Family · Self

Update. What’s Going on Part II

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I’m back with Part II of the update.  In the last update I told you about finding a special school for my son to attend.  We are still trying to finalize his attendance. Since the school is so small there isn’t a lot of hard core directions or go to persons.

I have yet to remove him from our public school system.  I’m waiting until the first week of class before I do that.  Just in case there is something catastrophic at the new school. I hope things go well.  Right now I have to keep focusing on getting “E” to attend class.  My mind keeps jumping ahead and thinking “Is he going to lose friends? Is he going to make friends? Will the school get accreditation? How will we pay for this?  How can we afford college?  Can we retire?” That’s just a sample.  There is so much more going through my mind.

We were going to send “E” to a week long computer class the school was offering.  It was unfortunately cancelled due to low enrollment.  They had another class the following week.  He couldn’t attend that as he was taking a coding class.  He really wanted to take the coding class.  Since he is not panicked to attend coding we want to encourage that.  I don’t want him to get too agoraphobic. I see hints of it. I also see hints of OCD but it hasn’t gotten to a full blown issue so I am just leaving it.

The funny thing is I planned my schedule around that class. I had cancelled over 9 different appointments to accommodate that class.  Story of my life that.

At home we are still having some trouble with him. Some of it is what he has been diagnosed with, some of it is being a teen, and some is brat or only child syndrome.  I don’t know how to handle it sometimes.  I think because he was so easy as an elementary school aged child he’s making up for it with gusto.

We recently had several appointments with a local psychiatric center that is known for diagnosis and classes to help people with mental limitations or illnesses.  Over the course of two meetings I handed in a two inch thick pile of paperwork on E. We initially went to see if he would qualify for one of their groups.  Mainly to help his severe shyness.

They agreed that he would benefit from several services.  The first thing is family counseling, then they recommended a diad. A diad is two kids and two therapists.  It’s kind of like group therapy but with one other person.  It’s sort of the next step from individual therapy to diad then on to group at one point. They also recommended case management.

They had offered the family therapy right away. However, the time they had would interfere with Erik’s school.  I told them I wanted to be put on the wait list for two different locations near us.  We need to get acclimated to his new school and schedule. Taking him out early would not work for him.  Granted we will be doing this in the future, but I will wait till September before I start it. It would be too much going on for us.  Just like I am putting off E’s eating therapy too. The anxiety, depression and school has to take precedence.

Since “E” couldn’t attend that class we went to the new school last week to meet two of the teachers.  We spent about an hour there.  “E” didn’t want to talk much.  He spent most of the time on his ipad.  It’s his way of coping.  Hopefully, everything will go well. I want to have him develop other coping skills.  Maybe he will get some from the other students.

During this time I also visited a geneticist.  Mainly because breast cancer runs in both sides of my family, and last year’s breast cancer scare. I had just one meeting and she said my risk isn’t any different from the general population.  I wasn’t worried but everyone else in my family makes it a big deal.  Now I can get people off my back.  For me, we all are going to get something.  In fact, we will all get multiple things health wise.  I’m not going to be paranoid.  I just want to take care of myself.

Speaking of which, I have gained weight.  I am so disappointed in myself.  I have to recommit to losing weight.  To losing a significant amount of weight and getting healthy.  Damn, I wish junk food wasn’t so good.  I also want to be more healthy since all this stress has come up.  My body isn’t able to cope.  I have increased panic attacks, nausea and gastrointestinal issues.  I’m exhausted all the time. So much so I can sometimes stay in bed all day. Then the migraines and chronic pain are rearing their heads.  Self care needs to take a more important role too.  I need to get back to regular chiropractor and massage therapist appointments.

This concludes my “update.”  Thanks for letting me rant.  Sometimes you just have to get it off your chest.

 

Self

Update, what’s going on. Part 1.

Placeholder ImageIt’s been a long time since I last updated you on what is going on in my life. It’s still rough. E finished his seventh grade year in public school. He could not get past only 15 minutes in a single math class. He has gone from the advanced group to the below average one. This is a kid who is extremely smart. Who had A’s and B’s before and now barely gets C’s. Since he’s not in class he doesn’t learn everything he needs to. So we’ve been paying for a tutor twice a week. It’s financially painful.

