Not Listening ūüôČ

No Running. I think that is what she meant to say when she gave me the diagnoses of Hip Instability. But she said No LONG Distance running. And for this new marathonista, 1 mile is ….

Oh, don’t look at me like that. You do it too. Your doc says “Your cholesterol is high. You should limit your intake.” You know she meant “of Cholesterol” but she didn’t say it.

We are all kids at heart. Pushing the envelope. Trying to get away with it. But, like mom said … “This will hurt you more than it will hurt me.” Yes, I know, but that’s how my mom said it.

In medicine, we have a medical terminology for Not Listening. It’s called Non-compliance. Being told or otherwise knowing the correct path but not following through can be frustrating to you and to your doctor as well. Why? Because many of our maladies are preventable. And even more can be better managed.

But like me, that run did not hurt. And you cannot feel your cholesterol. So we tend to see no harm.

How will you handle instructions today? I recommend open and frank conversation with your doctor. This way, you are both on the same page.

This post has no affiliation with under armour or Brooks.

Perils of PMM

You are carb loading for a marathon. Well, it’s almost the same thing. After all, PMS last for days! That is why I’ve renamed it PMM for Pre-Mentrual Marathon. That lasting feeling of being overwhelmed for no good reason.

It is perplexing to live it. Being caught between the decision of making coffee and making tea makes you just want to curl up and cry. Why so many decisions?! Then a bright idea hits you. Forget liquids! Chocolate will fix this.

But a new dilema awaits. You are now betwixt your new low freestyle Weight Watcher smartpoints (assigning 15 of your precious 23 daily points to 1 bar of chocolate) and all the studies that says go for it because carbs make seratonin and seratonin will make you feel better.

Decisions! So again, you want to curl up and cry. All the while, you are at work.

The perils of your PMM indecisions can be daunting. It leaves you with feelings of emptiness, being unpar with others, base, devoid of energy. Over small stuff, like that hot cup of … I don’t know… is still not made. Cue the tears.

Which then worries you because you know that you are capable of so much more.

Know the feeling? It’s cyclic. It’s biological. And in no way reflective of your overall capabilities.

So, I recommend planning for it. Knowing that it is coming. And making preparations. So if chocolate gets you through it, do it. Maybe it’s that frappe latte mochachina thing or warm clothes. Just know that it is your prep and not your perpetual. Then make 1 decision, or get up and walk for 15 minutes, or spend 10 minute in the bathroom collecting yourself or completing 1 task before thinking of the next.

Because it is amazing what can be acomplished with incremental steps and carbs. Maybe even a marathon!

Leave a comment. I would love to hear how you prep.

Looking Back A Year: Our 4th Grade Poetry Tea

Written March 7th, 2017

Natalie, You are my Girl!
The way you look at me with admiration, imitation and sometimes
hesitation, just makes my head swirl.

You’ve got such initiative. Such inner drive, curiosity and energy that I’m determine to develop it and make it thrive, despite the times I wish that you had an off

I love that dinner time intrigues you and that your quest to host the perfect party drew
a waiting audience, hungry at the venue. For you serve up a mean dessert menu.

Our dinner conversation questioned hills of the day. Some high point we like to discuss. And now you know that I loved my frappe’ and daddy his Tiger Lilies day.

But this I must say, Social studies test, really, I’m impressed.

As for Dance, we took a chance though piano was first my choice.
And watch you sashay in the room, all day in your new costume and think … Uh! such a performer!

And you know how I notice your devotion to him.
The one who drives you nuts with his darn autism.
And the time you take to say, “not your turn, it‚Äôs mine.¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† So that he can learn to play and not whine.

I’m so glad that you can participate in the
fun of Glow Night and recitals and other things done.
For Sabbath can require that you rest from these
things and focus our attention to our Bibles and Him.

But you take these in stride and you process them well.                                                        You eat vegetarian and walk on the treadmill.
You fold the clothes and pack the washer.
And only complain when I say faster faster.

So, Yes, you’re my girl, for all the above.
But more so than anything, because you are my love.

