Russell


mom muffins 2

Look who took me to breakfast. Even gave me coffee. 🙂

mom muffins

Russell wanted to play baseball again this fall.  Which I am thrilled with.  I figure that it will give him a good outlet for his excess energy… and hopefully a way to learn focus. His first game was a couple of weeks ago, in DeBary; today was his first game on his home turf. Go Knights!

Knights of Fall Ball 2014

Knights of Fall Ball 2014

Today’s Awkward Mothering Moment, was brought to me by “The Athletics Protective Cup”.

For the first half of baseball practice, my son ran around, holding his crotch. The second half, I got to hold his “Cup” in my lap. (*note to self : wear clothing with pockets*)

Then to make matters worse, after practice, I was approached by several of the fathers, each offering instructions on proper wearing of said device, that I now held in my hands. Complete with hand gestures, in their own private body parts.

Red faced, son and I went home, where we combined our newly learned knowledge. With him and me in the bathroom, pulling things up… yanking other things down… and turning things back outside-out.

I am happy to report. It fits like a glove.

Trying to get the help for Russell that he needs. And school is where he spends soooo much of his time, I am doing what I can to get him the help that he needs there. His teacher is AMAZING… but she is doing things outside of the guidelines, and while that is great. I want her to have the help that she needs.

A 504 plan is what we need. It forces the school to make accommodations for his needs. To allow him things like the bouncy bar – even a bouncy chair/ ball. Maybe even force the school to pay for them.

I spoke to his teacher – and she was all for it – and started the paperwork. I signed it. I called the guidance office a week later.
I was told, “Look Mrs. Yearwood these things take time and there are other students too.”
me, “How long are we talking?”
Mrs. McGuire: “Well typically 60 – 90 days.”
me: “2 to 3 months!?”
Mrs. McGuire: “Oh no. 60 – 90 school days.”
me: “That’s half of the school year!”
Mrs. McGuire: “Well that is how long it takes.”

I got the information for the “next step” of the process. To be seen by the school board social worker, which there are only 6 for all 27 schools. And then RJ will be seen by the school board pyschologist – and there is only 1 for the whole county. No wonder it takes so freaking long to get approved

Well, I’m not a parent that is going to sit by my phone and wait for them to get around to taking care of my son. So last week I called the school board, and armed with the name of the social worker assigned to my son’s school – I left her a message.

She called me back that day… and I told her, “So I understand that you have been assigned to my son’s case for a 504. I would like to know when we can meet.” I think she was bit flustered. But said that she would be at my son’s school next Tuesday (yesterday) and could I meet her at noon.
me: “Yep. Any time. Where ever you need me to be.”

So I took care of that yesterday.

I found out the name of the school board psychologist and am calling her next week. The social worker told me that they had already gotten the forms back from his last year’s teacher. And I filled mine out right then and there. I left Barry a copy and told him that it has to be in tomorrow. No failure.

I also know that they are scheduling for his current teacher to fill out her from next week. She can’t fill it out without having been his teacher for at least 4 weeks.

6 – 9 months my ass!

So although I have the bottle of meds for Russell’s different brain, I have yet to give him even 1 of them. I cannot bring myself to do that to his body. Nor the chemical make up of his brain. Its such a harsh, and un-reversable course of action. Once started, you can’t just stop. Once started, you can’t truly know the effects of such a chemical on his body.

Even if there are nights when taking off my jewelry, and preparing for bed, that I think; “Tomorrow I’m just going to start. I can’t take this any more. The outbursts. The frustrations. The lack of respect. Tomorrow I will start him on these meds.” The morning comes, and I look at the bottle, and I want to throw up. The bottle look like a poison. Its whole energy reeks of foulness.

So I reached out to my sisters. To my tribe. To my community.

Well the first thing we have done is have Solara, see him. She is an acupuncturist. She wasn’t sure how still he would sit with the needles, nor his reaction to them. so she started with laser instead. Quicker, but not as focused. It seems to have helped him with his sleep a bit, but with any acupuncture, it takes time to help clear up the meridians.

She is also giving him some herbals to help heal his adrenals. The adrenal glands are over stimulated, by the body’s reaction to the brain’s needs. Its like being in a war zone.. The ‘fight or flight’ mode that your body goes into. ADHD will force the body’s adrenals to secrete that extra fluid needed to handle the situation. Hence such a strong, and forceful reaction. We are trying to calm his adrenal system down to more healthy levels, and to give it some relief.

We have gotten the insurance to finally approve the Behavior Therapy… but it means taking him away from his current therapist, J.
He has warmed up to J in a unique way, and she sees all of the children. So she is able to get a clearer picture of the family unit, and to help each kid with their issues.

She was really supportive of having him tested. Of my choices to not medicate him. She said: “Well the diet/ routine / structure stuff that you have to follow takes a BUNCH of effort. But of all the parents I know, you are one parent who could make this work without the meds.”

I appreciated her compliment.

As for the diet, it isn’t too far off from what the diet is here at home anyhow. Except for find some more ‘protein’ for his diet, we are already doing most of the diet. Very little gluten. Almost no sugar, except for honey and stevia. But there were some suggestions the K, the behavioral therapist, gave me that I had to check out.

1 – Caffeine for breakfast.
Or any time that I need him to slow down and focus.
Which sounds like complete opposite of what people use caffeine for. Yet, is not too far fetched based upon my own personal experiences. It has never failed to unnerve my friends, and family to watch me down a soda, or cup of tea, or coffee after 8pm, and still have no troubles falling asleep.

