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!



Thursday, August 25, 2016

Controversy

I spoke with WG's teacher today, and we've both come to the same conclusion: A lot of her behavior stems from anxiety.  And there are other kids in her school who take meds for anxiety, and have been helped quite a lot.  So we're looking into it.  One of the options is a bit controversial (and expensive), but it may be our best option.
Because the last thing we want is for her to experience that.  Especially at the levels I experienced it at her age.  I was in a place where waking up in the morning and going to school caused crippling fear.  I hope she never, EVER has to feel that way!

So, we'll do whatever it takes to help her.

Part of me feels badly because she inherited her anxiety from me.  On the other hand, at least I'm more informed than my parents and grandparents were.  We're learning SO MUCH about the brain, and how it functions, and I'm glad we live in an era where that information is available.

And I'm going to ignore all the voices (mine and others) that try to make us feel guilty for medicating her, if that's what it comes to.

Quite frankly, anyone who tried to tell us that we're doing it "wrong" can, to quote Malcolm Tucker, f*ck the f*ck off.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Starting Anew

Blog-wise.  And in other ways, too.

3 months after my last post, I am re-committing to this blog.  At this point, I'm probably the only one who will see it.  Which is OK.  I'm trying to get myself to write at least a little each day, and this is a as good a place to start as any.

It's been a somewhat difficult summer.  Moving into the kids' adolescence is quite the adventure.  Activities that used to be surefire favorites are now disliked.  Sleep patterns are, once again, disrupted.  And behaviors we'd thought had gone by the wayside shortly after toddlerhood have come back, only this time the kids are bigger and stronger.
So I am searching for guidance.  Online and in person.  Because navigating adolescence is hard enough.  I can't even imagine what it's like doing so with autism.

Recently I read a piece online about what a meltdown feels like for an autistic person.  And it made so much sense!  Because I, as an adult, have had many meltdowns (usually in my car, when I'm alone), and they feel EXACTLY like what the writer described!  Not that I'm comparing my experiences to my kids', but I suddenly saw things a whole lot more clearly.
And it's made me think.  A lot.

I truly believe that autism is mainly hereditary.  It could be exacerbated by environmental concerns, certainly, but I don't believe it's CAUSED by them.  Sometimes I see much of myself, especially as a child, in my kids' behaviors.   Sure, much of my own behavior was learned from my parents and grandparents, but the physical issues (brain chemistry, for example) that lead to depression and anxiety could also be genetic, right?  I really need to do more research on this.

I'm trying to teach my daughter that getting angry and upset is OK.  The physical lashing out that often accompanies it isn't, but the emotions themselves are VALID.  Same with my son, who rarely takes it out on others, but seems to absorb it back into himself.

I'd like to create an Autism Utopia: A village for autistic people and their families to live and work in.  It would be safe, friendly, affordable, and everyone would be accepted as they are.  And there would be as much support as needed. I read stories from autistic people telling of how difficult and painful it is to get through the day.  It's horrifying and heartbreaking.

(BTW, as I was writing this, I found a study that says that kids can inherit depression and anxiety from their parents.  So, yay Science!
But boo my genes for passing this along!)

In other (related) discoveries, I've realized I need my Zoloft, that my kids need melatonin, and WG needs a nap in the middle of the day, even if she's at school.

As to the Zoloft, I'm going to request it when I go to the doctor for my checkup in a couple of weeks.I'm tired of feeling ashamed of needing it.  If I needed a blood thinner, or heart medication, I wouldn't feel this way.  But I still buy into the stigma surrounding anything having to do with my own mental health.  Not anyone else's, just mine.

OK, gotta go.  More soon!

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Sorry! Again!

Two months.  That's a long time.  I'm just not a good blogger.
Life has been going on apace.  LG, not so little anymore, had grown about 4 inches in the past couple of months.  As has WG (not so wee).

