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Basic Toiletries For Your Emergency Kit.

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1. Feminine Hygiene Products. Include enough for a few months.  These products can be used for so many different things other than what their original purpose is.

2. Teeth Care. Be basic. Toothpaste and floss.

3. Brush. These can be small and compact.

4. Soap. A multipurpose and anti-bacterial bar would be great.

5. Shampoo. In a pinch you really don’t need conditioner. Keep clutter down.

6. Sunscreen. Depending on your clothing and hats, you may need sunscreen. A burn is a horrible thing to have when everything is normal.  During an evacuation? Yikes.

7. Chapstick. I would also say Vaseline.  Both will keep lips soft, and Vaseline can be used on the skin.

8. Bug Spray. There is no where in the world that doesn’t have bugs except for the poles.  I don’t think many of us are going to hang out there.  Bug Spray could be the single most important item besides toilet paper.

9. Toilet Paper. No explanation needed.  Remember to remove the cardboard tube.  That way is packs flat.

10. Nail Clippers.

11. Wipes. I say use baby wipes.  Everyone can use them for personal cleanliness.

12. Medication. How many people forget their meds on a trip? During a natural disaster it can be even worse.  What if you can’t reach your doctor?  How can you get them refilled?  Also, over the counter products like Advil or Imodium may be lifesavers.  When the power is out, you can’t go to the Pharmacy.

13. Glasses.

 

What would you put in as a must have for a basic toiletries kit? Have you had any experiences in travel or evacuation where you wished you had something?  Let us know in the comments!

Family

5 Manners 4 Kids

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It’s time to revisit manners for kids again! Here is April’s list of manners to know.

1. How to lose graciously. This idea for manners has really taken a beating lately hasn’t it? Winning has become everything. The only thing. I get it.  We all want to be winners.  It feels so good to win. To win with grace?  That takes it to a whole different level. It’s okay to be proud, happy just not boastful and mean to others.

2. Interrupting. My son still does this.  To be honest, I do it too.  It’s always tough when you are chomping at the bit to tell somebody something.  The art of conversation is a lost art. Keep fighting the good fight by giving great examples to your child.  Include them in the conversation with adults.  It will take time, but it will be worth it later.

3. How to Introduce Someone. It sounds easy, but for children it can be scary.  A basic lesson on introductions can be in order.  Something along the lines of “Bob, this is Mary, Mary this is my friend Bob” can go a long way.

4. Burping. What kid doesn’t like a good burp? Instead of encouraging the burping contest, how do you teach them to act when it accidentally happens?  First, handle it like an adult.  Don’t laugh, but don’t get upset.  Ask them to say excuse me loud enough so the whole table can hear.  Later down the line, you can teach them not to do it out loud by closing their mouth.

5. How to leave a message. In the era of the text and the email, the idea of leaving a message seems outdated.  We still need to leave messages don’t we?  I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to listen to a message someone from a company or office has left me.  There are only a few things that need to be included in a great phone message.  One is your full name.  You may think you friend only knows one Monica but you would be surprised.  Second is your return phone number.  Don’t assume someone has it.  It may not be handy.  Third is what you message is about.  Keep it short and sweet ,”Hi. It’s Jane Smith, my number is 555-5555, I’m calling about our meeting time tomorrow.  I want to confirm it’s at 2 p.m.. Please call to confirm this.”  Fourth is already shown in the previous quote.  It’s an action.  What do you want the person to do?  Should they call you back? Wait for you to call again?  Watch for a letter?  Let them know. Finally, short goodbye or thank you lets the person know your message is over.

In addition to the message, you always want to make sure that you speak in a clear and even tempo.  Trying to go fast will only frustrate the listener and maybe not result in the action you were hoping for.  If they can’t understand you, they can’t act upon your message.

Family · Self

The Last Part… To Be Continued Pt. 3

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When my phone rang on a very windy, snowy weekday I expected to hear my son on the other end crying or begging me to come.  It wasn’t.  It was one of the therapists telling me they were going to discharge my son from the program. What?  It was only five days! We removed him from another program track to get him into this one. I have no place to put him.  So my husband drove the hour to go pick him up in a winter snow storm.  Two hours later my son was home.

They told us he did not have an eating disorder.  We couldn’t believe it. All the previous therapists told us how sick he was.  This facility said that although his BMI is less than 15, his weight is in the 50th percentile.  So he doesn’t qualify for weight restoration.  In addition, they said they were doing more harm to him than good.  His anxiety and depression ramped up lot.  He was still talking about suicide. They felt he would only be more damaged if they continued.  So he is now home, not in school.  I have been rushing to try and find a new place for him.  He really hasn’t had enough therapy to make much of an impact. I feel like we wasted more than a month for nothing.  It didn’t help him one bit.  So frustrating!

I immediately got him on the wait list for the last PHP (Partial Hospitalization Program) he was in.  There are over 20+ children a head of him.  He may not get in till summer.  In the meantime, he is not in school.  So I have him seeing his regular therapist twice a week and his psychiatrist every month.  We are also once again changing his medication.  As of tomorrow,  he will be on his third med so far.  I hope this one works. We are a bit desperate for something to work.

I have also contacted his school district about enrolling him in his school. We are trying to get him home bound instruction now.  It’s where a tutor will come to the house to help him catch up. He is behind since January.  I hope we can get him caught up.  Fortunately, he is very intelligent.  The classes that matter are Math, English, and Science.  So those we will be working on.  Getting home bound, they told me takes time.  I just want to pull my hair out.

