Friday, March 28, 2008

My kid may be what!?!

Yesterday was Josie's second autism evaluation appointment to see if she has made any progress with the things we have attempted to do. While she has fewer "bad" days, her bad days are worse and she's been asked to leave school for the rest of the day for biting. There have been quite a few days where Daddy and I are at our wit's end. We have tried music therapy, dance therapy, schedules, counseling, cooking, monitoring her sugar intake, watching for food triggers, being extra firm but allowing more time, and the list goes on. She even only wears certain colors like pinks and yellows because for some reason blues, browns, and black or sometimes even green lead to "bad" days. We have found that asking her "what colour is your sky?" gives us an indication of what kind of day we can attempt to encourage or avoid.


we've reached our limit. Nothing new, old, or in-between is working for her anymore. We have improved what seems as far as we could without medicinal intervention. Our counselors say so, the teacher believe it, and the specialist we drive 400+ miles each way to see agrees. Daddy couldn't go with us yesterday, so Josie and I were alone to hear the diagnosis and I had to make a decision.

Josie has autism - Asperger's syndrome and she is very intelligent, this is what we were working with. She has some sensory loss and needs occupational therapy for balance and fine motor skills especially on her left side. With the combination of her biological mother's mental health history and her maternal grandmother's plus the extreme peaks and valleys Josie is displaying - her doctor believes they may be precursors to her being bi-polar.
What!?! (Deep breath) Okay, we can handle this (repeat as a mantra). Then the doctor went over some medications for getting her to focus, getting around her rigidity, and the peaks and valleys. She asked me which barrier I felt she needed to most overcome with the use of medication. (Oh, dear God, I'm considering medicating my kid. But I can't help her alone anymore, she needs something) I believe she needs to focus if she is going to do as well in school as we know she is capable of doing. Crying, I agree to try the ADHD medication, explaining that I feel like the worst parent in the world because I couldn't fix the world for her. Peter and I had agreed that medication would be our last resort, and here I was making this decision without him. But he did agree with my decision when I got home, it really is wonderful to have someone support your decisions about "their" child, makes me feel like I am the mom here.
So, we're going to try the medication over Spring Break, I'm taking the week off to see how she does and because it would cost more than I make to put the kids in camp for the week. A friend of ours suggested (and we had heard at the support group) that using the medication and fish oil seems to work wonders. I'll be researching more about this. In the meantime, I'm praying that this works because she really is a wonderful little girl and I want her to enjoy the world.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Water, water, everywhere

I, know, again with the blue posts, but this one is because of water. Let's clarify, Water Problems.
I took a lovely one credit class this weekend called Project Wild, if you get the chance, take it and have fun. On Saturday, I woke at my usual get-ready-for-work time and turned on the shower. My shower take a little while to get warm so I have it two minutes while I sipped on some coffee. Since that was enough time, I stripped off my PJs (which were actually the shirt I wore the day before and my undies) and swung a leg over the tub side and into.....
I screamed and hopped out of the bathroom naked to tell Daddy that I think the pilot light on the water heater was out. Then I thanked God that I had a shower the day before and my hair wasn't oily because the pilot light wasn't out, the water heater cracked and water was pouring out. Our landlady had it replaced in time for evening baths/showers.
Then on Sunday, Daddy took the girls to dance practice and when he started to get them out of the van, he noticed a steam kind of sound coming from the engine. Turns out our water pump had just gone out. Daddy limped the van home and took his car to pick up the girls and a new water pump. He spent the rest of the evening taking off the old water pump, then the next day scrapping off the gasket and putting on the new water pump. One gallon of antifreeze/water went in, everything was fine. The second gallon and it all started leaking out. So my dad said to bring the van to his house (5 minutes away) and they could work on it together. Never have I seen my dad take to anyone I've brought home as he has to Daddy. And to think, it only took 2 1/2 years to get here.
Daddy has a theory about fixing cars. It's not fixed unless you bleed. Well, Daddy got quite a few scratches and gashes from trying to fix the van. I told him, "Now it looks like your theory doesn't hold....

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Double D's or Difficult Decisions

Let me begin by saying I'm not one for admiting defeat, ever. Just ask Daddy. He says I drive him nuts because I just won't give up on something and will wiggle things around so that I still come out on top.
But this week was different.
And I'm a little blue about it, hence the blue color to my blog.

