Even I Have Moments that are so Wrong and Out of Place

September 18, 2011 at 10:44 pm | Posted in ACL recovery, attitudes, Move to Park City Utah | Leave a comment
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I wanted to share my feelings about Jeanee because of course I don’t hate her. I love her. I wanted to share that even a “great” mom who has been working with parents for over 20 years as a counselor in all kinds of capacities has moments that are so wrong and out-of-place. My feeling of hatred was 100% misplaced anger- And lucky for me and Jeanee she never felt it. But let me tell you this- That moment of hatred at Jeanee really helped me to help her, which I’ll get to later.

By the time I picked up Jeanee from school I was well past any feelings of hatred toward her. We had a great ride home. She was very happy with her classes. It was her fun day- art, dance, and science. And she had lunch with a ski friend she had made a couple of years ago. All good.

So back to the screaming that was going on in the morning. Oh joy! Jamie was not any more hurt than before. She was just awake knowing that it was real. She really had blown out her knee again. I put ice on her, gave her meds, and fed her. She was now asking all the questions I had been asking myself. I gave her the same silent treatment I gave myself. I didn’t, and still don’t, have any answer why a person who did everything possible to be strong and ready physically and who is a really fun and happy kid would have this happen to her- again.

After a few minutes Jamie calmed down. Well, she didn’t actually stop being upset. She just became bitter. The meds began to take effect and she dozed off. Right after I got back with Jeanee, I had to keep things going smoothly for Jeanee and Jilly. Needy mom had to call others to help her- The girls needed a ride to the ramps. Well, it wasn’t really necessary, but I did think it much better than having them stay home and do nothing. Jamie and I left to go to physical therapy and the DR. She cried her way into physical therapy. Her wooden leg moved 15 degrees- and was constantly in pain. While waiting for the Dr, Jamie stoically took out her kindle and read.

As is the usual case, sometime much later than our appointment, we entered the space that just might give Jamie her freedom. There was anticipation, hope, deep desire.

The Dr and his assistant were pleasant and efficient. They had three other re-ruptured ACL’s that very day. We were in good hands. At least that was good. And with great care the Dr tested the ACL. Nothing. Loose- no tight locking. It was gone. Jamie felt her life was over. Doomed to be someone who never was.

During the day I forgot-I did go shopping and get more food. I also got up the courage to call my family. Not easy. And her father. It took all my abilities to tell him. I knew he would be crushed. I had to hold onto that. And not listen to the words that came out of his mouth. All he was doing was being crushed. “How did it happen?” he demanded. “Oh my poor Jamie- hurt.” is what he meant. “Didn’t anyone tell her to stop?” he barked. “I can’t stand it.” He meant. And so on for about five minutes. Finally I said, ” I know you are as upset as I am about this. Please give Jamie the respect to not call her till she is ready.” And instead of continuing to grill me on what happened and what was I going to do, he said OK and let me hang up the phone.

Dinner that night was terse. The food- who knows- I didn’t even have a pantry with supplies in it or a freezer filled with home made meals. The conversation was about as palatable sawdust. But we made it through.

That night Jamie had a huge change. She made it clear she did not want pity. She was sure her life was over. “What’s the point? No matter what I do I will never be able to really feel free again. I am now just trapped in a body that can almost do something, but will always stop just before- scared to go on.”

At this point something snapped in me. No pity for sure. But this kid was taking this a bit too far. For God’s sake she was walking, talking, and angry. But her life was far from over. This was too much for me to take any longer.

I put on a funny movie from netflicks and began to move that block of wood. I massaged from the foot down. I wiggled the toes. And I talked.

