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for I'm Not Sick

8/5/2017 c6 Guest
Thanks for updating, especially while you're miserable. Feel better.
8/5/2017 c6 97Tif S
Oh goodness, feel better! I'm glad they officially know what it is that's wrong with Ryan now. Of course Ryan would be resistant to seeing a doctor. Considering what that usually meant and what came before. I'm just glad that Sandy and Kirsten are there for him. They're great. Sandy's realization about why Ryan didn't want to see a doctor, that was spot on. I could imagine that both Sandy and Kirsten need those reminders from each other throughout, even the ones we didn't get to see, as Ryan at times is almost too adept at acting like everything is fine.
7/30/2017 c5 Guest
Thanks and always ready for more when it comes to Ryan and Sandy bonding and Sandy learning about Ryan. Ryan's never had anyone to take care of him or even worry about him or care in the least if he lived or died, so it's all a new experience for him. For him, the world has always been a better place if he wasn't around, at least according to everyone who's had a chance to hurt him and have him believe he deserved it. Having someone want to make things better and confront what it might be like if Ryan wasn't there and how he's changed things for the better is so important.
7/16/2017 c5 Guest
Thanks. i'm waiting for Sandy to come back and take stock of things and also worried and waiting to see what happens to Ryan.
7/15/2017 c5 Guest
One of the many things that has always struck me and stayed with me about Ryan is that he knows that the people he's lived with and what his life has been are extremes. He knew other kids lived in troubling circumstances, and didn't pry, but he was very aware that his situation was different than most. He would never expect the Cohens or anyone in Newport or anyone else to be the same and react or respond the same in various scenarios. Ryan understands that every situation is unique even if there are fairly standard norms in most places. On the other hand, the same can't be said for other people that Ryan is dealing with. They seem to assume that because he looks like them, is from SoCal and has some very basic things in common, that he should be like them and understand their ways of thinking and behaving and even anticipate what he hasn't directly had experience with at all. Being abandoned and losing a whole world and being thrust into another suddenly is traumatic in multiple ways. Having to instantly adapt with no way of knowing or predicting what would be thrown at him all while life went on as always around him would be overwhelming, stressful and a non-stop guessing game with really high stakes. Ryan would know that he couldn't make mistakes that might end the only place he could safely stay, but avoiding them would be impossible. That's where guidance, empathy, patience and support are so crucial and that's before he's sick and even more vulnerable. It's another first in a time filled with daily firsts and Ryan's off-balance in a new way. That's where Sandy's demeanor and special way of connecting with him is so significant. The last thing Ryan needs is to worry about causing more problems and what that could mean. He has no point of reference here.

Waiting for Sandy to come home and to see what's next for Ryan, whether it involves something from his background that is tied in physically or just emotionally.

Thanks for updating!
7/15/2017 c5 Guest
I always, always am a fan of Ryan and Sandy interacting. So many things about their unique connection and relationship defy the norms and expectations. There's being separated by a generation. There's Ryan's history with an absent, violent, neglectful, abusive, alcoholic and drug using father. There's Dawn's spectacular choices to bring an endless stream of Frank clones or twins into the picture to inflict the same kind of damage on Ryan. There's the vast gulf in the kind of life Ryan has had to live and survive and what Sandy has become accustomed to for a good two decades. In spite of it all, Ryan trusts Sandy. It's mutual. Ryan believes in Sandy, and that's mutual. They're honest with each other on level that shouldn't be possible, but it is and even when Ryan's hesitant and on unfamiliar ground while sick for the first time in a new environment still surrounded by relative strangers.

As for Kirsten? Compare and contrast. Just from her times taking care of what I'd say would be a very high maintenance and demanding Seth, I'm surprised that she wasn't more on top of how often Ryan should have medication for a fever no matter how uncomfortable she felt or reluctant to overstep the lines that she's put in place with him. The middle of the afternoon seems like hours too long. I half expected Sandy to call and check.

