Just stop right there.

That’s what my body said to me last Tuesday morning.

The dogs started whining and barking. I tried to fling my feet off the side of the bed and sit up.

I still can not tell you what I did in the days before that morning that would cause that pain.

I bullied through on Tuesday, took my oldest to work, took the girls to play rehearsal, and attempted cooking and some light cleaning.

On Wednesday, I laid in bed. Rest would fix it, right?

On Thursday, I couldn’t handle it anymore. I had tried everything. Ice, heat, baths, oils, Motrin, Aleve, rest, walking (slowly).

I headed in to the local walk-in clinic and gave in to my need for medical intervention.

I was sent home with glorified ibuprofen and predisone, along with a stack of printed exercises for me to do in a few weeks.

The doctor said I strained my lower lumbar. Whatever.

Maybe I did, but I have no idea how it happened. The most I had done in days was to walk around our property. I didn’t fall, or slip, or jump, or anything even remotely physical.

It would seem, however, that after a certain age, if your body wakes you up and screams “STOP LADY AND SIT YOUR BUTT DOWN!” you should probably listen. It’s been almost a week and I’m still not 100% yet.

I’m up, and I did manage to tackle the dishes and some laundry. I am enlisting help from smaller people. They were dragging their feet but have finally figured out they are only getting food and clean undies if they get up and help.

Does your house fall apart a little when mom is down for the count? Tell me I’m not the only one!

 

We now enter side effect land.

Last week the doctor FINALLY got back to me and called me in some medicine. I won’t name the names for fear of inviting the Sir Spam-a-lot Bots to blast my comments with offers; let’s just say I have two for anxiety and they work nicely.
One of them is one you take every day and they say it takes a month or longer to start working. Bull hockey. Maybe to take full effect but I’ve never had any med not have an effect right away. We’re not quite a week into this new process and while I feel better, my house looks better and my kids seem happier. I have also started feeling the side effects. History shows that if there is a bizarre side effect I will have it. It never fails. I am prepared this time. I did my research. I know what might be coming and I also know that if I hang in there it might pass.
I’m slower. Not slow, just slower. Mostly because I was running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off multitasking like a maniac and doing a crappy job over all. Now, I’m doing one thing at a time. Breathing. Making progress. Slowly.
I’m yawning. A LOT. If you’re visiting with me and I can’t stop yawning please don’t take it personally. It’s not you, it’s me.
I’m nauseous.  It’s not severe. A handful of sunflower seeds seem to help but it is annoying and appears to be worse if I go outside (in the heat). Not good for my social life with my neighbors.
Food? Who needs food? My appetite is down. I barely finished my dinner and didn’t snack at all afterwards!
It will all pass, or ease up, or I’ll get used to it. Because none of it is so bad that it would make me choose to go back to growling all day.
I have spent four days creating a school room, playing on the floor, rolling balls, dancing, laughing, tickling, reading, coloring, and loving. I missed it and I am blessed that I have friends who supported me in my effort to get help.
And, thank you God for sending Dr. M my way…. while we hit a little bump in our road together, he took HOURS to talk to me before prescribing something, and taking time to get it right.
 

