Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Two Roads Diverged

You know what I can't get enough of? Cleaning up dog vomit. It's exciting! If I can I like to start my day out with the fresh smell of enzymatic cleaner. Mmmmm.

Some days are bad. Some days are really bad. Today was somewhere in the middle. I know not all days have to fall on this small scale. Why just last month I had four days, four really good days right in a row! That is more than the last three years put together, so I know it's possible. For about five minutes I thought "Oh my God. I'm a cheerleader. I'm one of those happy people I hate. How amazingly awesome! What a shock! I didn't see this one coming!" Then it was gone just as rapidly as it had appeared. Unfortunately, this makes the days that aren't so bad suck just a little bit more. I had it! It was energy! And now I am just back to being exhausted for no reason, overwhelmed by sunlight and brought to tears by the idea that the day stretches out before me and must be endured and not enjoyed. Please don't tell me to just get over it. Will power is just not possible. Attitude and mindset I have control over, and yes, I am hopeful instead of dejected. But I am just a little bit pissed off that all the things that I would like to be able to accomplish today are just insurmountable thanks to the black wave of exhaustion. I can not turn black to white. "There is no spoon!" I was talking to another lyme sufferer today. It's like looking in a mirror. I hate it for her. I wish I could help, but all I can do is say that I get it. I get it! We are sooooo tired.

This summer is shaping up to be an odyssey of what can he think up next. This weekend it was collecting Lego Bionicles. Monkey cajoled and begged for two days to please get him just one more! He painted Bionicle pictures. He made a Bionicle movie. Which is your favorite Bionicle, Mom? Guess which one I am, Mom! The next day we were on to Thomas. Just get me the wooden track out. Just find me the cars. Just help me find this piece. I'm gonna add the plastic track. I need more batteries. The next day it was I need a box. I want a racecar that turns into a clubhouse. Can I go out in the garage? Mom, I'm gonna clear a path. Mom, I'm gonna need two more hands for this...I just made it to the ladder. Oh, Mom, I knocked the bikes over, but that was an accident. So it ends up with me in the garage building a clubhouse/racecar with a cardboard box, razor knife and masking tape at 8PM. I hate you fucking Noggin. I need a secret door. I need a fire door. There should be a dog door. Two windows above the front door. Where's the mailbox? You can't even stand up in this box. What do you need so many doors for? Tomorrow he wants me to teach him to sew. More shit I gotta drag out just so I can argue with him about cleaning it up 4 hours later. Ahhh, summer. Good times, good times.

So I have been in serious hiding for about 3 years. I didn't really interact with people and kind of lost touch with friends. Nobody wants to see you crying all the time. So as I make my way back into society I have hoped that I have changed. I left my corporate job because I had started hating who I was becoming. I hated people. People irked me. I wasn't nice anymore. I'd like to think that stepping out of my life for awhile has afforded me with a perspective not many people get the opportunity to have; not a reinvention, but a clean start. I'd like to think I have changed. Guess what! People, not so much. Still dumb as rocks. So this is where the roads diverged...what do I do now???

I swung by Headstart before swim lesson to surprise Monkey with a hair cut. Surprise! You're getting one. March, Mister! As I am reading a magazine I hear someone talking behind me. Old lady is there with even older lady who turns out to be her mother. Talking to strangers with whom I have not initiated conversation is gonna make my neck hurt. Please don't be talking to me.

Old Lady: "So how old is he?"

Me: "He's 6."

OL: "Before you know it he'll be in high school."

Me: "I know, but this summer every day feels like forever."

OL: "Is he your only one?"

Me: Snort. "Yes."

OL: "I only had one too. It was selfish. They get lonely."

Me: "I know." Stop right there.

OL: "You'll end up playing with him all the time."

Me: "Yep. I do. I know." Eye twitch.

OL: "Hasn't he asked you for more yet? A brother or a sister?"

Me: "Yes. I got him a dog."

OL: Tight-lipped smirk.

Me: "I explained that he would only get half of what he has now. His toys would have to be divided. He's with me on this one. It's not worth it." Shut up.

OL: "They have to learn to share. They just have to...not be selfish."

Me: "Yep. I was an only child and I'm perfectly fine with it."

OL: "Well, I still think it's selfish." Dumb as a bag of hammers. Shut it.

Me: "I have syphilis. I hear that it's a bad idea to have more kids."

Okay, I didn't really say that, but I should have.

Me: "Well, since I'm not living on a farm and have no need of many kids to milk the cows and build fences and take care of the little ones I think I'll just stick with one. I met my quota. Biological imperative met."

Okay. I didn't say that either. But I thought it.

Me: "Oh, I'd love to have more! But no husband and no job! I live with my mother. Autism and lyme disease. Why risk it so HE HAS A PLAYMATE? Oh, but yeah, more kids. My dream. I'd hate to be thought of as selfish. And if he even ever suggests it, like your lonely douchebag of a kid, when he's older and saying he wishes he had a brother I will beat him with a tire iron." Smile.

So do I hate myself for hating her? Do I just hate her? I'm just gonna say "Bless her heart" which is Southern code for "Fuck you, whack job." Yeah, I can live with that. Is that the road less traveled? I'm too tired to worry about it. Why do you think Frost spent so much time writing? People are tools. Stupid metaphors.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Dream a little dream of martyrdom

So the holiday weekend has come and gone. It was really just more of the same except there was macaroni salad. Schools been out now for five days and Monkey is B-O-R-E-D. I'm sure I am clinically insane at this point after hearing my name called a gazillion times and the incessant talking. Not like the drip of a faucet talking, but more like the Niagara Falls of talking. It's been raining and I've been lacking the energy to get out. So here we sit in our pajamas with me feigning deafness and Monkey claiming that "I can't find it!", "I need help!", "More juice!". We did go to WalMart this weekend, but after that 2 hour trip to Dante's Inferno I've decided to just become a recluse...again. "DING! Fourth Level: breast feeding right next to your kid, wild goose chase for Instant Breakfast and pepperoni that was never available anyway. DING! Fifth Level: crazy librarian lady buying $550.00 in gift cards in five dollar increments in front of you in line for 20 minutes you'll never get back, trapped in toy section deciding between one of four Bionicles with spoiled kid near tears. Thanks for shopping Hell".

