Thursday, September 29, 2011

Moving into the Sun

Amy is at her new house for her multiday visit -- the last step before the move-in.

Dad had a LONG day.  He needed to pick up Amy's chair and take it for repairs, then bring Amy and the chair to the new house.  Dad didn't actually need to pick up the chair till after noon, but they told him he had to be there by nine to pick up her chair, since no one would be at her house.  Could they take her chair to work and he could pick it up later there?  They don't have room.  As in, ROOM in the van, to take it to work, which is ONE MILE away from her house.  Clearly, they could just make a separate  run.  But, no.  Dad says he picks his battles.  Whatever.  This is crap.  

But, it's not what is important right now.  Amy is on her visit.  

She called me really stressed, very upset.  No on knows here there.  It's very quiet.  A nonverbal roommate took some food from her.  This is hard, and harder because mom is not here.  It's hard, and she's upset, and she's hurting, and she's in this strange house.  

I talked to a staff member and told her about Amy and Amy's concerns.  I told Amy that her nonverbal housemate is using the communication tactics she has.  I told her about my own tears shed for mom today (Medicare and Medicaid related story on NPR today).  I told her how moving forward and transitions are hard -- her sister Annie is going through this, too -- but that it is time to move in to the sun.  I asked her if she remembered when they dropped me off at college -- she did -- when I cried and sobbed in the car.  I didn't want to go.  For days after, I wanted to come home.  

I told her how the visit would be hard, probably harder than moving in.  Once she moves in, she can start building her life there.  This is just a meet and greet, but a month or two from now, these people won't be strangers.  I told her we could sit down and talk about what she likes and doesn't like, how she prefers to be cared for and the steps to be taken, and write it down to share with her caretakers.

So, was she thinking oh boy, this was going to be a long hard few days, or was she thinking she didn't want to leave the old house?  Long few days, she said.  

I have to go, I told her, but call me later.  

She called later, laughing.  They'd had a hard time working her chair and getting her into the shower.  Did you all laugh?  YES!  You are already building a relationship!  We talked for a while longer, and Amy said to me the the words that me the happiest: "I gotta go, Al.  It'm tired.  I'm gonna go to sleep."  She was happy, and satisfied, and ready to go to bed.  

I am happy.  

I love this girl.  


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