Fresh Air

Winter. It’s no wonder that¬†the windows are closed. It’s cold. Mother nature¬†is nurturing nothing. The fan, high in the ceiling,¬†motionless, still works. Dusty but capable. But,¬†in the winter, no one is inspired to give it spin.

Too lethargic. Too blah. Too Achy. Too … you know … could care less.¬†Was it¬†something in the air? ¬†I knew what to do. I’ve given counsel to¬†others on just this topic. But there I was …¬† a lump.

“In the shower you go” said my inner voice. “No.¬†No. Drink some coffee first.” “Wait …. maybe I should just sleep a little longer.”¬†Most days, I run my life like a boss!¬†But that day¬†was not today. Thoughts were all I could muster. And it was exhausting.

One hour past. Two hours. Three … and¬†with the¬†approaching of night, guilt began setting in. “I should feed the kids. Wait, they have a father. He should feed the kids” were rationales running rampant in my thoughts.¬†One sentence, however,¬†kept drawing the attention of others.¬† It was ¬†“No, you can’t come in.”

Why should I let them in? It’s dark in here. It’s still in here. The air is still in here. And¬†slowly, realization¬†dawned on me … I don’t belong in here either!

Seasonal Depressive Disorder is just that, Seasonal. It really should be called February Depressive Disorder in my house. Low energy, carb cravings, hypersomnia, hibernation are the hallmarks of the month.

Studies have suggested so many option including ingesting more vitamin D, talking with a trained counsellor, taking Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibiting medications but looking around the room, there was one quick fix readily available. It was simple. It was free. And it was delegable.

The Window! It should be undressed. Unobstructed. And unencumbered. Air should pass freely and daily. The fan … well it should be barely moving, after all,¬†it is winter, but it should still be moving. Clear the air in your space and make the best of it.

So …”Come in, Natalie. I hope you’ve eaten. And can you open the blinds for me please.”

Light is todays therapy and nothing beats fresh air!







Focus Found

Sprinkling amphetamine salts onto strawberry syrup so that my 6 year old son can tolerate his own existance. This has been my life for the past week. Autism with ADHD is rough. On him. So, I finally agreed to medication.

And oh my gosh! What a difference! Never saw that coming. He’s calm. Not still life calm but will actually sit down… voluntarily. And has stopped hand flapping (until meds wear off that is).

His teachers have started writing glowing words of praises regarding his new found focus and Grandma looks on in wonder.

I want to feel guilty for not starting it sooner but I remind myself that behavior training is still the primary mode of treatment and that he’s only 6.

Please pray for us. It makes him lose his appetite and athough I found it … I spent it on myself. Wink ūüėČ

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Heels, Healing And Health

Fashionista! I’ve rarely been accused. Surely I try but this autism mom is forced into comfort. You know, flats. Hey, you try running after yours in heels. And flats … well… they are flat. And not at all fabulous. Regardless, I needed to be “Fly” a few weeks back, so I donned a pair of heels and slew! You know, slow motion walking, music playing in the back ground, preferable the song “Who’s that girl?”

My heels were awesome. Natural. Patent leather. The very English Princess didn’t rock hers as hard. And then, ouch! My Achilles disagreed! This got the doctor in me thinking… bones, ligaments and tendons.

Heel anatomy

Have you ever seen an anatomical drawing of the heel? It’s quite complex and so I’ve enclosed one for your viewing. With over a 100 ligaments, tendons and muscles, 26 bones and 33 joints, it’s a wonder that we are not all feet. But that one ligament attaching my soleus to my calcaneus was the only one I needed to pull. And ouch.

What’s a new found fashionista to do? Stop wearing heals? Yea, No. That is far too wise an option and oh so flat-tening. So let’s see. What else? What is Achilles tendonitis and how can I get around having to wear flats?

Technically, this tendinitis is due to over use or stress on the anatomy, so rest, ice and non-steroidal medications like Ibuprophen are heals for the heel. Then again, I could become aggressive and inject the area with actual steroids or plasma enriched with platelet cells or call my local surgeon for a nip and tuck . But who am I kidding. I’m not really a Fashonista. I can wear sneakers.

