7th grade registration is done.

Yesterday we met with the guidance counsellor of my son’s school, and took a tour. She was pleasant, and my son didn’t seem stressed out. He was happy to see the computer lab.

I don’t feel good about sending him at all. I realize the school was being cleaned, but besides the clutter and smells it felt like a dungeon. The school seems pretty run down, and outdated. 😞

My son will have access to decent technology, but overall I am not impressed. Hopefully his teachers will impress me more than the environment. πŸ˜‰

Shortly after meeting we found out they had set my son up as if he were starting 6th grade. That was changed by crossing his name off of one list, and adding it to another. I didn’t mention the misspelling of his name when she re-wrote it though. πŸ˜› She asked us about how he was doing in math, because they did have pre-algebra as an option for 7th grade. We chose to put him in it. After a month, if he and the teacher feel he’d be better off in the standard 7th grade class he can move down. I am pretty confident that he’ll do fine.

He’ll be starting in 3 weeks. It will be so strange not homeschooling him. Last year he pretty much did everything on his own, since it was computer based learning, but he was here. We had so much freedom, and now we will have to conform to the school schedule. πŸ˜›

I am feeling anxious about having all of his schol supplies ready, worrying that he might get lost trying to find his classes, worrying he might get picked on or ignored. I can’t let him see my anxiety, or it will only cause him to worry. Part of me wants the next 3 weeks to drag, so we can just have our normal lives and part of me wants to speed time up so he can start…and hopefully adjust well. πŸ™‚

Getting Ready For School

We have been out school clothes/shoe shopping over the past couple of days. It’s so strange to be doing this for the first time in 6-7 years. We had planned on unschooling this year, but my son’s medical condition changed our plans.

Hypothyroidism doesn’t always lead to the mental conditions my son developed, but since it’s what we’re dealing with we have had to make some big changes. My son really craves socialization, and with two brothers so much younger than him it can be tricky to find opportunities that work for our family’s needs. School will give him an opportunity to be around kids his own age, and give him a break from the babies.

My husband and I feel that he has a good grasp of our family values and beliefs. We hope he won’t just go along with the crowd when he is surrounded by beliefs that go against ours. He has been given the opportunity to know about other beliefs and make his own decisions about what he personally feels. We’ll see what actual exposure to other’s beliefs/teachings will do.

We meet with his guidance counselor on August 8th, and we’ll go on a tour of the school then. I am thankful that my son has an appointment with his mental health counselor later that day. I don’t want to anticipate there being concerns, but in case there are he can tackle them right away. πŸ˜‰ We had planned on his last session actually being his last, but the morning of his appointment he had some troubling thoughts. In that session we also realized that he’s counting “normal” thoughts of frustration as “bad thoughts”, so his idea of having a bad day may not be as bad as we think. For example, if he has a “what the #@$%” thought, he counts that as a bad thought. I explained that it is unfortunate that swear words have become part of everyday language for many people, but having that frustrated thought is totally normal. We want to avoid saying and thinking the swear words, and try to work through frustrations in a better way but that’s all. We can’t eliminate thoughts of frustration over things such as people doing things in a way that cause us inconvenience, or other irritations but we can work on having them affect our moods and behaviors less.

I do worry that he will have issues in the classroom. I worry he will interrupt his teacher or classmates, get annoyed if they teach things he already knows, and get frustrated if he has questions that can’t be answered when he wants them to be. I know there are many more possible situations that could arise and lead to stress on my son, but I have to think positively and not bring up potential problems in front of my son. He will stress himself out over those possibilities and not even think about the potential good experiences. Right now he is looking forward to going to school. Hopefully the good will outweigh the bad. None of us are looking forward to new sleep habits, but I know we’ll get used to it. We’ll see how bad homework is….he’s never had to do school plus more.

A Good Counselling Session

So, we just had a visit with my son’s counsellor and it went very well. My son announced that he didn’t feel he needed to go anymore. This is a huge change from the kid who didn’t think an hour a week would be enough. 

Honestly we all feel that his thyroid medication has leveled out and made a huge impact on his thoughts and moods. He still over thinks situations,  but we just want to make sure he doesn’t blame/ punish himself when over thinking. πŸ˜‰ His thoughts of harming others, or himself have pretty much disappeared. The only ones he might still have are “normal” during moments of frustration. He has been able to deal with his brothers much better, and without thoughts of hurting them. He actually wonders if what he confessed to actually happened. He thinks he may have just been exaggerating situations. I feel the same way. I never witnessed him hurting his brothers, or any signs that he had. The boys do have bruises from time to time, but they are clumsy boys.

We are taking next week off, then going in the following week to make sure he’s still doing as well and feeling like we can deal with any issues together as a family.

We have normal 12 year old discipline issues to focus on, but other than that I think we are able to put these issues behind us. I think we need to be vigilant so that feelings aren’t suppressed and handled improperly. 

