Nebulizers and Fear

My son has a persistent cough. This kid is capable of springing lung infections in minutes, so I am understandably stressed. I got home with him nearly four hours ago. I sat him on his nebulizer immediately, after a dose of Mucinex. No dice, but I had prepared for that. I had put his brother in the bathtub at the same time, to steam up and warm up the bathroom a bit. When the nebulizer failed to calm his cough I put him in the shower, having taken his brother out already. It took another half hour, but the coughing did stop.
He was good for a few hours, got a bit hyper. That was albuterol. Tried to get him to bed. He tried to sleep, kept coughing. I had to wait for the four hour mark to put him back on the machine. I put him on it, in bed, as soon as the time came. I had already propped him into a sit, and he was very cooperative.
I have been wound up tight since I heard that cough this afternoon. I spent the intervals between checking on him picking up the kid clutter in the house to distract myself and still be productive. I have not been a pleasant mommy this evening. When I worry I get distracted and I get so focused that I don’t want to talk or play. I am sorry for the other kids, but they get the same thorough nursing when they are sick.
I waited a few minutes after the medicine was gone, and then hit him with children’s cough syrup when he was too tired to protest. He hates that stuff.
Now he is coughing slower, wetter, and it sounds like drainage. What is left for me to do? Well, I have to steam up the bathroom again and haul him in there, all tired and floppy, and force him to sit up on hard surfaces close to the bath while the shower runs. For at least fifteen and more would be better.
Here I go. Tomorrow is the doctor, I am sure.


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Autism, SPD, and Haircuts

My son let the hairdresser cut his hair with clippers today. This is HUGE. I have waited six years for this. There was one other time that he let the stylist finish off the edges with a clipper, but today he let her do his whole head.

His father did not want to pay for haircuts. He bought a clipper and would do my son’s head without a guard, since babyhood, with me begging for him to stop and put a guard on until he pushed me out the door and locked it against me. My son would scream and cry and end up with razor burn. Having SPD does not help any more than the trauma does. He hates the sensation, and the auditory dysfunction makes the buzzing sound intolerable to him.

I have to get his haircuts done in the morning, after a good night’s rest, on a second day off, like a Sunday. Which is how it was today. I want to find a formula that works, so I never have to see him panic in a barber chair again.

He knows how proud I am. It was his own choice, to get a fast cut and not the slow scissor cut that made him squirm in concern for his ears.


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We were on a waitlist for a few months for a larger apartment. We have twice as many people as rooms, and a larger place really seemed like the answer to numerous things. The town is where the children attend school and daycare, and close to everything. My name change went through, and plans to expand the family fell through. So getting one more bedroom is enough, at the right time, with just myself and three kids under the new name.

But the children. They lived in three places in a year, and we have not been here but eighteen months. I was terribly worried about how they would deal with the move. They are attached to one family in this town, that we will see as frequently as possible, anyway, as they are our dearest friends. I thought they would not want to go. Because they tell me quite frequently how much they love their ¨house¨. Maybe they just say it because they have lived in worse places, or maybe they feel affectionate towards it, I wasn’t sure.

I got the call on Monday that we were approved and I was in shock. I had given up on that place, they never verified with me that I had been added to the list and they did not return my calls. I had, a few hours before getting the news, called and added myself to another wait list and arranged to pick up an applicaton for yet a third. I thought it would take over a year.

Monday night I started complaining about the town we lived in, how far it was from school and store and daycare. The kids all agreed it would be more convenient to live in the town I was approved for, essentially I asked their permission, and got it, after the fact. I laid it thick on a few more days, to give it a week, and just announced that we were moving at the end of January. The reaction is positive and they know we have to pack, which is reassuring for the upcoming transition. If they get the mechanics and can participate, it should be easier, even for my Aspie.

I hate moving, truly. But I am grateful for how quickly I have been getting income qualifying housing in this area. I haven’t seen the place yet. I hope it is the sort of place I can stay in forever. That is what I want for them, that sort of stability.

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Your Rafter Keeps Poking My Eye Out with It’s Irrelevancy


No one said it better than this. This is what it is like.

