Friday, July 4, 2014

Tanning Beds and Fainting Spells



Recently I wrote about my 8 Months of Black Corduroy, and that brought to mind something that happened after the school year ended that summer. In my mind I’ve always linked these two events together, I think in part because one ended and the other began.

So I survived the  Black Corduroy,  and the dreaded school year was finally over. I would get a reprieve from the constant bullying that I suffered at school. My adoptive mother took an ad out in the local paper advertising me as a “12 year old mature” baby sitter for a dollar an hour. I got a few good leads on babysitting, but I also got at least one pervert who offering “modeling” jobs and wanted me to describe what I was wearing and was breathing heavy on the phone.  I guess I should be glad that I didn’t end up in a dumpster somewhere because the normal sounding ones I took at face value that they were really looking for a babysitter and not did not have some other idea in mind.  So I was slowly earning some money and stashing it away so I could ensure that I had more than one pair of pants for the next school year. It was a real concern for me, it made me a prime target at school.  I should preface that my adoptive mother didn't ask me about taking out the ad, or if I wanted to work as a baby sitter.... She decided this on her own, and told me about it after the fact. She wanted me out of the house as much as possible, and she wanted me paying my own expenses. 

The summer progressed and my adoptive mother brought me with her shopping one afternoon. She wasn’t shopping for me (foolish reader for thinking that) she only spent money on me when she had to. I don’t recall what she was looking for, but we were at Montgomery Wards. That tells you how long ago that was since they went out of business.  I stand corrected, they are indeed still in business.  So I was tagging along with her and we were in the housewares area. As I walked past a glass shelf display of towels, my right arm brushes up against it. The shelve  happened to have a large chip out of it when I
looked at it later. However, I felt a rough scratch as my arm made contact. I exclaimed “ouch”, to which my adoptive mother chided me for being a ‘baby’ and over reacting. As she was chastising me, I brought my right arm up because it felt more than just a scratch… I was sure the skin had been broken. With my adoptive mother looking over
my shoulder, I brought my arm up and I wasn't able to clearly digest what I was seeing. I saw a long gaping hole in my right arm about an inch long, no blood yet, just a long hole. I touched either side of the hole with my left hand, and the hole popped open to a larger gaping wound that had not only broken the skin, but it had cut down to the bone, scratching it and nicked a vein  that ran across the bone. That vein would be an artery by the way. So I’m just staring at this sight, human flesh without any blood looks just like SPAM, no joking.  So it was only a matter of seconds and the blood from the nicked artery started to fill the hole. Now my adoptive mother is looking with me at my arm, she is seeing what I’m seeing. This isn’t some run of the mill cut, this is a deep wound that has cut down to and scratched the bone.

An employee alerts the store manager and they take me in back, spray antiseptic and slap an oversized band aid on it.  They say that they can either A) call an ambulance or B) I can go to my doctor and they will pay the bill.  Adoptive mother opts for B and takes the forms and we head out of the store.

Now you know this isn’t going to end with what a “Normal” mother would do, otherwise it would not be one of my abuse and neglect stories.  So we can all agree that a “Normal” mother would seek immediate medical attention…right? Because so far other than the loud “OUCH” I haven’t complained once about pain.  In fact I have stated several time I have “NO PAIN” other than the initial scratch.  I think anyone with an IQ higher than a potato understands that I’ve just suffered serious nerve damage with nerves being severed.

Bake & Bleed

So based on my report that I feel no pain, despite the fact that I have a deep wound that has
scratched the bone and has nicked the “vein I saw” my adoptive mother says this to me. “Well, I’ve got a tanning appointment and I don’t want to miss it. Can you just sit there while I tan? Then we’ll go to the doctor.  You don’t really feel anything at all?”  To which I answer “No, I do not feel anything”.  She says to me as she is walking away “I sort of feel guilty”.  Wow? You “sort of feel guilty?” But apparently not guilty enough because I spend the next 45 minutes sitting in a chair bleeding while she bakes. 

But it gets better.

Once she is done with her super important tanning appointment, it’s now time to see to my medical needs… well sort of.  We arrive at the family doctor and she finds out that they are fully booked and we will have to wait to see the doctor. The receptionist/assistant asks me to peel the band aid back and states that “Yes, she needs stitches, at least 1 or 2 should close it”. However, it will be at least a 40 minute wait to see the doctor.  My Adoptive mother is looking at the clock on the doctor’s office wall and it’s nearly 3pm now, and she doesn’t want to wait, that is obvious. With a large sigh, she states to me more than asking, but telling me “Do you want Stitches?” I’m 12, I know she wants to hear NO… so I say NO.  A “normal” mother would not let the decision of medical care be up to a child of 12.  I think we can all agree that this was one situation where I really needed a “Parent” to make the correct decisions for me. So we stop at the pharmacy and she gets a box of butterfly bandages and large band aids. I had my little red purse with me, and I paid the cashier for my medical supplies.  And that was the extent of the medical care I received.  I guess I should be thankful that the store manager sprayed the antiseptic on the wound when he did, because the rest of my medical care consisted of two butterfly bandages and a band aid.

Nerve Damage

It’s too bad that I’m right handed, because those of us with an IQ higher than a potato know that I have nerve damage in my right arm/hand. I have areas in my arm and hand that I have no feeling in. My handwriting is horrible, I drop small objects a lot, and although I try my hardest to knit, I am unable to regulate tension. I have always wondered what if I had gotten proper medical care? would it have made a difference?



Oh but I left out the best part.

 When we got back into the car after we were done at the pharmacy, my adoptive mother states “I need to lay down, I am feeling faint…. This has been all too much”. Even as a 12 year old I give her the “You’ve got to be fucking kidding me” look.  At which point she tells me she doesn’t handle medical “issues” very well, and she gets faint.     I’m thinking you were laying down for 45 minutes in the tanning bed, couldn't you have had your ‘fainting’ spell then?    So we sit in the car waiting for my adoptive mother be ‘recovered’ enough to drive home. 

Many in the Adoption Industry state that adoption provides 'a better home' for a child. That is a very subjective theory. All adoption can do is guarantee 'a different home', with quality being a very subjective aspect that no one can predict. 

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