It’s a good day!πŸ˜€

A Better WeekendΒ 

AHHH! Finally, a bit of relaxation. πŸ˜‰

I was able to get some yard work done Saturday…things that have been put off for too long. We had some leaves in a few areas of our property that sat way longer than they should have. So long in fact, that they started to compost! YIKES! 

I found so many worms. I kept some to use for fishing, and fed a lot to my ducks. The ducks were very happy to have them. There were plenty more that just ended up being relocated to the leaf piles along the edge of our property. If they only knew how lucky they were. πŸ˜‰

I was also able to clean up our patio by our swimming pool. Our table was littered with the pool floats that were never stored for the winter, leaves and various pool attachments. Trash was tossed, and the good items were stored properly. Now the table is clean and ready to hold my drinks and knitting while the oldest has his friend over to swim. This area had a lot of leaves to be moved too, but they are gone and the area actually looks welcoming. πŸ™‚

The house got a bit of a tidying up yesterday with a good amount of help from my 12 year old. He picked up so many baby toys that were strewn about our living area. The 2 year old almost never puts his toys away. This is something that we really need to work on. When my oldest was hospitalized, the 2 year old was very good about putting toys away in the hospital toy room. Unfortunately that behaviour did not carry over to his homelife. 😦

I have been knitting dishcloths lately, and am very pleased with how quickly they knit up. I was able to work on one while watching some Texas Flip N’ Move yesterday, and I hope to do more later. (Knitting and watching if there are new episodes on my DVR.) I found a bag of Sugar and Cream yarn at a thrift store recently and it’s my new favorite. I really like how it feels when I work with it. 

I might get out and do some more yard work today. My husband mowed most of our property last night after work, so if I can get out and take down the trees that are growing from our stumps the yard will look much more inviting. I’d love to get some stump grinding done, but we can’t afford that right now. 

This was a random post, as things popped into my head…sorry for that. I hope that today actually turns out to be as relaxing as I imagined it could be without set chores or errands to run. The baby needs me right now, so we’ll see how it goes. πŸ˜‰ 

A Quick Update

I just wanted to pop on here to say things are going much better with my son. We are still hitting some bumps in the road, but overall things are very good. 😊

We really feel the thyroid medication has helped significantly. He hasn’t learned many coping skills at therapy yet, but his thoughts have gone from violent to mostly just negative words. He said he hasn’t been having any thoughts of harming himself. The thoughts he is still dealing with are happening less and less and they go away quickly. 

He tends to dwell on things, question his motives and he gets pretty anxious when he’s being questioned.  That last one us completely understandable. Nobody likes being questioned about “bad” things going on.

That’s all I have time for now, but I’ll try to write more often. πŸ˜‰

Starting our JourneyΒ 

Today was a busy day of appointments. Our first of the day was to meet with a therapist for my 12 year old son. He had been hospitalized this month for mental health reasons. He has been having thoughts of hurting himself or others, and thoughts of swears/gestures that he would never say or do. While hospitalized, we discovered he has a thyroid condition which may have contributed to his sudden change in personality and thoughts. We have to give his medication a few more weeks to see if it helps.

In the meantime we will be going to therapy about once a week. Today was a two hour appointment, to gather information. My son was a bit stressed by it all, but being honest and sharing everything is the best way to get the help needed to get back on track. During the appointment he said he wanted to be fixed, but the therapist stopped him right away to say he has to make this work and want it. Nobody can just “fix” him. They can give him the tools to help him change the way his mind is working right now. She explained that right now his thoughts are stuck on a path in his brain, and he needs to train his mind to follow a new healthier path. ☺

I think we both liked the therapist we met, but unfortunately her availability is pretty limited. 😞 She’ll refer us to another therapist in the practice and we’ll meet them next week. She comforted me by saying she didn’t see my son as being an imminent risk, in need of immediate intense treatment. My husband and I agree. We know he needs help to cope with his bad thoughts and to hopefully stop having them but we don’t see him acting on them.

Our next appointment was to see his endocrinologist. She explained that we will never know what caused the autoimmune response that destroyed his thyroid, because there just isn’t a test to determine that. It’s hard not knowing what caused his condition,  but we’ll just moved forward and treat it. We are very thankful that his condition was caught, since she said his thyroid doesn’t feel like one she’d normally be concerned about. She said his thyroid level needs to be checked in about 4-5 weeks, and if his level is normal we do another check in 6 months. If the level is still high they will increase his medication and check his level in another 6-8 weeks.

I don’t have anything else to share right now. I think my stress levels will be dropping some with my son home again,  but we’re still going through  a lot. πŸ˜›

Mental Health

I’ve been absent for a while due to a family crisis.

My son turned 12, and our lives turned upside down. I had a blog started about how life with a twelve year old was going to be an adventure, but decided to trash it when things got serious in an instant.

