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Appointments!

set of monthly calendars with weekly dates

This is something that I really feel I need to talk about as it consumes a large part of my life – appointments!

I know if you have children, a dog, a spouse, you have lots of appointments on your calendar. It has gotten so bad in our house that I had to make sure that both of our children have their own calendars as well so that their appointments can be recorded on their calendar.

In our house, I have one main family calendar that I try to make sure I put all of the appointments on for everyone. If it doesn’t make it to this calendar, it just doesn’t exist. Then each child has their own wipe board calendar on the fridge that we change over each month that contains things that are just for that child. It’s great to record specific school things as well especially since both of their school schedules do not match so they need to keep track of what days they actually go into school.

In the last year, our appointments have gotten out of control. I think that it’s mostly our kids that have the added appointments more so than my husband and I. Our son has his regular doctor appointments that can vary depending on what we are dealing with for him at the time.

Our daughter for certain has more appointments than all of us combined. She has weekly in-person doctor’s visits. She has a weekly group therapy session that runs from October – May. She has weekly therapy appointments. She has weekly psychiatry appointments. And there a couple of more that I am sure I am missing. We also have weekly family therapy appointments.

She’s also going to have more dental appointments as she is getting braces soon. Honestly sometimes she gets off the phone with someone from an appointment and when I ask who it is, I can’t even remember the function of this person.

When you ask, how do we handle all of these? I don’t really know! I do know that I feel overwhelmed from all of the appointments every week and I just have to take a deep breath and keep on going.

Do you face the same dilemma?

Peace

green plant leaf with drops in nature

Peace is something so very meaningful to me. Since autism can be so time-consuming and overwhelming, I like to find peace whenever and where ever possible.

I’ve been trying to create more peace for myself personally, very intentionally over the last couple of years. It is very important for my own mind to be able to find peaceful moments during a day where I can just reflect and breathe.

I love looking at nature. Whether its just looking out my window or weather it is being outside and just noticing things around me, I just take advantage of every opportunity that I can to enjoy it on a daily basis. I find nature brings me peace and makes me feel calm. I also notice this about both our children. When they are in nature, they seem happier.

Peace is something that is interpreted differently for everyone. For me, I am most at peace when I am just sitting and not doing anything. I enjoy looking at pictures. I also feel very peaceful when I am just able to hear my breaths.

I also feel very peaceful when my kids just get something. When they learn to figure out a situation or they just do something for themselves that makes sense. I love noticing these moments and I never take them for granted.

Animals also bring me a lot of peace. I love just holding our dog and petting him, he makes me feel calm in these moments. I also love watching horses in a field.

I will continue to strive working on bringing peace into my life every day.

What do you do to be more peaceful?

Puzzles

pexels-photo.jpg

Remember this one? It’s back.. I didn’t like in then and I sure don’t like it now. It’s like a puzzle that I can’t solve. It’s tough and takes a lot of thought.

If you are familiar with autism, you will know that they use the puzzle piece as a representation of it.

Puzzle pieces are fascinating. Some go together easier than others and some just don’t fit. Puzzles are complicated and they have many different pieces especially the ones the larger ones.

In our house, the many different pieces are represented differently in both our kids. They are both very complex individuals with different needs, different tolerances and different understandings.

This can make life very interesting and very challenging. There is never a dull moment in our house and I truly mean NEVER. We aren’t just dealing with teenager things, we are dealing with 2 children with a multitude of complexities that anyone with typical children will never ever understand.

Sometimes I find myself not knowing what to say in a particular situation because I have never dealt with it before. What I say to one of my kids, cannot be said to the other. What is meaningful as as discipline to one literally has no impact on the other. We are constantly trying to juggle things around and make the rules up as we go.

When I think about my childhood and I think about now being a parent, I cannot fathom very many similarities on how to handle things. It’s funny when I listen to parents of “typical” children and what they are dealing with, I honestly cannot relate.

When one of my kids has a sensory issue with noise, it’s hard for me to understand because I don’t hear it. Some of the things, I don’t see because I don’t have autism. What I have learned to do is to talk to my kids and learn strategies that can help each one of them deal with their unique issues. For noise, we use headphones or ear buds, or just try to ensure that our house doesn’t have too many things on at one time that can be overwhelming.

