Thursday, December 30, 2010

Going to the dentist

I took Frank to the dentist Tuesday morning. This is only the third time he's gone, and it went no better than the forst two times. Actually, it was somewhat worse this time, because he's getting to be too strong for me to hold down! I laid down on the chair, with him on top of me, both my legs crossed, locking his legs into place, my left arm across his chest, like a straitjacket, and my right hand on his forehead, holding his head back. Even so, he managed to wiggle away from my grip several times, screaming his head off the whole time.

I have to say, none of the people at this practice ever blink an eyelash at his behavior. Either screaming bloody murder during a cleaning is par for the course for his age, or they have so many special needs patients (I know they have a lot of autistic kids and kids who have Down Syndrome in their practice) that Frank is easy in comparison. I do know that, after our first visit, the hygenist told me, "Hey, he didn't bite, kick, or punch me, so he was a pretty good patient. As long as he was screaming, his mouth was wide open, so I could do what I had to do!" Better her than me- I'm really quite glad I did not go into pediatric dentistry!

The good news is, we apparently are doing an excellent job with brushing his teeth- no cavities, no spots even close to needing to worry about. The kid's teeth should be pristine- he doesn't eat anything with sugar in it!

Frank, of course, each time behaves as if he's the conquering hero, showing off the new toothbrush and the prizes he got. He also, of course, spends much of that day reminding me that, "We don't need to go back to the dentist for a long time, right Mommy?"

Oh, and with food? Tonight, he took a bite of carrot, chewed, and swallowed. And he only gagged on it once.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Been a while...

Frank is now using the toilet at school to urinate. The catch is, he uses the adult toilet because the kids' toilets don't have doors, and therefore no privacy. But he's quite content to use the adult toilet, and his teachers seem to be fine with having to escort him down the hall to the bathroom, and he hasn't had an accident yet at school since he started using the adult bathroom, so I'll take it.

The catch is, he still refuses to use the toilet at all anywhere to defacate. So, at the suggestion of someone at school, he now tells us when he has to poop, we put a pullup on him, he hides in the closet (yes, I'm serious) for about five minutes, we clean him up and then put the underwear back on.

It's better than cleaning crap out of underwear.

He actually asks for mac and cheese for dinner a few times a week now.

There's a website that you can use to make a video from Santa for your child. You go and answer a bunch of questions about your kid, and they send you the video on email. I played it for him Christmas Eve morning. He seemed a little freaked out to find that Santa knows so much about him! His eyes got huge, too, when Santa said that he knows Frank's been working very hard, but he needs to work a little harder at trying new foods. It was hard for me not to laugh. A little while later he told me he was going to try a lot harder with carrots because, "Santa wants me to."

So, in the last couple of days, we have gotten from zero to 60, really. Yesterday he took two bites (that I let him spit out immediately) of a raw carrot, and today he actually took a bite and chewed it twice before spitting it out.

Bless you, Santa.

Friday, November 12, 2010


I got the paperwork from the Child Development Center. I have to get his teachers at school to fill out a form, his pediatrician has to fill out a form, and his OT needs to fill out a form. And I have about five pages to fill out.

Nobody told me, when my son was 17 months old, that a diagnosis of Sensory Processing Disorder would bring so much freaking paperwork. I thought, at the time, that it was going to be something more like a personality quirk- he'd get some OT, and be much better, and would just have little things pop up once in a while. I never in my wildest dreams thought it would affect everything we do with him, and every aspect of his life.

In other news, he's decided he likes the Dodgers. Why the Dodgers, you ask? "I think it would be really exciting to watch them." He then hastened to add, "I still really like the Yankees, too, though." Shades of his grandfather, my father in law. When FIL was a child, his whole family were Dodgers fans, only back then it was the Brooklyn Dodgers. FIL one day up and decided he liked the Yankees. My husband thinks it was just to piss off his father. So now, in a family filled with Yankees fans, and several generations of Yankees fans on my side, my four-year-old son has decided he likes the Dodgers.

Sometimes, life really is a circle.

Thursday, November 11, 2010


My son refuses to use a blanket to sleep. He'll curl up under one to watch cartoons, or to listen to a story, but he refuses to sue one at night, and doesn't seem to be able to articulate why. Up until this point, I haven't been all that concerned about it; we put him in thick footsie pjs during the winter, as well as a layer underneath on really cold nights, and the kid is way more warm-blooded than I am, anyway, so it wasn't a big deal.

But now he's wearing 5T shirts, and 4T pants. I'm having a hard time finding footsie pjs that fit him AND that feel good and don't have any "lines" (seams) to bother him. So, we've been trying to get him to use a blanket at night.

Epic Fail.

He even freaks out when we try and leave a blanket folded at the foot of his bed...or anywhere else in the room, for that matter. I KNOW it's because of his knee-jerk "anything different is bad" thing, but have no clue, short of forcing him to keep the blanket in there with him, to break him of his aversion to using the blanket at night. We've tried several different blankets, all to no avail.

