Sunday, May 4, 2014

Over the Edge

Yesterday I wrote about how my life is crazy, and it really is. Most days I can handle the crazy, as long as the kids go to bed at a decent hour and I get enough time to myself to breathe and relax. Today I was literally pushed over the edge and lost it, and I think I scared my kids and husband just a little. I couldn't handle the constant noise, fighting, loud laughing, I was done. I shut myself in the office, cried, and now I am going to write about what has pushed me over the edge today. I told you I would tell you how it is, and this is the HONEST truth. I hope you're ready to hear it.

Being a parent of special needs children has highs and lows. The highs come when things are going well, things are progressing, changing, improving. These seem to last for a little while, until I get those feelings again that something needs to change, or until Julianna starts having behaviors that are almost constant, and I don't know what to do. Then we are plunged over that edge, into the depths again, where we feel lost, uncertain, and in need of help. This is how it has been the last couple of weeks. Julianna's behaviors and tantrums have been increasing so much that I am at the end of my rope. She has an incessant urge to ask Blake that new infamous question, "are you still my friend?" about every 5 minutes. If he doesn't answer, she will be thrown into a rage, biting her hands and screaming, and now she will even hit him, hard. Blake is so worn out by her that he doesn't want to answer anymore, and I don't blame him, and now sometimes he's in tears from her hitting him. When it gets to be too much, I just tell her that this is the last time you can ask him today, and I force him to answer so she can move on with her life. This happens every single day. Her tantrums are increasing, and things are just so chaotic. No matter what I do, I can't seem to calm her down. She doesn't want to sleep in her bed, she has to wear long sleeves even when it's hot, and long socks that she pulls up every chance she can get. She has little OCD things that have to be just right, all the time. I just can't handle it anymore.

But it's interesting, because even before it got to this lowest point, I felt inspired to ask my regional center case worker for more therapy, which we will be getting soon. And even more interesting is how I always seem to know just what to do to help her, before things get really bad. A few weeks ago, I was browsing the digital books from our public library, and came across "The Autism Book" by Dr. Robert Sears. I haven't read a book about autism in a very long time, and this was a new one to me, so I thought I'd check it out. I only had time to skim through most of it, but from what I read, I was thoroughly impressed. I took some notes about the biomedical approach, and kept these ideas at the front of my mind. Could I even attempt to do this with Julianna? Am I strong enough to implement this program? Am I willing to put all my hopes into a program that has been proven to work in many children, though not all? Dr. Sears lays it all out for the readers, giving very detailed information. I ordered a copy on Amazon and look forward to getting it this week so I can read more closely.

And then I got that blood test back this past Tuesday, and ever since then my mind has been reeling. A normal blood test. A normal blood test?? This means she has no genetic cause for her symptoms. Dr. Sears explains that autism is often caused by things that are internal if they are not genetic. In other words, if your child does not have a diagnosed genetic cause for the symptoms they are displaying, there is a good chance that having your child participate in his described method will bring about huge changes, even possibly full recovery. His program includes doing the GFCF (Gluten-Free, Casein-Free) diet (casein is dairy) and using specific vitamins and supplements. All natural, but not easy or inexpensive to do in the least.

We did the GF 6 years ago (no dairy free) and I did not see huge changes. Then again, I only did it for 4 months, and I wasn't sure if I was doing it 100%. But I remember how hard it was in the beginning, and then how I started to get a feel for it. So I do have some experience. But the most challenging thing I am facing right now, for Julianna, is this: how much of what she is doing is just Julianna, and how much could actually be caused by what she is eating? I don't even know the answer to this question. It would take a huge leap of faith to even start a program like this, but anything is better than where we are right now. I would rather take a leap than be stuck in the depths, lost and confused.

I am just so amazed at how guided I have been, every step of the way, as I have raised Julianna, and I have no doubt that is because I am prayerful, faithful, and obedient. When I look back at the last few weeks, I asked for help from my case worker before I reached the edge, I read that book, and then a fews days later, I got that blood test result. I did not plan any of this. I simply did what I felt guided to do, and now I have to make a big decision that could either be a great thing for Julianna, or do nothing at all. This is where my faith comes in, I guess. If I feel good about doing something like this, then I just have to trust that it will be the right thing. I will let you all know what I decide, and be sure to share how this new journey goes for our family.

Even amongst all the chaos of my life, I am still given those little promptings that lead me to the right path, the path that takes us up back to that high again. I just hope we can get there again. Until then, I will be here, blogging.

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