And, of course, the moment things seem to settle down a little everything blows up.
Colt had a school trip to go on today. His teacher called me a few days ago expressing some concern about taking him because he is so defiant with her….refuses to follow instructions or comply and she wondered if he would pull the same behaviours on the trip. We prepped him and he was fine. Excited and ready to go. When they got there, not 45 minutes into the trip, they decided to go into a barn exhibit that had a live horse inside and Colt refused to set foot in there. They tried to force him and he snapped, was crying and very upset. The teacher called the principle who told her to call me. They wanted me to calm him down but she was using her cell phone and the reception here is so bad it kept cutting out. I tried to talk to him but he was wailing and couldn’t hear me…I just gave up and told her I would come get him. I called the sitter, made arrangements, called Dayne and then set out to pick him up across town so I could drive the hour round trip home and back.
Of course, when I called the Principal she told me that Colt had “head-butted” another student although the student wasn’t sure it was on purpose. The put ice on his head to be sure he was okay. Of course, Colt gets blamed. He tends to just take the blame rather than explain what really happened so they’re using that as confirmation that he hurt the kid. I don’t know if it’s true or not….I never fucking know.
So Dayne went to get Colt, since he was much closer, and talked to the teacher. Apparently, there were no strategies in place, no one was left to stand outside the barn with him while the kids went inside….would have been the smartest thing to do, and when he refused, the teacher called her boss who in turn told her to call me. There was no one there to help his teacher or him…it was just a battle of wills and it seems like she was waiting for it to happen.
I when Dayne and I talked he freaked out, demanding meetings and swearing about how they’re not supporting him the way they’re supposed to. He freaks and hammers the wrong points…”I want to see every stitch of paper work he did last year and make them prove to me that they followed his IEP! I want the last teacher held accountable for not helping him get his IEP completed…” and on and on. I try to present the other side to him so he can see both more clearly but he feels like I’m “taking their side” when that happens and he roars at me.
I called the principal who was snotty as usual. She told me she advised her teacher to take the whole class into consideration and ensure safety for all the kids. I understand that but it doesn’t mean that Colt should be left out or unsupported. There was no EA to help him because “there are more students who need help this year”. I didn’t ask if they all had IEP’s and were all allocated EA support because I know the answer….they use Colt’s support to make the rest of the difficult kids easier to cope with. He gets screwed thanks to that. First they refused to support him and now he’s having to share his EA, who we fought tooth and nail for, with everyone else…
I can’t take the anger and yelling from Dayne, dismissal from the school, amped up behaviour from Colt, and all the rest of the shit that’s going on. I’m way behind at work, very much overtaxed, in pain … I haven’t even managed to get my thumb properly looked at and it’s been months!! My back hurts, I have a headache, my neck and jaw are throbbing and the god damned phone rings constantly with demands for me to “do something” about Colt when they can’t do their own fucking jobs in the school.
I’m stressed. I want to cry but I’m holding on … barely. Mostly I just want to sleep. What is the point of all this guys? Why am I having to battle so hard just so my son can get the education he is entitled to? Why can’t I get on top of this pain or this job? What the hell is going wrong time after time after time??? Now I can’t focus, can’t think. My heart is racing and my mind is blank…I can feel myself slipping further away, avoiding all of this heartache. At least there’s that right? I can, at the very least, employ my mental health coping devices to keep me sane, as they were designed, I suppose.
I don’t want to go home tonight. I don’t want to stay here either. I want to run away from all of this so desperately.
What I really want is to go back to the job I had before this one. I worked from 7-3 (amazing hours) and although I was super busy, it was a simple job, staffing and scheduling a whole bunch of trauma nurses. I was in a clinical area, I loved the folks I worked with (and they loved me!), I had a great manager and the work was easy and fun. The only drawback, and I mean only, was the pay. It was a lot less than I used to make and much less than my current salary. I don’t think Dayne and I could afford to live with me making that little money. The stress was just so much less…. I could always pick Colt up and be there if he needed me because I was done at 3 in the afternoon…not like here where I’m working 7-5 most days.
