It’s raining

Okay, I am going to talk about something that I wasn’t sure I wanted to share. I struggle with depression and anxiety. I don’t think anyone but my husband would know. I continue to function as normal on the outside. I do what I have to do. I think being a parent to special needs children makes it a little more likely to recur. I’m not sure about others but there are a lot of things we just don’t do, places we don’t go because my daughter just handle the stimuli. I used to try to just do what we normally would and figured she would have to just deal with it. I had the advice of a family member ringing in my ear from a few years ago-  “I never let my kids behavior dictate what we did, they just had to deal with it.” I thought this was what being a good parent was. Don’t spoil them! Don’t let them control the family! But let me tell you, when you have a child with add, spd and possibly on the spectrum, ignoring their neurodevelopmental differences and forcing activities that are difficult for them to handle is a sure fire way to ruin everyone’s day and come home with guilt, anger and sadness.
Anyway, one way I deal with depressive episodes is to go do things, be active. But my parenting experience is so isolating right now, that’s just not possible. I tried going to a Bible study weekly, but since we homeschool that meant my 14 yr old would babysit my 9 year old. Lately her behavior has gotten to the point where he just can’t watch her sometimes. So, no more Bible study. We tried organized activities, church, sports lessons, but she just couldn’t handle it. Would dread going and/or end up in tears.
So, limited activities plus depression is tough. I will get through, I always do. Lots of prayer and the assurance that this is just a season. Thanks for listening.

real life

So, here I am in the second half of my second term of seminary. So far it's going well, I have managed to maintain a 4.0! I am not going to say it hasn't been a challenge. Managing life with kids,work, home, grad school, marriage etc. can get a bit hairy at times!


The past few months we have been dealing with some behavioral issues with my daughter. She has a few diagnosis already, dyspraxia, sensory processing disorder, anxiety, but lately things are just more intense. I initially thought that maybe the increasing irritability was due to a concussion she sustained in February. But we took her back the doctor and they don't seem to think that is it. So, we spoke to a behavioral psychologist and are now being referred to have her assessed for autism. Of course I am googling and googling. I have suspected that she could be on the spectrum for some time now. But now that we are being referred for an evaluation of this I am really doing more research. She definitely has some characteristics that look like aspergers. I guess we will see. But I can tell you that home school has become increasingly difficult with her more frequent meltdowns and limited frustration tolerance. I am trying to remember who she belongs to, and know and trust that God has her in His hands. 

We have also been dealing with an injury in my son. He frequently sprains his ankles. Well, this last time (3 weeks ago) it looked pretty bad. We ended up finding out that he had a fracture through his growth plate on his tibia. He is supposed to keep a brace on it and NOT run or jump. That is tough for a 14 year old who is used to biking 5 miles a day and running and playing basketball every day as well. 

Then there is his tourettes, which has been getting bothersome lately as well. We have never used medication for it, but will be seeing someone soon to talk about how we can help him get better control of it. He is such a strong kid and deals with the ticks so well, but lately he is struggling with it. 

So, right now, my life consists of trying to maintain peace and organization at home, getting the kids to their many doctor appointments, working on the weekends, being a seminarian in grad school, while maintaining a home life. OH and of course focusing on God. That is the key right? To keep Him close and make sure that I am putting Him first in my life. 


Conquering Thyroid Cancer!

So, I was diagnosed with Thyroid cancer 3 years ago this spring. I always thought that once you received treatment for cancer, and were declared cancer free you moved on. But not so. With thyroid cancer they remove the entire thyroid! The motor of the body so to speak. You cannot live without the hormone you thyroid produces. So I take a synthetic hormone, synthroid, every day. Of course, this synthetic hormone does not work as well as your nature thyroid hormone would. It doesn't fluctuate based on your needs, it is always the same. And I suffer with many of the symptoms that other thyroid cancer survivors do. Fatigue, weight gain, joint pain, forgetfulness, irritability, depression and anxiety. It is hard! And I seriously feel that I have a lower quality of life.




I was thinking today, I do NOT want to be another victim! I don't want to be a casualty of thyroid cancer. I had it, and I cannot change that! I will be reminded of that every night when I take my thyroid medication, and every time I look in the mirror and see my scar, and every year on my birthday when I have my yearly scans and blood work to make sure it hasn't come back. But I don't have to let it ruin the rest of my life! I have been living like a victim! Accepting that this is me now, tired, anxious, forgetful etc. I want to have a life that thrives! I want to CONQUER THYROID CANCER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, I am going to come up with a plan. A set series of actions to take to improve my health and live a full vibrant life!





Yes, it can get worse

I have wanted to blog about my journey of being a special needs mom. I haven't been very good about keeping this blog up though. I suppose that is part of being a busy mom of special needs kids, nurse, wife, seminary student etc. So you'll just have to forgive me. =)


Things with my kids have become more complicated. My daughter who has dyspraxia, spd, add, and anxiety disorder fell at our property and got a concussion. Now, when I was a kid, we got a concussion, we were monitored for a few days and then we moved on. This is not the case any more. 
When we went to see the doctor I was told that symptoms could come and go for 1-2 months! We were to keep things low key, not let her have too much screen time and just ride it out. 

