Monday – a random trip to the hospital
I awoke to the sound of gushing water outside where a mains pipe had burst which meant that our water was off and we couldn’t have a shower and had to scrounge around for water to make a cup of tea. The water was off for the whole day! Whilst I was trying to work out what to do, I got a call from the hospital – I know that number now when it comes up on my phone!! It was the physio to say that the balaclava had come in so H can come on in to try it on. It is a full head garment with holes for the eyes, nose and mouth (the ears were cut out with scissors). H wore it home on the car ride home and it was pretty uncomfortable after 30 minutes because it is so tight on the face . The plan is to wear it for 23 hours a day! As we were there, the physio took some photos with a measuring tape in the shot to show the makers of the balaclava measurements to make it fit a bit more comfortably.
Tuesday at home
Quite a mellow day, as I went to acupuncture and then came home relaxed. The feeling of driving after acupuncture at the right speed limit is pretty amazing. I got a call from the teacher from the hospital in the afternoon and we went through the transition back to school and it is a huge list of things to do! After I got off the phone with her I thought of home education, a few families in CA used to homeschool before covid made it popular!! I did a little bit of research and from an educational point of view it looks amazing and from H’s healing and well-being it would be so good for her. That way she can self pace the learning during the day and take breaks when she wants to, plus do her exercises, take time out to take her medicine and eat a proper lunch. The other bonus is that she does not have to wear a face mask over the balaclava to prevent her from getting covid. Oh yes there is still a pandemic out there and she is immuno compromised and the burns team want her to go back to school, no thank you!
Wednesday – clinic day at the hospital!
It was H’s birthday on Wednesday and she had a clinic visit first thing in the morning – whoo hoo! It was a dressing change and the doctors and nurses sang happy birthday and gave her a lovely gift. The clown doctor came in and was pretty relaxed just talking about the chickens in his pocket and sang happy birthday softly on his ukelele. All the dressings were down and H still has to stay on antibiotics as the thigh donor spot had staf bacteria growing on it. Just when we thought she was getting back on track with her gut microbiome then BOOM all the good gut bacteria are annihilated again! It was a very low key birthday for her for the rest of the day.
I came home from the hospital as the drs had steam rolled my thoughts on home education stating that it is important for her to socialise in the world around her and to not make decisions on how she looks. Well no, the first thing that came to mind for me is how inconsistent her learning will be once she goes back to school starting with multiple supports for her – beginning with staged return with one class a day, then out Wednesday morning for clinic, no PE or contact sports, she has to put sunscreen on before going outside, needs a key person from the well being team or an adult she trusts at school, safe place for a break (a pass out system), needs a high back chair or sit at the back of the room for her to rest her head, has to prepare her peers for her appearance with a Q&A session, a dedicated space for her and her friends, short visits to classes she enjoys as she builds up relationships with peers and teachers and there will be no pressure just small steps. To me, this is a huge ask for a public school because even just asking for extra work from 3 teachers they cannot even follow through that request. I am just sensing it will be a complete mess because I work in education and teachers in general are pretty much over worked and seriously low on time.
I have spoken to H and she will give it a trial next week and then we will see what she thinks. I have written up her lesson plan for the week as I have found a great resource aligning with the victorian curriculum. But as I discovered if you choose to home educate your child you do not even have to hit curriculum targets! The most important thing is to target key learning areas and write a plan for the learning for the year on what you will do with your child. I am pretty inspired by home education but as H is a very routine and structured learner, the pre packaged programs are the way to go. The other bonus you do not have to be a teacher, but it is helpful for me looking through the curriculum options. It is a big wide world out there in education and mainstream is a big part of it but it is a very traditional path. The importance of creating a love of learning is key as I have seen in my son who left high school to follow something he loves and is so happy and enthusiastic in his learning journey.
Thursday – chat with a counsellor
We are lucky to have found a teen counsellor for H to talk to she happens to be from the San Francisco Bay area as well which is just incredible. The video call went well and H is going to have regular check-in sessions with her and practice art therapy which will be wonderful. I researched homeschooling options and chatted to the VRQA and have a plan of action. We will see how her home education pans out next week before I put the application in, H has to see if it works for her. She is already socialising with her friends online and in-person so that box is ticked for the doctors. To her the peers in the class are whatever, so I am hoping all works out so she can heal in a relaxed environment at home.
Organising home school options and studying for me.
Saturday and Sunday
H was socialising and had a sleepover with her good friend who has supported her through this. It was so good to see her on Sunday after spending time away from us and enjoying herself. She knows what to do with her meds and exercises and she is great at routine, so no worries when she asked to go and stay. H’s spirits had lifted having some independence again and getting back into the swing of normal – whatever that looks like these days!