Our kids both have spaces they can go when they are overwhelmed. Our daughter actually created this amazing space in the basement under a desk. It has mats big pillows and blankets. It helps keep her calm when things are crazy and she likes to lay there in the dark. When I can’t find her in her room, I know to look down there for her. I don’t get it, but it works for her and that’s all that matters.

I’m learning every day on how to deal with the next piece of the puzzle. I don’t have it all figured out. I don’t think I will ever be able to solve it, but with time, I’ve been able to put pieces together so that I can get closer and closer and by doing this, I hope that both of our children gain more knowledge on the things that work for them and the things that don’t.

Together we will continue to work on our “puzzles” piece by piece, day by day.

Chelation/Toxicity

little dog in medical uniform in light studio

I sometimes delve into this topic even though I know it’s very controversial. Hopefully when I explain it you will be able to understand it better, even if you don’t agree with my opinions.

Heavy Metals is a hot topic for those on the autism spectrum. Many people face this challenge and it is so hard to overcome, if you ever do overcome it.

I’m not here to debate vaccines versus no vaccines because I know what a sensitive topic this can be, but in my humble opinion, if our son had not been vaccinated, I know I would not be facing these issues with him.

His immune system overload could not handle the vaccinations that he was given. Not that they are bad, but his body was already compromised so they were bad for him, if that makes sense.

We previously did some DMSA chelation in the form of pills more than 2 years ago as he was very high in lead, mercury and a few other metals were concerning. The pills did a good job of ridding his body of these unwanted metals and was able to help contribute to his healing. The problem is that these metals are buried in his bones and tissues and even though we did this treatment, we obviously didn’t get them all out.

We decided to try a more aggressive and controversial treatment (no judgement please) that people are very hesitant to talk about, but we felt it was the right time as his body had made strides in healing in so many other ways.

This treatment is done via IV and you basically have to sit for about 20 mins (which would not have been possible for him even 2 years ago so this was off the table) while the chelating agent (drug) goes into you system. Simplified, this means that it is trying to aggressively move the metals out of your body via sweat, urine etc.

He is now in the middle of these treatments and I am so proud of him. He goes and sits there, has his treatment and then he even will go to school. He is so brave and strong and has to deal with so much. But I know that these treatments are helping. In fact, I can smell the metals coming out of his system, which is kind of exciting.

This is not the type of treatment you would do without a certified professional and it is definitely not the first course of treatment you would do at the beginning of a physical healing journey.

This treatment is not without risk but for us, the risk is worth it. Our son experiences a lot of tiredness and definite mood withdrawals and other irritation at certain points in the treatment but this is something that we just have to live with for the moment.

I am so grateful for our doctor and I am also grateful to my husband for working so hard so that we can pay for all of these treatments and medications that he needs to get to bring him to optimal health.

Our biomed journey continues…….stay tuned!

Gardening – growing things!

potted plant with green leaves on blue surface

So its the time of year when you think about growing and gardening. I must admit, I lack many skills in this area. My daughter is really fantastic at this, she has lots of plants, has done a lot of research and has many books on plants. She is my go-to resource for sure as I am learning.

My son and I joined an on-line garden club about a month ago. This has been great to share information and to start growing our own things. Last year we started our own herb garden and my husband built us a big herb planter for the backyard where we grew the ones we liked and then used them as needed.

This year however, we are delving into other areas. We have started with garlic, green onions (which I found out this morning that we did wrong) and celery. We are going to grow our own radishes, lettuce and tomatoes hopefully.

This is a great activity for us to do together and to learn about growing vegetables. I didn’t know that there were certain stages that you needed to follow especially before you plant them. We are planning on getting some big pots and starting our vegetables in these. For the herbs, I am just going to stick to buying the small plants and then planting them in our planter.

How wonderful this is for our mental health and our sense of togetherness. Learning something new together is very exciting and it is also great to be connected with an on-line group where we can view everyone’s progress from week to week and talk about what works and what doesn’t work.

If you are looking for a new activity to try, I highly recommend this one!