Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Time heals slowly

I cannot believe how quickly the days are just flying by.  I think it's sad that I noticed time by measuring the appearance, and now the slow disappearance of Puppy's physical red scars on his face and arm.

President's Day weekend was a four day break for Puppy.  I had written that the school had a book fair before the weekend began and the book he bought became Stuff in his pockets. This was Thursday before the break that his teacher had been in our home and had told him he would spend time at the library as part of his consequences when he returned to classes on Tuesday, February 21.

When Tuesday came around, Puppy was so nervous I was barely able to get him on the bus because he was experiencing anxiety attacks in the morning.  I can't predict the behavior on the bus so it has happened before that I will drive him myself if he is unable to calm down enough to get on the bus.  I finally must have said the words he needed to hear and he was on his way to school with the other students on the bus.

I texted his teacher to give her a head's up.  She would let me know how the day went.  And his day began.  It must have seemed like the day was never going to end for Puppy.  When he arrived his teacher said she was going to check with the librarian for a work schedule and left Puppy to explain the reason for the consequence to the teacher aide.  She has earned his respect and when she said he would not be allowed in her group that day, he assumed the worst.  To Puppy, the worst is being placed in the baby chair between two severely autistic students.  This assumption created an anger in him that I had seen many times before.  He escalated into a meltdown by screaming foul language, hitting desks, and horribly scratching his arm and face deep enough to need attention from the school nurse. In the process of causing self-injury, his teacher went to hold his hands and was successful but only after she received a punch on the arm from him. She told me that his yelling called attention to others passing by the classroom and every time someone peeked in he would scream loudly at them and struggle to get lose from the her grip.  It took a while before he was able to calm down and was released. When all was calm, his teacher texted me and then we talked on the phone to discuss what had happened.  She assured me it was fine and there was no need to pick him up.  Not much later, she walked him to the nurse's office where he was treated for his injuries.  The nurse called me to report the incident and again I was told the cuts were serious but he was calm and not asking to be picked up, he'd return to class and finish off his day.

I called his daycare to let them know that there was an incident in the morning at school and that he was alright.  That they were to ignore the scratches, not entirely but not to give them too much attention.  He also did well that afternoon.

I can't explain how I felt when I saw him at first.  My heart sank so deep for him, I felt a lump in my throat. How does a parent fix this?  Just because he was calm and moving forward, he was not fine. I was not fine. My mind searched for answers. How do I console him? How can I heal his pain?

I remember when it was bedtime...he said he was going to pray that he'd wake up all better.  I joined him in prayer. When I went to wake up the next morning, he pulled out his arm from under the covers.  He stared at it and asked, "Why is my arm still red with scratches?"  I worried that the events of yesterday would be freshly on his mind again. I was lost for words.  All I could say is they will go away slowly with time, time heals all wounds.  Sadly, the physical wounds are reminders for a longer time than we wish them to be.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Lower Dental Appliance OFF!! happened, again.  But for the last time, I took Puppy to the orthodontist to have the complete lower dental appliance removed after his right side slipped out of place while having breakfast.  Unfortunately, I had to send him to daycare with the appliance out of place because there was no way to know if the orthodontist's office would be open that day.  I don't know if I had mentioned before, but the original doctor passed away earlier this month and now the office is having to re-group or re-organize and they are not on the regular office hours as before.

Puppy was immediately excited when it was removed because he was able to speak a bit more clearly, his mouth closed better and it is easier to eat.  Keep in mind that he is still wearing the upper bracket that was expanding his jaw.  I had to do turns daily for 15 days. I'm so glad we are done with that. It still remains on his jaw after removing the other appliance, though.

His next appointment is on March 7.  At this time we should find out if they have approval from the insurance to place a different appliance to do the same job of bringing his lower jaw forward.

My Puppy is the best kid and such a trooper.  I pray that it is all worth it in the end.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Stuff in His Pockets

It’s not that I haven’t wanted to write lately.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to write about.  I have plenty to write about.  It just takes me a while to collect my thoughts for a new post. Now where do I start?  Let’s try Thursday, February 23.

I had allowed Puppy to wear a watch to school with the conditions that if he messed with it or wasn’t able to focus on his school work, his teacher was going to take it from him.   Puppy also went to school with $15 for the book fair.  He likes going every year and looks for mostly picture books.  He was also excited about going because he knows that they usually sell other trinkets that he can choose from like erasers, pencils, magnets, etc.  The kind of things he can carry in his pockets. 

Puppy’s teacher went over to our home on Thursday as part of our in-home training. I had a few errands to run so Ms. H picked up Puppy from daycare and took him home; where his teacher was waiting for them.  It started off just fine.  Luckily she had good news to report. He did pretty well and the watch was never brought to his attention. Puppy went to the book fair and bought his book and an eraser.

