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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Anxiety

Blog? What blog? Who here has a blog?

Lol. Oh, yeah. I guess I do! And, I haven't written here nearly as much as I have in months past. For the most part, trust me, I'm doing you all a favor. My thoughts aren't all that coherent.

Anxiety is ruling this household. If I'm not managing symptoms of it in one son, it's pouring out of another. Both seem to come unglued when they get home from school--what a bewitching hour that has become!

Retreating from the world, one son burroughs his head inside his hoodie as he plants his nose into his iPad and watches various Dirt Devil vacuums on YouTube.

"Walk, please," he says. "I want DOWNSTAIRS," he commands to me. Translation: get away from me mom. I want to be left alone. So, I leave him alone.


If only Alone Time was enough. It never is. By early evening, he is pacing fervently and vacuuming with his own collection of vacuums like a mad man, refusing food, demanding that his dad arrive from work and take him to the mall for a carousel ride--or six or seven.

His nervous energy is tangible. He paces and paces and paces. He is uncomfortable in his own skin. And, that energy spills into the nighttime hours, when he walks the floor of his bedroom, playing with toys, looking for something he's lost--doing anything but sleeping.

Does your spectrum child have trouble sleeping at night? Consider anxiety as a possible source.



Our younger son's anxiety about his school day mounts as the evening develops. By the time he is in the tub at the end of the day, he is usually in tears about what has happened during the day at school and what MIGHT happen during the next day at school. Then, he decides that his sleep is going to be terrible, and he considers all of the reasons WHY his sleep is going to be terrible. He'll toss and he'll turn, falling asleep very late and sometimes not staying asleep.



Getting this child to school the next day is not an easy task. I don't blame him. I remember thinking school lasted an unforgiving amount of time when I was his age.

How do you survive two anxiety-ridden children? Beats me! Lol. I know that blogging hasn't factored into my crisis plan. :) However, I have had to strip down to a few basics to make life more manageable.

1. Ditch the bad habits. Late night TV? Staying up too late? Late snacking or cocktail or anything that leads to disrupted sleep? FORGET IT! And, if that's a little hard to take, then consider it temporary. But, listen my friends, where is the logic in depriving yourself of what sleep you can get when you know that your children are also going to deprive you of sleep in a few more hours? Put down that remote and GO TO BED!


2. Relax your standards. I'm going back to the newborn days. I'm cleaning only the basics. I'm cooking only the basics. I'm not taking on any more projects than I need. At any given moment, life with kids is about to explode and deplete what energy I have. Again, I see no logic in depleting my reserves on non-pressing matters such as cleaning the hall closet.

Oh, and THIS time, when my husband has sworn off my home cooking for the big-bag-of-salad-diet? Well, I'm going to take him at his word. It's a win-win situation, right?

In no way am I insinuating that this is my husband.

3. Don't let it get you down. This, too, shall pass. No stage along the road of special needs is permanent. Find some way to brighten your days until the storm has lifted.

I'm going to take my own advice right now. It's been far too long since I've popped on a pair of my Mom Cave Shoes. I'm missing my blog and my Mojo! Just thinking about them is putting a spring back into my fingertips!


Signing off for now and heading upstairs to grab my best Sex and the City shoes! Perhaps I shall meet the bus wearing them!

11 comments:

  1. I think the relaxing the standards advice is good for most of us, and especially moms--all moms. Time is a finite commodity, so why spend any more of it than we have to on crap that really, really, really doesn't matter? (I have to remind myself of this a zillion times a week.)

    Anxiety is such a horrible feeling, especially when it accelerates to the degree where it's palpable. Luckily you are spot on about everything being temporary, because it would be just awful (for everyone in the house) to have to live in a state of high anxiety for a prolonged period.

    No go strut those shoes!

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    1. I'm wearing them now, and I'm doing a load of laundry.

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  2. Relaxing the standards and chilling out always helps me immensely! You do what you have to do. I enjoyed the update as always. :D

    Kathy
    http://gigglingtruckerswife.blogspot.com/

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    1. You do what you have to do.