Well, here we are 3 weeks later and things are not good. We deal with temper tantrums, meltdowns etc because of her developmental diagnoses already. But we are on another level now!
The normal sensitivity is magnified and the resultant meltdowns are much much worse than ever. We use to get to the point of her becoming violent or striking out at me maybe once a month. Now, it seems to be happening every other day! It is exhausting! 

I have this battle going on in my mind, do I let her be rude and refuse to do what I ask so that she won't escalate or do I try to be consistent and punish as I always do and just deal with the resultant explosion? 

I finally called her doctor to see if we should be concerned about this change in her behavior or if it was normal concussion stuff, and we were told she should be seen. So, this Wednesday we will take her in to be evaluated. I have read in some places that there is something called post-concussion syndrome that can last for years. I honestly don't know how I would handle that. 

Then there is my son. He is 14 and also has dyspraxia, adhd and anxiety disorder, but he also has dysgraphia, asthma and tourettes. I was told that his tics could get worse as he went through puberty but lately they are really bothering him. Also, his asthma is acting up. So, take this kid who is dealing his own issues, put him with his sister who is acting out, throwing fits etc and you can imagine how he reacts. Let's just say things at home are a little chaotic right now. I am trying to keep positive, and I realized that I really need to take things one day at a time. Looking at it all at once completely overwhelms me. =( 
I do know things will get better and this is just life. I am trying to stay close to God through it all. I'll be better about keeping up and posting updates. Thanks for reading.

my kids!

my kids:

they are loud, they are hyperactive, they are sensitive and moody at times. Some days it bothers me. It is overwhelming and irritating. But other times, like now, I am thankful for their jubilance as I know they truly feel and live every bit of every moment of life.










Come away with me my love.......

So, this past weekend I had the wonderful opportunity to go to a women's retreat with my local church. It as at the beach...my favorite place.....and God was so faithful to meet me there!

Here are a few pics.











Week 3!

Well, hello again! Here I am in my 3rd week of seminary. Things are going very well. I am truly enjoying my classes and feel like the world is opening up more and more every day! There is so much to learn. So much I didn't know. I can't even imagine what will happen as I move into classes with more depth into the Bible and theology.
As I venture into this new part of my life I feel like I am waking up for the first time. I am just learning how to let God in to every part of my life. I thought I already had, but now I am truly learning what it means to be a disciple.


So much going on in the world right now. Hurricane Harvey and the devastation in Texas, strife and conflict among people throughout the country. Now we have a wildfire burning 20 miles or so away that is forcing people out of their homes. We are trying to remember that God is in control, He is still there! Prayer is even more important now than ever!

On the personal front God has been so good. Our daughter who has dyspraxia and spd has been having some wonderful days! She had a day last week were she played with her friends in the morning, I took them to walmart to get slime making supplies, then I took them out to lunch and after that we came home and she and her friend made slime and played with it for hours! This is amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Normally, just a morning of play with her friend results in tears and being overwhelmed. So for her to be able to tolerate an entire day like that and enjoy her friend was such a gift! We just praise God for His goodness.

School is starting back up this week, this means homeschool for us. We are ready! Thanks for visiting!

Hello!

Well, this week was my first week of seminary. It has been wonderful! I am attending online at Regent University and I am just so impressed with them. My first two classes are geared towards getting to know the school and my faith. They have me building a portfolio of where I have been and where I feel God leading. There is constant emphasis on listening to the Holy Spirit. How refreshing!
One of my first assignments was to do a mini personal retreat. I was to go somewhere quiet, by myself, pray and reflect on some questions and listen to the Holy Spirit, then I was to write down what I felt He was saying.
I had a doctors appointment yesterday an hour away from home so I decided to stop at this bench overlooking the city after my appt to do my retreat.
When I arrived, there were 2 benches and a picnic table. The picnic table was taken as was the bench that had the best view. There was one bench left over to the right with a tree obscuring part of the view. I went ahead and sat down and began to reflect and pray. After about 15 min. the person at the center bench left and I contemplated moving over to it so I would have the better view. But something said to me, "This is where God placed me, so I will stay!" I continued to pray and reflect when I noticed it was starting to rain just a bit. I looked around and realized that because I was under the tree, I was able to keep dry and continue my retreat time. Had I moved to that center bench, I would have gotten quite wet!
I smiled and realized that God was teaching me that I was right where I needed to be. I realized that even though we sometimes think we know better. God always knows best if we will just listen! =)

I am so loving being in the word and God every day. With seminary I am kind of forced to do that to complete all of my assignments etc. It is such a blessing and bringing such joy to me. I wish I had taken the time to spend this much time contemplating His word before.

First day of seminary selfie!