“You know Mommy- there is no point in doing this. The Jamie that was injured is dead.”
“I know. And now there is a new Jamie.”
“Well, this Jamie has no optimism in her.”
“That’s OK. She can be a pessimistic, negative, nay sayer for all I care.’
Yeah, well there really is no point in doing anything.”
“Look here- You may hate everything right now, And I don’t blame you. But you have an obligation to this new Jamie. You must give this new Jamie the same chance the old Jamie had. And unless you kill yourself or have a fatal accident you have very little choice but to live for about another 90 to 100 years.”
“What’s the point? I’ll never be happy. And this will haunt me for the rest of my life.”
“So you think that George (My uncle who was in the Olympics twice and injured both times who went on to become a multibillionaire) was haunted his whole life that he didn’t make it all the way in skiing?”
“No but”
“There is no BUT. He lived on. And made a wonderful life for himself. He is one of the MOST happy and satisfied people I have ever known. Oh, and how about your Aunt Eleanor? Over 80 and hiking all these mountains with the ease and energy of someone your age?”
Yeah, I know.”
“So no pity. You owe this new Jamie a leg that moves, is strong, and will keep up with her energy- happy or angry. That doesn’t matter. You can’t give her a gimp leg.”

And for almost 48 hours I had to keep moving her leg, keep talking to her with strength, rationality, passion, and absolutely no compassion, sympathy or pity.

Still I couldn’t leave her alone. She was in an acute depression. Those days were exhausting! But the worst was yet to come.

Dead Silence. There was No Answer. Then Came the Screams

September 18, 2011 at 9:27 am | Posted in ACL recovery, attitudes, Move to Park City Utah | Leave a comment
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And Jeanee – OMG again- Jeanee. “Jeanee starts school tomorrow. Her first day of school.” Now this first day of school wasn’t just the norm for any all American 15 year old kid. No, Jeanee was going to school for the first time ever. She had been home schooled all her life. One reason we came to Park City was so that she could participate in school part time and home school the other part. We had things arranged so that she was in school from 7:30 to 12:30.

And what a cool course load- Dance, art, and Science one day and Spanish, computer tech, and her dreaded math the next day. We are still doing English and Geography at home.

So mixed in with the tragedy of Jamie’s injury I needed to be all excited and up for Jeanee to be going to school. I felt really terrible about not having a special dinner for her, or some kind of thing to honor this big change in her life.

But I didn’t pretend that I could make it up later. Life hardly has real make it up later opportunities. The opportunity is usually NOW.

So, I somehow managed to get a special dinner and have a special feeling of excitement for Jeanee going to school the next day and at the same time I was suffering and in total agony for Jamie.

That night I slept on the futon in Jamie and Jeanee’s room while Jeanee slept in my bed with Jilly. Our only beds so far.

I was up most of the night. Either trying to make it stop being true, soothing Jamie in anyway I could, fixing her ice contraption that I brought with us as one of those insurances that if I had it we wouldn’t really need it. I guess it didn’t work.

But in the morning I had to jump up from what was finally being a sound sleep, know it was horribly real, and get going on getting Jeanee up and off to school. No huge fanfare. No excitement from the sisters. Just the two of us getting off- almost like it was an ordinary event we had been doing for years.

Oh, and when we got to the school I did mortify her by insisting on taking a picture of her at her first school. We went into the school, did a bit more paper work, and off she went. I was to pick her up at 12:50. That was fun. That was why we came here. I felt like things were as they should be.

Then I got in my car. I had called no one. I knew I had to call my family. But how? What would I say? How could I even say the words out loud? By calling I made it all real. But I could wait a little longer. I didn’t have to call just yet. I could pretend for another hour or so.

So I went home ready to pretend that life was just the way we planned. I’d let Jamie sleep as long as her drugs let her. And I would get Jilly up to do her schoolwork. Jamie’s knee was just a small bother. I mean we didn’t know for sure that the ACL was torn again. And when we went to the Dr.…- OH yeah- I have to go home and schedule that appointment now. No forgetting, no pretending, nothing the way I hoped, planned, dreamed.

Then I had a strange feeling. I hated Jeanee. Why was everything being so perfect for her? She didn’t even love skiing like Jamie did. Competing was just a side part of her life. Her real love was the social that’s part of all these sports. “Wohoa. Now that is just not allowed. You should be totally ashamed of yourself! That sweet girl deserves to have just as much wonder and love of life as Jamie. So what if she got in this for different reasons than Jamie?” It was that voice again. “Yeah, I know. I love Jeanee. Really I do, but why did this have to happen to Jamie?”

Dead silence. There was no answer.

All this on my short drive home. Again, something new that we didn’t have in NH. All drives home were a long trip of over 25 miles.

When I got in things were quiet. I called the Dr. referred to us at the ER. They squeezed us in.

Then came the screams.

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