Look, I realize my life isn’t the worst one out there but I am getting really fucking sick of never catching a break. I need a break from this….life. I wish I could check out for a month or two…if it wouldn’t ruin my entire life and the life of Dayne and Colt…I would do it in a heartbeat.
Three more hours to go and then I’m going home, getting Colt at the sitters and then I’m going to sleep on the couch until tomorrow. Maybe I’ll find more drive then. Somehow.
I have notes and papers and stickies all over my desk right now and as I became instantly overwhelmed by the sheer mass of work to be done, I decided to regroup and write a quick blog to settle my brain.
I dreamed like crazy last night…all night it seemed. I only slept for about six hours so it can’t have been the marathon I recall, but it was intense. I was watching a documentary before I fell asleep on dreaming and some of the newer sleep studies they are doing now. I haven’t had studies done for over ten…wow…nearly 20 years so I guessed it was about time to have another look at where the technology is nowadays. One of the scientists involved in the particular study I was watching was working on the theory that there are two different types of dreams: REM dreams which happen in REM sleep, right at the beginning of your sleep cycle. (You reach REM sleep several times a night as your body goes through it’s sleep cycle) and non-REM dreams. The former heavily involves the amigdala which has a heavy hand in feeling emotions like fear, intense sadness, distress, loss, self-hatred and guilt. Because REM dreams are influenced heavily by that part of the brain, the dreams can be often negative in emotion, and intensely so. Non-REM dreams are influenced by the part of the brain that supports confidence, self-love, affection, compassion, empathy…..the difference is rather obvious. The theory was that people who suffer from depression might get ‘stuck’ in REM cycles causing an abundance of negative, frightening emotions to dominate their dreams whether they remember them or not. An over abundance of negative emotions is … well, depression, right? People who reach deep sleep more easily tend to have dreams where they are in control and feel powerful and healthy. An abundance of that sort of feeling….not depressed. Who knows how much merit it all has…..was an interesting theory though.
So, as for my REM cycles – they were rotten to me last night. I spent much of my time asleep dreaming that I was lying in a dark room, often with others, trying to sleep but could not. No matter what I did I couldn’t seem to keep my eyes closed. I was worrying about the upcoming day, not having any sleep and being super exhausted, and I tried as hard as I could to settle my brain. (hahaha..isn’t that funny? This is what I do while I’m sleeping! Try to sleep and shut my head up. *sigh*)
Colt had a good (ish) day yesterday. I didn’t get any phone calls (for the first school day so far) so that was kinda nice. He was happy when I picked him up and because he had a good day, Dayne lifted on of the restrictions he had in punishment for hitting that poor kid in the hallway the day before. Dayne took EVERYTHING away from the kid…trying to make a clear point, but it did leave him a little stir crazy without a way to chill out after school. Colt’s mind never stops…just like his mom. (sorry kiddo). He went to bed and to sleep before 9 and woke happy. That was a nice reprieve from the stress.
All I want, today, is to tell the front desk I’m going for coffee and just split, get into my car and drive in any direction for hours and hours….maybe until I can see an ocean somewhere. I’d get myself an ice cold Pepsi and sit out on the rocks watching the water forever….maybe even in the pouring rain. That would make me … unwind? Settle? Stop for a moment? I just want silence, peace and nature. I might just leave a few minutes early to go to my woods where I can lean against a 200 year old tree and look up up up into the canopy, little patches of blue between the foliage. It will just be getting a hint of fall-rust on the edges of it now…the canopy. I love it just before all the leaves burst into colour. I’m really excited to get some nice photos this fall. Would love to start today. Now. This moment.
