I got to the appointment at the neurosurgeon's office about 10 minutes early this morning. Right or wrong - I prayed that Bio Mom wouldn't show up. Or at least that they would put me back into a room and we'd be seen before Bio Mom got there. (I prayed hard too.)
But no. I waited out in the general waiting room and Bio Mom showed up about 5 minutes after the appointment was supposed to have started. I had Daisy down in her car seat because I really wanted her to fall asleep.
(Side note: I'd love to have Daisy on some sort of a schedule. She needs to sleep more than she does. But it is simply impossible to accommodate all of her appointments and keep her on anything that even resembles a schedule. Too many people want to see her each day. If I even tried to put her on a schedule I'd just spend every single day mad because somebody would mess it up!)
It became apparent that Daisy was not going to fall asleep. So I unbuckled her and handed her over to her mom. I did not start conversation. Not even small talk.
Eventually we got called back to the exam room.
It was even more awkward there because again, I didn't talk. I mean...what would I say?! I've already told Bio Mom all about Daisy's medical needs. I'm not just going to start preaching at her. I figured if she wanted to make small talk she could start first.
It's even awkward figuring out how to sit in situations like this. Do we sit next to each other like we're friends? Do we avoid each other because of the situation? I could tell even Bio Mom didn't know what to do. In the general waiting room we sat next to each other. But in the exam room I opted to sit on the exam table instead of in a chair right smack next to Bio Mom.
Awkward doesn't even begin to describe how it feels.
Everyone in the office thinks of Daisy as "my" kid. Everyone is protective of Daisy. Everyone was looking at us funny.
Well...they probably weren't. But it felt that way to me.
In the exam room Bio Mom tried to talk to me some. I answered her questions. But yet again, she got all weirded out (technical term of course) when I flat out told her, "The way Daisy flaps her arms and hits her head all the time is not normal. It just isn't."
I know it hurts. But Bio Mom isn't ready to hear that her daughter isn't normal.
Someone has to get it through her head that Daisy is NEVER going to fully recover. You cannot suffer the level of brain damage that Daisy did and be all hunky-dory just fine.
When the doctor came in he did a bit of a double take and then tried to assess the situation. He had to make sure that Daisy was still with me. I said yes. Then he muttered something about, "so...Mom has visits." I said, "Yes. Bio Mom has two visits a week and can attend all medical appointments." He seemed relieved to know that Daisy was still in my care.
As is typical for this brain doctor, he didn't say much. He prescribed some cream because the incisions are still red and scabby. Bio Mom's feathers were ruffled and she wanted to know exactly what the cream was for. They sort of blew her off and said it was just to help Daisy heal. Me...I'm just frustrated that I've got another med log to fill out for no reason. (The incisions aren't infected. The doctor even said so himself. They are healing just fine. They're just healing slow. I'm no doctor but I'm no dummy either. He just wanted to give us a reason to have to come back again in 10 days. Gotta get as many office visits as you can to make the $$$.)
Bio Mom struggled getting Daisy in her car seat. I took my paperwork and went to the front office to wait for them to give me Daisy's next appointment. Bio Mom came out and awkwardly said goodbye to Daisy and then just left.
I'm going to have to compartmentalize all of this. The awkwardness of everything takes a toll on me. It drums up that compassion fatigue again. It puts Daisy's story out there all over again because I have to explain to Bio Mom things about her daughter that she doesn't understand or want to accept. Today I was able to let go of my stress pretty quickly though. I called My Genius Sister and word vomited on the way home from the appointment. That always helps.
I've decided that I'll go with Bio Mom to any specialist appointment without a social worker present. Since the specialists rarely say much, the most awkward part will be the waiting for the appointment to start. The appointments themselves are short. I've worked with the neurologist for several years (back when I had Pumpkin). And knowing how he functions, I know it will be as easy as the neurosurgeon was today.
I will NOT go to the one-year well-child check by myself with Bio Mom though. Madame Doctor will probably go off on Bio Mom because Daisy isn't vaccinated. I'm going to call Madame Doctor ahead of time though and ask her to cover some of the overall developmental delay issues too. These are things *I* know - but Bio Mom needs to hear it from someone other than just me. Someone has to help Bio Mom understand that...here it is again...Daisy is never going to be "normal". Daisy is always going to struggle. Even if she does learn to walk, talk, eat food, and maybe even read (if her sight returns), Daisy will probably have social/emotional difficulties due to the brain damage. I mean...come on...she has to wrap her own brain around the fact that, intentional or not, her bio dad nearly killed her. That's some deep stuff to try and comprehend. I don't want to be the only foster care professional in the room when Madame Doctor examines Daisy. That one I won't do alone.
There's nothing easy about foster care. But I survived today. And I'll survive tomorrow. Daisy is safe and loved. And maybe, just maybe, Bio Mom will figure things out.