Welcome to the KingZoo and Funny Farm, where we learn to live, laugh, and love together. Here you'll find snippets of life in our zoo, parenting tips we've learned along the way, reflections on shining God's light in this world, passions in the realm of orphan care and our journey as parents of a visually impaired child. Have fun!
Saturday, July 1, 2017
Before and after
We've tried all kinds of things. Some things helped a little. Some things not at all. It was suggested that the next step would be a neuro psych evaluation which would probably result in heavy meds. He wouldn't be the first child with Optic Nerve Hypoplasia to head this route. The only problem is that they won't see him until he's 5. And I don't know if I'm strong enough to wait another year.
So we tried a different alternative. And since alternatives are often frowned upon by professionals, we've been pretty quiet about some of the things we've tried. I've heard the arguments - that I'm just a stupid mom who isn't knowledgeable enough to understand what is good for my child. I've been accused of only getting my information from blogs and of blindly listening to other less-informed parents who have been through similar situations and who claim to have found success from alternative methods, and in the end I'm just seeing what I want to see.
Believe me, if it was as easy as seeing what I want to see, I wouldn't bear the scars and black-and-blue marks from being kicked, bitten, and scratched. I wouldn't be sitting on my bathroom floor crying because I've just dealt with the 10th roll-on-the-floor tantrum over something I can't fix and it's just 10AM.
So we decided to try the health, wellness and nutrition route. It just makes sense that God would create our bodies to heal themselves. That's not to say that medications can't be part of that but if medicine has failed us, why shouldn't we try something else?
I came home from the first appointment crying but this time it wasn't a little one's tantrum that set me off. This time it was because a doctor finally listened to me. I felt validated. I felt believed. And for the first time I could begin to trust that someone was going to stick with us until we found some answers.
You don't have to believe me but I know what I live with. I know what life was like "before" and "after". The changes in diet aren't easy for any of us who have to tell him he can't have something he requests but we noticed a difference in just half a day. Five days in, and we realized there was only one tantrum. In five days, just one. Instead of 4 or 5 or more per day. And in those 5 days were two dayswhen I was gone and one of the college kids was in charge - a disruption that would cause any child to dysregulate. But even so, just 1 tantrum in 5 days.
And then this happened. A run-in with the fireplace. He told the nurse that he was on the chair and then he got up and thought he was running to the door but he went the wrong direction. In this case, I think his visual impairment got the best of him and he got himself turned around. Instead of running through the doorway he ran full force into the outside edge of the fireplace.
I can't even imagine what this would have been like prior to this week. Strange people, smells, and noises. Pain. A needle. It would have taken at least three of us to hold him down. And then to lie quietly for the doctor to stitch him up? Again, it would have taken several of us to manage that.
But not now. He was pleasant. He cried as any child would but it only took me holding his hands to calm him. Holding his hands. Not holding him down. And instead of running around and drumming on everything in the exam room while we waited, he drove his "car" to "New Jersey" and told me he was the delivery man. Just like a normal 4 year old with an imagination who would be interested in anything new on wheels.
I'm not saying that he doesn't still yell or prefer to stay outside when I ask him to come in or that he never spins or drums. I am saying that he is more focused and centered. He is calmer. He can sit and attend to a task for more than a few seconds. He is more compliant. He is finally able to concentrate enough to understand cause and effect. And he can stop his racing brain and body long enough for a mid-day nap. That has not happened since he gave up naps 7 months ago. And he spins and drums much less often than before. He is a little boy whose behavior more closely resembles his peers than it did just one week ago.