Friday, 17 March 2017

He did it..on his own

Well, today was another appointment day for Kai. He didn't want me to come in with him. I agreed. Lately he's been gagging non-stop around both Kevin and I. Gotta love Tourette Syndrome with a good ole dash of Sensory Processing mess!

He met V with Canadian Youth Mental Health and sat in her office for almost 1 full hour. I have no idea what they discussed, but he seemed happy at the end of it. He told me he liked her and has another appointment early April. HE DID IT ON HIS OWN!!!! I did not have to be there...I did not have to be in the room at all...I wasn't even in the building! So proud of him. πŸ’šπŸ’™πŸ’š

Usually at the end of his meetings, he requests Poutine and an Ice cap...we have been working hard with him to strive to make healthier life style choices due to the medication making him gain weight. He has been inactive for a while because of everything he had going on in his world...But that comfort food...he would eat his meal and sleep for hours. I'm sure every meeting is emotionally exhausting for him. They usually are for us. Today was different though. He asked to go to 7-11. He bought a coffee and 6 chicken fries....and then asked to go back to school!! He's not home in bed...he's at school!!

What has happened? Where is my child?? He's becoming the boy he used to be...the one we have been fighting so hard to get back...the one we used to know. But again, I'm cautiously optimistic...a good day doesn't mean this is over...I still can't speak in front of my child. There's no noise from Kevin or I in Kai's world...if there is, it's very minimal...Misophonia gets a big middle finger from me every day...

We all know that this is a work in progress...finding the right Doctors and Therapists, Psychiatrists with open minds willing to learn about new conditions, the right information, the right medication...We all know this doesn't just "go away"...it's a road we will have to travel on for many years to come. Days like this just remind us how far he has come. His hard work is paying off and he sees himself getting better. He sees the benefit to proper sleep, diet and exercise. He is making the right choice for his mental and physical health, I couldn't be more proud.

Well, that's all from me today folks
I hope you enjoy a safe Saint Patrick's DayπŸ’š
Until next time.

Saturday, 11 March 2017

The Un-Happy Anniversary

Kevin and I were talking the other night, as we often do at the end of our day, and we realized it's been a year...maybe not exactly one year to the date, but approximately one year....One year since the chaos, sadness, hell and anger entered our home. One year since Kai changed forever, one year since we've all changed...no turning back...only forward...One year...so many changes...it feels like a lifetime....but it's only been one year...one year since the word "Mental Illness" became something we had no choice but to accept and embrace.

In our past year we have lost...but we have learned from it. We have moved on and become stronger and more resilient because of it. We realized our dreams were just that, dreams...but our goals were what we lost site of. We were in such a hurry to live a dream, we forgot a few things...Thankfully we were able to find our right path again.

If it weren't for Kai's struggle last year, we would probably still be muddling our way through trying to find the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. He made us all slow down and take notice of the world around us and the world within us. He has taught us to be bigger and better in life than we ever thought we could be. He has taught us compassion and love for the underdog, not pity, not sadness, compassion....on days we felt like we were the underdog, he picked us up and put us back on track. If he can get through his days, we can too....his days are rough and I don't know how he does it most of the time. He does it, and he ends up giggling...I hope his sense of humor will continue to get him through. His days are full of pain, physical pain...sadness, anger, frustration and giggles...he always finds time to giggle.

One year, appointments, doctors, waiting rooms, trips out of town, hotel stays, silence, medications, research, research, research... it really does feel like it's been much longer.

We look at how the future will be for him. I'm nervous about some things...when you tell someone you have a mental illness there are many barriers placed in your way. These may be invisible to most, but they are there...the stigma surrounding mental illness shakes me to the core...every single day....I try not to dwell, it only makes me angry.

He really has come a long way in one year. I know each day he will continue on this amazing path of Mental Wellness. I know as he grows, he will learn about what he has and how he is the only one that can manage it all...his hard work and efforts will determine the outcome of it all. I know he will succeed. We are raising a young man that will teach the world something great (even if it is just how to fart on the carpet and make sound...talent right there folks...he's got it! πŸ˜‚ lol)

Not all Anniversaries are sprinkled in sugar and fairy dust...some just kinda bite...like this one...however, I am not bitter about it. Everyday I strive to learn more about  my son and how I can help him now and prepare him for his future. For all of us, it is one foot in front of the other, everyday.

So Un-Happy Anniversary,
I am going to enjoy a nice glass of wine, shed a tear of happiness and look forward to the future.

Until next time πŸ’—






Thursday, 9 March 2017

It started in a car...it ended in a car


Today was it...Kai's last day with Catherine...and how fitting that he wouldn't get out of the car. They started in the car with their first meeting and that is how it ended, in the car.

