Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Still alive and kicking

Life goes on, even when I am inconsistent in blogging. I have eight children. I have to mother, regardless of my best intentions of doing other things. Thus, I have been silent here for 11 months. My life, however, has been anything but silent.

II completed his medical school pre-requisites. Of course, he finished them with the abyssmal cumm GPA of 2.80. Yes. You read that correctly, a 2.80. Even so, he prepared last spring to take his MCATs. He made a promise to himself that he would not be a coward again. He would not walk away without knowing the answer.

Then, the week before he was scheduled to sit for his MCATs, M had serious medical issues occur. He was life-flighted from the regional children's hospital to the main one in the state. The flight nurse actually commented to II that it was the first time in his 18 year career as a flight nurse that he had ever taken a child OUT of the regional Children's instead of IN. M underwent a week in the hospital and a surgical procedure. II sat by his side for the entire week, attempting to study and realizing his dreams were probably over.

Oh yea, he did all of that while launching a nationwide job search as well. Whether he got into medical school or not, he had a year he had to fill. We made the decision he would fill that year with returning to his old career path. If he got into medical school, he could leave again. If he didn't, then he wouldn't have stepped down and have to fight his way back into a career. M was released from the hospital two days before II took the MCATs.

Had II actually had time to study and not been so stressed over the job situation and the health of M, he probably would have scored significantly higher than he did. Instead, he scored a 34. For those who don't know MCAT scoring, that's basically a 96%. His odds of getting into medical school increased to a phenomenal 12%. Thankfully, II landed a job as we drove M home from the hospital and he went to work the week after the MCATs. Unfortunately, that job was fifteen hours away from where we live, and I was locked into one final semester to complete my degree.

I spent the summer learning how to be a single mother, and managing an additional four hospitalizations and surgeries for M. I dearly learned the value of community and friendship as friend after friend stepped up to care for my other seven children. I also learned how vital skype was to become for our family.

I attempted to take a summer class in July and M's autism reared it's ugly head, sending all of our lives spinning on end. By the first of August, he was averaging 10 times pooping himself every day, a dozen times inducing vomiting and four times pulling his g-tube He was violent. He was attacking everything and everything. We were all at our whit's end. First of August, he went to surgery again and his Cystic Fibrosis doctor declared we are losing the battle for his health and his life.

His Liver doctor put a new g-tube in him though. It's a hard plastic bell inside. He can't pull it out. School got him back on routine and within a month his teacher and I had his vomitting under control again. However, the price I paid for the summer was having to ask for my first ever extension on a class in my life. My professor knew me from previous classes and is the grandfather of a child with Autism. He was more than generous in my extension. I did eventually manage to accomplish the paper with an A for it and the class. The professor would still like me to pursue publishing the paper, actually.

This fall, I entered my final semester of my Bachelor's degree. I also moved a friend into my house. She was a single mother and she found hrself and her kiddos stuck in the ghettos. She cleans house in exchange for free rent. We share parenting together right now. Of course, two of her kids have special needs so the reponsiblity also grew and required more adaptations.

My fall was non-stop stress. I don't think I ever understood just how hard this journey would be. Somewhere in my mind, I knew that part of why I sent II so far away was because I wanted to once and for all prove I COULD do this alone, and that I stayed with him from choice and not fear. Good golly I was a FOOL Yes, I can do this. It's also horrifically miserable and stressful beyond my wildest imaginations.

I have finished my Bachelor's requirements now. I was supposed to graduate last month. However, there was a mix-up with the class I took as a transient student elsewhere and getting the grade registered with my University in time to issue the degree. It appears they will actually issue my diploma in May, though I have met all the requirements now.

M's last surgery was end of October. He appears to be stabilized again. He's worse than he was a year ago, but he's not sliding at the moment. Sometimes, we have to take those little things and count them blessings. I'm done with school and I'm spending my spring working to get the family set up for the next step in this journey.

Despite the odds, II indeed got into medical school. Honestly, I'm not a numbers person the way he is. I knew medical schools would see the big picture and that MCAT score would balance that GPA. In August, II gets to follow his heart and become what he was born to be, a doctor.

It only took one month of having a paycheck again to decide we would not return to poverty for II's dream. It took two more days to understand that he can follow his dream and we can have a steady paycheck as well. I had my RN license re-instated this fall. This spring, I'm getting everything set up to go back to work full-time and if all goes as it should, I will have a full-time job by end of summer, just in time for II to go back to medical school.

I'm not giving up my dreams for this, just in case someone should wonder. Nope, not at all. I have reached the conclusion that I am a very odd person. My passion for medical care is nearly as strong as my passion for Sociology. Therefore, I am going to pursue the Nurse Practitioner degree and then complete my PhD. I will find a way to merge my passions into one careeer trajectory, but I simply cannot choose one over the other. Thus, in addition to getting everything set up for my entry into the job this summer, I will be taking my GRE this spring so I can apply to the program I desperately want this fall. If all goes well, I will start part-time on my MSN August 2013 while continuing to work full-time and will eventually switch to part-time work and full-time studies. When II gets to residency, I should be able to go hot and heavy to finish my training without needing to carry the health insurance and paycheck for the family.

Today, someone contacted me and reminded me I needed to follow-up on this blog. She asked me how I had the courage to continue in my marriage. That's actually a subject I want to talk about. My marriage. It's nothing like it was a year ago, nothing like what I imagined it would be 27 months ago. It's something I cherish now. I know how precious and fragile a marriage is. I know that II and I have been through the fire, and it's true what they say. If you are in the 33% of marriages that survive, the marriage is stronger, oh so much stronger.

No comments:

Post a Comment