Sunday, December 13, 2009

A new day dawns

Being the parent of a special needs child brings with it struggles that few people see. My sweet Cooper is wired in a very different way than one would consider "normal". As we have learned more about him and as I have posted some on him in the past- he struggles from not only ADHD but also a condition called Sensory Integration Disorder. Basically it means that the imput his brain receives from the five senses do not necessarily go to the right place in his brain and get jumbled up and confused sometimes. He describes sounds of clothes-like if a shirt is rough and not soft he might say it is crunchy- this by the way is why you will never see him in a button down polo type long sleeve shirt with out a cotton shirt underneath (that is if he wears it at all). For a long time when he was younger he would only wear sweat pants-last summer he refused to wear shorts- he would only wear jeans. There is no accounting for how he will be as the day starts, but we do know that the more routine everything is the better and more organized his senses are. Structure and routine play a massive role in his life because he knows what to expect and he doesn't have to try and "change" those expectations because that requires all 5 senses to rearrange themselves. It is like putting a cup up to your mouth thinking you are about to take a sip of an ice cold freshly poured coke and instead getting a sip of luke warm water. Our mouths are shocked as are our senses and we may make a face and think- ooh that wasn't what I thought it was going to be but then it is over. For Cooper- not only is it not what he thought it would be but now he doesn't know what to do with that imput. He hasn't matured enough to find the coping mechanisms to help him work through his disappointed expectations and so he freaks out on the inside and often on the outside. We learned of Cooper's condition when he was just turning 4 and have made massive strides with him learning to cope through Occupational Therapy with follow up at home. He likes spinning and swinging and crashing into things because it gives his body a sense of organization- unlike our bodies that it would throw out of wack. Well, I say unlike ours except for I am wired in a very similar way- but I learned coping mechanisms to self soothe as I was growing up and now, I wiggle, or I ask Jeff to squeeze my feet or shoulders or beat on the middle of my back or whatever I feel I need to make me feel better- It feels like my skin is crawling when my senses are messed up and I am sure if it bugs me that Cooper being young feels it 10 fold. He will learn to cope but in the meantime, teaching him what to do, giving him words to say what he is struggling with or how he is feeling help. This past Saturday we left all 4 kids with our friend Doug so that we could do our "shopping"! Cooper has what we refer to as "one of those" days! It was the first in a very long time and boy was it a bad one. He had multiple meltdowns, was defiant, angry, loud, mean- everything. Doug was amazing! Jeff and I hurt for Cooper, for Doug and for the other kids. I don't think in all the time we've known about Cooper that he has ever been as bad as he was on Saturday and our sweet friend Doug just hung right with him! I called several times to check on him and Doug did have to call me twice (I think)- But God bless him- he was awesome! As I was holding Cooper and squeezing his feet while stroking his hair last night before he fell asleep- I asked him what I could do to help- He said, "mom, I had a really bad day today" "I hope Doug doesn't hate me"- "I'm sorry"- I love that his heart is made of gold and I can't wait for him to mature in this area- and he will. But, for now those days are some of the toughest we have. I know that God gave Cooper to me - I know he planned for me to be Cooper's mommy. I know I can feel how Cooper feels because I have been there. I looked forward to a new day dawning for him today knowing it would be sooo much better. And it has been- not one meltdown. He has be obedient, kind, sweet, sharing, loving- he has been amazing today. And I am thankful for days like this especially after days like yesterday. I am thankful for the days that are filled with moments of him learning how to use his coping skills that he has learned and days that his joy overflows instead of his frustration. I am thankful for friends like Doug who can see past Cooper's struggles and love him like crazy- I mean what babysitter after having such a rough time would stay another hour or so after just to talk and visit and still play with Cooper. I am thankful that God is in control and speaking loudly through others, through books, through the Bible to guide me ( and Jeff) as we parent Cooper! I am thankful for my "blog" so that I can confess what is bogging down my thoughts while at the same time allowing others who might have struggles to see that they are not alone. Today a new day dawned- with sunshine instead of rain, with warm instead of cool temps, and with a sweet precious little boy who feels balanced instead of one who can't make sense out of anything and is feeling out of control! I love new days like this as it reminds me of how God is with us each and ever time we ask for forgiveness. We feel or get "out of control" and our Father cleanses us and our new day dawns not once but continuously! Praise God!!!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

what are those words again?

Jingle Bells as sung by my sweet Cooper:

Dashing through the snow
in a one horse offen sleigh
over the hills we go
laughing all the way
bells on bobtails ring
making spirits right
what fun it is to sing and ride
the sleighers always high

oh jingle bells jingle bells
jingle on the way
oh what fun it is to right
its a one and open sleigh hey
jingle bells jingle bells
jingle on the way
oh what fun it is to right
in a one and open sleigh!

