Life Can Change In An Instant.

Last Wednesday started out like any other Wednesday morning. Christopher(14) looked just fine. He headed off to school just like any other day. I got the other 2 up and off to school an hour later, then settled in to bed, after being sick since Saturday evening, hoping to get some rest before heading back to work. Finally I was going to REST and give myself some time to heal.

That is when everything changed. The school called. Christopher had something major going on with his heart, couldn’t feel his legs, heart rate 168, purple, clammy, etc. He needed to go to the hospital IMMEDIATELY!  He had just been sitting in class when it happened. No history of heart issues.

After a day at the hospital, he is stable and doing ok. They rules out all the basics, like medications or panic attack etc.  This week will be full of countless heart tests. He isn’t allowed to do anything “active” so he has basically just sitting next to me. I am supposed to keep him “calm”….. yeah… a 14 year old hormonal teen. That is right there with trying to “calm” an active volcano… 😉

More info late when we find out what is going on…

Some Things Confuse Me…

So you probably know my story by now. Single mom, 4 boys, no family/help. Very very very little money… As in our monthly income is about what a person makes in a week.

Yet we have a 26+ room house. And a 6,300 sq ft store. I run our house ALONE. And the entire business ALONE. Along with the boys, I take care of their 4 cats, 2 dogs, 1 rabbit, & snail tank. I do mountains of laundry for both home & business, without a dryer, having to hang everything down to the last sock up to dry. (One of these days I will have the $$$ to get the electric put in for the dryer.)

I keep our lawn mowed, sidewalks shoveled, & try to keep presentable landscapes around the house.

Did I mention my boys &I have have attention AND sensory issues?? (& other special needs)

But I do it.
Then I come across a blog of a married woman of 3 who can’t remember to even pay their bills, to the point things get shut off– not because they don’t have money BUT ONLY because as a Stay at home mom, she “has too much” to do/handle. Um. Wow…

I just don’t get it.

And I have parents who come in to the store who are doing 99% for their daughter because, well, “she’s a single mom (of 1)& that is just too much to handle it all herself.”. WHAT?! I can’t help but wonder sometimes what its like to have a choice. BUT I also see the enabling. So, I’m kinda thankful in a way. Would I be this far if I had a fall back plan?? I don’t know…

HOUSE & STORE UPDATES

Well, I just feel the need to post as it keeps getting away from me.

THE HOUSE:

We had a snow, melt, refreeze, then rain Sunday, and when I got home from work, we had 2 roof leaks- one pouring in from a window into our main stair well and, when I went up to the 3rd floor to investigate, another teeny leak up there too.

I figured out the window leak was from water getting into the box gutters, & running down the siding and into the window. It has not happened since and it looks simple enough I can fix it myself…only issue is getting 3 stories up there to do it. I’m positive its one of those ‘only when it rains in a weird direction OR water freezes up in a weird direction’ kinda leaks. (2 different houses we lived in when I was married had the same, weird, 1 time and never again kinda leaks like this.)

So, it comes down to the fact I REALLLLY gotta repair and seal my box gutters and it’s on the list as soon as I find $$$. I plan to get some quotes closer to spring, just to see if its worth hiring someone vs me trying to do it all myself.

AND the leak on the 3rd floor- this is a leak that left me wondering how many people have these leaks and never know unless/until it gets worse… It has been raining all day and the carpet was barely damp. It is a VERY slow drip, that I only noticed because I happened to be standing directly under it when it dripped. I stuck a bucket under it but there wasn’t even anything to dump out the next day. This could be a freak 1 time thing too, but simple enough to fix, as that part of the roof is still bare studs and I should be able to fix it from the inside.  I think I can fix both myself for somewhere between $25- $50. So, all in all, nothing I can’t repair once I find a BIG ladder and a warm, dry day. 😉

STORE:

Well, I am hanging in there. Things are starting to come together but January is pretty slow. Money is insanely tight and will be over the next month or 2 I expect. I am working on more advertising, which costs more $$$, which is causing most of that “tightness.” But the FB page is up to 5,136 likes already which is pretty cool. And I have an appt this weekend for a possible GIANT consignment order- would basically be adding a store into my store- so hoping for the best for that. I have also had a handful of people say they plan to bring in donation, so we shall see.

SENSORY ISSUES, OVERLOADS, & why Yelling/Spanking Won’t Work…

Not all “temper tantrums” are what they seem. Sometimes they are something more. Something NO amount of “discipline” will curb. Yelling or spanking children with this disorder makes it MUCH WORSE.

As a mother with 3/4 of my kids AND myself who suffer from Sensory Integration, it is VERY real for us.

Sensory Issues are VERY common throughout many different Dxs, from ADHD, Autism, Anxiety, PTSD, Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, FMS, and many, many more. It affects people of all ages, but easier to spot in children, because as we age, we come up with our own unique coping skills.

What makes it even more interesting is that it affects each person differently. Rarely will you have 2 children with the same sensory needs.

For example, I have 1 child who needs TIGHT fitted clothing and another who need super loose fitted clothing. I, myself, can’t stand anything tight/fitted on, BUT the idea of going with any clothing on, is just as bad.

Also, I HATE to be touched. It actually hurts. Places like, for example, churches that tell you to get up and hug/shake hands with those around you–well, you might as well shove me into a torture chamber!!  I explain it as “super sensitive skin” to most, because things that touch my skin will also generally cause visual reaction as well.

I like things but away & not cluttered about or I get Visual Sensory Overload…(different from OCD or anxiety, but some people have both) but I have a son who has the exact opposite issue- he will dump out his toys and ROLL in them for the sensory input.  It “hurts” me just to watch this!! lol (picture rolling in a giant tub of LEGOS!)

Listen to the person. They know themselves and their overload. If they can tell you what they need to calm down, pay attention. Individual people have individual strategies. If their attempt to calm down involves behavior that looks bizarre, such as rocking or flapping hands, don’t interfere. Sometimes well-meaning people, trying to help a person with autism or sensory processing disorder fit in, will accidentally discourage a useful coping mechanism.

  • If you see them using a harmful coping mechanism, such as head-banging or biting their arms, alert an authority figure such as a caretaker, therapist, or adult. They may lash out if you try to grab them, and either one of you could get hurt. After the overload, a specialist can help them find a better coping mechanism.

My Thomas is still in the process of learning SAFE means of coping. There is nothing worse than watching your child harm him self, by biting/sucking on his skin so hard he is leaving WELTS on his arms. Or when they are much bigger and stronger than you are and they lash out, leaving you so many scratches and bruises that it look like you were attacked by the world’s biggest alley cat. And it is so FRUSTRATING when adults try to put him down for having OR actually try taking away his BLANKET. Yes, he is nearly 11, but he NEEDS that thing to stop overload! Yes he sucks on his fingers, BUT it’s either the fingers OR his arms being covered with so many welts that they PURPLE. (His dentist even understands this.)  As he ages, he now knows if it’s a “good day” or “bad day.”  Some days he can make it nearly all day with out either.

My Christopher’s coping is much more formed. Unless you KNOW what stimming looks like, people don’t really notice. He is a “drummer” and he does this odd thing with his hands that’s a blend between flapping and snapping– I can’t mimic it no matter how hard I try. 😉 No one notices his Under Armor type clothing under his regular clothing. Not like it was when he was younger and in a “bear hug vest.” And weather permitting, you will find him up in the top of a tree, nice and secluded, with a book. (The kid can literally climb ANYTHING!!  It’s actually pretty amazing lol.)

Does anyone in your household have Sensory Issues? What types of coping measures have you discovered?

MORE INFO:  Reduce-Sensory-Overload

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