Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Okoboji family reunion 2014 and a visit with the developmental ped

We are back from our 2014 Okoboji family adventure. It seems like our trip went by so quickly. Dan was able to be with us for the first few days, but then had to head back to work in the sky. The boys and I missed him terribly after he left. They said about a hundred times, "I MISS DADDY!" We had plenty of distraction, though, with tons of family surrounding us constantly. Elijah and Sammy have some older second cousins who lavish love upon them. We spent some time on my uncle's boat and Elijah particularly was in HEAVEN. Oh my goodness that boy loves to go fast. His arms were flapping a hundred miles a minute with a huge smile smeared on his face as he screamed, "GO FASTER! FAAAASTERRRR!" The boys also got some partial lake time. It was only partial because Elijah has not been cleared by ENT to swim yet (hopefully this will happen tomorrow). 

Dan had to leave before the bulk of the family arrived, so he missed out on family photos. :( We were able to capture a bunch of family shots, including this one of my dad/stepmom, older brother and us (minus Dan).

We had an incredible time, but it has felt so good to be at home. I don't think I've ever loved my home/bed so much!

Today we brought Elijah to see his developmental pediatrician, the incredible Dr. M. We chatted about a few key issues: Elijah's inability to prioritize bodily functions/needs, his lack of self-awareness, his anxiety and his lingering potty issues. Oh how I appreciate smart doctors. A few things that he said today struck a chord since these are thoughts/realizations I've had recently.

When we described E's impulsiveness and tendency to break down easily, he said something along these lines: Elijah requires so much energy and patience and control just to get through every day. Every little thing is either overwhelming or confusing for him, and that depletes his resources. So basically, he is at 211 degrees all the time. When the littlest thing happens, he reaches boiling point and explodes. To us it may seem like a minor issue, but for him it may be the thing that breaks him. I did a really good job of holding back tears as Dr. M spoke these words. It makes me feel so sad that Elijah is running on empty basically all the time, struggling with every little thing that comes his way. We've of course known all of this for some time, but it was somehow different hearing it from the doctor.

Dr. M also mentioned how Elijah's tendency to rely on facts is significant. It tells us that he feels out of control most of the time and clings to facts in order to feel secure. So much of his life feels uncertain, so he thrives on talking and learning about concrete things. Geography, history, time, birth dates, ages, schedules, events...these are all things he talks about CONSTANTLY. At one point during the appointment today Dr. M looked at Elijah and said, "I love your tie!" (He wore his Easter tie to the visit.) Without missing a beat, E replied, "Thank you! I love yours, too!" Dr. M made a comment that even though that is probably a learned thing, it is a great sign that Elijah is able to reply in such a way that makes people want to engage with him. A step in the right direction and a tiny sign that our efforts are making a difference.

We also chatted about potty. His thoughts were encouraging. Bottom line: be patient. Eventually E will be able to move this up on his list of priorities.

Dr. M recommended that if E has trouble in school again this year, we should consider putting him on an SSRI to take the edge off his anxiety. In the meantime, we will just keep doing our best! Early bed times, mapping out our weeks on the white board, getting him sufficient sunlight, disciplining consistently and LOVING him so he feels secure and safe.

Tomorrow we have post-surgery follow-up with ENT and our first appointment with Fraser (super hopeful/excited about this one). Elijah and Sammy get to spend an entire day on Saturday with their awesome Grammie and Gramps while Dan and I work. They are so excited!

Thanks for checking in!! Have a great week!

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