Some good news though. I happened to be driving behind a car that was in an accident the other day. (that’s not the good part) It was a pretty bad one, resulting in one car being side swiped, one being t-boned and one spinning across the intersection in what seemed to be a lazy circle but I’m sure I was just seeing it in slow motion.
Now, I have some trauma in my past that contributed to my PTSD and was the star of many flashbacks for many years. It was a car accident involving only me, my passenger and another vehicle but he hit me at a dead-stop going 80 kmph. (50ish for you US folks). I was hurt and had to be cut out of my vehicle, my friend in the back seat was very nearly impaled by an ice skate that came through the back from the collapsed trunk. There was a woman in front of me who had two car seats in the back with small children in them….I could just see the blond curls peeking over the top edge of the seat on each side. The moment I saw the truck racing up behind me, I immediately cranked my wheel all the way to the left, aiming for the irrigation ditch without conscious though. After the car stopped bouncing and rolling along the ditch I was almost 15 car lengths away from where I started and all I could hear was the mother of those two babies wailing from the side of her car, screaming “Thank you! Oh my God thank you!” as she realized what had happened. She left her babies with another motorist who had stopped to help (we were all gridlocked in traffic anyway so no one had left the scene). She came flying over to my vehicle and pressed her hands against the shattered drivers side window, thanking me for not hitting her, for not hurting her infant twins. She said she had seen it all in slow motion and all she could think was that her babies were going to die. I was in shock at that point and couldn’t calm her from inside the car, then my friend began to shriek in terror as she realized the ice skate blade had broken her skin. I panicked there and started smashing my hands against the windows…trying to get out…then the next I remember is the sound of metal and glass ripping as the big metal jaws of life peeled my car open like a tin of sardines and I was lifted to safety by the big arms of a firefighter, who reminded me of an angel at that time.
So. As you can see, that moment had a huge impact on me and my psyche. My PTSD was undiagnosed at that point so the experience was just tossed into the closet where I kept all my bad memories, only to resurface when I was triggered by something like witnessing a car accident. Which I did just recently. This time, though, I freaked out only a little, found a way to calm myself and halt the snow-ball reaction I’m so used to facing and held my cool. I got to work and worked all day, told Dayne about what had happened and the worst that happened was a momentary flash of terror, a super quick movie-reel flashback in my head (without dissociating at all) and a little bit of rationalization.
I feel like I have this PTSD demon under control, finally. The knowledge and power in understanding what drives my fear has allowed me to heal…therapy is fully responsible for this, by the way. I feel like I can do anything now and not fall to pieces, terrified and panicked. I feel strong and secure and wiser than I’ve ever felt. It’s amazing.
Of course, the pain I’m in started all of this….pushed the mental issues right out of my head. What my crazy brain was spinning just didn’t matter as much as the pain my body was in and it stayed that way…eventually, my brain sorted out the needless anxiety and sadness and has put it somewhere else. Somewhere it doesn’t bother me. I’m not sure that this isn’t some sort of denial or dissociation inside me, but if I can live anxiety and depression free? I’m totally in.
Wow. That was a mixed bag of random thoughts. I have so much going on inside me at once these days….
I am so full of….*haha* don’t you dare….emotional turmoil. I have been so busy at work, and I mean work ten hour days with no breaks busy, I’ve not been able to jot down anything, not even a patchwork draft to post. By the end of the day I have several dozen small thoughts that do not connect to the next by any stretch of the imagination, so, I’ve scrapped it all and I’m starting again.
School. Wow. I swear to God, I thought things would get easier as Colt got older. I was so, horribly, ass-backwards wrong I can’t even wrap my head around it. This year has consisted of all of five days so far and I’ve had to deal with 8 phone calls from the school. EIGHT. My cell phone, office phone, email…these people are on me constantly and it’s mostly for things I can’t do a damn thing about from my freaking office. I mean, how am I supposed to force Colt to listen to them from here? I can ask him to, tell him to, threaten grounding, beg him to….it doesn’t really matter if he’s already decided not to. The only thing that might work is if I were to burst into tears and make him feel guilty but I refuse to do that to him. Guilt is not the way to raise a healthy child (and if I’m wrong, I don’t care. My childhood was so full of guilt I can’t even stomach the thought of Colt feeling the way I did).
