Thursday, October 11, 2007

Emotionally Exhausted

There's so much to say about today. I'm trying to sort through my thoughts- 8:30am seems so far away. The most important thing is they are not taking Landon (for now). I think I'm going to do this chronologically- though not by hour because time had no meaning today.

1- My mom and I get to the hospital (JP slept here last night) around 8:15am thinking this is all over- we were practically expecting an apology about the whole situation. The CPS doctor ("Dr. K") walks in, sits down, and begins the worst conversation of my life. She said she still felt his injuries were called by the infliction of trauma, that she found the results of the polygraph "surprising" (can you f-ing believe she said that?!), and that the next step will likely be to remove Landon from the home for a "period of time" so they can observe him and see if more fractures appear. I start to cry, Dr. K says "I know how you must feel", and my mom icily says, "You have absolutely no idea how this feels." I talk about how JP and I have done everything to get him looked at by doctors and that we passed the polygraph yesterday, etc. Dr. K is firm in her belief that there is either a known medical reason or it's abuse- there is absolutely no room for a "we just don't know." DCFS calls me while Dr. K is in the room, I answer, and the first thing our case worker (who hasn't talked to us since Friday when she agreed to our original Safety Plan) says is that they have decided to remove Landon from the home. I completely break down sobbing and my mom says to Dr. K, "You did this. You need to leave." and she practically runs out the door. DCFS explains that they got a call from the hospital at 5:30 and the doctor feels that his breaks were caused by abuse so this is the next step. I protest again saying that our pediatrician hasn't even been talked to, etc. Our caseworker (who never seemed all that zealous about prosecuting us) says she'll talk to her supervisor and get back to us.

2- Lots of things happen. I keep crying, JP gets back from working out and my mom fills him in. I call the lawyer, send out an email, write a blog post, and call the hospital social worker. My professor's wife (a high up doctor in this hospital) calls, and she is furious. She spends the next several hours talking to other doctors way up the line, advocating on our behalf. The lawyer says this is crazy, that DCFS hasn't even attempted to investigate anything, etc. She is on standby to come help us. My pediatrician calls- she is very upset about the whole thing. She says she talked to Dr. K last night for 30 minutes and "she will not budge." She offers to call DCFS for us (they have still not contacted her) and give another physician's view of what is going on. I talk to the hospital social worker who is surprised at this morning's turn of events and says he is about to go to a meeting with Dr. K and will get back to us as soon as it ends.

3- The hospital social worker comes to talk to us and is very nice. We explain what happened this morning and why we are so upset. We notice that while he says nothing negative, he does not once defend Dr. K (as a physician or human being in general). He asserts that in the meeting Dr. K denies ever recommending that Landon be taken out of the home (a lie, but one we like, we we let it go). She is now "frantically calling" DCFS to make sure they understand this- basically she's back pedaling. We say that we would like to see the chest x-ray because we keep getting different stories on the number of ribs and when they were broken. We also ask to speak with Dr. K's supervisor, Dr. A. He talked with us for a long time and we feel like at least someone is listening- even if there's not much he can do.

4- DCFS calls. We are now back to our original Safety Plan of having someone stay with us while they work on the investigation. She estimates this will last at a minimum 5 weeks. This seems ridiculous, but we clench our teach and cheerfully agree to anything necessary to get Landon home. We will probably have to take parenting classes and jump through several more hoops. At the beginning of the conversation she seemed much more pessimistic than she did at the end. Our case will be indicated and there is still a chance the decision will not be in our favor, but I really don't get the impression she thinks that will happen. Now we have to find someone who can drop everything and come live with us for 5 weeks (although by the end, it really didn't sound like it would be nearly that long).

5- Dr. K, her supervisor Dr. A, and the social worker all come in to talk to us. Dr. K doesn't speak for the first 30 minutes, she looks rather trapped by having to talk with us again. Dr. A says a lot of nothing, but does agree that the pediatrician absolutely should have been contacted and seems more open to the idea of grey areas in medicine. I do believe the doctors are working very hard to find a medical explanation, I just don't accept their ironclad belief that every injury has one. We view the x-ray and talk some more about the fractures, this situation, etc. JP was excellent- very calm but obviously emotionally affected, and he asked a lot of questions. Nothing has changed when they leave, but I do believe that they went out with a lot more doubt about our culpability than when they came in.

6- DCFS calls to get the background information on my aunt so she can be approved as our safety person. She still hasn't worked on the paperwork, even though my mom was cleared days ago, so we are stuck in the hospital again tonight. She told my aunt it can take four days to be cleared (um yeah, because you don't work Sat-Tues) so my mom may have to miss more work and stay here longer.

So here we sit, in the hospital for the 8th night. Landon has a cold but has otherwise been totally unaffected by the situation. Somewhere in there he had blood drawn for more tests and we ordered the OI genetic test (though no one expects that to come back positive). We are still scared about the DCFS process, terrified about coming back in two weeks for a full skeletal scan, and emotionally exhausted from the whole saga. As I write this I really can't believe this is my life right now. Your support has meant so much- when everyone is looking at you with suspicion and wants to believe the worst, reading emails and comments from those who believe in you makes an enormous difference.

