Friday, October 26, 2012
I knew I'd been "slacking" on SP with other time commitments. Didn't realize it's been so long. Another way time flies: 3 months, a quarter year, since I hurt my back. Week by week, I think the pain, limited mobility, gone. Then, suddenly, I can't move. Luxury becomes being able to bend over, put on my underwear, shave my legs! A bonus: being able to pick up my keys if I drop them. Ah! So, when I couldn't get out of bed Monday morning, I went to my physician. Prescription for muscle relaxer, referral for PT. What have I been doing for the last 18 months but physical therapy, training, building aerobics and core strength? So, here's my thinking: start over my conditioning with 10 minute exercise streaks and ST. Stretch and cool down, especially. If / when my back freaks out (and I so hope it doesn't), I've got the prescription as backup. I've tried rest, tried over the counter meds, tried moderate workouts, swimming, walking. Medical advice is "moving is your best option, even if it hurts." What if I didn't continue the meds enough 2 months ago to control the inflammation in my irritated muscle? I was taking 1 tablet every day or two. Current dosage is up to 3 a day. Do I trust myself enough to perform my own physical therapy, especially since I haven't heard back from the referral 5 days ago:)?
Saturday, September 22, 2012
Even better: my daughter, 9, ran with my husband. I thought the course was up and back, and I planned on getting in 2 miles or so "batting cleanup" if my daughter wanted to walk with Mom as she tired of running with Dad. I was almost to the midpoint when I realized no one was coming back along the same route, so I finished the loop. My DD and hubby had pace about 11 minute miles. My time? about 55 minutes. I'm happy as I haven't been seriously walking or running for about a month due to back injuries. Super positive experience. The money went to local families affected by a shooting spree a month ago. My neighborhood street full of a thousand+ runners, all supporting these families. Amazing. A coworker who'd just completed C25K ran, beaming at her accomplishments. She even mentioned a sprint tri next summer. With walking to the race, the race itself, and back home, we covered 4.8 miles!! Which doesn't make a 10K seem as impossible for me to accomplish at some future date. Last May, I was swimming in a sea of "I can'ts" in my personal dialog with myself. So, I signed up for a sprint tri, trained, finished. I plan to do the same tri next year (it's right here in our town, not 2-3 hours away as most are). Guess I'll keep a lookout for a nearby 10K, too! Hope you have as much fun blowing past your perceived limitations as I have!
Saturday, September 15, 2012
My previous blogs, while heartfelt, have been downers. Accentuating the positives here: I cleaned my house today! Fellow flybabies: 15 minutes at a time when I felt overwhelmed. And as I worked through my kitchen table, I thought, ya know, I could have done this 15 mins at a time a month ago! It's been an energy drain all this time. I bought some clearance long sleeve shirts, size large fits! I'm hoping it's b/c my body is morphing closer to fit and not just because this brand of L is more generous. Had a meaningful dialog with my oldest son (after a blowup on his part) still and all, I was clear on my problems with his actions. Weather has been beautiful, and hopefully some rain tomorrow. The new puppy and kitten cuddle together and melt my heart. The family signed up for a walk next weekend. Money to a great local cause. Not sure which of us will do 1mile and which will do 5K. It's an out and back route, so I can turn back if I'm not up for more than a mile or so. Craved chips and dip today: flat bread toasted and spinach artichoke dip augmented with water chestnuts, neufchatel and greek yogurt.
Wednesday, September 12, 2012
Hurt my back as July turned into August. Couldn't move by the 3rd week of Aug. Pain meds, stretching, heat, you name it I tried it and improved. Sept 3, I went to walk. Had to stop at a mile. Sept 9, I walked two miles. 36 hours later, my back freaked out. Frustrated! i was RUNNING 2+ miles! I did a sprint triathlon in July! I'd walked 1 mile a couple times leading up to the 2 miler. Too much too soon. Unfortunately, tonight my night to swim (and strengthen said Core muscles that stabilize my back), I've got parent commitments keeping me out of the water.
Which brings up too much too soon for my teenaged son. He spent 2 weeks in a psyche hospital after overdosing the first day of 9th grade on his bipolar meds and the pain pills for my back. (Aside: when I can barely walk in from work to get to my medicine, having to dig out my keys to unlock the medicine box really, really frustrated me!) Son came home on Saturday. An hour of him yelling at his parents: why can't I have my playstation, why am I grounded, I was punished already being in the hospital! As if that doesn't demonstrate his disconnect from reality. Son, you STOLE my medicine, you showed up stoned the first day of school. All kinds of consequences await you! After the hour of mean-ness, can you say difficulty with transition, he settled down. Monday, he was up at 5AM, dressed, wearing his backpack, so nervous about going back to school. He earned 5 days in school suspension for his choices the first day. He made it through monday, even had to write out all the ISS rules. He came home the 2nd day and said he's earned "strikes" for breaking the rules. Today, Wed, he got his 3 strikes within the first 30 mins of school and had to be sent home. Dad, then Mom missing work time juggling the child. Child who probably earned exactly what he wanted in getting sent home: a break from the overwhelming school transition. Too much too soon? If he can't function in school, if he can't handle himself at in-school suspension, shouldn't this be an indicator he needs more help psychologically? Still waiting to hear if his post-adoption services will pay for a residential treatment center for longer term care. The medicaid that was his adoption subsidy won't pay for long term care. If we put him on our private insurance to get him psych care, he loses medicaid. We don't have 4 grand a month to pay for his care in treatment. As parents, we're exhausted with worry, feeling incapable of meeting his needs and keeping him safe. We enrolled him in our county Mental Health Agency. Two weeks before we can do an intake interview and 3 weeks before a psychiatrist can see him. And he can't handle going to school! We've heard the waiting list for the state's mental health facility is months long. How do we cope? Honestly, if we can't generate a plan to help him in the next few weeks, it seems to me our best option to get him the help he needs is to take him back to Family Protective Services to say: he was ours for almost 15 years, but government bureaucracy prevents us from helping him any more. Protective services has the ability to get a kid treament, adoptive parents apparently don't.
