That’s where I am these day. Torn, and swinging wildly between, being overjoyed and heartbroken enough I have to fight back the tears.
To some it may seem trivial. Maybe it is something other people expect to happen, but for me, the thought that this might happen has never entered my mind.
My baby is moving away.
I knew that a company in Ohio had reached out to Corey about a position and that he’d gone up for a meet-and-greet-slash-interview. I knew he’d sent them the resume they requested. I knew he’d been looking into the company, trying to learn more about them, see if it was something he even wanted to consider.
I also knew that all he’d discovered was very positive and desirable!
After the first meeting, he was disappointed because the man from the finance department of the company (they are big enough to have ‘departments’) told him they had initially wanted him for a management position, but then his age and lack of experience with a large company made them think he might not be ready for that yet.
To me, at that time, it was encouraging. I mean, I told you I was torn, guys. I wasn’t kidding!! I was so proud that a huge company like that was considering hiring my boy for a high position, not to mention that they instigated the contact! It didn’t bother me that they were leery of him due to his young age and his lack of a college degree. Most places are very big on a piece of paper from a university that says you know certain stuff. I am of the opinion, however, that personal experience and the ability to teach one’s self and learn whatever is necessary is much more valuable than a degree that may or may not be a true indication of the person’s knowledge. Of course, there’s not a lot of quantifiable proof for personal experience and the ability to self-teach either, but I’ve seen for myself that it’s a definite advantage in many areas of life.
I guess, deep down, I was content with knowing that Corey could attract attention from a big company, that he presented himself well and wasn’t lacking in any way from being homeschooled. I mean, it was on his resume, after all. They knew he had been taught at home. I sorta felt that would be the end of it. Which wasn’t a relief entirely because, confession time: I’ve been praying for both my boys to be able to get away from all the stress they have with their jobs.
Yes, I should have been praising God for answered prayer, but you know how it goes. Sometimes God answers in a way you never considered. Kinda like praying for patience, so God lets you break your leg. “There.” He might say. “Patience is earned, my child.” All the while, I imagine He’s snickering to Himself. Bahaha!
But seriously, it would be a big relief to see them have jobs where they weren’t constantly being brow-beaten and put down and having to deal with my dad. I feel like I’ve posted about this whole complicated mess-of-a relationship before, but I’m not positive about that and I can’t find any reference to it, so I’ll try to explain while keeping it short.
My father has always been an entrepreneurial type of fella. Always had his own business. Everything from a coal tipple to a paving business, a wood burning stove store, therapeutic massage chairs to spray foam insulation. You name it, he’s prolly done it or at least thought about it. Excavation is where he always excelled. He was good on a dozer and so began a core drilling business. That led to him being asked to help bulldoze roads during a forest fire so the firefighters could access the fire. Finally, he began this current company in 1994 originally doing only dozer and backhoe work. It evolved into the plumbing arena and he had to get permits and such. During that time, he learned about and got into the underground camera and jetting business, which is mostly what the business does now. It’s considered a “plumbing” company, although dad has never been a plumber. He always had to employ one, though and now, both my sons are licensed plumbers. Corey has his master plumber’s license and Casey has a journeyman’s license.
The boys began working for my dad when they were teenagers. Originally, it was just to do the extra work, the grunt work. Wheelbarrowing dirt out of the way or digging trenches, that kind of stuff. And it was just as needed because for the last 15 or so years, Dad’s only had one or two regular employees and in the last 10 or so years, that’s been older men like himself. Not young men who could lift and heft and work hard, but older men who were a little more feeble and less agile and able-bodied. I felt okay with that and I was happy about the experience it gave them. Most kids their age had no clue about the real work-a-day world, ya know? My boys did and they were learning all kinds of stuff about using tools and how things work. Most of the time, they’d work pretty much full time during the summer months. Soon though, dad started talking about when Corey graduated and could come in full time and all this crap about “handing down” the business to him one day.
That made me nervous. My dad is a workaholic. Even in his mid-seventies now, you can’t keep him still. He can barely get around sometimes but insists on working. It worries me to death but he’s as bullheaded as he is anything else, so you can’t tell him anything.
My dad has always been what some would call a “loudmouth”. Ha ha. Sometimes that’s a more apt description than others, but he’s very outspoken, opinionated and pretty judgemental. Ever since I was old enough to realize it, I have seen that people either love or hate my dad. They either get his brusque manner and laugh at his blustery speech or they despise his attitude and think he’s a blowhard. I guess on both sides there’s a little truth, but in these past few years, he seems to have leaned even more toward the brusque/harsh side of his personality. I think some of it is just the growing older process but the boys say he makes remarks about how he’s lived to the age his older brother and father were when they died so now he’s just “living on borrowed time” which is ridiculous since our days are numbered by God, not our ancestors!! I don’t understand why he would think this way when he knows better.