I've just returned (as in Sunday) from another London trip.  I decided to go early this year, for (slightly) warmer weather and (much) longer days.  And I actually saw a show this time.  "Ophelia's Zimmer" ("Ophelia's Room") at the Royal Court.  It was in German with English subtitles, and was pretty amazing!
I also did lots of walking and visited museums and parks.  As well as finally finding my way to Forbidden Planet and loading up on "Doctor Who" swag.  :)

I was lucky enough to catch "The Hollow Crown: Richard III" on the BBC, which premiered on Saturday.  Benedict Cumberbatch seemed to be having the time of his life, and Sophie Okonedo was incredible. Hopefully it'll air in North America soon.  Definitely worth a watch.

I feel pretty proud of myself for making my way around the city either walking or taking the tube.  I even got asked for directions a few times!  Which is really something, given that I get lost going to the bathroom.  It's probably because I tend to walk quickly.  And perhaps purposefully.  I even got yelled at by an irate cyclist in Hyde Park.  Made me feel like a native!  Brought a tear to my eye, I tell ya.

The day before I left was Ride a Wave, and, thankfully we were able to go this year (WG was sick last year).  It's such a wonderful day!  All the kids have such a great time, and the volunteers are the best.

The pup has been protecting us from everything and everyone: UPS, bus drivers, squirrels, birds, and whatever is living in the crawlspace under the house.  She actually managed to get in there today, nearly giving me a coronary.  Hubby's going to secure the entrance.
She's such a sweetie!  I was almost more worried about her when I was away than I was about the kids.  :)  The kids knew where I was and understood I'd be back soon.  But Avery has imprinted onto me, and she wasn't sure why I wasn't there.
Needless to say, I got a very nice greeting upon my return, and she hasn't left my side since.  <3 br="">As much as I miss our pittie, this girl has made her way deep into my heart, and I can't imagine life without her.

I also did another performance of the show I'd done a year ago.  Played a different part this time.  And it was great!  Nice to be onstage, of course.  Maybe time to get those headshots done.

OK, still jet lagged.  Gonna get ready for bed.  'Night all!


Friday, March 4, 2016

More Hard Truths

I am a big woman.
Not fat, anymore, but big.
My lack of success in Hollywood makes a lot of sense, given the standards there.  I always knew that mentally, but now I understand it viscerally.


I will never be able to live in the U.K (my dream) or in Canada (my second dream).  Unless they change their immigration/citizenship laws regarding people with autism.
And I understand,  I do.  It's a drain on resources. Especially right now, with so many migrants in such dire straits.  People who are in need, and living (barely) in deplorable conditions.
But, should the worst happen and Donald Trump be elected, we're stuck and basically screwed.
Of course, so is the rest of the world...
Maybe we could volunteer for that Mars mission.

I will most likely never meet, let alone work with, the people I most admire.

I will not be one of those people who makes great changes (for the better) in the world.

I will never be wildly successful in my chosen profession.  At this point, it's a question even if I will ever work again in my chosen profession.  :)

I will never have a flat stomach.  I never had one before, but that never kept me from hoping.

I will never be a zen-like optimist.

I will ALWAYS find something to worry about.

Very often, of late, I feel like a whole lot of wasted potential.

I may be experiencing a midlife crisis.
I hate being cliched.

I probably have some form of ADHD, along with mild dyslexia and OCD.  My poor kids didn't exactly hit the genetic lottery, lol!

I'm sure there'll be more to come.  But I think that's good for now.


Monday, February 15, 2016

Trying to Be Positive

It's a beautiful day here in San Francisco.  Tank top weather.  And it's President's Day, which means that the entire family has the day off.

Hubby and I had grand plans for today: For the first time in a very long time, we piled ourselves and the kids into the car and drove into the city.  Everything started out great: The kids were happy, we had a tank full of gas, and an easy ride on the freeway.

The we arrived, and WG didn't want to get out of the car.  No problem, she does that sometimes, and, usually, if we're patient, she'll eventually decide she's ready and get out of her own accord.
Not today.
Fine.  Hubby stayed with her in the car while LG and I went to the park.  Then we decided to come home, stopping by the grocery store on the way.

