Sometimes I sigh and say "When will this end?! Give her (and us) a BIT of good luck, please!". It was just so this weekend. We get a load of voicemails on the Friday morning from the school saying that Lucy had fallen down some stairs and hurt her leg. She is being picked up by an ambulance and can we come to the hospital. So I am at work, about an hour and a half's drive away. Amy has her hands full, not just preparing for the impending influx of my family this weekend but also she is trying to deal with the Hungarian guy from the water softener company, who is trying to tell us that the mass of water in our cellar right underneath thew water softening machine has nothing to do with the machine, but apparently it is osmosis from the surrounding walls, or something. Anyway, she is totally stressed and has her hands full.
She calls me at work and we both collectively do our sigh, and think "when will this end?". Then we say the same thing to each other. I know she will ask me to come home. I can't though. I have an important checkpoint meeting later today, and since I have only just started in this new contract I don't want to push my luck. We decide, for the moment, to leave the voicemails unheaded for now, and see how far the school can deal with this. Can they really expect working families just to drop everything? We thought they could probably cope for a little bit, and decided to bide our time.
I took a proactive approach though, since I knew this would not hold out, and that Amy would need to get on with her preparations. I didn't want her stressed out too much. I want her to enjoy this evening and not be too exhausted over the weekend. We have a lot of work to entertain and feed my family... So I check my diary. I have the meeting at 12. I go over to Ron, who I need to have this checkpoint meeting with, and ask if he is able to bring it forward. Fortunately he can, and in 20 mins we have our meeting. I decide I will finish up the rest of my work here and take the afternoon off. It turned out to be a good plan. Amy calls back a while later saying that she was not able to hold off the influx of calls from the school any longer, and has been told that someone has gone with Lucy to the hospital but needs to leave by 2 since she has her own kids to pick up. We are both very grateful to the school for sorting this out. I know Amy would not be able to find the hospital (it is a new one we haven't been to before), and would not want to subject her to this. She is still dealing with the Hungarian who is refusing to admit the softener is at fault, now claiming that somehow there must be a pipe behind the (foot-thick) concrete that is seeping through it. It would be an interesting new fundamental force, somehow wrapped up with the powerful osmotic effects of hard water, but Amy is not having it, and continues her defence. She is relentless with such things! Well, I am sure she is right. Just fix the damn thing will you?!
I tell Amy it is ok, I can take the afternoon off and be at the hospital before then. I ask Ron and all is fine with that. I leave at 12, into a wonderful sunny afternoon. At least that is working out, the weather. We really could do with a dry BBQ this year...
A good drive back means I actually get to the hospital an hour later and am able to relieve the school assistant, who is very pleasant and I am very grateful to her for doing this. Poor old Lucy is lying on a bed with a drip (she was given morphine earlier to kill the pain). Apparently she had stumbled over the last few steps while rushing out, and had landed with force on her ankle. Ended up breaking both ligaments, ouch! At the hospital they straightened her ankle (no, I don't think I want to go into that procedure, thanks...) and plastered her up. So now she is pretty much immobile. I wheelchair her out to the entrance, get the car over and she struggles with the crutches to get in the car.
This will be a fun weekend...Is Lucy not due some luck soon? What with all the stress of the colleges, the not knowing about her future, and now this? Poor love is feeling rotten, although she is also quite pleased that she has something interesting about her now. Perhaps that is the saddest thing. She feels by wrecking her ankle (not intentionally) and suffering all this pain, that somehow people will find her more interesting. In reality it will be a brief rush of interest and concern, after which it will fade and that will be it. She will be left with the inconvenience and pain of having this lump of plaster on her leg, will not be able to move freely and decide for herself when to interact, and will of course be even more left out than before. She will miss out on all the fun stuff going on at school as the final term comes to an end. The final crowning disaster to fall upon Lucy as she leaves this school. The leavers' Prom she will not be able to get involved with, the fun and games as she sees her "friends" for the last time.
We will do out best to get her included during the weekend's events and try to worry about her whilst worrying about the other 15 people that are descending onto our home this weekend, but it will not be enough. We also know that if we try too hard to make Lucy feel better it will all get thrown back in our faces, as it always does. Lucy apparently "loves" us too much to be polite and considerate towards us. I am being cynical, that is what we were told a few years ago by way of explanation as to why our lives were so shit. We have got used to that, but it still hurts and winds us up. We just have to remember that Lucy only has us. Who else can she shout at to express the frustration of her whole life? Strangers are treated very well. We have the honour of being treated badly. But then we are not autistic, and it was our fault in the first place, for giving her life (as Lucy tells us). I find it difficult sometimes to disagree with that assertion.