I'm not sure if it's the weather or some strange electrical field passing under our house, but the dreams are getting interesting. The other night I dreamed I was planning a party for Bill Clinton and the only weekend he could do it was the weekend I was leaving for a visit to Pennsylvania. Last night I dreamed I was helping John Cusack market his new fragrance, "Ace". He was like, "I know it's a dorky name, but I like it." Damn, I'm busy with work and famous people in my sleep. I heard Monkey say in his sleep "Two shirts...". (I know he was dreaming because there is no way in hell we're adding another dog into the mix.)

There is so much around here that needs to be accomplished, but once again I am so exhausted. I'm praying for energy left and right. I put light bulbs in the impossible to reach fixtures today and changed some batteries, and even that was tiring. The power went out for a few minutes this weekend, and now I really need to reset the clocks. It's a half an hour ago in the kitchen, 12:30 perpetually in the den and five minutes from now in Neenie's room. I hate doing math just to figure out what time it is. Like it matters. WHAT-ever. Exhaustion sucks.

I really wish I could round this kid up to help me some. He's like Hansel and Gretel with the toys...and anything he touches. "Oh, look. A koozie. Let me set it beside the computer. Look! The Bissel. I'll put that right here in the middle of the living room. A blanket and pillow. Let me move them to the hallway and stairs....there's not enough to crap to step over in there." Everything he touches must be transported to a new location. I'm tired of this scavenger hunt/maze like lifestyle. My hips hurt from stepping over things. He did make a "chore list" but it only lasted three days.

Here's the list to "earn money". At this point the actual terms of the contract have yet to be negotiated. Picture of contract above. Let's discuss the list:

1) TAKE ThE TASh: [Take out the trash] Trouble carrying backpack from car to house 15 feet. Wondering how large trash bag will make it outside into dumpster and to curb.

2) TAKE A BATh: [Take a bath] Can not distinguish shampoo from soap. Doesn't like to get hair wet. Quantity may be able to be accomplished, but quality is in question. This looks like a freebee as it happens ANYWAY.

3) GiT mi on BeFiCT: [Get my own breakfast] Can not work toaster or microwave. Does not know which door is the refrigerator and which is the freezer. Hates eating. Only gets up 30 minutes before school. Would take him 2 hours just to remember to have breakfast.

4) TAKE ThE DOG: [Take out the dog to pee] Can't work leash to put on dog's collar. Can't get dog to come because said dog is afraid of him. Not allowed to go outside alone.

5) RED A BOK: [Read a book everyday] This one is doable and may eventually help with the spelling!

6) GiT ThE MEL: [Get the mail] Has request a step be installed at mailbox so he can reach into it. Not gonna happen.

7) TAKE A nAP: [Take a nap] Good idea! When can I get paid for this chore? Hasn't napped in months. Apparently, this constitutes a chore to a 6 yr old. Although, some days I would pay for this to happen.

Feel free to submit ideas. I'm not paying more than $5.00 a week. Notice nowhere does it mention pick up his own toys or to quit peeing on the seat.
Today Monkey told me that, and I quote, "It's my life. It's my room. I'm the boss." Something has gone terribly wrong in this house. Someone wants to have a Come to Jesus meeting. Let me go get my can of soon as I'm done napping.

I'm sorry I'm tired today. I'm sorry I am not accomplishing anything. I just want to lay down. I'm overwhelmed. I hate being sick. It's totally inconvenient. Maybe if I fall asleep Steven Segal will show up and help me diffuse the bomb strapped to the engine of this crazy train. Xanax, take me away.
Unsolicited Advice!:
"One's attitude toward one's self is the single most important factor in healing or staying well."
Ummm...Yeah, yeah. I know. Bite me.
"When we choose to love, healing energy is released in our bodies. Energy itself is loving and intelligent and available to all of us."
Ummm...Translation: Do not duct tape your child's mouth shut or stomp on him in a fit of anger.
"Life can only be understood backward, but must be lived forward."
Ummm...Goddamn Kierkegaard. What an asshole.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Who's driving this train anyway?