Oh, the poor children

*snicker*
So, I just had my doctor’s appointment. The one where I was supposed to go and ask for a referral for a full evaluation to determine why I have such difficulty with… well… life. With a history of Adult ADHD and Recurrent Situational Depression and OCD I have good reason to wonder if maybe I’m not really that much of a slacker after all. May-be-there is is a logical source for my difficulties.
Duh.
That’s pretty much what he said. The doctor.
He said… duh. Sort of.
I think the very fact that I knew my anxiety level would be so high, and my mom knew it would be high, that she took the time to type up some of the “venting” I had shared with her recently so I wouldn’t get all lost in the “oh crap I have to meet a NEW doctor and I hate doctors and he’s a dude and I hate dude doctors but I hate girl ones too” anxiety and forget impressed him. I think it pointed out just how serious my anxiety is, how serious my frustrations are and how much it is effecting various areas of my life. My husband’s note at the bottom read “She expects too much out of everyone INCLUDING herself.” and “If you swap items on her “schedule” for the day  you might as well just go to bed and start over. She shuts down”
He didn’t question my concerns at all. Of course I have engrained short circuits and chemical issues. The wires are wired differently by inherited traits. I have had two recent pregnancies fairly close together and never came back to my “base line” between them so I’m taking an extra long time finding “base” now.
That’s where we need to start he said. Get me back to base. Base isn’t happy. Base is a place where I am capable of using coping skills.
He also said I had a head start because I have GREAT coping skills, when I’m capable of using them.  Right now, my subconscious has started to just blow chemicals left and right trying to compensate and what I’m feeling is utter chaos in my brain.  My cycling up and down, never quite becoming depressed and never quite becoming full on manic, is shallow but fast. The days of OCD behaviors where I sew anything that will fit under my machine are wonderful but quickly followed by days where I do good to sit in my chair and post sewing ideas on Pinterest. Interruptions to either of my swings is met with anger, harsh tones, or tears.
So, I wait. For him to talk to the psychiatrist. Seems the most commonly used medications to help slow the roll of my … roll are either in a family of medications that I have had issues with before or they can’t be taken while nursing. Effexor, one of the more commonly offered options, creates a slew of side effects in me that go beyond the ones in their reference books. My feet turn purple y’all. I can’t go there.
I wait for the call that he has called something in, something to try, somewhere to start. Then I make the call to schedule counseling because I promised him I would.
We get back to base. We slow the roll so I can pull out my basket of coping skills and start again.
Hubby is getting help now too. He has his own laundry list of issues.He saw the same doctor two days ago.
When Dr. M realized that he was with me he just laughed…. “oh your poor kids” and chuckled a little. Then made me promise to believe them when they say “it’s hard momma”, “I can’t, I don’t understand”, and to take the time to teach them my skills, to show them a better way and to see help and guidance from professionals who can help. Because the genetics didn’t stop with me, or with the Mister. We have four beautiful children, who will have beautiful lives, that will be full and functional because when their parents stopped and acknowledged that there was something “not right” they bit the bullet and asked for help. Even when it was hard, and scary, and they had been told before that it was in their imagination.
Getting leveled out will not fix all that is wrong. It will help me to take the time to learn the skills I’ll need to function more productively, and maybe …..maybe… with a softer tone and bigger smile.
 
**Oh, I almost fell out of my chair when he said my OCD would get worse on the meds before things got better. I mean… I don’t have OCD. People with that wash their hands a bajillion times or open and close the doors right? ummm, He was very kind when he chuckled and then pointed out all the examples I had given him in the previous 15 minutes of me exhibiting OCD behavior. It’s not always about repetition. Sometimes it’s about days on end where the only task I can do is to sew, or clean, or cook, or write, or read… just one thing, non stop, as if my life depended on it. Because sometimes it does feel that way. Sew or die. Write or die. Clean or die. Who knew? **

Squashing the genius within

It would have never crossed my mind to go gather “supplies” from around my house and get creative with them. I never stole momma’s yarn, screwdriver, clothespins and t.p. rolls and ran off into the back yard to act like MacGyver. I don’t really know what would have happened but I’m pretty certain it would have been a bad bad thing. For the longest time my mom and I had separate crayon boxes and coloring books. I wouldn’t dare touch her stuff. I still won’t. Not without explicit permission and sometimes supervision.

As I got older, I started noticing how the kids in school getting awards and accolades were raised in environments that allowed for creative inventing and experimenting. Testing, trying, pushing, creating, risking, succeeding and failing. I was jealous. There was and still is a part of me that thinks of how much “more” I could have been if I had been allowed to explore my world that way.  I know now that there is more to a person’s creativity and success than just living in a more free environment. There are people all over that had nothing to explore or creating with and they still grew to be amazing people.

It is a misconception in my head. Mix it with my regret over all the things I could have done had I been more this or more that and you end up with a mom heck bent on making sure her kids feel free to be, to explore, to create, to test and to dream.

It’s killing me.

They sneak “supplies” out of the house and it gets broken or lost. I can’t tell their clean clothes from the dirty clothes because they dump the hampers to make boats or pulleys or offices. Clotheslines with knots in them strung up in dangerous fashion. Furniture being pulled together, concoctions of various shampoos and lotions in the bathroom, collections of trash to be recycled into some new contraption and towers of dishes (that come crashing down) from emptying the dishwasher because putting them away just wouldn’t be fun if you didn’t balance the coffee mugs 5 high in a leaning tower while walking across a kitchen chair bridge to the cabinet.

I’m tired. They don’t put anything back and they have no concept or concern for respecting other people’s property.

**I made an effort to teach the ‘everything is God’s’ lesson but sadly, it just made their argument stronger…. I can’t say you took MY stuff if it’s all God’s. As an adult I get it, but when arguing with my little geniuses my head wanted to explode**

I don’t want to squash their ideas or hinder their natural learning process but most of this is just wasteful messes. They are illogical and while I should be able to turn it into a lesson I seem to be completely incapable of explaining to them WHY it was a bad idea.