Getting ready

Hello! Here I am, just a few days away from starting seminary. I can't help but wonder if there is any significance to the fact that I start seminary on the day of the eclipse. I'll have to think about that one. =)
I have been spending the past few days trying to get my house in order. Getting caught up on cleaning, organizing etc. Adding in school is going to require a bit of juggling on my part. I have a detailed schedule and I am trying to set up clear times for homeschool, seminary, house cleaning etc.
I am confident though that if I keep God at the center of everything, things will stay in balance.



I had a bit of a scare yesterday. Right now, I am in the process of having my 2 year cancer follow up. This can be a tough time. It consists of have blood drawn to check for things that will only be present if my cancer is back and an ultrasound of my neck to check for lymph nodes that would be enlarged if they cancer is back.
Well, I had a call from a nurse on a different issue yesterday and while I was on the phone with her I asked her if my cancer marker labs were back. She looked and told me some numbers that were just above zero. I asked if she was sure and she said yes.
Oh boy, I had a few hours of fear. Contemplating what it meant that it looked like cancer may be growing again in my body. I prayed and talked to God.

Then I put a call in to my endocrinologist to verify what this means. She called me back and told me yes the results were back and all looked good! I asked her to clarify and told her what the nurse had told me. Well, the nurse had misinterpreted the information. All of my markers were undetectable still! WOW! I was so happy. Relieved! Thankful! So, then it took me a bit to process this change in circumstances.
Now, I still have my ultrasound this next Wednesday to get through. I am a little nervous, but having visited the possibilities already, I know that with the Lord's help I can get through anything!

So that is it! A few days away from beginning seminary and getting myself organized!

going home today.....

So, here it is. The last day of vacation. We go home today. I have second guessed my last post several times. Should I have written it? Do I sound like a horrible mom? But, it is how I felt. And I want to be truthful. Overall, we have had a nice time. I just have to remember that we are who we are. I can't try to force my kids to be someone they aren't.

I have fallen in to the trap of thinking that if my children have problems, anxiety, developmental issues it must mean I am doing something wrong. But they just are who they are. I have to work with their personalities and strengths, not try to force them to do what I want.

Yesterday we went down to the historic part of Newport. We had purchased a groupon for visits to 3 museums down there. A wax museum, Ripleys Believe it or Not museum and Undersea Gardens. I had prepped my daughter with the fact that there may be something that scares her in one of these museums, and if she wanted to just close her eyes it would be okay and I would lead her through the part. Well, we got into the door of the wax museum, she saw something move and it was all over. She wanted to leave. I tried to convince her it would be okay, but then I honored her wishes. My husband and I took turns with our son going through the first two museums, while we all went into Undersea Gardens. THAT she liked. =) Instead of pushing and ending up with a meltdown, we worked with it.

I guess that is what it is all about. Learning who we are and how to play to our strengths.

So, we have had a lovely time. It was so nice to get away. And I feel like a trip to the ocean was just what I needed to be reminded of how BIG my God is and how BIG His love is. =)



Being a special needs mom is hard....a vent



Well, in my last post I mentioned that we are at the beach for a week get away. In my mind, when looking forward to getting away to the beach I envision sitting on the beach, watching the ocean, reading a book, relaxing, hearing from God....peace.....quiet...

What reality is......my oldest son, with dyspraxia, ADHD, tourettes talking very loudly, all the time, very enthusiastically, various tic's going off at different times, constantly wanting to go somewhere! My daughter with dyspraxia, spd, ADHD struggling to manage being in a new environment. Not able to sleep the first night, up at 4 am. Crying on the beach because the water is too cold, the sand feels great for awhile, until it is just  too much.

Wanting to go to the gift shops and stroll through looking at cute items, picking up a few souvenirs.

What reality is.....frustration when my daughter can't find what she wants, tears when I remind her not to spend all of her money, inability to make up her mind, more tears....LOUD tears when she can't make up her mind.

Looking forward to a fun day going to an aquarium, then maybe to a beach, or out to lunch.

Reality is.....Trip to the aquarium pretty much overwhelmed my daughter with all of the sensory input, resulting in a very tearful struggle to the gift shop again and a meltdown as were were leaving. Had to go immediately back to the hotel for lunch and quiet time before we can even think about doing anything else!

Don't get me wrong, I love my children. I really do. It just becomes exhausting having to walk on tip toes everywhere we go not knowing when the next meltdown will happen. Not being able to make plans, NEVER having any QUIET!
We have had many fun times interspersed amid the chaos. Times of awe as they touched the star fish. Fun conversations in the car about the ocean and sea life. Fun dinner together, eating chinese takeout in the hotel.

It's just getting used to the chaos and having to be prepared at all times for possible meltdowns. Always having to have a contingency plan. Always have to pre plan carefully ....... is exhausting!

Just surfing the web and I found this amazing article!
 http://www.keyministry.org/specialneedsparenting/2017/8/4/waiting-for-beautiful-how-to-make-peace-with-gods-agenda-when-it-hurts

It really gave me hope and a new perspective. =)