That was in school under the watchful eye of his teacher and the TAs in his classroom.  Apparently, once he was off the bus and at daycare, he removed the watch from his wrist to place it in his pocket.  It’s just a need he has to carry something in his pockets.  I think it was Ms. H whom noticed he wasn’t wearing it and signaled him by pointing at her wrist.  His teacher caught on and asked for it.  One small problem though.  The watch wasn’t the only thing in his pockets. This was not going to end well.  He had purchased a letter sized soft paperback book about how to draw motorcycles.  The problem was that he had folded it as small as he could to also place in his back pocket (you know, to make an impression of a fat wallet).  Well he took it out and his teacher must have drilled him before I arrived because it was tense in the house. Once I was seated, he proceeded to tell me what he had done and his teacher said that his consequences would be spending time at the library helping fix books and magazines.  He didn’t seem to have a problem with it and was apologetic the remainder of the evening. 

Puppy didn’t have classes on Friday or Monday, so Tuesday will be the day to fulfill his consequence.  Now we had a long weekend to manage.  I was not looking forward to this.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

We're No. 5 on TMB

Woohoo! Claire and Puppy is ranked #5 out of 39 Special Needs Blogs on Top Mommy Blogs!  Keep voting!

So far, so good

Two full days after having his dental appliance put back into place with extra cement/glue, it seems to be holding well. I can even tell that it is not bothering Puppy anymore because he is speaking faster, not that clearly but he's trying and he's more confident about eating. I will be calling the dentist one more time to see if they are open on Saturday so that the pistons can be put back on.  Waiting until his next appointment in March will only delay the process. I can only hope we don't have problems once the adjustments are made.

I also wanted to mention that Puppy wore a watch on his wrist yesterday.  It's the second watch because his teacher kept the other one because he was messing with it in class.  I got a great report.  She told me that she didn't mention a word about it and he was able to focus on his work without giving attention to the watch. Such a big progress on Puppy's part. He wore the watch all day and she rewarded him with a cupcake at the end of the school day. Kudos to him!

Monday, February 13, 2012

And yet, one more time

It was about 1:30 this afternoon when I received a text from Puppy's teacher that the dental appliance had slipped off one more time.  Boy, that really made my blood boil.  I couldn't believe I was hearing this.  But this time I was going to get on the ball and get it all done to give Puppy a good night's rest.

My boss overheard me on the phone and gave me permission to leave and take care of Puppy's dental problem.  I called the orthodontist's office and left a voice mail.  I was not going to miss more time from work. And so I was off, but was faced with after-school traffic.  I'm not used to this and was getting easily agitated by the slow driving, bumper to bumper traffic, plus the constant stop and go.  I'm usually a calm, wait your turn kind of driver, but today I was racing against the clock because the dentist closes at 5:00 and it was now 3:00.  Oh, and I had to drive across town and back again, and did I mention there was traffic galore?

For whatever reason, the school did not have the usual drive-thru pick up lane in front of the campus.  So I had to park in the public parking lot and walk over to receive Puppy from the teacher aide. Remember, Puppy doesn't know how to cross the street, so he cannot leave the campus grounds on his own.  We are in the truck and moving out and back across town to the dentist.

You're not going to believe this...they were closed.  Now I'm really not having a good day.  Puppy's asking what happened when he sees the lights out at the dentist's office.  And I tell him we are leaving and going to try Plan B.  I called his previous dentist to ask if he could take us as a walk in to remove the appliance.  He was more than willing to help but we had to hurry because he was going to be leaving in an hour.  So yes, again I rushed across town to the other office hoping I make it on time.  Granted there is faster moving traffic, I can make it.  And we are again.

We made it and the appliance was repaired instead of removed (because I forgot to tell the receptionist when I got there that I didn't want it on anymore).  But he put in extra cement and even put some over the tooth on each side to help keep it in place.  I asked if we could bring our business back to finish the remainder of the treatments for braces, but I actually found out he is not an orthodontist and doesn't work with braces at all.  I'm going to have go back and hope for the best with the doctors that are taking over the patients of the recently deceased orthodontist that Puppy originally started his braces with.

After all was said and done, I could tell his dentist did a great job because the smile on his face told me so.  He was able to speak and smile since he obviously had his dental appliance securely in place.  It was comfortable for him and we were ready to head out of there.  I am praying like I haven't in a while that this be the last time Puppy has to deal with the faulty appliance.  Everyone cross your fingers for Puppy.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

To the Dentist, Again

I had planned for a different night this past Friday.  One of my support groups was having a "Moms' Night Out", so I had made arrangements for Ms. H to pick up Puppy from daycare while I first attended a wake, then continued to the support group's fun night.

It all went well.  Puppy was doing good with Ms. H and I was playing Loteria (Spanish form of Bingo).  When my night of relaxation came to an end, I headed home.  I found Puppy showered and ready for bedtime.  Except for one thing.  His dental appliance had popped out of place, again.  Why on a Friday?!

