Sometimes, you just have to celebrate the little things, even though part of me always fears that is I say them out loud, they might disappear. Silly, but I guess I can be superstitious that way. Tonight I am feeling brave, so celebrate we shall! B has been doing a bit better, a week now with no rages! Still mood swings that are pretty severe, but not rages. That is HUGE! Also, he came home from his father’s house and totally on his own, decided to cut off the mop that was called hair on his head and get a short new do and he looks so grown up and handsome! His hair was a battle that I just never picked, if it was long and in his face then that was his problem, we had enough battles to fight with him and I guess my patience paid off, at least for now! He is getting along amazingly with S, being more respectful to me, overall we have had a really good week and I am loving it. S and I are taking a kid free vacation to see both sets of parents in Florida in 13 days (but who is counting?) and right now life is good! I am trying not to focus on my back problems, I see a new doctor Thursday and will deal with what she says then, and until then I am just going to enjoy the happy while it lasts! Enjoy the little things, kids! 🙂
Exhausted tonight, as always on a kids’ weekend. Do not get me wrong, I would not have it any other way. I love S and when we have his kids here with B, my life feels so wonderfully full and happy. However, going from one challenging Bi Polar almost 14 to old to him plus an almost 16 yo boy and an 11yo girl is a whole new world. B loves having a “brother” to bond with (something he has never had before) and there are no problems there. N is old enough to understand how to deal with B and his issues. K, however, is another issue. She is young and even though we have explained B’s issues to her in terms she can understand, it is still hard for her to deal with, understandably. Then there is the whole “sharing people” issue, for all the kids with S and I. It is new for all of them (even though we have been together for 11 months) and they still vie for our attention. So imagine the mall, all five of us and a thousand “mom, Steve, Dad, Kathleen”s being spoken in a four hour period…and I wonder why I am exhausted? On the whole, not a bad experience. One pissy moment at the mall on Bs part, but no tears. A few tense moments between S and I because it is simply stressful and we didn’t get the grace period of going from birth to the current moment together with these children, one blow up when we got home, slamming doors, tears on Bs and Ks parts, explanations needed for both, time to sit them together, make things better and then have dinner and a delightful evening at home. Now, B and K are sleeping, N is talking to his almost gf, S and I are on our computers and passing silly love looks across the chairs and enjoying wine . I so love my life right now, even with the roller coaster ups and downs! 🙂
Sometimes it is hard to tell if I am coming or going. B’s cycles are so rapid in the past couple days that I feel drained. He is happy, then he is pissed, then he is crying. There are no obvious triggers, nothing helps him come down and he is just so angry. I know that my current back issues are bringing my patience level down and B has always been in tune with my moods and it is almost like he is reacting to my pain by showing his, if that makes any sense. More mom guilt, great. Sometimes it is just soo much, but enough whining out of me. It has just been one of those nights, so I am off to bed and will face another day with a positive attitude, as I have resolved to do. Tomorrow night B is staying with my friend so S and I can go see Kelly Clarkson in concert and I think the night out will be good for me. Gotta take care of the mom sometimes, right?
OK, I have a feeling that this is going to be a random tangent kind of post, so I shall apologize for that now. It has just been one of those days where my emotions are all over the place, feeling like I am being pulled in fifty different directions, trying to make everyone happy and succeeding with no one. One of the hardest things with my son’s emotional disorder, probably in the top three if I had to order them, is that he is never satisfied with anything for more than about two seconds. OK, that may be an exaggeration, but not far off. As long as things go the way he wants them to, on his time line, he is happy, but the minute he doesn’t get something exactly as he wants it, the rages begin. Now I understand many children (especially toddlers) act this way, but my son is almost 14 and I am talking full out, screaming, yelling, hitting things, throwing things, self abusing rages. Not your typical child reaction and it is so frustrating as a mom.
Point in case, right now B has something going on everyday after school, whether it be family therapy, two days or tutoring, one day of mentoring and two days with his behavior manager, so when we have time off from school, I try to make the most of that time. Today, even though S and I had the day off and wanted to do something together, I told B that he could have a friend sleep over. He called his friends and they were able to come, but not for a couple hours from then, but could sleep over and spend most of tomorrow here. Instead of being happy that he can have a friend over and realizing that I would now rearrange my day to accommodate his sleep over, he immediately started flipping out because he didn’t want to wait three hours for his friend and why couldn’t I do something to make him come over earlier? I was in the middle of paying bills and trying to stretch money farther that it ever stretches, trying to figure out what S and I could still do to spend time together while working around the sleep over and make my son happy and he is raging really???
I kinda had my own break down at that point and just started crying and then got bitchy and then got mad at myself for doing both of those things. Some days are just hard, no questions. Add to that the fact that I have recently diagnosed back injuries that I am nervous about and things are just challenging right now. There is a light ahead, S and I are taking a grown up vacation on February 19 to go to Florida and see both sets of our parents, who are snowbirds. No kids, no work, just us and a great vacation. One day at a time is how my mom always tells me to take things, so I retire to bed, since the boys (who did get their sleepover) are about out, snuggle with my honey, get a good nights’ sleep and face tomorrow with a positive attitude and hopes of a better day. Night all!
I wonder who came up with such a name for Wednesday? Someone who had a lot of time on their hands, or someone with a deluge of phrases to coin and no where to use them? Just a random thought I had.