Do you let your kids experiment and explore independently? Do you let them have access to tools and rope and craft supplies and such or do you specify when and how things will get used?

I have spent two days undoing the damage they have done when I could have been, and should have been doing my regular chores. Now it’s all backed up again. Doodlebug just informed me their clothes were put away.

Except for Taderbug’s. Hers were in a pile on the floor where her basket is supposed to be because she’s using her basket as a desk.

Dear Diary, May 31st 2011

Dear Diary,

Who the heck did I upset to deserve this?

CIMG1124

I mean really.

I’m okay with a bad day. I’m even okay with whiney kids.

The drawer in the bathroom full of sticky bottles where the baby’s gripe water leaked? I was okay with that too.

Until I noticed the gripe water was full of ants. Apparently child proof caps can’t stop a hoard of colicky ants.

I held my cool while hunting the possible black widow spider in the garage (that was never found).

I managed to not throw up as my children drew pictures of the antennaed multi legged stripy big eyed bug they found in their bathroom- that apparently got away as well.

The tears from the emotional nine year old? Swiped, calmed and kissed.

The hour long cryfest from the baby over nothing? Consoled.

Today was sucking but I was making lemonade….and then this happened.

This figurine that I have had and glued and pieced together for at least 25 years was destroyed when the pegboard I so proudly blogged about last night fell.

As I was cuddling my sleeping toddler girl with the baby sleeping on a big pillow at my feet, the velcro strips gave way and it all came crashing down.

The velcro didn’t, but the sticky part did. It just didn’t adhere. The strips are rated to hold the weight but when Mr. gets home that will be the first thing he comments on, how I had so much on there.

But it wasn’t the velcro, it was the sticky part that failed me.

I counted my blessings that none of the sewing machines were damaged, or the wall, or the peg board and then I cried.

I feel things crawling on me constantly even when there is nothing there. Peanut and I are covered in bug bites. I have resorted to fighting off ants with furniture polish. I have wasted a day and a half trying to put out emotional fires from my kids. Now I’m feeling like a slob, and a failure, and I have retreated under my rock.  My ability to filter my thoughts before they come out my mouth was faltering and it seemed best to log out of my favorite hang outs and hide.

Sincerely,

The Tattered Tadey

Take a knee. Or two.

Today sucks. Little sleep, cranky baby, whiny toddler. The drama started before I could finish my coffee and it wasn’t even new drama it was the same stuff from the day before and the day before and the…  well, you get the picture.
My mind is bogged down. I feel heavy. I want to fix things, heal things, clean things, organize things. I want to dance and sew and play and teach and be good and smart and funny.
All I could do was growl from the couch.
So I sent the kids outside. All of them. Even the baby.
And I took a knee.
I took two actually, in front of my couch. I laid my head in my hands on the cushion.
I cried. I stayed quiet for a while. I knew God could see what was in my heart, even if I had no words.
I prayed for everyone I could think of that had been asking/seeking/needing prayer. I left their needs at His feet.
I prayed for everyone else I could think of just because a little prayer love never hurt. I left their unspoken needs at His feet.
My laundry isn’t done. Dinner is only half ready. The kids are fighting over who gets to pull the baby in the wagon.
But I feel lighter. My to do list isn’t any shorter, but I don’t feel like I’m drowning anymore.
So I guess I’ll go make lunch, and move the clothes to the dryer. I’ll fold laundry and watch Team Umizoomi with Bubbagirl until she falls asleep. Then I’ll help Doodlebug pick out something pretty to wear for her violin recital.
I’m not equipped, physically, emotionally or intellectually to help fix everything for everyone around me. The best I can do is take a knee, or two, and leave at His feet. The feet of the One.
 

