Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Update From the Wolf Den

I'm sitting here in my office, watching the sun finally creep its way over the Chugach mountain range (yes, it is that time of year when the sun takes a bit longer to appear), and waiting for the phone to ring.

Every month (mostly), the staff of CHYC and I engage in what's called a "Care Coordination Review", which loosely translated means a roundtable discussion of all aspects of Wolf's care and feeding. When/if I am at the school during these discussions, I attend them in person. If not, I attend them via conference call. Wolf also is required to attend.

As a former assisted living administrator, I am no stranger to care conferences. We were required to update each resident every 90 days, and meet with the families and others involved in the care, and talk about what is or is not working. They were, from an admin perspective, a necessary evil; time consuming and tedious, but important to the continuity of care. Now I am on the other side of the desk.

I understand now why families would refuse to rush through the treatment plan, why they would come in with a list of questions that needed clarification, because that now, is me.

If there was one aspect of CHYC that disappoints me, it is in this area. Given the nature of the distance that separates us from Wolf and the school, and given my nature of organization and information, it is difficult sometimes to obtain what I want to know. Why, for instance, did no one call me when Wolf was put on a new medication? How come he has not visited a dentist since his admission?

In fairness to the staff, I know that Wolf's needs are being met, and he is cared for, deeply, by the men and women who work there. And I do understand that there are many kids whose parents do not wish to be informed of the same information I do.

I think on some level, however, I feel as if Wolf does not "belong" to us anymore. He is their child, under their care, and they make the decisions for his day-to-day wellness. Which makes sense, but it is difficult to release, for I am his mother.

And mothers do not let go so easily...

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