Anyway, today we go for B’s fist one month med check with his new psychiatrist. My opinion, along with S’s and all B’s service providers is that he has done really well in he last month since being taken of his Lithium at my request. I firmly believe that med was doing more hard than good. His rages are lower in both numbers and frequency, and he seems just the slightest bit happier on some days. This new doc also split his Abilify (an anti psychotic med) from 20mg in the am to 10mg in the am and 10 mg after school. This could be another reason for the calmer nights at home. B’s Adderall and Clonodine were left the same. Now don’t get me wrong, it is not all roses and crumpets. We still have our daily struggles and some OCD tendencies have gotten worse, with a few new ones appearing (the doc warned me this could happen if he stopped the Lithium). We still have a few major issues to deal with, but learned to celebrate every small victory and getting him off the Lithium is one in my book. My say tonight will be to go another month as we are now, not giving a med for the OCD stuff and seeing what happens. None of it is enough to be effecting his performance in school and we can handle it at home, so I would really love to not have to introduce another drug into his body if we can help it. I will, however, listen to what the doctor says with an open mind because he has the degree, but I also am the mom and have a say which I love about this doctor. We shall keep our fingers crossed and see what happens..
As for my ailments, after many months of testing with no results and me being on the verge of thinking I was having phantom pain and becoming crazy, I have a diagnosis. Four or five herniated discs in my lower back and a narrowing of my nerve canal in my spine, otherwise known as spinal stenosis. I am not sure why it took so long to diagnose, because now that I know the symptoms of that, it describes all my pain to a T. Of course the solution is never easy, as we have to jump through insurance hoops, but at least I know I am not crazy and there is actually something causing all the pain I have been experiencing. So for now, it’s continue the nerve blocking meds that I have been on since October (that I hate), start physical therapy next week, see a Neurosurgeon on February 2 and go from there. Probably looking at Cortizone shots at some point and if all else fails back surgery, which I do NOT want, so I will do whatever else they tell me to do to avoid that!
So our lives are quite full with appointments right now between B and I, plus S and I both working full time and me tutoring a few hours a week. Never a dull moment in his crazy house and I wonder, why does he want to marry into all this?? Oh yeah, cuz S is amazing and loves B and I with all our flaws and craziness, something we have never had before and let me tell you, it is a terrific feeling! I am the luckiest girl to have two such amazing men (well OK man and pre-teen) in my life! See, staying with my resolution of being positive! 🙂
I would not say I have any resolutions so to speak, though I am making progress in some of the goals that I have discussed with my therapist. I love my son with all my heart and would do (and actually do do) everything I can for him. Our calendar is crazy with all his appointments with different providers, he has something everyday during the week. Plus I am now tutoring a few days a week to help us get some extra money, which we always need. Add to that my medical issues, which after months of pain and doctor;s appointments and test, we have finally gotten a prognosis. I have several herniated discs in my back and a narrowing of my nerve canal in my spine. Not great news, but at least I know all this pain is real and I am not going crazy! So now I go through all the motions that the insurance company requires…go see the neurosurgeon, start physical therapy, possibly get cortisone shots, but probably will end up having to have back surgery to fix this (all the research I have done and the people that have had the same problem have needed surgery). Back surgery scares me, but I am going one day at a time and trying not to worry about it right now.
So, back to me. I have realized that as much mental and physical energy I expend on my son, I have to take care of me. That makes me a better mom, so I am working hard on getting rid of the guilt for leaving him to do things for me or enjoying my time when he is with his dad. I am seeing a counselor on my own for myself. I have joined a monthly book club with some friends, which is lots of fun. On the weekends when B is gone, I am learning to embrace relaxing time, meeting friends for lunch or coffee, or just going to Barnes and Nobel to get a coffee and read my Nook. I am not spending every minute alone cleaning and doing laundry…those chores can be done anytime and I deserve some “me time” when I can take it. In this new spirit of “it is OK to have me time without guilt” I am meeting friends for lunch today and going to a movie with them and tomorrow I am having brunch with my high school friends. So hopefully by the time B comes home tomorrow night, I will be in a good mental state and therefore be better for B. We will see.
Happy 2012! It is with trepidation and hope that I enter this new year. My hopes? That maybe this is the year we figure out just the right combination of meds, therapies, hormones, and life for my son and we get to reap the benefits. Most importantly, we get to see what it is like for him to feel “normal” if there is such a thing, to fit in, not to be so angry and emotionally skewed. That is something I have longed for for more years than I care to count. The trepidation, we don’t want to get our hopes to high. Never too many expectations, especially during puberty. It all takes time to work together. It is difficult to find the right combination of things to help your son. This is something he will never outgrow, but he can learn to live with/handle it better…can you tell I am quoting things I have been told over the years? I will never give up hope, but neither will I be unrealistic about where things could end up. It is a daily struggle for me to stay positive and not think of the negative “what ifs”, that is what many people don’t understand. As B gets older, the results of his rages and outbursts get more serious and God forbid he does some of the things he does at home in public…his therapist who knows him well and who started seeing B four years ago, right after he attempted suicide for the first time, has told me that if B behaved in school or public the way he does at home and with his service providers, he probably would have already been placed in a residential setting. Welcome to one of my worst nightmnares, just below physically losing him for good. Hence, my trepidation. However, we have come this far and made some progress, so my resolution is to do my best to stay positive and in the worst of moments, remember that they aren’t the worst. It could always be worse and someday it might even be better. I also resolve to embrace the good times, the smiles, the moments of seemingly “normal” times when all is right with our family and there is no fear, anger, hurt, or anxiety. I will keep you posted as to how these resolutions work out. Luckily I have an amazing fiance’ who is here to kick my butt when I get too down and remind me of the positives when I forget. That can be the difference between a I can’t take anymore and am breaking down night or a relatively insane but I am keeping it together night. Sometimes that line is very fine!!!