      Kathy, you are right, and we say this ALL THE TIME in our house. Of course, we generally aren't fit for public, but its what makes us work. :)

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  3. Oh my Amy...you are so smart and so intuitive. God surely knows what he is doing when he hands out the babies. Anxiety is tough when you can talk it out, I cannot imagine when you have to just let it rattle around in your head and nothing is calming that edge.
    I hope the shoes you're strutting in now are helping you relax and feel oh so hawt...cus you are baby!

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    1. Our older son works on me mentally because of that, Jo. I feel for his inability to express ANYTHING. So I sit...and I watch...and I think and rethink and then I think from the start. lol.

      I'd have taken pictures of my shoes for you, but I remembered that horrid clip of the 25 things white girls do on fb. lol. I didn't want to shame myself with a foot picture. Hahahahaha!

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  4. My daughter, 13 with PDD-NOS has severe anxiety at bed time. She will find every reason under the son to Not fall asleep, waking several times through the night. This makes her rather grumpy in the morning when it is time to get up for school. Some nights she might get a total of two hours of broken sleep. This started when she was 9. She's 13 now.

    We made two changes in October- both of which have helped immensely. First, I spoke to the pediatrician about taking a vitamin supplement at bed time called Melatonin. He told me it is a vitamin, it is safe, and it would not hurt her to try it. He told me the correct dosage for her height and weight and I was skeptical. However from night one, a half hour after she took it she went to sleep. There was no struggle...and I just thought, it was too good to be true.

    Melatonin will help the child get to sleep--but it doesn't prevent them from waking up throughout the night. Her OT lady suggested a white noise fan. I was like--oh no that will bother her, noises are always magnified with her. She told me that it is a noise cancelling fan and many kids on the spectrum benefit. It was 54.00 at Walmart and I decided if it didn't work--or if the noise bothered her I could take it back. Turns out she loves it. This helps her stay asleep once she falls asleep. I do have to turn it off before I go to wake her--because she doesn't want to get up if it is on.

    Just doing the basics for awhile seems like a good coping strategy. I think life is too short to stress out over all the chores that won't matter in a few months anyway. Having the outlook that this too shall pass will get you through. I know dealing with my daughter has not always been easy with her anxiety issues--but I can not imagine going through this with two children. Hang in there--you seem to be on the right track :) Cheers, Jenn

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  5. Jenn, yes, melatonin is very useful with spectrum kids--as is 5-htp and valerian. Our older son was up to 15 mg of melatonin when we realized that it just wasn't working, and we needed to go to pharmaceuticals. SSRIs are a difficult road to travel, particularly if your child has gastric issues, and we had several years of failed med trials. It was just this year that we found one that worked, so, luckily, after his latest bout of anxiety, I was able to increase his SSRI. Why is it that when they are nonverbal that it just takes time to connect the dots and realize that it is actually anxiety causing the issue?

    With our younger son, he was up to 9mg of melatonin with no luck with sleep. So, we started the med trials for him. Med trials are difficult at best. I think his first medication increased his anxiety. I stopped it last week. He's young, experiencing autonomy at school for the first time--which is very scary--and doesn't understand how his body is feeling due to sensory issues. There are many layers to peel back for him. I'll keep at it.

    Thanks for your input. I always appreciate it.

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  6. I always look at cobwebs in the corners as science experiments - how big will they get before they collapse of their own weight? (Got in experiment going on in a rarely used kitchen corner right now.) Or, pre-decorating for Halloween. In the picture picture of life, as long as mold in the shower or fridge isn't actually reaching out a hand and grabbing you, letting the housework go ain't no big deal.

    Even with "normal" children progress usually isn't a straight line, but spirals. Things go in a positive direction, they swirl back to negative, then positive again. Here's hoping things bend towards the positive soon.

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    1. I needed to read this--and will read it several times! I grew up in a pretty tidy household. I really don't recall DIRT and even though there were four kids, I don't even recall clutter. Our stuff went to our rooms (which could have been cluttered, who knows). I have three boys that don't clean and aren't receptive to cleaning and a house that collects dirt and a dog that brings in dirt. UGH. My house can really get dirty.

      I hope my kids don't remember growing up in a messy/dirty household.

      I tell myself that they'll remember feeling loved, but maybe I'm fooling myself! Time will tell!

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