2 – Melatonin for bedtime.
I did not know that people with this brain-wiring difference are found to be lacking in melatonin.
Which is produced by the body naturally, in balance with serotonin and dopamine. Without sufficient amounts being produced, the serotonin and dopamine become too pronounced, and thus equate to some unhealthy choices. Such as ‘not thinking before acting’. It is not like iron and vitamin C, which can be gotten from food sources, thus must be replaced with a pill. Unlike iron, and much like Vitamin C, the body absorbs and used the melatonin, and does not store any of it for future use. So it has to be done daily.

By replacing the melatonin in the body, and thus the brain, we balance the 3 chemicals for brain activity. Since the dopamine and serotonin are designed to Ramp things Up… To give us the adrenaline when we need it. To help us Go… The melatonin does the opposite, it helps the brain to shut down. To make the brain quiet, and easier to fall asleep.

One area that I am not sure how to help Russell with is breakfast. I can give him all the things he needs – like the Sweet tea – and turkey sausage on an Whole wheat English muffin. Problem is: The school already provides breakfast every day. Regardless if you’ve already eaten at home. Regardless of pay. It is provided Free. In the classroom. It is a crappy breakfast. It is nothing but sugar / dairy (which he shouldn’t eat) / and carbs. It will do nothing but help him to crash faster – mid morning.

Russell does not want to be any different than anyone else. So even if I were to insist that his breakfast consist of more protein, like a hard boiled egg / PB and J / or Sausage in a Blanket…
He wouldn’t want it. Typical child.

So we are working on utilizing the Non-Chemical-Made-in-a-Lab pills. Instead using the ones that Mother Earth is already providing for us.

They say, “Your Children will be your Greatest Teachers”.

If they mean that in having children, you will learn about things that you never wanted to know… they would be right.

For the 2nd time this calender year, I am faced with learning about something I never thought would cross my path. Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder.

Can I just say right now, I Do Not Like The Name.

I don’t like it one bit.

I don’t like the word “Disorder”. Or the word “Deficit”. They have such a negative connotation to me. I don’t like it. Not one bit.

So there.

Barry’s girlfriend, Rhonda, told Barry that Russell had this condition. Rhonda is not a doctor. Nor a nurse. Nor a therapist. She is substitute teacher, and she told Barry that she was sure that RJ had this. Now, as much as I am not too thrilled with another woman parenting my child. And I do have many issues with the way that Barry has brought another person into our children’s lives, without so much as a “How do you do.” And as reluctant as I was about our children being labeled in such a fashion…. I will be the bigger person here and say, “Rhonda was right.”

It started with me realizing that Russell needed to repeat the 3rd grade. Heck I wanted him to repeat the 2nd grade, after a few weeks in 3rd grade, to help him. I knew that he was struggling by Labor Day, just 3 weeks into the school year. But I had to wait it out. So I did.

Then I went round – after round – with the principle, Mrs. Billar, about him repeating this past 3rd grade year. Even going so far as to call the school board. I had him held back. Even though he officially passed, due to the FCAT test… which he told me, he simply guessed each answer on. He guessed and managed to get just the right number of points 198 to pass. If he had 197, there would have been no fight.

I did this – against Barry’s wanting – tough shit for him. But on the condition that I would have him tested for ADHD.

So I went do see Dr. Kelly – his pediatrician. She gave me the forms to fill out. Some for Barry. Some for my mom. Some for his therapist. Some for his last year’s teacher. She told me that this was mute point, as I would not be able to get his teacher to fill out forms, in the summer. She underestimated me.
lol

When I turned in all the forms, in July, she called me to tell me that she was impressed. Surprised that it could be done. Yet, impressed that I was that tenacious.

She also tested him for every thing under the sun. 7 vials of blood work taken. 28 different tests. To rule out a biological cause for his difficulties. Like a thyroid problem. Which I would like to have had, so that I could blame Barry for it.

I did not get my wish.

On August 11th I got Russell’s diagnosis. Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder. Or Disease.

We talked on the phone for nearly an hour. I had a BUNCH of questions as you can imagine. She gave me a prescription for a drug
and at my insistence, one for Behavior therapy.

I started researching. I bookmarked a bunch of websites. I started reading. I got books reserved for me at the library. I even bought books off of Amazon. I even got some information from the pharmacist, on the drug that she prescribed.

I wanted to blame all of this on Barry’s genetics. After all he is the one with a history of mental disorders in his family. He is the one with a history of depression, and bi-polar, and just plain crazy. Yet, As the Doctor described what its like in Russell’s brain… I realize that I would not get my wish for this either. Dr. Kelly described for me, what it has always been like in my brain.

Only she was talking about Russell’s.

It never occurred to me until that conversation, that there was anything different about my brain. That thinking things, all the time, and jumping from subject to subject, was what every body did. That everyone had moments where they zoned out and didn’t hear what another person was saying, unless looking directly at them, and focusing their attentions on that person. That all brains wandered around, and skipped to different subjects, if the person speaking was boring. That all people, thought thoughts, all the time. Even when just thinking “there’s nothing to think about” thoughts, when that was the case.

It used to drive Barry up the wall, and I can’t tell you how many arguments arose between us, because I would ask him a simple question: “Whatcha thinking?”

When he would reply, “Nothing.”
I never believed him.
Ever.

I just assumed that all brains, thought things, all the time. You can’t have a person, who isn’t having a thought, 24/7. Its just not possible. I would get irritated by Barry’s answer. I accused him of hiding things from me, because there was no way that he wasn’t thinking some Thing. (*he usually was hiding something, but that is a different discussion of my marriage*)

So now we are here. We better understand what is happening for my son. Welcome to the world of A.D.H.D.

This evening I took my yearly First Day of School, photo of my kids.

Its the last year that I will have all 4 of them standing up there.

Rebecca is a senior this year… I just sit here in complete shock that she could really be a SENIOR.

Where the hell did all those years go?

Last time with all 4 of my babies....  sniff sniff

Last time with all 4 of my babies…. sniff sniff

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