Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Slou's Diagnosis

I'm excited and a little overwhelmed.  We went through a full evaluation at The Amen Clinic.  The work they're doing there is nothing short of amazing.  Our first visit included an in depth interview with one of their historians to discuss our family history, my concerns, Slou's concerns, etc. and her first set of SPECT scans of her brain while active.  The second appointment was for scans of her brain while resting.  The third appointment we met with the doctor and discussed her diagnosis and treatment plan.

Healthy SPECT Surface View:
The doctor explained that the smoother the surface the better.  Bumps and holes indicate over active brain function.

As you can see from looking at her surface scans, hers don't really look too abnormal.  The majority is smooth with very few bumps or holes.  It all seems a little boring, huh?  I'll be honest.  I was a little disappointed when the doctor showed me these scans.  After all, this whole process was quite costly.  I didn't want it to be for nothing!!

Slou - Resting
Slou - Active

Well that's where the boring ends and it all becomes fascinating and worth every penny.  Below are the internal scans of her brain.  You'll notice the healthy view contains only small portions of red and white.  The more red and white the more over active.

Slou - Resting

Slou - Active

As you can see, this whole journey wasn't for nothing.  It wasn't my imagination.  It wasn't that Slou was acting out just because she wanted to.  This isn't something that can be fixed by a little extra discipline.

Dr. Amen has classified ADD into 6 different types.  They have diagnosed Slou with #6, the ring of fire.  You can see from the pictures, why it's called the ring of fire.  You can read more about it here.  It's also known as/related with Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

The sections of the brain where you see the white are mostly where all of the emotions & impulsivity among other things originate.

So what now, you ask?  Well for starters we've started a new supplement regimen. In the morning, she'll continue with her ADHD medication (Vyvanse) along with a multi-vitamin, fish oil and 2 NeuroLink capsules (a supplement designed by Dr. Amen).  In the evening she'll take NeuroLink again and a calcium & magnesium supplement.  She's been taking all of these since Saturday morning.  I can tell you she already has a better attitude and her mornings have been exceptional.  She even moo'ed at me yesterday morning....a true sign of a great mood at our house. 

We're also working towards a better diet.  The doctor suggested that there might also be a food allergy involved too. I'll be sure to keep you all up to date on our progress.  Hopefully these natural treatments will help remedy all of our struggles with impulsivity, anger, depression, etc.  If not, they've also provided us with some suggestions for other medicines.  We'll return in January for a follow-up appointment. 

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Adjusting To Change...

I know, I know...I've been neglecting my blog lately.  I've had so much going on with every aspect of my life.  I just haven't had a chance to put pen to paper, so to speak.  I have so many things I want to write about, yet can't seem to formulate any of them into words these days.

My biggest stresser right now, is my girls!!!  I'm guessing it's the adjusting to me having a boyfriend.  Every time he's around they both seem to forget how to behave.  Before he came over for dinner last night, we had a talk about appropriate and inappropriate behavior.  The day before, my sister had a talk with them too.  I know, any of you that know my sister...know that was a kettle vs. pot conversation.  But she tried.

Slou has already started the "you're choosing him over me" shenanigans.  If you know me AT ALL, you know that's a load of crap.  I know she's just vying for my attention.  I know it's going to take time for her to get used to me having someone besides her and her sister in my life, but he's not going anywhere.

Beelay on the other hand thinks she's just being funny, but what she's really being is disrespectful and pushing my patience to a breaking point.  She was so wound up last night that the only way I was able to get her to the stairs was by leading her by her hair.  Mind you, I was not dragging or yanking her by the hair.  I simply had a handful of her chestnut locks in my hand as if it were her hand in mine and walked her to the bottom of the stairs and quietly threatened to beat her if she didn't go get in the bed.  This was after she'd been allowed to hang out with us for an hour or so.

I've tried explaining to them that I'd love to be able to take them with us to do things, like bowling or the movies or corn maze, etc.  But if they can't behave at home, why on earth would I take them out in public?  I've explained that I'd like to be able to invite him over to the house during the week, so that they don't feel like I'm choosing him over them by going out with him or over to his house instead, but after last night....I'm most definitely going out to his house tonight.  And I'm going to enjoy every second of the peace and quiet...and maybe next week they'll act like 11 & almost 14 year olds, rather than 2 & 5 year olds.
Our time together is limited enough without my kids trying to sabotage it with their antics.  The problem is the stunts they pull are funny....and I being the questionable adult in the situation, find it VERY hard not to laugh when the dog comes hauling ass downstairs wearing one of Squirt's diapers.  This is new to all of us, but I'm certain we'll find a happy medium and in the end everyone will be just may be a bumpy road to get there.

