This blog is my place to vent and share resources with other parents of children of trauma. I try to be open and honest about my feelings in order to help others know they are not alone. Therapeutic parenting of adopted teenagers with RAD and other severe mental illnesses and issues (plus "neurotypical" teens) , is not easy, and there are time when I say what I feel... at the moment. We're all human!

Friday, July 23, 2010

Still no 'puter

I'm still using Hubby's computer so I can't seem to get caught up on everything. So here's a quick update.

- has another zit! He's only 11 and he's my baby. I'm not ready for him to become a teenager yet!!

- is now officially 14. I have pictures of her sad cake, but Hubby hasn't had time to download them for me. We call it the running turtle cake. We'd taken one of the oven racks out of the oven and when Ponito put it back it was crooked so the sheet cake baked at a slant. Bob made icing, but she read the directions wrong, so she ended up using canned frosting for the base of the cake instead. I fixed the icing she made so we put a little 1/2 circle cake on top of the uneven sheet cake and covered it with her icing. It was supposed to look like a green turtle. We left the room and when we'd come back it had slid crawled half way off the cake!

- is fairly stable. She's seeing two therapists. Her attachment therapist and the EMDR therapist (we tried EMDR a couple of years ago and it seemed to trigger a break down - so this time we're going really slowly).

Recently Kitty decided she wanted to lose some weight. She has weighed over 175 lbs for a couple of years now and is only 5'4". This may not seem like a lot, but she carries almost all of it in her tummy (and her bra - she's a DDD cup). She literally looks about 7 months pregnant. Some of this is probably constipation issues, but definitely not all. When we first got her at age 11 she weighed about 100lbs and was already about 5'2." She looked emaciated and was never hungry. One Summer we took her down to a minimal ADHD dose (she can't go completely off or it's impossible to live with her), and she also went on Seroquel (which can increase appetite). She gained 70lbs in 6 months!! Oops! She had already gone back on full Concerta at the end of the Summer, and we took her off the Seroquel, but the eating had become emotionally based and didn't stop. She eats when she is stressed or upset - which is pretty much all the time. If I tried to regulate her eating she would have meltdowns. About 3 weeks ago she decided that she wanted to lose the weight and I was given permission to advise her on what would be healthy eating. She has lost over 10lbs and is very proud of herself (as am I!). I've lost about 15lbs so "Yea me!"

- is a mess. He's still not sleeping well, 4-5 non-consecutive hours a night. He's bored, surly and irritable. Since the therapeutic riding school ended for the Summer, I've had him doing volunteer work in the morning at a Summer Camp at the MHMR (Mental Health Mental Retardation organization that provides services to people with MHMR issues - he's also a client). He kind of enjoys it. He commented yesterday that he's not as bored as he thought he'd be this Summer. (*yea?!*)

Yesterday we finally got the results of his sleep study. No significant episodes of sleep apnea. When aroused he goes back to sleep fairly easily. BUT he's not getting enough REM sleep. This we could have guessed. The pdoc went over some things he can change - no more napping during the day, no exercise right before or during bedtime... He gave me a list I need to go over (this pdoc gives good handouts). He also talked about a way to switch people who have a problem with sleeping during the day and being awake all night, but it requires a lot of practically 24 hour supervision (usually done at sleep clinics). (Basically you stay awake as long as you can, then sleep. The next night you go to bed an hour later. The following night an hour later. This goes on until you get around to the hour you really want to go to bed at - like 10pm. The hard part is supposedly when your "bedtime" is at say 9am.

His 17th birthday is in a few days so we're dealing with a lot of fallout from that. Currently he's not talking about leaving home, but I think that's because he has nowhere to go. When school starts again he might have some kids saying he can live with them. Could be wrong though. Maybe he believes me when I say I'll stalk him and drag him home. He's still adamant he's moving out when he's 18 though. He thinks everything is my fault so he plans to move to another state and live on his own with a job and going to school. He'll be in regular ed because of course I'm the only reason he's in special classes and programs. Currently he thinks he can change his diet and not need meds because "someone" told him that every med had certain foods that did the same thing (my mom once told me that McD*n*ld's vanilla milkshakes have lithium in them, but I doubt it's a sufficient amount to substitute- although wouldn't that be great?!!). I think I'm going to pass this research off to his Skills Trainer.

- is doing OK. He's working a lot. He's teaching scuba almost every night so we don't see him much.

- As you know, I'm job hunting, and I recently found a good potential job with the agency we adopted Bear and Kitty through. I had the interview and discovered that I have to have 9! references - 3 professional, 3 personal and 3 who can speak to my faith. It took awhile, because we have really allowed ourselves to get isolated, but I actually secured all 9 and even had some extras! (Thanks Sharon, Caty, STS, and Purplewalls!!!!).

