Wednesday, May 26, 2010


I was going to blog today about our experience with Carson being diagnosed with ADHD and GAD, but my thoughts keep turning to summer and how excited and relieved that it is here.

As the mother of Carson I seem to inhale a large breathe at the beginning of each school year and am afraid of exhaling and destroying the fragile balance which is Carson.

It seems to start with the first meeting with Carson’s new teacher. Will he or she speak to Carson in a way that will spark his attention and create a desire to learn? Is he or she going to be a good communicator with me? Will he or she want to help Carson or not want to bother with the child that is not so mainstream? Fortunately, we have been extremely blessed in the great teacher department and Carson has excelled each year.

When that hurdle is crossed, I hold my breathe over friends. Will he have a good friend? He just needs one good friend. Carson is very outgoing and luckily is mostly accepted by his peers, but Carson doesn’t always see this. Unfortunately his anxiety gets in the way and makes him feel less then adequate. It is a struggle throughout the year. So, if he can find that one child that “gets” him he always does so much better.

After all that, come academics, which I worry about the least, but not enough to breathe freely. Carson is one smart cookie and does great. The struggle lays in getting him to apply himself.

So, I feel like I have been holding my breathe all year long. Every time I feel as if I can let go, there is some little bump, some episode that makes me realize that it is too soon to let my guard down. I have really been able to put my trust in Carson this year. I have not hovered over him at every moment (which is not my first instinct as a mother) and this has really helped Carson mature and spread his wings, but I was always waiting with bated breathe hoping things would stay on track for just one more day, one more week, one more month.

Now we can see the finish line! We will make it through one more year successfully! Now that the last month is here, the last week, the last day, I feel myself unwinding in anticipation of summer. Now being able to put all anxieties aside. Time to spend with Carson and Carter free of any worries or obligations. Time to exhale.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Posts Switching to Once a week

Hi. Since starting this blog, I have tried to post twice a week, but it has proven difficult. So I will be posting mostly just once a week. My goal is to post every Tuesday.

So make sure to tune in this Tuesday. I will be discussing the process that we went through to diagnose Carson.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

ADHD and Pesticides

Okay, I am sure that you have heard about or read about the new study that links pesticides to kids who have ADHD. When Carson was born, ADHD was linked to watching too much TV as toddlers, a couple years ago it was a lack of Omega 3 fatty acids that was linked to ADHD and everyone started giving their kids fish oil (myself included). Every few years “they” are going to find some new link to ADHD and I will have one more reason to feel guilty for my son having it.

I guess my point is, no matter what caused my son to have ADHD it doesn’t change the fact that he has it. It does little to help Carson if I sit and stew about this new information. I can only take what I can from this study, (like one more reason to buy organic and have my own garden) but it is really a small blip on my radar because I have much more important things as a mother to deal with. So, if you are a mother thinking your son or daughter has ADHD because of the produce you gave or are giving them, don’t feel guilty. Just move forward and do your best.

What I did find disturbing about this article I read on Yahoo News was the comments of some seriously ignorant, uneducated people. One person commented that parents who can’t control their children made up ADHD and another person commented that psychologists made up ADHD to give them something to do outside the mental hospital. Please people, didn’t your mothers ever teach you, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all”? I realize that ADHD may be over diagnosed and that some parents may use the label ADHD as a copout, but there are a lot of us who indeed have a child with a problem and as a parent I am doing everything that is humanly possible to help Carson succeed. So please don’t judge me. Please wait until you have, as my mother used to say, “walked a mile in my shoes.”


After posting, my lovely sister-in-law mad a good point and one I failed to mention. Most scienctific finding agree that ADHD is extremely hereditary. I have siblings with ADHD so that is most likely why Carson had ADHD- not pesticides or TV.

She also said maybe I should join a support group. Her comments were very kind, but made me feel as if I am coming off as a big whiner. That is really not my intention. I just want to show support to those who are out there that might be struggling and might like to know that I am dealing with the same things.

So leave some comments! Am I really being a big whiner? What direction would you like the blog to go in?

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Why Some People Just Don't Get It

Today I was enjoying a lovely picnic lunch across the street with my neighbor and good friend. We were talking about things and the subject of Carson’s medication came up and she asked me to tell her about all the different reactions I have received when someone finds out that my son takes medication. I have had people who are supportive and realize that sometimes it is needed, but mainly I get people who think that I am crazy. I have had someone tell me that I am literally “evil”. I have someone tell me that I should visit his or her homeopathic acupuncturist and just cure him. I have had someone tell me that Carson is really just a celiac (allergic to wheat). Even after I told that person that we have had him tested for celiac and other food allergies, this gentlemen still thought Carson was a celiac and I had gone to the wrong allergist. I have had people tell me that I am just not disciplining Carson. If I would simply let him know who was in charge his attitude would change.

My friend, whom I love very much, had two questions? Why was I telling so many people and why did I stick around to listen to their answers? She was right, I should maybe be sharing less (a entire topic I will address another time) but I think sometimes people don’t realize that it is not as easy or as simple as not giving my son food dye or visiting an acupuncturist. I wonder if people are aware that this is a real condition. ADHD and GAD are not some buzzwords I throw around. Would they have the same reaction if Carson was a diabetic and needed insulin everyday?

Medication has worked for us. It has not been perfect, but this is what works for Carson. I wish those who think that I am doing it all wrong were there the nights that I was up till 4 or 5 in the morning for weeks stewing over this decision. I wish that they could be present for the 3 or 4 times every night Carson used to wake up terrified with panic attacks, so much so that I literally had to sleep with him for months. Maybe I should carry with me the test results from my psychologist who spent weeks working with Carson before deciding he had ADHD and GAD or the results from the allergist so people realize that I did not just wake up one morning and decided to make this life altering decision for my son. They just see that Carson is doing well, and I am proud of that. They don’t realize the work that it takes to get him there and the anxiety I feel that it might all fall apart at a moments notice.