Tomorrow is the last day of school! It's almost the end of May! Where has the time gone? It seems like I was just putting away the Christmas decorations. Oh, wait! I was. It seems like just yesterday I walked by the Easter decorations on the kitchen table. Oh, wait! I did! What am I going to do with that little boy all summer? If you see him sitting on the kitchen table just ignore him. I'll put him away as soon as I get to it!
It seems that I may have been too kind in my last post. Do not fear! I am not too kind! I just spent an evening reading blogs and I was feeling very overwhelmed. Overwhelmed and annoyed that the autism issue is so divisive. Can't we all just get along? Apparently not. Everyone seems to be bitching and moaning and sighting this article and that site as proof of conspiracy, as proof of blame, as proof of downright stupidity. I get it. This is life and death. Quality of life versus risk of death. One bad apple, or unvaccinated child, may spoil the whole barrel. Not my backyard! It just sucks the life out of me though to read so much seething hate and name calling from both sides.
Let me make my position clear. I think that vaccinating my child, starting with Hep B on DAY ONE of his little 5 lb. 14oz. life, triggered a chain of events that would not have happened if he had not received any vaccination. I believe that vaccinating him multiple times when he was sick was dangerous. I think the pediatrician should never have vaccinated a sick child. I think the pediatrician should have known better as the literature indicates. I believe that taking a vaccine from a bolus vile that may or may not have been shaken or left in the sunlight or was almost empty thereby having some of the dangerous contents settle to the bottom was hazardous. I think that taking multiple shots on the same day is questionable. I think that combination shots are risky. I think a doctor should have put the signs together to get a quicker and better diagnosis. I believe that I should have read more, payed better attention, listened to my gut and not just blindly followed doctor's suggestions. So instead of ranting and stomping my feet and telling you what a complete fuckwit you are for not believing vaccines cause autism and the government knows it and there's all the scientific proof out there you could ever need to show that autism is not some psychological or neurological disease but an honest to goodness physical illness (which is exactly how I feel) I'll tell you how to make sure you never need to worry about it.
If I had the whole thing to do over again I would do things very differently. I would not have vaccinated my child until he was older. I would only do one at a time. I would never give a combination shot. I would make sure that he was never sick when getting vaccinated. I would make sure that he was given PROBIOTICS every time he had to take an antibiotic. The second that he lost his emerging speech a huge red flag would have gone up. The answer would not have been speech therapy. The second he developed eczema I would not have slapped some prescribed steroid cream on it. I would have had him tested for allergies CORRECTLY, and looked for the cause not the symptom. When he wasn't sleeping for hours in the middle of every night I would not have believed the pediatrician that it was normal. When he had to have enemas more often than not I would not have filled that miralax prescription but instead found a new doctor and practice so that my son was well and not merely medicated...because there is a difference, people! There would have been no psych test and IQ test. When he didn't qualify for occupational therapy, but knocked a hole in the wall and wrote on the office whiteboard with permanent marker during the testing I would have called bullshit!
What if he got autism anyway? Some people think that we can't know one way or the other because he was vaccinated. (Experiment with your own kid then...) Well, then I would have seen the signs and listened to my gut that it was not typical. I hope I would have known that not touching certain objects (grass, sand, tags, icing, textures) is wrong. Toe walking, lining toys up, bouncing and rubbing his body off things, allergies, eczema, constipation, aversion to certain foods, repeated need for antibiotics because of ear infections, lack of eye contact were not okay. I hope I wouldn't have listened to people say that boys develop slower, that speech develops slower in our family, climbing and jumping is normal for boys. When I noticed that he was like Superman with superhuman strength and no crying when he got hurt I hope I would have not just thought he was "all boy". Standing up against a wall when we played hide and seek wouldn't have been cute, it would have raised the flag that he had vision issues. When I felt that we hadn't bonded I hope that I wouldn't have let people laugh me off. I wish I would have listened to my heart when I felt something was wrong. That's what I'm saying. Pay attention because it is an epidemic and I can definitely say it's not just better diagnoses...cause that just ain't so.

Oh, it sounds like I have regrets. I have no regrets. I don't want you to ever have regrets either. Pay attention to the speed bumps! I can't do it over. This was God's plan. I feel comfort in knowing that everything that happened to us happened for a reason. We are strong people with strong character. Enough with the character already, God, geesh. Some people have made peace with their special children. I too would love to have a child with special gifts. He could hold his hand over people's heads to calm them. He could channel the prophets. He could tell me stories about his past life on Mars. Yes, there are kids out there capable of these feats. It will make the hair on your arms stand up. My child however, has a medical condition that is curable. I asked, and he can't remember his past lives. The closest he got was saying that he chose me as his mother. When I asked him why he said "because you love me so much and because you're so pretty." If I had made peace with his "specialness" I would have never heard that. I'm not judging others though. God has a plan for all of us, and my child's special gifts are just different. I'll let you know when I figure out what they are. It's not hitting the toilet, I can tell you that. Monkey is still recovering. Everyday I watch. I've learned that no one else is going to do it for me. No one can ever know him like I do.
I love that my son has started using sayings he's heard me use. (Note to self: potential minefield!!!) I now recognize that I am a complete idiot. In the car he yells "C'mon people!" when the traffic isn't moving fast enough. I heard him tell the dog "I mean business, Mister!" I laughed tonight when I told him we needed to get his jacket out of lost and found tomorrow and he said "By WE you mean ME?" I love the way he renders his action figures unconscious instead of outright death. I even love the way he got a serious look on his face after Sunday school and said "You know, God is controlling EVERYTHING."
I promised you an affirmation when my headache went away. I think it's almost gone. It was 3 day whopper! (An affirmation is an assertion that something is true and a form of prayer that focuses on a positive outcome.) Here you go:

I know there is only one Source, the Life-Principle, from which all things flow. It created the Universe and all things therein contained. I am a focal point of the Divine Presence. My mind is open and receptive. I am a free-flowing channel for harmony, beauty, guidance, wealth and the riches of the Infinite. I know that health, wealth and success are released from within and appear on the without. I am now in harmony with the infinite riches within and without, and I know these thoughts are sinking into my subconscious mind and will be reflected on the screen of space. I wish for everyone all the blessings of life. I am open and receptive to God's riches - spiritual, mental and material - and they flow to me in avalanches of abundance.

Om Namah Shivaya: I honor the Divinity that resides within me.
It's a Mystery!:
I can not seem to get these posts to space properly between paragraphs. There is uncooperation occurring between me and the computer. Sorry. It's a mystery!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Shot through the heart and you're to blame, Baby...

I do not claim to be an expert. I am just an interested party, and as such, I have an opinion. I have spent countless hours researching autism and my own illness. I have read umpteen books and blogs, newsletters and magazines and scientific journals. I have gone to meetings and conventions. I have taken my son to no less than 9 medical practitioners. Because I am an interested party I have tried to do my research so that I can have an opinion, but it is still just my opinion. On this journey I have traveled I have reached many conclusions, but none of them are or will be my final destination. As a parent I must remain vigilant in the search for a healthy, safe life for my child, and as my child's caretaker and last line of defense, good health for myself.

It is almost impossible to stay on top of all the current research being presented by the scientific community and parental think tanks. Many times just reading the opinions of the research, hypothesis' and stories of participants conjures up so much emotion -anger and tears, and old fashion fact checking that it can only be tackled in small increments. To really know and understand autism you must have a rudimentary understanding of science and biochemistry or at least the ability to develop one. Sound insurmountable? Thousands of parents are having to buckle down and be researchers and detectives to fill the gap created by misunderstanding, misinformation, politics and hubris that is the medical community and government.

