Thursday, 29 May 2008

The air up there.

So… Here I am… It is me… I am the one… The horrible, neglectful and shameful Working Mother. I have been her for about 9 years now. The one who chose to go to college, have a career, and then actually have the audacity to see it through after I gave birth to my children… That is me, I am her… Go on, get your judgments all lined up, ready to fire out and pass on at the first available opportunity… Go ahead look down your nose at me, and pity my children… Keep seeing me as you perceive me to be.

Today… I knelt on the floor in my ‘work finest’ alongside your daughter and helped her decorate her bike. She was shy at first, but do you know that all it took to win her over was a reassuring smile. She was a little unsure of where to put the pink streamer, but do you know that with one little word of encouragement she did it all by herself. Did you see the look in her eyes when her masterpiece was complete? Did you see her heart soar when she peddled her bike so fast that the deliberately placed pin wheel spun like crazy? Did you see her face beam when I applauded her accomplishment and gave her a huge, enthusiastic “Good Job Sweetie… It looks Amazing!” ?

Well, no… I guess you didn’t see it… You were sitting up really high on that horse looking down from your place of superiority completely enthralled in chit chat with a fellow high horseman, and enjoying a cup of Tim Horton’s finest. Silly me! Oh … and I completely understand it was kinda hard to hear much with your other child running back and forth in front of you screaming for your attension… So it’s no wonder you missed it.

Well, I can tell you, I … the Shameful one … am here sitting at my desk, in my office, with my heart completely full of love from the several beaming looks of gratitude, heart felt “I am so pleased with myself” little smiles… and my dusty pants as souvenirs.

I am just hoping that the air way up there… in that place you believe you are… that place of superiority that place you believe gives you the right to judge and point fingers… isn’t so thin that it prevents you from seeing the big picture. While you sat there … chatting, judging, and drinking your coffee… I, the shameful one, was making your child’s day.

I hope that was a REALLY GOOD cup of coffee.

PS. The other day, when I was in the classroom… It was my poor neglected child that asked, to your amazement, if she could ‘please be excused from the table’ after snack… And it was my poor neglected child that readily and easily gave up one of three Thomas the Train cars she was playing with when a new comer came to the group to play, after your child refused to give up one of the nine she had in her possession...

Perhaps you can find another place to point that finger.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Is that all you have to offer?

Today I feel very frustrated. I guess you hear stories here and there, that make you think, “oh that’s awful” or “jeeze that’s really sad”, but it is not until you have to live it, that it makes you really stand up and want to scream at the top of your lungs… (I know my story is not as tragic as some, and for that I do feel very fortunate.)

…See, while on vacation in January, my Mom fell and broke her arm. The Dr.’s in the country she was in missed the break, as they were far more concerned about other potential injuries she may have sustained from her fall. This is not my beef. She returned home in good health, with a few bruises, but all was well.

She saw a Dr. here two days after her return, and sure enough, she left the hospital a few hours later sporting a bright pink cast on her right arm and the vision of her own x-ray showing the ulna bone snapped in two.

Now, my Mom is pretty tough. She never complains, and she refuses to take pain medicine stronger than Advil because she doesn’t like how it makes her feel. So when she says ‘it hurts’ you really stop and listen. But to see her reduced to tears over the pain is almost more than I could bare to watch.

There were several visits to the hospital in three week intervals, and always the same story
“The bone is not healing; there is still a distinct break, and no change from the first x-ray we took. We consulted an orthopedic surgeon, and they said to cast it for three more weeks”

The Doctor she had been seeing went on vacation, so finally on her most recent three week visit, she saw a new doctor, and finally got a referral to an orthopedic Surgeon, but ‘it takes two weeks to get in’.

So today April 17th, three months and four days after her fall on January 13th, she sees an orthopedic surgeon. His words to her were

“Why did they wait so long to send you here? Typically if the bone does not heal in four to six weeks, you should be seen by an orthopedic surgeon.”

Apparently, the problem is no longer as simple as a broken bone, now, because it has been immobilized in a cast for three months, her wrist doesn’t work, and her finger movement is limited… He removed the cast, and sent her on her way, broken arm and all, to wait two weeks for a CT scan, and then wait some more for a bone graft surgery. He didn’t want to put the cast back on because he was concerned about the lack of movement in her wrist and fingers… She was told to use her wrist and her fingers, no matter the pain from the bones grinding together. So now, there she sits, in the exact state we collected her from the airport three months ago. There-in lays my frustration.

It is unlike me to make huge Political statements…

I work in Alberta’s Oil and Gas industry. I am away from my children, everyday, working my ass off designing ways and methods to more efficiently move the oil out of Fort McMurray to be sold to other parts of the world.

Not only does the government take their share of my pay as ‘Taxes’, and not only do I pay my “Alberta Health Care”, but I am part of an industry that has made Alberta one of the richest regions in North America, and have a direct hand in making that happen faster, and cheaper.

Is this seriously, all my Government has to offer my Mom in return?

Get a second opinion folks, gone are the times of blind faith in what our medical system has to offer… Make noise, and lots of it until you get the level of care you deserve. If I dropped the ball like this, I would be sooo looking for a new line of work.


Tuesday, 11 March 2008

How do you say Good-bye?

For the pet lovers out there…

Yesterday was a very sad day for my family. My parents lost their beloved cat, Sid. Now, I am very surprised at my reaction to this. I am a Mom, and when I had kids, a cat to me, became … well… just a cat. I never dreamed that Sid’s death would make me so incredibly sad…

Sid has lived a life most of us could only dream of. I bought him for my parents in 1997 during a Christmas visit with them when they lived in Saudi Arabia. When I went into the local pet store, I instantly knew he was the one… He was the smallest in the cage, but had the biggest attitude… He was walking around the cage sideways hissing and batting at his cage mates, the ball, the food bowl… His ‘I’m not taken no guff’ demeanor won me over at once. We took him home that day and knew his name could only be Sid. Short for the Arabic word meaning friend…

We bathed him, made him a home, and took him into our hearts. He was so tiny in size but so incredibly large in personality. The first months of his time with us saw him traveling around in my Mom’s apron pocket, or in her sweater pocket… He was never far from her side.

Sid traveled to several corners of the Middle East, to many tropical places in South America, and then all around the prime hunting and fishing spots in North Western Alberta… He has played with geckos, captured spiders larger than his head, and out ran the fastest of rabbits… He did so with a spring in his step and all the while packing his ‘cattitude’.

He never was a fan of kids… When he heard my car in the drive he would always run and hide until he confirmed whether or not I had brought my munchkins into his domain. He was never mean; he was always gentle, and loved to cuddle… well, on his terms anyway.

He met his end after being chased up a tree by a dog, and succumbed to his fear when his 11 year old heart gave out…

So today along with my parents, my family and especially my 9 year old son we are coming to terms with this loss and learning from one of life’s hardest lessons.

Farwell Sid …. You are missed.