So anyway, I tell you all of that so you might understand just a little why I have wanted my boys to not be working with or for my dad. It has made them bitter and hard, more so for my youngest for some reason. He’s never been a really ‘soft’ kinda guy anyway so that may just be his natural tendency. But it is so worrisome. Especially when he also lives right beneath my parents, ya know? He doesn’t really escape that stuff at all. The boys don’t really have a grandfather relationship with him since he has treated them more like employees, disappointing employees at that, than like grandsons. I have worried for their self-image and sense of self-worth for years because of how Dad is with them.
I know that sounds horrible of me, but it’s just the truth. Telling you otherwise, pretending otherwise, doesn’t change the facts of the matter. My parents harbor a LOT of negativity, which is one reason I don’t go around very much. It just drains me. It makes me feel ill, beaten down, hopeless and sad. I struggle with depression enough as it is, and so I’ve found that my battle with it is easier if I don’t spend a ton of time with them. Yes, that DOES make me sad, but self-preservation is important especially when I tend to become non-functional when I get in a deeply depressed state. I pulled myself out of that once and I don’t want to ever have to do it again. Is that wrong of me? To guard my emotional, and also my physical, well-being? If it is wrong, then I don’t know how to cope otherwise because spending time with them, lots of time, will inevitably lead to me spiraling into a horrible place where I shut down and then don’t take care of anyone or anything. I’m not sure how they live in that darkness. It’s like a tangible cloud of negativity and animosity. They can’t speak about someone without pointing out all the perceived or concocted flaws the person has, they can’t be encouraging about any situation that isn’t exactly what they would choose for themselves, they are judgemental of everyone and don’t even think that your past won’t follow you toward them because they will never let you forget that thing you did but no longer do, no matter how much you have changed.
So… I feel like I’m rambling and I honestly don’t know how to end this post. Apparently, the start date has been moved up to January 9 from January 23 so it’s even more of a time crunch! Melissa wants to paint some of the walls so the apartment isn’t so “vanilla/boring” so she and I will go up a day or two after Christmas and stay for a couple days to do that. For that, we’re having to decide which vehicle to take. They have one vehicle between them, a 4WD pickup, we have our 4WD “second” vehicle (a pickup, too) and our new car, the Challenger, which we’ve never had in snow before. It looks like it would be best if we took the car, but then there’s the issue of weather and Tommy’s insane obsession with keeping the car spotless. Yeah, right! I want it to stay awesome-looking too, but there’s only so much you can do if you actually want to use the vehicle, ya know? So anyway, I think we can get everything we’d need in there since the back seats fold down… you know, step stools, extension handles and all the painting material. Then we’ll need to go buy paint unless she plans to do that here, then we’ll have to haul it up with us along with some air mattresses, clothes & food items. The apartment is central to EVERYTHING almost, so running out to get anything we’d need won’t be a problem as long as the weather holds. Then the guys will come up with a pickup load of stuff that weekend, I guess. And we’ll be ready to start the actual moving process.
The kids are going back up there this weekend to finalize some stuff, and look at one more apartment that will now be empty to see if they like it better. I think they’ve settled on this first floor one though even though the other is a tad bigger, it’s on the third floor. With their dog, it will be a lot easier to be on ground level plus only first-floor apartments can have barbecues! They grill out a LOT! So…
I’m trying to steel myself for the wild rush to begin. I’m praying for strength and focus and to stay well so I can help them all I can! I’m taking advantage of every opportunity to be with them while they’re getting all their ducks in a row. I’m not sure how I’ll survive this, but I know I will. Like I said, I’m reminding myself multiple times a day that God promises to take care of us, to prosper us and not harm us. I just need to stop looking at how much my heart hurts and focus on waiting to see what God’s going to do with this big change in all our lives.
Try to overlook me while I process everything, okay? Thanks.
So, it’s been one of those weeks…well, about a week and a half now, actually!
My eldest son has been SO sick! He woke up sick Sunday, the 10th with a stomach ache and diarrhea. He figured it was just a virus, so he skipped church and laid low for the day. Thought he was feeling a little better and made it through work on Monday okay. Then Tuesday was a little harder, but he worked that day too and then, since it was his and his wifey’s 8th anniversary (I know! How did I get old enough to have a kid who’s been married EIGHT years?!) he came home and they went to Lexington for dinner. There, he had a steak and baked potato with a locally brewed beer (something he rarely does) and afterward, they attempted to walk around town a bit, but he was just hurting so bad.
On the ride home (about 80+ miles) he got worse. He felt bloated and nauseated. They stopped for some extra-strength gas medicine and got back on the interstate.
About 5 that next morning, his wife texted me saying he’d been rolling around in pain all night and she was really worried. He was refusing to go to the hospital. I told her to tell him to get his butt dressed, I would be there shortly and we’d take him to the ER.
