Friday, November 24, 2017

Teeth Brushing Sensory Style

    I'm not going to lie. My son doesn't brush his teeth every day. At least with toothpaste, that is.

    I know, I know. You're all thinking, "What? Then how is she going to tell us about teeth brushing sensory style?" I'm going to tell you what I learned from my son's pediatric dentist, and his oral hygienist whom happens to have an autistic niece.





Teeth Brushing Sensory Style

    Okay, we all know that dentists recommend we brush our teeth at LEAST twice per day. However, when you have an autistic child with sensory aversions, that isn't always possible. 

    He gags. He vomits. He spits the toothpaste out. It's been years of trying every toothpaste on the market before we found just ONE he could tolerate. But he can only use it at night. In the morning he still vomits.

    Liam's eleven, and he just had his first cavity. After they filled it, they sealed his molars because he grinds his teeth all the time. I was speaking to his hygienist about our brushing struggles. He told me that toothpaste isn't a big deal.

    "As long as you can get him to brush and floss, he will be fine."

    It seems that the brushing and flossing is what gets all that nasty food and plaque off our teeth and from our gums. 


But What Kind of Toothbrush Should They Use?


    This was another expensive trial and error process. The brush can't be too big, or too "brushy." I swear, my kid is like the three bears of tooth brushing! Basically, your kid should use any toothbrush that he or she can tolerate. 

    We have found two types of brushes that he can tolerate. One is by WooBamboo and it's designed for "small dogs." Yes, I let my son use a dog's toothbrush. But hey, the dog has never used it! 

    HE loves it because it's quite small, and the front bristles are longer, and they really get in there and clean well. If he's brushing, I'm not complaining and I don't care what the brush is recommended for. If they made a Yeti brush, and he liked it, I'd buy it! 

    The other type of brush he loves are the cylindrical ones. The bristles actually go all the way around the brush. So it's 360 degrees of bristles! They are really neat, and it even says on the package that they're great for using with or without toothpaste. 


What About Flossing?


    If you're an autism parent, you know the struggle with fine motor skills. My son can not wrap floss around his fingers and get into his mouth. So I buy him those handy dandy floss pics. He can grasp them and getting him to floss isn't a fight. 

    This is what works for us, and you know that everyone is different. Basically, try your best to get your child to brush twice a day. Even if it is without toothpaste.

Do you live around Grove Oklahoma? If so, contact Karl Jobst DDS for your dental needs.
To learn more, check out Karl Jobst.



Friday, November 17, 2017

I Saw You Judging



To the gentleman man at the Sayre, Pa Walmart this evening.

I saw you.

First I saw you in the sporting goods section, boasting to all of your friends that “Not everyone is a real hunter! I’m sick of these fake guys around here. It’s pathetic.”

I shook my head as I walked away. I felt a bit sorry for you.

Why?

Because you seemed so judgmental of people that may not be a “real hunter.”

Because your life must be so mundane that you have nothing better to do, than to put down others for something so trivial.

Because you showed such disdain for someone that you don’t even know.

Not even twenty minutes later we were again exposed to your ignorance.

I saw you judging


My family and I were at the end of the video game aisle. You were standing just across from us in the center of the main aisle.

I saw you

A very tall gentleman walked by.

He was dressed head to toe in camo, and had two other guys with him. They were talking a bit loudly, but no louder than everyone else in the store tonight.

Somehow I knew he was the person of whom you were talking about earlier.

I looked straight at you. At which time you made eye contact with me.

The smirk on your face and the shaking of your head said it all.

I normally shy away from eye contact, but I held your gaze.

I saw you attempt to speak to me, which is why I stopped looking you in the eye and instead shook my head. I had a pretty clear idea of what you wanted.

Your wife walked up to you and you loudly exclaimed, “Did you see those guys? Oh my God! People have no shame!”

At this point you probably heard me call you a “judgemental asshole.”

What did that man have to be ashamed of?

For shopping in Walmart, like YOU?

For wearing camo, like YOU?

For looking at stuff in the sporting goods section, like YOU?

For minding his own business and just going about his life? Unlike you.

Do you know who should be shamed?

YOU

For judging someone you don’t even know.

For trying to encourage others to join in on your pig headed ignorance.

For being what is wrong with our country.



Oh, and I saw you at the registers too.

When you were standing again with all of your friends, LOUDLY singing, I Touch Myself by the Divinyls.

And you know what?

The gentleman YOU were judging was right next to me in the checkout lane.

But guess what?

HE DIDN’T JUDGE YOU

He went about his life with his friends and made his purchases.

But I judge you. I normally wouldn't but since you feel it's okay then I wonder how being judged would make you feel.

Would you appreciate being called “a typical, middle aged, overweight, white guy that feels so badly about himself that he has to call out others to make himself feel better?”

I can’t imagine that deep down that would make you feel very good.

When I got into the car I asked my family if they saw you. They did.

My eleven year old son asked why you were being so mean to hunters.

I had to explain to him that just like the kids who bully him, adults do it too, which is where they learn it.