So. He cannot seem to settle in. Colt does not want to do his classwork, does not want to participate in the smart board lessons (they have smart boards in all the elementary schools here now…they’re amazing. Huge white touch screen in place of a blackboard and all the kids can participate!) Colt doesn’t want to go to french, music or science. He doesn’t like it when teachers change (for those subjects) and doesn’t generally do very well on the playground. This year, thanks to me demanding and pleading for YEARS for this to happen, they’ve made him a “Kindergarten Peace Keeper” and he gets to wear a vest and patrols the jr. side of the playground, keeping kids in line. He tells me about how he stops little ones from throwing rocks and spitting at each other. I think that will help him very much, in the end, if he can keep it up.
So yesterday he was in line, leaving science and going to his homeroom, when he decided he wanted to be first in line. No one would let him ‘butt in’ so he reacted by randomly choosing a kid nearby and socked him. … *sigh* The school called and put him on the line with me.
“Hey babes, what’s going on?” I asked.
“Uh…Hi mom. It’s just that, I mean I wanted to be first and the kids wouldn’t let me and I got really frustrated and then I hit Emmett.”
“Why did you hit Emmett?! Was he bothering you?” I hoped there was some reason other than the one he gave.
“Uhh, no. I just hit him to be mean.” Was his answer.
Well….what the hell am I supposed to do with that?! He knows why he behaved the way he did, he knows it’s wrong, that he’ll get in trouble, that the office will be called and that they will call me. He is well aware that he cannot hit people….he’s been hearing it since he was two. There’s a lot I can do to help him but when he breaks the rules just for fun? What the heck am I to do?
I called Dayne, who instantly flipped on the school.
“That’s it Grainne, Make a meeting with the principal, we’re going in there and we’re going to fucking demand that they give him more help…..” I cut him off here….
“Dayne, stop. I’m not about to go demand the school hold his hands at all times to make sure he doesn’t hit anyone in line.”
I was too tired, suddenly, to argue more. I told him that he can deal with the school from now on if he’s unhappy with my ways and that I can’t fucking deal with the stress of having them call me eight times in one fucking week and then have to fight with him over what was discussed each time. I told him that I couldn’t spend the energy on all of this if Colt was just going to sabotage all the hard work and he was going to scream at me about the outcomes. He stopped. Said we’d talk at home. Said he’d pick Colt up too…since I needed to work late.
I’ve been in early for most mornings last week and stayed late every minute I could and I’m still behind here. That just adds to the bouquet of stress that has become my life these days.
Anyway. Got home, Dayne was yelling at Colt. He grounded him, made it very clear that we’re not putting up with this crap this year, told him that if he got suspended again we were going to work him like Cinderella doing chores and cleaning the house. Dayne said if we took toys away from him this time, in punishment, they were being given away to someone and would not be coming back, ever. This seemed to register for Colt. I hope so anyway. He wrote an apology letter, wrote some lines (he hates writing period…great punishment from the old days) and cleaned his room. He had no toys or ipad/pod last night and went to bed at 830, which coincidentally worked out as he slept the whole night and was well rested this morning.
What do I do when this doesn’t work though guys? I have a hard time with the yelling and anger, for obvious reasons. I lay down last night after talking to Colt and helping with his apology letter and cried for a while. It pissed Dayne off so I got into the shower. I don’t want him feeling like he has to hold the whole lot of us up all the time, but wow, did it ever feel hopeless for a while.
I went to sleep and dreamed of laundry and showers and unending exhaustion that never lets up. In my dreams I was lying awake in a dark room trying desperately to sleep. I was so tired, in my dreams. That’s a frustrating feeling…..let me tell you.
