I haven’t really opened up a lot about my family on my blog before, but we’ve recently been on a journey that has left me feeling pretty weak, alone and frustrated, and I can’t not be open and honest with you guys and let you know what’s going on in the O’Dell house lately…. since I know a lot of other moms probably have gone through similar times and felt just as alone as I have. And if you haven’t…. sorry… this is kind of just one long rant. Sometimes it feels good to put this out there and know I’m not alone.
I’m not looking for advice, sympathy anything- but to feel like I am not the only mom out there that is sometimes struggling and like I’m not a complete screw up.
A little backstory: my son Finn is two and a half, and has yet to say more than 10 words. Ever. He also has a host of sensory issues that have made our everyday lives a challenge to say the least.
That little boy is the love of my life. I know he knows how much we love him, and I know that he loves us more than anything. But sometimes I ache to just hear it. To hear anything. I have been breaking down a lot lately wondering, will I ever get to talk to my son? Will I ever get to have a conversation and know what he’s thinking?
I feel in my heart things will work out, that this is just a season… talking is a skill he’s having a hard time mastering, his sensitivities to stimuli will fade- but sometimes it is hard to not see other kids and completely lose it.
To see the kids on facebook happily playing in the snow… who didn’t fight, kick and bite their parents for ten minutes because they cannot handle snow clothes. (And don’t even get started on a hat or gloves).
To see the kids, younger than him, singing, talking, interacting with other kids, able to do things like color, frost cookies, paint pictures without becoming upset that things aren’t clean or in order.
To be “the” family in the haircut place that requires at a minimum two people to hold our son down while a stylist quickly buzzes off his hair while he wails as though his arm is being chopped off. Repeat if he sees a vacuum, a flushing toilet, or heaven forbid– my vitamix blender.
To see children who wear clothes other than the same Thomas the Tank Engine jammies- we have over 10 pairs now that I can at least rotate him through.
To see photos and videos of him loving bathtime- he now freaks out at being even slightly wet and giving him a bath makes me feel like I am hosing off a scared puppy.
To have to hold a two year old the entire time shopping if a store is crowded because he does not like being around tons of people (though he feels safe at church, thankfully), while trying to balance shopping and a 10 month old in a carseat, or schedule trips around times I can have someone watch the kids.
To be constantly bombarded with ideas and suggestions from well-meaning friends and family who don’t really know anything about neurological issues or his particular triggers, let alone how difficult it is for a parent to deal with (when all you want is to vent and be able to talk about it, not get told what to do).
….. Sometimes it feels like too much, like I can’t handle it.
I get guilty my daughter isnt getting all the attention her sweet little 10 month old soul deserves. I feel bad that I chose to keep my blog going even though people tell me to slow down- because it is my outlet, my safe space, my escape, my guilty pleasure. I get resentful of my poor husband, who is at work all day, and not here dealing with the kids… because you know, he’d like us to be able to pay our mortgage.
Some days seem to drag on forever, and some days are great.
And now to the good news, which we hope will help him continue to get better-
Recently, his behavior went on a frightening spiral downwards. He was suddenly having violent, uncontrollable fits that looked like a night terror- out of nowhere and completely unprovoked- where he would scream, lash out and hurt himself by slamming his head on the floor, bite himself, hit himself or purposely run into walls. Those were the scariest moments of my life, second only to when he stopped breathing from flu complications.
He wasn’t eating. He wouldn’t touch us, hug us, anything- things he has never in his life had problems with. For about a week and a half, he didnt want to read books, didnt want to watch movies, didnt want to play cars (his major love in life), didnt want to eat or drink… just sleep in his crib all day and be completely alone.
At a speech therapy appointment, his therapist suggested trying a gluten-free diet. And you know what? It worked, almost immediately. While he’s not talking, he hasn’t had any non-regular-for-a-two-year-old fits. He’s hugging, snuggling, smiling, and trying to talk, though he’s still extremely frustrated he can’t. We’ve picked up a few new words- ”wawa” for water and ”woofwoof” for his stuffed puppy, some phrases- ”iwannago” or “wheredad” , and a few new signs.
Was he having fits because he was in pain? Not eating because it hurt? Not responding because food was making him ill? I’m so sad to think it could have all been prevented, but at least we found something that seems to be working for him.
You’ll see a lot more gluten free posts from me in the future, because I am committed to keep him on this path, and hopeful once gluten is fully out of his system (I know it can take 2 weeks, so we still have a week to go) he might progress further, especially with the help of his speech therapist. And yes… there are some tasty treats you can make GF!
I’ve been exhausted, spending nights slowly rocking him to sleep when he lets me. Rubbing his back while we practise sounds, trying to break some of his sensory issues little by little. It’s slow moving, and sometimes heartbreaking, but we will make it. I might miss a post one day, and do two the next. I’m not going anywhere… and hopefully you won’t be either!
Thanks for letting me vent… and if you are going through something similar and need someone to chat with, please email me! The absolute hardest thing is feeling alone and the beauty of blogs is none of us have to!
Latest posts by Courtney ODell (see all)
- Christmas Caroling Party with Bing Smart Search - December 12, 2013
- Make Your Christmas Tree Taller & Fit Better in Your Room! - December 11, 2013
- 20 Creative Gift Wrapping Ideas - December 11, 2013
- The Great Santa Debate- Weigh In! - December 11, 2013