The problem is that this job requires me to have my LMSW (social work license) and I let it lapse a couple of years ago (I've had it on "inactive" status for 15 years so I wouldn't have to take the exam again - it was hard when I'd just graduated, let alone 20 years later!). When I let it lapse I figured I hadn't needed it in 16 years and I had a job at the company we purchased so even if I went back to work it would be in the corporate world. It will cost almost $500 to get a new license and of course I'll have to take the exam which will require a LOT of studying and memorizing. The whole process will take at least 6 weeks.

Even if I get my license they may decide that I have to already have it to qualify for this job. In which case all that money could have been spread out over several months (instead of pushing for it all now - assuming I can find the money now at all). *sigh* I can't decide if I should submit the money to get this started so I can get started on the job ASAP, or if I should wait to see if I got the job. When I questioned the interviewer about it he implied that if I wasn't in the process of getting my license anyway then that would show a lack of committment to this career in which case he didn't want to consider me. In other words he won't tell me if this license is a deal breaker. He's still interviewing candidates so I won't know if I did or didn't get the job for quite awhile. *arrgh!*

I've been off of all mood stabilizers and anti-depressants for 3 weeks now and I appear to be stable. Stress often triggers mania or depression for me so I think this means I'm learning how to manage my stress. So far so good!

Our company
- no idea what's going to happen with it. We have had almost no income from it in over a month. We've talked about bankruptcy, we've talked about closing the doors, we've talked and talked, and basically we don't do anything. We're being sued again, this time for non-payment of a vendor. We've got to make some decisions.


GB's Mom said...

Praying for you. Congratulations to you and Kitty on the weight loss. {{{Hugs}}}

Anonymous said...

Seems to me that perhaps the only way to deal with the cost of the lawsuit is to file for bankruptcy. But I'm no lawyer!

As for Bear's sleep, it seems nearly impossible that one or more of his meds aren't interfereing with his ability to get REM sleep. But if he naturally has little REM, that might explain why he can't take ADHD meds, as I think they would have reduced his already too-little REM, and very-not-enough REM = psychosis.

I wonder if he is so traumatized that he won't let himself go into REM? There are people, like me, who are often co-conscious with their dreams. If he is too, then he might be waking himself up on purpose (yet still be too sleepy to remember doing it). (Boy, don't I wish I could wake up on purpose! It is an amazingly physically draining process!)

So wonderful that Kitty has said you are allowed to make food suggestions!

Maybe Ponito's acne is coming from rubbing his face in dog fur?

The 1st cake I made was for my brother's birthday. We all still know it as the puddle cake. (It sank, and the frosting was very liquid.) I just wonder how on earth the rack was a) put back crooked w/o a lot of effort and b) the rack wasn't pulled out to put the cake on it and c) it didn't spill out before it was cooked! That cake was MEANT to be slanted!

Can you study for the exam before paying for it? That way you are doing something toward it without making the financial committment. And how long will you have to work at the job to pay for the license? (Don't answer out loud, but do the math.) Also, if you are studying, you could the guy that the only thing standing in the way of your having the license is the $, and you don't have the $ 'cause you don't have a job ...

Anonymous said...

Big hugs, Mary. And congrats on yours and Kitty's weight loss.

April lost about 35 pounds this year and it was mostly because she started running in daily PE class (high school.) She loves her new body and tries to eat right to keep it that way. said...

wow, things are busy there and you have no computer, that would be some serious withdrawl for me. Congrats that will all that is going in your life you are managing to still lose weight, that in itself is hard enough with life is calm.

Anonymous said...


Recovering Noah said...

Hey there! Your blog comment on my post cracked me up!! I can't believe you were a bikini model. Wow!!!!

Hey, will you be at the Karyn Purvis workshop at the Together for Adoption conference? I can't make the actual conference but am driving down to see Dr Purvis. Maybe I'll meet you!

Leslie :-)

marythemom said...

STS - I firmly believe Bear's sleep issues are trauma based. Probably control issues too. They're worse though when he's on meds that increase his appetite because he wakes up in the middle of the night.

Thanks for the study suggestions. I'm going to check with the University to see if they have any free or cheap study materials.

Leslie (Recovering Noah) - I had a brief stint of modeling, but it wasn't professional it was just some local stuff. I did get to model some of my own designs once or twice. That was fun. I'd post a picture or two, but the network is down here so I can't access my photo storage.

I didn't know about the Together for Adoption thing. Want to connect while you're here?