Friday, December 27, 2013

Miss Daisy

Miss Daisy came in to Care in early November. Her dad called 911 after he "tripped over something and dropped the baby". Daisy was rushed to the hospital and CPS got involved. She has been diagnosed with shaken baby syndrome.

My licensing agency initially placed Daisy with a brand new foster family. In fact, Daisy was their very first placement. I've been given limited details. Bottom line though, they were unable to meet all of Daisy's needs. Due to her injuries, Miss Daisy has a lot of medical appointments. Both the mom and dad in her first foster family work outside of the home. Miss Daisy was in day care and they had been relying on social workers at our agency to transport and handle many of the medical appointments instead of handling them themselves.

I haven't met her yet, but I've been told that Miss Daisy's lawyer is quite hands-on. It was the lawyer that demanded that Daisy be moved to a different foster family. Even though we had said yes to this transfer a few weeks ago, the actual call was a surprise to Mr. Amazing and I. Rainbow had indicated that the first foster family was doing better and we weren't going to be needed. However, I guess there was some sort of a court hearing and Daisy's lawyer demanded that Daisy be moved to a new home. She joined our family that very night.

So far Miss Daisy has been relatively easy to care for I guess. She has her moments - just like any baby. She doesn't sleep through the night. But that's normal for babies.

Due to her injuries, Daisy has two shunts in her brain. They have healed nicely but the bumps on her scalp draw a lot of curiosity. Daisy regressed horribly following her injury. According to Bio Mom and Dad, Daisy was crawling and pulling herself up prior to the shaking. Now, she can barely hold her head up. Daisy is also blind due to detached retinas in both eyes. Thankfully Daisy breathes on her own and is able to take a bottle (and even solids) without problems.

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Now for the recent drama.

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Following her initial hospitalization, Daisy was referred to a retina specialist to have surgery on both eyes. The surgery was to remove pooled blood and a membrane that is like thin scar tissue that had formed over each eye.

Policy in Texas states that a judge has to formally give permission for any procedure that requires general anesthesia. I do not know who dropped the ball. CPS? My agency? The first foster family? But when permission was granted for the surgery, they only had the judge sign paperwork for one of the eyes. Daisy had surgery on her right eye about two weeks ago. I was told when she came that "they" were simply waiting for appropriate paperwork from the retina specialist so they could get the judge to sign off on surgery for the left eye.

Well, I managed to get a follow-up scheduled for Daisy to see the retina specialist so they could examine her eye that had been repaired. (For reasons that I do not know, this follow-up appointment was not communicated to me at the time of placement. I had to call and schedule it myself.) After waiting a couple hours I finally got to see a doctor. I had to grip my hands tight and do everything I could to remain seated while they examined Daisy. It was beyond grueling. The screaming from Miss Daisy cut me to the bone. It was explained to me that they had to use a speculum to hold her eye open and then (after numbing drops were applied) use a wire to help examine the eye. The sounds of fear and anguish coming from Daisy were nearly impossible to listen to. I sat there and cried myself.

Then the doctor that examined her told me that he was not the one that had performed her first surgery. He told me that the eye that had been operated on looked good. He then said that the other eye had been healing nicely and most likely no longer "qualified" for surgery. This is problematic though. One eye is now clear and the other eye is cloudy. There is a chance that her brain could now shut off (for lack of a better explanation) communication to the bad eye. The doctor said he wanted the surgeon that worked on Daisy to examine her as well to see if he came to the same conclusion.

After a few minutes a VERY ANGRY doctor walked into the examination room. In no uncertain terms did he make it clear that someone had dropped the ball. These two surgeries were to have been performed 1-3 days apart from each other.

Paperwork - nothing but paperwork - has now caused Daisy to potentially lose sight permanently.

Again, I sat in the corner and cried while Doctor #2 examined Daisy's eyes. He said the same thing as Doctor #1. The eye that had been repaired looked very good. The second eye no longer "qualified" (???) for surgery. It's healing well. But it's not as clear as it should be.

So many people should have caught this. The first foster family should have known that the surgeries were to be done one right after the other (only days apart). The first foster family should have FOUGHT to get the judge to sign the appropriate paperwork. No one should have simply assumed that anyone else was taking care of this. All the people responsible for keeping Daisy safe failed.

Doctor #2 said that they will monitor Daisy closely. She may need a different surgery in the future.

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So here's my note to new foster parents...
YOU HAVE TO ADVOCATE! You have to do things that don't seem like they are in your "job description". You cannot trust that CPS is doing it. You cannot trust that your licensing agency is doing it. You're going to have to beat down doors yourself. What happened to Daisy is inexcusable. Whoever it was that sat in the office when her first surgery was scheduled should have known that both surgeries needed to be scheduled right then and there. Then, if the paperwork from the judge wasn't right, that person needed to be calling anyone that breathes and knows about the case to get new paperwork signed.

Don't foster if you're not prepared to fight. Please. Just don't do it.

These kids need us in their corner ready to take on Goliath. And even though The System is supposed to be in that same corner, often times they aren't.

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I covet your prayers for Daisy (and our family). She has a lot of healing to do and lots of specialists to see. I'm going to be busy spending a lot of time in waiting rooms over the next few months. Her retina doctor did say that the potential for permanent damage is now there because both eyes weren't operated on in a timely fashion. But he also said that there are too many variables at play and Daisy IS healing well. I pray that miracles happen for Miss Daisy. Thank you for your continued prayer.

15 comments:

tashapork said...

Maybe it is a blessing in disguise that she didn't get the second surgery, not that the reason it ever happened ever should have happened. Prayers that she recovers at least some sight. Thankful that her lawyer seems more involved than most, she will need it

acceptance with joy said...

tears. this stuff is not for the faint of heart!!