Don't you just love it! He wants me to write out the words so all the kids can sing on the bus like they did when he was in Kinder. He said they sang the baby song. I asked, "rock a bye baby?" "No mom, you know the rock you song" "we will we will rock you"!

Oh man it was so so very hard not to laugh! Thank you, God for making me Cooper's mommy!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


I don't know how much weight I have lost if any at all, but I know I have not been hungry. I mean I really have not been hungry! I have had to look at the clock and think- I should probably eat something because I don't want to throw my body into starvation mode and slow my metabolism down even more. I have been able to make rational decisions on what to eat and when and have avoided binge eating. I have also stopped eating after the kids go to bed for stress comfort- which is huge for me. I haven't felt as stressed because I have had energy to get stuff done- which is nice. There have been a few sides effects- it is harder for me to get back to sleep when I wake up in the middle of the night and because my energy level is up, I have been working around the house nonstop which has made my back hurt a little. I think my body might be a little shocked that I am so busy and can find so many things for it to do : ) All in all my experience has been good but then it hasn't been quite a week yet. I found myself feeling a great deal of frustration the other day because I couldn't think of anyone that I know that is on any type of daily medication. I mean any of my friends. I allowed myself to wrestle with feelings of insecurity for about a half a day. I pondered about how my life has changed over the course of the last few years as I struggled with depression and decided that I would so much rather be taking care of myself (even if it means taking medicine) to better myself to be a better wife, mother and friend than struggle with others possible judgement of me. So I take a stand for all who need meds- " my name is Kayren and I take medicine." If you know of anyone out there who is struggling with using meds to keep balance, please feel free to give them my name or share with them my email address. I would be more than happy to help/talk/whatever they need.

Monday, December 7, 2009

I need a tape recorder

I would like to invent a tape recorder that is small enough to fit into a cute little wrist watch. With that tape recorder mom's could record themselves saying things like: please stop, pick that up, don't touch that, stop talking please, don't eat that, stop hitting your brother, put your shoes on, get in the car... the list could go on and on. Then when the time was right - you could push a button and the watch would say it over and over and over until the kids got tired of hearing it and would just do what they are supposed to do. Then you could say something one time and they would do it and if they didn't you could threaten to "use the watch". I wonder if that would keep my mind more clear during the day. I wonder if it would help my mental stability when I am trying to get the house picked up. BTW if they do come out with this invention- I would love it as a Christmas present : )

Friday, December 4, 2009

So far So good

What happens when you take meds to help balance out the chemicals that your body has a shortage of? Well I thought since I had to be on this Adipex medicine for 4 months I would blog every little bit about it and kind of keep track of how it is working- I go back to the dr. in 6 weeks to check and see, but since my brain tends to hold too much in it - I don't want to forget some things so I may post about them. First of all let me say after further investigation of the Cymbalta (anti-depressant) that I am on and further investigation of the Adipex- here is what I learned: Cymbalta is also prescribed for fibromyalgia ( a disease that I still have a frustration about - again another post). Adipex was originally designed to work with individuals with depression tendencies brought on by ADHD- yep you read it- Cooper is a product of his mommy and while I always suspected I had ADHD I have never been diagnosed. So, I took it yesterday and wow- what a buzz! I was not expecting to feel like I was on a natural high- not like in lala medicine land but in the "I can accomplish much today" high. I realized for the first time I could see the individual things (piles) that needed to be tackled instead of seeing one giant overwhelming mess and I was able to think clearly about prioritizing. Not to mention the fact that I was not tired- I never had to sit down with the thought in my head, "I just need to sit down for a minute." Typically I can go for about 30-45 min before I have to take a break. Yesterday I was just blowin' and goin'. It was wonderful to finish a load of laundry from start to finish (putting them away) and not think- "oh, I don't want to go all the way upstairs to put these away- I will just leave them in the basket at the bottom of the steps." As far as eating- I wasn't hungry... at all... not until about 8 when it wore off- I ate a little snack in the morning and a small lunch and a small snack around 4, but overall it was more of an eat because I need to and not because I wanted to taste something in my mouth. I knew for the sake of my body I needed to eat but because I didn't have that craving food-where is it where is it- feeling I was able to make good choices about what I was putting in. I wonder if this is what it feels like to be a person who eats to live and not lives to eat. If so, no wonder people lose weight... energy to exercise, stabilizing your desire to eat so healthy choices are made and not irrational ones. So far so good I guess- as far as today- I am sitting posting this eating my lunch and feel the same as yesterday- not quite as buzzed (which is a bummer lol) but still feeling energetic and focused.

