Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Experimentation

I moved to New York at 18 for college.  It was the Fall of 1987, I was living in Greenwich Village, and it was before the Rejuvenation Of Manhattan.  In other words, Times Square was still a dump filled with porno movie houses, drug dealers, and prostitutes, and not a Disney logo to be seen.
(Also, you could rent a decent apartment for $1,000/month, which was still out of reach for me & my friends, so we lived in the dorms.)
Naturally, being a drama major, this was precisely where the bulk of my classes were held.  We'd take the A,C, or D train from West 4th St. to Port Authority and walk 4 blocks to the (frankly, dumpy) studios.

It was also the tale-end of the heyday of downtown experimental theater. A heyday that had begun in the 60's, but was slowly petering out, along with 80's crazes like Nouvelle Cuisine and shoulder pads.
In my senior year, I actually started taking classes at the school's Experimental Theater Wing.  It was wacky and fun and annoying and full of goths.  Of course, living in the Village in the 80's/early 90's pretty much guaranteed you would become a goth, so...

After college, I spent the summer in the U.K, performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, which has every type of theater imaginable.  Then another few months in New York trying to make a go of it, before moving to the Berkshires and becoming a Shakespeare/Hippie/Grunge type.

Finally, grad school, where anything and everything could (and did) happen.  New stuff, old stuff, experimental stuff, staid stuff.  We did it all.

Then came Los Angeles.  And, well, I've written about THAT ad nauseam.  :)

And along came marriage, kids, a mortgage, and autism.  And I was introduced to a different kind of experimentation; raising kids on the spectrum.  Trying out different therapies and techniques, seeing which ones resonated and which didn't.

And now we're experimenting with medical stuff.  It's only been 3 1/2 days.  We're seeing a difference at home, although not quite as much at school, as of yet.  Less self-injurious behaviors, which is a relief.  She has stopped fighting us quite so much when it comes time to take it.  I really, REALLY hope this works for her!

To quote The Carpenters, we've only just begun.  We have a lot to learn.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Medication and Headshots

Saturday night Hubby and I went to the dispensary to get WG's meds.  I was picturing a tiny hole-in-the-wall with a tie-dyed, man-bunned hipster sitting behind a desk, mixing up our scrip and saying "Good luck, man! Peace!" as we left.
Instead it was like a club!
Security out front, music, tables set up, clean bathrooms, incredibly friendly and helpful staff, and chic furniture.
The kind of place you want to hang out in for a while.
And they let you!

So we started her on it this morning.  It's in spray form, and it doesn't taste very good, and it takes both of us to get it in her mouth, but hopefully it'll help.

Tomorrow morning I'm going into the city to get new headshots done.  The last time I did that was in 2000.  But since I can no longer pass for 31, it's time to get new photos, print out my resume, and start submitting myself for auditions.  :)

Yikes!




Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Entering the Twilight Zone

No, not the one with shimmery, angst-ridden vampires.  (Seriously, how can they POSSIBLY consider themselves superior to humans when they have to spend eternity in high school?!?!?!?)
The world of legal-here-thankfully-but-unfortunately-not-yet-everywhere medication.

Yesterday we took WG to a doctor who specializes in this kind of treatment, and he has given us a prescription.  Tomorrow Hubby will go to a place in the city that dispenses such medication.  And then the try, try again begins.  By all accounts, it'll take a few cases of trial and error to get the right mix for her.

But I'm also incredibly excited and optimistic about it.

And I feel so very lucky that we live in a place where it's available, where we have one of the top doctors in the world for it, (seriously, people come from all over the planet to see him!), that this was suggested by her TEACHER, and that we've had offers to help us pay for it.

When I was in my early 20's and working at the Shakespeare festival, one of my housemates was our costume designer.  He's originally from Alabama, and there's just something ethereal about him.  One night, he offered to read the Tarot for all of us, and we agreed.  Just for fun.
When he read mine, he closed his eyes and said "Alyssa, you are surrounded by angels!"

And y'know what?  I think he's right! My maternal grandmother passed away when I was quite young, and the morning after she passed I woke up early and felt her beside my bed.  And I've often felt other...beings around me.  And, of course, for the past few years, my dad.

There have been many, MANY times when I've done REALLY stupid things, and I'm convinced that someone, or a number of someones, have intervened to save me from myself.  I've always said that if I have a guardian angel, s/he should be given overtime and hazard pay.  Luckily, I seem to have an entire team.  :)
They also seem to be watching over Hubby and the kids.
Thankfully.

So, trying to focus on all the good.
Because there's a lot of it.  :)




Thursday, September 8, 2016

Good Doctors!