She taught us so much. It's okay to not be the perfect parent, we all make mistakes. She was there when we thought there was no hope. She never let us down, we felt safe. We will be forever grateful for her, our angel with hidden wings. πŸ’–

I cried...I tried not to. But I did. This is the first person we've moved on from in Kai's journey. A tough transition, but a step in the right direction. My head hurts...will the next person have the same connection with Kai? With us? Will we feel safe, will we feel heard?
Only time will tell. Whether the next person is the right fit or not, we now have the skills to push through the tough times and keep on going.

After our good-byes, I dropped Kai back at school and I stopped in to the grocery store for a few things for dinner. I was greeted at the end of one of the aisles by a familiar friendly face with open arms. How on earth did she know I needed that hug today? Once she saw the tears, she hugged me harder. Public crying....so not cool....lol but man I was thankful she was there. Always a positive person, always with a listening ear, never judging. πŸ’—

I came home feeling like I had been hit by a truck...so many emotions in one day...grateful again for beautiful friends and wonderful family. Still so much to learn though...so much to do, so much to discuss with Doctors old and new...

Our journey is ongoing and I'm sure that will be our story for many years, ongoing...I am okay with that...it's progress and it's positive. There are times when it's two steps forward and one step back. I'm okay with that too...it's still progress.

Until next time πŸ’•



Friday, 3 March 2017

In your world, a power outage means an inconvenience...in Kai's world it is hell....there's no "white" noise...it is just silence...

The power went out shortly after 2pm...no big deal, he's still in school...he won't be home until close to 4pm.

He texted me from school..."Mom, there was an accident on the road the the highway is closed...there's no power...I'm staying in town until Dad gets me"

Okay...this is better for him..he knows the rules and usually hangs out at his Uncles store...he's safe, it's good.

Koby and another friend stayed in town as well...the buses were held up due to the closure..all is good, they are all safe and responsible. I'm not worried.

Around 5pm I start to think..the power isn't back yet...our house is oddly silent...no noise..nothing...Panic sets in...He'll be home soon. He has constant noise from his air conditioner, fan and computer....nothing is working...there's no power....
HOW do I fix this before he's home....I can't...I can't make it safe for him...I have to warn everyone that he is coming home to a nightmare...

Kai (as always) is two steps ahead of me...."Dad, i can't go in the house, there's no power...that means there's no noise...I'll have to stay outside"
Kevin ( super awesome amazing Dad!) came home and brought out the generator...lights up the back yard and makes noise....but this comfort is short lived...Koby doesn't want to be outside all night and I totally understand.
Again, Kevin (Dad of the year!) pops out the back door lock an feeds an extension cord through so Kai can be inside and comfortable with his Ipad while we go outside and light a fire.

The power came on shortly after 8pm...all is finally well and safe in Kai's world...

He tackled it with strength...what a trooper...he could have just crumpled, but he persisted and told us what he needed to get through...not too many demands, just what he truly needed tonight...so proud of him😁

So, please...the next time the power goes out and you post a shitty comment about how it screwed up your day, sit back and think...It could have been worse....
I'm sure the person in the accident didn't set out to ruin your day...I pray the family and person(s) involved are okayπŸ’—

Until next time,
πŸ’•

Thursday, 2 March 2017

Fill that cup right up....

Today kicked my a**....and Kai's...
I know that not everyday can be beautiful...Unicorns don't fart fairy dust out their a**h*les just for me..rainbows full of skittles don't just appear for me, fairies don't drop glitter bombs in my path..and I'm okay with that...I cope...and tonight, I will cope with an extra big glass of white...

Our day started with a drive to Williams Lake to see Dr. Burkey and Catherine for a 9:00am appointment. It was good...positive, reassuring...we're on the right track...Kai managed about 20 minutes in the room with us (me) as I had to speak and that was not what he could handle today. Out to car he went...his safe zone.

When we first started with Dr. Burkey Kai was a 38/40 on the OCD scale, he lowered to about 24 a few weeks in, today he's sitting at 17/40... I am so proud of him, of all his hard work. πŸ’“

We raced back to 100 Mile for another meeting at noon...a quick check in with Catherine as her time is coming to an end...she's still such a positive roll in Kai's world...I'm going to miss her...Kai will too I just know it. One more week...we will do this, we will get through...

Kai wanted to go to school so he could attend his woodwork class, he loves this class!
I picked him up just before 3:00 pm for his last appointment of the day...talk about putting him on overload...poor guy...but we tried it, and we failed...that's just too much for him to handle in one day.

