Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Mind Swirl--the Personal Things

So much on my mind these days. It all goes in circles, seems to link, then falls apart into fragments again.

I have one class that I don't feel I'm reaching. Granted it's primarily first year students at 8 o'clock in the morning, but still! I hate that feeling of looking out and seeing empty or bored or confused eyes. I've talked to my department chair and repeatedly to the class. It's just strange, because I teach the same class at 1 PM and the students are much more engaged, lively, up for debate, and willing to ask questions.

My 17-year-old niece is pregnant and, out of fear of everyone's opinions, hid it for five-and-a-half months. Her daughter is due December 1. She just began receiving medical care mid-August. My feelings are a mix of worry and anticipation.

My 18-year-old niece is diabetic and not taking her insulin properly. She's having high glucose levels--I don't know all the correct terminology, but hers has been up in the hundreds. They're checking it everyday at school now. She doesn't get it. There are so many other things she's worried about--am I going to take her shopping for dresses to wear for homecoming since she's on the court? Who's going to do her hair? Will I help her fill out her ACT form (of course, helping turned in to my filling the tedious thing out by myself)? How can she ask my parents for the money for the deposit on her senior supplies? On and on and on.

My questions are much different. How long before there is irreparable damage to her organs? What is the "sugar coma" that I always hear people speak of? How do I get through to an 18-year-old?

And then there is so much sickness and death right now in this small area. My nieces' aunt is in a coma in a hospital in New Orleans. Her kidneys failed in her early 20s. She received a transplant a few weeks ago (hence the New Orleans hospital). Her body is apparently rejecting it. We don't know if she will live or die. She's 26-years-old.

Then, there is Petey. Whom I taught in fifth grade. Who was murdered some days ago. And the stories are swirling around--that her boyfriend and his brother killed her because she told someone they broke into a house; that white people in the area will be seeking vengeance (Petey was white, her boyfriend, the primary suspect, is black); that white parents are treating her as a model, warning their daughters why they should not be involved with black men. I can't tell you how many people have asked me, in hushed voices, "Does it seem like the white people are acting funny now?" I have been warned not to go out at night by myself. I don't believe all of the retribution rumors. But part of me remembers that I have not been in the area for six years and that I can't not underestimate anything.

A friend's mother died of cancer. At her wake, my friend said her chest felt as if it was caving in and it was so hard just to lift her head.

Just so much right now.


Rent Party said...

AY all the illnesses/deaths/violence are very difficult. On what can be managed:

"My questions are much different. How long before there is irreparable damage to her organs? What is the 'sugar coma' that I always hear people speak of? How do I get through to an 18-year-old?"

Irreparable damage, it is a long way off if she takes care of this right. Sugar coma, you'll know if you see it, it is a faint and they get incoherent first. Call 911, they can revive. But apparently each comatose moment does kill brain cells, it is a good idea not to have them. How to get through - this is difficult. My X never really got it and he's over 40 now.
I think he is still reacting to how people dealt or didn't deal with it when he was a child/teen. My mother, however, convinced my teen brother to take care of epilepsy, take the medication, etc., by convincing him it was serious, but manageable, and that the hippest, coolest strategy was to manage it well so he could play sports, be a radiohead, and all those things.

Anyway - for what it's worth. Good luck with all of this!!!

Anonymous said...

oh dear elle, i am so sorry to hear all these things that are weighing on you. you are in my prayers...

Unknown said...

aw mujer...much much love to you. please, take care of yourself and your people--and keep us updated. if there's anything we can do, please let us know.


RageyOne said...

oh goodness, yes, you do have a lot going on now in your head and surrounding you. {{hugs}} to you. hang in there!

Gwyneth Bolton said...

I pray things will get better. I'll keep your niece in my prayers. Keep the faith.

much love and peace,


Kiki BE said...

Sorry to hear about all your worries. Take care of yourself and others.

comebacknikki said...

Oh, elle, I'm so sorry.

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