Thursday, July 06, 2006

Evan's Story Part 10: November 2005 Wisdom teeth and school


Evan has clearly had a lot of stress lately. I think when I talked to him about what he needed to do and what his options were he was pretty over-whelmed. He got teary and confessed that he has been having trouble remembering to take his meds on schedule. I told him that he should let me know if he needed something, but I don't know how much I can do.

He has been having a hard time with Andrew and especially Brian recently. Evan says he has a hard time dealing with either Andrew or Brian complaining or being depressed -- they have everything so good. On one hand I can see his perspective -- they are to him very privileged kids. They have everything he wanted and had to do without -- how can they have all this and still complain?

So I understand how he FEELS, and I have expressed sympathy, but I can only deal with his attitude so far. Whether Evan accepts it or not, Andrew and Brian have the right to bad moods and unhappiness.

His behavior with respect to them is pretty subtle. I took all of us out to Wendy's tonight. Andrew quietly pulled the breading off his chicken strips. Evan asked him what he was doing and Andrew said that he did not like the breading -- it was greasy, but the chicken itself was pretty good. Later in the evening Evan loudly told someone else how Andrew had complained about the food, whining that it was too greasy. Why can't he just eat it? The friend pointed out to him that he (Evan) had just said that his hamburger was too salty. "That's different. I ate the food without complaining." Andrew had overheard this and was hurt and so I told Evan that I did not think that Andrew had been complaining -- he just answered our questions about why he was picking off the breading. Of course he insisted that he remembered it correctly and I started, but resisted, arguing with him. In the end he got teary again and said that he had just had a hard time dealing with this. ("This" turned out again to be any case of Andrew or Brian complaining or being moody.)

Anyway, it is not a huge thing -- but I wish he was seeing a counselor who could talk to him about this. This is the first kid I have had who doesn’t have someone outside the family to talk to. I guess I am feeling strained. Andrew and Brian are my kids too and I can only let him vent so much. I am on everyone's side and he needs someone to just help him with how he feels. I don't know if he is close enough to you to talk to you about it, but if he is that might be good.

Evan of course will be able to "deal" with Andrew and Brian's lack of appreciation for their privilege when he is feeling less overwhelmed himself

Evan complained the other day about one of his wisdom teeth. It looked to me like it was coming in funny and that there was not a lot of room for them. I called back the same oral surgeon. School gets out early on Thursday and there is no school at all on Friday -- perfect. Evan can have a consult appointment on Thursday afternoon and if they need to come out they will do it Friday morning. All this rather startled Evan -- he had just told me that it bothered him an hour before. He seemed like he might have been a little bit annoyed.

Later in the car he happened to tell me about a time when he had a complaint which his mother ignored for weeks. It got so bad that when she finally took him to the doctor they rushed him into the hospital.

He may have exaggerated that story -- but I took it as a thank-you for responding quickly.

Wisdom teeth:
Evan only has wisdom teeth on the right side. He definitely does not have room for them and the oral surgeon said that he would have pain on and off until they came out. He could choose to do it now or later. He also volunteered to remove the scar-like formations he has on his ears.

Because of the positioning of the teeth it will be a relatively simple extraction. Evan should be alert in the afternoon and be able to work on his paper most of the weekend. (More about that below)

We met with Mr. H and he is being very generous. Evan may write a paper this weekend and it will count for two -- the one that is currently due and the one that he missed. After that he is expected to keep up with the readings and assignments for the rest of the term. The paper he has to write is about the definition of justice in Plato's Republic. I told Margo on the phone that this is a topic that I know well and so I can help him with it. Of course he will have to write the paper, but I can talk about it with him. We already had one conversation about the nature of justice in the city. He was able to describe that accurately and I told him that he needs to think about how justice in a single person is analogous to that. It is not a terribly difficult paper. He can do it if he sets his mind to it.

Evan's Story Part 1: The Beginning
Evan's Story Part 11: Drama with Birth Mom

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