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

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

5 Quick Self Care Ideas

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Self Care is the latest trend in the blog world. There are whole blogs devoted to the concept.  If you are like me you need some serious self-care but don’t always know what to do. Each month I will give you some different ideas for relaxing and recharging.  Sometimes we need some gentle reminders to take care of ourselves.

  1. Read a chapter out of that book on your nightstand. You know the one you have been meaning to read but haven’t gotten around to doing.
  2. Take a quick 10 minutes to declutter a spot in your home. Pick something you see everyday to clear like your coat closet or medicine cabinet.
  3. Turn the phone off. Easy right?  It’s harder than you think. We use our phones for everything today. Even an hour of no phone use can help you unwind.
  4. Talk a quick walk around the block.  You don’t have to break a sweat, just get away from it all for a short time.
  5. Take a bath.  I personally love a long, hot bath. You can pick a favorite bath bomb or bubble bath, light a candle, and put on some relaxing music to enjoy.

What do you like to do for self care?  Let me know!

Self · Uncategorized

Some Things to Know About Migraines

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Migraines are a chronic condition that can last for years or for a lifetime.  Triggers can include: hormones, foods, drinks, stress and exercise. Other causes include environmental factors such as weather and a genetic predisposition.  Symptoms include throbbing in one area that can vary in intensity, nausea and sensitivity to light, sound and smell. Migraines are common in families and women.

Over 15% of the world’s population suffers from migraines.  The earliest mention of migraines in writing is in the Ebers papyrus in 1500 BCE.

There are four phases of migraines. Phase 1, called Prodromephase.  It is marked by mood changes, irritability, depression, fatigue, cravings, stiff muscles, constipation and/or diarrhea, and sensitivity to light and smell.

Phase 2 is called the Aura. It is where you can experience vision disturbance, pins and needles feelings, numbness, speech and language issues, the world spins, and weakness.

Phase 3 is the Pain Phase. It can last as long as 4-72 hours of pain for adults. You can have several migraines in a lifetime or several in a single week. Neck pain is common. Also during this time you can experience nausea (90% of suffers), vomiting (a third of people), sensitivity to a variety of things, irritability, fatigue, sweating, confusion, light head, and the world can spin.

Phase 4 is called Postdrome. The final phase, often in conjunction with menstruation, involves fatigue, muscle soreness, hunger, and stress.

According to the International Headache Society there are seven subcategories.

Category One, Migraine without aura.  It is the most common form of migraine.

Category Two is a migraine with aura.

Category three is Childhood Periodic Syndromes which includes vertigo, abdominal migraine, cyclical vomiting.

Four is Retinal Migraine has a hallmark of visual disturbances.

Category five is complications of migraine, including long or frequent migraines and can be associated with seizure or a brain lesion.

Category 6 is Probable migraine which has the characteristics of migraine but not enough to diagnose, common medication overuse.

Seven is Chronic Migraine.  Chronic Migraine is greater than 15+ days month for more than three months. Chronic migraines effect 1.5-2.2% of the population.

How do you prevent migraines?  It’s hard. A variety of things help to improve migraines such as medication, nutrition, lifestyle alterations, and surgery. It is best to check with your doctor to find out what approach is best for you.

 

Information taken from: Web MD, International Headache Society, and Wikipedia.

 

 

 

Home

Medicine Cabinet Basics

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What do people keep in their medicine cabinets?  It’s an interesting thought.  Have you ever looked inside someone’s cabinet while at a party?  I haven’t, but I always imagine people do that sort of thing. There was a time when medicine cabinets were standard in bathrooms.  While keeping medicine in these cabinets has gone by the wayside, the concept of medicine cabinets have not.  I have more of a medicine closet, well a shelf really.  Okay, two baskets on the shelf. We all keep medicine around in case we need it.  Have you ever wondered what you should have on hand?  Check the list below and see what you need to stock up on.

1. Thermometer- Definitely every medicine cabinet should have a thermometer. Small infants may require a different thermometer.  Consult your physician on which one to use.

2. Tweezers.  Great for picking out splinters, glass, and ticks.  This one small item gets a lot of use!

3. Benadryl- A staple, especially if I think I’ve come into contact with something I’m slightly allergic to.

4. Nail Clipper. Nothing is more annoying or more frustrating than a ragged nail or cuticle.

5. Anti-histamine Cream-  Works great if your skin comes into contact with something itchy.  I’ve used this on my son lots.

