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

Work in progress

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Magic of beginnings

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24 hours

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Life lessons bottled up

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this mom seems to be rebelling from herself….

reb·el

[n., adj. reb-uhl; v. ri-bel]

noun

1. a person who refuses allegiance to, resists, or rises in arms against the government or ruler of his or her country.
2. a person who resists any authority, control, or tradition.
adjective
3.rebellious; defiant.
4. of or pertaining to rebels.
verb (used without object) re·bel

5. to reject, resist, or rise in arms against one’s government or ruler.
6. to resist or rise against some authority, control, or tradition.
7. to show or feel utter repugnance: His very soul rebelled at spanking the child.

(definition compliments of dictionary.com)

Yes, I said it. I admit it, I own it, I am acknowledging this. I am rebelling from my own parenting strategy plan! Let me explain.

Time is not on my side

Let’s see. On a typical day my alarm clock starts going off at 5:30 am. Well, really it’s 5:23 am. I fool myself by setting the clock ahead. If I were to use an easy round number (say 10 minutes) it’s pretty darn easy to figure out what time it really is, even at 5 in the morning. I know I have enough time to hit snooze a few times, but I’m honestly so tired in the morning I can’t remember how many times I hit it already. Then to do the math in my head for the 7 minute (which I’m thinking I should at least double this now) trick, oh shoot, just get out of bed. On a good day I am out of bed by 6 am.

Immediately I need to feed the cat, then the dogs, but Emmy’s food needs to soak in hot water for a few minutes because she’s old, clean the water dish and fill that up. Once I dump the first cup of food in the dog dish, my daughter will grumble and slam her bedroom door closed. How dare I wake them up before they need to curl their hair! Maybe sweep the kitchen floor, flip the laundry I didn’t finish the night before. Breakfast, I take a handful of vitamins every morning so I need food in my stomach first, breakfast is usually a banana or apple, maybe a protein bar. Fill up my ice water jug, because I have to drink 8 ounces of water with my vitamins, otherwise I’m backed up again.. and I NEED to take the vitamins because this mom doesn’t eat right or enough which just drags me down more….

I typically will practice our tricks with the dogs. Sit, down, up, speak, sing, dance, for whatever reason my dogs love this. I’m sure it’s the treats. Anyway, time for my shower (I have to bring Emmy’s food in the bathroom to feed her, otherwise Toby will devour her food…I also might scrub the tiles or tub), wake up Ryan. Waking up Ryan takes at least 45 minutes. I will go in and out of his room about 5 times trying to wake him. Toby is adorable and will climb into his bed when he hears me trying this. Toby will stand over Ryan and sniff in his ear and face. I honestly think this is Toby’s way of helping me out 🙂 I need to make sure Ryan’s taken his anti-seizure meds, remind him a dozen times to stay on track and brush his teeth. While doing this I’m attempting to put on some make up to hide my dark circles under my eyes. Let the dogs out again, get Ryan off to school (damn he forgot his book bag again!) get Toby in his kennel for the day and grab my purse heading to work. As you can see, I haven’t even started my day.  I think you get my point about a lack of time for me.

Who has some energy to spare?

I’m exhausted. Completely and utterly exhausted. Now I’m suppose to come home and immediately start with the kids. I need to inspect for “children droppings” and see if they “stole” any fun without doing their jobs. (I’ll explain more later) But all I want to do when I walk in is go hide in my room for a 15 minute break. A break from the world. Just 15 minutes that I don’t have to smile at anyone, or greet them. 15 minutes of not listening to anyone else. 15 minutes to lay down because my back has been killing me…But I can’t get this. It shouldn’t be a big deal…but for me it is…

At least the dogs greet me with a smile 🙂

Life Lesson 40312

You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.  Sometimes that’s the best you can do.

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