Wednesday, April 18, 2012

An Eventful Week

Tornado that passed by Salina, Kansas
April 14, 2012
Apologies for the rather long silence here these last nine days.  We’ve had an interesting week in the TMT household.  Our schedule has included trips to the doctor, a college son’s play, a rage/meltdown by The Princess, a tornado out break, a trip to the ER, a bad reaction to pain meds, and visits with social workers.  Yes, life is never boring for very long around here.  (This statement is rather ironic because right before all these things happened, I posted in a private Facebook group of trauma mamas that things were quite calm at that time and I was wondering if I’d forgotten how to live in calm.  ‘Didn’t need to wonder for long.)

The trips to the doctor were because I tore the meniscus in one of my knees.  I’ve done it before.  I’ve also had surgery twice before to clean it up.  My family physician ordered an MRI and was sure I would need surgery again.  However, when the orthopedic surgeon read my MRI, he ordered additional x-rays.  He said surgery would only give me a 50/50 chance of relief at this point because my arthritis was already too bad in that knee.  A total knee replacement is likely somewhere down the road, but not yet.  The doctor asked me if I was afraid of falling.  I said no, that I didn’t really feel wobbly at all.  So, I got a cortisone shot.  I can get one every three months.  It helped a lot, but the day I got it was the opening night of my son's college play.  My knee hurt and was unstable for about 24 hours after the shot, so we didn’t make it to the play that night.  Whether it was me being hurt, or missing the play we planned to attend and having to wait until the next night, or a combination of both, The Princess was triggered over the top and went into a rage.  It was loads of fun.  I want to spare you some of the detail, but will share a lot of what happened so I can tell you how Hubby and I therapeutically parented our usually very sweet girl that evening.  

Our very talkative daughter would not speak.  She hid under her bed and made “G-R-R-R” sounds to express her anger.  She sat in the dark.  She would not take her shower or brush her teeth.  She wrote angry notes and threw them down the hall between the bedrooms, assuming we’d run to pick those notes up and read them.

At first, Hubby went to her room and tried to reason with her.  She has absolutely no respect for Hubby when she is triggered, so this did not work.  We knew it would not work, but Hubby tried anyway.  After that, we simply sat and watched TV, and we waited.  We waited for her to come out from under the bed.  We waited for her to pick up the notes (she handed one to me).  We waited for her to speak.

The note contained content I’ve read many times before when The Princess is angry.  She equates our love for her to the things we buy for her.  The note said we hated her, but loved the boys.  It told us how mean we were for not allowing her to have a cell phone.  It told me I was a bad mother because I would not buy her a certain pair of very short shorts.  It went on and on. 

I did not respond.  I read the note, folded it back up the way she'd given it to me, and put it down on the coffee table.

Eventually, she came out of her room, arms folded, scowl on her face, stomping down the hall and barked, “Don’t you want to talk to me?”  I said, “I will listen to whatever it is you want to say.”  She asked again if I wanted to say anything to her and I replied again that I would listen to her.  She blurted out several things.  I didn’t respond.  I just listened.  She got tired and said, “Why aren’t you arguing with me?”  I asked if it would make a difference.  She thought for a moment and said, “No.  Probably not.”

I explained I did not want to argue.  I told her there was no argument.  I told her she did not really believe the things she was saying to me – not when she was calm.  She knew I loved her and she knew I didn't give 13 year-olds cell phones.  I told her she lashes out at me whenever she’s afraid that I'm sick or worried that something may be wrong with me.  (She also does it whenever I leave for more than a day, but we didn’t go into that.)  I told her she was disappointed that she had to wait to see the play, but that she was especially frightened about my knee.  BINGO.  She ended up talking with us calmly and apologized to me the next day.

On Saturday, the entire Midwest plains experienced an out break of over 120 tornados.  This was scary, too.  The Princess and Youngest Son seemed to handle this well, however.  They participated in our precautions and preparations.  We talked about what to do if the sirens went off here.  We cleaned up the garage to get my car inside in case we got large hail (my family uses the garage as a big junk room – I’ve given up on trying to get them to keep it clean)That’s when I fell.

I experienced the worst pain I can ever remember – even worse than childbirth.  On a scale of 1 to 10, it was a 12.  I broke my ankle – same leg as the “bad” knee.  So, off we went to the emergency room.  Thankfully, the ER was fully staffed in preparation for a tornado, and the waiting room was pretty empty because everyone was home, preparing for that possibility.  I was examined, x-rayed, wrapped and “booted” rather quickly with instructions to get to the pharmacy quickly for my pain meds, because they were closing early.  Those pain meds made me very sleepy at first.  The next day, however, they made me very sick.  This also scared The Princess.  I sure was putting her through the ringer.  Thankfully, the tornados went around us and our town saw no damage.

I went back to the orthopedic surgeon after the ankle break.  I’ll be on crutches for three weeks, wearing a boot.  Then the three weeks after that, I’ll just be in the boot.  I broke the tip of my fibula.  The surgeon gave me a different kind of pain pill, too.  It makes me very sleepy, but I don’t get sick from it.

Yesterday, I informed The Princess’ caseworker about the events of the week, so she’d know we were still working on some things.  I also wanted her to know how we’d handled things the night of the rage.  I knew she would pass this along to our therapist, who we don’t get to see until next week.  So, a different social worker is stopping by today at 1 p.m. to check in on me.  It’s okay.  She knows me.  She’s just doing her job.  It’s actually kind of nice to have someone local stop by.  Today is the first day I’m home alone since my fall.

Really though, I’d just like to go take a pain pill and get a nap.


Courtney said...

I'm so sorry you're hurt, TMT! I'm glad you guys were able to work through things with the Princess during the meltdown. I fail so incredibly often at the therapeutic parenting, but I keep trying.

Trauma Mama T said...

Thanks Courtney. I am sure you're doing a better job than you realize it.