Stress of a Different Colour

About two weeks ago I was sitting in the living room playing with some photos when I heard Colt making a strange noise. I went to see what he was up to and found him watching a video on his iPod, lying on his bed, making a noise that sounded like a sigh crossed with a word.

“Huhn.  Huuuhn.  Huuuuuuh!  Huhn”  over and over.  I asked him what he was doing and he didn’t seem to know.

A week passed and I started hearing it more and more.  It got to the point that he was *never* quiet…watching his shows or playing with toys, he kept making the noise constantly.  I brought it up two weekends ago.

“Sweetie, what are you doing when you make that noise.” I asked

“I dunno” was his (standard) reply.

“Well, I know you’re not meaning to do it but it’s very annoying to others who are in the room.  Could you try maybe humming a song instead?”  I thought I was being quite clever, but, in the end all it did was change the sound of the noise.

“Hum!  Hum!  Hum!”  he would day.  I tried to correct it several times but then thought I’d better look it up in case I was treating it the wrong way.

Apparently, even though Colt had very few stimming routines as a little one, they can develop any time for people on the spectrum.  This is what he was doing…making a sound over and over to calm himself when overstimulated.  That said, he didn’t seem overstimulated but, I’m not in his head and he’s learning to hide some of the things he feels now that he’s nine.  😦

Of course, I found out that drawing attention to stimming behavi0urs only seem to make then worse.  I stopped, of course, and told D what was going on.  For some reason, it really upset both of us.  It’s one of the most harmless behaviours he has and yet, it made us so sad.  It’s just another thing about him for kids to pick on now.  It makes him more different than he was…less like his peers.  I wish there was a way to help him stop.

We made sure to keep things calm at home, built a visual schedule for household routines (time for iPod/iPad/ time to eat/sleep/bathe etc.  He works off a visual schedule at school and does well when he knows what is coming next.  Rather than just letting him detach when he gets home from school (I used to think he needed the mental break) he can stay engaged with a routine.  It will only help all of us, really…should have done it years ago.

As the anxiety decreases for Colt, the noises calm down.  I’m hoping I can find something for him to fiddle with in his fingers or spin around in circles….anything to make the behaviour more physical and subtle.  I’m not sure these things really can be adapted to environment though so it may be wise to just ignore it and see what happens.

That was where I left the though yesterday, but then last night while he was unwinding in bed (he goes down an hour before bedtime so he can decompress, play quietly in bed or watch his videos on his iPad – he gets the warning call when he has 15 min left then all of the distractions are removed so he can sleep) he was making such a racket.

“Ah-Haaaaaah.  Hum!  Ba-ba-ba-ba-ba Hum!  Ah-Haaaaaaah.  Boop boop.  Ahhhhhhh.”

I couldn’t sleep around it.  Eventually, in frustration I yelled at him.  “Jesus Colt!!  Be quiet and SLEEP!”  I felt so bad immediately afterward though, I had to go apologize and let him know that it wasn’t his fault and that mom was just cranky from no sleep that night.  He forgave me.  He always does.  Of course, the noises got worse after we talked until he finally fell asleep around 2 am.

Not sure how to cope with this one.  I thought, for a terrifying second, that he might be developing some form of Tourett Syndrome .  A co-worker of mine has an autistic child who had that co-morbidity.  It was the worst part of things for them.  Her son would start screaming filthy words all through the day…she didn’t really like to take him anywhere because she hated everyone staring.  When I got the call about the “F you F you F you!!!” crap Colt was pulling on Monday my heart just about dropped to my toes.  Autism, anxiety, developmental delay, sensory overload, routine oriented child rearing…all of these things I can handle but to have a child who screams out curse words without being able to stop?  Holy god I just don’t know if I could handle that.  First off, the PTSD kicks in and I start to panic.  I do not like attention drawn to me in public…never have liked it.  For Colt I dislike it even more now.  I just don’t know how to cope with suspension threats when he’s obviously acting in a way that is not acceptable.  That said, I think it’s their responsibility to ensure he has the tools he needs to be successful.  Punishment won’t work for him…he needs direct instructions and I’ve been asking since Sept to pair him with an older child out on the playground…someone who can mentor him in peer relationships some.  Anyway…I was quite glad to hear his side and to know that he had a reason for being so angry and yelling the F word.  The “I’m going to kill you” came from television and from all the other kids.  I’m not sure how he is meant to know all the rules when everyone else is allowed to do the things he is not.  I mean, come on.  He wasn’t actually going to kill the kid…he doesn’t even understand what “kill” means.  :S

Stress.  I’m rambling.  Sorry.

