Posts Tagged ‘Dr. Pascual’

hold it

Hold it. This wasn’t the way it was supposed to
pan out, we both flattened beneath a spinning situation
ironed hot, scorched and out of orbit.

Am I dreaming first your stay, then mine –
clay-making, group, meal-lines like college, the
potent connections made in all those suffering days,
the way the womb became a mother-cushion?

Hold it.

Hold on. This is what I tell you. I see you suffer,
breathe, clutch, push time along to sleep, placing
facts upon a high shelf where they can’t be reached
without standing on the steps.

So stay seated, both
hands inside the vehicle, a ride dizzy but hopefully quick.

Hold on.


There is no normalcy in any day, in anything Andy does, in anything surrounding Jonah, in anything at all.  Through the inconceivable notion of placing Jonah comes an urgency to place him – a sense of time ticking, of there being only so long we can collectively do this thing, keep going, keep everyone safe, keep holding it together, keep hanging on.

The doctor appointment yesterday was awful.  It didn’t start out that way.  Andy picked me up from work and we collected Jonah from school without incident, but on the ride to Clifton Park we passed the exit where grandma lives and Jonah started to ask for grandma and white soda over and over with increasing urgency.  We told him yes, Jonah; later, boo, and ignored it when he hit the back window with his palm. 

Andy dropped me off first to see if the doc was on schedule – they said he was, so Andy and Jonah followed shortly afterwards, walking in just as the nurse was calling his name.  First he was okay; the nurse put the blood pressure cuff on and Jonah said arm squeezy – he knows the deal with that – then she asked us to get Jonah undressed.  We did, and he paced the room in his pull-up, lifting the blinds, walking back to the corner by the door, walking back to the blinds, saying all done at intervals – but then he slowly started to fall apart. 

By the time Dr. Pascual came in and wanted Jonah to lie down so he could listen to his heart and belly, we had to hold Jonah down on the table and he cried, frightened, ramping up for aggression-time.  Then Andy got Jonah dressed, putting himself between Jonah and me so I wouldn’t get hit by any of Jonah’s swats and kicks. 

I stayed behind to talk to the doc for a few minutes.  There wasn’t much to say; the doc saw an obvious need for placement and told me he thought Jonah would really benefit and be happier with 24-hour care. 

Small consolation.  But the truth is that what used to be small consolation is now something we cling to, and hope for, and want as soon as possible.  Even with the oxymoronic torment it brings us. 

So I walk out to the parking lot and I see the SUV’s back hatch is swung open, and I get in the passenger seat and there’s Andy holding Jonah in the backseat, and Jonah’s undressed from the waist down.  I guess he tried to kick a baby in the waiting room on the way out and then Andy half-carried him to the car, Jonah fighting him all the way, and when they got to the car Jonah took off his shoes and pants and pull-ups off, attacking Andy the whole time.  I saw Andy’s hands were spotted with blood, probably from being bitten and scratched. 

I didn’t ask.

I managed to help Andy get Jonah’s pull-up and sweatpants back on him, then we latched him into his harness and secured it to the seat, retrieved his bag from the top of the car, slammed the hatch, and I moved into the driver’s seat to drive us the hell out of there.

Jonah was quiet on the way back.  Andy and I were quiet too.  I asked him briefly what happened, he told me, then we too fell into silence. 

Silence like a door that closes, latched, leaving us in the dark, unseeing, feeling our way along in the black.

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Snow’s sprinkling fine sugar upon this first full day of spring, but we all know its shaker is almost empty, so what the hell.  You’ve lost, cold and snow.  Spring’ll be here soon, like it or don’t. 

It is also M’s birthday and the 10th anniversary of the day I quit smoking cigarettes. 

Today Andy and I take Jonah to his pediatrician, the one we switched to because his specialty is autism.  I’ve got my spare pair of glasses on in case Jonah  flips out (like he did last week when we took him to the psychiatrist and switched his meds from rispersdal to trileptal in yet another attempt to get the right drug to help him).

Jonah drums in his sleep sometimes. 

And he’s been limping on and off, to add to the myriad of mysteries to solve, and I’m hoping they can figure that out too.  

Onward we push, into spring, into the unknown, into another decade of no cigarettes…

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Happy boy is still with us – only a few attacks here and there, none of which I’ve witnessed, at least not in quite a few days now.  Maybe even a week.  We took Jonah to a new pediatrician on Monday – one who specializes in developmental disabilities and behavioral problems.  I loved him; he’s level-headed, kind, and intelligent.  If we want Jonah to have his second chicken pox shot or the flu shot we’ll have to go back, but we might opt out of both of them this year.

We’re putting the wheels in motion to go to Boston to see a pediatric rheumatologist (there aren’t any around here and the ones for adults won’t even see children, for some reason) because of Jonah’s uveitis and iritis, and the synovitis they found some time ago in his hip and jaw.  He may have pediatric arthritis, they’re thinking, so that’s our next big medical project to tackle.

Also on the Jonah horizon is a big meeting tomorrow with the school district officials – teachers from Wildwood will be there, and his caseworker from Catholic Charities, and of course Andy and me, and we’ll try to decide what’s the best course of action educationally and placement-wise for Jonah.  I know we have to at least investigate our options but now that he’s so much better I want to keep him home and at Wildwood School.  They say he’s participating more and yesterday he had no aggressions at school at all – granted it was a half day, but still…he came home with math sheets all completed (it still baffles me that the kid can solve math problems) and a hastily scribbled art project (he’s not the biggest fan of coloring, though he does love to carry markers and colored pencils around, & roll them on the table and floor).  He still falls asleep early but he sleeps well, and peacefully, and I am grateful for every day he is himself again.

I love to see him skip around…hear him happy, even loud, again – lately he has been singing and shouting out the “hear-ar-ar-ar-ah-art” part to Guster’s “This is How it Feels to Have a Broken Heart” (which, despite its title, is actually kind of a lively song).

“We’ve colored in the lines and followed all the signs
Fought a war till the war was over;
Said you’d never be the kind with an ordinary life…

~ Guster

(You can say that again, guys)

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