Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Remembering to look at the forest

Oh...My...GOSH!!!! What the heck is it about this pediatrician's office that turns my children into spastic animals???!!! Our younger son is beyond reason at this point: screaming, oggity-boogity-boogitying around the room (what sane person DOES THAT?) while our older son screams for car, car, CAR!!!

We really haven't been waiting for the yearly physicals long at all, that doctor here yet?

Physicals are THE WORST! And, I'm ALONE so far. At some point, my husband is to join me. Chronically "stuck in traffic", he is not known for he punctuality.

We arrived, and our older son did he customary run for the fish tank. Turned off the lights and the filter. Then ran for the lights of the waiting room while I fixed the fish tank...

Oh, goody! I get to take them both for urine samples! Since I can't leave our older son unattended, the three of us trot off to the bathroom together to attempt this task.

Yes, that little two-way cabinet IS interesting. Yep, there's the lab where your sample will go once we collect it. STOP SLAMMING THE DOORS!

I ordered younger son to go first, hoping he could model the process for our older son. Pants down. I told him to just go to the bathroom, and I would swoop in with the cup and collect the sample. Urine stream starts. Cup inserted. HOLY COW, KID, YOU DON'T HAVE TO POWER WASH THE CUP!!

Yuck. Wipe cup clean. Place it up high so older son doesn't try to play with it. Order younger son to sink after I wash my hands. He starts a bubble making project.
Older son drops his drawers and looks at me.

He giggles.

I tell him to go.

He starts. I insert cup. He stops.

He giggles.

I prodded him to try again.

He starts. I insert cup. He stops.



Start. Cup. Stop.




Pretty soon, I'm going to lose it. Instead, I growled. I growled like an actual animal. It came deep from my throat, and it was sincere.


That did the trick. Urine sample collected. Hands washed. Eyes checked. Weights and heights taken. Hearing measured. And now off to the examining room to wait for the doctor---or my husband, who, I'm sure, is "stuck in traffic."

The kids are wild, and, even though I ask the doctor to quickly run through her exam so that they can leave once my husband is here and I can then talk to her about all the details, it still requires work.

Try explaining to older son what a genital check is and that it isn't appropriate for him to kick the doctor in her private area as a response.

While she's listening to his heartbeat with the stethoscope, he's trying to take it apart. Younger son is providing background chaos.

Sigh. Still, we survived. My husband arrived. He took the kids. I sat down with the doctor and discussed the year.

Older son's crying led us to take him for gastric procedures in Boston before Thanksgiving. This helped. We learned more about him and tweaked his medication. With one medical problem out of the way, he's now able to concentrate on other developmental issues. So, now we are chipping away at those: emerging bi-polar, incredible OCD, sleep disturbances and physical aggression. Younger son was failing school and being bullied. We took him out. I homeschooled while getting him evaluated and setting up an IEP. We found a good school placement for him for next year with the supports he needs. Gastric issues in check.

She sat back and said to me, "You need to pull yourself out of the chaos and realize just how much you have accomplished in a year."


My husband and I are in the thick of it. We can't hear our own thoughts. We aren't sleeping, and we go from one fire to another. No, we don't take the time to step away and evaluate the big picture. We are too busy trying to survive the little picture.

We should all learn to step away and take a good look. I think it would brighten our day. Special needs parent or not, I liken it to not being able to see the forest for the trees.

Usually, I'm not good with compliments. They embarrass me. I brush them off and stare at an imaginary spot on the floor. Yet, when the doctor told me that I had accomplished a lot with these children--these incredibly difficult children--I paused, took a deep breath and said, "Yes. Yes I have."

I am grateful to the pediatrician for giving me that lesson, for the effects fueled me into an evening of car trips and sleeplessness. :) It's difficult to remember the big picture when you are caught up in the daily battles.

For all of us, I wish for improved skill in seeing the forest instead of always getting lost in the trees.


  1. I'm so glad you were able to accept that compliment, it's so very very deserved. Yep we do all need to see that big picture.

  2. I'm glad that your family has a doctor who not only helps you to seek solutions for your boys, but also acknowledges that you are a person and that you're doing an amazing job. Too many docs look at the stats and the diagnoses, without looking at the human beings coping with the day-to-day process of being a patient or caregiver.

    And you're right, all of us, no matter what challenges we face, need to back up once in a while to look at the big picture. And exhale.

  3. My younger son is the perfect for me in this regard. He appreciates smelling the flowers and enjoying sunrises and sunsets. He forces me to stop my frantic pace and actually experience life for a minute.

    Why do some of us forget to do this? I know I have as I have been faced with parenting these kids. I'm blinded by all the details. Must work on this.