It’s been about a week since my last post and it’s hard to blog after the hiatus.
To begin with, we went to Oklahoma City for the weekend. Due to the incredibly high temps, we mainly visited museums: The Toy/Action Figure Museum, the Banjo Museum, the Osteology Museum, and the Oklahoma City National Monument and Museum. I feel like a cloud of sadness has surrounded me since visiting. There are too many emotions to put into words, so I will let that be.
On a lighter note, I returned with a bad thumb infection. The infection and mega-antibiotics made me quite sick for a few days’ time. Nothing seemed to matter except rest and getting Roger taken care of. I even took time off of work, which is a rarity. Yesterday, the doctor had to take “thumb matters” into her own hands (punster). She got the infection out of my thumb and I am feeling much better today. Yesterday, nausea followed the infection extraction.
Today, I have been trying to clear the clutter of work and my neglected house. Clutter makes me unfocused and unhappy. Perhaps today’s organization will shrink that cloud of sadness.
I’ve been focusing these posts so much on me that I have neglected to write about the person that led me to blog to begin with, my son. It is nearing his sixth birthday and I feel like changes in him are occurring daily.
It’s amazing how far he has advanced in the past month. He will have (somewhat) reciprocal conversations, tell you his feelings and ask about yours, answer questions directed to him or even not directed to him (ie, the TV), and he now sleeps in his bedroom alone!!! We are still in the prize stage of sleeping alone (which can be equated to prize stage for potty training). I did tell him that the prizes will start to occur less frequently. However, it seems the biggest prize for him is 1) waking me up once his clock tells him it is OK to and 2) having just the 2 of us watch TV up in his room in the morning.
The speed at which the switch over to “independent” sleeping mimics his switch from pull-ups to potty training. It took YEARS to occur but the final push was quick. Geez, that mimics my labor too.
Now, our big issue is to find other things to work on in ABA. Poor us! (sarcasm)
Things are falling into place and optimism is trickling in. Although by nighttime, my optimism tends to fly out the window.
Today, I had a therapy appointment with an amazing therapist and a fantastic individual. I discussed my involvement on the SEPTSA board (Special Education PTSA), my plans to volunteer at Roger’s elementary school, my work projects, and my plans to delay, or not even seek, my graduate degree. However, my therapist believes I can do all of the above. I may have to lower my expectations (choose to get B’s in school so I can still focus on my family and interests). Even though, wholeheartedly accepting a B seems quite a stretch for me, I do think I am going to exercise the thinking that I will try my best but do not want to neglect all other areas of life.
Though I had a troubled night sleep due to the above worries and the possibility that the decaf I ordered yesterday was actually caffeinated coffee, I am feeling refreshed, renewed, and optimistic.
I felt overwhelmed this morning but feel READY this afternoon!
I slept! Granted, I am awake before Roger and trying to stay quiet so he doesn’t wake. The sound machine, ear plugs, cozy cover, and 1 Benadryl worked. Or else, I slept out of pure exhaustion which does happen on occasion.
I know I should take advantage of this time and try to sleep some more. Unfortunately, when I wake I am up for the day. The wheels start spinning and sleep is over.
I have no expectations that last night’s sleep is now the norm. However, I will take what I can get!
Wednesday, late afternoon, we had our first appointment with an ABA team to, mainly, discuss our co-sleeping issues. A nighttime schedule was devised as well as a plan to start implementing independent sleep beginning this upcoming Sunday night. The people-pleaser that Roger is wholeheartedly agreed to begin sleeping on his own. Every time I would bring up the same issue prior, he would not even consider it. I remained pessimistic of his agreeableness.
That evening when it was time to get ready for bed, Roger took the new schedule and told my husband and I what he would be doing and in what order. He also stated that he was sleeping by himself. I disagreed (mainly because Rob had to get up at 3 am for a flight and that didn’t seem like the ideal first night sleeping downstairs). Roger screamed, “No. I’m sleeping by myself”. I could not argue. This is what we were hoping for.
As far as I know, Roger slept pretty well that first night. My sleep, however, was chaotic: worrying about Roger, sharing a bed with a husband who could not sleep, waking him at 3 am, trying to sleep again at 4, and awoken by Roger a bit past 6. He was so proud of himself! And I was so proud of him too! He told EVERYONE at his school.
Yesterday, Roger had two requests: 1) that I move the extra bed back to the guest room and 2) that I sleep in the guest room instead of downstairs. Not a problem. Except, yet again, my sleep sucked. Tossing and turning and listening. I woke to a crying boy at 4, “its taking a long time”. I’m assuming for morning to come or for me to get out of bed. Thankfully, today a clock arrived that shows him when to sleep and when he can wake mommy.
So, here we are, going on night three, and I am more prepared. I got myself a cozy cover, some earplugs, and a white noise machine. Let sleep come, please.