6. Bandages- Well, duh?!

7. Gauze- See above.

8. Medical tape- How else will you keep the gauze in place?

9. Antibiotic Ointment- Keep those germs at bay!!

10. Eye drops. For dry or irritated eyes.

11. Heartburn medication. Tums, Rolaids etc.

12. Anti-diarrhea medication.

13. Pain/Fever medicine. Ibuprofen and Acetaminophen.

14. Decongestant.

15. Cough medicine. Nothing is worse than having a coughing fit at 1 a.m..

 

Family

My Sensory Son.

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Sensory disorder.  It’s seems like a new thing right?  Twenty years ago we never heard much about it.  While it’s always been there, sensory processing disorder isn’t new.  Sensory Integration disorder was first defined by Occupational Therapist Anna Jean Ayres in 1972. Unfortunately, at this time the medical literature does not recognize as a medical or psychological concern.

Sensory Processing Disorder also known as Sensory Integration Disorder is broken down into three categories: Sensory Modulation, Sensory Based Motor Disorder, and Sensory Discrimination Disorder.  Sensory Integration Disorder means that the brain does not have the ability to respond to the stimuli of the environmental in an accurate way.  It can manifest by over responding to stimuli, under responding to stimuli or crave stimuli.

The first group of Categories under the Sensory Processing umbrella is Sensory Modulation.  Sensory modulation has three subcategories.  These sub categories include over responding, under responding, and craving responses. By over responding to stimuli people can startle easy, be picky eaters, have issues with clothing, personal care issues, moodiness, frustrated easily, meltdowns are out of proportion, can be overwhelmed by noisy or busy situation.  They have a strong fight or flight response and will avoid uncomfortable situations.

My own son “E” meets the over response. He startles easy. He has ever since he was a baby.  Loud noises scare him. He is an exceptionally picky eater.  He refuses to eat fruits or veggies based on texture or how they feel in his mouth.  His list of foods he will eat gets smaller each year.  It’s frustrating for me.  He will only wear cotton t-shirts and silky basketball pants.  In a pinch I can get him to wear sweats.  Regular clothing with tags or jeans with pockets feel awful to him. He prefers to wear hoodies and fleece to regular winter wear.  So often he is cold. For his bedding he has to sleep on a velour blanket instead of the cotton sheets.  Then he prefers fuzzy pillows and a large comforter.  He did not like a weighted blanket at all.  Tactile is everything. Personal care is an issues as he does not like to comb his hair as it is painful for him.  He has recently become frustrated as well, and is showing signs of anxiety and depression. He is trying to avoid numerous of situations to keep himself calm.  It creates huge issues for all of us.  The stress is unavoidable.

For those who suffer from under responsive reaction to stimuli it can manifest itself as quiet and passive.  They lack the ability to detect and respond to correct stimuli.  Symptoms include unfocused, overweight, craves spicy or salty foods, a high pain tolerance, low muscle tone, poor fine motor skills and clumsy.

Now my son has a few of these traits.  He is unfocused.  However, I think this has more to do with his ADHD.  He also has poor muscle tone, poor fine motor skills and is clumsy.  That being said.  I do not believe he is under responsive based on his reactions over the years.

The final sub-category is sensory seeking. Those who are sensory seeking display an strong desire for sensory input. They will crave sweets, crash into things like walls for the sensation, run, skip or jump everywhere, cannot sit still, has to touch everything and cannot identify where their space ends and yours begins. Often their reactions are at opposite ends of the spectrum from what is considered normal.

For my own child he loves sweats!  I think this is normal for every kid and I don’t see an over the top response. He does like to crash into walls and run, jump and skip everywhere.  When I ask him why, he says he needs to get his energy out.  Can a child have more than one subcategory?  I am not an Occupational Therapist or expert but I don’t see why not.

Sounds like a lot of other disorders doesn’t it? Sensory Processing Disorder can coexist and/or mask many other types of issues such as ADHD, Anxiety,  and more.  Each sensory system can have a disorder in it.  The systems are: visual, auditory, tactile, smell, taste,vestibular, proprioception, and interoception. Vestibular means relating to or affecting the perception of body position and movement. Proprioception means the reception of stimuli produced within an organism. Interoception means relating to or being stimuli arising within the body and especially in the viscera (internal organs).

Each sub-type has different symptoms, and severity based on the individual.  Therefore individual assessment is needed. Treatment is also individually based depending on symptoms and severity.

In the next post we will look at Sensory Based Motor Disorder.

Please note: I am not a professional.  I am just a mom.  I am not a substitute for a medical professional. If you have any questions or concerns about your own health or that of someone you love, please see a medical professional.  This information is for entertainment uses only and not a substitution for a doctor.

Sources: Merriam-Webster Dictionary, Star Institute http://www.spdstar.org, http://www.sensationalbrain.com, and WebMD.

 

Home

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!