On a different note - I gave Cooper an old pair of gloves this morning at his teachers request (just in case it snowed) and he was soo very thrilled- who knew a pair of black stretchy gloves from the dollar spot at a certain red targeted retail store would mean so much to a six year old. He hugged me at least 3 times before he left and then hollered, "thanks again for the gloves mom" over his shoulder as he ran down the sidewalk to get into Jeff's car. That kid is too much!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Fat and Healthy (or should it be happy?)

Note to my blog readers: As with my life, I feel like this blog is my way of showing that in no way am I perfect and my life can be used to help others feel like they are not alone- with that in mind- I give you the report of yesterday's well check up for me and how I feel about it.

After being under the care of an OB/GYN since 99 I decided that it was time to go to a "big girl doctor" if you will for an overall checkup and begin being under the care of that doctor. I don't get sick very often and when I do I have just been going to a walk in clinic close to my house. If I was pregnant or nursing I would just call my OB and he would take care of any meds that I needed. Since I am done with the whole "having kids" thing- It was time to establish myself in the care of an internal meds dr. So last week I had my blood work done and yesterday went in for an overall checkup. I had seen a few months ago (while watching one of the morning news shows) that while there are overweight people all over the place- just because one is overweight does not mean that one is necessarily unhealthy. Case in point- my labs were great- blood pressure- great, cholesterol-great, hormones-great-(in fact he could tell that I was about to "drop an egg" -his words not mine- so Jeff will be far far far away from me for a few days-thank you)-heart rate-great. As a matter of fact overall I am way healthy- the only thing was when I stepped on the scales I had never ever ever ever seen it go up that high! I looked at the nurse with what must have been a wide eyed crazed look and said in a very loud voice "there is no way this could be right!?" She responded with a -well, I know others have said that they were a little heavy but not more than a few pounds- she said when you weigh at home aren't you usually naked or close to it? Umm no, I don't have scales here at home- I choose not to weigh and go by how my clothes were fitting. The last time I weighed was in Oct. at the gym before my 60 mile walk and I weighed the same that I did for the last 8 months or so. But this stupid, yucky, stinky dr scale said I weighed almost 200 pounds!!!! Yes you read that right and I am not going to beat around the bush about it- 200 friends- on a 5'4" frame. The most I weighed at my biggest pregnancy was 179- of course I threw up so much that I weighed less after delivery then I did before getting preggers but that's a whole other post. So there I stood bewildered and then I wanted to slap the words right out of the air and back into her mouth when she said, "that qualifies you for medicational weight loss help"- ie you are obese want some meds for that fat girl- I mean really- when did I become obese and why am I 40 years old and just took my first pill for weight loss?! I did I took the fat girl Rx and had it filled and took my first one this morning. How did it go down (the conversation and the decision to take the Rx)- well basically I have cut way back on eating fast foods, cut way back on sodas and have been eating salads and home cooked meals for several months now (ok 2) but I was also exercising and getting ready to walk the breast cancer 3 day. So how does many miles of walking, water, and better eating not translate into weight loss- stress combined with sludge like metabolism that is how. Apparently I am one of the lucky ones who's metabolic rate has slowed down to a sludge like rate in order to protect my ability to perform day to day life without losing my mind. Hmmmm really? I mean seriously - really? So this medicine basically works like speed for your metabolic rate and everyone loses weight on it- everyone he said- is it safe? If taken correctly and under a dr. care yes- I have read up on it- I will continue with my better eating and all but it is actually one that works with my cymblata too. So I am basically a large, crazy person who's meds are working together to give me an energy boost so that I can spend better quality time with my family and friends. We will see! Last night I spent a good bit of the evening battling with the God side of it all- If I am healthy (and I am) and if God made me - then why am I trying to change it? For the good of what others want to see- I mean I have many many skinny friends - and don't even get me started on my in laws (Babcocks are not known for their girth) so I am the largest in the Babcock family! How does one learn to be happy with who one is/ with what God created when everyone around you is smaller than you- and is putting a chemical in your body- to stimulate your brain to make you a better person mocking God- I mean I don't question the Cymbalta (anti-depressant that I really must have) and we give Cooper adhd meds because he is wired chemically different as well. But is it the right thing to do? All in all I had a hard time sleeping last night thinking about it and wondering if God would be pleased that I am trying to take better care of myself or does he get frustrated with our lack of self esteem and comparing ourselves to others. Just some thoughts- I know long thoughts but thoughts nevertheless. I find myself repeating this morning in my head "stupid scales, stupid 40, stupid fat girl meds" and yet laughing that my overall health was awesome! I guess we are really fearfully and wonderfully made right?!