Friday, June 11, 2010

Illness, appointments and procedures...Oh My! (The reason I'm still a SAHM.)

I've been a SAHM since my son was born, 12 yrs ago. I did think I'd go back by now, but that hasn't been possible. Too many illnesses, appts and procedures to hold a job; even a part-time job. I'd be let go within 2 wks. This week is the perfect example.

In this case, it seems like he just has a cold, although it's difficult to tell of it's that or if he is reacting to something he ate in the past few weeks. One of his food reactions is to get what seems like colds. We never know for sure until he's scoped, so we have to keep going with the food trial even if we suspect it (unless he's vomiting, etc). He is in-between food trials right now, so we let him eat some of the foods that he hasn't trialed yet, but only those that are not common trigger foods. He has, however, eaten a lot of strawberries, so if there is a food culprit, that is the most likely.

He's feeling lousy today. He was home yesterday and the day before, but thought he felt well enough for school today. That didn't turn out to be the case. I got the call at 10 am to let me know he needed to be picked up. At least I got a chance to run a couple of necessary errands first. I'm a room mom for my daughter's class as well, so I'm getting ready for the end-of-the-year party. In the northeast, school lets out in June, unlike the rest of the country. We had several snow days this year, so the kids have to make up 3 of them at the end of the year. School won't let out here until 6/22.

I can't even begin to count the # of days he has missed this year. It's a bit overwhelming. I guess I'll find out when I get his final report card. He has not only missed whole days, but he this year he started to get some new symptoms, which were very confusing and took awhile to figure out. He missed a whole heck of a lot of class time as a result, and it was very common for me to get calls from the nurse to come pick him up. He had transient dizziness for 2 yrs, but he could always keep his balance, so no one knew what was going on. We had lots of tests and they were all normal. So, one day I decided to have him see a neurologist; the one my daughter went to see when she had a bout of ataxia at age 3. She was hospitalized for 3 days at that time, all tests came back fine, and the neurologist told me it was an early sign of migraines. She'll develop them when she gets older. So, I thought it might be a good idea to pursue that possibility. Sure enough, it was a very likely cause. Unfortunately, it had taken close to 2 yrs to figure that out.

Well, that migraine diagnosis (migraine variant) was confirmed this past October when he started to get all of the other symptoms of migraine.....all but the headaches, that is. Talk about confusing! The teachers thought he was making it up or at least milking it or making it seem worse than it was. Nope! He was having severe migraine symptoms, but they were all subjective (not verifiable). Thankfully, I sat in on a meeting where they were telling him of the dangers of being "the boy who cried wolf". I asked them to allow him to go to the nurse to be checked so that she could verify there was nothing wrong. They didn't want to, but agreed. Thankfully, because it was there that we noticed something called "nystagmus". His eyes were darting side to side very rapidly. That was not something he could do voluntarily! Sure enough, that was something that occurs with migraines, as I found out later that day at his Dr's appt. His pediatrician confirmed the migraines and wrote a note to school to let them know, then we had to make another appt with the neurologist. I do not blame the teachers, as it was easy to make the mistake that he was making it up. The thing was that he never had before. I realize that could happen at any time, considering his age, but he has always been very honest about what he was feeling, if he could even explain what he was feeling, that is. That's another problem altogether, and is a part of the Asperger's.

...more to come...need to get him to a Dr's appt now....
Ok, it's just a virus as I suspected. It's going around. All is well, but illnesses and other medical issues are just the norm here; more so with my son than my daughter, but she has had her share of medical issues as well. If it isn't one, it's the other. Again, this is why I'm home.

Last year, I actually had the audacity to think I might be able to take an online medical billing and coding course to try to do something part-time or even at home. The majority of my work experience is in personal lines claims so while it's different, it would still be similar. I signed up for it and paid for it but, like I said, I had the AUDACITY to think I could actually take the course. HA! Of course, things happened all at once and my job as mom & caregiver took precedence due to lots of medical issues & school issues (both overlapping), let alone my father (who has Parkinson's) falling and breaking his arm in 2 places thus needing to be placed in an acute care facility. My mom needed help focusing on what to do and dealing with her anxiety over the whole thing. It was soon decided that he needed permanent placement. So, that was something else. There's always something, and that's fine. That's just a part of life. There are always challenges to meet head-on and overcome. Everyone has something going on in their lives, and many have much more to deal with than we do. We've also met and overcome much greater challenges, and we will continue to do so. Again, that's a part of life.

So, since I still can't go back to work and the kids will be out of school in 2 weeks, I decided to try out blogging. I'm a novice and I'm a bit long-winded, but I'll try to learn to condense what I want to say.

I've been involved in online and local support groups for years, but have backed off a bit in the past year for various reasons, including the above. I had been more involved in an online support group until last year.  I'm still involved in support somewhat, but not nearly to the same extent. The local group needs my attention (we haven't met in a year). I hope to get that rolling again soon. Sometimes you just can't do it all. We might try, and sometimes we may even succeed, but we all have limitations. :-)

Again, thanks for reading.

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