I had to explain to him that people in this world judge us without knowing us.


Now I’m not naive, I know you’ll never read this. My only hope is that someday, you are treated the way you behave.

Maybe then you’ll realize how nasty you are, and how people like you are the very people ruining this country.

Oh, and I hope you don’t have kids. We have enough bullies here.



Monday, October 16, 2017

Why Some of Us Can't Say "Me Too"

    Unless you're living under a rock, you're becoming aware of the "Me Too" campaign started by Alyssa Milano, and in regards to that pig Harvey Weinstein.

    Just in case you're too busy, or just not on social media, to sum it up, women everywhere are tweeting or posting #MeToo if they have been a victim of sexual assault. (You are then supposed to copy and paste the following quote, so others can follow suit. "If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote "Me too" as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem."

But not all us can say "Me Too"

     I can....    but I can't. I can't because for me, reliving that experience is too painful. I have yet to post #MeToo on ANY of my social media, for fear that it would spark conversations with others regarding that time in my life.

I DON'T WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT


I DON'T WANT TO THINK ABOUT IT


It may not be healthy, but I just can't. There is so much going on in my life right now, that I can't let myself feel something that I have worked so hard to push away. I am now a mother with a child that needs me. His emotional well being is often on the brink of disaster and the last thing he needs is a mother in a dark place. 

    I've buried those memories, and that's where I want to keep them. (And yes, I had therapy for it as a teen. My parents insisted.) But this works for me, and that's okay too.

   Even writing this is hard for me. It's dredging up those memories, but in doing so, I hope I'm helping other women, whom feel the same as I do. However, that doesn't mean I want to talk about it. I don't. I have also been avoiding other #MeToo posts because I just can't handle feeling others' pain. And sadly more of my women friends than not, are #MeToo women. 


If you are a #MeToo woman, and it's too painful for you to relive, I feel you. I want you to know that it's okay. 

    My hope is that by writing this, women like me will silently nod, and know it's okay not to tell your truth.  (We're thankful that other women are speaking out. Especially for those of us that can't.)

    In that respect, I urge other readers, that if they see this shared, don't question the woman whom has shared it. 

    It just may be that she can't talk about it either. And she shouldn't have to unless she chooses too.

So.... #MeToo.... 



Monday, September 11, 2017

Snappy Self Care for Special Needs Parents

     I just had a REAL bath for the first time this week! It was glorious! I feel so clean, so refreshed.

     I know you're wondering why today was the first time all week that I've taken a bath. Well, simply put, my child has been in crisis mode since Monday. Suicide watch takes all of your time. 

    If you're a parent, you know that sometimes bathing or other self care gets put on the back burner. When you're a special needs parent, it often gets pushed further back. If you don't get respite, or you have to be with your child 24/7, taking a bath isn't feasible.

    So while I was laying there, actually soaking away a weeks worth of worries and scum, it dawned on me that I should share with you, my tips for self care when you have no time. These are seriously things that when my child is in crisis mode, I can't live without.

1.) Dry Shampoo

    When I first heard of dry shampoo I couldn't understand why anyone would need it. Then I realized, how many times I haven't been able to take fifteen minutes away from my child to wash my hair. In the event that you have to leave the house for a therapy appointment, or worse yet, an emergency room visit, you don't want greasy, nasty hair. At that moment, you feel horrible enough. You don't need another thing to weigh you down. So grab some dry shampoo. Trust me. It works and in a pinch, you'll just feel better.


2.) Baby Wipes

     I think from the time we have babies, baby wipes should always remain in our homes. They're good for so many things. These made my list because let's face it, if you don't have time to wash your hair, then you don't have time to shower or bathe. Break out the baby wipes. In a matter of minutes you can wash down your body, which will help you to feel better. Also, you don't want to stink if you have to leave the house.

3.) Facial Wipes

    When you're worn out and your face is feeling and looking greasy, you want to clean it. You don't have time to fuss around with facial products. However, if you have cleansing or toning facial wipes on hand, you can quickly clean away that dirt and oil. (Hey, it might keep you from breaking out from the stress too!)


4.) Mini Toothbrushes

    Okay, so I really don't know what these are actually called. They're tiny toothbrushes with toothpaste in them. You can find them at the Dollar Tree, and there's actually a bunch of different brands. All I know is when I can't leave my child's side, and my mouth tastes like butt, and my teeth feel gross, these things are a Godsend. Keep them on hand, you'll thank me for it.


    FOUR things. That's it! 


    These four things are my personal arsenal for when my son is in crisis mode. (Side note, COFFEE! I mean, I'm never without that, so I didn't feel the need to add it.) If your life is similar to ours, then stock up on these items. Self care is important, but we don't always have time for it. These save time, and will make you physically feel better.


Friday, September 8, 2017

Mental Illness Affects Our Youth and They Need Our Help

    I have fecking had it with the mental health system in the United States. I know I know, I should be grateful we live here, but at the moment, I'm not.

    I'm not because absolutely no value is put into the mental health system or into our children's, or our lives.