As school ended we met with his teacher and case manager to plan for the upcoming year. We made a list of things we wanted to improve for next year. I only hoped we could get it together by the end of 8th grade. If not, we were going to have problems. I was not only concerned about his anxiety but also his education and social development.

We were at this point taking him to an eating disorder clinic for ARFID twice a week. After several months of going the clinic told us that we didn’t need to come back. They didn’t feel Erik’s problems were the result of ARFID (Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) but more of a sensory issue. So we will have to try Occupational Therapy and Food Therapy in the future. I have a lead on some places to take him. I am going to hold off until we get his anxiety under control. It’s just too much. The anxiety and depression come first. They overwhelm everything.

In the summer E’s therapist has decided to not do talk therapy anymore and concentrate on his extreme social anxiety. They are going to do exposure therapy. She thinks if he can get a handle on his social anxiety his overall anxiety and depression will get better.  I am glad she is willing to try something new. This doing “challenges” is what helped me to get over anxiety myself.  Knowing that, my husband and I have kept him going places to prevent him from being agoraphobic.

His Psychiatrist says he doesn’t know what else to do for meds.  He’s basically on it and at the max dose for a child.  I still think it should be increased, but I don’t own the prescription pad.  He sees his therapist weekly and his psychiatrist every two months.

We have been having E tutored twice a week during the summer.  We found a tutor through Wyzant app and website.  (No ad, that is just what I did.)  I didn’t have the faintest clue how to find a tutor and this site is really helpful.  He is tutored in Math and some English.  Sometimes he had a good tutoring session other times its a disaster based on  his anxiety. It’s hard for us as it’s a cost that we haven’t anticipated.  I am also tutoring him in History and Life Science.  I was hoping to be done by the end of summer but it may have to go into the new school year starting in September.

This summer we have also been looking for alternative schooling for E instead of the public schools.  The public schools here are very good.  Academically, we have no complaints.  In dealing with them for my son’s illness and disabilities, there is a lot to be desired.   Granted he is one kid among thousands in the district but this is what we pay our taxes for right? We figured that we would give him one more year to turn it around.  He will be in 8th grade this year.

However, after the tour of one of the schools I felt really good about it.  They have a lot of kids with severe anxiety attending.  It was nice to not have to explain E’s situation every time.  Someone “gets” it.  We decided that he would benefit from attending immediately.  Luckily there was a spot left for him.  So we didn’t have to wait.  We have been filling out paperwork and submitting lots of stuff.  Finally, we found out that E was excepted to the new school.  I know he will be nervous, but hopefully this is the thing we need.

The school never has anymore than 32 students.  Depending on the year the total number fluctuates between 25 to 32. Each grade has 2-4 students. I know it will be rough.  I hope this helps and he makes friends. The options that are left are not that great.  If they are really options at all.

I will continue updating you on what else is going on in Part II.

 

 

 

Self

5 Quick Self Care Ideas for Better Health

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I’m still trying to combat stress at home.  Sometimes I forget to do something for myself.  I often think “Oh I’ll do that tomorrow.”  Then when tomorrow comes you put it off just one more day. You get the point.  So I am once again trying to get myself to do a little nurturing for myself.

Here are five things I am going to do this month for myself.  It’s a little starting point to dive deep into some new ideas and care of the self.  Do you have any quick self care tips you would like to share?  Let us know in the comments.  While you think on it, here are my five for this month:

  1. Do five minutes of stillness.  I know people who meditate rave about meditation.  I however, find it very difficult and a waste of time which irritates me more.  So I have decided to try just five minutes of stillness.  I wont be listening to music or television.  I won’t be sleeping or moving about.  Just still.  Fingers crossed I get this one accomplished!
  2. Get some sun.  I’m a natural redhead.  I also have a ton of allergies.  I try to limit my exposure to the great outdoors.  Even with all my sensitivities we all need some sun. I could try to get mine with the five minutes of stillness or perhaps reading a book or eating.
  3. Do a deep conditioning treatment on my hair.  Use a buildup remover and then a deep conditioner packet and let it sit.  Time to make the hair healthy and shiny.
  4. Send a quick email to a friend.  We are all so busy and have so many different schedules to follow, personal interactions sometimes falls by the wayside.  Drop a quick line to someone you haven’t spoken to lately.  Keep those lines of communication open.
  5. Chose one new type or new piece of music to listen to.  If you like rap try classical, into country try trance.  You never know what you might enjoy if you try!