It looks like this move to Roswell is going to happen. Which means in a couple of weeks, I'll be without Daddy for most of the week. Really, I was OK with that. I've made arrangements for friends to pick up kids on those days when I'm in Chemistry class/lab. I made arrangements for Miss Becky to pick me up and drive me to/from my procedure on April Fool's day.
But then.....
I got my grade back from my first Chemisty exam. Talked with the professor about needing to take the April 1st exam early and turning in the labs I missed. So still, I thought, no problem there.
But then.....
I was at work, caught up on everything I had to do there and finishing typing up my labs during lunch. I got a call from the kid's school,
"Miss B? This is the secretary at ? school. I have Josie in the office and she needs to go home. There was an incident (just that word alone fills me with dread) with the parent volunteer, Josie pulled her hair and bit her. She's spoken with Mrs. Principal, and because of our rules, she is being dismissed from school for the remainder of the day."
With the parent volunteer.... that is so much worse than if she bit a teacher because a teacher would keep things quiet, never mention it again. But a parent volunteer will be the one who points me out at the next PTA meeting as the mom whose child bites! Perhaps moving now is the best choice just to avoid the stares.
I picked up Josie and got the whole story, upset in the morning, something got to her about lunch and she dropped her tray, something got to her again on the playground and she was screaming (enter the parent volunteer to calm her down) and the biting ensued. Took her to my office and, since I knew Daddy couldn't get her and I still had class to get to, called my mom to beg her to take Josie. My dad could get her at 1:30 (an hour and a half) and take her to mom so that I could go to class. It was after my dad (with a smug attitude, he doesn't think I can handle all my kids since I'm not my mom) picked up Josie that I realized that I forgot to cancel the counseling appointment for Lena and BB.
Various thought that entered my brain at that moment: Josie is finally showing us what she thinks about moving, I am just not going to do very well this semester (after having looked at the Physics exam), how the heck am I going to be there for the kids if I can't get them because I'm in class, what about all my medical exams, I can't do this, like this, once Daddy leaves for Roswell, since we're moving to Roswell and I have to change schools, and I don't need this Chemistry or Physics class for the degree from that school, why the heck am I going to kill my GPA (and myself) by struggling through classes I don't need.
So, I decided to withdraw from Chemistry and Physics. Since I have to be full-time for my financial aid, I found three Microsoft classes (which I use everyday at work) to take for easy A's and they are all online, I'll be home for the kids. What a wonderful idea.
But.... I felt like I was giving up. Throwing in the towel, something I just don't do.
It put me in a horrible mood. I know it's the right decision, but I've never backed down from anything.
Luckily, I had my Project Wild class this weekend, a one weekend, one credit class where attendance and participation are the only things that affect your grades. I spent the weekend running around like a deer or rabbit, drawing a to-scale 55 foot whale, and hiding in the brush from a predator. I felt like a kid again, lost my worries for awhile, and though I'm sore today, I had fun.
I'm thinking that moving won't be so bad, change can be fun, I'm going treat it that way.
Tough decisions made, looking on the bright side... a possible 4.0 this semester.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Ouch and oh my!

Several things occured this week that were unplanned for. Per the request of my doctor, who talked to my mother, who nagged me and got Daddy to nag me, and also some nagging from several of my friends... I finally made some doctor's appointments to get my tests done. First one up was the IVP, where it received an iodine solution intraveineously. 90 % of people who are allergic to the iodine solution react immediately. Apparently, I'm one of that weirdo 10% that doesn't react until later. I was changing back into my street clothes when I noticed that I was turning red and blotchy. Thinking it wasn't really anything to worry about, I put my clothes on and then asked the tech if that was normal. I guess it wasn't since she went to get the other tech and the doctor. I got hives, swollen hands, itchy lips and light headed. They gave me another IV and injected me with Benadryl and steroids to stop the allergic reaction. I was then put on a strecher, sent to recovery and then to OCU until I was finally released 6 hours after my appointment started. During that time, Daddy came to get me but had to go back to work when the doctor decided to keep me longer for observation. So he called my mom who came to see me, then went to get the kiddos from school, and then came back to pick me up. When they removed my second IV, I didn't exactly clot like I was supposed to and soaked the gauze, gotta remember to tell my doctor. Then mom took me home and drove Daddy to get our van. Since I had that allergic reaction, and the B-boy is over two, I decided we might as well complete weaning. I was in so much pain for the next two days! On night three, I secretly allowed B-boy a midnight snack so as to relieve both of us and because I hadn't really expected our last time to be the last time. I enjoyed the relief and stroked his hair and whispered how much I loved him and how I was going to miss his babyhood. So I got the last time I wanted, and our baby has officially graduated to little boy. He has been completely weaned for three days and I'm not in any pain. So I was able to start my new medication from the gastrointerologist last night (can't breastfeed on it) and this being day one, it seems to be working great. April Fool's day is my next procedure, not really looking forward to it. But each test brings us one more step closer to finding an answer to what's wrong with me. I've been waiting almost a year for an answer, perhaps I'll get one soon.
On another note, I got to order my graduation announcements last night. I'm really starting to look forward to "walking the line." Didn't think I'd be this excited about it.