When I started this blog my full intention was to talk about my business, thrift store finds, what exciting finds I’ve had~the one of a kind treasures…I never thought I would talk about my life as much as I have in such a short amount of time. I pictured me easing readers into my life but I guess it’s not supposed to be that way as I pretty much jumped in feet first.
Perhaps introductions would be useful? My husband Tommy and I will be married 18 years on November 12, 2013. Our son, Thomas just turned 17 years old. Our daughter, A will turn 15 very shortly, our daughter D is 12 years old and S the youngest girl is turning 7 years in August.
Thomas is special needs and has a list of diagnosis’ and I’ve discussed him in previous posts. All our girls are “typical” children. I’m thrilled to brag that A and D are in honors classes in school. S is very typical of a 7 year old girl and the youngest of 4. She knows how to “work” the older girls and both grandfathers, lol!
It’s Thomas though that has changed my life in ways I never thought possible. I love him, I love all my children. I’ve learned along with love there are other emotions that are attached to that love such as protection, guilt, self doubt, insecurity, worry, etc… When there’s special needs involved I’ve personally experienced those other emotions at least 10 fold compared to my typical children.
That’s not to say I’ve never doubted a decision I’ve made concerning my girls or felt self doubt about how I handled a situation. Just not to the gut wrenching, twisted degree when those decisions concerned my son. Also, my husband and I have had to make decisions concerning our son that most parents aren’t faced with thank God. Decisions concerning strong medications, “Do we really trust this doctor? He’s one of the best in Manhattan… Yes? Ok…then we go with that med and that dose. Yes we discussed the blood work that needs to be done and possible side effects…He’s recommending residential school, yes I know he’s only 8! He’s my son too!” That is a very, very small sampling of the conversations between my husband and I. Then there’s the financial aspect. The majority of our son’s doctors did not take insurance. We paid out of pocket for many years to access specialists mostly psychiatrists in Manhattan. I’m sure there are many people who live where I am who would tell me they have a wonderful dr who takes their insurance. Many years ago we did not have that luxury and I went with my gut feeling and headed out to Manhattan.
My husband and I also faced the rediculous reality that no one would diagnose our son with anything tangible until he was close to 6 years old. At 6 months old Thomas was found to have torticollis which caused him to not be able to turn his head to the other side. When he lay down Thomas would only turn his head to the right side. This caused a marked flattening of his head. We were sent to Manhattan to a neuro surgeon who prescribed a moulding helmet to correct the disfigurement. Thomas was fairly cooperative with the helmet until he was about a year old at this time he learned to take the helmet off, so we all agreed to discontinue the helmet. It did correct the majority of the flattened area and Thomas also had physical therapy to correct the torticollis.
At 3 yrs of age we had the labels of mildly mentally retarded (according to his IQ) and speech impaired but no reason why he was mentally retarded or why his speech was impaired. Thomas was “fine” at birth, no signs of anything wrong. When Thomas was a year old he began hitting me and this went on for years literally, nothing I did would stop this behavior. Everyone I asked for advice, physical therapist, pediatrician, other parents, my parents were clueless. The “professionals” asked if my husband hit me. No he did not. What television did Thomas watch? Ummm Sesame street, Teletubbies, etc…Nothing violent ever. It was a very trying time to say the least.