Friday, 15 July 2011

If Pain Is Weakness Leaving The Body, I'd Be Iron Man's Little Sister Right Now!

This kidney stone of mine and I are becoming major enemies.  I hate the darn thing so much, and it appears it hates me right back.  Looking back now, I've had the symptoms for quite a few months, but I figured I had a severe case of back pain, took some Advil and an ice pack and was fine.  When the Advil wasn't good enough, I switched to Alieve.  Once the bugger kicked my butt, I'd take a Robax Platinum, figuring go big or go home.  Ice packs didn't work well anymore, and then I got diagnosed with the kidney stone.  I've been feeling most horrible since the end of May, stuck with my nemesis the kidney stone, and it appears the little devil seems hellbent on breaking my spirit this week... so I did the only thing I could do...  Walking into the emergency room in horrific pain didn't amount to much.  Waiting in the waiting room for what seemed like FOREVER, I got admitted and was asked to put on a gown, but I was not allowed to wear my underpants.  You know the gown I'm talking about right...  Yes, the one that stays open in the back...  Not to mention where they put me...  right in front of the doors in the hallway, in full view of everyone in the waiting room who was waiting to be admitted.  While I may have been praying for death, I still had some dignity left, and besides it was cold there.  I put on my pants.  While I may be as red necked as they come, I don't advertise what ain't fer sale t'no one.  Besides, this was a family hospital, right?  Jeeeez.

I told the doc about my pain, and that I had a child with autism, sitting with a bald babysitter, which is a horrible thing, cuz my baby needs my hair to play with to go to sleep, and the skin head left with my baby just ain't gonna work well for him.  "Ya need to fix me now doc!!!"  And fix me he done...  mmmmmmmmmmm...  I love IV medication.  It works so well.  I ended up with morphine, which I now have learned does not leave you stoned at all, providing you are in the throws of extreme pain.  When the nurse came to check on me, she decided it wasn't working fast enough, and gave me a drug called Buscopan in my IV.  Now that stuff works!  I love it, I've found my new best friend.  I wanted to hug it and squeeze it and love it and rename it, give it a good many name, like Bruno.  I mean, who messes with Bruno?  That's how much I loved the Buscopan.

My urine showed and I quote "puss."  I'm thinking wow, really, that's awesome, so on top of this freak show of a kidney stone (5.7ml is a HUGE kidney stone, one that I have no hope in hell passing on my own), the little devil figured I should suffer more pain, so hey, "let's give her a kidney infection!!!"  I want this stone DEAD.  It's war now, and I won't take it as a hostage, I'm gonna smash it into fine dust once I get my hands on it. 

The nurse that came to get me to deliver me to x-ray was awesome...  He was told my babe has autism, and came to get me right away.  He was gentle and kind, telling me about his co-worker who's brother has autism.  Then he asked me what I thought of the government of Manitoba giving $5, 000, 000 to schools for children with autism...  "Seriously...  You don't want to know Shaun."
"Yes, yes I do."
"Well Shaun, I'll believe it when I see it.  The government's been promising a lot of things, like for one, better health care, and yet here I am closing in on two months of pure hell, carrying this kidney stone.  I'm not scheduled to see a urologist until September the 1st.  What no one here seems to understand is that my babe doesn't care if I'm feeling sad, happy or in this immediate case SICK and in PAIN or that in my anguish I've lost my mind and about to do what the voices are telling me to: dress like a giant chicken and run down the road screaming 'the wheels on the bus go round and round all through the town.' Dayton's needs to do not take a break , so neither can I.  I just don't have time to get sick and I'm tired of being sick and tired all the time."
"But what about the problems your lil'guy has with school?  Are you happy with his education?"
"Dear Shaun...  Please don't think I'm an evil person, but when I'm scared, I become a little nasty.  Not nasty like 'eeewwwww, what is that thing in the fridge growing green and fuzzy, and oh my God, it moved, quick shut the door, but nasty like a cornered, rabid, ferocious dog.  And that's kind of how I feel about my son's education...  the suspensions for things out of his control (all right, he's a boy, I'm sure some were deserved), the fact that he's going into grade 4 and can't read or write bothers me to the point where I feel like I've just been wedgied.  The way the school staff don't seem to understand autism and figure he's not autistic, but he's a bad kid, so bad in fact, his last teacher made an official 5 page school division report, documenting she feels her life is in danger BY MY SON WHO WEIGHS 60 LBS.  I don't want to keep you here all night with me, I mean you're cute and all, but I'm just in too much pain, and there's just so much..."

