Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Such an easy read... the dwarf, not the blog

So there are times when my mom gut instinct is "spot on".  Most times it involves our adopted dwarfs and their "squirrel-ish"  behaviors.  When they drop off the radar, there is always a trigger, and when they are in need it is always significant.  They read like a cheap dime store novel, you always, sadly figure out the end of the story in the first several chapters.

Each of my dwarfs start and end chapters in their life just like the rest of us mere mortals. The difference is because of their impairments, watching their stories unfold is somewhat like a train wreck, it is hard to tear your eyes away and you always, always despite your deepest hopes and desires as a parent, watch them muck it up over and over again.  Mental illness is a horrible and debilitating disease for the sufferers and their families.

The dwarf today that I am shaking my head in absolute fascination over is Grumpy. He can't, or won't, or is unable to make a good choice. I have had the distinction of being his mother for 14 years, and nothing is changing for the good, only getting worse now that he has no care or accountability in his life.

Many of you may have heard that Grumpy was involved in a "hit and run" accident a little over two months ago.  He was struck, we were initially lead to believe, by a vehicle while he was walking in a crosswalk, coming home from work at about 4PM in the afternoon.  A hit and run.  In his mind, he was the victim, and the story that he weaved to us and the emergency room employees, was to say the least, consistent, and compelling and evoked empathy and even some sympathy.  The Prince and I considered all things, caught the inconsistencies that others missed, and knew that the verdict would be out until we had the official police report.  Needless to say he is a pathological liar.  Nothing about the story was true, except that yes he was struck full on by a moving vehicle at 4PM on a clear afternoon.

Grumpy lost two front teeth.  His body was battered, and road rash covered his face, head and left side of his body, his foot and big toe on his right foot were broken.  While he has recovered fully from the road rash, and broken body parts, what was discovered in that emergency room visit was his serious and remarkable thyroid problem, Graves Disease.

I am not a doctor, so what exactly these stats mean, is foreign to me, but seemed to be a large enough concern for his nurse to make him aware that he must take medication daily and be under a doctors care.  His heart rate at the time of the accident was 220 beats per minute, his resting that day after they stabilized him, 160 beats per minute.   This disease caused him to among other things, have the shakes, the crazy eyes, shortness of breath,  hallucinations, and disillusions.  When he dashed across three lanes of traffic to get hit in the fourth and final lane (eventually he claimed) he was running away from the bus stop because he thought someone was chasing him.

While Grumpy has had a rough go of it, homeless for almost two years and in and out of facilities, he had somewhat settled in a program that offered him a second chance.  A room in a home, food stamps, rent free, with a case worker to help him with life's issues.  While this is not his first program, nor are we foolish enough to think it will be his last, we were somewhat hopeful that after being struck by a motor vehicle, something would start clicking for the dwarf.

From the time of the accident until two weeks ago, Grumpy was heavily dependent on us for care from everything to showers and bandage changes, to grocery and med pick ups and transportation to and from appointments.  Because of the missing front teeth and loose teeth, he also requested soft foods, so we bought groceries and occasionally, when the Prince was headed over,  I made mashed potatoes as a treat.

While he was "incapacitated" he desired to read books, do word search puzzles, and write letters to his siblings and his old friends.  In said letters he encouraged everyone to do the right things, listen to authority and to obey the rules, so that they do not end up like him!  Most excellent most would say.  However, when the rubber meets the road and the healing began, the red flags started flying!

First, he stopped calling every day.  Why you may ask?  My guess was two fold.  He was feeling better and was going out of the house more, and some how managed to get his hands on technology.  Some devise with wifi.  Which as soon as he has access to social media, he starts living life untethered.  As a matter of fact, the day that I told the Prince that Grumpy was up to no good, I heard through the grapevine on snapchat he was attempting to buy a gun... shocking no, but if you think you're a thug, absolutely appropriate, I guess... I mean don't all thugs buy their guns off snapchat?

Second, while not much more than another week of extended silence... it was still silence. When the Prince "pops" in after work one night to check on his groceries and meds, he is a) not home, and b) his room shows all indications of having a house guest.  This is how and why he was removed from the program the last time!  There is a very strict policy about house guests, while they can visit in the day light hours they may not, any under circumstances, stay in the group home over night.

The Prince reminds Grumpy that this is how he got kicked out of the program the last time.  He also reminds him that the program will not give him a third chance, so get this kid and his stuff out of the house now, OR, you forfeit all that your mother and I are currently doing to help you.  Grumpy says that he will immediately have his friend leave, he just was trying to help out this homeless "friend"  and that he is really sorry.

More silence.  A red flag to us that he did not do as he has been instructed, and is now putting not only his position in the program at risk, but putting the other men that live there and follow the rules in a tight spot. 

