Stress Relief — 5 Minutes for Special Needs

Stress Relief



                               

Hi you guys!

This is basically my week again…only different surgery on the stomach…I’ll update you later…

 

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I get tired–the kind of tired that makes your bones ache.

Sometimes, I get grumpy too.

Hey, don’t we all?

In this ever-winding road of special needs parenting, I find myself often in a place of worry—of frustration.

Nothing seems to go right. Ever.

If there were 2 possibilities–say, vanilla or chocolate–Jack would somehow end up being banana. Even if there was no possible, plausible way for that to happen, it would.

So, you would think that I would be surprised when weirdness happens. I’m not. Not anymore.

I think I’ve begun having out of body experiences. Really. It’s like, I hear what people are saying and I’m standing there looking at myself shake my head and smile, while inwardly, all I really want to do is curl up in bed and cry.

 

My Mother: “What is going to happen? Who will keep Big Child? Shall I bring a casserole?”

My best friend: “What is this kid going to do NEXT?”

My husband: “I probably have to work, so…”

 

 

Jack’s stoma ate his feeding tube. Literally. As in, he is having surgery to remove his feeding tube because no one can get it out manually.

I’m not freaking out. I figure, it is what it is. My child is unique. Very unique.

I get asked all the time…”How do you do it?”

I’m telling you…out of body experience is the way to go. But you can’t tell non-special needs parents that without them wanting to have you committed. My answer is usually the same to everyone—I do what I have to do. You take your kid to soccer and to playdates…I take mine to doctors offices and surgery.

What do you do to relieve stress? How do you manage when the chips are down?

(as I write, I have a cup of coffee, 3 Hershey kisses, and I am really contemplating going to the store for gelato!)



                               

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The Chicken

Life sucks sometimes, right?

Yeah.

In the past few weeks, lots of heavy stuff has been going on (in my world and in the world at large). We’re still having testing done on Jack for school. My daughter is hormonal and vacilates from angel to devil in mere moments. I’m struggling to muddle through my final classes while taking care of Jack’s needs, my family’s needs, and still act as taxi driver, head chef, and laundress. If I see one more political ad, I might break the television.

So, I snapped.

(Do you know the story of Beyonce the Chicken?

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It’s the Little Things

My girls are suddenly into having pretty fingernails. They want me to use nail polish and make their fingers “fancy.” The four year old is particularly hooked on anything fancy and, in spite of her tomboy spirit the eight year old wants anything her sister gets – especially Mom’s undivided attention as I apply the polish.

Now when was the last time I took the time to make myself fancy? Let’s see…

  • I haven’t had a haircut in over a year.
  • Showers are still a rare and special treat.
  • Last time I had a real pedicure was almost two years ago.
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Patience Pays Off

Last week as I was writing about how hard it was to sit and wait for a pupa to get on with it and transform already, the little bugger was probably quietly doing just that. The next morning my husband picked up the bug house that the pupa had been inhabiting and I told him I was wondering if it was still alive. Knowing what he does about all things insect-like, my husband took it over to a bright sunny window and after inspecting it closely said, “The shell looks empty.”

“Empty? It couldn’t be…I just looked at it yesterday!”

He took the lid off the bug house and almost jumped out of his skin when he saw a large dark colored moth hiding upside down on the lid.

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Waiting…

Our green and brown caterpillar guests on their preferred leaves

Caterpillar stage

 

Remember this little guy? Well, about a month ago it finally pupated (is that a word?) and transformed into this…

pupa stage

Our caterpillar guest transformed, but...

Apologies that the photo isn’t better. I’ve been trying not to disturb it too much, since I suppose metamorphosis requires a lot of energy. I have to admit I’m having a hard time waiting, though. The caterpillar was at least fun to watch. This stage is like watching paint dry. I have to remind myself to check on the pupa every day (or so) to see if anything is happening. So far it just looks for all the world like an acorn that’s lost its hat.

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Rebuilding Life – An Interview With a Pro Who “Gets” Us

You know those stories we all tell about our kids’ care team professionals who don’t have a clue? The ones who clearly don’t know at all what life is like outside their 15-minute office visit with our child and her challenges? My guest today is NOT one of those professionals! Harriet Cabelly is a Life Coach who’s also a mom of an grown child with special needs. She specializes in helping individuals and families rebuild their lives – and grow into even better ones – despite challenges they face. I’m excited to introduce her to everyone here today!

Q: Harriet, please tell us a little about you and what you do.

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Mom Hair

I am, not by a long shot, a fashion maven. Most days, I rock the t-shirt and jeans look.Some days, I’m lucky if I get to wash my face (showering is clearly not happening on a daily basis!).

Up until recently, I haven’t cared how I look (seriously, I tried to water down mascara that expired in 2006). I’ve spent 5 years dragging a little boy to and fro, over the river, up hill both ways. I’m tired. I’m worn out. I’m weary. I’ll admit that freely, although it took me a long time to be “ok” with myself for saying such things.

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The Hardest Word I’ve Ever Said

Seven years. Over a thousand hours at hospitals and specialist appointments. Countless interventions at home. And it turns out the most important word to help my daughter’s treatment is this:

NO.

No… we’re not doing a nineteenth round of medication adjustments. It’s time for hospitalization.

No… I won’t take her home from the hospital and keep doing the things that haven’t worked in the past.

No… I won’t take her home, period. She needs more help than we can give her. It’s time for residential placement.

No… We’re not going to let her case be assigned to an intern at your teaching facility.

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The Weary Woman..

The other day, I was overcome with emotion when I read what our friend Tammy said on her blog.

(I’ll wait for you to come back…)

This is such a sensitive topic. And one that is so often overlooked. We, regardless of situation, are still human. We have bad days. We have moments when we’re SCREAMING up the stairs to tell the kids to quiet down. We suffer through How to Train Your Dragon forty bazillion times a day. We worry about how to cook dinner for 12 with 2 eggs, some week old tortillas, and a can of tomato paste.

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What Really Matters

I don’t know about all of you, but I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed again. Thanksgiving went better than could ever be expected, and throughout the weeks leading up to it and immediately after, I held everything else at arm’s length. I have never been a “Black Friday” participant, and this year more than ever we’re watching our pennies so it was natural to put off any other holiday plans. Then late Sunday when I started looking at the week ahead I realized that the time before Christmas is shortened somewhat by where Winter Break falls. There are lots of projects to be accomplished before then, and not much money or time to handle it all:

  • Family gifts
  • Teacher gifts
  • Birthday parties
  • Going away parties
  • Two exceptional homework assignments
  • “Annual” Christmas letter (never finished last year’s…)
  • An IEP team meeting (just for kicks…)

I’m sure I’m fogetting a thing or two, and then all the usual keeping the routine going activities…When I stop to think about it all my heart rate goes up, and then I remind myself to breathe.

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