Did you know that the Giant Panda was unknown to the Western world until 1869? Did you know that blood groups were not discovered until 1901? Some doctors experimented with transfusing blood, but up until 1901 they didn't know why it worked sometimes and not others. Is it unthinkable that there might be some things that we just don't understand yet in 2009? Should we not question and investigate? Is it not possible that maybe we should push the boundaries of what scientific investigation entails? When the accepted tests fail should we not try the therapeutic trial? Because it works for you does that mean it will work for me? Should we buy in to the herd immunity argument? Should we believe everything about vaccines are safe? Even if the actual vaccine itself is safe what about the preservatives and additives? What about the timing of giving vaccines before a child's immune system can adequately respond? What about giving multiple vaccines at the same time? What about the recombinant DNA vaccine which is a product of genetic engineering? Why do we have a vaccine court if vaccines are safe? Do you see what I'm getting at here? We have to ask the right questions.

Oh, I'd love to point the finger at the government. I'd love to have someone to blame. That big freak show we call the CDC is in this up to it's neck, but kicking their ass isn't going to save mine. I'm tired of the who knew what when and the secret meetings. Look at Nancy Pelosi right now. That's right, look at her then you won't be looking at the people who actually did the torturing. The CDC meeting at Simpsonwood in 2000 proves that proof of danger from vaccines was revealed at the conference and then hushed up by government and private industry. But by focusing on the who knew what when and trying to take a fight, this fight, any fight to Capitol Hill we're not seeing the actual grass roots people, scientists and parents, who have the good research to bring recovery to this autism epidemic. Don't worry, Karma is definitely going to be kicking some asses.

Do I think vaccines cause autism? No. Do I think they trigger it? Yes. Do I think that the benefits outweigh the risks? No. Is it black and white? No. Are these the right questions? No.

Today I took my son to a birthday party. One of his friend's older siblings was there. I introduced myself to this tween as Monkey's mother. He says, "Oh. Now I see where he gets it." "Get's what?" I'm almost afraid to ask. "The craziness." Well, sh*t. "What are you talking about?" He says, "I've never met a grown up who was wearing a Ghostbusters t-shirt." So, even though this looks on the surface as a complete faux pas by the teenage fashion police I know he just called my son and me crazy. High strung, funky free-spirited fashion plates that we are I couldn't help but get my feelings a little hurt. I know he didn't mean any harm, and really, I don't want to be seen as typical. Even though that lots of people may not know that Monkey was diagnosed as having autism and has since lost his diagnosis I still fear they'll be able to tell that something is amiss. And sure enough a 12 year old boy may have noticed. At least I feel a little vindicated that I am right to remain vigilant and continue with the B-12 therapy and sensory therapy and detox protocol. I know the rest of the 6 year olds are just as wacky as he is, but I will always be wondering if his behavior is weird in a good way or just weird. I'm okay with not being normal as my wardrobe would indicate, but I'm not okay with my kid falling through the cracks. As far as I'm concerned, normal is for people who didn't reach their full potential. We're shooting for the stars, my Monkey and me. Good health will give us the ability to do nearly anything we can conceive. Our health is priceless...although it seems to cost a whole hell of alot.

There are tons of wonderful mommy blogs out there about autism and lots that just compile all the info for your perusal. I can only tell you how we got Monkey from there to here. I can tell you how blessed we are. I can tell you what to read and who to talk to. I can tell you who to go tell cram it. And I don't give anything when they ask for donations at the cash registers for autism research. I always just say that I gave 2 lives already and we're doing our own research, you're welcome very much. It's going to be up to you if you choose to roll the dice or not. You need to remember what you are gambling with.

Just tell me what you need to know and I can point you in the right direction. I just talked to a friend today with a 13 year old with autism who was undiagnosed until 2 years ago. Guess what! She lived in Connecticut before he was born and she contracted Lyme there about 6 months before she had him. Hmmmmm. We've got to ask the right just talking to each other. So, talk to me, Goose...

We ain't 'fraid of no ghosts!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Down the Rabbit Hole

Some days things just seem oppressive. There are piles everywhere. There's a suitcase, a backpack, 5 pair of shoes and trash bag piled near the front door. The calendar is full. There is no clean silverware. You get a migraine. You get your period (which should really have a catchier name like meningitis or something that describes how you really feel.) You catch the dog eating a transformer, eating a cough drop or actually hear that little bugger peeing in the hallway. (Important factual note: Chihuahuas are not descended from wolves as previously thought but from goats!) You've got one ear on the dog, one eye on the muddy boy in the bathtub and you're starving but there's nothing to eat but crackers and mustard (which ain't so bad, by the way.) This is what happens when things kind of get away from you. It's when naps and life collide, and it isn't kismet, baby.

Sh*t List:
Why would I want wings on my pads? I'm sure NASA came up with the breathable super absorbent fabric, but really, why would I want plastic on the outside of my underwear? I prefer to just take my chances.

You know those hats that are supposed to be packable and they don't wrinkle? Well I call bull-shite! They do get big wrinkles that are never coming out and the brim is all fucked up.

Tom's of Maine, I love you cause you got the right idea, but I'm having some issues with you. That lemongrass deodorant? I love the way it smells, but not when it's mixed with the smell of my sweat. That lavender mint toothpaste? I want to adore it, but I've licked better tasting ashtrays.

I've pegged the worst drivers on the road, and their vehicles are marked. All you have to do is look for the handicapped plates. That's right, I don't discriminate. Handicapped people appear to be the worst drivers. Why are they always right in front of me? Why are they always driving so slow? See that pedal on the left? That's the brake. Get your foot off of it. Want to change lanes? Then quit dicking around and just do it. You don't have to be a chess master to think a few steps ahead. And of course my mind immediately goes where it shouldn't. Just what kind of handicapped are you? "Are you a slow driver?" "Oh my, yes." "Have you ever won a game of checkers?" "I don't think so." "Well, here you handicapped license plate."

If I'm gonna make a shit list then I gotta throw on the CDC and Dr. Nancy Sniderman. You people got it all wrong. I will never listen to a thing you tell me. Please don't send the black helicopters.

Did I mention I have a headache? I'd love to throw in an affirmation here so you know that I am spiritual at heart and not all bad, but it just would come off as trite today. I'll hit you up with a good one tomorrow when I can really mean it because this too shall pass. God and me, we're tight. Tonight I'm just kinda feeling like Scarlett O'Hara. "I won't worry about it today. I'll worry about it tomorrow."
Unsolicited Advice:
If you can smell me, you're standing too close. If I can smell you, you should take a break from Tom's of Maine.