As for me. Shit hurts. My thumb gets better and worse because I can’t keep it splinted all the time. It’s better though, overall. My head and neck and pretty much everything below that point is half flared up…I’m in pain but not in agony, all the time. I don’t even bother taking extra meds anymore…just suffer through it. When I take an extra I end up so tired the next day I literally cannot stay awake. Not possible when working a job as busy as this one is.
Lots of stress. I hope, I wish….heck, I’ll even pray that this all gets better for Colt. It makes me want to throw up when I think of him losing all we’ve built. He has no idea how lucky he is or how good he has it at that school …. all those kids looking out for him and wanting to help him. :( I hope it doesn’t get wasted. I hope he can find some peace and happiness. I hope …. *sigh* I dunno anymore. I’m tired guys. Lonely, tired, in pain, exhausted physically and emotionally….and still hanging in there. I feel like all I do is move from one stressful situation to the next; whatever demands the most attention gets it; and then, in the end, all I do is sleep and dream of more stress.
I think my mind hates me, along with my body today.
This is one day late. New stuff to share later (better news than this!)
Well….it went okay. Colt’s first day back is more successful than failure so we’re holding steady. I did get the call from the school at around 2:30 yesterday. Colt was tired and wanted to go home…apparently he wanted to call and ask me if I would come get him. We chatted for a few minutes and I encouraged him to fight through the last 45 minutes of his day, which he agreed to do.
They are already suggesting that he only do half days this year. … I allowed that to happen when he was in Kindergarten because I figured it would help him adjust….I certainly wouldn’t consider it now. She even said on the phone, directly beforehand, that Colt is not performing anywhere near his capacity and that most of the trouble is in the refusals. Then she thinks cutting his time to half days would help? Help who?! Firstly, Dayne and I both work full time and a round trip drive would take us more than an hour each day since we work in a different city from where we live. Second, we would have to pay someone to watch him and the one sitter we have cannot drive to pick him up because she has several little ones she cares for through the school day when the older ones are at school. Third….just…no!!! Screw you people. It took me years of fighting and meeting and begging and pleading and threatening lawsuits to get an Educational Assistant in to help him for the morning half of each school day and now you’re saying he can’t handle the second half of the day on his own so he should just go home? For real? Gah!! Why is this always such a fucking battle with these people?!?
So. I’m awaiting my second call on day two. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s the Principal this time. She is also an advocate for reducing his school days. First, they tried to ignore him and deny him help, then, when Dayne and I wouldn’t shut up they relented and gave him partial help. The they tried (for two years) to fob him off into an ‘asd class’ where they stuff all the autistic kids into little office cubical to do their work for rewards as if they are all trick ponys. I’d not have been shocked to see a training clicker and a bag of gummy bears in one of the teacher’s hands. The kids were like zombies there…no one reacting, no one smiling or laughing. It’s a hell of a tough school (metal detectors at the doors because they have trouble with junior kids bringing weapons to school….9-12 year olds. *Shakes head* They keep the ASD kids fully segregated and it just looked miserable. We went for two tours at the schools they have the programs in but neither Dayne nor I felt it was right. Now, because he hasn’t been transfered over there, they start with the half day bullshit.
Of course, when I tried to have a conversation with Dayne about this he jumped directly into the fire and was ablaze with panic instantly. We argued a bit, I told him I didn’t have the energy to fight along with coping with the rest and we let it go. We’ve not come together on anything yet though….will have to do so in coming weeks. We know we must work as a team to get anything resolved with this school board. It’s appalling.
My head hurts guys. I have a ton of work to do as well…month end/new month beginning is a shitty time for me at work. Tons of audits and payroll investigations…makes me feel weak in the brain when I don’t take a break every few hours. ha. Ah well. Still decent work and I’m happy here.
Well. On with it then. I hope today Colt has a great day and my phone surprises me by not ringing once!
