We just call him Ryan

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I love this picture. This is me and my son at Christmas 2010. This Christmas marked the change in his life, in our lives. About a month after this picture we finally found out what was really wrong with him. He has Epilepsy. But at the time we took this picture we didn’t know that yet. We were told my son was genetically defected and diagnosed with every mental disorder. ADHD(attention deficit hyperactivity disorder), ODD (oppositional defiant disorder), GAD (generalized anxiety disorder), PTSD(post traumatic stress disorder), depression, mood disorder and even bipolar disorder. All by the time he was 8 years old. He was on just about every type of psych med with 9 prescriptions. About a month before this Christmas photo was taken I was fed up and finally stood up to the doctors. I educated myself about any and every thing the doctors labeled him with, the medications and the side effects. I obsessed over it. I was fed up with them just throwing on another pill when his side effects got worse. I was fed up of him getting worse instead of better. I was fed up of believing those doctors and giving them all the power to do whatever to my son. If he was bipolar I was ready to accept that but damn it I was fed up with all their damn guesses. 9 prescription pills my son took each day and I was angry at myself for allowing the doctors to let it get to that point. After three attempts at partial hospitalization, we admitted him into the hospital. At eight years old my son was placed into the psychiatric unit in the hospital. He was in the hospital for two weeks and we even celebrated his 9th birthday there.

I look at this picture and realize there was a before and after. Before the diagnoses and after. I think back of all that has happened and there was one night that literally saved us both. 

My son had been released from the hospital and home for the first time in years without any medication. What was scary was we found out he really had Epilepsy but the hospital couldn’t get a pediatric neurologist to see my son. So after my constant badgering and bitching the doctor finally agreed to release him and gave me a list of appointments I needed to make. To get in with a neurologist was a 3 month wait. But I didn’t care, I was so excited to bring him home!! 

He started reading. He just sat in his room reading!! Now that’s just crazy talk…nope it’s true. I remember him telling me before he would look at the pages and it just looked like alphabet soup. But now when he looked at the pages the words came alive because he could read them. I think all those meds really messed with him but they also numbed the pain of our past for him. See three years before this we had moved from our home, the only one my kids knew and started all over leaving the past behind. The past being my son’s father who was abusive in many ways and we finally got away.

Fast forward. Extensive neuro psych testing found the rest of the pieces. No depression. No bipolar. He has Epilepsy, ADHD, non-verbal learning disorder(think high functioning aspergers/autism), and sensory processing disorder. But we just call him Ryan. 

Now Ryan is almost 16. He’s a sophomore in a regular high school with an IEP (individualized education plan). This year will likely be his last year needing the social skills class which will allow him to take an elective class like photography. Next semester he’s signed up for ROTC. He wants to be a police officer and help people. He has a girl friend and loves who he is. He is thoughtful and caring. Funny and still obnoxious. He is a great kid and I am in awe of who he has become. Somehow this amazing kid with a shocking past is beating the odds and this mom couldn’t be prouder.

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Aside

Total bad ass

Dude….that’s my mom – http://wp.me/p271pb-3T

Thank you for the lessons Sir

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Why people spend so much energy trying to prove things with words, then forget the actions do more.

Deep down, I see where I went wrong. I saw flags, but I chose to take a chance. He was so pushy and needy, but maybe I’m just too independent? He fell for me hard and very fast. Well duh, I’m fucking awesome. “He’s so funny, we have so many inside jokes and our oddball sense of humor is identical” I told myself. “We never lose topics of conversations and we just click on so many levels”. Truth is, I did just like I used to. I ignored my gut, my sixth sense. It’s so hard when it warns me about everything and everyone.. yes it’s always right, I shouldn’t have been so stubborn.

How can I see this differently?

It’s not impossible for me to let someone inside my walls. To genuinely enjoy someone’s company. I can accept and enjoy someone else’s kids. I think I’m more excited about gaining an extended family than I ever thought possible. I can trust. It’s good that I am guarded. And it’s okay that I’m a homebody. And it’s true, I’m really fucking funny. And oh my gawd, I actually love having someone touch my feet. I had no idea how amazing a foot rub could be. And if someone ever shoots me in the eye again, throat punch that bitch because he ain’t for you anyway. Most importantly, I’ve learned just how much I have grown internally, processing disappointments and not falling apart. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Thank you for the lessons sir.

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Work in progress

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Magic of beginnings

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I used to…

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At least I thought I did. Life has a way of making you see the truth…beating it over and over in your head until you not only acknowledge it, but accept it.

Some people aren’t what we thought, or what we want them to be. Maybe they manipulate us when we are weak and vulnerable, saying exactly what we need to hear. Maybe they believe what they are telling us, if only in the brief moment they say it.

Is the truth what we need to see? Or is it this aching feeling deep in our gut pulling us back, that makes no sense other than this force we can’t explain? Or is it just loneliness poking and prodding, lowering our standards of what we think we deserve?

Eventually it’s time to let go and accept what they make so obvious. We either never knew them at all or we just don’t know who they are anymore. We all change in life. Our experiences make us grow and change. It’s part of our journey. Accept the lesson and thank them for it. If they are meant to be in your future, they will be.

24 hours

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