*Big sigh*  So that’s that.  We’ve tried to let him know that he has to walk away when he feels angry so he doesn’t’ get into more trouble.  I’m not sure the strategy will work but it’s worth a try.  I also asked if he could shadow one of the peace keepers (a program they put in place to stop bullying – kids are empowered like hall monitors used to be in our day.  Letting him be the one to help restore order and standing up to bad behaviour will maybe give Colt the info he needs to understand.  I’ve emailed them and am awaiting a reply to see what they think of this idea.  Will see how it goes.  At least they are following his IEP this year.  *rolls eyes*

The nightly sweats (and through the day too) are going full blast.  I slept only in small pockets last night, waking every while freezing and soaked in sweat.  I had a polyester fluffy blanket over me and it created a heat wrap, almost.  I’d get up, peel off whatever item was bothering me the most, get a new blanket, throw my sopping wet clothes in the laundry, try again.  Eventually I got smart and took two bath towels to bed, one over me, one under me.  I slept at that point for a few hours before the alarm went off.

D did try to wake me to go to bed.  I wanted to but I was so cold and soaking wet…I didn’t want to lie next to him and sweat into our shared bed.  He’s not slept beside me in years and years…don’t’ want to make it horrible for him. lol.  He did lean in to give me a kiss on the forehead but my wet, ringleted hair stopped him short.  This will be my life until my next period comes and goes.  Hate this time of the month.  When I see my doc tomorrow I’m going to ask for a birth control pill.  Might as well give it a try right?  What’s the worst it’ll do?  Kill my sex drive and make me what?  Bitchy all the time?  Yay for D….poor fucking guy.  I really don’t know what to do.

Pain is the same.  Not crippling but constantly driving.  I’m always tired to the point of passing out this week…can’t seem to shake it at all.  Doc’s tomorrow though.  Must just make it until then.

So that’s the news.  xx  Still alive.  Still kinda miserable.  Hopefully, better days are just around the corner.

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About Grainne

My name is Grainne. This blog has been with me for years now and has served as a journal, a confessional, an outlet and a place for me to create and express my love of life. Thank you for stopping by and for becoming a part of this life long journey of mine. I appreciate every single one of you who takes the time to do so. :)

11 responses to “Stress of a Different Colour”

  1. rootstoblossom says :

    I felt your stress in this and realized i was holding my breath for you while reading! No, Colt, or his mama, do not need another source of difficulty and possible alienation or ridicule. Wow that is so tough. My daughter, who has never been diagnosed on a spectrum, does a constant humming thing, and she has no idea she is doing it. She does not make friends easily, but has a few that don’t mind her quirks. As for the sweats, hormones suck! I don’t know if it has any relationship at all, but I started having night sweats when I increased my soy intake, and they stopped when I stopped. I was having blood sugar trouble, and thought switching to soy milk and adding soy flour into mixes, and eating soy nuts would be a good way to get protein and stabilize the sugar. I feel much better without it. Makes me want to give up on this old body, just can’t ever find the right balance for anything. I do want to add though that if Colt does add another quirk, you will be just fine. I’ve also known kids to have those things come and go as they go through growth spurts. And I’m not mentioning puberty, as I’m in denial that my daughter, now 10, is edging closer to that cliff. I thought I would die having the period discussion and getting her first bras. I panicked, I stressed, I punished myself, but we both got it through it with minimal amounts of “ewwws” from her and embarrassment both ways.

    • Grainne says :

      Thanks for this. It does me good to remember that ‘normal kids’ go through things like this too. In fact, I think it would be harder being ‘normal’. Colt is expected to have quirks where kids with less challenges are not given that grace. Colt is lucky to have the school he has, despite all the hassles, there are some really nice kids there (and some little jerks-in-the-making – one continuously taunts Colt, telling him he doesn’t belong at that school…that he should attend a school for retards). It’s always hard knowing what to do for him.

      Thanks for the thought on the night sweats. My doctor is of two mindsets. 1. It’s just my estrogen dropping before my period and it happens to drop very quickly, making me all out of balance. This *never* happened before the opiate medications were introduced. The fact that it only happens around my period is where she got that theory. 2. It’;s an indicator of an auto-immune disease (which I’ve always been pretty sure this was). I also get spiderwebbed veins showing on my legs when this happens which is another indicator. Basically, either way I’m stuck with it. It’s quite horrible.