Not the one WHO flies the TARDIS, but the ones I saw yesterday.  The medical practice I used to go to has shut down, so I went to a new place.  It was my first visit, and the medical history review, exam, labs, EKG, and prescription took 40 minutes.  They were quick, competent, and thorough.
Oh, and all women, which I think is kinda cool.
AND one of the best coffee chains in the world (Philz) has a store 2 doors down.

I'm back on Zoloft.  Just started it yesterday evening. I'm being eased back on, so I won't take a full dose for the first week.
The first time I went on it (2002), I got skinny.  The next time (2008), I got fat.  This time I'm kinda hoping it'll be just right and I'll stay where I'm at.  (Although, if it wants to flatten out my stomach a bit I certainly won't complain...)

On another topic entirely, have I ever mentioned how much PAPERWORK is involved with having 2 autistic kids?
Because, lately, it feels like that's pretty much how I spend 90% of my time; filling out paperwork.  Doctor's forms, Medi-Cal renewal applications, Medi-Cal NEW renewal applications (as in "We've changed the paperwork so can you please fill in these 400 new pages and have it back to us by next week otherwise you won't get your benefits"), Pre-IEP forms, post-IEP forms, IPP forms, re-application (every year) for school, applications for camp/swim clinic/pool privileges...the list goes on and on.
Seemingly endlessly.

It's all worth it, of course.  I just worry about the trees...

And my hand.

Speaking of which, I'd best get back to it.  See ya!

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

See Ya, Summer!

I used to LOOOOOOOOOOOVE summer.  It was my favorite time of the year. Long days, warm weather, and, for a while at least, it meant doing theater.  Usually outdoors.
I still love summer.
But it's much more hectic nowadays.

And this summer was an odd one.  I believe I've mentioned that in early August, WG suddenly decided that she didn't like swimming anymore.  Swimming!  Which, all these years, including through July, has been one of her favorite things ever!
We think it's probably because of the anxiety.  And scheduling.  We usually go to the pool in the morning, because it gets crowded in the afternoon (and she does NOT do well with crowds).  But she may not have been sleeping well, and too tired in the morning to enjoy swimming.

And even going to the park is too much for her. She sits in the car and cries, and it's heartbreaking.  I really, REALLY hope we can rid her of the anxiety, so she can enjoy her life again.  :(  She doesn't have to love all the same things she used to, but she needs to be able to participate in her own life. And to not be afraid of life.  I understand that feeling, and I pray she doesn't have to suffer through it.

LG is also displaying some new behaviors.  Which seem mildly obsessive-compulsive.  His IEP is coming up in October, so we'll discuss it all then.  But he's still a happy, sweet kid.  Thankfully! (Especially the happy part.)

Adolescence is completely fascinating!  Sometimes it feels like we're getting to know our kids all over again.

Otherwise, I'm trying not to freak out too much over the election.  It's getting closer, in more ways than one, and it's terrifying.

I was able to keep up with one of my yoga classes over the summer. Which made a difference, I think.  I have to remember to take care of myself, as well as everyone else. Otherwise I'll be useless.
So, I need to deal with my own anxiety, as well as help WG with hers.

Ah, life.  Never dull, is it?


Thursday, September 1, 2016

Hoo Boy!

Rough night last night, with anxiety keeping me awake.
This morning I asked Hubby "What do we do if So-And-So is elected president?"  and he said "We roll with the punches."
Which, really, is all we CAN do.  I mean, we can be active, and work to help those who need it, but we can't go back in time and change election results.  (Even if we could, should anyone have that power?  :) )
I also spoke with WG's teacher and the school director this morning, to let them know of our plans.  And they reminded me that if I ever need to talk or have any questions, they are ALWAYS there.
Sometimes I forget that.  We are SO lucky to have them!

We have an appointment for WG with a very experienced doctor in Berkeley.  He works a lot with kids on the spectrum, and everyone I've spoken with who uses this particular treatment sees him.
Here's hoping we can afford it.  :)

I also have an appointment, finally, to get new headshots.  And there's a nearby theater that's doing lots of female-centric shows next year, so I'll be sending my new photo (along with my old resume) to them.

And I'm (hopefully) getting back on Zoloft next week.

So, we'll see how it all goes.

Onward and, hopefully, upward.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Asking for Help...And Getting It!

Last night I posted my concern about the (potential) cost of WG's (potential) medication on my Facebook page, and was almost immediately bombarded with suggestions and empathy from friends.  I'm MUCH more hopeful today than I was yesterday, and it MAY be that this is a lot more doable (and affordable) than we originally thought.

Fingers crossed.

I am cautiously optimistic about the whole thing.
Which is sort of like rainbows, sunshine, and unicorns for a normal person.  :)

I've also joined a Facebook group that's got oodles of info on the topic.  Hopefully we can get her started soon.

So...away we go!