Here’s how it started… my boy started questioning the words he was using, and whether he was telling lies by not choosing the “right” words for the situation. I explained that so many of the words we use can have different meanings and interpretations, and that he had nothing to be concerned about. He was concerned, since God sees all sins as equal. Β So, this was all my original blog was really going to be about. Then things got serious. He confessed to hurting his brothers. He said he had squeezed and bitten the two year old, and that he had shaken the baby. I was in shock! I knew he would get frustrated with them from time to time, but I had no idea he hurt them. The two year old is very difficult when it comes to diaper changes, and the baby gets distracted during bottle feeding so those get difficult too. Of course the two year old interrupts and requires a lot of entertaining and the baby crys when he needs things. That’s all to be expected.

My son’s personality completely changed. After he confessed about hurting his brothers, Β my husband came home from work to talk about it with him. My husband was obviously upset that the babies had been hurt, and he was as shocked as I was that our 12 year old had been doing it. My husband asked how he felt about hurting his brothers, Β and how serious shaking a baby could be. My son had no emotional response to those questions. His only concern was of his punishment. He also seemed to be ignoring my husband during this talk.

My son confessed to having thoughts of hurting his brothers the next day, and they were for minor things like chewing loudly, Β or for just sharing space. We were concerned that he might act on these thoughts so we brought him to an emergency room.

They were prepared to send him home with us, with the plan to find out patient therapy. We chose to keep him there and requested in patient care. We had to protect the babies who couldn’t protect themselves. 😞

He was in an emergency room, just waiting for a bed to open up in one of the psychiatric hospitals. They did no testing while he was there, and he didn’t even have a functioning nurse call button in his room. He had security guards stationed right outside his room too. They were there to monitor the whole floor. The staff didn’t even remind my son to order his meals on time. It was very frustrating. We saw some improvements in his personality during our visits, so after 2 nights we decided to bring him home. He was home from Thursday night to Monday evening without many issues. If he had a bad thought he left the room, or I would take the other kids away from him and quiet them down or whatever was needed. We were doing ok, and just waiting for calls back from local therapists.

The two year old was napping on the floor Monday while my son and I were playing a video game, and when it was time for us to stop to get chores done he stepped over the 2 year old to put a controller away. After doing that, he confessed to having a thought of stepping on the 2 year old. We discussed how hard, where on his body and what damage it could have done. It was scary! After that he did his chore of cleaning a litter box, then took a shower. After his shower he told me he had suicidal thoughts while in the shower. He told me those thoughts became homicidal too.

I messaged my husband, and we decided we had to bring him back to the hospital. We chose a different hospital this time though. They were much more thorough, and the care seemed to be better.

They actually ran some blood tests, and discovered my son has a thyroid condition. It can be linked to mood changes and psychological changes. He was started on medication and had a “sitter” in his room 24/7. He wasn’t allowed utensils or sharp objects. We visited him every day, and were waiting for a bed in a psychiatric hospital again. 😞

We had heard that strep infections can cause psychological changes in children too, but his strep test was negative. Since we were all very sick during the whole month of April we thought there might be a hidden infection. We were able to get him treated with an antibiotic just in case. He was in that hospital from 5/15-5/26. They wanted him transferred sooner, but there are only so many beds available in our state. My husband and I had hoped the thyroid medication and antibiotics would have made a difference before the transfer happened, Β but sadly they haven’t done enough. He says he has thoughts less frequently though. 😌

He was transferred yesterday. He had to ride in a sheriff’s vehicle with 3 officers.😞 It was not due to his threat level, it’s just protocol.

We met with some of the staff, saw his room/unit and had a short visit with him. We called him to say goodnight and left it at that. My phone was charging after our call, so when my husband when to check on it he saw I had a missed call from an hour before and a voicemail. It was after the time my son was supposed to be in his room for the night. The voicemail was my son, saying he didn’t like it there. It was heartbreaking to know I missed that call and chance to comfort him. I called the nurse’s station right away to make sure he wasn’t still upset. Β I wasn’t allowed to talk to him since it was after bedtime, but they left him a note to say I did return his call.

He called me at 8:30 this morning,  and again at 9:30. Both times he asked to talk to his 2 year old brother. 😊

The plan was for us all to visit tonight after my husband got home from work, but it would only be for an hour. My son requested that I go this afternoon with his brothers so he can visit longer. It is awful to have him away from home, and know he doesn’t like it. He says the other kids are crazy and he’s the only normal one. He said they swear, and one girl has cut marks all over her arms. 😞 I wish I could just wave a wand and take away his bad thoughts. He needs to learn how to get through this, and I don’t know how to help him. He has to be there.

I know this is a lot to share on a blog, Β and I left some things out too. This has been such a stress filled month. I just want my life and son back!