    You finally find a place that accepts new patients, and doesn't just push drugs, you think you have it made. When you choose said place, part of your choice was made because they have "Emergency" Protocols set into place.

    You know that taking your child to the ER for mental health help is useless. They make you sit there all day, only to tell you you can A) take the child home, or B) send them to a state hospital hours from your home.

    So you think, "Wow! This place has emergency hours. Thank the LORT! Next time my child spirals into suicidal behavior, we'll have help!!"

..................................................................................... But guess what????

    That time comes, and nothing. You call them and explain your child is contemplating suicide, just to get a reprieve from his brain. Only to play phone tag for two days. Your child even takes it upon himself to call for help, and guess what???? He gets an appointment for ONE MONTH from now.

ONE FECKING MONTH!

    Call me ignorant, but isn't the definition of an emergency "a SERIOUS, UNEXPECTED, and DANGEROUS SITUATION REQUIRING IMMEDIATE ATTENTION??"

    Is a month from now immediate??

    Feck no it isn't! A lot of things could happen in a month!



    I used to work in a pediatric clinic. We too boasted that we had emergency appointments. And guess what? We ACTUALLY fecking had them! I left two slots open EVERY day in case of an emergency, so we could juggle people if we had too. Some days I had to fill them, but we ALWAYS made room. Even if that meant working after hours. Sometimes that meant working off the clock with NO PAY. But guess what? We were helping children and their families, so it was worth it.

    Is the world so money hungry that they have to book doctors full? And God forbid you may have to stay late to help someone. Especially a damn child.

    You know what you're showing him? That you don't give a damn. If his problems don't fit into your schedule then they aren't important. Way to make a child jaded at a young age.

    If we don't start stepping up, and speaking out about the mental health crisis facing the United States, we're going to lose our children. 

    You see, mental health affects them too. Many people don't realize that. Children can become suicidal. My son started at the young age of FIVE. Yes, at five years old. 

    Most physicians don't know how to handle a mentally ill child. They don't know what to do when you walk in and say, "My child needs help. He/She wants to kill themselves." And it seems that the ones that do are so fecking booked, that there's no time to fit your child in, in a time of crisis.

    What are we to do for our children? How can we help them if there's no help to be found?

Sunday, July 23, 2017

#HELP The Word We Need to Know is Okay to Say

You guys! I was finally starting to pull out of my funk, and give this page more attention.... and then I heard about Chester Bennington.'s death.

I was sitting in the office of my son's mental health psychiatrist when I read it. Tears immediately filled my eyes.

When we got out to the car, I told Beans I had something sad to tell him. I started to play Crawling, ("his song" more on that later) and told him that Chester had died. I even told him how police reported he died.

Because #mentalhealth needs to be spoken about.

He put his little head down, and said, "my gosh mama. that's awful!" he was silent for awhile.

Here's the thing. Did I know Chester? No (but man do I wish I did.) I didn't even get to see him live. But I bought Linkin Park's first album the day it went on sale, and I was hooked.

Something about Chester spoke to me. The way he sang, the words he screamed. It was like someone could finally see their way through my muddled mind.

My son has been listening to them since he was just a little baby. When he was old enough to articulate some feelings, he shocked me.

We were in the car (probably going to some therapy appointment) and Crawling was playing from my iPod (remember the colorful gen 2's? sorry #adhd )

He said, "mama, this is my bad thoughts song. It's like my brain."

Right there I knew the #mentalillness monster was in my son.

Right then, before the actual #bipolardisorder diagnosis, I knew it wasn't just #autism.

I digress. Bear with me, there is a point here.

So anyway, I'm in a major funk again. Every time I see Chester's face in my feed, my heart enters my throat. I am gobsmacked, and heart broken.

To know that that man, with the gorgeous wife, six precious kids, an amazing musical career, and more, felt he had no other choice....

He felt so alone....

so broken....

that he felt taking his own life was the only way to truly be free....

it's horrific....

and I don't want anyone, ever to feel that way.

So here's my point.

If YOU ever feel that way, PLEASE message my page.

(I know my friends are thinking "SHE NEVER ANSWERS MY MESSAGES! Guys! I love you! I promise! I'm just super busy.)

Message me ONE WORD.

One four letter word.

Message me HELP

And as soon as I see it, I will be there, will bells on.

I don't do phone calls because of anxiety, but I will chat with you, and I will put you in touch with someone in YOUR AREA to help you.

I promise.

Because at the end of the day, it doesn't matter how famous we are.

It doesn't matter how much money we have (which is good because I have NONE)

It doesn't matter what kind of car we drive.

What matters is the mark we leave on the world.

The people we help.

The love we share.

Mental illness doesn't discriminate either.

None of those things matter to that monster.

So if I can only do one thing in my life, as long as it's helping someone in need, then I am fulfilled.



So please, HELP is all you need to say.

as a matter of fact, let's hashtag it. Because it seems all the "important" words are hashtagged.

#HELP if you need it, I will be there.

If you feel like you could join this movement, then by all means, comment, share, or what ever. Just look out for one another, okay?

Just #Help each other