Archive for November, 2013

Let me take a moment to clear away the cobwebs and the dust before I get started.  I began this blog up a little over a year ago as a way to express my own forms of help or advice or just sharing my story when it came to anything and everything cancer related.  It’s bled over a bit, turning into a lot of my stories not just of my experiences with cancer, but also my experiences in life.  Often times I’ve sat down, scratching my head, wondering what I would write about if I ever attempted an autobiography.  What would make it stand out as any sort of different from anybody else’s lives?  Well, I’ve got that whole cancer thing, which has now encompassed half of my time here on Earth.  I was a bit peculiar in elementary school…and I’m overly tall.

That just wouldn’t fill a book in my mind, since I’m horrible with over the top flowery details just to fill space.  Yet, that’s where I sat at a standstill.  My autobiography would oddly end at age thirty-one when all the interesting stuff stopped happening.  (And by that I mean cancer isn’t allowed to come back.  Really, if that’s all that’s interesting that happens to me, I can be done.  Really, really I can.)

Over the summer, however, as my children started blossoming into the most unique people I’ve ever met I began to realize that my life has a whole lot more to it than what I typically perceived it to have.

See, over the summer we’ve been dealing with a mother’s worst nightmare.  After going through so much in my life I never dreamed nor dared imagine that something would be even remotely off with my children.  It’s borderline unthinkable and, if fate asked my opinion, is not allowed.  But we can all likely write a few anecdotes on how horrible of a listener fate is.  It’d be nice, however, if fate kept her grubby mitts off my son.

It started with notes from school at the end of his Kindergarten year.  Hands on other people, pushing, yelling, flapping his arms, but mostly he won’t follow directions.  Academically he’s spot on, above average in some areas, but my little six-year-old, at the beginning of his first grade year, was rapidly becoming a social outcast.  This is something, as a mother, that is so very frustrating to see happen.  Not just because I know what a bright and kind-hearted kid my son can be.   Not because I know he knows better than to get physical with other kids.  But because he’s doing the exact same thing I did as a kid.  And what’s worse?  I don’t even know why I did it, so how am I supposed to get it through to him that what he’s doing isn’t O.K.?

What, exactly, is the problem we don’t have a pinpoint solution.  It’s been like pulling teeth to get him seen by a psychotherapist.  Autism, Asbergers, ADD, ADHD–all of those have been thrown around as possibilities.  On one hand I have people telling me that there’s something decidedly wrong with my son, on another hand I have people stating he’s simply acting like a boy and let boys be boys, another hand I have his doctor saying that he’s hesitant to give him a label because labels can hold him back but if we wait until third grade then maybe it’d be a good time to pinpoint his problem, and on another hand (that’s four hands, minus eight for an octopus so far) I have his teachers wanting to help but not being able to really do anything because he lacks that label so they don’t know how to approach him.  This has all been a major point of frustration for our family for the better part of two months now.  It took some pushing, but we finally had enough and got the doctor to budge on his diagnosis.  I can’t sit there and be so afraid of the stigma of a label that I don’t get anything done.  The label meant something worse when I was a kid.  ADD?  Well, throw some Ritalin at her and she’ll be fine!   The 80s were wonderful for that.  I cannot begin to count how many people I knew that were eternally stuck in a rut of Ritalin-induced depression and were borderline suicidal due to the lack of proper care.  It makes me very thankful for my parents not letting my teacher push me to that.  While it’s very likely that I’m ADD as well, albeit undiagnosed, I can at least say that I likely escaped over-medicating and somehow managed to figure a way to deal with my own personal ticks with age.

Teaching a six-year-old to deal with those same ticks, however, is a bit trickier.  I’m sitting here at a threshold of ‘how do we get him to deal with this’ and ‘how do I deal with this’ and feeling horribly unhelpful about the whole thing.  Luckily I only have another month, however, of trying to sort out my son’s ticks on my own.  Another month of criticizing to take and suggestions to listen to for how I could do things differently.  Then we’re finally in to see the developmental specialists with Doernbecher’s Children’s Hospital.  This may turn into a story of struggle, but as with most struggles in my life the hope is that ultimately the struggle is worth it and turns out for a positive in the end.  I don’t expect instant gratification, but if anything some sort of direction, because right now I feel like I’m going everywhere and nowhere at once.


Mother Son

Did I mention he likely inherited my insanity? Yeah. That much is pretty evident.




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