J the Creative

My middle son is so astonishing in many ways. I left his father when I was three months pregnant, so I arrived to the hospital to deliver him alone. I don’t know if a fetus can pick up on stuff like that because he would like to be so independent. (I’m really hoping this can happen for him).

J was never cuddly, rarely cried and was always content to just watch the world. He walked at 9 months but couldn’t speak until he was approximately 3 years old. He started in an early intervention preschool by 2 years old. He has been in many special needs programs and does well for himself.

When he started grade 1, the teachers had to empty his desk because he cut everything he owned with his scissors. They had to make sure nothing was surrounding his desk because he always fell out of it and they were certain he was going to suffer from a head injury.

We took him to see a neurodevelopmental pediatrician because we still didn’t have a diagnosis. He asked if J always sniffed and blinked as much as he was doing. Always. Diagnosis: ADHD, Tourette’s Syndrome, severe expressive language delay. Ouch.

Now, at almost 9 years old, Jackson has some pretty loud “horking” tics and some miniscule facial tics and his tantrums (peaked in severity at 8 years old) are scary intense.

He is the most artistic and creative boy that I have ever seen for his age. He is obsessed with LEGO and making paper crafts. (I will post a picture of the rifle that he made out of paper and tape).

He once said a very profound statement to me. I submitted this statement to our local paper and it won me tickets to see Oprah in our home town. I asked him if anyone ever bothered him or picked on him about his tics. He shrugged and said, “Why would anyone bug me about it? I’m not making tics…my Tourette’s is.” I thought that was incredible. At 8 years old, even though he stands out from his peers, J will not let Tourette’s define him.

I’m very proud of my wise, little artist ❤

A the Menace :)

I think I will start by introducing my children in their own posts. I will start with my youngest.

He is in grade 1 and appears, on the surface, to be very studious and well behaved. This is his school persona. His teacher loves him and he will work until he gets 100%. He is obsessed with perfection…….while medicated.

Not even one year ago, A had his teacher exasperated and in tears. You would think this quite the feat for a 5 year old child. While he has not one malicious bone in his body, his energy and impulsivity drove me to polish off more than a bottle of wine in a night on many occasions. ( I really wish boxed wines came with long, straws….like a juice box).

We suspected ADHD as his older brothers were both diagnosed with it, but no doctor would do a formal assessment until he was 6. We were ok with this as this was a little longer that we could pretend that perhaps we were over thinking his “boyish” behaviour.

We sat through months of him being removed from music classes, him scaling buildings, chopping down neighbours flowers, endless graffiti on the walls…..all completed with a happy, proud smile. (As I type this, I realize that he looks like a behaviour problem on in print, but in reality, there isn’t a more loving child).

When A was finally diagnosed and prescribed medication, I cried. Not from shock, but because he was afflicted with this disorder that people would always argue that he doesn’t have. With 48 hours of being on his medication, he was a completely different child. His teacher liked him all of a sudden and children wanted to play with him and he started to like school and himself!!! Now, his medication only lasts from 7:30 until 5:30 so we have to plan our days accordingly but we can do outings and enjoy our time together!

My youngest son and most doting son can (and usually is) my biggest challenge but I enjoy every almost every moment with him. He is my heart. (Shares my heart?)

Who I am

I am me, first and foremost. I am a 41 year old, ridiculously hilarious and cute woman. I am a mom to three boys. (This is really the most fun job in the universe) and the wife to a patient and kind man (who has wisely decided to work out of town three quarters of his life).

2012 was a wake up call for me. My teenage son was diagnosed with ADHD early in the year. In May, I had to fly to Florida to stand by my mother while she watched her husband die, due to an undiagnosed ruptured ulcer. I flew back home and my 7 year old was diagnosed with ADHD and Tourette’s Syndrome. (Sounds pretty bad, right). I had to go for an MRI because of random double vision……SURPRISE!!! I have Multiple Sclerosis. I actually laughed at this diagnosis because I was waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out and tell me that I was being Punked.

At this point, I was pretty much focusing solely on my 7 year old. I didn’t know much about Tourette’s but it can cause some pretty bad emotional problems. I was overwhelmed with life. My messy house got messier…my disorganization took over our life…we were eating take out a minimum of 4 nights a week….I was buying new socks for the kids continuously because I could not find one matching pair.

Then it hit. Relapse number one. I would put two dishes in my dishwasher and need a three hour nap. I lost a lot of usage in my right hand and I was slurring my words. Oh, and more double vision. I couldn’t have anyone into help my family out because I was too embarrassed with the state of my house.

Neurologists at this point are telling me to go on disease modifying drugs. I’m not willing to go this route until I make an effort to get this disease under control by living healthfully. These drugs may cause depression and can cause a number of other horrible side effects.

I’ve joined a gym and am going to attempt a paleo diet. I started kettlebell classes and I’ve lost 30 pounds since my diagnosis.

I want to have a clean, organized house and I want to have a healthy family.

I am writing this blog for myself to witness my progress over the next little while.

Wish me luck!