The sneakers looked lovely on me. Paired with active wear and a headband, I swung the pendulum to Marathonista. And again, I slew. Who needed to know that I averaged 3,000 steps for the day. It’s for the look! And the healing!

But today, oh today. Today, called for heels. I looked at them. Longingly. So pretty.

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Credits to the following website for content and anatomy image.

When Day Care Is Not An Option

It seemed simple enough. Walk into the daycare. Fill out an application. Leave a check and walk out with start date. It was suppose to work that way. But, one look at my son and the conversation changed. Don’t get me wrong, he’s a looker. Well, actually, he won’t look at you but he’s dashing … across the room. You know what, he’s very good looking! And 5 and Autistic.

“Is he potty trained?” was a question I fought with. The real answer was “kind of ” but when that wasn’t acceptable, I felt a sense of shame mixed with “Isn’t this a daycare? Didn’t that little tot just run past me in diapers?” But it was more than that. They were fishing for cause to say no without saying “We don’t care for special needs.”

For the love of God… I came in specifically asking that question. Do you care for special needs kids? It’s a Yes Or No leading question. There’s no need for jargons and permutations. I’ve walked into salons and asked “Do you have a stylist that works with Black Hair?” With my face, no one has ever said “Do you mean as opposed to Brunette?” No. they knew that I meant race and the answer was either Yes or No. With my son’s seal sounds and flapping hands, they knew they were looking at a special needs boy. “No, we don’t” would have prompted an about face. Rather, I received statements akin to “We will gladly accept him once he can…” Let me finish that … act like the other 5 years olds?

Regardless, I really wanted him to be in a social setting so I pushed. And they gave us the tour and said things like “I will call you but I don’t think we have the space.” At first I felt condescended upon and thought, “I’m never going to that place. They are so rude”… you know, still thinking I had a choice but the next place was no different and the 3rd place simply said “is he always this active?” To which I may have lied and said “No, just overly stimulated right now.” But, I was not taking No for an answer. I had just lost my Nanny of 3 years to her having her own baby and the summer was fast approaching and I needed him in a social setting! So they needed to come up with something better.

One representative finally levelled with me. She said “We had one student in the past. We thought we could handle him but we couldn’t and it created a problem to the point where we had to ask the family to leave. From that experience, we learned about the IEP. Get me that plan and I can tell you if we can provide what he needs or not.”

Finally! Someone who can move past stigma and judgement and give concrete answers for their NO! One look at his IEP and she had it. And I got a concrete: “Unless you provide him with an aide, we cannot accept him.”

Provide an aide. As in bring a Sitter to the Sitter.

Okay. Got it.

Day care is not an option.

It was a sad realization that day. I didn’t want to accept that. Here I am, trying so hard to matriculate him into “normal.” My neuro-typical daughter was already accepted and age matched with friends for the field trips. Dark moments gave me pause as I felt his future pain knowing that his acceptance in this world is highly conditional with no promises. I was hurt…for him. I cried. And I held him. And breathed.

But, we needed to move on.

I called agencies and individuals. And the bottom line was we need more cash to care. Fine! No Problem! However, when I asked for training or experience, I was met with “I have a friend with an autistic son” or “I’m a quick learner.”

How do we manage? How are other autism parents getting by? What’s the secret sauce! Had it not been for incremental changes in my life – sanity would have been a lost cause. So, I’ve come to one conclusion – and that is … we are super! For those of us who are able to obtain assistance, whether it be from government, institution or next door- you are super! And for the us who are at home – you are super! and the us who work outside the home – you are super! and the us who are still searching – you are super, too!

Shake off the blues and pick up the phone. Call your Early Intervention Agencies. Call Sitter Agencies. Call Autism Mom Hotlines. Call our Special Ed PTA Directors. Call your ABA instructors. Ask your teachers. Stop by your local college and post a job by the Education department or child psychology department. Post questions to your local facebook autism group ( ie SASI, SEPTA) and do not settle for high cost, low service. I did. Because I was too tired. Too frustrated. Too overwhelmed. And it costed me.

What did I end up doing? It took me 6 years but I finally asked for help. And that was super! Because my mom said yes.