Foster Mom - R said...

This is why you were chosen to be her Mom now. She needs you more than anyone else. This little one needs a Mama Bear who will get things done.
Shame on the training in your area too. And the caseworker who placed her with an inexperienced family. They share part of them blame also.

OneSmallWish said...

SMH. Please tell me bio dad is in jail.
Poor Daisy. CPS strikes again.

Cherub Mamma said...

Bio Dad is out on bond.

Really want to shake your head?!

I saw him IN THE CPS PARKING LOT picking up bio mom after a visit last week!!!

schnitzelbank said...

I'm so sorry everyone had failed Daisy! Even the surgeon failed her. He knew- better than anyone else- what the ramifications were for delaying surgery. He should have been on the phone with the judge and caseworker, to get her in. Somewhat unrelated, my husband needed major surgery this year. The first surgeon we consulted with was awful. Couldn't answer our questions, was rough, didn't return calls after a procedure left him in severe pain. We switched to a surgeon 1800 miles away, because I had read good things. We emailed him. He called us personally the next morning and talked to us for over an hour. Post surgery, called him on a Saturday morning from home, to check in on his healing (1 month post-op). What I'm saying- yes- all sorts of people dropped the ball. But I point my finger at this surgeon. Daisy was under HIS CARE. He should've done more to assure her care.
I would raise holy hell to everyone involved, including hospital admin.

schnitzelbank said...

I also wanted to post this... Sometimes the "suspect" might not be the actual abuser. Sometimes the symptoms are delayed: http://www.abajournal.com/mobile/mag_article/unsettling_science_experts_are_still_debating_whether_shaken_baby_syndrome_/

Nellie said...

I am just sick to my stomach. Poor baby. I'm so GLAD she has you. Sweet little thing.

It does not surprise me that the first foster parents were not advocates. When I did foster parent training, I have to say that most of the people there were not people I would have hired to babysit my children (or even escort them to the restroom). In so many ways there were red flags - the questions they asked [sometimes incoherent], red eyes and slurred speech, the way they were dressed [unwashed; and in one case, sexually provocative; vulgar sayings on t-shirts], impossible grammar, repeated questions about what they'd be paid/reimbursed for/and how little they could get away with spending on the child. It struck me that if people were that open about the monetary considerations at training, we were not talking people who had ANY IDEA what would be expected (or cared). That they would spend an extra gallon of gas or lose an hour of sleep taking a child to the doctor, would be unlikely. I don't mean to say that every single person there seemed unfit, but I can honestly say that in the training series I was in, apart from some long-time foster parents doing some continuing education, and a young couple doing a kinship adoption, it was 100% worrying.

On the other hand, I think that a lot of people are fearful of advocating with physicians, and I personally, from experience, am now fearful of advocating with the foster care supervisors. I'd do it carefully, that's for sure.

Thank heaven for the lawyer, too!

Hope L said...

I have had only one foster placement, and am not sure that I would have advocated properly.

I am in the medical field so maybe I would not, sure. One of the things that is disillusioning/disheartening in foster care is how many of the professionals do not do what they are supposed to do. As a Brand new foster parent to be negotiating surgeries and judges signatures for a child, I could totally see the foster family expecting (even if they thought she needed the surgery sooner) that one of the Professionals (medical professionals or case workers) would be more insistent/demanding in getting the paperwork in order and surgery scheduled.

It took me a month into my first placement to even begin eating meals, it is so stressful!!

But the tragedy here is Daisy's vision is potentially forever changed because the adults in her life failed her whether intentional or not.

One of the reasons I REALLY appreciate your blog is that you illuminate how broken the system is and potential situations that require the foster parent to be the professional and informed voice for the child.

This is VITAL for the child's well being, that the foster parent care and advocate for the best interest of the child.

You do a great job at advocating for your kids and educating the general public/foster parents/potential foster parents on how do the same.

Thanks



r. said...

I would email all the updates to Daisy's lawyer, and then keep the lawyer posted on future updates as they happen. If I were the AAL, these issues are the type of thing I'd want to know about ASAP.

Cherub Mamma said...

@r.
Sadly - I don't even know the lawyer's name yet. However, as soon as I do get it I will be all over keeping her informed! She's currently on vacation though so I know that no one can get ahold of her, not even CPS. Hopefully all that will change in January.

We have a status hearing on January 3rd. Unfortunately Daisy has an appointment with her neurologist at the same time as court. I'm waiting to find out which one is the appointment I'm going to be required to keep (it's up to the lawyer). But hopefully I'll get to meet the lawyer soon!

r. said...

The lawyer is required to meet with the child at least once before every hearing, so hopefully that means she'll be getting in touch with you soon.

Cherub Mamma said...

Sadly - I've only had ONE lawyer (Pumpkin's GAL) actually meet with the child prior to court. And that only happened ONCE during the entire 21 months she was in my care.

Otherwise, as it's been in EVERY single case with every kid I've had down here, the lawyer simple "meets" with me and/or the child(ren) out in a public area for a few minutes prior to walking in the courtroom. It's so fast that it usually seems pointless.

I PRAY that Miss Daisy's lawyer is different!!!

tashapork said...

In some states that have really good CASA programs they do a really good job of this. They meet all the players and actively advocate for the kids even spending time with them and building relationships.

Cherub Mamma said...

Pumpkin had a CASA. The first volunteer came to the home once. From there - they completely stopped volunteering. After that, the supervisor at the CASA center took over. She was perfectly worthless. Unfortunately, I have no faith in CASA either. The legal side of things in my part of the country is so detached from the actual children. It's quite sad!