Wednesday, October 13, 2021

What a Week!

This week started out with a bit of a bang. I’m not sure how things will progress with my nephew. I talked to him again last night, and I’m trying to get him to understand that while I fully support him, I also want what’s best for him. It’s all very complicated, and I’ll be on his side, but he also needs to understand that he needs to try to work through this with his family. There are options for him, whether it’s his aunt or his great aunt (my aunt), while I don’t think she will fully understand, my aunt won’t let him be put out in the cold. She has a good heart. If she knows my nephew’s parents are mistreating him, she’ll step in where she’s needed. I’m pretty sure I need to do some research on how to best handle the situation myself. I’ll be honest, I’m feeling a little overwhelmed by all of it, and I want to do the right thing. He does not need to have to go through what I went through when I was his age. At least he understands what his feelings are. I didn’t until much later, or at least I didn’t acknowledge my feelings until much later.

Besides dealing and trying to help my nephew, I am also very busy at work. I have a public program today in which I’ll be moderating a panel of experts. I have to decide first thing this morning what I will wear. I always take time to be very thoughtful about what I wear to things like this. However, I’m running out of clothes. The dryer at my apartment building is broken and can’t be fixed until the twentieth, so I’m running low on clean clothes. Thank goodness I’m a clothes whore, and I have plenty of clothes to choose from, but let’s just say, they better fix it on the twentieth because it’s going to come down to the wire, and I despise going to the laundromat. Also, some of my clothes are now too big because of the weight I’ve lost.

This afternoon, we will interview the first of six candidates for our open curator position. Apparently, I’m leading off with the first question. For the rest of the week we will be conducting interviews, and I believe the last one is Monday. We’ll meet on Tuesday to decide who we’ll invite on campus for final interviews. I find this hiring process very stressful. I have a huge fear that we’ll pick the wrong person. I just have to have faith that through the interviews and the judgement of the hiring committee, we’ll find the right person.

In addition to all of that, I also have to prepare for the next public program set for November 3. I’ve been so busy that I’m a bit behind on the preparations. Monday, I had to teach a class, and yesterday I had two medical appointments. The first one was for blood work ahead of my quarterly doctor’s visit next week. The nurses stuck me four times before they could find a vein. My arms are so sore and somewhat bruised. Thank goodness I’ll be wearing a long sleeve shirt today to cover up all of that. My other appointment was with my neurologist to discuss the sensitive and embarrassing issue I spoke about last week. Thankfully, she understood the issue and came to the same conclusion as my PCP. She’s adjusted my medicines to try to take care of the problem. Poor woman, she’s seeing patients virtually but she looked a bit rough. She was definitely not as put together as usual. Whatever is wrong, she’s out for a couple of weeks, but still seeing patients virtually from home.

My neurologist is also trying to help me with some issues I’m having with my sleep medicine people. Because of that, I got some snarky (i.e. bitchy) messages from the sleep clinic, which ignored much of what we’d discussed at my last appointment or the notes from the respiratory therapist I saw last week. I’ll respond to the messages, but I need to calm down first. I am also going to ask my PCP if it’s possible to send me to the sleep clinic at the University of Vermont. While I have every confidence in the people at the Headache Clinic at Dartmouth, I barely have any confidence in those at the Sleep Clinic down there. They never followed up after I initially got the CPAP, and when I contacted them about the issues with my trigeminal neuralgia, I was told I was supposed to have seen them four times before then. Not only did that not inspire confidence, but the way they are jerking me around about trying out various sleep masks seems a colossal waste of time.

So this week, I seem to be destined to be worried, aggravated, and busy all week long. I hope and pray the week improves, but I don’t see my prayers being answered on this.


BosGuy said...

Good luck with the panel and work activities and I hope your PCP will get you new contacts at UVM. While Dartmouth is a worldclass medical facility it doesn't seem the reputation carries through to their Sleep Clinic.

Joe said...

BosGuy, I agree about Dartmouth. Anytime I have had anything done down there, it has been a wonderful experience, except for the Sleep Clinic. So, I hope my PCP will understand the problems I am having with them.

Anonymous said...

Dear Joe, It does seem to be quite a week. I hate to add to your tasks and anxieties but I would like to suggest one thing. I recall that your old niece/new nephew has a brother, whether older or younger I am not sure. Whatever he is, it must be for him a difficult time as well, caught up in the new situation with its tensions between his sibling and his parents. It would be an act of kindness if (provided that you can do so) you reached out to him, asking him how he is doing, what his attitude to the situation is, and assuring him of your love for him, your pride in him, and your willingness to do what you can for him. I leave it to you to do what you think best. Roderick

Joe said...