Friday, August 31, 2012
Jimmy Buffett’s words describing the Gulf’s recovery from Hurricane Katrina. “If a hurricane doesn’t leave you dead, it will make you strong. Don’t try to explain it, just bow your head, breathe in, breathe out, move on.” No, I’m not talking about Isaac, though my thoughts are with those impacted by the flooding and power outages. We started school here Monday. For our volatile family, a pretty good week leading up. I hurt my back, pain meds; we managed. Kids set by Sunday with clothes, shoes, binders. No screaming swearing. No boys punching holes in the walls. No chairs flying across the kitchen, all of which we’ve experienced getting 3 ADHD kiddos ready and out the door. Monday morning, 1st day, we took pictures out front, every body went on their way. My oldest, 14 to 9th grade, middle child12 to 6th, baby @ 9 to 4th grade. An hour later, I got a message from my husband that the school nurse had our oldest: slurred speech and disoriented. I was flabbergasted. What had he done? Hubby headed to school; school had called an ambulance b/c child passed out. Overdose. He’d taken a combo of his bipolar meds, my pain meds, toss in some pot. I had NO CLUE! He was not in immediate health danger. Basically he slept all day. He was admitted to pediatrics to check his blood work and make sure his kidneys were working. Was it a suicide attempt? Don’t know. His counselor said he’d never talked to her about killing himself. He hadn’t talk to me about suicide. If I had taken a handful of pills= suicide attempt. His story: he was worried about school and thought it would help him relax. He didn’t realize how dangerous it was (although parents and doctors talked to him many, many times how life-threatening mixing meds would be for him).
In talking with doctors, nurses, MHMR (mental health agency), apparently my 14 year old son had been drinking all summer, the rum I stashed away and hadn’t looked at in months. Pot, about once a week. Yes, 14 year old has vocally supported the legalization of pot. My response: it’s illegal. You are not allowed to do that. With your meds and history, pot could be really dangerous. I never smelled it on him. Never found a joint. Cleaning out his room when he was in hospital, and finding his “pipe” I wouldn’t have recognized it anyway. He spent a night at the hospital, medically stable. Now, what to do next. Our only option from MHMR was short term psychiatric unit. For years, we’ve asked for long term care. At 14, bipolar, ADHD, Oppositional defiant, getting him to follow the most basic rules is a constant battle. He has so little concept of morality: he lies, he steals, he sneaks out, he sneaks friends in. A constant problem for us, yes! Can we supervise him 24/7/365. No. We have to sleep sometime. Last school year, it was cigarettes in school and probation for evading police. He struck me hard enough to leave bruises. We thought he’d stabilized; no, his actions were just more hidden. This year, it’s drugs and alcohol. What’s next? How do I parent a child who is unable to respect me? How do I keep him safe? We can and will lock up the meds at home ( we did it as foster parents for years before and after his adoption was finalized). We can and will ditch all alchol, which irritates the parents to be honest. We can drive him to school and walk him in or have someone meet us to take him, so he doesn’t sneak off to the gas station to get pot. He can still get it from someone in school, the neighborhood. We can turn the house into Fort Knox with alarms on all doors and windows. If he can’t get my meds anymore, will he be buying from a dealer at school? And where is the money coming from for the pot? What’s he doing to earn it? This summer he was here at the house almost all the time. He slept at a friend’s once. He went to the park a couple times. He won’t be doing those without parental supervision from here forward. How do we keep his younger siblings safe? What’s next? He steals the car? Driving intoxicated and killing someone?
Summer 2011, my life crashed. My hubby moved out. I adapted. Teen son imploded with violence, cigs and the police and his probation was that he live with hubby. I adapted, and I realized that no matter what, if the family is stripped away, I am enough. I am strong. I have to create a life that fulfills me and brings me glimpses of joy and gratitude (thank you SparkFriends). My son came back home 3 months later. Hubby returned a year after he moved out (“it was a mistake”). We seemed stable. Ha! My Dad was an alcoholic, so I grew up with the Serenity Prayer all around the house: God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change those things I can and Wisdom to know the difference. I cannot change my son’s mental health. He’s had psychiatric treatment, psychological therapy, parents and teachers and neighbors and pediatricians doing all we could imagine to help him. And he is what he is. Courage to change those things I can: I can manage my life choices: how I deal with him, the consequences of his actions. I will stay my own course of eating well, exercising, taking care of my family as best I can, teaching my Anatomy & Physiology students so when my kids show up in the ER, my former students can help them! Wisdom to know the difference. In a few minutes, a counselor from the psych hospital will call for “family therapy” as the hospital is 2 hours away. Do I want my son to return home in a few days? My mother’s heart screams how much I love him. My mother’s brain says I can’t keep him safe.
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