Friday, November 19, 2010

Regaining sanity

Well, that may be a little strong. I'm not sure if I am regaining sanity, but I do think I am coming out of a fog. Summer was long. Summer was hard. The very end of summer was really hard. The very beginning of the school year was really hard. Thankfully, some resources I had been working on for nearly a year finally came into place. And I am so grateful.

As I said in last post, the PCA's have started. I am doing the PCA Choice program where I hire, train and supervise the PCA's and an agency basically just pays them and makes sure we are in compliance. When recruiting, I sent a Facebook message out to all the twenty somethings I know plus a few mature people who are connected to a lot of twenty somethings. I received a pretty good response. I was so thankful.

One of my former Bloomington students, who's older brother was one of my students as well, responded right away. Her name is Behin and she is fantastic. She graduated from the U of MN last spring and just started her PhD program in Psychology this September. She said that she could do one day a week and her roommate could do another day. I was looking for two evenings and occasional weekend hours. Perfect.

I also got a response from Ness, who is Bernard's oldest daughter. Bernard is my friend who died in April of 2008. He was a single father of four awesome kids. Ness is a student in her 2nd year at Carlson School of Management at the U of MN. She is doing some various weekend hours and she is awesome!

Charlene is Behin's roommate. I did not know her, but trust Behin completely and Charlene has been awesome. She is great with Akila. Char also graduated from the U of MN last spring, and after working a few weeks with Akila, got a real job. I am happy for her, I know how good it feels to have a real full time job instead of 3 part-time jobs. She is still going to do Tuesday evenings. I bring Akila to dance class, drop her off, and Charlene picks her up from class, grabs dinner, and brings her home by bedtime. Nice.

When Charlene got the new job, she referred one of her and Behin's friends who lives in the same downtown condo building, who could do Monday nights. I was looking for help on some Mondays as well. So I met Jen and she is fantastic and is bringing Akila to dance on Monday nights. Jen is also a student of the U of MN (you'd think that I am only choosing U of MN students since that is where I went, but I'm not!) and will be finishing up after this semester.

The last several weeks have been lovely. They have been amazing. We have had at least two evenings a week which have been calm, I have been able to focus on the other 3 kids, help with homework, get things done, relax. I think I have been in recovery mode. It is almost like recovering from PTSD or something. It was getting that bad.

Now, it feels like when Akila is home and there is not a PCA, I have more energy and patience, she is not quite as snappy and sick of me, and we are not having nearly the same level of power struggles. This just might be a honeymoon phase, but I'll take it. I was telling Behin last night that once Akila is more use to them all, she will more than likely not behave as well for them. I hope I am wrong, but I'm pretty sure I am not. It is actually a good thing that there are 4 of them spreading out the hours, instead of the same person 3 days a week. Akila would tire of them and get much more edgy more quickly then.

I also got word on Wednesday that we have been approved for a grant to put in a security system in our house that will have an alarm go off if when Akila opens a door in the middle of the night. We had tried the cheap versions, but they fell off and wouldn't stay on our old house doors that were not level/plum/whatever you call it.

So, finally feeling like we are getting help. Feeling horrible for my friend Dorothy in Colorado who is finding it hard to get help. Trying to remind myself when I get frustrated with our system in MN, that it is really a much more supportive system than a ton of states have.


Steve Finnell said...

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the johnson crew said...

i am so glad you are enjoying your PCAs. so glad you got good ones. i know you have had such a rough year, and with yoru surgery and everything.

miss you friend,