Those are five for this month.  Which ones are you going to try?  Remember to let me know below.

Self

Update

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It’s been awhile since I have updated everyone on my life.  Honestly, it still feels out of control.  It’s like I almost don’t have my footing.

As I wrote before, I have just gotten over a severe case of pneumonia over two months ago.  It was horrible.  I still don’t feel as if I have recovered from it.  In the past two months I have gotten a lot of stomach bugs and one regular cold.  Ah Winter, the season that keeps on giving. I just haven’t felt right since. I was pretty rundown before the pneumonia.  However,  this feels different.  I think since I am still under a lot of stress my body just can’t take it.

I have had to miss so many appointments and cancel out on people in the last few months. I really hate doing that.  Appointments are so hard to come by. I tried to avoid  same day cancellations.  I try to at least get the provider their tip so they don’t lose out on money.  Fortunately, I only had one or two that I had to do that way.

I am trying very hard to get back to feeling better.  More water, eating better and trying to get out of the house.  I have also spent more time doing self care.  Going to bed early, getting a massage and other things. I still have a long way to go.

My son is still at the same point as he was at the last update.  He can only manage about 15 minutes in one normal class.  I have no idea what to do next. His therapist and I are challenging him to do one extra minute a day. So far he hasn’t done it. If he can do one extra minute a day, he will be up to an hour at the end of the year.

In addition to his mental health therapy I have started to take him to an eating disorder clinic.  It was the same one he went through last year. So I returned with him on an outpatient basis.  He goes to a dietician at night and family therapy in the afternoon. So far I’ve gotten him to eat a banana but not much else new.  Apple no, Tater Tots no, and other things?? At least he is crazy about Ramen.  He eats about 4 bowls a day.  The only problem is he eats noodles.  What I need help with is fruits and veggies of which he eats none.  I’m not 100% certain of the diagnosis of ARFID, as an eating disorder.  The also want me to start seeing and OT again.  They are going to try and get referrals for me for my son.  Another provider to visit?  I don’t know.  He saw an OT for over a year a few years ago. It didn’t do any good.  Would a different OT do anything?

He’s seeing a tutor twice a week on the weekends.  He isn’t in math class long enough to understand the teaching.  However, everything he turns in is late because we have to wait for the tutor. I have purchased a Life Science and History textbook to help him understand what he missed in the school year this summer.

I see my son getting left behind. I don’t know what to do.  He gets upset and goes through crying spells and anger at this anxiety. I don’t know what else to do.

I have gotten to go somewhere for fun twice in the last six months.  I went to a flower show which was cute.  Then I also saw a decorator home open for charity.  I think I need to get out more!

 

Self

5 Self Care Goals for April

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It’s been a crazy  year so far for me.  Illness and family issues have had me busy for a very long time. I have had a hard time taking care of everyone else much less myself.  I need to start taking better care of myself.  Of course, I’ve been trying to take better care of myself all the time.  I need to make some major changes but how will that happen?  Stay tuned.  Meanwhile, here are five things I am going to try this month.

  1. Take a walk.  Between family obligations, illness and weather I didn’t do any type of workout.  My dog is feeling this pain more acutely than I am. I need to get back to this.
  2. Stretch.  It’s a quiet and simple way to get moving and make yourself feel better.
  3. Read something silly or fun.  While gossip isn’t considered nice, we all need a little celebrity gossip from time to time. It’s fun to see and imagine how the other half lives.
  4. Light a candle.  I always did this when I came home from work.   It was a great way to signal it was time to relax.
  5. Make a bucket list.  Don’t put on things you think you should have on your list. Say read the 100 greatest books of all time unless you really want to.  Put your items in order.  Then write what you need to do to do the first three.

