Thursday, November 26, 2009

Thank you God

Sometimes it's easy to not pay attention to all the blessings that are showered upon us each and every day.  On this day of Thanksgiving, I want to pause and take a moment to truly be thankful.  I am thankful for:

My family.  Especially my 2 wonderful boys and my loving husband.  I don't show them how much I appreciate them nearly enough.  I LOVE YOU!!!  And my parents and siblings.  And all my extended family.  I love you all, and you are all important to me.

My friends.  I don't have tons, but the friends I do have are special and important, and I don't know what I would do without them.

My work.  I am sooooo blessed to have flexibility and a small amount of job security, especially in this economy.

My health.  Need I say more??

My God.

Thank you God!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wow -- has it really been that long???

I guess it's been a really really long time since posting.  Decided to change my web address to keep it consistent with my e-mail address, and I'm noticing some differences in how this works since my last post.  I've been so busy on Facebook........ haven't kept up here.  So look for updates again soon!!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

All Consuming

Wow -- I guess it's been awhile. So here goes with an update.

I am finding that having a child with an ADHD diagnosis is all consuming. I eat, sleep, breathe, trying to figure out this condition and how to manage it. And, not only does Matthew have ADHD, he also has ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder), which is something that up to 40-50% of ADHD kids have as a co-existing condition. The good news is that he was not diagnosed with any anxiety or depression, which can also be co-existing conditions with ADHD. So we have been working with his doctor and the school to come up with a treatment plan we can all live with.

Matthew started on Methylin on Friday March 6, so he has one week of school under his belt with the medication. I'm seeing an improvement at home with a reduction in what I'll call "defiant episodes." But his sleep patterns have been out of whack. He'll go a couple nights not sleeping well, then a few good nights, then back to not sleeping well. And when he doesn't sleep well, then it seems like the medication doesn't work as well -- like this morning. Yikes -- tried an 8:00 church service, and it was a nightmare. So, looks like some medication adjustments are probably in order -- which is not unusual at all based on the reading I've been doing. Actually, it would probably be highly unusual to get the right dose of the right medicine on the first try.

So, we'll keep plugging away at it, and I'll try not to lose myself in the process. I am an emotional eater, so of course, I have had my good days and bad days lately. But I am afraid to step on the scale again -- I can tell I've gained weight and I'm feeling quite dumpy, frumpy, and disappointed in myself. I am really having a hard time finding the motivation to eat right lately, and I need to get back on track. How do I separate my eating habits from everything else that is going on in my life? I think if I could answer that question, I'd solve the weight problems of the rest of the world and become a multi-millionaire in the process! :) So I just keep going.... one day at a time.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

ADHD diagnosis for Matthew

I know I said I wouldn't write any more about Matthew's problems, but I know a lot of you knew what was going on with the ADHD testing, and wanted to give you the news. I didn't have my "official" feedback session with the psychologist yet (that's not until next week). But given his issues in school for the past week, I called yesterday and begged her to put the process on the fast track. She did call back and gave me the "highlights" from last week's testing. He did very poorly on the Conner test, which is a 14 minute sustained attention test, and his results were very consistent with clinical ADHD results. So at least we know for sure what we're dealing with. Also, I had requested an IQ test. He is over 120, which puts him in the "superior" range. That's wonderful news, but it also adds a level of complexity for dealing with the ADHD. You know the saying "too smart for his own good!"

Anyway, we'll meet tomorrow with the pediatrician about treatment options. I'm very conflicted about medication. When I spoke with her previously, she told me that she has NEVER had a parent successfully deal with ADHD through diet and counseling alone. The ones who try that route ALWAYS return for the medication. I know it's a chemical imbalance, which is why medication works, but I don't want to change his personality. My aunt Bonnie, who is an educator, and whom I have a tremendous amount of love and respect for, has told me he should have the medication if he needs it. So that makes me feel better. So we'll see. One day at a time.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Stitches for Matthew

OK, so last week I wrote about the worst phone call of my life. Although Tuesday's doesn't top it for worst ever, it was still not a good one. So, it started out as a good day. I had arranged for Matthew's new desk to be delivered, and was expecting a call sometime early afternoon. Right after Nathan got home from school at 11:30, I was busy in the boys' room, vacuuming with the crevice tool in the area where the desk would be placed. So I didn't hear the phone ring. When I finished, I could hear the tail end of a message being left on the answering machine, so I headed in to the kitchen to take a listen. It was Mrs. Verhagen (Matthew's teacher), telling me that Matthew fell and cut his knee, and I should come to school to take a look. I immediately called back and got Peggy in the office; she said she had put some butterfly bandages on it, but it looked like it might need stitches. I called the doctor and got him a 2:30 appointment, then headed to the school. Matthew was lying down, and bandaged up so I couldn't see the wound. I explained that his appointment wasn't until 2:30, so he could stay at school, or come home with me. Of course, being Matthew, he wanted to come home.

After the desk arrived and grandma picked up Nathan, we headed to the doctor's office. Matthew was very anxious about the possibility of stitches. Sure enough, after taking a look and cleaning up the wound, Dr. Barton said he would need stitches. From there, things moved pretty fast; they moved us into a different room to do the stitches, and Matthew was quite scared. They wanted him to lay down on the table, but being Matthew, he wanted to sit up. So we kind of compromised -- I put my arm behind him so he could lie back but be propped up a little bit. He just screamed when they used the needle to numb the area, and said "I'm so scared!" We really tried to keep him calm, but everything was going so fast, I can only imagine what he was thinking. When he realized the stitches themselves were not hurting him, he really relaxed. He ended up with 4 stitches. The worst part is that it's right on the bend of the knee, so he has to be careful not to re-injure it. No gym for the week, and we go back in a week to get the stitches out.