I will be meeting with some teachers and advisors from his school to discuss his IEP on Tuesday.  I will have to see where we are then. I also need to get tutors for the summer.  I also need to make sure our therapy is the best it can be. So much to do with no clear direction to relief.

 

Family

To Be Continued, Part 2

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When we drove our son up to the inpatient hospital he was okay.  I don’t think he could comprehend what was about to happen. Upon arrival, they informed us that they were running behind schedule.  This would turn out to be a huge problem.  Our son would get so overwhelmed that he would have major meltdowns.  We were there for over 5 hours.  During that time, my son cried, dry heaved, screamed, grabbed me and begged me not to leave him. He kept crying saying “Mom, don’t leave me, I can’t do this without you. I need you.”  It killed me.  It was so painful.  I felt absolutely horrible.  I just didn’t know what to do.  I pride myself on always knowing what to do.

I went to visit my son everyday.  My heart went out to the other children on the ward.  I would go days without seeing another visitor name in the sign in logs for the children.  I realize other families have responsibilities and children.  I just thought I would see more visitors.  Every time I went, “E” would beg me to take him home.  He had great difficulty participating in the groups they did.  Each day before I came “E” would call me crying asking me when I was coming up.

Finally after ten days he was released.  From what I understand people are released when their insurance runs out.  We questioned them, (the doctors) about this once they told us that insurance was not going to pay.  They assured us he was fine. I didn’t quite believe them. However, I saw no indication my son was improving, so we decided to take him home.

The doctors advised us that “E” has an eating disorder. I have for years tried to get my son to alter his eating habits.  He doesn’t eat fruits or veggies.  He has sensory processing disorder. Food and dress are his biggest areas of problems.  If you try to force him to eat he will vomit or gag the food.  He will also just not eat at all. If his food has spices he cannot eat them, the spices must be taken off. His food cannot touch, he needs separate plates and utensils.  I had tried for years to get his food issues fixed to no avail.  So when they said he had an eating disorder I thought, ” finally”! They then sprung on us a new inpatient program.

They said that he would have to go to a three week in patient eating disorder clinic.  I resisted a bit saying I thought it would be outpatient.  My son is only 11, how is he going to handle three weeks?  The doctors told me he was very sick.  They said his BMI had him ranked as malnourished.  I guess anything under 15 qualifies for that. So within a few days I drove him to the new facility.

The intake was so long, my son cried and screamed and begged not to stay.  While this was a much nicer place than the lock down facility, it still wasn’t home. In addition, all the kids there were so much older than my son.  He’s 11.  The next youngest was 14.  His roommate was 17.  It was another day of mental, physical, and emotional exhaustion. While leaving him at this facility was slightly better than the lock down facility it is a lot for a young child to deal with.

Unfortunately, the next day I came down with an illness and could not go to visit him.  He would call me daily in tears and crying begging me to come visit him.  I really wanted to.  The illness I had would be detrimental to kids in an eating disorder clinic.  I couldn’t risk passing this along to others. Then six days later I get a phone call…..

 

Family · Self

What’s going on.

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Hello Everyone,

I am sure you are wondering if I gave up on my blog.  No I haven’t but outside circumstances have put a temporary halt to things.  Let’s see, as many of you know our home remodeling from hell has finally ended.  The last day of construction was in December.

Also in December I had a breast cancer scare.  I had a routine mammogram in early December.  The results came back with some specious lumps.  Since I get breast cancer from both sides of my family I pay attention to my health in this area.  So I went in for an ultrasound right before Christmas.  Once lump came back as a cyst, the other lump was undetermined.  So I would next have to go in for a die contrast MRI. The day before Christmas Eve I went in.  The results would not be back till after Christmas.

It made for a rough holiday season.  Luckily, the second spot was another cyst and I was given the all clear.  Whew!

The biggest source of stress has been my son “E”.  Normally, he is the most kind, gentle, bright, shy and happy child.  During this past summer this started to change a bit. We figured that he was going into junior high school (so getting older, teen angst) and with all the home construction stress, he was just moody.  When school started, he was under a lot of stress. Normal right?  In many ways he was also better.  He seemed to be more responsible and his ADHD was better managed.  His grades were high too.  While a lot of his friends didn’t go to that school, there were a few that did. So he wasn’t completely alone.

As the year progressed we noticed him becoming more and more anxious. He started to get ill and began to miss school.  He was getting difficult to wake up.  He was starting to cry, shake, and have meltdowns.  It was like someone flipped a switch on his personality.  He has his first panic attack in the Fall. I knew right away what it was.

I took my son into his pediatrician to get him started immediately on medication. He also started seeing his therapist more often.  I was able to get him some accommodations at school for his anxiety too. Unfortunately, he started to self harm.  As the desire for self harm began to increase we removed him from school and enrolled him in a PHP.  PHP stands for partial hospitalization program.

“E” would attend the PHP from about 9-4 Monday-Friday.  Then he would come home on nights and weekends.  At PHP he would receive therapy, medical treatment, and schooling to help him overcome his anxiety and depression. He attended for several weeks when we received a phone call from the staff psychologist saying “E” was very suicidal. The decision was made on advice of the staff to place my son in a 24 hour lock down facility for adolescents.  It was the hardest decision I’ve had to make.  I knew it needed to be done. However, now I look back and question it a bit more.

To be continued…

 

Self

Updating my update…

Dear Readers,

I have not forsaken you!  Unfortunately, a family medical emergency has turned into an emergency hospitalization.  I go to the hospital everyday, which is an hour away or more from our home.  When not there I fall into bed exhausted.  I am hoping to at least do a short blog post soon.  Keep the faith.

Christine