PS: See that picture in the header bar with the title? I've titled it "Mom smells baby". What say you? Catchy, huh?

Friday, May 15, 2009

Ninja Career Path

I have totally screwed up this dog. He won't quit licking me...or sitting on me...or get away from me. Ugh. We've had Indiana Bones for 3 months now. He was so cute and little and precocious when we brought him home. Now he's just obsessive and annoying mostly, and it's all my fault. I should be taking him for longer walks in the morning per Cesar. I shouldn't be letting him just jump on me or chew a bone on me any ole time he feels like it per Cesar. Monkey should not be indiscriminately yelling at Indy per Cesar. Our energy is all wrong. I'm not calm assertive. I've tried so hard, but apparently you can't hide your energy from a dog. I'm more like high strung aggressive. (I'm pretty sure I screwed up the last dog we had by having the wrong energy. Monkey is partially to blame there too...and the nutty maniacal cat we had back then, God rest her soul.) I can not tolerate the incessant licking! I can not stomach the constant neediness. I can't help but love the little guy though. He's so cute with the howling and the big ears. I'll try to do better for him. Otherwise I'm afraid we might have to have a chihuahua barbecue. I'm thinking that would probably scar my kid for life. The whole time I'm walking him though I'm thinking how I'm doing it wrong and I'd much rather be at home in the recliner watching the Today show drinking coffee. I try to be all "I'm in charge and calm", and then he sees a bird 30 feet above his head and goes ape shit. It looks so easy on tv. I'm wondering though if Cesar isn't psychic and not really a dog psychologist at all. He's mentally "Doolittling" the dogs. "Okay. I'm Cesar and you need to pretend to do exactly what I want every time I make the Psht noise. You wanna be on tv? I'll make you a star." Or what if Cesar is really a jedi, hmmm? That's definitely more plausible.

I've had a massive headache for the last 2 hours. Why, I say! It's storming now though so that must be it. "Yep. There's a storm a comin'." If my head is pounding or my knee starts creaking I know we're in for a storm. Of course, I could have just checked the tv listing. If anything good was on prime time then of course it's going to storm. These weather men are in complete collusion with the Air Force and totally screwing up my tv schedule. The weather guys get on there for hours and talk about rotation and tornado warnings and whatever other bs they can think up to mess with my tv schedule. I mean, it's all about me, right? Safety be damned! (Please God don't strike me dead with lightning or a tornado. I get it. It's important safety information...mostly.) This whole tornado alley thing is really for the birds.

It's a Mystery!
Speaking of the birds...I hate them. I'm laying in bed listening to a noise. Is it me sleep whistling through my nose? I hold my breathe to check. No. It's those fucking birds. Why are birds up all night, and what the hell are they talking about? Why my street? My window? It's a mystery! Why are they not eating those bees outside, then at least all the noise and chitter chatter would be worth it. Right now they are just asking for it. I'm planning. Waiting. Watching. I just might get my kid the water blaster he wanted. Take that, you filthy birds!

Were you a complete fool when you were little? I was. I was filling out those ridiculous "five things" thing on facebook about a bunch of banal stuff, and I remembered something. I wanted to be a ninja when I was in the eighth grade. I made myself a costume. I patrolled the woods behind my house silently. What in the hell could have possessed me? What kind of careers do ninjas ever really have?

Having a kid has also led me to remember the crazy things I believed as a child. We all have stories like this, and amazingly, it's different for everyone. I believed that there was a little man that went around at dusk and lit all the road reflectors. You know those reflectors on metal poles around curves and such? (Why little man, I don't know. Maybe it was because I had a book on gnomes.) I could never figure out how he managed to do it so quickly. It was as big a mystery to me as Santa Claus. I also believed that there were actually live bands at radio stations that played when they were cued by the djs. This is explained by the fact that I saw the whole red light outside the door thing "On Air!" on the Muppet Show. There were always tons of performers back stage at the Muppet Show so naturally the same thing was playing out at radio stations all over the country. I assumed radio stations must be massive with all the rooms filled with bands. And the one I'm pretty embarrassed about, cause I believed it for a long time, was that we lived inside the planet. This misconception came from hearing about "space windows". There was all this factual evidence that we did indeed not live inside the planet, and yet, the connection was not made in my brain. Digging for China, the most concrete of concrete evidence to a child...still no connection. Learning the names of the continents and bodies of water on the Earth's surface...nothing. I just "took it for granite". Another wonderful stupid thing I believed...granite! Snort!
I've slept in Monkey's bed the last few nights. I had a grand plan of cleaning out my closet, and then managed to just dump everything on my bed. I couldn't figure out how to proceed from there so I've just turned it into a sleepover week. "Yay, Mommy!" Now the thing about sleeping in the bed with Monkey is that he does not lay quietly. There's lots of talking in his sleep. There's lots of kicking, thrashing and punching. There's lots of giggling in his sleep, which is truly just beautiful. Sometimes when we're not having the "My bed is inaccessible sleepover" I still go in his room and lay down with him for a bit and hold his hand while he's sleeping. It's like magic when he is silent. He's easy on the eyes too. My heart just about bursts as I thank God for putting us together. The other night he yelled out "Dad! Me!" and then made the play sign which is a hold over from before he had speech. The irony is that he hasn't seen MBD in person in about 4 years. Dreaming about his dad should completely rub me the wrong way, but it doesn't. I'm glad he gets to see his dad, even if it is only in his dreams.
Unsolicited Advice!:
If you feel seperate from the Force, it is not the Force that has moved.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Symptoms Shmimtoms

I've created my own list of symptoms of Lyme Disease just in case you were wondering if you are a parasitic host.

You might have lyme disease if:

...The dining room chandelier has 14 lights but only 6 of them actually have working bulbs.

...You find yourself saying things like "But I just cleaned the toilet last month. How is there mold growing in there already?"

...When you ask someone to hand you a granola bar you say "Can you hand me of those...ummm...rectangle thingees in a shiny silver package with that Quaker guy on the front? You know, you eat them."

