Thursday, February 28, 2013


Have you heard of it? Sensory Processing Disorder
Most people probably haven't. Unless you or your child has it!
And even when I came to the conclusion that it was most likely what had plagued Lindsay most of her life I had no idea how far reaching it was into her daily life. And our pediatrician was not anxious to help us with a referral. I had *hinted* several times that there were issues (mainly with certain garments-including shoes and socks) and never got anywhere. She just intimated that Lindsay needed to deal with it and that she was a drama queen (not her words, but her attitude told me this). 
I agree that Lindsay can be quite the drama queen. And I do often tell her to "deal with" some things. Because that's life...but if there is a true problem and it's diagnosable and help-able...then we need to do something about it.
And the more I read the more discouraged I was. Because the longer you let it go the worse it gets and the harder it is to "treat".
There is no magic pill.
Even therapy has it's limitations.
But it's your best bet!
So, I called the pediatrician's office, found my backbone and calmly but firmly stated that I NEEDED a referral for an OT (Occupational Therapy) evaluation.
She gave it to us! Yahoo!!!
Then the OT office calls us back and, wouldn't you know it, our insurance doesn't want to cover it. Well then.
Thank GOD that her associated called back and she FOUGHT for Lindsay to get her OT!!!! And she got it! 11 hours of it! That is amazing!
Now, this is when I find out what things are related...I was shocked!
I thought it was all about clothing. Nope.

  • upper body weakness (she couldn't even do one girl push-up. I'd have just thought it was lack of effort)
  • poor handwriting due to the upper body weakness. Her arms/hands are shaky so she overcompensates by pushing hard on the pencil/paper and her arm wears out and writing becomes progressively sloppy!
  • car sickness. she doesn't have it awful...just enough to make her very miserable on "sensory" days (some days are worse than others)
  • joint stiffness. she complained of her joints being stiff or sore and having to "squeeze" them (ie clenching fists or tightening her shoulders...we often thought it was anger or attitude!)
  • absolute inability to tolerate any kind of binding clothing. including but not limited to some undergarments, jeans, shoes, socks, shirts with certain cuts or fits, etc. I always thought that if I just made her wear the clothes she'd eventually adjust...nope! 
  • lack of balance/spatial awareness sort of (if the car sits at a tilt, even if it's sitting still, Lindsay is in misery!)

So, what is it? Very simply it's when the messages to the brain get mixed up. They're disorganized. And jumbled. And something that should be a minor discomfort at worst becomes "like being tied up" or something else equally disturbing. Their brain goes into almost a panic mode when confronted with the situation that they know makes them uncomfortable. It's not reasonable. It's not rational. But it's real to them!

In talking to another mom (a friend) who has a child with SPD we have shared experiences...the affected person becomes almost like a wild animal that has been cornered.

Lindsay's therapy included (but was not limited to): brushing therapy. It's a small brush that you are supposed to brush their skin with to reprogram the receptors in the skin...we didn't follow the regimen as closely as we were supposed to but there was definite improvement and she liked the therapy too! Joint compressions for that tightness in the joints and putty that she had to manipulate in certain ways for a certain amount of time in a whatever they did back in that therapy room! :) I know they played games and used different tools to increase her tolerance to swinging motions and such...

Our next thing is Omega 3 Fish Oils. I have her taking one per day right now of a natural brand...and we will also soon include Inositol. It's supposed to help organize and calm those receptors/reactions.

My friend said she saw as much improvement in her little girl with those things as she did with the therapy-in fact MORE!!!!! I'm excited! And so is Lindsay.

We do see improvement that continues on a regular basis. The ability to wear certain clothes and not even think about it-until she realizes she did it, then she's so excited!

Next up: I see signs in Haley. Lovely. ;) At least this time I have a CLUE.....


We've all seen the commercials. The ones advertising for this anti-depressant or that. How it can turn your world from walking around with an umbrella under a dark cloud to frolicking in a field of flowers with singing birds....

But you would be surprised to know just how many people you know-regular people!- deal with depression on a regular basis.

At it's worst it's debilitating. Controlling every aspect of your life. Weighing you down like a ton of bricks. Taking away everything positive in your life (or at least your ability to see and feel the positives in your life). It's awful. A nightmare.

And it spills. Onto those around you. Hurting them and leaving them feeling like they aren't "enough".

I've heard many "solutions" for my depression:
  • Pray. Just pray about it and if you're a "good" Christian it will get better.
  • Fake it til you make it. Just smile and you'll start to feel better.
  • Exercise. Exercise raises your endorphins and will take away your depression.
  • Eat right. If you eat this or don't eat that....
  • Do something nice for yourself.
Guess what? Tried most of them. Maybe not whole-heartedly because when you're in the throes of depression (chemical depression, not just a sad day or the "blues") You kind of can't really function like a "normal" person. No amount of prayer has worked for me (in fact, that's a sure sign I'm not where I need to be with it is when I can't pray. Just CAN'T.) Fake it. Ha. And fake it til I feel it? Not gonna happen. Exercise...laugh. out. loud. When you can't get off the couch to save your life? Eat right. Ummm, I'm doing good if I eat. And if I get started....what do you mean an entire box of Ice Cream Drumsticks isn't "right"? Do something for what? Take a shower? Too much energy required.

