Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘Health Issues’ Category


As most of you already know, my 12 year old son Austin has had a difficult time in school.  He has been kicked out of two schools and was made to go to a behavioral specialty school before being mainstreamed back into his old school. 

 At the age of six, he was diagnosed with ADHD.  I’ve always known that there was something more to his behaviors than just ADHD.  Over the past year I have been researching Sensory Perception Disorder (also known as Sensory Integration Disorder), Autism, and Asperger’s Syndrome.  I know that he has Sensory Perception Disorder (SPD). But, I also believe that goes hand in hand with Asperger’s Syndrome.

I spent the last four months trying to find a family doctor for my children.  I finally found one and got Austin in to the doctor yesterday.  The doctor agreed to sign an outpatient prescription for Austin to be evaluated for SPD.  Yeah!  I couldn’t be happier!  After what seems like an eternity, he is finally going to get some help.  I filled out the intake form for the Children’s Development Center, enclosed the outpatient prescription, and mailed it this morning!

I called the Children’s Development Center and spoke to the intake receptionist.  She told me that the Occupational Therapists usually schedule their own evaluations.  She also told me that it should only take a week or two to get him in for his evaluation.  I will keep you all updated on Austin’s progress.  Please keep your fingers, toes, and everything else crossed.

Thanks,

Erica

Advertisements

Read Full Post »


My eleven year old son, Austin, was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder (ADHD) at six years old.  Since then, he has been kicked out of two schools due to his behavior and many teachers don’t “understand” him.  Many of his symptoms mirror those of Asperger’s Syndrome which is on the Autism Spectrum.  Austin has trouble with sensory integration.  People, especially children, within the Autism Spectrum do well with a sensory room.  Since Austin shows many of the same symptoms as a child with Asperger’s Syndrome, I have undertaken the task of creating a sensory room for him. 

To list just a few of his problems with sensory integration:

  • Austin makes me cut out the tags from all his clothing. 
  • If his socks aren’t adjusted just right he’ll spend the next twenty minutes fixing them; whether he’s going to be late for school or not. 
  • Cannot wear turtlenecks or anything else close to his throat.
  • Prefers to only wear his boxers around the house.  He usually strips down to his boxer shorts as soon as he walks in the door.
  • He overreacts to sudden loud noises or too much noise at one time. 
  • He talks excessively, loudly, and without concern of the other person’s interest in the subject. 
  • When he’s bored or aggravated he swings his arms or spins in a chair.  It seems to calm him down. 
  • Whenever he tells me or someone else what he likes he then turns to me and says, “right mom,” even though he has stated this multiple times.  He needs constant feedback and redirection.
  • If things aren’t done a certain way he becomes easily frustrated.
  • He doesn’t like to be hugged unless it’s from me.  However, it’s limited contact.
  • Does not like to be around a lot of people.
  • He loves vibrating or strong sensory input.

Okay so it’s a longer list than you expected.  That’s only part of the list.  There’s so much more.  But, I’ll spare you any further details.

A sensory room is very good for children and adults with sensory processing disorders.  It is usually tailored to an individual’s sensory needs to either calm or stimulate them and usually includes equipment or items that calm or stimulate the 7 senses (listed below).   A sensory room should NEVER be used as a form of punishment.  It is intended to calm the over stimulated or to stimulate the under stimulated individual.  If discipline is needed, do not use the sensory room for this.

Senses and things to include in your sensory room:

1.   Vestibular–  swings, slides, balance boards, tubes to roll in, rocking horses, hammocks, or a sit and spin,etc.

2.   Visual– Controllable light source, no fluorescent lights, Christmas lights (that don’t flash if it bothers individual), play tents, lava lamps, tabletop water fountains, etc.

3.   Smell-  Scented oils, scented candles (is safe for individual), scented markers, scented playdoh, potpourri or sprays.

  • Calming scents- Vanilla, lavender, peppermint, and jasmine.
  • Stimulating scents- Cinnamon, floral scents, spices, and strong sour or sweet scents.  

4.   Taste–  A variety of foods, liquids, gum, or textured food is a great activity to include in your sensory room.  Use supervision depending on the individual.

5.   Proprioception-  Anything that allows the individual to be “hugged” or comforted via pressure works well.  Examples include: bean bag chairs,  weighted vests and/or blankets, squishy beds or sofas, therapy balls to roll on top of them, etc.

6.   Touch- Many things have texture; playdoh, funny foam, textured balls, textured wallpaper, textured puzzles, coloring over textured materials, finger paints , koosh balls, using various materials such as  satin, carpet swatches, silk, lamb’s wool, washcloths, cotton balls, etc., massagers and vibrating kids toys.

