What do I know?
I know my son.
I know his needs and habits.
I know I love him.
I know that other people often misunderstand him.
I know that many of things he says as does are a direct result of the neglect he suffered as a young child.
I know more about my kid than other people give me credit for.
Late last month Calvin and I ended up spending a number of days at our local Children’s hospital. Calvin is having some ongoing issues with his bowel and no one is really sure what is wrong or how to fix it. To make a long story short, the surgeon and residents who were working with us were all convinced that the issues that Calvin is having are strictly behavioural. They refused to acknowledge that there could be any other cause and refused to run any further tests. They assured that the plan they had would solve his issues and then we would be good to go. I advocated as best I could without getting angry but I was pretty frustrated by the lack of options we were given.
Staying in the hospital for multiple nights is stressful for any kid. Add to the mix all the unknowns we were dealing with regarding our stay and needless to say everyone in our family was stressed. It was particularly hard on Fudge who has only really been separated from Calvin when they transitioned between foster homes. It was a challenging couple of days for everyone.
So after 3 days they sent us home with no answers and a promise that all of his issues would be gone. It turned out they were wrong and I was right. Their treatment plan did not solve the problem and within 24 hours of coming home it had begun again.
The thing that made me the most frustrated about all of this was that the many of the staff at the hospital could not see past the fact that this was not a behaviour issue and but a physiological one. I know my kid, I know that there was a time when some of his issues were definitely behaviour based but that has not been the case for the last 15 months or so and I could not get this point across. Many kids who have been foster kids control the only thing the can, their own bodies, it happens. The resulting damage can create lifelong issues and sometimes requires surgery to correct. In Calvin’s case I believe that there was an underlying issue that was made worse by his behaviour when he came into care. He was 5, who can blame a traumatized 5 year old for withholding the only thing he has any control over.
No one would listen to me because as the parent clearly my opinion did not matter. I was humoured at one point by a resident who heard me out but then that was all she did, just listened to me and then went back to her plan. I was ignored by one of the nurses who made comments about his wilful behaviour and then a doctor told my son there was nothing wrong with him. Yeah, we are stuck in the hospital and he has an IV and nasal-gastric tube but there is nothing wrong with him.
Needless to say I am frustrated. We spent 3 days in the hospital after countless months of trying everything we were told to do and we still have no answers. Perhaps after our next appointment where I will explain ( yet again) that nothing has changed someone will listen to me. I may only be his mother but I might also know a thing or two about who he is and how things work.
J. blogs at Stellar Parenting 101 where she works at being a hopeful parent even though it can be really hard some days.