Wednesday, May 4, 2011

A Glimpse of Change

Hello friends.   WOW!!!  What a couple of days.  Will and Kate got married in royal style.  Osama Bin Laden bit the dust American style.    My world changed Skiff style. 
I have spent the past several years of my life in tremendous amounts of pain and without even the most basic levels of energy.  I don’t mean the normal “I get beat after I ran errands all day” lack of energy.  I mean the “I can barely stand long enough to take a shower” lack of energy.  With five active boys, a husband, two cats, and school and church commitments this was a REAL problem.  Just doing the bare minimum took all I had and my life is not the bare minimum kind of life.  But this is not where the story ends folks.  Oh no it gets MUCH better!!  After a long process of being shuffled from specialist to specialist I was finally diagnosed with Psoriatic Arthritis and placed on medication.  Within three days my life had changed forever.  I now feel like a teenager again.  I not only have the energy to do my daily musts but I have energy to spare.  I find myself dancing while I do dishes (yes that really is dancing, not a serious medical condition), going up and down the stairs many times a day (without intense pain), playing with my boys, and cleaning my houseare no longer  the equivalent to climbing Mt Everest (well maybe the laundry but I’m getting there;-)  Yes it has been an amazing change for my family and I.
Change, however, is not easy for my guys on the spectrum, even good change.  My boys and my husband had become used to “zombie me”.    It has been slightly stressful for them to adjust to this “new” me.  My husband has felt slightly displaced because I now have everything done before he gets home from work.  My boys aren’t sure they like a mom who has the energy to make them clean up their own messes;-)  Seeing me dancing around the kitchen was more than a little disconcerting to a few in my family-yes I admit my dancing is bad but it’s not THAT bad.  It’s not that my guys wish that I felt terrible again.  No they are delighted to see me happy and engaged but there was no preparation time for this change.  Usually before any change in our lives (big or small) I spend a lot of time preparing my spectrum guys, from hubby down to Benny.  If they know about the change ahead of time transitions are much smoother.  The autistic mind processes information very differently.  Normal, everyday things can be very overwhelming, to the point of actual physical pain at times.   In order to compensate and live life as fully as possible my guys need to know things up front, not just the broad strokes like we are going on vacation in July.  They need to know where we are going, what the climate will be like, how much noise to expect, what will we do, will there be a lot of people, where will we stay, what kind of beds will they have, will the hotel have waffles at their breakfast buffet, what will we do if it rains, what will we do if it doesn’t rain, will there be a lot of noise, will there be a lot of people (yes those are repeats and yes it was intentional), etc., etc., etc.  For many kids these are just curiosity type questions but for my guys it is more.  For my guys it’s about feeling safe in their environment, knowing that they will be prepared and that they will be ok.  The autistic mind processes information differently and that can be a huge blessing at times.  My guys have an amazing sense of humor.  They have mind blowing ideas that are completely outside the conventional box.  It’s not that they think outside the box it’s that they are an entirely different box.  Their boxes walls are noise, light, touch, emotions (what are those?), communication, and social expectations. 
Yes change is something that I prepare my guys for whenever I can.  However sometimes life sneaks up on you and there is no time to prepare for the changes.  In times like these I batten down the hatches and we get through it Skiff style.  Then watch out world.  Here we come!!

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