Archive for the 'airway clearance' Category

What is “normal”?

I don’t often post about Abby…but something happened yesterday that got me thinking a lot about what is normal, and what isn’t.

A topic about ADD/ADHD came up on my parenting board.  One of the mom’s is concerned about her daughter, and another mom posted an article of symptoms of ADD and ADHD in girls.  A THIRD mom posted that “she could fit herself into any one of those categories at some point in time or another.”  So I got to thinking about that.

The third mom talked about having 3 or more sewing projects going at one time…and they would get finished when they got finished.  I guess I think that’s pretty normal.  Now, I’ll use ME as an example.  I often will have several CHORES going…because I get distracted while I’m cleaning my half bath (you know…a sink and a toilet…not to hard to clean in one shot) and start doing something else, when I get distracted and start something else, and before you know it, my entire house is partially clean, but not one single thing is FULLY cleaned.  THAT doesn’t feel normal to me.  Or a child who is so distracted by just about everything, that they can’t finish one worksheet…all day long, not just occasionally, that’s when it becomes not “normal.”

She talked about running off and forgetting her purse…or as a child, forgetting her boots when she left school.  THAT to me is normal.  My friend’s story about her daughter coming home from school with only one shoe. (and no boots, there were no boots involved in the story.)  THAT isn’t so normal.

In the space of writing this post…I was just gone for a least 20 minutes.  I stopped to do something, and completely forgot that I was writing.  Normal for something like that to happen occasionally.  I’m embarrassed to admit how many times something like that happens to me.  Twenty minutes…I don’t think it’s ever been that FAST before.

Racing thoughts?  Sure, everyone has times when they can’t shut their brain off.  However, my brain, literally, never shuts off.  It’s like being in a crowded lecture hall before class starts.  I have a constant buzz going through my head.  Thoughts then “cross my mind” and I have to expend time and energy to decide whether it’s something I need to focus on.  Was I remembering that I forgot to turn off the oven, or was I remembering and reliving the embarrassing conversation I had with someone 7 years ago.  Yep, I do that…I don’t seem to ever really “forget” anything, AND, I get anxious and sick to my stomach thinking about them, as if they happened 10 minutes ago.

I feel like I have to justify my decision (for lack of a better word) to put Abby on Adderall.  For some reason, ADD and ADHD have been classified as character flaws, rather than a medical diagnosis.  Not only that, it’s considered a character flaw for the PARENT as well as the child…or maybe rather than the child.  As if we parents don’t beat ourselves up enough about the genetic Molotov Cocktail we’ve passed on to our children.  If it turns out that our children need medication to function normally in school and at home, it’s because WE don’t want to parent them.  It’s because WE’RE too lazy to take the time to TEACH our children how to function.

I didn’t realize we could TEACH the brain to use neurotransmitters correctly.  It’s like saying it’s time to teach the Pancreas to use insulin correctly.  Sorry, Sally…your pancreas doesn’t work correctly, but we’re going brow beat and bully it into submission.  You won’t need insulin…you just need to teach it to work.  (it’s been pointed out to me that apparently, my comparison of psychiatric meds to insulin isn’t a valid one, because no one is going to DIE because they didn’t take ADHD medication…but, oh well…I’m going to continue to use it)  Or, perhaps I can TEACH Mariella’s stomach to move food at the proper rate…then she won’t need medication, or teach her lungs to move air efficiently.  No one seems to question my “decision” to medicate her PHYSICAL ailments, and yet people think it’s OK to not only question my “decision” to treat Abby’s ADHD (and her depression, but that’s neither here, nor there) but to demean me, question my desire to parent, and basically make me feel like crap. (because I don’t do that to myself, or anything)

So…what IS normal?  Every spring, I have a certain conversation with my girls.  We have several tulips (I think) that grow in a most inopportune spot of our lawn.  Abby gets mad because we mow them down…telling me that they are flowers.  I tell her that any flower that grows where you don’t want it is a weed.  It’s not that it’s not a pretty flower…but if it’s where you don’t want it…it either needs to be moved to where you want it, or it gets mowed over.

So, while most people have symptoms of ADD and ADHD at some points in their lives…I’d say that’s pretty normal…but when the symptoms begin to impair function, then it becomes not normal.  Someone might be *clinically* quite severely affected by ADD or ADHD…but if it doesn’t impair their life or ability to function…then it’s not a “disability.”  It’s normal FOR THEM.  I’d be quite happy for them, that they were able to learn coping techniques, etc.  Not everyone can do that, and it’s not fair to say that they should have to.

Anyway…I’m afraid I’ve gotten rambley and probably off topic.  I’ve been distracted and torn away and come back several times.  I’m not sure it even makes sense.  I had to get it off my chest.

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3 Quiet days…can’t I get more than THAT?

I kept Mariella home today. She went to bed early, slept late, and when I woke her up, she cried that she didn’t feel very well. That is actually quite unusual behavior for her…still, I told her to get dressed. She started to, without complaint. So, I checked with Rob (I had already agreed to sub today) and he was home all day, so I decided that she should probably stay home.

Her belly was hurting, and her legs were hurting, and she was a little tight. She seems to be starting with a cold again too…so I’m going to implement stage one of her sick plan. We increase airway clearance, and have the Pulmicort on tap, if things progress. I will be so glad to get in to see her pulmo next week.
Hopefully, she’ll be able to go to school tomorrow. She wants to go to her sister’s dance class in jammies today, and I’m just going to let her. I might make her let me comb her hair first, though.

Probably only funny to ME!!!

I was babysitting for my friends son last night. He has Cystic Fibrosis…so we did his airway clearance. (Should have taken a picture of them sitting on the couch, each doing their acapella) and gave him his meds.

I tucked them all up to bed, he got his own room, with fresh sheets. (just to make sure there weren’t any bacteria monsters hanging out there) and Abby and Mariella shared a room. I settled down on the first floor, to read.

I’m absorbed in my book when I hear a cough. My ears perked up…because I couldn’t tell right off who it was. I heard it again…so I went to the stairs…still couldn’t tell. So I went up, and thought I would ask D. (obviously, I SHOULD recognize my OWN kids cough…) The child looked at me like I was nuts…and actually told me that, “Um, SARA…my medicine makes it so I DON’T cough..”

So, of course…it was Mariella. I nearly brought her into my room…because I didn’t want the cough to bother Abby…but Abby was insistent that they have a sleep-over. So I puffed her, and let it go.

We kind of laugh, when both the kiddo’s are having trouble…if they are in the other room together, and there is coughing…we often hear…”That one’s not ME” or “It’s me…I’m ok”…or even better, when Abby comes in and says…”Jeez…they’re BOTH coughing like CRAZY!”


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