Do you get the point? It's impossible! Everything is impossible when you're depressed. Every noise is too loud and overwhelming (try that with 4 kids!). Every movement is a sensory overload. Anything touches you? Makes you want to scream! Nothing "works right". Scatter-brained much! No cohesive pattern to the thought processes, can't remember my own name sometimes. And I am not myself. I don't feel like me.

For my depression I take medication. I'm very blessed that mine is a "simple" fix....I won't tell you which one I take because I'm not here to advertise medications for depression. I'm just saying, if you feel any of the above, ask for help! My doctor told me once (after an ill-fated attempt at trying to go off of my medication cold-turkey) "Why shouldn't you start off every day with the same tools that everyone else has?" (meaning serotonin in the proper levels coursing through my body) Sure, I have good days and bad days still (just like anyone). I still "feel". I get angry, I get sad, I get frustrated...but on a normal level!

And with my treatment I ALSO feel happy, glad, loved, amused, joyful....

Thursday, February 14, 2013

On Love

Time flies! My plan was to blog way more often this year, but sometimes life gets in the way! It's not that I don't have 5 minutes to type a blog's that sometimes at the end of the day, when I have time, I am OUT OF WORDS. I have nothing left to say or give. (Four kids need a lot of words, thoughts, answers, etc!)

But, this has been rolling around in my mind and heart for a while and today seemed the PERFECT day to share it!

Most of us tell our children that we love them. (*At least I assume so in this day and age when we know it's so grandpa NEVER heard those words as a child. Never. How sad is that?) And most of us tell our spouses that we love them. Right? But do our actions and attitudes show that love? I know that sometimes mine don't. :(

Whether you are a Christian/believer or not, the Bible has some pretty awesome words that describe what love should look like. I think they're pretty universal and could help anyone!

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. Love never ends.
(1 Corinthians 13:4-8)

One thing I've heard is to ask yourself if you can put your name in every spot to replace the word "love" can I say "Cara is patient and kind; Cara does not envy or boast; Cara is not arrogant or rude. She does not insist on her own way; she is not irritable or resentful; she does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Cara bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love isn't a feeling. Feelings come and go. Love isn't really an emotion. Emotions are like a roller coaster. Love is a verb. We choose to love. There are days when I don't like anyone around me (and unfortunately I'm sure it shows) but I do love them. Here's the question for all of us: are we showing love no matter how we feel that day? I'm not saying syrupy sweet sick to your stomach love. I'm saying, down in the trenches love! 

Putting others ahead of yourself love. 

I'm not even talking about romance. I think the loveliest form of romance is seeing an old couple that is holding on to each other while walking. That just melts my heart. I want THAT love. Not the kind in a Harlequin (or a Harlequin Nasty according to my hubby). 

**Please note that this post has encouraged and convicted me to check my own actions/words/attitude. There are plenty of times that I have told my children I love them and then cringed thinking about how I've acted that day....and that's the definition they are internalizing about love.**

Monday, February 4, 2013

It's Not Fair!!!!!

I have this little thing I try to teach my kids:
 "Life isn't fair and the sooner you figure that out the happier you'll be." 
And I truly, truly, from the bottom of my heart believe it!!

Things in life are rarely equal. Bad things happen to good people and good things happen to "bad" people. And if we all got what we "deserved"...*shudder*

And I have lived long enough to notice that people who dwell on that phenomenon are pretty miserable people. Why is that? Because someone is always going to have something you don't have! Health, relationships, money...They will be skinner (while eating a McFatty Cheeseburger no less), their children will be better behaved, their husband more attentive, their car get the picture!

And *most* of the time I am able to practice what i preach. Not because I am Mary sunshine, always light and happiness. More likely due to my distractability honestly. I'm easily distracted (as a teenager it used to DRIVE ME MAD that I'd forget I hated my parents the night before and start talking to them again...only to remember halfway through the day that I was never talking to them again. And when you've already talked to someone for half the day...what's the point of stopping again?) Because of this I'm often able to let stuff just roll off my back easily...

But every now and again I get in such a rotten, scowling, negative mood that I prove myself right. It's no fun to be around a miserable person! (In those times I can't stand to be around myself!)

When I see how it affects my family and friends I do my best to snap out of it.

I have found the best (only?) way to do that is this: focus on what you HAVE rather than what you DON'T! Almost everyone has blessings they can count and I dare say most of us have more than we can count!

I know, we all have those days where we couldn't find a blessing if it came up, introduced itself and slapped us in the face...and that's just being human. And everyone understands a rare day like that-or a real friend will anyways.

But if you find yourself never happy, always dwelling on what you wish you a reality check and do yourself and those around you a favor!! Count your blessings, count them one by one! <3 br="">

Blog Archive