I’m tired. I’m happy with things, mostly, but so very tired. Colt has decided he’s not going to sleep at night anymore. We send him to bed early each night so he can play a little while as he unwinds. He usually takes his ipad and plays minecraft for a little while, then we take the internet activities away (have to shut down the wireless – the child will sneak out of his room after Dayne and I are asleep and then locate his ipad or ipod and play on it again!). His toys are put on shelves and his apple products are taken to our room, a soothing music CD is put on and he is told to go to sleep. Sometimes he does, but then wakes up a little while later and starts to play again. Sometimes we are up ten or fifteen times in the night trying to get him to sleep….it’s not that he isn’t tired…he just forces himself all the way awake when he wakes up as he sees it as his opportunity to ‘stay up and play all night’. I even tried letting him get it out of his system a few weekends this summer but he was SO freaking grumpy the next day it was unbelievable. School starts next week again and he simply cannot stay up all night and then cope with school in the morning. It’s hard enough helping him manage his behaviour when he’s well rested and somewhat focused. :S
He’s already ramping up to disobey at school as well.
“Mom. What will happen if I won’t do my work this year?”
“Well, you’ll get into trouble like you did last year.” I try leaving it a bit open and ominous to see if it makes him think twice.
“But what will happen? Will I get grounded?”
“It depends on how you behave, Colt.”
“Will I get suspended again and get to stay home or at Mrs. K’s?”
“Colt, let’s not talk about this. You need to work on following school rules by not swearing, not running out of class and doing your work when you are asked to.” I attempted to reason.
“I’m not going to do my work.” he replied.
Well damn…we’re here already are we? I don’t know what to do anymore. Positive reinforcement no longer works very well with Colt…when it comes down to it, whatever he would have earned for following the rules becomes meaningless in the moment for him. Negative drivers don’t work either…he just breaks down and asks for the punishment immediately. In fact, if you don’t dole it out he’ll do it for you.
“Fine. I’m going to get suspended and in big trouble and get grounded and spend the entire day in my room with no toys.” Then we find ourselves struggling to make him understand that the punishment should dissuade him from breaking those same rules over again, but it doesn’t. He just accepts that the behaviour causes “x” punishment and that’s that. There’s no thought there about stopping it or controlling things inside him, coping differently. He wants to swear when people piss him off on the playground and he’s going to do it no matter what happens. He doesn’t want to do his school work and he won’t, no matter what happens. It’s a tough place to be when we are trying to help him through.
He won’t eat lunch at school…usually only eats a few bites of whatever we give him. He gets hungry and cranky and still doesn’t eat. We tell him and his teachers to make sure he eats lunch, he says no, they can’t get anywhere with him and he ends up eating a quarter of something in front of the principal who then calls me to discuss him not eating his lunch. I’m exhausted already, just thinking about it….and those are the good calls too. I’m dreading the ones where I’m forced to try to talk Colt out of or into something on the phone with the entire office listening over speaker (the school office, I mean).
I’m trying not to stress over this. I mean, I’m not actively stressing or worrying about it endlessly because I don’t want to make Colt’s anxiety over school even worse but what do you do when you’ve run out of tactics and tricks? I tried to talk to one of the OT’s at work to see if they had any ideas but they just told me things I already knew and have put in place years ago. I tried to tell her that but she wouldn’t listen….so in the end I thanked her and just let it go.
“Yes, thank you, we figured out the visual schedule when he was five…..” *sigh*
So now we are trying to set up appointments to take Colt regularly to the psychiatrist to see if therapy helps. Every time we have to leave our jobs to take him to an appointment we get in trouble. I’m not allowed to take vacation for things like this in my new role so I’m stuck taking unpaid days when I have to be off….Dayne isn’t even allowed time off for this stuff at all so he takes unpaid sick days. Between that, daily calls from the school, managing Colt’s behaviour and then my own job and health on top is sounding impossible this year…I’m just so much more tired this time around. I wish I could be someone who stays at home to clean and cook and run the kids to their appointments, rather than forcing my body through 8 hour days to get home to clean for another hour then fall asleep the moment I hit that couch. There’s so much more to do in there.
