Location: Oregon, United States

Friday, January 08, 2010

Grieving/Celebrating part 2

Well, speaking of grieving, here's another one for you: We found out this week that Stephen also has Crohn's. That's two out of three of our kids. Crohn's is essentially an abnormal immune response in the intestines. If you really want to know more, here's a link: . The good news is that Stephen is not nearly as sick as William was at the point of diagnosis, so we can forego some of the nasty meds like steroids and some with potential cancer causing side effects. Once he is stabilized, we will just have to wait and see how the disease progresses. It may stay relatively mild, or wax and wane, or grow steadily worse. Like I said in the last entry, we grieve and we celebrate, sometimes all at once.

I had a few more celebrations this week at work. One person got housing, just in the NICK of time, another is approved for benefits, another is getting coming through a long spell of depression and learning from the experience, another is a new man due to a simple medication. These are HUGE WONDERFUL THINGS in my line of work. I also had a major breakthrough with one of my clients. We have been working together now for about two years. He left this summer for a while, but right before he left, he had agreed that maybe some medicine would be a good idea. When he came back and wanted to enter our program again, he was told that things would have to be different and that he would have to take medication. Suddenly, he was not in favor of trying medication at all. He was about to be terminated from the program due to this issue, as it is considered non-compliance. At the same time, I got a letter from a friend of his saying he totally appreciated the work we've been doing with this guy and the positive change has been significant. At that point, I'm all like "We are NOT losing this guy!" So I pass on the kudos and advocate for more time while I figure out how to remove the barriers to my program manager and she says, "Take me out of the equation. Tell him I realize that having me be a part of this decision is getting in the way of things and I trust you to make the right decision." Psych! I approached the fellow on my way out the door that night and told him the scoop, saying, "Just think about this and we can talk about it more tomorrow." He responds, "Well, I'm just afraid of going back to jail if I decide the meds aren't good for me." "That's the whole point. You and I will work together to figure it out." "Well then, let's do it. There's no problem." I nearly died on the spot - we've been working on this for HOURS over the last week and within five minutes it's settled? How cool! Which reminds me, I need to thank my program manager. Good move.

The Christmas tree is still up - sure is pretty, but it's getting to be like an overdressed belle after an all night gala event and now she's at the diner drinking coffee but she should just go home and take off all her jewels and go to bed. Maybe tomorrow.


Blogger jp said...

Sorry to hear Stephen. Bummer. May grace abound to all of you. Thx for letting us celebrate with you on the other stuff.

10:44 AM  

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