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April 28, 2008

One Tree at a Time. . .



As a writer and editor I am constantly reminded to look at the forest, not the trees. Focus on the whole, not the separate parts.

As an SNK parent, the forest overwhelms me. The challenges that I face with two special needs children make my life a never-ending marathon, taking two steps forward and three steps back.

Like most parents, I have a full-time job, I play soccer mom in the evenings and on weekends and I have a house to manage. Unfortunately, I also face the day-to-day obstacles of dealing with my children's special needs. If I let myself think about all of their needs (the forest) at once, I'm so overwhelmed that I can't deal with any of them. I have learned the hard way that I can only take on one crisis (one tree) at a time.

. . .

Naturally, as I was writing this blog last night, a great big tree fell right on top of me, or to be more specific, my son.

If you have a child, who is severely ADHD, you know what they're like when they don't take their medicine or when it wears off, particularly at bedtime.

Our son is so wired up at bedtime, he's like a Tasmanian Devil in a cage. He jumps, he bounces, he spins around, he flies through the air and eventually, he passes out for 10 to 12 hours and sleeps like an angel.

I can't count the number of times he's avoided major injury. This time we weren't so lucky--four hours in the ER and about 20 stitches in his forehead and ironically, all he did this time was jump off his bed and hit the closet door. Of course the door-hinge got in the way.

At times like these people always say "Boys will be Boys" and yes, my son is All BOY. However, most 6-year-old boys have some degree of control. Not our son. Not when he's off his meds.

I like to tell people: "This is my life on the patch" and "This is my life off the patch." That pretty much says it all.

Unfortunately, you can't medicate a child 24/7 and I wouldn't want to. So, I have to constantly remind myself that he can't control his impulsivity when he's off his medication. We have to be more vigilant, keep his room, our house and our yard as safe as possible, pray alot and thank God for keeping him safe each time he does something really dangerous.

On the bright side, the sun always rises and a new day begins. I went to bed at 3 am and had to get up just a few hours later for work, but my son, who stayed home from school today, is happily watching his favorite TV show and he's as docile and sweet as a lamb.

"This is my life on the patch."

One day/one tree at a time!

Nianya

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