14 comments:

  1. Thank god you have another night with your baby. I am so proud to know someone who has held up so well and been so reasonable. We are still praying for you- when JP "says" his prayers at night (i actually say them for him) we include you.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I've been reading all of your updates and following your saga through J/Frequent Citations. I am a mom of 3 and I just can't imagine the nightmare you're going through. As if the pain and anguish of your infant son being ill wasn't enough to make you ache inside!!
    You're in my thoughts and prayers...I just wish I could do more for you. I hope this nightmare will be over for all of you soon...that you, JP and your son can go home and somehow put this all behind you!!

    Cindy

    ReplyDelete
  3. I'm so glad you have people (so many, and so wonderful!) going to bat for you -- I have faith this will be resolved in your favor, and I very much hope that it's sooner, rather than later.

    Your mother is priceless.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank goodness they are starting to make some sense. Letting him go home with you and a safety person, finally starting to conduct some medical tests, actually conducting an investigation at all instead of just labeling you a child abuser and dropping your child off with strangers! Since they're supposed to be looking out for Landon's best interests, I'm glad they are finally being reasonable and doing so.

    Wow, I can't believe the doctor had the nerve to say "I know how you must feel." It should prove that you aren't violent that you didn't just punch that hag in the face!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I still hate Dr. K probably maybe more than she deserves (see comment to 8:30am post). She probably has no children, (thus she knows nothing about breaking up a family), and is probably psychologically bitter and thus has no problem acting callously and vindictively on another family.

    Stupid doctor. Probably has some sort of god complex..."saving lives" has gone to her head to the point where she thinks she has power under the law and knows nothing about what "saving lives" actually means. Grrrrrr...stupid biatch.


    Anyway, please hang strong...try best to relax, not stress...I am worried you've been stressing for so long over all the hag's bullshit...if you can, please try to relax, meditate, not worry (virtual impossibility) because you need your strength and a positive mindset to survive!!! Good luck! Don't worry about a skeletal scan after, you will be careful, you will continue getting him checked out and things will be figured out. Have faith and hope and keep working hard!

    ReplyDelete
  6. my goodness. i HATE people who have a little bit of authority and knowledge who abuse it in their idiocy by jumping to a general textbook conclusion without acutally examining the situation at hand. especially when they ignore protocol (like contacting not your pediatrician) because they're so set in their stupid conclusion that they formed based on nothing. I was so mad reading your last post because my family recently had an experience with someone like dr. k who would've caused incredible damage had we not immediately faced it by going to her supervisor and letting them know that were completely out of line. it seems like that was happening toward the end of the day when dr. k was backpedaling and realized she was out of line but UGH - i can't believe people like that are in a position to screw with other people's lives like this. i'm really sorry this is going on - the yo-yo jerking you guys around with something different every day is the worst. i'm really hoping things work out. good luck in the coming days - get landon home where he belongs and get better and recover from this. and then perhaps consider a lawsuit against that horrible woman. again - let me know if i can help with school or whatever.

    ReplyDelete
  7. I suppose the only good thing here is that with the safety person, Landon can go to his own home. I am so sorry that this is one of your first experiences as a mom. With all that a first time mom endures, certainly the fear of losing one's child shouldn't be one of them.

    ReplyDelete
  8. I would say that the worst part of this whole thing must be the uncertainty, except that there are obviously much worse parts of this whole thing. You and JP have been so incredibly strong through everything. That is so admirable. I think I would have been yelling and screaming so much that they would have put me on tranquilizers and sent me to a mental institution.

    I can only hope and pray for you to be home soon. I just want you to know how many people are out there thinking of you, even though we've never met you. Best of luck.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Good lord! Why are they making you wait two weeks for the full-body bone scan? That's insane! Shouldn't they get a baseline so that, on the off chance that he has fractures elsewhere in his body?

    Thank goodness your mother is with you, but what a horrible emotional and financial burden on all of you!!! Thanks for keeping us posted. I'm continuing to pray for you all.

    ReplyDelete
  10. I bet a lot of people would contribute if you set up a way to donate funds for your legal and medical fees, your family members missing work, and so forth. I know I would.

    ReplyDelete
  11. I agree with what anon said. I'd be happy to set something up for you (or Citations could) if you'd be interested. I would imagine the hospital bill alone will be staggering.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree on the idea of a medical/legal fund. I'm fresh out of college, so I don't have a lot, but I would be more than happy to give what I can, especially since there is no reason for this!

    The rebellious side of me wants to head up there and start a protest against them, but unfortunately I know that won't help! I am keeping my fingers crossed though.

    Julia- I think we all hate Dr. K! You're not alone!! Although, I feel a bit sorry for her- she clearly has no common sense and lacks the ability to think logically.

    ReplyDelete
  13. It is so frustrating when bureaucrats are so dogmatic in their thinking that once they've made up their mind they absolutely refuse to consider other options, even in the face of a mountain of evidence. There are, sadly, too many Dr. K's in the world.

    Your strength throughout all of this has been obvious to all of us reading and is awe-inspiring.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Anon and Nini, I have set up a way to send money to LagLiv to help during this time. You can see the info in the comments on her latest post or at my blog: http://ptlawmom.com

    ReplyDelete