Taking the leap..again

If you have been a reader of my blog for any length of time you have probably noticed that I jump around, a lot.
I can be extremely gung ho about homeschool revamps one day then be all about cleaning my house the next.
I will admit I am easily distracted by shiny things, flashy lights, sale signs and kids with high pitched squeals or baby fat. I’ve been this way most of my life just not to this extreme. So far, I’ve blamed the kids. The more I have – the more easily distracted I become. Maybe it’s sleep deprivation. Maybe it is something else entirely.
My mom has recently had her ADHD diagnosis reconfirmed. She wanted an unbiased doctor that specialized in evaluations for ALL things (not just ADHD) to do the testing. Smart woman, as he carefully explained in the end how she had been misdiagnosed on a couple of other things! **Totally irks me that doctors would treat her for years for something she didn’t have just because a doctor who specializes in ONE disorder couldn’t step back and see anything other than the one or two symptoms of THAT ONE disorder, ignoring the signs that said “that’s not it”**
Treatment underway, she is now doing great and feeling much better!
I have always been torn between did I inherit it and did I just copy her behavior. This is not the first time I have felt this stressed and desperate about it. Six years ago, I asked for an evaluation. I received my referral and made my appointment. Two weeks before my appointment, Mr. and I had the most horrible moment in our marriage. Words were said that crushed me and it took a LONG time for me to let them go and forgive him. What made it even harder, was walking out of the “results” appointment being told- “There is nothing wrong with you. People would KILL for a profile like yours. You just need to get up off your butt and do what you need to do.”
Yes folks, I paid $300 for that.
The “ADHD” test that was given to me was c.r.a.p.
It was paired with an IQ test.
There was no sit down conversation or question answer session.
No one asked my family to fill out a questionnaire.
My mom has been asking me to get reevaluated. I hate doctors. I hate that I have to find a new doctor (I don’t have one in this town yet), I have to pay $25 to go see him – explain my story- and get a referral, then go pay $50 to MEET another one. I hate that IF they find anything at all I may have to choose between nursing Peanut and being medicated. I hate that IF there is something that could have been helped sooner that I would have wasted all this time struggling and all the impact it has had on my kids.
I hate that they could tell me, once again, that I am just fine. Perfect mental profile. You just need to get off your butt.
On Tuesday, I took our daughter to get a referral because in my gut I just know something is not right. I just instinctively feel that her life right now is more difficult and stressful to her than it needs to be; all I need are the tools to help her.
I bet that’s how my mom feels. She just knows in her gut something is not right and if someone would take the time to listen that it could get better for me.
After Peanut’s first birthday I have an appointment to see the local family doc. Seems the one my husband goes to, the one that I saw one time for a really bad cold, is retiring. I get to meet someone completely new. I will be grateful for health insurance and that all I have to pay is the $25. I will pray for his wisdom and kindness. I will try to imagine that God took Dr. Wolfe away so that I could meet Dr. Martinez because Dr. Martinez is going to be awesome and I will LOVE him (as a doctor!). I will pray that should there be something that needs treatment in the form of medication that Peanut, who loves his cup and eating off of my plate, will decide that he’s a big boy that doesn’t need mommy’s milk anymore – all by himself – so I don’t have to choose.
I’m going to try, one more time, for answers.

Maybe it's not all me

Yesterday I took Doodlebug in to see her doctor. He is sending us to JMU (the university) for a full evaluation. I am scared. I am relieved. I am blessed that one of my online friends noticed my concern and frustration. She shared her story and inspired me to just go ask.
Doodlebug is an amazing and wonderful girl. Her little quirks made us laugh. Her clumsiness. Her adorable inability to look you in the eye when she was talking. The cute way she would cry out “but that’s JUST NOT FAIR” over everything.
Somewhere I was failing her. She seemed unaware that she interrupted I constantly. She could generate a bad attitude in a heartbeat. She has an amazing desire to help (even wants to be a doctor when she grows up) but at the same time she totally ignores you when you say “Hey, that is hurting me” if not hurting you would mean she had to stop what she was doing. We can’t get past the basics of math. Her handwriting is… terrible. Even eating at the table is a mess with her.
The thought had crossed my mind before. The “what if it’s not all me” thought. The “hmmm, I wonder if there might be some reason, other than crappy parenting, that would explain some of her general difficulty with life”.
She didn’t fit any of the profiles for anything I had ever heard of before. Every checklist I was ever asked to fill out at the pediatrician’s office showed a perfectly perfect kid. Everyone saw her quirks. No one questioned them. Some family even said they didn’t see them – ever.
I am not a perfect mom. I AM a good mom. Even though we’ve had a couple of easy “baby years” in our home school I AM a good teacher. I have lots of room to grow and things to learn and places to improve. I’m a good mom because I realize all these things and I keep searching and praying and reading and changing to try and be better. Despite all of this effort, my oldest daughter still seems frustrated and lost most of the time.
Yesterday the doctor said words that elated me and saddened me. He said that I might be on to something. He agreed that the situation warranted evaluation. He said that I might be right.
As we carefully discussed it all, speaking in code for the benefit of the very aware nine year old in the room, we explained to Doodlebug that we were going to take her to talk to some other people. How we were going to take her to chat, play, and take a few tests to see if maybe they could tell mommy a better way to teach her in school.  It could take months to get the evaluation completed. In the meantime, I’m reading and googling and seeking advice from other moms to see what I can change in our day to day family routine that might help Doodlebug. Even if her evaluation shows to issues there is still something in her life that is making things difficult and I need to fix that.
At least now I know there is a chance it’s not just me.
****************
I am keeping an open mind regarding a diagnosis. I am not seeking a “disorder specific” doctor as I want someone to evaluate her overall and come to their own conclusions. I do have an idea on what might be the problem. It’s called a Non-Verbal Learning Disability.
Here are a few links that explain:
http://www.learningdisabilitiesinfo.com/nonverbal.html
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nonverbal_learning_disorder
http://www.ldonline.org/article/6114

Let there be cake.

