Tuesday, October 28, 2014

wisdom teeth and the need for wisdom

I got my wisdom teeth removed yesterday - only about fifteen years after they should have been removed, I suppose.  I only have three, and the bottom one had issues. I'm feeling pretty good on the top, but not so great on the bottom. I'm just on my second day of recovery, and for the first time in my life I am over ice cream. (I love ice cream, so I can't believe I'm writing that!) I'm really craving pizza - cheesy, doughy pizza. I also have no memory of leaving the dentist, the ride home, or much of the afternoon yesterday. The Hubs said I was pretty repetitive, which doesn't surprise me. This is why I have never been high or intoxicated. I like knowing where I am and what I am saying/doing at all times. It's a bit of a control thing.

The Hubs' held down the fort yesterday, taking Bubby to his afternoon classes and attending parent-teacher conferences for Bugaboo solo (more on that another day). The Hubs went armed with questions I needed to ask, and came back with answers which will help us prepare for our upcoming IEP meeting. He picked up soup and a smoothie for my dinner and fed the kids. I had a weird itching attack in the middle of the night - and with his new nursing degree he was able to make sure I wasn't dying of an allergic reaction. A friend dropped off dinner for my family today and a new shake for me (orange crush shake from Steak-n-Shake - think childhood dreamsicle in a cup - yum!) I hate, hate, hate depending on other people, but I am so thankful for people who have offered to help.

In other news, we had our second week of new speech therapy for Bugaboo.  This therapist came highly recommended from a local group of special needs moms, so we decided to give him a try. (We have been dissatisfied with the private speech therapy we have been getting for over a year now, as well as not seeing results or getting much feedback this current school year.) Unfortunately, this new thearpist is self-pay - he doesn't take insurance - but two weeks in and we are all learning so much. I wish I would have known to try him sooner,

In all honesty, I am a bit overwhelmed at how much I am learning. Mr. D. takes a whole-child/whole-family approach, so there are a ton of things to work on. Yet the goals are also narrowly enough focused for us to hopefully see some results on these first ones soon. He explains the how's and why's to us. He pushes Bugaboo, and Mr. D is very energetic and innovative. I have lots of little (and big) things to implement at home with just things we have on hand. Half of the stuff seems so simple - like, "Why didn't I think of that?" but we have been so focused on just getting Bug talking that I think we missed the boat on some of the other things involved with speech and language.

The other day someone (a kind and well-intentioned someone) suggested I go back to work so I could get "a break." First of all, teaching isn't a break - it is hard, valuable, and beautiful work. I briefly was in an elementary building this week, and it was a sad and weird feeling (Though it was simultaneously a good feeling knowing that where I am right now is where I am supposed to be.) I would not be a good teacher at this phase of life. And the issues we are trying to help Bug overcome would not go away at his current preschool, and where would he go the rest of the time I am at work?  Right now, just the speech things we are tackling could easily be a full-time job. Plus his PT, plus his OT, plus just all the other things that go into what makes us all a family. No, going back to work right now would just add stress to my life.  I could not fit in all of Bug's work in an hour or so each night.

All of that to say, I'm needing wisdom. Wisdom on how to keep implementing strategies and games and real-life experiences to help Bug with all of the milestones we want him to reach. Wisdom on schooling for both boys next semester and next school year. Wisdom on what to say "no" to and what gets my "yes." And wisdom on balance. Always balance. I know the ring around the tub is not as important as my oldest learning to read or my youngest learning how to have a real conversation, but it still does need to be taken care of on a regular basis. Clutter stresses me out. Unless it is my purse or my car - strangely, clutter doesn't bother me as much there. But that is because I am an INFJ.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

the good life

Today was the perfect fall Friday. I wasn't feeling well Thursday evening, but I woke up (very late) this morning feeling much better.  The Hubs was making French toast in the kitchen. Later he mowed the lawn while I did school with Bubby and some therapy things with Bugaboo. While The Hubs was at work this afternoon, I took the boys to the park and Sonic Happy Hour, and we came home with a bag full of new library books to start reading.  After dinner, the boys put on their new costumes from Babushka, and we headed to the zoo's Spooktacular.  There was a semi-situation with Bugaboo that made me think we were going to have to leave right away, but we made it through and then met friends for ice cream afterwards.

My pastor said recently, "Don't think a good marriage is a bad marriage just because it isn't a perfect marriage." I'd like to tweak it just a bit to say, "Don't think a good life is a disappointing life just because it isn't a perfect life."
(imperfect picture from the pumpkin patch a couple of weeks ago)

Sometimes in the stress of the days and with The Hubs' current work schedule, I get overwhelmed. But then a day like today happens, and I gain some perspective once again. My kids wearing capes in the backyard, Bubby digging in the dirt in the park, Bug learning how to balance on the swing, dinner from the crockpot served on our scratched up kitchen table, mid-October temperatures right around seventy degrees at three in the afternoon... this is the good life.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

the non-answer

The latest news with Bugaboo really isn't any helpful news.  He had a different evaluation this September, which apparently was just a cognitive assessment. We had a phone appointment about the results yesterday, which were not very helpful.  In a few months we will most likely be seeking a different opinion. We really thought we would be getting a certain answer this week - a hard answer, but a certain answer. Instead we were told" to wait and see" some more on the questions and diagnosis I thought we would be getting because the clinician didn't want to go against what a team thought last year. (I was under the impression this evaluation was to further clarify some things from last year - to see what had changed, what had improved, and what had regressed, but apparently it was not.)

The hardest part for me about the phone call was being told "developmental age" numbers by someone who spent about an hour with my son.  The areas she said were his "strongest" are what we see at home, at church, and in therapy as his weakest. She explained some of the ways they assessed him, and I thought, "Of course he can't do that because he can't use his hands very well!" The numbers we were given pretty much were telling me he has gained very little in a year, and I disagree with that. People who see him regularly disagree with that. People who see him only every few months disagree with that. Yes, he is behind. Yes he is very different than his peers - no one knows that as well as I do. I see it every day, every playdate, every time I drop him off in Sunday school. But the numbers they gave me seemed to scream at me, "No progress!"

Sometimes I feel like I keep coming to dead ends in trying to get the best help and support and services for my son. He has developmental delays. He has mild cerebral palsy. He has various quirks and struggles that make him different from his peers. And this week I feel like I received the most ridiculous answer - a non-answer.

I am obviously frustrated, but now I am also gaining a new sense of motivation. During these next several weeks  I'll be trying new things and revisiting old things. I'm investigating a different speech therapist, who unfortunately does not take insurance, but I hear he is fantastic. We need fantastic.

I'm trying to decide what to do about preschool. Honestly, I feel like it is a wasted six hours of Bug's week overall. He has come home with three worksheets (color sheets) and a handprint craft in almost two months of school. That's it. That to me is not acceptable for a preschool program for kids with special needs.

I'm tired of assembly line thinking. I'm tired of struggling with the lie that my child has to fit in the box. I want to think outside of the box. I want him to meet his potential. I want his mind and his words to be unlocked. I just need to find the right keys.