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Putting Happiness Into Words...

How do you put happiness into words? I spend so much time on here venting about my kids and sharing the overall silliness of my life with my friends, but today I want to shout it from the rooftops how happy I am.  Everything is falling into place.  We've started the psychological testing for Slou and I'm certain that this is EXACTLY the path we needed to take...and hopefully by this time next week, we'll have a full diagnosis and treatment plan.

Chiquita, Sunflower and I have begun our 30 day journey towards clean eating. Because we're doing it together, it really hasn't been that hard to walk the straight and narrow.  You can follow that adventure on my other blog at The Motivated Fat Girl.

But most of all, over the past few weeks...I have fallen in love with an amazing man.  For the past week, I've been asking myself "are you crazy for thinking you're falling in love after only 3 weeks?"  Let me rewind, we briefly dated several years ago.  I take full responsibility for it not working out then.  I guess it just wasn't our time yet.  But now, now I'm absolutely without a doubt, certain that it is our time!!  I know it sounds ridiculous, but I've never been so sure of something in my entire life.  It's just RIGHT!!  

He's opened my eyes and my heart to things that I never thought possible.  When we're together, everything is just so easy.  Unfortunately our time together is very limited, but it makes it that much more special when we're together.  

He's the only man I've ever brought around my girls in a "boyfriend" type scenario.  I think they both like him, but they're both gonna have a hard time adjusting to sharing me with someone.  Beelay has already noticed how happy I've been and wants to be my confidant.  She's given me the "dating" lecture that included the rule of no making out in the movie theater....because you know adults do that all the time.

I've been trying to put it into words all week....but wasn't sure about broadcasting it to the world, but after last night, I know we're both on the same page.  So I'm shouting it from the roof tops...I'm in love!!!

Hope everyone has a great weekend.  As always, please click the banner below and follow me here on GFC, Facebook or Twitter.

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Thursday, October 11, 2012

Update on SLou

If you're new here, you can read a few other posts regarding my battles with SLou herehere and here.  As most of you know, I'm a single mom.  Both of my girls have been diagnosed with ADD/ADHD.  They were tested through the school system, since my insurance doesn't cover the testing.  Well my pediatrician has never been fully on board with SLou's diagnosis.  She's been encouraging me to get her retested since day 1.  She's not always satisfied that the school system does a thorough enough evaluation.

Originally we were the poster family for Vyvanse. Both girls, my sister and myself are all on this medication.  It's still working wonderfully for everyone but SLou.  Her main side effect has been emotional melt downs when she's coming down off the meds in the evenings.  Finally last Winter, I'd had enough.  Her doctor and I decided to try a new medicine.  We tried Intuniv and Concerta.  Both were a disaster.  Both were non-stimulant and it turns out SLou absolutely needs a stimulant based med.  I gave each medication the good college try for a month each.  By Spring the damage was already done, but after SLou begging to go back on Vyvanse, I finally agreed.   

Unfortunately while we were messing with her meds last Spring, SLou bombed the CRCT's.  She has ALWAYS exceeded expectations on her standardized testing.  As I've told you before, this truly kicked her in the teeth.  Her self-confidence still hasn't recovered from that blow.  Anyway, the emotional side effects are starting to take their toll again.  I'm certain we need a new medicine or a whole new treatment plan, but I'm terrified of the potential downfall of messing with her meds during the school year.

We had her annual check-up yesterday.  Before changing her meds, her doctor wants us to try a couple of things at home first for a couple of weeks.  Starting with me being forbade from helping her with homework.  She has gotten into a habit of just waiting for me to get home to help her, rather than getting what she can done without me and me just helping her with what she had problems with.  I'm no longer allowed to be her crutch.  Second, she wants us to move bedtime up an hour....she wants SLou in bed by 8pm, even on weekends.  We'll see about the weekends part.  She'll be going to her dad's this weekend and he NEVER complies to any of my requests.

