year old son.
So what do I do? Go to the hospital and wreck plans affecting dozens of other people? Or let my son go accompanied by his brother and best friend, and my husband? At this point we had no knowledge of the hour of the operation, and what I might need to cancel. After discussing it with him, I very reluctantly agreed that most of the day he could indeed manage, and I would pop over to the hospital the hours of the operation itself, if at all possible. We talked at length about his fears of waking up in the middle of the operation, and I felt that here, at least, I had contributed to his well-being.
Now lets fast-forward to 3pm . The surgery was scheduled for 3-5, but I am running late, and realize that I will probably only be able to be at the hospital by 4:00. So I call up my 18 year old son, to “check in”, only to discover that neither my husband or my son are at the hospital, only his friend. So I urge Ricki to hurry up and get dressed, take a taxi to get there, and arrive minutes after my son went into surgery at 4:00. At least his father had arrived. My married daughter promised me that she would arrive by about 6:00. So in the end, I wait at the hospital until 6:00, until the surgery itself was finished. I phone someone at the Down syndrome group meeting, they urge me to come. Eventually I arrive there at 7pm. I have missed most of the meeting, and am very frustrated by trying very hard to accomplish very little.
So when one of the people at the meeting asked how I was, I just said how frustrated I was….
But it’s not their fault. Nor mine. I just felt like the Morton salt commercial: When it rains, it pours. Everything rained down on me, and I got drenched. I feel guilty for not being everywhere, or for perhaps making the wrong choices.
So how am I? Better to ask me tomorrow…..