...Your neighbors hate you because you are a complete season behind with your outdoor decorations.

...The neighbors keep suggesting home improvements about the roof and the yard, and then they offer to help. "Oh, it's no trouble."

...Everything you mail has to be overnighted because it's already late.

...You're drinking out of bowls because all the cups are on the passenger side floor of your car.

...All of your doctors are old with white hair and glasses, and they all insist your fine. "That'll be $250.00 please."

...Undergarments are only worn if you have to leave the house.

...Lifting your arms above your head, looking behind or under things results in severe pain somewhere.

...All of your voice mails start with "I am trying to contact ****. If you are not ****, then please hang up."

...Sunlight makes you cry.

...Vacation is just way too complicated.

...Your son claims to have discovered what's wrong with you, and dubs it "the sleepiness".

...Your only meaningful friendships are Starbuck and Apollo, Denny and Alan, Jack and Kate or George and Izzy.

...You own more pajamas than any other item of clothing. You wear them outside because "they're really just plaid pants, right? Who's gonna notice?" have no idea what time it is because every room has a clock with a different time.

...You never ever rotate the food a quarter turn half way through microwaving. That's just too much bullshit to go through for an enchilada.

Unsolicited Advice!:
Cesar says "Exercise, Discipline, then Affection." I am pretty sure this works on kids too. Let me know if your kid enjoys being poked in the neck as much as mine. The dog thinks I'm playing. The kid knows I mean business.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Tip Your Waitstaff!

We have no clean cups, and I just caught the dog eating the dictionary. Happy Monday! So what though, I have spell check! I barely slept last night so I enjoyed a 3 hour nappy-nap this morning. Now when I pick Monkey up from school I will have the energy and patience to listen to the incessant talking and singing (Star Wars theme, fucking over and over) and not rip his throat out with my teeth. We'll be buddies as usual, and I will serve as his waitress, maid and posse. I'm wearing the same clothes I wore yesterday, and as a matter of fact I slept in them. It's all about time management.

I will tell you more later about how I think the Lyme progressed from my childhood on. For right now though I'll just start with after Monkey was born. That first year was hellish. I bought a house, had two car wrecks within three weeks of each other, I quit my corporate job, started my own business, MBD moved to Korea and after about 6 months Monkey was sick alot. The stress was awful, and I was down to about 89 pounds. I was dizzy and exhausted and thought I was dying all the time. Really, really believed I was dying. I think the pregnancy was just too tough on me and my body just couldn't coexist with the lyme anymore. I looked okay though, and no tests revealed anything wrong. I knew it wasn't just depression, although I was depressed from the fear and uncertainty and the thinking-I'm-dying all the time. Over the next few years I was diagnosed with dysautonomia, MVP, menieres disease, lack of hormones, and sleep apnea. I took meds, but I still felt like crap all the time though. I was so exhausted.

Over the course of this past six years I have not been living, just surviving. Just trying to make it from morning to night every day, and get Monkey and me better. Some days I would have just offed myself, but the garage was too messy and I couldn't pull the car in to gas myself. I wouldn't do that to Monkey anyway. I'm in it for the long haul. (Unless of course there is some sort of accident resulting in brain injury, in which case I'm telling you now just pull the plug.) I have learned to become invisible. The anxiety was so bad I sequestered myself in the house until I was agoraphobic. I quit wearing make-up, jewelry, and a bra cause it hurt so bad. I only did the things I had to do for Monkey. I did play dates and took him to fun events. It was miserable for me though because I couldn't enjoy anything. I couldn't hold a conversation with other mothers without bursting into tears. Light hurt my eyes. Sound hurt my ears. Heat and humidity made the menieres flare up. My legs would barely carry me up the stairs sometimes, and with Monkey I am constantly being called to climb the stairs. All my limbs were tingling, feet were like blocks of ice and I was forgetting the name of things and words.

I know this sounds like gloom and doom, and yes it was...then. It's much better now. I feel like I'm halfway there to better. If you read anything lyme sufferers have written via the internet you'll see that people spend thousands of dollars trying to find out what is wrong with them. There's alot of politics involved which I'll be sure to mention later. I'm going to add some of my past diary entries so you can see what it was like in my head before I knew.

Full Disclosure:
" December 23, 2007

It's clear to me that the zoloft is completely out of my system. It's been almost 5 months since I last took it. It seems to me that the only difference it was making was preventing me from bursting into tears constantly. I'm up and down everyday. Feeling crazy and having anxiety attacks. I'm also feeling very irritable. I'm so angry at Mom. I just seethe hate most of the time towards her. I feel like I've been a bit short with Monkey too, but he could try even a saint's patience after spending all day with them. It's okay about him though...

I feel like the house is pressing in on me. There is so much stuff in it. It is near impossible to keep clean. And, I have no room. My room is filled with piles, and I can't get my stuff put away or figure out where to put it.

I am so tired. So fatigued. So dirty. No energy. Unhappy. Sad. I don't want to be depressed or sick. I wish I could take something for the energy, but there is nothing to take! This is probably the closest I have felt to suicidal in a really long time - three years, maybe? I hate it. Tired. Feeling uncomfortable in my body. Yuk. Showers don't make me feel better. I hope this passes.

You know, I can't even remember what I was going to say...I can't tell if I'm hungry or tired or what. I'm shot. Legs hurt -left ankle, knee and hip -all my back -my neck. I can not sit or lay comfortably. I've said it a thousand times...I can't live like this. No one can help me. Not sure what to do. Just managing to take care of Monkey. It's all I can handle. He's doing so well.

Wit's End! I feel as though I have ruined my mother's life. I don't feel like wrapping presents."

"January 6, 2008

Am feeling soooo sick. Temp up and down all day. My neck hurts as though I have food poisoning...which I don't. It feels horrible moving around, but I don't feel like it's the flu. Strange. Want to sleep, but can't get comfortable because I'm so achy.

Talked to KT. She suggested I look into Lyme as some people at her church have it, and the symptoms seem to match up. Fucking insanity is what this is. Feel/hope that that may be the answer. Scared that it can pass to the fetus. What if Monkey became sick because I have always been sick? KT said to not even think about that right now. So I will concentrate on the sick that I am and the sick that he already is, and will not borrow trouble.