7.   Auditory– Soothing sounds CD’s, nature sound machine, white noise (ie. Fans), classical music.

I hope this information will help you or someone you love and/or care for.

Read Full Post »


Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities And Remaining Sane Blog

 Raising 5 Kids With Disabilities And Remaining Sane Blog

Rave Review!!!!!  Two thumbs up! 

5 Stars!   A must read blog!!!!!

 

Last night I found the most wonderfully caring, amazing, intelligent, funny woman on the internet.  Not that she was lost.  I think that, until I found her blog, I was the one that was lost.  I was so inspired by her blog that I just had to share it with all of you, my cherished readers.

Lindsey Petersen is a 50+ mom and author of Raising 5 kids with disabilities and remaining sane blog.  In her blog posts she recalls her memories of growing up in New England with an architect father that was very money conscious and a very loving, upbeat, optimistic mother whom she just recently lost.  She discusses much needed topics such as children with disabilities, adoption, dealing with stress, and so much more.   Her most inspiring blogs are about how she and her husband raise with 5 kids with disabilities.  Reading Lindsey’s blog, I laughed and cried and then laughed all over again.  There are so many things that I can related with.

Lindsey uses her positive, upbeat outlook on life to keep herself sane.  Much like, I imagine, her mother did.  Let’s face it, being a parent in this day and age is no picnic in the park.  Being a parent of children with disabilities is like being on a roller coaster ride.  We have our ups and downs but, by the end of the day, we’re satisfied with the ride.  On a daily basis Lindsey and her husband deal with such disabilities as ADHD, anxieties, Autism, blindness, OCD,  deafness, Dissociative Identity Disorder and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder.  I’m sure that I’ve missed a few diagnoses somewhere.  For that, I apologize. 

I related with her because, I too, grew up in New England.  I recall my Nana’s house being so hot that I couldn’t breathe.   The downstairs was sweltering hot and as my sister and I ascended the stairs for bed, the temperature drastically changed.  We would slip into an ice cold bed and shiver for hours until we finally fell asleep.  Mornings were the worst.  It seemed that the woodstove had slept while we did and, come morning time, required someone to re-stoke the fire.  My sister and I lived with my mom and stepfather.  My mom was a cook at our elementary school for over 20 years.  My stepfather was a landscaper/carpenter/painter. 

 I’m a mom of 5 kids.  I have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, OCD, and anxieties.  I’m also a mom of children with disabilities.  My youngest son has ADHD, OCD, and anxieties.  My oldest daughter, now 19, has shown signs of Bi-polar disorder since she was a child.   That was one very long roller coaster ride.  My last baby girl, Sierra Cheyenne, was born in January of 2001.  She died six hours and five minutes after she was born.  Had she survived, she would have been severely developmentally delayed.  I would give anything to have her back even though I know how difficult it would be to care for her.

I will never get enough of Lindsey’s blog.  I visit it on a daily basis.  I beg you, my dear sweet readers, to head on over to Lindsey’s blog,  Raising 5 kids with disabilities and remaining sane blog and enjoy the words that  I so very much cherish.  There is no way that you can leave her blog without being inspired and/or comforted.  Her blog has become a part of my daily dose of reality, sanity, and comfort.  I now feel that life is going to be okay no matter how hard that it seems.  Lindsey has become my sanity and peace of mind.

Read Full Post »


My youngest son, Austin, was diagnosed with ADHD when he was six. Considering that he was so young, I wondered if he had been mis-diagnosed. But, he has shown signs of ADHD since birth and it does run in the family. Over the last 5 1/2 years he has shown no signs of growing out of his behaviors. He has been kicked out of three different schools.  He is easily distracted. He can be very hyper at times; so much so that I become exhausted just trying to keep up with him. And, he talks incessantly and loudly.

 

Austin is an intelligent, loving boy. Most people can’t see that side of him because he has ADHD. What they see is a difficult, hyper, annoying boy who can’t stay still. If they would look below the surface, they would see the same wonderfully amazing child that I see. Dealing with a child who has ADD/ADHD is never easy. It can be very frustrating, exhausting, and annoying. On the other hand, it has been one of the most rewarding learning experiences of my life.

 

Yesterday, I took the kids out shopping. It was very frustrating at times. Each child wanted something different and they just couldn’t wait for the other one to pick out their gifts. But, Austin finally picked out a DS Lite. Since his last DS went to technological heaven, he decided that was what he wanted most. I think that he’s been lost without it. At least all those games that we bought for his last DS aren’t wasted money. It’s one of the very few things my ADHD child can concentrate on.

 

His new DS came with a few rules, however. Being that he does have ADHD, he doesn’t think before he acts. I don’t know how many times I found his last DS on the floor, in the couch, in the kitchen, bathroom, etc. That is the reason why his last DS is in technological heaven. I discussed with him the importance of taking care of his things like I’ve done so many times before. He promised me that he would take care of it. So, I decided to make a few disciplinary actions that I would put into effect.