So today (Wednesday) we meet with Dr. Steffen for his Conner testing for ADHD and other related issues. Pray that goes well and we get some good information and direction. By the way, he's actually been having some pretty good days at school behaviorally. He got the Pace testing 2 weeks ago, which confirmed that he's a very bright kid. On the bell curve, he was above the 90th percentile, which puts him in the top 10%. Predictions for kids in that range of ability include advance placement courses and graduate school some day. Great things are in store for this child -- we are very proud of him!

Friday, February 13, 2009

The worst phone call of my life!!

OK, so it's been awhile since my last post. Had to document the drama that happened on Wednesday this week (2/11/09). Every Wednesday, my mom takes care of Nathan in the afternoon for me. Every-other-week I work a full day, and the opposite weeks I volunteer in Matthew's classroom to help the kids with individualized spelling tests. She comes to the house and waits for the bus to drop him off at 11:30, then takes him home with her. Well, on this particular day, I'm sitting in the hallway with one of Matthew's class mates at 1:30, when my cell phone rings. Are you ready for this? It's my mom, who informs me that she FORGOT to pick up Nathan!!! So, 2 hours after the bus drops him off, I'm panicking wondering where in the heck he is, is he okay, etc. Talk about the adrenaline kicking in! Jeez. I quickly explained what was going on to Matthew's teacher, then got the heck home, well exceeding the speed limit the entire way -- and essentially screaming in the car (out of grief for what he might be going through). There sat poor Nathan on the porch, with tears in his eyes. He had gone to the Moss' house, which is what I told him to do in this situation, but nobody was home. So he sat on the porch for 2 full hours. Can you imagine what that feels like to a 5-year-old? And the poor kid peed in his pants. 2 hours is an ETERNITY for a kid that age. I just know God sent an angel to watch over him, and I thank God that Nathan had enough sense to stay put and not wander off.

Oh My goodness -- was I angry at my mother -- and at myself for not calling to remind her. I usually call if there is a schedule change, but on a "normal" Wednesday, I usually didn't. She did come over (and actually got pulled over for speeding on the way), and was so distraught. I had gotten Nathan cleaned up and given him his lunch by then, and she just stood there sobbing and apologizing over and over. I finally had to tell her to please get some control, because she was scaring him worse than what he was to begin with. I love my mom, and she helps me a lot. I honestly don't know what I would do without her help. I'm sure I'd be fine, but my life would definitely be more difficult without her. But on that Wednesday afternoon, I really really had all I could do to keep things under control. I did it for Nathan's sake more than anything.

So, where do we go from here? Mom begged "Please don't fire me! We love having him every week!" Believe you me, I was already making alternate plans in my mind as to how I could manage my schedule without having to rely on mom. But, in the end, I cannot do that to her, or to dad, or to Nathan. So I'm not "firing" her. BUT, I have told her that I will call her every Wednesday at 11:00, and if I don't get an answer, I will go home. I'm sure she'll never forget him again -- but I need to give him a safety net.

As far as Nathan goes, he seems fine. He really didn't talk about it much, and I didn't want to push him. I just tried to let him know that it will NEVER happen again, and he doesn't need to be afraid of riding the bus home. He is a trooper. The only comment he really made was during breakfast on Thursday, when he said "Mommy, I cried because I wanted you to come home!" My heart just broke. I cannot express how this whole episode has broken my heart. But if you're a mom, you know.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Matthew health update / Marcia's diet update

The saga continues. Matthew's been coughing again more & more the past couple of weeks. On Sunday morning, in the car on the way to church, I told him "If you're still coughing like that tomorrow, I'm calling the doctor." So we get to church for Sunday School, and after we finished our adult class, our DCE spots me in the hall and asks if Matthew's teacher found us. (Right away I'm fearing a behavior issue -- silly me.) Anyway, turns out that they were doing some sort of game involving running and Matthew had to actually LAY DOWN to catch his breath. The teacher did find grandma in the other adult class, and he was doing better by then, which is why they didn't come get me during class.

I called his allergy/asthma doctor's office right away Monday morning and got him an appointment for Tuesday afternoon. Poor kid had 57% lung capacity when we got there, and Dr. Wendleborn could hear wheezing again. We've been faithfully giving him the Pulmicort every evening, but he got a little cold which kicked up the asthma symptoms again anyway. And to make matters worse, he's got another sinus infection.

So now he has the antibiotic for the infection, a steroid pill to take for 4 days to help get his lungs back up to speed, and a rescue inhaler. I admit it -- I'm overwhelmed. I just don't understand this disease as well as I should. So, being the researcher that I am, I have ordered a couple of books that should help explain things. And I understand that I'm going to need to regularly measure his lung capacity with the peak flow meter (I think that's what it's called). That way, I can see if his lung capacity is diminishing and do something about it sooner.

Matthew is not what I'd call a complainer (at least not about his health or how he's feeling). It would really help if he'd be more vocal -- but I think he's just so used to it. I think he probably had asthma for a long time and we just didn't realize it. I never knew that coughing was an asthma symptom. :(

Anyway....... how's the diet going Marcia? Well, I got about half the weight lost, got a little cocky and gained back a couple of pounds, lost them, gained them again. I feel like I'm stuck here. At least I'm not gaining and gaining and gaining. I know it's not an excuse, but I guess sometimes I feel like I can only do so much at a time. Dealing with Matthew's issues -- both behavioral and health -- is about what I can handle right now. My house is messy and I'm not motivated to clean. My body is stuck about 7 pounds heavier than I want to be, and I'm not motiviated to be strict enough on my diet. At least I still get a workout in most mornings. I can be thankful for that. And I can be thankful for the fact that it's only 7 pounds and not 70. Given my history, that's pretty tremendous. So I'll keep plugging away one day at a time. In everything.