This year, Dayne plans to take Colt to an after school club dealy at the YMCA. I know his intentions are good but we barely make it to swimming lessons once per week. It will likely tire Colt out though and then he might sleep better…or the added social pressure after being at school all day, then in a crowded babysitters place, then in a new environment with more kids he doesn’t want to be around will overload him and be too much. Either way, I just want to sleep through it all.
In happy news, my thumb continues to improve so I’m very happy with that. I can see how resting it like this (I’m keeping it splinted all the time) will really help it heal. Dayne brought home a neoprene brace for me last night to sleep in and it’s so comfortable. I ended up waking with no pain in my hand thanks to that kind gesture. So thankful for the wonderful things in my life even though I’m tired these days.
I would so love to crawl into my covers and doze off for a day or two right now. I’m tired from waking up to make Colt go back to sleep and then waking up to Dayne yelling at him from our bedroom. I jumped about two feet in the air at one point, from a dead sleep.
“FOR CRYING OUT LOUD COLT GO! TO! SLEEP!” Dayne hollered about a foot from my ear. Geez…
We’re looking into herbal sleep aids this weekend. Will see where to go from there. I would rather try to exhaust Colt before I medicate him to sleep. If he’s going to go on meds, I’d rather it be a last resort. He’s only ten.
I should have taken tomorrow off to catch up before we have to hit the ground running on Tuesday morning. Thank heavens for a long weekend…one extra laundry day. Baah.
Happy about my thumb. Gonna hang onto that one today to get me through the afternoon.
Well now. I’m feeling a tiny bit (dare I say it…) hopeful. ? Maybe. I’m terrified to admit this in case I jinx it all and kick myself later, even if there is no such thing. *sigh* Ah well, might as well. Maybe believing it will help bring it into my life.
One of the therapists I work with gave me a consultation on my thumb. She spent a lot of time feeling around the joint structure and offered me some tips and advice on what’s going on from her point of view. First, she said it wasn’t likely to be gout, which is what I was thinking. She said there is much more swelling, inflammation, heat and uric acid crystal formation with gout. I was thinking along those lines only because I have intermittent issues with my toes where they are so sore in the joint I cannot move them on my own or by force. Sometimes even socks are too much to bear. I’ve never had the upper joints click and lock though, which turns out to be the key here.
She told me it looks like ‘trigger finger’ (or thumb) which is actually an issue with the tendons rather than the joint. She pushed and pulled on my actual thumb joints and there was no pain at all (Hooray! I nearly cried from relief when she did that and I felt somewhat normal joint function beneath her fingers). If the pain is being caused by tendons (the sheath that covers them sometimes becomes inflamed or damaged) then there’s a very decent chance I can heal the injury. The simple thought that this one small thing might actually get better is making me so happy… :D FINALLY! Something that can actually get better! lol. Yaaaay!
She did a full joint assessment for me as well and said that there was a fair amount of arthritis present in my hands but my thumbs feel better than the rest. She made me a little splint to wear at night (for now, more often if it doesn’t start helping right away) to immobilize the thumb joint and told me to use it for at least six weeks to allow the tendons to heal. I clench my hands into tight fists at night, usually gripping my blankets and pulling them to my neck (safety/comfort thing) and she thinks that is what exacerbated or caused the wear and tear. I wore it last night and after one night the improvement is remarkable.
I went to the bathroom after she gave me the once over and had a little cry. Will this actually go away?? This one little pain in the ass hurt that pops up whenever I try to do anything with my hands? It seems possible and that just has me over the moon. I tend to accept each new pain I experience with stoic acceptance that this will be the way I feel from that point forward until I die. I have to remember that sometimes, things will heal and go away. (WOW!!! Seriously. Wow.)