I’m not sure what the heck happened to today. I woke up early, happy, and had coffee with Mr. Daddy Man. He had to leave super early for work and I wanted to see him before he left. The two year old woke up and then quickly dozed back off while laying on the couch. Even the baby woke up and then we back to sleep for me. I had almost and entire hour of pure quiet! UNHEARD OF I TELL YOU!
I had lessons ready, dishes washed, laundry going. I let them sleep in a bit. As the babies started to stir I started feeling the day was not going to be what I had planned so I prayed and told God I would give Him the day, I would do what He had planned. Not that I really have a choice, it was more like “okay I’m not going to fight you on it”.
Sitting on my couch now, with two kids asleep and two playing nicely, I can honestly say the day wasn’t that bad. I cut out pieces to two twirly skirts, I made a yummy dinner, hubby came home on time and was able to pick Doodlebug up from violin class. I got a shower all by myself. I had enough gas to get me home (on fumes!) but I made it to violin and to the post off to mail off some cutie things to two of my twitter friends and my sister.
Still, I spent most of the day feeling annoyed at everything. I gave up on school and let them play outside. The neighbor behind us is a single dad, he was trying to mow his grass and his four year old daughter wanted the girls to play. It got out of hand and I ended up fixing lunch for her too (no biggie… Ramen… ) and she started just walking in the house like she lived there. I’m not really upset. She’s FOUR. However, she walked in on my nursing Peanut. I thought she was my kid coming in so I didn’t think to cover up. I just don’t like feeling “invaded”. Apparently for the past few days I’ve been unusually sensitive to people getting near me, sounds, temperature. GAH! Everything has annoyed me.
I hate it. I can’t wrap my head around finishing anything either. I have articles to write. A book to read. A bible study to work on. I had plans to declutter, fold laundry, meal plan. I can’t even cut coupons!
****
We installed a cable box over the weekend- first time in five years that we’ve had cable or satellite.  Mr. Daddy Man returned home from work and getting Doodlebug, plopped down in the recliner and flipped through his 500 channels. My Mommy Helper pointed out that “Cake Boss” was on and I couldn’t resist asking him to watch it. I’ve never seen it before. OMG the cakes that man makes!!
Anywhoooo, after the first episode Mr. Daddy Man started talking about wanting cake. I ignored him. Then I reminded him there were brownies.
He ate the last of the brownies while he watched another episode.
We ate dinner, and he still wanted cake.
So I did what any smart deal making momma would do- I offered the man a deal.
I had my helper there entertaining the kids. I was going to shower- alone. IF the kitchen “magically” became clean before I got out of the shower then I would make cake. That meant unloading the dishwasher- and reloading. That meant finishing feeding the kids and putting away leftovers.
We had cake for desert. Just sayin’.
 

Almost midnight ramblings

image
I haven’t been sleeping well lately. Babies, sickness, tooth aches and busy-ness will do that to a momma. I should be sleeping now but I needed just five minutes to drink the rest of my water bottle and be with myself.
I would say that it is quiet now but its not. The fish tank is humming. The turtle tank is splashing as the filter drops water almost six inches down into the tank. Mr. B is snoring. The fridge kind of buzzes and then makes the occasional ka chunk sound as it drops ice into the bucket.
I hear everything. What I wouldn’t give for a quiet moment to think. I keep getting angry that I’m working so hard to get that time and never feeling like I get it.
I’m starting to realize people are helping me get that time I just can’t stop the chatter in my head.
The constant run of what I need to do and buy and make and try and learn….
I need to turn it off. My brain is like a man with a remote and too many channels just flippin’ around and never really watching anything.
When given time to work I spend an hour just trying to figure out what to do first. Then I start only to find out my time is up. I need to make a plan. Give each interest of mine a month that is just theirs.  Maybe if I know I can make time for hobby A later I can better focus on interest B now.
Apparently my scent wore off of the shirt I left behind because Lil Baby Man just realized I wasn’t in bed anymore. Duty calls.
Blogging from my Android….probably from the bathroom.