I met with V, a lady who seems eager to learn and help our son and family...this was a continuation of last week's intake with the Child and Youth Mental Health. Maybe my mindset was different today...I felt a bit better about walking into this office...maybe I knew what to expect so my mind was a bit more relaxed...I was greeted with a relaxed receptionist (seriously, she was just chill!)  who had her timing schedule wrong (totally understandable as she had no idea we had an actual appointment, Thank you Catherine)  Since last week, Catherine had arranged a time for us knowing that Kai would probably have a rougher day..again, what are we going to do without her?

Back to V....I really felt at ease talking with her...Kai couldn't handle walking in so he sat in the car. He was gagging and not doing well at all...he needed a break...he's not wanting to see anyone else but I know it's for his own good...I want to give in and drive him home..that will only prolong his healing...I know this...but my heart aches...I hate seeing him struggle...I f*cking hate it...but as his Mom, it's my job to do everything I possibly can to find him the best care available. I will not stop..ever!

Okay, now back to V..we talked for over an hour, about Kai, family life etc...mostly about Kai..and all the positive things about him...she seems eager to help, even if she's only the intake part of his process...she had some good ideas and seems willing to pick up where Catherine is leaving off...now to get Kai on board...

Kai wants to see his school Counselor...someone we all love...he thinks the world of her (we all do) . He wants her to be the one he can go to...I think it's a pretty sweet plan...I know she will continue to help him set and crush goals, I know he will feel safe with her and I know she is what he needs at this time.
This is the first time Kai has chosen the person he can go to...he's taking the steps for his own self care into his hands and I am so proud of him. It shows me that his future continues to look bright 😎

I still believe that if it was just brain surgery, this would all be so simple...but it's not..it's Kai...and he is so complex, so intricate..so detailed...so amazing..
I will always be in awe of his mind, his capabilities and his abilities to teach us everyday how life should be perceived.

Yet as I sit here writing, I am compelled to share a story I read..a link I hope I can figure out how to share...a fear I have every single day....how do I keep my boys on the right track...how do I keep Mental Illness from consuming their life and grasping their soul...Koby is in this as much as Kai..he is a supporter, a watcher from the sidelines, this has affected his life as much as any of us in this house...I know he's a strong boy (young man!) I just don't want it to be too much for him one day...reading this story brought me to my knees...this family, my heart hurts so much....http://www.momsstoptheharm.com/personal-blog/2017/2/26/these-were-my-children-but-it-could-be-anyones-child
Please read her story...it could be any of ours...
And so with that I leave you all in peace and in love...
Thank you for being a part of our journey, a part of our healingπŸ’•
Until next time

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Intake...Ugh....