Meanwhile, the kid HAS to be freezing at night. I know I am, and it's only November. I worry about him freezing his little butt off at 2am, but have no idea what to do to change this.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


So, I called the Child Development Center at Big Area Hospital Frank was born at and made an appointment for him to see a developmental pediatrician. This is different from a regular pediatrician because this kind of doctor is a specialist in stuff that affects child development. The center wants him to have a full evaluation (And you should see the amount of paperwork they want before the appointment! They'll end up knowing him and his history better than I, who carried him inside my body for nine months, do!) before they decide what kind of therapy he needs, to rule out any physical issues. It's an approach that makes sense, I guess, but...the next available appointment isn't until MARCH 31ST! That's five months away!

I've looked around for a therapist for him, but there's not a single one in my plan within a 25 mile radius of my house who's taking new patients and treats kids as young as he is. So, this means I either have to go farther afield, a displeasign prospect during after-school rush hours, which is when I'd be bringing him to therapy, or go outside the plan and pay extra money, which is equally displeasing.

So frustrating.

Also, at an appointment with his pediatrician last week, she and I noticed a red thingie on the side of his chin. She thinks it's a blood blister type thing, but isn't sure, and because he's a fair-skinned child, and it's a sudden thing that wasn't there before, she wants him to see a dermatologist.

Great. Just what I wanted to be doing- schlepping around to more doctors.

I sure hope what people say is true- that one day I'll look back on all this and laugh- because I am not laughing now.

Monday, October 11, 2010

So, I haven't posted in a while...

There's not much good to report.

He got over the ear infection, only to get some kind of virus a couple of days after the ear infection diagnosis that the doctor thought could be MONO. (My reaction? "He's four. He only kisses ME!") Apparently it's not unheard of for kids his age to get mono, so on his birthday, no less, we went to the pediatrician and then to LabCorp to get blood drawn for testing. The good news with that is that it turned to be Not Mono, and he eventually recovered from what turned out to be one of those ugly little-kid viruses.

I took him to the allergist to get tested last week, because I wanted to know what the hell was causing his constantly runny nose since about April. He mentioned casually to me on the way there that his ear hurt a little. Sure enough, he had an ear infection in his left ear this time. SIGH. Yet another antibiotic. If he gets another one soon, I am going back to the ENT and raising holy hell. The tubes are supposed to be taking care of this, for crap's sake!!

The toilet issue is still a huge issue. We eventually gave up on the underwear for school- he never uses the potty, and screams hysterically at the mere suggestion of it. He also screams at the thought of pooping in any potty.

No new exciting news with food, either.

I am just so damn tired, all the time. Thinking about anything, let alone trying to fight him on potty issues or food issues, sucks the life out of me. I just can't do this anymore, I can't. I just don't know what to do. Everyone has a suggestion, none of which work, and I know, because I have tried EVERYTHING. I spend hours at night, tossing a turning, and thinking about everything...I just don't have the strength for this, any of it. I know I'm failing him, but I just can't do it.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Getting there

So, Frank has settled in fairly well to Pre-K. His first day of not crying when I dropped him off was Monday, his fourth day of pre-K. I fully expected to almost start at square one after having the weekend off, so this was quite a pleasant surprise. Maybe switching to a totally new school for kindergarten next year won't be as much of a trauma as I fear it will be?

He's been wearing underwear to school, too. Not that he's actually using the potty, yet, but, as his teacher, J, said, "His accidents are getting closer to the toilet each day!" Today he actually held it until it was an emergency, and peed on the floor in front of the toilet because he simply couldn't hold it any more. His pants were off and everything. He still insists that toilet is not private enough, and asked Darrel the other day if he could build a door to put on there.

He greeted me after school the other day with the words, "Mommy, my ear hurts." Okay, this is the kid whose head has hit the driveway, and slid down a flight of stairs on his butt and laughed both incidents off, so the fact that he was complaining of pain would have alarmed me, anyway, but we had just been to the ENT three weeks ago to check on his tubes, and they are "still lodged in there pretty firmly." So I was quite freaked.

When we got home, it was too late to call the doctor- the office was closed for the day. He didn't have a fever, but I gave him Tylenol, and a half hour later, he told me his ear didn't hurt anymore. The next morning, we dosed him with Tylenol again, and sent him to school. (This early in the school year, I cannot be calling in sick, and Darrel just started a new job two weeks ago, so that would look pretty bad to be calling in sick or asking to work from home one day this early on.) Because I interpret stright through in the mornings, I told Darrel to call the pediatrician and make an appointment for immediately after school. I took Frank in, and sure enough, he has an ear infection, a bad one. Is that tube not working anymore? Not sure. He got an oral antibiotic and ear drops. He's going back in two weeks, anyway, for his yearly exam, and she said if his ear wasn't markedly better, she was sending us back to the ENT.

She also, because of his drippy nose the past few weeks, advised me to give him Calritin for the next few weeks, because seasonal allergies are really bad for a lot of people right now, and she thinks that's what's causing the drippy nose. Yay, not only do we have to put ear drops in, give him an oral (liquid) antibiotic once daily, we now have to give him liquid Claritin as well.

All of the above are going over with the boy as well as you might imagine. I had to sit on him and use my legs to pin his arms down this evening to put the ear drops in. As for the liquid meds? I bribe him with extra juice boxes. He is normally allowed to have only two of the tiny-sized juice boxes a day, and knowing this, he hoards them and reserves them for late in the day. I told him he could have one extra juice box per dosage if he took it without incident, and this evening that actually seemed to work.

There are days, weeks, even, when I feel like all I am doing is treading water. This has been one of those weeks.