I want to be clear there is nothing wrong with homeopathic medicine. I believe that people do have food allergies and that diet definitely can affect your behavior (we do in fact have Carson on a preservative and dye free diet), I am just asking people to stop and think that maybe I am trying to do what is best for Carson. I am trying to do what is best for my son like any other mom. Please cut me some slack! My best may not always be enough, but I am trying and that is what counts. And thank you! Thank you to the people who “get it” just like my lovely friend across the street.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Unexpected Blessings

Carson had a rough week last week. He had a panic attack at school on Tuesday and came home very upset. He finally broke down in tears and told me he felt like a wimp because he had been scared that day at school when they had shot off rockets on the playground. We talked through him not being a wimp and what he thought would make him less afraid. We agreed on some things and I thought it was resolved.
Then the next day he came home really emotional again saying that a boy on the playground thought he was a wimp. I knew that this little boy is as good kid and a friend to Carson so I thought that he was really still having a problem with himself feeling like a wimp, so we discussed it further again and I left the situation feeling like it was resolved.

The next day he again comes home upset and this time refused to talk to me about it. Finally as I was tucking him into bed he told me that the little boy was making fun of him because he picks his nose all the time (which at this point in time is very much the truth thanks to good old obsessive compulsive) and this little boy told Carson that he was a wimp because of it. Well, I said that this boy shouldn’t have made fun of him, but asked him if he thought he picked his nose too much. He agreed, but insisted that he was really itching it most of the time. He finally went to sleep and I went to bed cursing the little boys name for making Carson feel bad for something he can’t control.

This coupled with some other issues made it an emotional week all around for the poor kid (Carson), but from this experience something amazing happened for Carson – He stopped picking his nose. Flash forward a few days to Saturday when Nathan and I were talking and realized that Carson had not had a nose bleed all week. I started observing Carson and noticed that every time he went to pick his nose he instead went and got a tissue to blow it. He was able to harness his compulsion and do something about it. He now blows his nose about a gazillion times a day, but he took the lead and was able to control something that up to this point he wasn’t able to. We went through a lot of tissue, but that night Carson went to bed nosebleed free and I went to bed blessing the little boys’ name for making Carson confront a problem and for the first time, take control and work it out himself.

As I write this I am struck by how sometimes our biggest trials seem to always yield the most unexpected blessings. If not for the teasing, Carson may have never tried (or cared to try) to stop a compulsive habit of his. Carson himself and his special spirit has pushed and forced me to be the best mother I can. Would I have been that way without his special needs? Would I have been content to put my mothering on autopilot and spend more time being “me” centered with my career, my own interests, and desires? Unfortunately, my answer is probably “yes”. Thanks to Carson and Carter (my other wonderful handful of a son) I am fully aware of the important role that I play, a role that is downplayed in current society. It is often portrayed as unrewarding or not of great worth because of its’ lack of glamour, money, and recognition from others, but thanks to the trials associated with raising Carson I realize that there is absolutely nothing as important as being a mother to my two sons. Nothing is as important as being there for my kids when they have rough weeks, when they have to deal with having ADHD and GAD. Nothing. So tonight I will go to sleep blessing Carson’s name for bringing me my unexpected blessings.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Gosh, even after a few posts, the act of making this blog has been so cathartic. I am touched by the sweet comments left by those who share in the same worries as I do. I feel a sense of empowerment in that there are others rowing in the same boat and hope that together we can work through this momentous task of nurturing these special spirits into the wonderful, spectacular, and successful adults that they can be.

Thanks for all the support!


Thursday, May 6, 2010

Letting go of Guilt

I have been trying to write my next post and get bogged down every time. It is not that I have nothing to write about, believe me, I have a lot to get off my chest, its just that everything seems to come out sounding so depressing or “woe is me”ish and that is not what I want to portray. I want it to be real and I don’t want to sugar coat things, but when I put down on paper some of the things I am dealing with…well…I begin to feel a little depressed.

I think that being a mother of any child that has challenges to face seems to be a daunting task and the responsibilities of motherhood seem to weigh heavier on our shoulders and I personally seem to give myself a lot of unneeded guilt, but how do you not feel guilty when you see your own child suffer or struggle. I think ADHD and GAD are especially hard for the Carson’s of the world to deal with because Carson is almost the same as any other kid. He looks the same, he talks the same, so when he can’t control washing his hands or having panic attacks other kids who can control those things don’t quite understand. So when Carson struggles to make and keep friends my heart just bleeds for him and makes me feel this overwhelming sense of guilt for not being able to fix his problem, for being the person who probably passed on the genes that caused his problem, for letting him watch TV as a toddler, for feeding him preservatives and not enough omega 3 fatty acids. I feel all these things and begin to feel overwhelmed, but I forget that I am not in this alone.

I have a wonderful, supportive husband, I have a great support system in my pediatrician, psychologist, extended family, and of course I have a loving Father in Heaven who is over all things. I need to lean on him more and know that whom He calls, He qualifies. So I can do this and do it well. Most importantly I have Carson. He wants to succeed, he wants to do well in school and he wants to overcome. He is smart and funny and some of his best qualities come from his different way of looking at the world. When I sit and worry about him am I setting him up for failure? Am I really sending the message that I don’t think he can do it?

This is a new beginning. I need to let go of the guilt and the worry and live in the now and know that Carson can do it. He may have bad days, but he too is a precious child of our Heavenly Father and with that he has Divine potential that I need to recognize. It will continue to be a struggle and there may be battles, maybe even many of them, that we will lose, but in the end we will prevail.
Okay, that last line was especially cheesy, but it does have the ring of truth.