It's been a while since I've checked in and caught you up to speed...Life gets busy and things just get put on the back burner.
Kai is doing remarkably well being back at school. He is continuing his Science online and succeeding there as well. He would like to add Math back into his life, this makes me very happy...he has always done so well in Math. He has picked up right where he left off with some pretty great friends at school. We are so incredibly proud of his hard work. πŸ’— Starting next term he is adding Art to his course load...PE, Woodwork and Art...3 classes (we hope!!)
He has good days and bad...don't we all?
Today I'm having a bad day...Two short weeks left with Catherine...She has convinced us all that it would be in Kai's best interest to keep seeing someone, I have always agreed to this but was always a bit hesitant of the process. Knowing how Kai is, I knew it would be very hard for him to get through the procedure...surely there must be another way...so today we had to step out of our comfort zone again...we NEED a new Counselor/Therapist for Kai to continue seeing.. I want you all to know how it works, in case any of you ever need help...
You have to line up at the Child and Mental Health Office THURSDAYS ONLY  between 9am-11:30am or 1:30pm-3:00pm (thankfully there was room inside for us as the line up wasn't big at all, maybe because we arrived early?) This building is also the Courthouse, the Welfare Office and the CRD Office. I'm sure there are other services here, either way it isn't a comforting place for a child, of any age! We walked inside and I was immediately hit with the feeling of discomfort. This is not like any of the offices or hospitals we have been to in the past 3 years. This office felt cold and distant. Kai managed about 3 minutes and needed to leave to sit in the car. I went to the front desk and told them why I was there, it felt very unprofessional (the "dude" was wearing jeans and a hoodie....cool, cool, maybe a laid back office, I get that...) but again, this is not what we are used to. Open mind Tara, Open mind....it's okay (oh God, maybe I need a therapist?? Damn I'm judgey...)
I filled out my brief form of why I was there with my child and handed it back to the "dude" (still thinking, man he gets paid to dress like that...) And now we wait....5 minutes, 10 minutes, 15 minutes, 20 minutes...really?? This is easier than making an appointment? 25 minutes later a lady comes out with a clip board and sits down beside me to tell me that the person who showed up this morning didn't understand the process so she'll be back soon...so I'll get your information and you'll have to come back...She says to me, "So, he's been seeing Catherine, what are the charges against him?"
Seriously??? I envisioned throat punching her while plucking her eyeballs out with my fingernails...but instead I smiled, politely told her my son didn't have any charges against him, he was part of Catherine's  practicum work. She was our Counselor and used her Occupational Therapy skills to help Kai get back on track with the help of Dr. Burkey and Dr. Freeman.
Insert eye roll and snotty attitude here.....(again, I'm having a bad day!)
"So, When would you like me to come back???"
And now we will have to repeat this process next Thursday (let's hope we can make the intake times, Kai has an appointment with Dr. Burkey in Williams Lake next Thursday) I just won't have to fill out as much paperwork (other than the forms she sent me home with).
 I'm trying to put into words my level of frustration. How is this a process for anyone who needs help? Wait in the line up or waiting room, maybe you'll get to see someone, no we can't give you an appointment, you need to do the intake process...but that doesn't mean we can see you today...This process sucks...really, a truly dreadful process.....my heart was breaking for the teenage girl sitting beside me....did she feel like I did? She needed help..I was just there for my son....I wanted to hug her...
Something needs to change with this process....but then again, I've been saying that almost every step of the way with Kai... I have witnessed telephone calls and seen the receptionists roll their eyes and make faces at each other about the person on the other end of the line, I've overheard nasty comments about Mental Illness, I've seen the look of disgust on people's faces when you mention Mental Illness...we've had it happen to us...all too often...
I just keep reminding everyone how incredible my son is. He is strong, resilient, funny, smart and such a force to be reckoned with. He will make you laugh and tell you exactly what he thinks of your crappy perspective on pretty much anything. He keeps me positive on my crappy days. He rolls with the punches every step of the way.
He could have given up at any point, he's had plenty of opportunity to throw in the towel...yet he persists...he refuses to sink...he refuses to let this thing called Mental Illness get him...
We could all learn a valuable lesson from this young man. One day, I'm sure we all will.
So at the end of my day, my crappy day, I look at my son and think, "Wow, if he can do it, so can I"
Well, I kind of can...I needed a glass of wine to get me through 😏But hey, wine is good for my heart and I kept my inside voice completely to myself today! Positive thinking!
And now I will immerse myself in the huge stack of books that arrived to help me understand more about Sensory Processing Disorders and Misophonia...So thankful for the input from Catherine so far on what reading material would be best for the future...there's just so much to learn....
Oh, and here's an updated Trapper picture for you all...he's just the best pup in the world...
 Tomorrow I plan on taking a Mental Health day for myself...a much needed day...paper and paint...back to where my heart needs to be....

Until next time πŸ’“

Monday, 6 February 2017

Cautiously Optimistic

It's here...and it didn't even start off all that bad..a bit bumpy between father and son at 5:30am but other than that it's going as planned so far. Dare I say, "We made it!"

He's at school....

We have been planning for this day since he left school in October. How do we get him to return? How do we get him back to being around other people, his peers, his friends? How do we get him to function outside of his four tiny walls in his cramped tiny bedroom....how do we free him from his own self destructive behaviour?

It has been an on-going battle. Trying to push him outside of his comfort zone a little bit everyday. The majority of the help came from Catherine...our Angel with hidden wings...

Catherine will only be seeing Kai for a few more weeks...I honestly don't know what to do without her...I am afraid, what if we do things all wrong? She has guided us all in a way...not just Kai. I have learned so much from her. I truly hope we can have her see or at least touch base with Kai now and then. He adores her...he respects her and he knows she has helped him.

She helped us understand so much about our son...she has made us better (almost).

Kai is returning to school for 2 classes a day. Some days he will be at school for only 2 hours, others will be 4 hours. Band/PE and Mechanics. Band is a grade 9 course that is shared for some students with PE 10. Kai could use the exercise...it's so important for his mental health. He loves band and his teacher...that should be the easy part...Mechanics...I'm a bit nervous...sounds, smells, more so in this type of class than others. But he is strong and has been working on ways to remain in uncomfortable situations...he's allowed to walk away if he has to, but always with the intention of returning.

We have had this feeling before...elation, happiness, a sense of calm....and we've had it ripped out from under us just as fast...so we are cautiously optimistic. We will handle whatever is thrown at us, but for now I'm going to just enjoy a peaceful cup of tea and cry my happy tears because my boy did it...maybe it'll only be for today, who cares....today is all that counts. Tomorrow is a new day with another fresh start πŸ’“