So, while I may not have gotten much further ahead with destroying the little devil of a kidney stone, I have walked away with some great drugs and even met an angel at the emergency of Grace Hospital.  Again, I firmly believe that God puts special people in our lives, like Shaun the angel.  He put Shaun in my path, and thank goodness I spoke to him.

Some more good news!  I went to see my regular doctor's office (and yes of course my doctor is away on holidays), and met one of the other doctors at the clinic, who picked up the phone and called the urologist who book me for September 1st to see if he could get me in any time sooner.  It appears when you want a doctor to take you seriously and believe you're in pain, instead of asking for narcotics, just tell them what I did:  "Seriously?!  I'm telling you, I'm in so much pain, I'm ready to throw myself at oncoming traffic to break this kidney stone!!!  Help me!!!"  (Sometimes even I'M afraid of the things my mind comes up with)  No luck convincing the receptionist to reschedule his holidays or his golf games.  The good doctor hooked me up with some really great pain relievers!  Feeling bad for me, he then called another clinic, and guess what?  I go to see him this coming Monday!!!  I have no guarantee he'll be able to zap the little devil, because he needs to have me take yet another x-ray to see where exactly the stone is, then give me options, and time permitting sedate me to zap it.  If he can't do it on Monday, I'm sure he'll find another day to have me come in and get even with this nemesis.  This means...  I'M GOING CAMPING NEXT LONG WEEKEND!!!   WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!

Booooo hoooooooo...  I'm terrified of peeing the little devil out.  It appears that even though I'm in imense pain, I've seen no pain yet as far as I've been explained what to expect when I actually pee this stone out...  I have no choice but to go with the insanity, and have "I want my mommy" kind of days, week or maybe a couple of weeks...  I suppose to appreciate the light you must first pass through darkness...  boooooo!!!

Consider yourselves hugged, and pray that I survive the pain!!!  Or even better, that I feel no pain, because they're gonna zap this stone into dust!  Yeah!!!


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Genetic Myth DEBUNKED!

Facing Autism in New Brunswick: Autism Genetic Myth DEBUNKED!

The Way He Should Go, Deep Thoughts By Lou Lovrin

Train up a child in a way he should go:  and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
Proverbs 22:6

Ouch.  I read this over and over and over again, asking God "How?"  Yes, I speak to God, on a daily basis.  Don't worry, it's a one way conversation, so drop the phone, no need to call 911 or CFS.

As a loving mother, I know my son needs guidance, and he depends on me to teach him right from wrong.  I work hard at molding him into a good man, and want him to be a happy, productive and a contributing member of society.  I think all parents want the same for their children, but now we throw autism into the mix...  How do we do this with autism?  There are certain things I fear Dayton won't experience, such as graduating from high school, college or university, dating, marriage, children, friends, family...

Train up a child in a way he should go.  Not how I want him to go, but in a way he should go...  If Dayton chose not to marry and have children of his own, and yet was happy, would that hurt me or him?  If Dayton wasn't able to graduate with a regular grade 12 diploma, but was able to apprentice in a trade and complete the apprenticeship, get his "red seal," be able to work anywhere he desired, and was happy, would it really be the end of the world?

As parents, we have a preconceived notion of what our child's path in life should be.  We plan their lives out for them, thinking of things that make US happy, believing it will make our child happy too. 

