Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Sleep, precious sleep

For those that have known me, it comes to no surprise when sleep issues are brought up. I don't sleep. Or, perhaps I should say, I do not sleep much.

Up until a few months ago, my sleep didn't really matter too much. I was getting enough rest to go to school and do my work. I was a pretty good kid with some hyperactivity and a few quirks.

Then the headaches/migraines started up again. (I say again because I had a flair last spring, but it only lasted about two weeks.)

This headache/migraine flair has been going on since the middle of November. There are a couple of ideas floating around as to why, but we started with keeping a diary. Turns out in the month of December I had 11 bad headaches. (This is not good.)

I went to the doctor yesterday. Mom pointed out the fact that I don't sleep and asked if that could have an impact of my headaches. While at the doctor's office, I was bouncing all over the place and talking a mile a minute. The doctor thinks my sleep problem may be causing other issues with me, based on my behavior.

So, starting last night, I am on a tight regimen at bed time in order to get me to sleep. We do realize this may be quite an adjustment, but in order to get everything else under-control, effort now will be worth it.

My new regimen is the following:
8:00 Bath time w/ lavender epsom salt
8:10 Sleep meds
8:20 Laying down in bed with a book or TV on quietly.
9:00 Lights out
Prior to my bath, my room has to be cleaned up and school work done. It worked last night. I was asleep by 8:45 and I felt so good this morning. I hope that once my schedule is set I will be feeling a lot better.

Being a SPD kid can add its own quirks to the equation to. This just means that we are grabbing hold and hanging on during this ride.

Oh, we did talk to the cardiologist about my headaches when I went for that check up two weeks ago, she is of the opinion that my headaches are not related to my heart at all.

Wednesday, January 08, 2014

Focus vs Chaos

Everybody can benefit from a structured environment. Even an individual that is a creative spirit needs structure in order to provide boundaries with their time and energy.

This last week has been rough. Winter break started December 20th and we were scheduled to go back to school yesterday, January 7th. We were unable to go back to school because of the frigid temperatures and ice on the roads, here in Tennessee it is difficult to prepare for such a cold snap when they are rare. For Benji, not only did the anticipation of going back to school get disrupted, it was also too cold to go outside and play in what little snow we had. (It was single digit temperatures for about two days.)

In addition, prior to winter break we had an ice storm come through that messed up the last week of school.
So, for Benji, structure and focus has flown out the window for a good month. Don't forget the annual heart checkup last week. There is nothing like a doctor's appointment in a different city to shake things up.

We've noticed with the chaos his sensory issues are much more prevalent. When Benji is trying to focus on something, even if it is simply trying to play a game, background noise is very distracting to him and it gets him angry. He is even sensitive to touch.

It appears that because of the chaos, Benji has become hyper-focused. Right now, as I am writing he is locked in on one of his books. Nothing is distracting him at all. The cat (Neko-chan) that thinks he is a lapdog decided to sit on him and Benji just ignored him. Yet, if that focus did get broke, we would have a major nuclear level meltdown that SPD and ASD parents know all about.

Ahhh, the world of chaos.

We much prefer focus. When the structure of day to day living is somewhat predictable, the chaos is minimized and focus increases. Structure and schedules. Boundaries. All kids need it, especially kids with sensory issues and focus problems. This includes children with hyperactivity.

There has to be rules. There has to be some predictability. Get spontaneous in the activity but predictable in the activity time.

Wednesday, January 01, 2014

New Year Refocus

The last year or so has been an unfocused jumble. I have not stuck to a routine like I should and it has shown.

It does not matter what label the doctors put on me or whether I am considered to have issues. First and foremost, I am me. God made me just the way I am.

What my family knows is that I need structure and I need to learn discipline. Along with that, I need to refocus my exercise and dietary needs. When looking at what needs to be done written in black and white, the realization is that this will not be a small task. Fixing my diet will not be that hard because we haven’t strayed too far, the problem areas are the exercise and structure.

I was in Tae Kwon Do, but I quit last year. I had some problems I needed to work through and now I don’t want to go back just yet. So, we need to find something else to replace that structure and exercise.

As far as my health, my heart is stable. I have a bicuspid aortic valve with stenosis. Right now it is considered mild stenosis. This is nothing short of a miracle considering after the surgery for my coarctation we were told I would probably have to have at least an ablation by the time I was two.  

Dietary wise, I am hypoglycemic and my body does not process any artificial sugars. This means all natural for me. Plus, I have a few interesting allergies and sensitivities that make life interesting. Lactose intolerance, red and yellow dye allergies, and the list gets odder from there.

Here is to a refocused new year!