Yesterday, I pick him up for an appointment for a thyroid check.  Their first option in treating the Graves Disease is with medications and regular monitoring.   When we arrive, we find out I have the wrong day.  (it doesn't happen often, but sometimes I get confused... )   As we are leaving the doctors in record time I might add,  Grumpy sees a side table in the back of my truck and asks if that is for him.  I said, yes, that I picked it up at the Goodwill so he could put his bed side lamp on top of it instead of the cardboard boxes he was currently using.   As we make the trek back to the halfway house, he says he has something to tell me.  He has a friend staying at the house.  I look at him, and shake my head.  In no uncertain terms I again, lay out for him what the Prince said to him, he needs to go!  Under no circumstances  can that "friend" be staying in his house, room, garage etc.   Grumpy says that he feels bad and that he just wants to help him out.  He feels like he wants to give back to someone else (oh how liars lie).  I tell him, he is helping no one including himself.  If he wants to give back to others, get himself situated and then do what he feels led to do when he has his own funds, home etc.  Grumpy agrees that the friend has to go.  I remind him that he was removed from the program before because of this, and if he looses his placement again, he also looses our current supports.  Choose wisely...

Today, the correct day for the doctors appointment, I show up at the halfway house and the driveway has a car in it.  Not like a cool car... a mini van.  Clue one for me... an adult in charge is on location.  One of the roommates is on the front porch drinking coffee, avoiding eye contact with me. Clue two, as this gent is usually super chatty.   I enter the house and there stands his new case worker and her supervisor.   Grumpy is mad, flying around like a hornet, spouting lies about what is going on, as they are calming explaining to me that the "friend" was found in the house this am by them, and that Grumpy is being evicted.  Just so we are clear, the day before, he assured me that the "friend" was out. (Insert eye roll here and the reminder that pathological liars will tell you whatever they think you want to hear.)

As he was creating a verbal mess to contend with, I told him to shut up and get in the truck.  I took a moment to speak to the case workers.  Found out the situation by asking a few pointed questions, thanked them for their time and left.

We went to the appointment.  He tried to talk to me about the situation and what were we going to do?  First of all we? I don't think so... but I hold all my words in!   I told him this was not a conversation we were having while we were at the doctors.  During the appointment, it became obvious that while initial treatments from month one were working well, as Grumpy was taking his meds regularly, and we were checking in regularly, this last month that he has been off the grid,  he has also not regularly taken his medications.  His blood levels were elevated, and his symptoms are starting to partially return.

This doctor (God bless Him!) is more than aware of Grumpy's situation and we have all indicated that we are in this, as long as Grumpy does what he needs to do.  If Grumpy jumps the rails, he looses the significant assistance (financially) this doctor is providing and without medication will return to the previous issues sufferers from Graves Disease struggle with.

Now because it has been over 40 minutes in the office (of which I have the pleasure of paying for) and Grumpy has been stewing in the error of his ways and his eviction, when we get to the truck, he is dying to talk this out.  I think the Prince would be proud of me... without emotion, without raising my voice, I clearly told him to shut up and listen to me.

This was a mess that he created, and chose to keep allowing to happen, even though his father and I advised him against it, and more importantly is against the rules of the program.   That all of his life he has been a follower, not a leader, and that this behavior will lead him down the road of destruction if he continues to follow those only interested in using him for their own gain.   ( Insert a small chuckle here... oh the irony...Grumpy is in a halfway house with nothing to his name that is actually his, and is being used by a homeless friend for free shelter and food.)

My advise, I tell him is that after I drop him at the house, he should clear all his "friends" belonging out of the house and put them in front of the garage, and call him to pick them up. Tell him not to come back.  Never let him back in the house, and if he comes back on the property,  call the police or his case worker.  After he does that, he should call his case worker and apologize for breaking the program rules, ask for forgiveness and beg for them to help him find a new and suitable housing arrangement.  Here is the sad situation.  He can not, currently be successful,  on his own in a minimum accountability situation.  He needs a placement where he has no technology, has assistance in making and keeping appointments, has transportation available to him, is given his medication at the appointed times, is fed three hots a day, and can continue learning life skills. 

Oh,  and get a freaking job!!! Because by the way, back to the "hit and run", coming home from work... nope... all a lie. He told us he called his boss, and his boss told him to get better and call in a week or so to let him know how he was feeling, and that they would hold his job for him.  He even produced a work shirt!!  Truth,  he had worked for a week with a landscaper and the landscaper was paying him cash.  When his boss told him that he had to get a bank account, so that they could direct deposit his check, Grumpy told them no thanks, he was not getting a bank account, and walked of the job.... The only job he has had since Jan of 2017.

Today, as he started to sputter and wanted to tell me his side of the story, I told him to not say another word.  We are past talking.  I told him that today, he has a choice to make.  All this mess is because he has been making a series of poor choices.  At the end of the day, this is his life.  He can follow my counsel and trust that I may know a bit about life or he can continue to do what he has been doing for the last two plus years. Muck it the heck up... but the choice is his.   I told him to weigh the options.  He has 15 days to figure this out, without our help.  He knows right from wrong and continues to choose poorly.

When we arrived back at his house, I handed him his appointment cards for the next round of doctor visits and blood draws, gave him the adjustments to his medication, reinforcing the warning from the doctor that he had to take these meds regularly, and told him not to forget to pick up his medications tomorrow... I hugged his neck, told him I loved him.   I backed out of the driveway,  a little sad, as I know already, how this chapter will end.

You really can not make this stuff up...

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