 

The first time that I find his DS where it doesn’t belong, I would take it away from him for two days. The second time would result in double that time. He would then have to wait four long days without his DS. By the third time, I would take it away for a week. Each and every time after that it would be taken away for a week.

 

I think that, considering his inability to think properly before acting, this is quite fair. I will give him reminders if I see him playing his DS. This gives him a better chance at successfully caring for it better. I can’t expect him to automatically care for his things without some kind of help. This afternoon, while watching an “I love Lucy” marathon, Austin sat next to me on the couch. During commercials he would play his Pokémon game on his DS. “So, where are you going to put that when you’re done playing,” I asked him.

 

“In my room on my dresser,” was his reply.

 

“Very good,” I replied.

 

This is an ongoing task with everything that he does. I have to keep on him all the time and redirect him many times a day. Without proper guidance and patience, he will be doomed to failure. I’m going to make sure that doesn’t happen. I think that with little prompts here and there, behavioral training, and a lot of love he can be successful at anything.

 

For more information about ADD/ADHD in children, visit WebMD.

 

Here is a list of signs and symptoms of a child with ADD/ADHD 

 • Are in constant motion.

 

 • Squirm and fidget.

 

• Do not seem to listen.

 

 • Have difficulty playing quietly.

 

 • Often talk excessively.

 

• Interrupt or intrude on others.

 

• Are easily distracted.

 

• Do not finish tasks.

Read Full Post »


Many people haven’t even heard of fibromyalgia.  Some that have heard of it don’t believe that it truly exists.  I’m biased on that one! I have suffered with fibromyalgia for 26 years.

Just because you can’t see my pain, doesn’t mean that it’s not real.

Yes, I am limited to what I can do most of the time.  It’s not because I’m lazy.  I would rather be out there running with my children, swimming a few laps in the pool,  or writing a long letter to my loved ones without my hands cramping up and my muscles going into a spasm on me.

If you’re not sure what fibromyalgia is, here’s some information for you.

______________________________________

Fibromyalgia is a chronic condition characterized by widespread pain in your muscles, ligaments and tendons, as well as fatigue and multiple tender points — places on your body where slight pressure causes pain.  It is classified as a syndrome not a disease because it has many overlapping symptoms.  These symptoms can affect all systems in the body.

Fibromyalgia affects about 2% of the population in the United States alone. It usually affects more women than men.  The name fibromyalgia comes from three root words,  “fibro” meaning fibrous tissue (such as tendons and ligaments), “myo” meaning muscles, and “algia” meaning pain.

The following is a list of fibromyalgia symptoms for informational purposes only.  This is not intended as a diagnosis for fibromyalgia.  If you feel that you may have fibromyalgia, please consult with your doctor.

Not all of these symptoms will apply to everyone at the same time.  Sometimes, fibromyalgia pain will rotate to different areas of the body at different times.

______________________________________

SYMPTOMS:

Widespread Pain

Multiple Chemical Sensitivity Syndromes

Morning Stiffness

Fatigue

“Fibro fog”: Cognitive or Memory Impairment

Dizziness/Vertigo

Sleep Disorders

Urinary and Pelvic Problems

Chronic Headaches

Cold Symptoms

Temperomandibular Joint
Dysfunction Syndrome(TMJ)

Chest Symptoms

Anxiety

Depression

Dysmenorrhea(excruciating pain during menstrual cycle)

Myofascial pain

Muscle twitches

IBS(irritable bowel syndrome)

______________________________________

Factors that aggravate fibromyalgia:

Overexertion. Many fibromyalgia sufferers report an increase in their pain and fatigue after exercise or other forms of physical activity. Overexertion tends to increase the severity of muscle pain and fatigue.

Stress. Stress plays a big role in aggravating fibromyalgia symptoms. If a fibromyalgia sufferer experiences emotional stress or anxiety, it can bring on muscle pain, headaches, or even cause anxiety attacks. Other  stressors, such as loud noises or bright lights, can trigger these fibromyalgia symptoms.

Weather. Rain or snow, or having to dealing with rapid changes in weather can trigger painful symptoms and worsen headaches, muscle aches, and depression for fibromyalgia sufferers.

For more information, visit MayoClinic.com

Read Full Post »


Being a mom of four children is never easy. Heck, being a mom in general isn’t easy. But, being a mom with a chronic illness is the hardest thing that I’ve ever had to deal with. I have struggled with Fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome on a daily basis for the past twenty-six years. And, I absolutely refuse to let it get the best of me.

