Thursday, January 22, 2015

Mutual Respect

This post is dedicated to all of the moms that I may not see eye to eye with...

   There are a few topics that you will never see me debate on my blog. One of them is vaccines. It's not because I'm afraid to tackle the hard topics. It's because I am afraid of something that I may say silently hurting you.
   I realize that I have touched on this before. But, today and several times over the past few days I have seen friends get hurt over someone else's blind quest to be right. I feel like I need to clarify some stuff. Both in my own thoughts and publically out of love for them, my fellow moms. Although I will be talking about vaccines, you can apply it to anything. You know, the triggers... breast feeding, natural births, cloth diapers... I think that you get what I am saying.
  Okay, back to vaccines. The one reality about vaccines, the one that we can all agree on, is that people who don't vaccinate do it out of love for their kids. People that do vaccinate, again, it is out of love for their kids. I am not saying that it should be swept under the rug or that it shouldn't be debated. What I am saying is that what we should NEVER do is attack people. Ever. Period. Once you cross the line and start using words like "ignorant" and "uneducated" you have lost. They have lost, everyone loses.
   This morning I didn't jump in where I should have the way that I should have. Some really kind and loving people got hurt. I have been in the reverse roll. I have had to physically walk away from conversations because they were ripping into people who vaccinate and have hospital births. Guess what? It hurt, it still does hurt. At some point we, as a society, have crossed over into a place where there are different groups of parents that sit around slinging preverbal poo at each other.  It has to stop one conversation at a time.
  The TV news outlets are known for their fear mongering. It's funny how, as humans, it seems okay if it is in line with our own beliefs. I am guilty too. Right now they are using an outbreak of Measles at Disneyland as a way to divide us. Instead we need to be focused on what has brought us together to begin with, our children. In my particular situation, my autistic child. We must approach each other with the same level of respect that we would like in return. We are all doing the best that we can with what we have. Let us join together, to create a better world for those generations who will follow.

Friday, January 16, 2015

A Letter To Me

  Tomorrow is my birthday. That has caused me to ponder my last year of life. It has been quite the ride. Instead of the analogy of a winding road with twists and turns. I will use a theme park roller coaster, that fits a whole lot better. Just as you are settling in you drop one hundred feet turn upside down and then get splashed with water. Yep,that would be the last twelve months. On this day last year I was with my husband and kids on our first big family trip. We were visiting my husband's family in southern Missouri. My husband's sweet Aunt was playing tour guide. We spent the day in beautiful northern Arkansas, in a cave.  If I were to write my twelve month younger self a letter this would be what I would say...
  I know that you are having a wonderful trip with your family, but, it is over shadowed by your sons autism evaluation that will be three days after you get home. You are scared and trying to be the best mom that you can be. Yes, your fears will be confirmed and it will be worse than you expected. What you will find out is that what you feared isn't really what you thought that it is. All of the tears, phone calls, and prayers will be answered. He will be ok and so will you. During the next year you will make friendships with people who get it. You won't be so lonely.
   I know that you are worried about getting into a house and getting a car. Both turn out better then you could have ever dreamed. You get a nice house in a good neighborhood and you get a new car. Yes I know that you don't believe me but its true.
   This next part is going to be hard. But, hear me out. You shut down when you are overwhelmed. Yes I know that you think that you are so good at dealing with your emotions but, you suck. I mean at some point this year you will loose it with both your mom and your husband. You would be better off learning that its ok to not be perfect and to not be ok. The people that love you will still be there when you dry your tears and get back up off the floor.
   I think at this point you have read between the lines. Do you remember that funny gut feeling when you were picking out health insurance? Good job for listening. Two weeks before it takes effect you will realize that the endometrial polyps are back and you will have to have another surgery. This time you will have to give up forever your dream of having another kid. You will quietly shed tears as you learn about your friends getting pregnant. You will heal physically and mentally. It really was the best choice.
  You will, in March, start spending some of your time and a lot of your effort to loose weight and get healthy. Just when things are settling in the rug is going to be pulled out from under your feet. It will hurt. You will be scared in ways you never thought were possible. Words like autonomic, orthostatic and neuropathy will become a normal part of your vocabulary. Enjoy the way you feel. Ground yourself in your prayers and know that even though God might allow you to go thru the valley of the shadow of death you won't be alone. Every time that you think that all hope is lost, you will get the hope that you need to make it thru.
   You will end this year with many things un resolved and you will be facing your daughter having hearing problems and a progressing neurological disorder. To be honest I don't know how it ends.
  There were some good things that come from this year. I want you to hold on tight to this. It will help you when your heart is broken. Your husband will knock your socks off. He will exceed your expectations and you will have a renewed trust in him. He will be by your side and help you thru, don't forget to ask. No, he can't read your mind yet.
  You WILL grieve. After you have cried and been in a low funk you will put on your butt kicking boots and fight. I am writing this letter to you maybe a bit too late to help you, my 32 year old self. As I travel thru this next year I will pull this out from time to time. It will remind me of were I've been and how far I have come. I will end this with another good piece of advice that my sister gave me the day that I married my husband. She told me to enjoy and remember the good times. Those memories are what help you get thru the hard times.  Here is to another year of life. May the memory of this happy day get me thru the hard times to come.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Why I Don't Carry Coffee At Drop Off

   Today I thankfully saw it coming before it happened. I even, for a moment, thought of being one of those mom's sauntering on into my sons class with a cup of hot coffee in my hand. But, I know better. Yesterday went well so I was on my guard.
   As I pulled up and parked I heard the change in my sons voice as he said, "I don't want to eat in there!" He was talking about the cafeteria. Before we left he had decided to get a hot lunch. Pulling in he saw all of the kids in front of school and anxiety hit like a fright train. I quickly got them out and went as fast as I could, while I gently squeezed his hand. He was mumbling undiscernible words as we got closer. Then about ten feet from the door he dropped, dead weight. I quickened my steps pulling him as I went. I tossed my keys and his backpack on the ground so that I grab the door handle and got him inside where my back up was.
  When he is feeling this way the only thing that helps is time and a firm rocking motion. Gently, but firmly holding him and rocking him seems to reset his brain. I once heard that firm hugs release dopamine and oxytocin in your brain. If I am able to catch it soon enough then the result is almost instant. My husband and I have talked countless times about medication for his anxiety . I think at this point we want to continue to try and help him work on controlling it on his own.  
  Today as we were inside and I knew that he was safe from the parking lot and the road. I dropped to the ground gently rocking him and talking to him. He began to relax and calm down. I told him that I will bring him lunch and that it would be ok. He calmed enough to get up and interact with the teacher. Then he changed his mind and tried to run again. My hand was already still on him so, he only got an inch. The aid that he loved is learning how to work with him during his high anxiety times and she is learning from the best. In the past I have watched his teacher with him. she gently holds him and tells him that she can't let him go because she wants to keep him safe.
   I can say without one ounce of doubt, that I hate the fear that I have, as his mom,knowing that there could be a day that he gets away. When he is in that fight or flight frame of mind he can't think or reason. I pray every day for his safety. Every time I hear of  yet another child, teen or adult who has wandered and died my heart breaks just a little bit more. I know that it could be my son.
   The last I checked he was doing good. I did bring him a lunch and left it in the office. I know that when I pick him up this afternoon he will be happy and probably not want to leave. But, there is tomorrow that I have to worry about. So, in the morning I will ware my running shoes instead of flip flops just in case. My coffee? Yeah that will stay in my car.