Originally posted on Picking Up the Pieces:

Dear “If I Was You, I would have:”

Since you have the benefit of having the story in its totality but none of the intimate personal experience with the abuse I endured and the snap decisions I made on a daily basis just to survive into the next twenty-four hours of destruction, your opinions, assumptions, suppositions, advice, and criticism are not welcome here.  I know you feel the choices in the moment should have been obvious to me in all my intelligence, but never for one moment forget that you have the benefit of something that, at the time when I really could have used it, I did not have.  I have drawn you a picture of the entire 1,551 days in such detail that there is nothing omitted.  I have withheld nothing from you as I brought you into my story and shared vulnerability that you were, as it turns…

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Asking About Their Father

In the car, out of nowhere, after a shopping excursion to spend his hard-saved allowance, my middle child asks me “When did our father ask you to marry him?¨.
I tell the truth, the exact day we decided to be together (we did not date) and then explained that we never did have an official ceremony, that his father never got to it.
He asks me what the weather is like that time of year. He asked me why we decided to be together. I told him because he was a good person, I was a good person, and I really loved him and his family. He asks if this is before his father became ill. ¨Of course¨ I tell him. I said ¨I loved your daddy more than anyone, and he was a heroic person when we met, but I would not have liked him if he had been mean (that was their choice of words, initially) when I first met him.¨ I told him that if being mean comes from being sick, it still doesn’t make it any easier to live with. He agreed, immediately, and did a little parody of his father screaming at us. Then he changed the subject, and started talking about his purchase.


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We Made It Through Thanskgiving

Not that it is an ordeal. What I mean is that middle child and I were seriously sick over the holiday and all accompanying days off. He started his illness 36 hours before, and I started 24 hours before the actual holiday. He did not eat a solid meal until this evening, six days later. The doctor said if he lost 3 more pounds that he would be hospitalized, so every time he tried to tell me he was full, I would remind him he could eat more at home or eat more in the hospital through a tube. He had only been sick three days when the doctor weighed him. Three days, to lose two pounds.

I don’t know what he had. The doctor said he had some sort of virus that I cannot pronounce, because of the blisters on the inside of his lips. It was just a lot of fever, now he has a runny nose. Thanks to my dearest friend, for sending over straws to work around those blisters with, and also Thanksgiving dinner even though we were too sick to do it justice.

Today he got one of those rashes that smaller children get after Roseola, when the fever has broken for good. This is the first time I had ever seen him sick more than three days. It was stressful, and to make it worse, I was so afflicted by strep, again, that I was doubtful of my attentiveness. But we did take a lot of naps side-by-side, and he did get a lot of chocolate drinks.

Today he was laughing again, got in a little trouble, and ate his dinner and then tried to run in circles in the parking lot when we went on our second emergency Kleenex run. I told him he looked ready for school. He stopped running, put his head down and one foot carefully before the other, waited thirty seconds and told me his tummy hurt. The doctor prescribed him ice cream and smoothies, and he loved eating it as much as he loved hearing a doctor prescribe it. So I don’t blame him for trying to draw it out.

I took him to work the first day, before I got sick, and he came to me and asked me ¨Mommy, why is wet coming out of my face?” The fever got so high that it was making him tear up while the sweat popped out all over his face. He was shaking, too, which he refers to as ¨wiggling¨. I think both of us ate our weight in fever reducers.

Major props to the other kids. The only offense by the oldest was to wake us when he got lonely or scared during our naps. The only crime committed by the youngest was to get into the shredded cheese and scatter it all over the kitchen floor on her way to eat it stealthily under the kitchen table. They LOVED having peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day for lunch. I need to remember that. I don’t know why I cook hot lunches every day, if they are so happy with peanut butter. Maybe that is something I can cut back on, so we can play more.

I was back to functioning this morning, and I made them a pumpkin pie, immediately. My friend will be receiving multiple deliveries of cookies and rice krispie bars.

So we missed the family Thanksgiving due to illness. Again. But I was with the kids, and that was all I really wanted, all I have ever really wanted. So lucky to have them with me, still. That is what I am thankful for, their lives. Knowing they are cared for.

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They found a picture of their father today. No negative reaction, no obsessiveness. The psychologist had told me a year ago or more to hold off on showing pictures in case there was a trigger reaction that set them back in their progress, which was sort of fragile at the time.
The oldest is calling him ¨Dad¨. I am not supposed to correct him, I have been told to let them find their own label or term and be respectful of it. It is just odd to hear the English in reference to him.
I hope they don’t find his picture in the break room at the daycare. Now that the oldest can read, he would be able to understand the message to the staff to call the police if anyone sees him, as it would be a violation of the criminal order.


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