A Day In The Life Of Scott

If it can't be expressed in figures, it is not science; it is opinion

The long road behind, and still ahead …

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So, it has been a few weeks since I last posted, and to my faithful readers I apologize. A lot has been going on in my life, and my stress levels have been fluctuating rapidly from one day to the next.

Back in early May I started applying for teaching positions throughout Newfoundland. Of course, to date I have not heard anything back about any of them. Although I have applied for about ten different positions, only one of them truly matches my qualifications perfectly. I have been growing increasingly discouraged as more time passes without as much as a phone call from the school districts.

On top of not having a job, my employment insurance only started up about a month ago, so money has been tighter than I am used to. Back in the spring when I got laid off I expected everything to be just fine in the money department, because I have been waiting on money from the government to help me pay for James’ medications. Still have not received this money, and financially nothing has been going my way at all.

Just as a side story, back in August after James turned 18 years old all funding from social services was cut off, including, strangely, that for his medications. So naturally, I took over paying for his meds each month. Once his medicare coverage started to kick in medications started to get paid for, unfortunately there were a lot of obstacles in place, and because James’ medicare files were messed up all of his drug coverage was messed up when there should have been no loss of coverage at all. Over the course of six months, and only after a lot of phone calls to medicare to fight for him, all of his medications, totalling $650 per month were finally covered. The problem was, they promised to reimburse me for all of the medications as long as I had all of my receipts. I did.

Medicare seemingly found every excuse to not repay me close to $3000 for medications that were paid out of my pocket for James’. By April I was still fighting to get those monies and was having no luck at all. Only after getting my local MHA office to help fight on my behalf was I able to get the situation resolved in a timely manner. While I have still not received the money, the MHA herself phoned me two weeks ago and told me the money will be on the way by the middle of June.

On top of money issues, and not having a job lined up yet, both which I hoped to have resolved by now, it is becoming much more of a reality that I will be essentially homeless in about 2 weeks. I am stuck, really, because I don’t want to move to Grand Falls or Gander, to sign a lease for an apartment, only to have to break it and move elsewhere if I get a call for a job somewhere else. So, of course, I have been putting off finding a place for as long as I could, but it crept up too fast. I cannot afford to move out of Newfoundland, and I am too stubborn to pack my things and move back home. I realize that if it came down to it, my parents would always help me out. In a sense, it shames me to have to have to ask for help.

I am 32 years old, and I have always made sure all my bills are paid, car payments are made, student loan payments are made, and all of those things that are important. Of course, now I am not only thinking about myself. I took James in, and he is my responsibility too. In fact, if it was not for his help with the household expenses our little ship would have sank long ago. James wants to stick around here to be closer to his family, for now. I want to stick around here because I have made a lot of great friends in the last seven years. I moved to Conne River with nothing, and seven years later I still have nothing, but now I have relationships with great people.

Earlier this week, following a very stressful weekend, I had an emotional breakdown. During which I very nearly lost James. He asked me a question that was completely irrelevant to what was on my mind and it was not helpful to my mental state at the moment, and I basically told him to pack his bags and get out. As I worked through my breakdown, and talked to James I realized that was not the reaction either of us was looking for. He never left, thank God. Honestly, although he has his moments where I wouldn’t mind killing him because he does stupid things, he has become a rock.

You see, James has a funny way of dealing with authority. When told things he does not like or want to hear, he storms off out the door mad and goes for a long ol’ walk. Okay, this would be a fine tactic if he was a non-epileptic and I did not have worry about him having a seizure on the side of the road somewhere, or in a ditch. Problem has been that since my last blog post, he had run away six times. Each time I went chasing him in the car and brought him home. There has been a lot of moody, teenager attitude being directed at me, and seemingly for no reason, considering the most I had asked him to do was study for an exam.

As a person no one needs this. As a person who tries to be nothing but reasonable with everyone, I did not need this. So, the other day when I was stressing out over important stuff, like finding a place to live, I did not need to deal with a moody youngster, and so I kicked him out. That ultimately was not going to solve anything at all, and so I explained that this attitude has to stop, because I cannot deal with it anymore. I cannot handle dealing with a kid who will not listen to anyone, especially the one person who took him in and gave him a whole new world of opportunity. Lucky for him, I did not really want to remove him from my home; I wanted him to smarten up. James has become part of my humble little family of sorts – me, him and the dog.

I care a great deal about what happens to him. He of all people should realize that. If I didn’t, why would I put so much effort and time into helping him deal with his epilepsy and try to help him to not have more seizures? That alone would not make any sense.

Anyway, as luck would have it, James’ Nan, God love her, said we could stay with her for a couple weeks in July until we get on our feet. This takes a lot of my stress off. She is letting us store stuff in her basement, and taking us in. This is only a short term situation because James also has a 1-week appointment in St. John’s with the epilepsy specialist, so we’ll be out of town. Also, we will be going to Nova Scotia for a few weeks too, so we will be staying with my parents for a while. One of my good friends here in Conne River, has also said that she will take us in for a couple of weeks too if we still need a place to stay. While being like gypsies all summer, moving around, is not really a perfect solution, it is a working solution that will allow me time to hopefully hear back about a job during the summer months, then I can seek out a more permanent residence. If my crappy luck should continue and I do not hear about anything, I will look for an apartment in Gander and go from there. Like I said, not perfect, but it will do for now, since I cannot stay here. I am just thankful I have good friends in my life to help out when I need them.

Well, enough about me. Since my last post I brought James to the doctor at the beginning of June because he was still having some completely random seizures. He might go a week without any, then have three in one day, or have one every day for a week. We are at a complete loss for what is causing them. A few days before his appointment I recorded a couple of his seizures, allowing me to show them to his neurologist who had not actually witnessed any before.

After watching the video the doctor was not convinced that he was having complex partial seizures, and they were not completely reminiscent of pseudoseizures either. James is already on 24 anti-epileptic pills each day, and so there was no change to his meds, however his neurologist is going to be making a referral to the specialist in St. John’s so that he can under complete observation for a week. This might give some insight into what it causing the seizures, and what types of seizures he is experiencing. This is exactly what we want to have happen.

I have been pleased with the last couple of appointments, not because James’ seizures stopped, but because with my knowledge on the subject and thorough preparedness when we go in, we have been getting what we want from them. In April we wanted to try new meds, and this time the goal was to get in to see a specialist and see what’s going on in a hospital setting. We are still waiting to hear back on when this new appointment will be, but hopefully I will hear back soon.

Well, I have been typing for over an hour now, I am about ready to fall asleep. Good night.

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Author: Scott Oosterom

I live in Cut Knife, Saskatchewan, Canada. I teach high school math/ science at Chief Little Pine School in Little Pine, Sk.

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