So we woke up early on Saturday because I was aware of the fact that I had to hunt down a dentist that would take us as a walk-in.  I has already checked with his current dentist's website and they are not open on Saturdays.  So I did the next thing I could think of, I called his previous dentist.  He wasn't open and told me he would take him without a problem, except for one big problem...he was out of town and would return Sunday around 5 P.M.  If we were unable to find help for Puppy, he told me to call him and we would be welcomed.

Just as I was searching, I took a chance and called the current dentist's office, and hurrah...they were open! They had a surgery schedule but we could go on over, so we did as quickly as I could drive there.  We made minor adjustments to the bracket and removed the arms.  If this doesn't stick, we are done.  We'll approach the idea of using another appliance if it fails.  After all, he needs to keep this appliance on for about eighteen months.  Ugh! I just pray we are not frequent visitors to the dentist office in the coming months as we have been this past week alone.

Special Needs Moms

I copied this from a friend on facebook.  I hope you enjoy reading the above attachment, I did.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Dental Visits

OMG!  I’ve been taking Puppy to the dentist since March of 2011.

*March 22 – Dentist suggests Puppy get braces but his office doesn’t handle the red tape that goes with Medicaid so he sends us to find another dentist who does

*August 4 – Initial evaluation, impressions and pictures on file

*August 18 – Letter giving notice that braces were approved by insurance
*September 6 – Spacers were put in

*September 8 – More impressions made

*September 28 – Braces were put in place on upper teeth (navy blue bands)

*October 10 – Dental appliance was to be placed but 2nd doctor wanted approval for optional appliance, needed to clear insurance.  New wire and bands replaced (navy blue bands)
*October 11 – Wire was causing discomfort, took him back in the morning to fix wire
*November 15 – Still no dental appliance cleared. New wire and bands replaced (black bands)

*January 5 – Appliance not cleared, going back to square one and making impressions for original appliance to be made out-of-town

*February 7 – Finally had the appliance put in.  It’s ugly, we both cried to have it removed, but no one listened  :(    Wire from braces removed, but bands replaced (silver bands)

*February 8 – Went back in the morning to have a screw and arm reset and tightened all screws on appliance

Puppy is angry now, very angry; he hates me for putting him through this.  He doesn’t understand the whole process and I can’t explain it well enough for him to accept the torture he’s going through.  He can’t control his drool, can’t eat or drink normally anymore.  It’s difficult for him to take his pills because they either get stuck on the appliance or simply don’t flow with the water.  I have him drinking out of a straw to put suction force to help the pills go down, but he hates it. All his food is getting stuck all over because he can't chew well with the flat bar that goes across the top pallet, but not touching the pallet so food gets stuck, and his tongue can function like it should.  He sounds like Daffy Duck.  He hates it all. He's having tantrums in the morning because he wakes up reminded of the painful silver crap in his mouth. I’m a bad mom for making him go through this.  I have nine brothers and sisters, none of us ever had braces or other crap in our mouths and we’re fine, most of us, lol.  Maybe I should have left it all alone. He was able to eat and drink just fine.  Ugh!  I hate this, too.

Sunday, February 5, 2012


How do you explain to your ASD child that there are boundaries he needs to respect?  I feel like a broken record, repeating myself on a daily basis, but not getting through to Puppy.

This has being going on for sometime now, years really.  Puppy sees something he likes, picks it up, and now it's his.  The problem with this is that I may or may not notice he's taken something until I see him with it after the fact. Later may be an hour or three days or a week.  To him, he's had it for a while already and so it must be okay for him to have it or keep it, even figures no one needs it.

I find myself talking to him over and over about the same thing. I've expressed how he needs to stay out of my room and drawers.  I think it's gotten worse ever since he realized that I started to hide things from him.  He was bright enough to figure out searching and it opened up a new world.  He found access to items he may not have even known were in our home.

 He also collects loose change to be able to buy things he shouldn't have.  Why couldn't I have a kid who collects money to buy sodas or candy?  Nope, he wants wallets and more wallets.

So I'll probably have to talk to him again this coming week about one thing or another that he's picked up that isn't his.  I'm thinking I might have to start locking doors to the bedrooms to reduce his temptations.  If things don't get better, I don't know what to do.  I don't feel like taking his things will teach the lesson, but it might help him understand the anger coming from me when my personal items are taken without permission.  However, I need to teach him NOT to take items, and NOT to create anger.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Can't Catch A Break

Sorry for not posting anything for a few days.  It seems that Puppy has some kind of second wind when it comes to talking about whatever is on his mind.  And usually it's about why he can't do this or that. I find myself grinning away from his view, but it's not always easy to face him again with a straight face.  It makes me happy to see him talk so much as opposed to the somewhat quiet boy he was before.  But my frustration takes over when he objects to every answer I give him.  If it's not what he wants to hear, he will ask and ask until I break down and ask him to please stop talking for a while and let me rest.  I might be able to distract him with, "Would you like a fruit cup?"  And that may give me a five to ten minutes of silence.  So I have not been posting because I am worn out, completely!  His need for my undivided attention is more than I can handle some days.  However, I will try to get back into a routine as soon as I can.  Thanks for hanging in there.