Wednesday, August 24, 2011


I'm gonna whine a bit.

Consideration. I've asked for it quite a bit the last few months. Not because I think I'm special or that if I want something so much, it ought to just be given to me without question.

Those who know me, those who know my family, and most importantly, those who know the situation we find ourselves in with our son (Matthew, 4, Autism) are usually really good about taking what we have to do into consideration.

I've worked my butt off to get my son to therapy, preschool, early intervention etc. all while attending school full time. Early on we asked for and received lots of help from grandparents and aunts. They would watch him while my wife worked and while I was in school. It was when he was diagnosed with Autism that all of the extra things that come with it appeared and ate the heart out of every single day of the week.

I've done everything I can since then to handle my son's requirements in-house. Meaning, no more farming him out to family members to watch. He now has places to be and things to do. Quite literally his potential quality of life depends on every day he makes it through therapy. That's how I see it.

I've reinvented the wheel every semester to make my school schedule mesh with his. Take him to preschool, I go to class. Pick him up from preschool, fight through a rushed lunch and get him to ABA with moments to spare. Then I go to class again. Often in a sweaty heap. Sometimes with remnants of snacks, juice or even pee on me. Yep! I do carry a change of clothes for me, just in case.  Most evenings my wife picks him up from therapy because I'm in class.

This semester I ran out of ways to make a wheel. My son had to be somewhere at 8:25, I needed to be somewhere else at 8:00. Checkmate.

I've known this was coming for quite some time. I tried to make the powers that be at a certain center of higher education aware of my impending conflict. From May to early August I heard nothing back. When I finally got in to see someone who I was certain would say "just start at 9 and stay an hour late"....I was floored. I was told that my needs would be given no consideration. I was out of luck and I was on my own to find somewhere else that would fit my needs. And if I didn't find something that worked, well.....

No consideration at all.

As luck would have it, I'm a people person. And I know the power of a good contact. I called my contact and asked if there was anything she could do. Sure enough there was. I found a place to call home for this semester. Finally, some consideration.

This was a person that really has no stake in what I've got going on. She is not in my chain of command. She is someone who I've met at my son's IEP's. What really torques me is that the person who is supposed to be looking out for the students in her care, offered nothing at all. Not even a sympathetic tone. Maybe she's on the spectrum.

I'm being vague intentionally. Who knows what she'd do if she got wind of this. I'm giving her way more consideration than she gave me.

Anyways, I've got to get to class.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

New "job"

I haven't posted anything in a while. Been extremely busy with the end of my summer class, kids starting school, selling my truck, buying a car etc...

I now have a "job". I won't call it a new job because that would imply that I traded my old job for a new one. That isn't the case. I put it in quotations because it's a work study position. Yes I work. Yes I get paid. No I didn't really have to compete for the position.

I am a disabled veteran of the US Air Force. I'm not the injured-in-the-line-of-duty/combat related disabled veteran type. I'm more of a job-related-bad-back-and-hearing-loss type of disabled veteran.

As a benefit, while I am in school, I can work at the local VA hospital and make minimum wage as a part of my VA education package. Tomorrow marks the start of my 5th straight year as a full time college student. A year and a half to go before I'm a fully licensed and credentialed teacher.

This was my 2nd day on the job as a member of "guest services". Basically, I'm a gopher. Someone needs samples taken to the lab? I'm your guy. Pharmacy has a delivery for the ER? I'm on it. Wheel Mr. Doe from his room to xray? Done. I wait by the phone and when it rings, I do whatever is asked pretty much.

I already have a favorite task.

The coffee run.

Each morning when I work, which is sat and sun for the foreseeable future, I'll make the rounds with a 100 cup coffee pot on a cart. This is the cart before I cleaned it top to bottom this morning.

I stop by the nurses stations and the rooms of patients that can have coffee. Then I hit the waiting rooms. Then the lab and pharmacy. Then the ER and ER waiting room. I deliver happiness in little 6 ounce cups to one person at a time.

I've already made a few friends with the nursing staff and a I got a hug from a spouse of a patient who has been patiently bedside for who knows how long and for what reason. This was the second morning I'd brought coffee by to her. I remembered she takes it with 2 sugars and a ton of creamer. I think that's when I earned the hug.

I like this job.

- Posted from my phone. I know...phones are amazing.