      Just came back from lunch with colleagues (blech). I started sweating when we all piled into a car, carried on while eating (makes it worse), sat there and tried to casually stuff the freaking napkin up my shirt to stop the dripping…Sigh. I’ll try just about anything at this point.

      xx Hope you’re making it thorough this short winter days a little better each day. xox

  2. KittyHere says :

    The pill may help. I had heavy periods beginning about age 26. I held off doing anything about it until about age 37. It made a big difference in many ways: less headaches, more energy from less iron loss, better sleep. It even caused a good deal of weight loss (just the opposite of what many people get) at first. The weight creep back up, weight always does with me. If does not hellp you, or causes other undesirable side effects like increased blood pressure it is no big deal stopping. Not at all like mood stabilizers or pain meds, right?

    I have had a stretch of night/day sweats for a couple of weeks. Forgot to mention it to my doc today. I had it on my mind but she was running late and I add other stuff to address once I heard she is ready to go a month without seeing her. Big surprise there, so happy that she thinks my mood meds — just one script & rather low does at that — are working. She still thinks I have lots of work on issues to work with a therapist on — sucks, meant to type shucks but I am leaving that first typo. Freudian slip?

    Regarding Colt you have my empathy. But he has a calming behavior for overstimulation. Forgive me for saying that even if stimming annoys you and others it beats Colt not having some way to cope. (Like me this past month — I was troubled by overstimulation for sure — coping strategy, not so much. Over simplification you bet. But you understand what I mean, right?)

    • Grainne says :

      Oh holy crap Kitty….that is a hell of a good point. I was more concerned with him having another reason to be picked on at school but wow…perspective huh? It IS a great thing that he’s managed to fine a way to cope, regardless of what it is. Thank you. I needed that.

      As for your health I think that’s wonderful news! It’s always so settling to be able to say to yourself that something is working so you can work from there and find improvement in the way you feel, both physically and emotionally. Just so you know, I think everyone could benefit from a little therapy these days, unstable, stable or otherwise. Self reflection is usually a good thing. xoxo

      Thanks for the wake up call. That really made me feel better.

  3. Pete says :

    Grainne you have my heart, my precious twin and can talk to me about anything. My pain has stabilised too, so thanks for starting that one 🙂
    I hope things can take a great turn with Colt and there’s always D there as a father which makes a huge difference to any boy.
    Love you kiddo,

    Pete xo

    • Grainne says :

      It’s true, Colt’s a lucky boy to have his dad so involved in his life. D would do anything for that boy, no questions asked and he’s proving it by changing his own behaviours to be a better role model for Colt. I made a good choice there…thank god. lol. I’m not exactly known for them.

      Love you Pete. Thanks for always being here for me.

  4. KittyHere says :

    Bravo Pete. Colt does have his father in his life. Grainne, you and D have seen to that. I know it has not been easy or obvious that keeping your trio under one roof was right. But now that Pete mentioned it all boys need their father, or if that isn’t possible a solid father figure. Brava Grainne you have seen to that for your son.

    • Grainne says :

      Isn’t he a smart one Kitty? Pete is a friend across the world from me who has been through a lot in the past few years with his family. He has a beautiful daughter who he lives for most days. He means a lot to me .. D is thankful for him in my life as well because it gives him a break from me always having trouble he can’t fix. xx The two of you have really changed my thoughts this morning. *hugs you*

  5. Mental Mama says :

    Hi hon, sorry to jump in the party late but yesterday was terrible.

    Anyway, sorry to hear that it’s getting rough with Colt again. I also lay down about an hour before I want to go to sleep, but I don’t do anything stimulating like watch videos – that’s just too much for me.

    As for the sweating, the BC pills might help. I actually had to have a partial hysterectomy because I smoke and I couldn’t keep taking them after I turned 35. Even though I still have my ovaries my symptoms have decreased tons. That might also be worth talking to your GYN about.

    • Grainne says :

      Oh that’s a good idea too. I haven’t really thought too much about things on the reproductive end since my periods got nice and regular after pregnancy. I’m hopeful. Certainly can’t hurt I suppose. I told my doc about how my periods have been changing (they’re very regular but super heavy) and she’s back on the menopause boat. Either way, they might help.

      No worries on when/if you reply. You’ve got a million things going on too and I totally understand. xoxoxo Thanks for this. Much love.

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