We've also got the ball in motion for the retesting.  We have our first appointment at The Amen Clinic next Thursday (10/18).  They will use a much more in depth method of testing that includes brain scans and hours of evaluation.  On our 4th visit, we will sit down with their pediatric psychologist and he will present his diagnosis and his suggested treatment plan.  I'm very optimistic that we are headed in the right direction, towards helping SLou succeed in every aspect of her life.  So, on Friday October 26th....we'll hopefully know EXACTLY what's going on with my sweet SLou.  I'll keep you all posted along the way.

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Monday, October 8, 2012

Responsible Voting...Please Be Informed

Okay people, I don't usually discuss politics on here.  I don't like arguing with brick walls and I'm guilty of being a brick wall from time to time myself.  I don't enjoy preaching about my political views and I've never set out to try to change anyone's views either.  I grew up in a very conservative Republican home.  But I'd like to think that I see both sides...but I'm willing to agree that I've probably been highly influenced by my father's views, because they make sense.  However, there have been times that I may have thought one of the independents would be a better choice, but then I feel like I'm wasting my vote if I vote for an independent candidate...and then forced to vote for the lesser of two evils.

I watched the Presidential debates last week.  I even had my kids watch some of them with me.  The one thing that stood out to both of them was that President Obama never really answered a question.  He talked in circles and then dismissed the questions.  I felt like both candidates spent more time repeating themselves over and over than actually informing all of us voters about what they intend to do to save our country.

The next day Chiquita sent me this video.  It's long, but it's information EVERYONE should know about the rules of these so-called debates.  They are a sham.  Both parties are guilty of blocking other independent parties from participating in the debates.  Most of the companies producing the polling results exclude the independents as well.  It's a sad and scary thought.  Please take the time to watch this video. 

I also went to see Obama's 2016 over the weekend.  I'm begging you...GO SEE THIS!!!  It is eye opening.  It's not politically charged.  This documentary is something that EVERY SINGLE AMERICAN VOTER should watch.  It uncovers many of President Obama's views and secrets that he tried very hard to hide.  Did you know that in his 4 years of office, he's acquired more national debt than George Washington through Bill Clinton COMBINED!?!?  It's predicted that if he's reelected our national debt will be upwards of 20 TRILLION dollars!!  At that point, we will be owned my China.  He is working towards the United States depleting their nuclear warheads down from 5000 to 1500 to even less.  Do you understand what that means?  That means that we're vulnerable...wide open for attack with no way to protect ourselves.  It outlined the true reasons that he has blocked the Keystone pipeline and halted offshore drilling...and it has nothing to do with what is best for our country.  

President Obama's true intentions have ZERO to do with traditional democratic views and opinions.  He is anti-American and anti-colonization.  So again, I beg you to take the time to go see this documentary.  I am not asking you to vote for Mitt Romney...although that is what I intend to do.  I'm hoping and praying that he can help undo the mess that Obama has made and save our country before it's too late.  By voting for Barack Obama, you are NOT voting for the democratic are voting for a socialist communist.  Don't believe everything you hear from the your own research.   If you're not registered to vote, tomorrow is the deadline.  You can click here to register online. 

I know that many of my readers will probably disagree with this post.  I hope that we can all just agree to disagree.  I'm optimistic that this won't turn you completely off of my blog, because obviously if you've been reading long, you know that I don't usually post this kind of stuff...but I felt this situation too serious not to share it with my readers.  

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Thursday, October 4, 2012

It's that time of year...again.  The fair is in town.  Not my town, but one close enough by...but yet I'm still crossing my fingers, toes, eyes and whatever else, hoping that neither of the girls realize it until it's too late.  Why do I despise the fair so much?  Because it's a RIP and it's EXACTLY the same as it was last year and the year before and the year before that.  You get my point.

Anyway, the girls love it.  I hate it.  But the people watching is out of this world!!  I'm still hoping it doesn't pop on the radar.  There are happy memories about the fair though.  I'm guessing it was Beelay's first year going to the fair.  She was probably 2.  We were working our way through all of the kiddie rides...shelling out 2-4 tickets a pop.  Anyway, this stupid nice teenager walks by and she's got a gold fish in each hand.  She was all stoked about winning whatever game she'd been playing...but didn't really care about the prizes.  She spots adorable little Beelay...stops, squats down and says "Hi there cutie.  Wanna a goldfish?"

SHIT!!!  SHIT!!! SHIT!!!

