Monday, June 30, 2014

Where Do I Start?

Okay, I have had so many requests for a new post that I finally decided to stop procrastinating and type already.  There has just been so much going on that I didn't know where to start or end!  First of all, I have gained back the weight I lost except about five pounds.  I had all the excuses in the world about not going to the gym and that's the result.   I am not happy with myself so I am going to start working on that again.  I do have good news though, I have taken a shower either every day or every other day for a month straight now.  Those of you that follow me know that this is big.  I'm still not alone in the shower but I have started having these nasty hot flashes during the evening where I just feel sick.  So I started doing better about showers as a result.   I guess it doesn't matter why as long as I am doing it.  I am going to try going back in time to when all the busy part of my life started and see if I can detail it coherently.  In between I'll post some recent pics of TJ and some crochet.  So get some popcorn and a comfy seat.

It all started about late April, although there were signs before that.  TJ has been complaining this year about being overwhelmed with school and there were some meltdowns.  He really hasn't had meltdowns in a long time.  The headaches and stomach aches he had at regular school were back.  I kept messaging his teachers, telling them that he was feeling overworked and stressed.  They just pointed to his grades (all A's) and said he would be fine.   Gee, I'm so glad they know my son better than I do.  We were spending 12 hours a day or more working on school work-weekends included.  In fact, it got to be that a free weekend was a rarity.  I was having more trouble getting him to cooperate with me.  In addition, my mom and aunt were gearing up to go to Missouri.  My aunt finally decided it was time for her to sell her house and move to California for good.  All of us were worried since neither one was in any shape to make the trip!

Finally, TJ told me he was depressed and feeling overwhelmed.  I made an appointment with his doctor.  Unfortunately, severe depression runs in our family.   The teachers were still not listening to me and I was really getting frustrated.  The nurse did the usual pre-checks and everything was normal-no temperature, good height/weight.  Then she took his blood pressure and asked him he if was nervous.  I guess it was a little on the high side.   So she put one of those finger pulse-ox's on him and we all watched, appalled as it read 196.   Even for nerves in a 15 year old, that was unreal!  She thought it was an error and did it again.  Now it was 180 something.   She left it on him for about 10 minutes and it was down to 176 by the time the doctor came in.  Needless to say, his doctor was not impressed.  At the appointment his doctor said he didn't want to put him on meds, he wanted him to try learning how to relax and exercise.  That was for the depression and overwhelmed feeling.  He figured for now that the pulse reflected how TJ felt.   In other words, the kid was in major turmoil and his pulse rate was the window to that.

His doctor took him out of school for the year at that point, giving me a note.  It was early May, so not too bad.  We really didn't care if he had to repeat 10th grade at that point.  I was to keep track of his pulse and blood pressure for awhile, we were still hoping it was just stress.  My mom and aunt toyed with taking him with them to Missouri but as an Aspie, he really doesn't do well out of his comfort zone.  And of course he was worried about his Peanut.   :) 

Ultimately, we decided that taking him to Missouri in the middle of a permanent move was not the best idea.  My aunt had been in her house for 40 some years, there was a lot to do.  Dad and I let him play video games and relax.   The dogs encouraged him to run with them in the backyard.  His pulse stayed high for over a month.  It was less high, but still high.  He was worried about my mom, worried about my aunt and he had so many thoughts running through his head.  His dad is in a bad bipolar episode and he started worrying that he was bipolar too.  Some of these things he talked to us about, some we found out later.   He was just so high strung still, but we just kept thinking that he didn't get that way overnight.  We figured time was the answer.

Well, time went by and my mom and aunt arrived back in California.   My aunt had gone nutso in Missouri-eating as much salt and cholesterol as she could manage.  As a result, she got here with congestive heart failure.   So add that to TJ's worries.   A couple of weeks went by where everything seemed to be getting back to normal.  He didn't mention being overwhelmed or stressed and his pulse rate was nearly normal.  We all breathed a sigh of relief and life went on.

Well, yeah, I wish.  One day he told me he was depressed and couldn't think straight.  Then the next day he was severely nauseous.   He never could throw up, he was stuck in that state for five days.  On the third day he told me he was so depressed he was thinking of suicide.  My heart sank.  If it wasn't for the fact that he is autistic, we would have put him in a hospital.  Trust me, a bunch of strangers in a strange building was not going to improve his thoughts.  Luckily, he didn't have a plan, it was just a general feeling that he would better off dead.  Not great but it could have been worse.   He's bright, he started looking up symptoms online and figured out he was severely depressed.  He even talked about things like the loss of interest in things you previously loved.  It was pretty impressive for 16.  Yes, he also turned 16 during this time.  I do have a doctor's appointment for him on July 7th and will update from that.   I think the meds are necessary but we will be very careful.

He woke up the fourth day not nauseous for about two hours and then spent the day in bed again.  The fifth day he was nauseous and Mom talked him into eating some bread and his stomach settled.  In the meantime, my uncle had sent him a $25 e-gift certificate for AMC theater.  After his stomach settled on the fifth day, I asked him about seeing a movie with my Dad.   There was a spark in his eye!  I asked him if he wanted to see Transformers or How to Drain Your Tragon.  The second was actually an accident, my tongue getting away from me.   But he smiled!  We said it a few times during the day just to see if he would smile again.

I am happy to say that today, TJ and Papa went to go see How to Train Your Dragon 2 and then had lunch together at McDonalds.  He was dancing in place while Papa got tickets and I even saw a few arm flaps.  When we picked them up this evening, pretty much all he did is groan.  But then I would too if I had eaten 3/4 of a big bucket of popcorn, candy, a large soda and a Big Mac!   I would say his stomach is better.  LOL    He had a lot of fun and my Dad said he laughed a lot during the movie.  I wish I had heard it.   We still keep a close eye on him and I am well aware that depression has ups and downs, but for now, we have him back.  I am sorry it took me so long to update on all this.  He's still worried about my aunt and his Dad, but they are not consuming his thoughts right now.

I have been crocheting a lot but not lately.   I am trying to make some crochet dogs for a rescue auction and have been having trouble with my wrists and hands.  I am going stir crazy not crocheting though and will probably just take some Motrin and deal. Next time I will complain about my parents' still smoking.    :P   Love you, Mom!