I don’t know if it was my threats or his pain that changed his mind, but he was ready soon. His dad and I both went with the kids to the hospital. I was just sure it was probably his appendix and they’d probably do surgery, which is why his dad decided to take off work and go up there with us. Along with the fact that my CGM monitor had been going off all night and neither of us had gotten much sleep either.
So, long story shorter, we were up there for several hours, they gave him an IV, took blood and urine, gave him Morphine & Bentyl for pain and finally did a CT scan with IV contrast. The final report was that his appendix was fine, he had slightly elevated white blood count, and mesenteric adenitis along with an ileus, and what looked like a partial obstruction of fluid and air.
They said since the lymph nodes were enlarged, he had probably had a slight infection, that the adenitis would clear up on its own, to go to a light diet with bland foods and he should be fine in a day or two.
They sent him home with nothing but some nausea meds after giving him 3 doses of Morphine for pain. I thought THAT was weird…I mean, if you’re in enough pain to need morphine, wouldn’t it make sense to give a prescription for pain meds? Then I realized that pain meds could cause constipation which would be bad in the case of intestinal problems, so… whatever. They could have explained that, in my opinion.
Anyhow, so we took him home, gave him mostly saltines, Gatorade, popcicles and water and waited for him to feel better.
But he didn’t. The pain never decreased at all. Since it was now Wednesday, we decided not to wait any longer and have to go into the weekend with him possibly not feeling any better. Thankfully, we got him in with his general physician the next day. He was pretty baffled saying the main problem was that Corey was so healthy. Ha ha…meaning, there really wasn’t anything to explain him having this pain. All his labs were good other than the white blood cell elevation which could be explained by an infection, but that should be getting better already. He decided to order an oral contrast CT scan since they hadn’t done one at the hospital and to test him for celiac and do a couple stool tests in case he’d picked up a bacteria or toxin from work. In case you didn’t know, he is a plumber and their company does pipeline inspections with cameras and they also inspect and maintenance grease pits and such. He’s exposed to a bazillion different kinds of germs! He also ordered him to switch to a clear-liquids-only diet.
So we got those tests done and waited some more. All the while, he’s not feeling any better. To top it off, the poor guy was starving too. I felt so bad for my poor baby boy!!
In the meantime, his doctor’s office got him in with a local gastro-intestinal doctor for Monday, so we muddled through the weekend, praying that he’d start to show signs of improvement.
And he did, a little. But the pain never went away completely. And he was still starving for some real food! It had been a week now since he’d had an actual meal.
I went with them to the GI doctor who had to send for all the test results. He mashed around on his belly while Corey told him that while he had improved, he still wasn’t feeling good. The doc then informed us that he was positive for celiac disease! He asked about his heritage, which we didn’t know for certain then about his family history of diabetes.
He motioned toward me and said, “Well, my mom is a type 1 diabetic…” He asked if I’d been tested for celiac and I told him, “I’ve been told in the past that I’m ‘gluten-sensitive’,” to which he replied, “WHO told you THAT? You are only positive or negative for celiac. No in between! You need to be tested again! But let’s take care of you first..” and turned his attention back to Corey.
Well then! Hmm. It happened to be a holistic chiropractor who told me that about 5 years ago. I had tried going gluten-free then, but didn’t notice much of a difference at all, and since I felt I had enough on my dietary plate (ha!) I soon abandoned that part of the diet. I honestly didn’t notice any difference and so I began to question whether an actual celiac test had been run or if I just had certain symptoms?
Anyway, Corey goes tomorrow for an EGD and a biopsy to see how much damage there is from the celiac. I don’t expect it to be a whole lot. I really think this was one of those ‘perfect-storms’ situations where because of the infection he’d had (which actually WAS cleared up and had nothing to do with the lingering pain) along with (maybe) him having that random beer which was extra rye- and barley-laden probably kicked the celiac into overdrive.
Ultimately it’s been a good thing. I mean, at least he didn’t suffer for years being misdiagnosed before the celiac was found. He can modify his diet now and more than likely start feeling better than he has in a long time.
Honestly, in the big picture, this is good news. I would much MUCH rather my boy have to deal with this than something else that requires medication or worse. My younger RN daughter-in-law has arranged for her hubby and me to have a celiac lab test ordered, since he actually has had tons more stomach issues than his brother does and us type 1’s actually have a tendency to develop celiac. If my boys can begin to feel better and be healthier just with a dietary change, I am thrilled. I don’t know about other moms who are type 1, but it’s always in the back of my mind that one of them might develop diabetes. I realize that having celiac doesn’t mean they’ll never get diabetes, but having celiac DOES mean they will be forced to adopt a much healthier diet to feel good and in doing so, will be more likely to avoid diabetes. I’ll continue to be hopeful that their lives are never touched by this wicked diabeast.
And now, (hopefully!) back to my regularly unscheduled, but boring and spastic life…