Before I can answer, Beelay says yes, her dad says yes....the girl hands her the fish and walks away.  WTF just happened here?  We are not keeping that fish!!  He tells me "Oh come on.  They won't live long anyway."  Great!!  So I can either break her heart now or I can break it in a few days when he swims down the toilet with her "teetee".  I refused to buy a fish bowl.  I refused to buy fish food.

That damn thing lived on my kitchen counter, in a glass mixing bowl, eating bread crumbs for almost a year!!!  Dumb Dumb finally convinced me to accept this unnamed fish into our growing family...I was knocked up at the time.  "How about you run by PetSmart on your way home and pick up a tank and some food for it."  Fine...whatever.  If it means I can run through the drive-thru instead of cooking...fine.  He set it up.  All nice and pretty with all the colorful rocks and bubbles.  Beelay was IN LOVE!!  Her pretty fish was so happy swimming in his big clean tank...and eating his fishy caviar.  She didn't want to go to bed that night.  She just wanted to watch her fish swim.

She finally went to bed...and probably dreamed of Nemo (even though this was long before Nemo got lost).  She woke up the next morning and ran into the den to check on her best friend...and said "Mama where my fish?"


That poor fish had gotten sucked into the filter.  It was stuck between the side of the tank and the stick making all the pretty bubbles.  Obviously neither of us knew jack about fish.  I'd have done much better with another cat!!!

Now back to wishing on stars that the girls don't hear about the fair.  Follow me here on GFC, on Facebook and on Twitter. Click the banner below too!!  

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Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Am I Strong Enough To Be Their Mom?

 Last night I ran away.  I'm sure I wasn't setting a very good example to my kids, but it was the only choice I had.  It was run away or pull some kung fu moves out of my back pocket and straight onto Slou's face.

Allow me to Monday morning.  I had a parent/teacher conference at 6:50am!!  That was HARD, but I did it because I'm dedicated to being the best mom I can be.  After talking with her teachers, I felt better...maybe a little more optimistic.  We now have a plan of attack.  We're working as a team to try to motivate and help her overcome this most recent obstacle....laziness!!  She had also lost her I bought her a replacement.

I was certain that Monday afternoon/evening was going to be a positive homework encounter.  I was sadly mistaken.  She forgot her brand new agenda at school...along with every book that she needed in order to do her homework.  But did she figure this out when she got home from school, when she was SUPPOSED to start her homework? Hell no!!  It was after dinner!!  Needless to say, she was in bed early that night.

I was again hopeful that Tuesday would bring calmer weather.  She had called me when she got home and promised that she would get right on it and only leave what she needed my help with for when I got home.  Reasonable, right?  Yeah, she'd done 2 math problems when I got home.  She was on the defensive...taking every little thing I said as a personal attack.  She basically wanted me to do her effin homework for her.  Not happening!!  I sent her upstairs to read her science unit....of course she fell asleep.  I was okay with that...I had hoped that it would adjust her attitude and we could start on a clean slate after dinner.  NOPE!!!

I'll save you the gory details...because you might feel obligated to report me to DEFACS don't have all day.  It's impossible to help a child that doesn't want to be helped.  My patience are only so thick...which isn't very thick anyway.  Before I completely blew my lid, I calmly told her "I'm leaving.  Before I completely lose my mind, I'm leaving.  And when I get back, your homework better be done and the mess in the kitchen floor better be GONE!!"  She told me she was calling the police and then I ran Kroger and to my sister's and to a big glass of wine.  I diverted all phone calls to my sister....because you know that bitch was blowing up.  I bathed and cuddled Squirt until my blood pressure was near normal...and then I went home.

Thanks to a couple of phone calls that talked me down from the ledge that might've ended with sending her to her dad's.  The pep talks reminded me that I am strong enough to be her mom.  Thank GOD when I got home, her homework was done, her mess was cleaned up, she was showered and in her bed waiting for me to kiss her goodnight.  Maybe running away was EXACTLY what I needed to do, to open her eyes to the effect that her behavior is having on me.

I'm convinced that she needs further testing...but every doctor that I talk to doesn't take my insurance.  I'm working on the counseling end too...but nothing can happen fast enough.  I've changed my category listing over at topmommyblogs from "humor" to "single moms"...and now I'm ranked #3 in my category.  That's right bitches!!!  I mean I know I'm funny...but my life isn't so funny right I'm throwing the white flag and surrendering in ruling the world as a funny mom and setting my sights on the single mom thrown.  Continue clicking the banner, please.  And follow me on GFC, Facebook and Twitter.