I hope this little post reminds you to take a few minutes each day to refresh and renew.  Be a little kinder and little more gentle with yourself.  Until next month.

Self

How Do You Find Your Purpose?

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I admit this question has always stumped me.   What is purpose anyway? According to Merriam-Webster’s dictionary  purpose is to have something set up to be a goal or objective or an end to be obtained.  To me, when I have heard this topic discussed on television or radio is almost seems like a calling.  Something deep within the soul to be unmasked.

I have contemplated this idea a lot for the last several years. In my teens and twenties I had a mission, a very fixed idea of who I was, what I wanted and who I wanted to be.  I kept my head down and worked very hard.  I almost worked myself to death as only a young twenty something can do.  Then, life happened, and it was definitely not part of my plan. Recession and illness reared their ugly little heads.  I really got run down and was on the bottom of the barrel.  I decided that I just needed to rest and then get going again.  Little did I know it was not that easy.

I had issues, just like everyone else, getting back on my feet.  What I did do was get married, kept working and finally got pregnant and had a child.  Often while having many health problems.  In fact, today, I still have numerous health issues and so does my child.

So here I am at my mid-forties and I am looking at “retirement.” What to do? You read all these articles in the news about people in their “twilight” who reinvented themselves. Someone is sailing around the world, feeding the building schools in a typhoon ravaged nation, starting their own winery and more.  What If I don’t know what I want to do? I looked into getting more education, but it cost too much. Moving? Have to consult my husband.  So much I don’t know what I want or what path to even take.  The best advice I’ve had so far is to try everything if it interests you in the slightest.  I am still trying to figure this out.  Do you know what your purpose is?  Let me know about it.

Self

New Year, New You?

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A New Year usually means giving ourselves new goals for the year.  In 2019, I am trying to give myself a bit of a break.  I’m still doing resolutions, but more kinder and gentler ones. I want to continue to work on making my health better.  It’s an ongoing struggle.  I have been eating a lot better.  I tried two meal delivery services.  We tried Hello Fresh and Factor 75.  I love Hello Fresh.  My family gets the classic menu for two people, two meals a week. I have loved the vast majority of their meals.  They have been really tasty and fresh.  I look forward to having them.  Definitely better than the same old, same old meals. I’m really tired of spaghetti, if you know what I mean.

Factor 75 is another food subscription service. This one I got just for myself.  I wanted to eat healthier lunches and one have individual portions.  Factor 75, the company, got the best reviews online for a more veggie based menu.  They cook the food in advance and you reheat it.  I honestly didn’t care for the taste of it.  So I cancelled it.

I really need to lose weight.  Since I have gone on medication for my chronic migraines and pain I have gone up four dress sizes. I’m thrilled to be able to live again without pain, but I hate looking at myself.  I hate going to the doctor and getting a lecture on my weight.  What?  I’m obese?  How could I have missed it? (I so wish there was a sarcasm font)  I want to start exercising again.  I’m pretty weak, especially after my month long bout of pneumonia. So it will be slow and steady. The subzero freeze isn’t helping either. It got down to -53 wind chill.

I would like to improve my marriage.  We have been spending all of our time on the remodel from hell and our son’s troubles that we have not been working on us for awhile.

The fourth thing I want to pay attention to is painting again.  It has been so long since I have done it.  I really want to get back into it.

The next thing on my mind is to do more reading.  I used to love it. I’ve got a huge stack of books to finish. Plus, I have a wish list of other book titles I want to look at.  So many pages so little time.

Last, I need to finish my to do list that I’ve had for over a year.  It’s over 30 things that do not need attention right away.  The do need to get done.  Since there is no rush they often get put on the back burner.  Do you have one of those “to do” lists? Things on mine include get curtains for the guest room, work on family history, finish beading a bracelet, clean out the laundry room etc. I’m all over the board.

What are some of your resolutions this year?