Wow. Where to even begin? I feel like I say that often. Probably because it’s always such a long time in between my posts. It’s been 5 months since I last posted about my latest conundrum.
To be or not to be…. a stay at home mom.
That was the difficult question. Now that I look back it was an easy decision to make. After talking to my husband about taking off of work, I applied for a leave of absence from my teaching gig with a slim to none expectation that it would be approved. I just knew I had to try. I wrote a letter, submitted research, documents, and everything else I could think of that would help argue my case.
During the summer I did a lot for Carter. He started some craniosacral therapy twice a week. He got set up for ABA therapy. He started a new speech therapy. We saw a Naturapathic doctor and got some tests done. We were able to see some issues that Carter was dealing with. He has high levels of MSG, along with heavy metals. These are the two biggest culprits. Currently we are working on detoxing the MSG from his body and in a couple of weeks we will begin detoxing the heavy metals. We were very busy and got the ball rolling on so many new things.
Being able to take the time to get involved in the research and attempt any therapy that could be beneficial made me realize how much I could have been doing instead of working full time. I sat for a bit and regretted wasting so much time. This self pity didn’t last too long. I knew I couldn’t waste anymore time dealing with negativity. My mind needed to be clear and focused on positivity and optimism.
As summer was coming to a close, I knew that whether or not my leave was approved, I was going to take a year off of work and focus on Carter. I have to be able to feel that I did everything possible for my child.
My new full time job is Carter. I take Carter to a couple different therapies 6 times a week. He also has doctor visits. On top of that I have tons of research to dive into, seminars and webinars to attend and watch, as well as experimenting in my GFCF test kitchen. At the moment I’m spending most of my free time testing out recipes for foods that Carter likes and I’m making them gluten/casein free. It’s no easy feat I can tell you that. It’s expensive, it’s different, and there’s no guarantee that just because he eats chicken nuggets that he’ll eat the GFCF nuggets that I make. It’s exhausting, but I’m hoping for things to get easier once it all comes together.
This week has been a long, mostly unsuccessful week for us. Carter has had more meltdowns this week than he has in a while and I’m wondering if it’s the new diet. He’s not 100% GFCF yet, but I do as much as I could. I’m also trying to stay away from MSG in all its sneaky forms (it’s literally in EVERYTHING!), which means I make a lot of stuff from scratch. I’m hopeful that this diet helps Carter even more. It’s tough now, but I have my fingers crossed that this is just a temporary “storm” before the calm.
Yesterday was the first day of school for the kids and Carter wasn’t feeling it for some reason. I had been prepping him for about a week or so before school started. I kept asking him if he was ready for school and to see his teacher. I showed him his uniform and let him know school was coming up really soon. The day before school I reminded him that he had to go to school tomorrow. I’m pretty certain he understood and didn’t seem upset that it was back to school time. I was excited for him. He had made so many improvements during the summer and I couldn’t wait for him to really bloom at school.
Well, Thursday morning came and it was not at all what I had expected. He was in a foul mood (and so was Taylor) and refused to get dressed. He kept kicking and screaming and putting his uniform back in his drawer. I was so disappointed. I didn’t know what was going on. He had never acted that way on the first day of school, so I thought maybe something else had happened to set him off. I just couldn’t figure it out. The good news was that I didn’t have to be at work, so I had a lot of patience. After about an hour of dealing with his meltdown and getting nowhere, I ended up forcing him to the car (in his underwear). This is when he kept attempting to dress himself (finally!), but he didn’t have any success. He put on his shorts, but kept putting his shirt on the wrong way. He would get more upset and give me his shirt. I would try to help him, but he took the shirt from me, took off his shorts, and put it all back in his backpack. At this point, the school tardy bell was about 15 minutes away, which is the same time it would take me to get to school. I could feel my blood simmering, as I tried my best to stay calm. We couldn’t both be having a meltdown. I pulled the car over and went over to his side and helped him get dressed. Miraculously he calmed down enough to get dressed. I took a deep breath and thought good thoughts.
We finally made it to school and I walked him in. Carter waited for me to go with him, but I waved him off and told him bye. He turned and walked a few steps, but came right back and grabbed my hand. Poor Carter. He was most likely expecting us to go to my classroom together. Last year, every morning, Carter and I would have breakfast in my class and then I would walk him to his. Not this year, Carter. This new setup is something he’s going to have to get used to. As if he didn’t have enough to deal with. This probably caused him even more distress. His teacher told me that his first hour at school was not a good one.
Yesterday ended as badly as it began. Carter gave me a difficult time during his bath. I had to get in with him to bathe him because he was kicking and screaming (and very slippery). My clothes were of course soaking wet and my energy was just depleted. My husband came home at the perfect time. I had to walk away for a second. Close my eyes and take some deep breaths.
——-this too shall pass——- I told myself. Over and over. And over.
As for today….. it’s been much, much better. I hope it ends as great as it began!
Oh, and by the way….. a very unexpected and surprising thing happened…. my leave of absence to focus on Carter was approved! I’m in total shock. This is something that has never been done before! #healingautism for the win!