And while I was in the store, all Hades broke loose.  WG had a full-on meltdown, and a violent one.  She pulled her own hair, then started hitting her brother.  When Hubby intervened, she grabbed his glasses and started smacking them against the car door, nearly breaking them.  We went home, where she then screamed and cried for the next hour.  And we were treated to some OH SO HELPFUL advice from the in-laws who, while probably well-meaning, really don't understand.

It's calm now: The in-laws have gone out, WG is quiet, LG is playing in his room, and Hubby has gone off to the gym.
While I sit here trying to process it, again.

Lately I've been feeling like a not-so-great mother.  Like I can and should be doing more.  Of course,  with Hubby gone 17 hours a day, it's hard for me to corral both of them, or even to find things that they both want to do.  Other than swimming.  Which isn't always possible.  And then something like this happens, and I feel like The Worst Mother In The World.

Logically, I know I'm not.  But Mom Guilt is a strong force.  And with kids who have special needs, it multiplies by about 8 zillion.

And right now, all I want to do is take a nap. But I can't.  because the gods only know that the kids will get up to/into while I'm asleep.  :)

In MUCH happier news, Hubby has been nominated for a Bay Area Theater Critics Circle Award!  For the past show he was in.  He's the ONLY one from the show who's nominated, which took some of the joy out of it for him.
But I couldn't be prouder.
And now, for the the first time in abut 13 years, I need to buy a dress.
And shoes.
I hope I remember how...


OK.  Gonna go watch some "Gilmore Girls" and try to not think for a while.

See ya!




Monday, February 8, 2016

A Yucky Cold and a Lovely Warm Puppy

I'm getting over another cold.  We've all been sick 3 times over the last 3 months, and, really, enough is enough.  First there was the flu in November, then the stomach virus at the beginning of the year, and now this.  And we've all had all of it.  Well, the family that vomits together...

Tuesday night was the height of it, for me.  (The worst of the stomach thing was also on a Tuesday night.  Curious.)  I was worried that it was turning into a another bout of flu, as I was suddenly sore and achy all over, and very fatigued.  I was sprawled on the bed, and Avery came over and lay down on my tummy, promptly falling asleep.
It was just what I needed: I woke up the next morning feeling MUCH better.  Luckily, after getting the kids off to school, I was able to go back to bed for a couple of hours.  Avery kindly sacrificed her time to cuddle up and nap next to me.

I've had a few dogs now, and a couple of cats. I'm always amazed at how quickly they give us their unconditional love. Avery had already been abandoned, brought to a shelter, adopted out, and returned to the shelter by the time we met her.  And in just over a month, it's like she has always been part of our family. She snuggles up with me at night until Hubby comes home, at which point she relinquishes her spot and goes to sleep on the lovely, soft dog bed at the foot of our human bed.

She's very gentle with the kids (including our 3 1/2 year-old niece, who isn't always so gentle with HER, lol), and she will bark at anyone or anything outside that isn't part of the norm.  She'll also chase squirrels, raccoons, and (yikes!) skunks out of the yard.  She is agile and lithe, and keeps me in shape by walking me twice a day for 20-60 minutes at a time.  And she watches me while I do my home workouts.  She is particularly puzzled by the bike that goes nowhere when I pedal it.  I'm sure she'd come to yoga with me if I let her.

Because she has imprinted on me.  I am her human.  She adores everyone, but I'm the one who's with her the most, and from whom she has separation anxiety.  I HATE leaving her, even to go to my beloved yoga classes.  :)  Yesterday I had to teach in the morning and then run some errands, and I worried about her the entire time.  Of course, she was fine when I got home, sleeping in "her spot" on the window seat.  But she greeted me at the door as soon as I came in, and we went for a nice long walk.  She is sleeping next to me as I type this.
I suppose I have as much separation anxiety as she does.  :)

I miss Chopper.  But I think he led us to Avery.  He wanted us to adopt another shelter dog in his honor, and I like to think she was waiting for us.  That she was meant to be ours, as we are meant to be hers.