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Tuesday, October 2, 2012

My Dream Home

Because it's a quiet day at the office and I have nothing better to do than day dream about a house, I'll never have...because if I did, then I'd have to clean it too.  But these are some of my favorite things...

This is actually an absolute must...if I ever do have my own home again.  I better have a nice, comfy, cozy porch swing to lay on to read, watch the sunrise, listen to storms or cuddle on.

I want a bottle tree, because they're cool!!

I want an outdoor sit around and look at the stars and roast marshmallows with my kids.  I'm also seeing a trend here.  My top dream things are all outside...I'd like a couple of hammocks somewhere around the fireplace too. 

Inside, well inside...I hope to have a huge kitchen with plenty of cabinet and counter space.  I want a HUGE bar or island that my kids and their friends can just hang out around.

I want a badass laundry room...that sorts, folds and puts the shit away.  But while I'm waiting for that Jetson's stuff to really happen, I want this:

Because I'm dreaming and I'm going to either have hired help or a robotic maid, I also want my reading nook...where I can hide and imagine I'm actually a character in whatever book I'm reading.

As for the rest of it...I just want it to be filled with love & laughter and comfy furniture.  Is that asking too much?  Have you been reading my blog lately?  If so, you know it absolutely is too much to ask...but a girl can dream every now and then.

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Monday, October 1, 2012

In Loving Memory...

Saturday marked the 7th anniversary of the day my whole world shook. Growing up you think you'll live forever. When you hear about parents or grandparents or kids dying, you think "Oh that will never happen to me. That only happens to other people." Then your grandfather might pass away from some old people's experience a little taste of loss. Then maybe an uncle that lived a hard life fighting his demons might go before his time. But then you're still convinced this is as bad as it'll get. Then one night when you're laying in bed, getting ready to go to sleep...when you hear your phone ringing downstairs and you think about ignoring it...but decide to run downstairs to answer and then you are on autopilot...driving to the hospital in a trance, praying that it's all just an overreaction. Then you're 10 minutes from the hospital and your phone rings again. You answer and you all the sudden feel like the wind has been knocked out of you. You manage to hold it together long enough to drive the rest of the way to the hospital...continuing to pray that the doctors were wrong. That they had their patients mixed up. I run to the ER entry and my legs buckle and the reality starts to set in. My world as I know it...will never be the same again. 

I can try to explain how the tightness in my chest felt like it was smothering me, I was drowning. How I felt like I would never catch my breath again. The hours that I spent crying in the shower so my kids didn't see how broken I really was. How I put on a brave face and made the trek every day to make sure her sweet 15 month old baby was okay.  How my heart broke when I'd be rocking her to sleep and she'd call me mommy, because she didn't understand why Beelay & Slou could call me mommy and she didn't have anyone to call mommy anymore.  I can tell you all about how I would call her cell phone just to get her voicemail so I could hear her voice again, but until you lose your best'll never be able to truly grasp the feeling. 

I hope that none of you have ever felt that earth shattering pain. And as bad as it was on me, I'm not the only person she left behind. The void that her mom, sister, husband and baby (who's now 8) had to learn to live something I hope I never experience firsthand. 

On September 29, 2005 my best friend Terri Christine Kown Turner died of a massive heart attack at the age of 27. For weeks I wrote down every memory I ever had of her.  I was terrified of forgetting her.  For years when I really wanted to talk to her, I wrote to her. I have a journal full of entries of what I needed to say to her. That was the best therapy I could've ever had. While I miss her, I've healed. I don't spend the entire day engulfed in grief anymore. I spend it remembering her and cherishing the time I had with her. I thank God for the wonderful mom he brought into her daughter's life. I believe if Terri could've hand picked her stand in, she would've picked her. 

So let this be a reminder that tomorrow is never guaranteed. Let the ones you love know it. Live every day to it's fullest. And cherish every second that you have.  Part of me feels guilty, but I know that Terri wouldn't want any of us to spend the day being sad. Rather than cry for my loss, I laughed and made new memories with some of my best friends. I love and miss you every day. Your memory will live on through me and everyone else that you touched. 

I know this post is bound to make some of you cry and for that I'm sorry.  That was not my intention, except that it means that through these words, I've touched your heart.  If you're new to my blog, please follow me through GFC, Facebook, or Twitter.  Also, take a second to click the banner below to help me in my rankings at  Happy Monday.

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