They should have taken Ryan to the doctor to get some kind of baseline when he legally was placed in Newport with Social Services keeping an eye on the arrangement. Now they definitely should, both for getting as much of a history as they can and to rule out more than even a bad case of the flu. There are too many possibilities with all of the unknowns. Besides, the flu can lead to other things and can be very serious or even fatal, especially for people already more compromised.

Thanks again!
7/14/2017 c5 Guest
Without stating the obvious, it's impossible to begin to list what the Cohens don't know about Ryan. It's safe to say that Sandy can make some pretty accurate guesses, see what's documented, and follow that trajectory based on some general facts and Ryan's behavior all along down to subtle indicators like body language and how guarded he is. Following evidence and clues helps to fill in blanks. There's no way to recreate a history that doesn't exist since Ryan's starting from square one with them, so that's learning going forward and paying close attention to learn as much quickly and not making false assumptions or imposing them on him. I'd also say that most kids couldn't give a life's history under cross-examination and Ryan shouldn't be interrogated, not now when he's sick, or in one sitting before. It's not his job to submit to that. It's the responsibility of the guardians to find the best, most sensitive way to do that without too much pressure and unrealistic expectations. With the kinds of traumas Ryan's had, someone untrained and someone who doesn't have a bond and a good, trusting dynamic with him would do more harm than good, alienating him more and maybe even doing real damage to him emotionally by dredging up things he isn't ready to cope with, at least not with a virtual stranger. Sandy can probably have more leeway because of how Ryan values him and their relationship, but there are limits.

If a kid who has been living in a much more stable and secure and healthy home and setting couldn't give a history and a medical history, Ryan surely shouldn't be the one to. Most kids don't have the clearest memories, however intelligent, perceptive and good their recall, before maybe age 4 or 5. Ryan couldn't know much detail or fact about illnesses, injuries, etc. He would have no way of knowing certain things like that and what early care he might have received from necessary shots that are a given for most kids to other unknowns unless he was told. I wouldn't count on the Atwoods being on the ball and having him taken care of unless they didn't have a choice and they were keeping the cops of Social Services or both at bay. It's not like he had a pediatrician in one place to keep records. If he went to clinics and the ER, he would have gone to different ones in different places. If there are any records to access by computer, they might not be linked. His school records for basic health info must be incomplete. Dawn wouldn't care if she weren't drunk or using drugs and wouldn't bother to keep track of anything. Anyone who would hurt Ryan like she did wouldn't care about his health, obviously. She'd want no records to document anything and stay off the radar. No costs, no records, nothing if she could help it. Whatever Sandy received when he petitioned for guardianship and it was granted can't be too much. If Ryan's never been exposed to certain medications, he has no way of knowing if he'd react. If he's never gotten the preventive checks and care, there's no way of knowing what illnesses he could be open to that he should be protected from. Without knowing about specific injuries and past illnesses, there are too many things that could go wrong and are big question marks. That's been something that I keep coming back to.

I like the way Ryan and Sandy interact and the comfort zone despite how Ryan is still confused by having someone want him at all, and want to help him when he's sick instead of staying clear. He wouldn't expect Sandy to kick him while he's down, like has been the norm, but the added interest and attention is hard for him to grasp, although it works that Ryan should trust Sandy and be receptive. It's just sad that he's surprised and so grateful and that he instantly reverts to being ready to be on his own, maybe because Sandy has had enough, not because Sandy couldn't avoid the office as much as he wanted to be with Ryan.

The lack of comfort with Kirsten and from Kirsten with Ryan also works. Their dynamic is different and that will take time and change on Kirsten's part, but it can't be forced, has to be genuine and has to be something she chooses. Just as she made choices right off before even seeing Ryan, she'll have to decide what to do. She can't undo comments, behavior and the cues she's given him. Making gradual, appropriate changes are steps in the right direction. Helping Ryan here is one, but still doesn't erase what came before. Hopefully, she won't press for information about previous times Ryan never saw a doctor and why or what happened when and if he did. The pieces of the puzzle should be fitting together. Sandy and Kirsten will have to make the best decision that puts Ryan and his health first, probably for the first time. If Ryan becomes sicker and even more things become an issue that should be cause for concern, someone has to step up and act. It's not like they don't have the means and that the hospital or doctors in this community aren't top notch. This is part of what Sandy took on no questions asked. The most important thing is that Ryan's taken care of.