There is never enough time or money to do what I want to do for my family. If I’m sick or in excruciating pain, I can’t just stop being a mom until I feel better. There are times when I wish that I could do just that; put the world on pause. Unfortunately, the world doesn’t stop so that I can recuperate. Whether I like it or not, the world keeps turning, time keeps marching on, and I’m still a mom. Don’t get me wrong, I love being a mom. I just wish that I could be a better, more active, healthy mom for my childrens’ sake.

Two of my children went to their fathers’ for the Christmas holiday. That left me with only my 11 year-old son, Austin. These are the times when I get to spend extra bonding time with him. I find it very frustrating when I’m not feeling well when I have all this special time to spend with him. That’s the way it has been for me this holiday season. However, I try to find the rewards in the mess that I call my life. Today, I found a reward in spending time with my son.

This morning I woke up to a body full of pain. With much effort, I opened my eyes, sat up in bed, and moaned my frustration to the world.
“Why can’t there be a cure for Fibromyalgia,” I whined to myself.
“What? You okay baby?” asked my husband gently touching my back.
“Yeah, honey, I’m fine,” I lied.

My husband has been with me for the past three years. He treats all four of my children like they were his own. He knows all about my medical issues. He is so attentive to my needs and very seldom does he complain about my condition. As a matter of fact, with sleepy eyes and less than four hours of sleep, he sat up in bed and gently rubbed my back. God definitely gave me a gift when he sent my husband. When he had exhausted himself back to sleep, I slid off the bed and stumbled to the kitchen to make a pot of coffee.

My husband and I had just given the children the wii video game system. Austin was so excited that he wanted to share the experience with little ol’ mom. God, I love that kid!
“Mom! Mom, you gotta’ play this with me! I bet I can beat you in bowling.”

You’d think that something so simple as playing a video game would be easy for anyone. Unfortunately, in the pain that I was in, I just couldn’t make my muscles move without pain searing through my body.
“Honey, mommy’s in a lot of pain. You’ll have to wait a little while before I can do anything, okay?”
“Okay mom,” he replied. “I’ll just practice until you’re ready,” he said with a smile.

I really, really wanted to play the game with him. I love spending time with my children. Even if it is just playing a game with them, it means so much to them and to me. I knew that it was going to take at least thirty minutes before my muscle relaxers kicked in and I began to feel some sense of relief from my pain.

To my delight and Austin’s, a half hour went by quite quickly. My muscles weren’t so stiff and the pain had subsided. I then challenged him to a bowling game. With each frame, we rooted for each other and high-fived each other until we were both exhausted. We had so much fun! He won, of course. It may seem silly to be excited about playing a video game with your child. But, to me, it’s one of the most wonderful things that I can do with my kids.

As I sit here now, typing this memory, my pain has returned with a vengeance. I am ready for another muscle relaxer and my pillow-top bed. But, I will never forget the joy that I saw on my sons’ face as wii spent time together.


Technorati claim token=KGJ28HMX6DGS

Read Full Post »


Christmas is coming, the goose is getting fat, and so am I!

Why do the BIG holidays have to occur so close together?  Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, my softail has become a wideglide.  Consider in the factor that I have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, and don’t exercise that much and you have a recipe for a fat chick.

Just the thought of exercising is exhausting.  When I climb out of bed, I’m already in pain, stiff all over, and still exhausted after 9 hours of sleep.  How can I exercise when I feel like I’ve been hit by a Mack truck?

This morning I looked in the mirror and saw some other woman staring back at me.  She looked like me but, a larger version of me.  Where had the time gone?  Where did all those pounds come from?  I sat down and cried.  Now, mind you, I’m not a shallow person.  I’m not overly concerned about my looks.  But, I have put on 15 pounds in the last 3 months.  Between my chronic pain, fatigue, lack of exercise and poor weather conditions my body has run amok.  And “amok” definitely does not imply that I “am ok.”

With that being said, I decided to do some research on the subject of exercising with Fibromyalgia.   If you have Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, or any other Chronic Pain disorder then check out these sites and get moving.

The first two on the list are my favorites.

http://www.fmaware.org/site/PageServer?pagename=topics_exercise

http://chronicfatigue.about.com/od/treatingfmscfs/a/exercise.htm

Fibromyalgia Slideshow: Fibro-friendly Exercises

http://www.fibromyalgiaexercise.net/

http://www.fibromyalgiaexercise.net/Fibromyalgia_Exercise-_Part_2.html

http://www.fibromyalgiaexercise.net/Yoga.html

Always check with your doctor first before adding a new exercise to your routine.

Comments are always welcome.  I’d like to know if anyone else has similar problems.  Maybe you have a better way of dealing with your disorder.  If you do, please feel free to share with us how you cope with your chronic condition. I hope this helps you.  I’m headed out right now for a short walk.  I’ll meet you back here.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »