Friday, April 21, 2006
Switch Hitter Fritz
I have a client in the hospital. He is a little boy, and he is autistic. He is in the emergency room because of his behaviors. He likes to throw his head against any flat surface. If I had his parents, I would be doing the same thing.

The problem is this: it's not entirely a good idea (parents) to keep a child in four point restraints for over seventy-two hours. At that point, there are some hard feelings on the child's part and only a few pieces of flung poo. Someone had the bright idea to get him into another facility as a brief 'respite' so I can work on finding a new home for him. The old home is not quite working out. However, the only facility that would take him is a mental institute. It's because the State of Georgia does not recognize any other problem than the problem of how many shitty roads we can build or how long we can fight public transportation. So, this nine year old boy is being schlepped off to the loony bin because he is autistic. Make sense? Yeah, I didn't think so, either.

I get a phone call from child's mom.

Mom: He's going to the state hospital.
Me: I know, it's not perfect, but otherwise he'll have to go home.
Mom: Oh, no, he's NOT coming home.
Me: So, he goes to the state hospital.
Mom: (sigh) I'm not happy about it.
Me: Well, he could go home?
Mom: He's going to the state hospital.

While I am on the phone with her, I get that obnoxious *beep* on my cell phone that says I've got another call.

Me: Hey, Mom? I've got another call. Hang on. (I click over)
Me: Hello, this is Fritz! How can Fritz help you!
Doctor: He's going to the state hospital.
Me: I know; I'm on the phone with Mom.
Doctor: How can you be on the phone with Mom when she's standing right here in front of me?
Me: I don't know. I'm on the phone with her.
Doctor: I don't believe you.
Me: He's going to the state hospital.

I click back over to Mom.
Me: Are you at the hospital?
Mom: No.
Me: Because the doctor thinks you're standing in front of him.
Mom: How could I be? I'm in my kitchen.
Me: Yes, exactly. Hold, please.

I click back over to Doctor.
Doctor: Anyway, you need to clear him for transport.
Me: Who needs clearance?
Doctor: The child, of course!
Me: That was a test to make sure we knew what we were talking about.
Doctor: I don't have time for this. I have an E.R. to run.
Me: Yes. Why do you need my clearance for him to go to the state hospital?
Doctor: We don't. It was really a courtesy call.
Me: Is Mom still standing there?
Doctor: (pause)...No, I can't see her.
Me: Very odd. Go ahead. Let him go to the state hospital.
Doctor: They aren't happy about it.
Me: WHO isn't happy about WHAT?
Doctor: The state hospital doesn't want to take him.
Me: Do YOU want to take him?
Doctor: No.
Me: Then I guess we're out of options.

This has been my day. I get paid to switch back from call to call, to confirm or deny information. I'm a switchboard operator. Not only that, but I also get to deal with insane doctors and abusive parents. It just can't get any better. But wait. It does.

Because for all this, I also get paid what averages out to be two dollars a day. Good.

Garcon! Coffee and cigarettes, please.

UPDATE: I was so touched by many of your responses, that I felt it necessary to keep you updated on the child's situation. While I meant this post to be more of a sardonic, witty interpretation of the events, I DID leave the hospital a quivering mess of goo (thanks Tammara). However, we have found a placement for him where he will be OUT OF THAT GODFORSAKEN HOME. The doctor and I did speak later, and he is a very kind man who did not like to see the child bound to the bed as he was (no one was happy about that). And while the child will be going on to the State Hospital for a short time, we have found a permanent home with a houseparent who is kind, disciplining, and able to handle this little guy's behaviors. And no longer will he utter words like, "I'm not his son," over and over (Mom's husband is not the natural father of the child). And he will no longer have to see the abuse that puts the bruises all over Mom's arms. So, it's getting there. By the way, your comments (all of your comments) were very much inspiring and thoughtful. Thank you, friends.

Shiddi haylik!!
Written by FRITZ
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Name: Fritz

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