Sunday, October 28, 2012

Storm storm stormy storm storm!

... sitting and waiting. We have bottled water and non-perishable food. The sparkly Halloween cat and the scarecrow have been uprooted and moved inside, the lawn furniture is in the shed. I'm doing as much laundry as possible. And I'm using the heat pack on my back as much as possible because if the microwave goes out, it'll be useless.

Oh right, did I mention I have arthritis in my back? That's right, I said ARTHRITIS. I'm not even old enough to get a mammogram yet and I have arthritis. I found that out a little over a week ago, after the back pain got so bad I went to the doctor and they had X-rays done.

"Am I even old enough to have that?" I asked the nurse on the phone.

"Everybody's body develops differently, dear," she said.

Hey, thanks.

Possible factors: the scoliosis I've had more or less since puberty -- I was seeing a specialist about it for a while, but the curve was so mild they opted not to do anything -- and the genetic predisposition toward arthritis I apparently had but didn't know about. Until Dad said, "Oh yeah, I have it in my knees. And my mother had it in her shoulders."

Because that's what happens every single time something medically weird comes up. My parents say "Oh yeah, every third cousin for five generations had that, didn't we tell you?" I could find out next week I have the gene for spontaneous combustion and they'll say "Oh yeah, your Great-Aunt So-and-so spontaneously combusted in 1976, didn't we tell you?"

Yes, I know you're reading this. Take a joke. Nyah.

Anyway, I've been seeing a chiropractor and doing stretching exercises, plus the heat pack and meds if necessary, and it's been OK aside from the occasional twinge. It's as though periodically my back likes to nudge me and say, "Hey man, guess what! You've still got arthritis!"

I'll be joining AARP next, I guess. And eating more early-bird dinners. And changing my blog's name to "Angry Old Mom."

Anyway. My bum back and I are awaiting the storm. Just windy now. It would be really really nice if no one got hurt, and the power stayed on, and the trees stayed up, and Halloween wasn't postponed for the second year in a row. And if we could actually stay in the house this time instead of fleeing. But it's early yet.

Monday, October 15, 2012

... and on to Plan B

Yeah, the 504 plan isn't working out. Kiddo just can't settle. He can't transition into new activities. He can't stay in line in the hallway. He can't keep his hands to himself. He gets upset a lot, to the point where he throws himself on the floor in a fit.

So I'm pushing for in-school OT, and for an IEP.

The OT required an evaluation form ("does he do this? how about this? how frequently?"), which we have just filled out -- not the most fun thing to do on a Saturday night, but since we were also watching the Yankees lose and Jeter fracture his ankle, basically, a downer of a night all around. (Stupid A-Rod. I digress.) The first step in the IEP process is an RTI meeting -- as in, "response to intervention." Everybody remotely involved in teaching and/or parenting him will meet to discuss what's working and what isn't.

And then ... I don't know. More research on my part, clearly. Someday I would like to read for fun again. Imagine ... a novel! A comic book! I don't know, a cereal box!

Seriously, between ADHD, ODD, OCD and IEP, it's like an alphabet soup floating through my head.

On the plus side -- and hooray that there are plus sides -- kiddo seems to have buddies at aftercare at least. We went to a bowling birthday party yesterday, and for the first time in a while I didn't know any of the other parents. But kiddo knew four or five of the other boys and they all hugged him hello. Granted, he threw a fit or two over not getting his turn, and kept lugging his ball to the wrong lane, and then would sit there twirling the ball on the floor till it twirled away from him, and kept climbing on top of the ball return console (or whatever it's called) until I started counting him down to a time out, but you know, aside from all that it was fine.

I have no idea what the other kids in kindergarten think of him.

In related news, Happy ADHD Awareness Week, everyone! You know what my favorite part of dealing with this disorder is? Dealing with all the people who think it's bogus. Need proof? This is how the above website kicks things off:

The debate about
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder is over.

And the truth about ADHD is clear.


Yeah, here's the thing: If you feel the need to introduce your awareness website by referring to "the debate," it means the debate isn't over. Even if it should be.

Also, surely you've heard about the doctor in Georgia, per the New York Times, who's prescribing ADHD meds to low-income kids who don't have it because they're struggling in school. And calls the disorder "made up" and an excuse to give the kids something that will help them focus in a substandard classroom setting. 

And my knee-jerk reaction is: argh.

You think ADHD is made up? Spend a week with my kid. You think the answer to a lousy school system is medicating kids who shouldn't be medicated? Man, you must be a big Mark McGwire or an A-Rod or a Jose Canseco fan. Or a Manny Ramirez fan. How is taking drugs to enhance academic performance any different than taking drugs to enhance athletic performance?

And once again, for the record, my son is not on any medications. But on behalf of all the ADHDers who legitimately need those meds to function -- not to get A's in school, just to function -- I'm pretty appalled. 

For further reading, an interesting column from Forbes here, and for your amusement, Stephen Colbert's take on the matter here

And thoroughly exasperated, I am off to watch my son struggle through another week.