If I did...DO...have lyme would it be wrong for me to be happy for feeling vindicated? Not crazy. Not lazy. I just want to have something I can point to, something with a name I can fight! I hate being invisibly sick. I will call and fill out forms or do whatever to get the ball rolling. I want so desperately to be well! I want a fair shot at life. I want quality so badly. I feel selfish, but I am alive and I deserve to enjoy it, right? Please, no more sick."

"June 4, 2008

So! I have solved the 'What is the problem' problem. It is a huge relief. I know I have Lyme Disease. As to which infections or co-infections I have, I just don't know. I could've gotten tested in April, but there was no way I could travel or afford $4000.00 . Now I am taking the therapeutic challenge route. I have tried the salt/vitamin C protocol which helped. I was never able to get the dosage up high enough though. I have started to have some good days though. Really. I have managed to get the house and garage totally cleaned. Monkey has had friends over for play dates! I painted my room, for God's sake.

Things have really started coming together. After Monkey's sensory therapy he has slept through the night every single night and has pooped everyday. No more enemas! This in and of itself has taken a load off of me.

Right now I am trying the MMS protocol. It is sodium chloride, and it kills everything bad. I know that my toxic load has been reduced. I'm having a shit day though. My PMS/period is so awful...yada yada yada.

I know it's going to take a year or more to lower my lyme load and feel better. It's different aches and pains everyday as I have the die-off. I'm hoping my face will return to it's normal color. It's awful. The melasma is so ugly I can't look anyone in the face. I know there is more that I could do to feel better. Better detoxification and exercise and diet. As I feel better I am able to do more. I hope I can do more for Monkey too. Reduced stress helps so much. Mom has layed off me for months, and that has really helped. She is so tired though she can't do anything. She works so hard. She is the only one of us working, and we need the money. I wish I could save all of us. I HAVE to get better to save us.

I'm afraid the lyme is dormant...or Monkey right now, and will start to emerge when he has detoxified. That's the running theme in the things I have read. He's chelating today, and it takes such a toll...on all of us. He gets so forgetful and tantrum-y. We have to get it out though and he improves every single time! How often and how long will this take I wonder.

Monkey had a little friend over today. He couldn't stop hugging. MLF was a little put off. How sad. Everything about this is sad. I just want to be hopeful. It's a real trick though when I feel like I've been beaten with a bag of hammers.

How did I not know Snuffaluffagus was an anteater. I've spent my whole life thinking he was an elephant. Will the wonders never cease?

Going to PA next week. I can't be excited because it's so stressful with the drive and packing. Get to see Dad's new house. I must remain calm and save all my energy for healing myself. Me in a bubble. Me invisible."

I haven't mentioned God very much in those entries, but believe me He is very much in my mind and heart constantly. I believe I am plugged into the Universe. It grants miracles and wishes to me every day.

Monkey has started experimenting with similes. Here's two new ones: easy as a baby

...funny as ten clowns

Unsolicited Advice!:
At every opportunity endeavor to be the best possible version of yourself.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Oldies but Goodies

I'm just now finishing up the 8th load of laundry. It's been a busy Mother's Day. Please don't think I slave away everyday like this. Some days I get absolutely nothing accomplished. Some days I take two naps. Some days I pull out all the stops and take advantage of found today. I'm still plugging along so I thought I would take this opportunity while Monkey is tucked safely into his bed to tell you some oldies but some goodies so we can get to know each other.

I haven't had a date in over 7 years. No, really, it's true. I just haven't felt like it. The last date I had resulted in Monkey. I rest my case. I'm sure I'll eventually get back out there, but getting better has been number one priority. Scratch that. It's been number two priority. Number one has been to not jump off any cliffs. Anyway, I'd like to tell you a story about being hit on. I like to think of it as a classic.

This story is from 16 years ago. I was having the entire carpet replaced in a condo I bought. Two guys came to do the 2 day job. It was hard work so I offered them drinks, got them some music and repeatedly checked on them to see if they needed anything. If they liked me, they'd do a good job, right? They did a great job! Day 3 there is a knock at my door. It's one of the carpet layers. Let's call him Rufus. Rufus has a thick Southern accent. Rufus seems to have forgotten a tool, did I find it? Well, yes, I did. Here you go. So he hem-haws around and says, "You sure were nice to us. I just wondered if you had a boyfriend." This is when I realized I had opened the door to a virtual stranger, and was alone. No, I didn't have a boyfriend. "Yes, I have a boyfriend. But thanks anyway for asking." So Rufus says, "I was gonna ask you out yesterday, but I had forgotten to put my teeth in." Then he knocks on his head and says, "I forget things sometimes since I got this metal plate in my head." What more can I possibly say about dating. I ain't ready. You can't make this shit up!

Monkey has led a sheltered life. He has no older siblings or relatives nearby. He doesn't have a dad around for me to fight with. He's so spoiled from all the toys and technology at his fingertips Dr. Phil should be kicking my ass. He hasn't heard any bad words. I completely changed my vocabulary when he started talking. I'm not being all self-righteous about this. My main reason was that I didn't want him swearing around other people thereby making me look like a bad mom. His naivety is just a bonus from me being so worried about what other people think of me. On New Years Day I took him and his little friend to this really awesome park about 30 minutes away. A 3 story monstrosity with super cool slides and climbing walls. Here are some brief snippets from conversations the kids had:

They played together all day the day before at Monkey's little friend's house where the subject of gay marriage was apparently brought up. (Hereafter he shall be referred to as MLF.) He likes MLF so much he suggested marriage which MLF (who does have an older sibling) quickly put the kibosh on. Monkey said he'd marry him anyway. He's 6. He loves boys. Normal, right? Monkey knows I can see how information is disseminated in kindergarten, and how I will have to deprogram him after every play date. I'm all for gay marriage, but I'm afraid if I tell him about it he'll be hitting on more of his friends. For Pete's sake, I don't want to get that phone call.

So we go to McDonald's. They were like wild animals when we first got there. Old people were offended.