Thanks! Keep it coming!
7/13/2017 c5 Guest
Please don't sell yourself short. You bring in the emotional aspects and hint at the physical that seem to be building. Ryan's and Sandy's dynamic isn't featured as centrally in the direct sense, but there's some that is and some that is more in the background for what's to come and in comparison to Kirsten's, which is undeniably far more awkward, not nearly as close and has hurdles to clear, especially this early. I'd like to hope that she's concerned, but she's much more in the dark and doesn't have the kind of relationship with Ryan or comfort zone or proximity that Sandy does because of her own choices and maybe her personality. One person is always going to be naturally closer even without the chain of events.

What's significant is that the Cohens have to be aware of how drastically different Ryan's life has been and that includes any interactions when he needed medical attention. Those would be negative experiences no matter what, but the causes and the next steps would have been minefields too and not about a sense of relief and having things better and being taken care of properly and the way that Kirsten would assume. Sandy should be more realistic and he's more invested in Ryan.

I always thought that there were givens that the show should have had, such as mandatory medical checks for Ryan that should have been part of being placed and certainly that the Cohens should have wanted to make sure Ryan was healthy and to address what might never have been correctly and adequately treated. Just to go to a new school, he should have had to have his history checked and updated. Who even knows if he had minimal care and immunizations? How many injuries were left and not dealt with? Allergies? He was playing a varsity sport. That usually means a check up first if he hadn't had the one before Harbor or just as living with the Cohens. But even before that, the writers dropped the ball when Ryan was attacked by Luke and his crew and left at the burning model home. He should have been pretty badly hurt if that had been done at all realistically. At the very least, he would have been taken to the hospital before juvie or treated in juvie, not that care there would have been much of anything.

For once in his life, Ryan shouldn't be alone to figure things out or have to hide to avoid being a target when he can't defend himself at all. He should also be able to count on the adults in the role of the closest thing to parents. That's the legal responsibility without taking the emotional attachment into account.

Thanks for struggling through. I'll be watching for Ryan's worsening struggle. What gets worse has to lead to gains eventually.
7/13/2017 c5 Tif S
This is a great chapter. I loved seeing Kirsten's perspective. I am of the mind that both Sandy and Kirsten would be equally worried about Ryan in this situation and it's nice to see that reflected here. I hope that they can at get Ryan to see a doctor, or at least get him to open up to them about why he doesn't want to.

Update soon! Well done:)
7/13/2017 c5 Guest
Kids live what and often how they've learned and they learn what they've lived. That's definitely true with Ryan and he's had some intense education from others and on his own. I think you capture and convey that here. His experience is so different from anything Sandy or Kirsten would have had on their own growing up or with Seth, who's been so privileged, sheltered, protected and always put first without hesitation. The one advantage Sandy has besides good instincts and demeanor is that he's at least spent time with kids in passing who have been from very dysfunctional, violent, neglectful and dangerous places. Of course each one is individual and Ryan isn't someone he'll see once or twice, so it's a new level and a new kind of bonding and reaching out and connecting and reading signals. Also, Sandy might not have done everything right and everything he could have for Ryan right away, but he's done more than anyone ever has and done it freely without any negative history, suspicions, uncertainty or displays of mistrust and judgment. That makes him one and only that we know of.

For Ryan, vulnerability and expressing or showing any need and weakness has to be historically equated with being open to being accused and hurt and the spiral that follows. Putting that aside has to be very hard, but if he's beyond the point of being able to have that be his priority if he's in a bad place physically, then trusting and relying become his only option. Once it's down to survival and getting through an hour or a day with some kind of relief, then whatever Sandy or a doctor or whoever can help him who cares or who is skilled enough has to have control.

