Thursday, November 1, 2007

Not Much of an Update

I know many of you are eager for news, but unfortunately I don't have much to tell you. Our appointment with the orthopedist wasn't over until almost 6pm so nothing happened with DCFS today. The orthopedist said the ribs are healing up nicely- that in a few weeks you wouldn't even know there was a break, but they're still almost impossible to date. He still absolutely believes whatever happened to cause the fractures wasn't abuse. The placement of the breaks (not posterior- this seems to be very important), the lack of bruising, the frequent doctors visits, etc. all point to some other cause- unfortunately we have no idea what that is. We kept asking what could possibly have caused these fractures- even if abuse was possible. It just doesn't make sense that a baby could have trauma sufficient to break normal ribs but not break a blood vessel to cause a bruise. He also never had a time where he was tender under his arms where the breaks were. None of it makes any sense. The doctor seemed like he might be thinking of something, but said he needed to do some research first. He's planning to call our investigator tomorrow with a preliminary report.

Back to the investigator- she did finally call me yesterday on our way back from the Halloween lobster fest. She said that we're being assigned a case manager who would be responsible for the at-home visits (we still haven't had one yet) and that she was looking in to parenting classes for us. I was confused as we wouldn't need either of those things unless the case was indicated- something we're still hoping won't happen. She then asked when my aunt was leaving. I told her Monday because we were hoping to have news of where this was going this week. The investigator asked if my aunt could stay through next Friday- that things would be "resolved" then. She didn't mention a need to have anyone else lined up to fly here after that. She said that the majority of DCFS team is willing to consider our orthopedist their expert rather than Dr. K (this is Huge, she's their contracted doctor, but I think she's making DCFS mad by refusing to budge on a case they don't feel is worth their time). They're all just waiting on the orthopedist's report before making a decision. She said she still "hopes" our case will be unfounded, but indication is a possibility- and she didn't really clarify what an indication would mean. She's coming by tomorrow morning at 9am with our new case manager. I'm having horrible flashbacks to the last time she came to our apartment with another person on a Friday morning.

So I'm not sure what to think. I don't understand the talk of parenting classes and a case manager when she talks about things being "resolved" and my aunt going home at the same time. I still feel incredibly unsettled and nervous. If we are indicated it's hard to believe they'll go back to the ASA to question custody because they don't have any more evidence than they did the last time they approached her and she didn't take the case. But I'm trying not to take anything for granted.

In other news, I think Landon is teething. It's kind of early, but he's drooling up a storm, is fussy for no reason, and has swollen lower gums with what looks like two white mounds underneath. The poor kid can't catch a break- we finally get the reflux under control and he has to hurt again. My aunt is holding him right now and he looks exhausted but he can't quite settle. I kind of know how he feels.


  1. Just speculating, but here are a couple ideas... Could the parenting classes/home inspections be a sort of compromise for being able to drop the case that a couple people still keep harping on? Or they just can't take any chances that they're wrong by dropping the matter, so the classes and check-ins are the way to cover their butts in case it were abuse? Or maybe it could be their way of saying "well, we just can't PROVE abuse, but that doesn't mean there isn't any, so this needs to be done to prevent any FURTHER abuse," and then when there aren't any more incidents, well, obviously you were "cured" by the parenting classes! Regardless of the reasoning, it all seems like bureaucratic-type logic to me (as in completely illogical) why you would need to take parenting classes after they drop the case against you. I just hope there's a definite timeline of when they'll finally be leaving you alone.

  2. Yeah, we're kind of thinking that. I did clarify that if the case is unfounded we don't have to do anything and our investigator reiterated that she hopes it will be. But at worst I'm hoping that if we're indicated we'll just take some classes and agree to occasional visits and avoid any sort of court proceeding.

    The end date is of extreme importance. We have lives. Somewhere. I'd like to live it at some point.

  3. My concern is if this is going to be a pain in the ass to explain when you apply for entrance to the Texas bar and it pops on a background check. It may be easier to just say, "fine, we'll take the damn classes" and leave it at that, but it would still be a record.

    No matter how this shakes out, do you think your orthopedist would write a letter of explanation for you?

  4. This is just... retarded. I'm so sorry. I hope you catch a break soon and have an end in sight.

  5. I'm really hoping that all ends soon. You all deserve to get back to being a family without this hanging over your head.

    As that does sound like teething. Poor Landon!

  6. If Landon will let you, rub rub rub his gums. Henry wouldn't always let us, but it did give him relief.

    I'm keeping my fingers crossed for an unfounded outcome.

  7. formerlawstudentcurrentmother11/2/07, 8:05 AM

    The first commenter and Shelly both beat me to my two-part comment. With respect to the bar, I would discuss this at the outset with your attorney and possibly a contact at your firm (do you have a professional development person would would know the right people at the bar?). They might be in a better position to tell you what you need to make sure your record is unsullied, and which 'blips' on your record would be problematic for admission.
    Good luck. I wish there were a clearer light at the end of the tunnel, but it does seem somewhat brighter.

  8. Blech. Still praying that this ends for you soon. My daughter got her first two little teeth when she was only three months old, much to my surprise. I hope they'll come in easily for him (and you)!

  9. formerlawstudentcurrentmother11/2/07, 9:34 AM

    On teething, has his pediatrician cleared him for infant tylenol yet? He might be too little yet, but a dose of that does the trick for the weekly teeth that seem to pop up with my 15 month old.

  10. Passing on information. Our friends son a couple years back (a swimmer) jumped up in the air and they thought when he came down his knee cap broke. Again they just assumed when he came down the knee cap broke. The orthopedists thought because of his muscle strength in his legs is actually what caused the break when he jumped up the broke the bone not when he landed. Don't know how Landon's muscles are but with his crying fits could the muscles have tightened up and caused the breaks. Again a bit of braining storming. Please try and turn these experiences you are going though into good. Learn by different personalities, events. Even parenting classes might learn something you never thought you would. Not necessarily a "better" way of taking care of Landon but by the people and how they interact with each other.

  11. BiologistMomofThree11/2/07, 11:42 AM

    I'm sure this must have been considered before, but in reading about the earliest days of Landon's life in the NICU, you mentioned that they had to do some intervention at least once to assist with his breathing.
    You also mentioned he had bruising around his torso in those early days. Could the hospital staff have done this at some point during a crisis intervention situation to get him breathing again? Perhaps they didn't realize they had broken ribs during chest compressions or something? I don't know, I guess that's unlikely, but possible, yes? It's something to suggest to the ortho if it hasn't already been considered.

    Keeping you in my thoughts.....

  12. Hope things are resolved quickly for you and that this morning's visit went quickly and painlessly. Seems like this is a neverending nightmare!! :(

  13. I know this is a late comment, but to follow biologistmomofthree's comment above. . . A friend of mine has been through EMT training and is currently in nursing school, and from what she tells me, if you do CPR and DON'T break a rib (or several), you're not doing it right. Apparently it is virtually impossible to compress the chest enough to get the heart pumping without pushing the ribs past their breaking point. But I don't know if Landon needed help getting his heart re-started, or just his lungs, so this may not apply.

    I'm still pulling for you & hoping that this mess wraps up soon, and as painlessly as possible. I also feel for you on the teething--if you haven't already (but I'm sure you have by now!), check with your pediatrician to see what you can safely give Landon to dull the pain, at least at night, so he (and you) can sleep.