Roderick, my other nephew is 7. I’m not sure how much he knows of what’s going on, and I’d love to talk to him. However it’s a long story, but it would be very difficult for me to talk to him right now.

Anonymous said...

Joe, I did not realize that he is that young. It is, as you suggest, probably best to leave well alone, quite apart from the difficulty you mention of getting in touch. I do hope, by the way, that you have survived today. Roderick

Joe said...

Roderick, I survived but I feel like barely. A day like today just drains me of all my energy. Also, I’ve noticed that stress really inflames my trigeminal neuralgia. And today was a very stressful day at work. Thanks for asking.

Dakoda said...

My husband and I have three children: two sons (19 and 16) and a daughter (14). They're his biological kids, and they are my chosen kids. I have been their "dee dee" since they were 9, 7, and 5. We have had full custody of them and they are my whole world. They see me as their mother-type. I am a gay dad in a small Mississippi town, where I also teach at a private school. (I tell everyone my life is a movie: sometimes comedy, sometimes horror.)

I've said that to say: I'm sure I have nothing in common with your nephew's parents, other than the fact that I'm a parent, and (if they are religious and conservatives) we are both religious and conservative (though they probably would push back on my identification with such labels due to my sexual orientation, if they are like some people in the South). But, I'm not a hip, gay dad who's dying for his children to be gay. In fact, quite the opposite, because I want to shield my children from every heartache and hurt this cruel world offers.

The truth is: I have no idea how on earth I would handle one of my children coming out as transgender. I know for sure I would love them and my feelings would never change toward them because of their gender identification, but I would try my best to stir them in the safest direction and make triple sure that they were serious about it and knew the real life implications that MTV doesn't talk about when they have LGBT people on display. It is not going to be easy coming out as trans at such a young age for your nephew, especially not in Alabama. Yes, it is easy now for gay kids in most places (even in my private school here in Mississippi), but trans is another ball game altogether. For example, they aren't even allowed to play ball. I know the stigma that is attached to that label. Having been a teacher for 13 years, Ialso know how cruel other teenagers are to those who are different that the accepted. This may be something your nephew's parents are worrying about as well.

I understand it cannot be easy for your sister and brother-in-law. I have being gay to relate to, but I still would find it difficult. I am praying for everyone involved, that they will have the grace to work through it and that your nephew will feel love and acceptance from them and everyone in his life, that their life will be easy and that they know the value of their own life and never consider taking it, because it does get better.

Dakoda said...

*My oldest son is 18, not 19. (I have fat fingers.)
**The second to last sentence of the third paragraph has a missing last word: norm.
***This teacher does not proofread. Shh, don't tell my students. :)

Joe said...

Dakoda, thank you so much for your comment. You have voiced a lot of my fears and my feelings. As you may know I don’t nice taught for five years in a private school in Alabama for five years. For me it was a nightmare, but that’s not the point of this reply. I’m not sure this is good or bad, but my nephew is home schooled. They has been since the beginning of the pandemic because of issues with their school. Their parents are extremely conservative Southern Baptists. They are not forgiving in any way, and in my opinion do not act very Christian even though they love to profess their faith. I too consider myself a conservative Christian because I take very seriously my belief in trying to live a life that follows the teachings of Christ as closely as possible.

I am so worried for my nephew (and I find the terminology of all of this very difficult). I have talked to them about the fact that they are 14. There is a lot they don’t know yet, and they need time to sort things out. I don’t want them losing opportunities and messing up their life because of rash decisions. I am supporting them in every way I can from 1200 miles away. I have talked to my mother to get her to understand what harm she could do if she denies this child her love or discounts their feelings and situations. I’ve told her many times since this became known that, “You can’t treat her like you treated me, because you might lose them forever if you do.” Being trans is a completely different story from being gay, but you understand that. Needless to say, I’m scared to death and worried sick.

I’m not sure how I’m dealing with all of this myself and I feel a bit like I’m stumbling along in the dark with a very inadequate flashlight.

JiEL said...

It's sad for you nephiew not to be able to have some help for his situation as a gay teenager.

Here in province of Quebec and in Montreal we have a group named the «GRIS» who are going in schools to educate young guys about being gay. Must say that the situation here is very different because being a teen gay isn't a big deal anymore and rarely they are struggling to do a coming out or being rejected by parents or friends.

It gives you and idea how wide it is.

For sure, in Alabama and many parts of the «Bible Belt», religion is a huge factor to repress any freedoms of sex oritentation. You know about it.

In USA the gay rights are not the same all over and being gay is not easy depending where you live.

Dakoda said...

Joe, You are dealing with it from a place of love and that is the best you can do. I hope the others will do the same. It is brave of you to speak up to your mother and others about this. Your nephew is blessed to have you. Praying for you also, as I know it is overwhelming. šŸ¤—