Thanks for plugging away. Bring it on!
7/13/2017 c5 Guest
I definitely recognize Ryan here. He's very true to character without overdoing it while still keeping him very indebted, appreciative, doubting and uncertain. It's one thing for him to trust Sandy and to be comfortable around him, it's another for a lifetime to keep encroaching. Obviously, he has never mattered, he's been told he was a mistake and any time or effort directed at him in a positive way was wasted because he's been told and shown that he's an unwanted burden. That takes a toll. If one message is repeated and reinforced and unanimous, then it has to be true for a kid who only knows that. If Ryan was sick or hurt, chances are he was hurt because of a family member or one of their crew doing the hurting and meaning to hurt Ryan. If Ryan was sick, he'd either been neglected or things became worse because of neglect. He would have been blamed regardless and made to feel guilty. Any time a doctor was involved would have been extreme. Ryan would have been very uncomfortable, either from pain or the circumstances that caused fear if anyone learned what had happened. That meant more stress, lies from the Atwoods, and Ryan being embarrassed about what was going on, worrying about things getting worse, and also ashamed of it being obvious that no one cared and that any doctor, nurse or professional staff paying attention would notice that Ryan was alone. Most of the medical staff he would have seen had to be overworked and underpaid, so resources and patience would be short. He'd be lucky to have any kind of comfort and then it might be the kind of pity that would be upsetting. Most of the time, he'd have to suffer in silence and hope for the best. Ending up in an ER or clinic would mean hoping for nothing worse after the fact when it was all over.

I can also see where Ryan would be very glad that Sandy did care, but still unsure about anyone truly caring about him at all and that he isn't Sandy's son, whatever he is legally or otherwise. I can see where he'd be really uncomfortable about causing Kirsten to stay home because of her father and also because of her opposition to him for days and weeks when she has clearly kept her distance and sent signals of how awkward she feels. That makes Ryan more uncertain of how angry she still is, or untrusting, or if she wants him around at all. Keeping that same distance and out of sight and mind to not bother her more would be his agenda.

However, if he's at a point of just sleeping and feeling worse with more symptoms, whoever is supposed to be keeping watch needs to at least do the basics with fluids so he doesn't dehydrate and fever reducer at intervals to attempt to bring it down. If it keeps going up and he has other issues too, he does need help. Someone has to let him know that he's not a burden, he's entitled to care, and that medical care from well-qualified professionals who will give quality care and be thorough and kind with no threats from anyone will be different. This is about Ryan having the help he needs, not laying low to avoid being hurt. The Cohens are learning valuable information under duress. If Ryan has something more serious or gets sicker, they'll learn even more about him and his background and what he means to them now already.

Thanks for the update!
7/13/2017 c4 Tif S
Aww man, I knew it wouldn't get better for him, but at least he has Sandy and Kirsten to take care of him. Man Ryan's mom is a piece of work, not getting the kids flu shots. Hope that the Cohens can help him. Really loving this. Well done:)
7/13/2017 c3 Tif S
Aww man, I can't believe that happened to Ryan as a kid. I can't imagine being yelled at like that for being sick. No wonder Ryan didn't want to tell the Cohens anything. Thank god he has a family that wants to take care of him now. Somehow I don't think Ryan will be better in the morning. Well done:) Love it.
7/13/2017 c2 Tif S
Knew it. Ooh Thai food, yeah definitely not good when you're nauseous. Poor Ryan, but at least they all know now and can help him. I hope he'll let them take care of him but I have a feeling Ryan's going to still put up a fight. It is Ryan after all. Well done:)
7/13/2017 c1 Tif S
Finally, got around to starting this. Gosh, poor Ryan. Yeah of course he wouldn't want the Cohens to know, but it's going to be tricky to keep it from them, and frankly I expect Seth to slip up. Not that he will, but you know it's going to get worse before it gets better for Ryan at any rate. On to read chapter 2. :) Well done.
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