I said, "Is this how you 2 behaved for MLF's Mom? "

M & MLF:No.

Me: Then knock it off before we get kicked out.

Monkey: From just this McDonalds?

MLF: No. All of them.

Me: Right.

So Monkey takes forever to eat. I told him MLF and I were just gonna leave without him:

Monkey: What if someone takes me?

Me: They'll bring you right back.

MLF: Well, they might. A black person maybe. Cause they don't like us sometimes. White people. Like those people. (And he points over my shoulder at some black customers.)

Me: Shhhhhhh. I'm not leaving him. Don't worry. Finish your drink.

MLF: You know you shouldn't stick your middle finger up in the air.

Monkey: What?

In the car on the way there:

MLF: Aliens are not real.

M: Yes, they are.

MLF: No, I read a book. Who's that guy that went out to space and took pictures of planets and walked and stuff?

Me: John Glenn? Neil Armstrong?

MLF: Well, he didn't see any aliens. My dad says there aren't any.

Me: Well, they haven't proven there are any. They haven't proven there aren't.

MLF: The book said NONFICTION right on the cover. (So screw you.)

Me: Well, I believe there are aliens. Everyone can believe what they like.

M: I think there are aliens.

MLF: My dad is older than you. So he knows.

Me: Oh, yeah? I don't think so.

MLF: He's 40.

Me: Well then maybe he is. I'm 38.

MLF: Wait. Maybe he's not 40. Thirty something? Maybe 48? I forget.

MLF: I'm not 5. (His birthday was 3 months away.)

M: Yes you are.

MLF: I'm BASICALLY 6. Yep. Basically 6.

M: I'm older than you.

MLF: Well, I'm faster and I weigh more.

So on the way home I finally had to forbid them from using their force powers:

Monkey: Mom, MLF won't stop choking me.(MLF is holding up his hand like Darth Vader)

MLF: Monkey, stop!(Monkey is holding up his hand.)

Honestly, they weren't touching each other but I thought they were gonna make each other cry. Good pretend play.

So far in 2 days they had covered gay marriage, racism, child abduction, the "finger" and aliens. This is what my only child is up against.
Unsolicited Advice!
"If you are patient in a moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow."

Getting My Ya-yas Out

Happy Mother's Day! What an appropriate day for me to begin getting my ya-yas out. Today was uneventful in the form of devotion from my son. He's not about holidays that are not relevant to him and that do not provide piles of toys upon rising from bed. That's fine with me though. He got me 2 plants last year, and I already killed one of them. The guilt! When Neenie asked him what he would like to get me for Mother's Day this year he suggested Star Wars action figures. "But that's more a toy for you." "Neenie, Mom loves Star Wars, and she doesn't have one action figure!" How thoughtful. Really. The neighbor asked him what he'd like to get me if he had as much money as he wanted. "A card." "No, you have a million dollars! You can get her anything you want!" "A card." Well, at least I know what to expect for the rest of my life.

Let's get introduced, shall we? My name is Jen. I'm 38, and I live with my mother and my son in Birmingham, Alabama. I'm going to use the pseudonym of "Monkey" for my son. I'm the only one who calls him that. He chatters non-stop and climbs all over things, so it is appropriate. My mom is Neenie. Monkey's father shall be referred to as "MBD" (my baby's daddy). He doesn't enter into our story much, but his genes are ever present. Our dog is Indiana Bones, or Indy, for short. He's a 4 pound chihuahua, and he seems to be permanently attached to my hip.

I have Lyme disease. I've probably had it since I was 10. I have been on antibiotics, among other things, for 7 months now, and am just beginning to feel better. Monkey was diagnosed with autism after he turned 2. He is 6 now and pretty much recovered. I have spent my life thinking I was crazy and feeling just plain awful. One kind of mystery sickness after another. I researched and researched and never for one second did I guess it was lyme. I'll talk more about my journey with lyme a little later. We'll cover Monkey's recovery as well.

We are so blessed and so thankful to be where we are today. Just a year ago, two years ago, three years ago we were in dire straights. I know that talking to other people with lyme or parents battling autism and negotiating special needs in their children helped me tremendously. I hope that I'll be able to touch upon some things that might help you too. I also hope that I may be able to make you laugh some, as I think my kid and I are a riot! Six year olds are just wacky in general, and yes, kids do say the darndest things!

I will also be tacking on old journal entries to my posts so you can see how it was for me in the midst of things. It was not pleasant. Reading back over my diaries makes me appreciate the present so much. And, of course, I will also be including the ever popular (in my head) "It's a Mystery!" and "Unsolicited Advice!" There may also be some adult language being used so don't say I didn't warn you.

It's a Mystery!:
Last week Monkey and I went to an open house at a summer camp. There was a pond so we ended up bringing 3 tadpoles home. I was sure they would be dead in 24 hours. Nope. We threw some algae (pond scum) in with them, and they seemed to be thriving...until this morning. I've been collecting rain water and giving them a bit every few days. I figured that I needed to treat them like fish and sort of keep their little habitat clean-ish. So last night when I went to bed there were 3 tadpoles. This morning there were 2. It's a mystery! What the hell happened to the third guy? There's no carcass. Do they eat each other like gerbils?

I was walking the dog this morning, and we ran into one of our little chameleon friends outside. I'm not sure if he's a chameleon though or a salamander. It's a mystery! I'm thinking chameleon though cause I did see him change from green to brown before my eyes. He also mumbled something about car insurance...

On our walk I also noticed a yellow jacket nest near the front windows. We have paper wasps above the back door, mud dawbers under the front porch overhang and those big red wasps behind the gutter attached to the garage. Did I mention I am terrified of stinging insects? So, how do I get rid of these pests without using pesticides? It's a mystery! We don't use pesticides here since Monkey can not detoxify. Although, I'm tempted to call in the big guns for those red wasps. They're like tanks.

Unsolicited Advice!:
If you need to get pizza or pit stains out of your white clothes (did I just say "pit stains"?) try Clorox Clean-up Cleaner with Bleach. No, I'm not getting a kick back. I just had some stains on a favorite white shirt and tried multiple things until this one worked.