So I am going to treat my poor thumb very gently and will wear my splint as often as I can. Movement (or clicking the joint forward and back) makes this condition worse so rest is the key. I can’t wait to see how much better it feels in a week or a month! Only one night and the improvement is so remarkable I’m in shock.
This brings me to another thought I’m not willing to believe in quite yet. If I have tendon issues developing in my hand….maybe (just maybe) some of the other pain I have that is yet undiagnosed might also be related??? I have pain in my toes, elbows, knees, and ankles that seems to have no cause. It’s not related to the arthritis, not related to anything, as far as anyone can tell. No one can say where it is coming from and they all decide to call it ‘nerve pain’ because my back is the most likely culprit for referred pain. What if some of that is my tendons too? Holy shit….if *any* of it can be attributed to tendons I might be able to get this pain down to a more-manageable state without having to gobble down more narcotic medication.
I’m nearly crying. I’m so hopeful….but I can’t put myself through that again quite yet. I’m going to take it day by day and rest the heck out of my hand….if it goes away after rest (or a steroid injection to the tendon, which was recommended by the therapist as a second treatment plan) I’ll reassess. There are lots of things you can do with tendons in a physiotherapy way. Wow. Wow. Wow. Fingers crossed (oops, right hand only! lol)
Happy me today. Happy me.
You know what makes me angry? Well, okay, let’s be fair, not really “ANGRY” but annoyed? I’m sitting here overhearing a conversation between a coworker and her husband on the phone (I can’t help it, she’s right beside me in the kitchen). She is telling her hubs that she’s worried about their daughter who is struggling with raising her two young kids.
“I just keep telling her it’s not forever.” My coworker says. “I can’t do much more for her. I made dinner and took it over four nights last week, cleaned her house and did her laundry on my day off while I watched the peanuts (her loving term for her grand-babies) and I’ve babysat for them five nights out of seven. Can we maybe take the kids for the weekend for her? She’s and *husband* are so stressed out and she calls me in tears nearly every day.”
Hmm. Okay. I get this….I know raising kids is not easy but holy hell, with that amount of help she should be able to at least take care of her own two kids! No one ever helped us…not once. The sitter we have now (who is an angel on earth, let me tell you) is the only person who has ever watched Colt after hours and it was a total of twice in his lifetime. Dayne and I have been out together alone maybe once…twice, possibly, in ten years. No one took him when he was a baby and screamed all the time…
Oh wait. There was a woman I used to work with..Nancy. She came to my house in those first months and took Colt from me…told me to go have a long, hot bath and read a book for a few hours while she took him for a nice long walk in the fresh air. (That just brought tears to my eyes – remembering that. What a wonderful woman she was. I’m going to have to look her up and let her know how much that meant to me.).
I know I’m being a bit judgmental here but the woman has her mom coming over to clean her laundry?!?! I’d pay a fair amount of money to get someone to do that for me. lol. How can someone not adore spending time with their little ones? I know it can be difficult at times; I know kids are exhausting and I know it can feel impossible, but this woman has two healthy, happy little ones who are growing and learning and blossoming into perfect little people. They don’t scream all the time or freak out when they go to Walmart or when things get out of place. They don’t break down because their socks aren’t flat on their feet and they don’t break her heart daily with their struggles. They have friends, go to birthday parties and have fun with their peers. One of them is in school and just got skipped ahead, she’s such a smart little girl. Pardon my French, but fuck you lady. You have nothing to complain about.
(Okay that was my judgmental little rant for the day. I know everyone’s situation is unique and I shouldn’t say these things but come on!! I’m going to see if this coworker of mine would like to adopt me. If Colt had one grandparent who wanted to love him, I’d be over the moon with happiness. Out of the four living ones, not one bothers to even send a card for his birthday).
Out of my system, on with the day. :)