Today, I emailed a letter to one of my colleagues. I would refer to her as my supervisor but she prefers colleague. Its contents have been plaguing me for quite some time:
My eternal dilemma…
Next week I will become the VP-Communications for the SEPTSA Board (Special Education PTSA). It involves many volunteer hours to complete the necessary work. In addition, when Roger begins Kindergarten, I plan on volunteering in the classroom a couple of hours per week. Here lies my dilemma. Besides my position at (my place of employment), these two positions are near and dear to my heart and I will not sacrifice the time needed for these 3 roles. However, this makes me wonder what time and energy I will have left over for Grad School. In my priority list, Grad School falls below the above listed, family time, and health. Is my position secure if I do not attend Grad School? I’m putting out feelers as to what my priority list has to look like next year and the years ahead until Roger is older and, hopefully, more independent. Of course, I am still “on the fence” but wanted to let you know where I was currently……Being that I will be starting to volunteer prior to the start of the Spring semester, I should have a pretty good idea as to how much time I have left per week.
She reassured me and I felt a huge weight lifted off my shoulders. So much stress has left my body.
Luckily, last night Rob slept in Roger’s room and I got to sleep in our king bed. I might not have gotten the best night’s sleep (lots of tossing and turning and waking at 2 am out of habit), but I was able to fall back asleep and stay in bed until 6:30ish. I feel like a brand-new woman. I am the polar opposite of yesterday’s zombie. I feel refreshed, raring to go, happy, and not irritable (well, I am alone all day, so it may be too early to say that). I am enjoying myself today and getting lots done.
This afternoon, our new ABA will arrive to talk about our sleeping issues. It could not have come at a better time or on a better day, since I am functional. I am HOPING things getter better.
Currently, in the background, I am listening to Belle & Sebastian’s Live on YouTube. As if to be reassured in my “bigger” size, I see the woman behind the beautiful voice and music. She is not what one would envision. She is normal, not made up, what one may say is a “plain Jane”. But she is not plain, she is angelic as soon as the vocals leave her body.
I am so much more than my outer appearance. I have to remember that. Daily affirmation time?
After yet another 2 o’clock hour awakening (2:14 to be exact), I am a zombie. Seriously. I am no longer inhabiting this body. Something that is barely functioning in airplane mode is inhabiting my body. With today’s workload, I was unable to nap and am afraid the drive to Grapevine and back may be my downfall. I usually yawn my way there but hope I do not end up closer to sleep…
One may think my child will be utterly exhausted after a full-day of school after waking so early. HA! He will be raring to go and off we are to go to the CAC. I hear heat, humidity, and sun really wake you up. If I’m a zombie now, I can’t even imagine what I will turn into by 6:30 this evening. Seriously, I am trying to conjure what I shall be: a comatose zombie?!
Well, the happiness I had a couple of weeks ago ceased when I ceased sleeping “well” (I did not sleep well before but it has gotten worse). I have been crabby, so irritable, and a pleasure to be around. Luckily, today was my appointment with my psychiatrist. Again, we are trying a new medication. However, this medication takes about 4 weeks to build up in your system, so I have to remain on these non-altering, constipation-inducing pills until my next appointment on Monday, August 8th.
On another pleasant note, my son’s anxiety is through the roof. I guess having two anxious parents does not help one bit. However, my son is five and crying hysterically that he won’t be able to take his vitamins or brush his teeth before school because there is not enough time. This was not always so, as he has asked in the past, to take vitamins when he gets home. Each day his anxiety builds more and more about small issues. It seems some of his sensory issues have been replaced with anxiety regarding non-sensory issues. I wonder if that occurs….hmmm, will have to ask the specialists.
Needless-to-say, the household has been a joy….wanna come over one morning?!
As an infant, many people have their babies in a pack-n-play or bassinet next to their bed. The child will then be moved to a crib…toddler bed…twin bed, etc. in their own bedroom. Our situation started out much the same as we moved Roger to a crib…
|All was good until about 12 months of age, I believe. Exhaustion makes my memory hazy. Around that age, Roger would awake moments after falling asleep in his crib. I was not one who could do the “cry it out” method. Sooooooo, Roger ended up in our bed. Eventually, we brought his toddler bed, put it against the wall and pushed our queen bed against it. It was like we were back to the bassinet days. However, at this age, he would suffer through all these soothing rituals to try to fall asleep. Nothing worked for hours upon hours. Fortunately, our pediatrician recommended a very small dose of melatonin.
Fast forward to almost age 6…
We have graduated from the “family bed” to one adult sleeping in the king bed in the “big bedroom” while the other adult sleeps with Roger in two beds pushed together….to two beds slightly separated….to two beds on different parts of the same bedroom. I am usually the lucky adult who gets to sleep in my son’s room. Recently, Roger has been waking in the middle of the night and climbing into the twin bed I get to sleep in.
Sleep…what is that? I am averaging 1.5 – 5 hours of sleep per night. This is getting absolutely ridiculous. Next Wednesday, I am hoping for a godsend of an ABA therapist who will begin our journey to end this Hell I have created. Wish ME luck!
Right now I am feeling incredibly anxious. What is the source of my anxiety: lack of sleep from a son entering my twin bed (co-sleep in son’s room but in different beds) around midnight through seven this morning; worry about my father’s surgery tomorrow; signing up for a Mother’s Night Out when I get socially awkward around a group of people; volunteering for the Autism Education Summit when I am now worried it may be too biomedical for me; spending money on a new dining room set; the combination of all those listed above?
I know it is silly to worry about such menial things (barring the surgery), but that is part of my diagnosis and one aspect of my personality that I am working on being more even keel.
Now, I am feeling quite anxious because I have nothing to write about…perhaps tomorrow my thoughts will not be as scattered. Stay tuned!