I remember talking about trusting God's plans with a very dear friend of mine, whom I respect as my own mother, and her husband as my own father.  Kathleen had tried to assure me that there are things I simply need to trust the Lord with, things that are out of my control.  One of them being Dayton and his future.  We had this conversation about five years ago, and I think mom was trying to explain to me that my plan may not be God's plan for Dayton.  Maybe God has a bigger and better plan for Dayton and  myself.  In order for God's plan to reveal itself, I need to let go of my own selfish desires for Dayton, and have faith in God...  It's either God has a divine purpose for my babe and I, or the pain medication is messing with me...  I'd like to believe the first.

I truly believe God places people in our lives for a reason.  It is His plan for us to have met the people we have in our lives.  God uses us in His plans.  He is using Dayton in His plan, and me too.  Now, the control freak show that I am, if I could just let go of the control and leave our future in God's hands...  I think I'm going to have to call mom...

As Kathleen's husband, dad says:  Consider yourselves hugged,


Friday, 8 July 2011

The Autism Creed

Grandma Karen...  darling, witty, charismatic, funny and loving Dayton to a fault grandma Karen.  I think out of all the people that have a relationship with my son, grandma Karen actually "gets" Dayton.  She seems to know how he thinks, she's quick to come up with disciplinary actions that make sense and are not degrading to Dayton and have an affect on him, and loves him unconditionally.  I am very fortunate to have her support, and so is Dayton.  He loves her right back.  Autism can make for a lonely life, but thanks to grandma Karen, I'm not lonely.  Over time, she's become my voice of reason.  

So, funny Karen had posted a funny on my facebook page, called the "Toddler's Creed," asking me to substitute Dayton's name for Toddler.  Here it is:

Toddler's Creed
If I want it, it's mine.
If I give it to you and change my mind later, it's mine.
If I take it away from you, it's mine.
...If I had it a little while ago, it's mine.
If it's mine, it will never belong to anybody else, no matter what.
If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine.  If it looks just like mine, it's mine.
Notice any similarities with your child?  How true it is for Dayton!!!  

"If I want it, it's mine."  How many times did I get an email from school, telling me how Dayton took someones pop, juice, chocolate bar, etc...

"If I give it to you and I change my mind later, it's mine."  Ugh.  I hate this one.  Dayton has 'traded' Pokemon cards and parts of his bayblades, only to throw a fit later because he wants his stuff back.  Trying to explain that 'trading' means you're giving up your stuff for the stuff you 'traded' for is pointless sometimes.  So I've made it a rule for all the kids to know...  NO TRADING. 

"If I take it away from you, it's mine."  Ummm, need I say more?  Holly crap, happens all the time!  The other day Dayton's playing with his buddy's Pokemon Black Nintendo DS games.  When his buddy shows up at our place to play with Dayton, he sees the game and has a meltdown of his own.  "That's my game Dayton!  I've been looking for it everywhere!!!"  
"It's mine!"
"No it isn't!  The character's name is Tommy, that's MY NAME!!!  And he's done all the levels I've done with my character.  This is MY GAME!!!  You stole it from me!  I'm not your friend anymore!!!"

"If I had it a little while ago, it's mine."  Yes, visiting a friend or playing outside sharing toys with the other kids, we run into this ALL THE TIME.  The boys on the playground are playing with life savers (I think that's what they're called...  they're those light sword things from Star Wars.  Anyway...  Dayton drops it on the ground, Evan picks it up, and it's all out war.  "That's mine Evan!!!"
"No, it's Tommy's!"
"Give it back Evan, NOW!!!"
You get how it ends...

"If it's mine, it will never belong to anyone else, no matter what."  Just recently, I gave one of Dayton's six year old friends Dayton's old pajamas...  Holly spaz!!!  "Dayton, the pajamas haven't fit you since you were seven!!!  (He's nine years old now)  Just let Evan have them!!!"
"No, they're mine!"
"Dayton, you don't like to wear pajamas!!!  You never wear them!"
"They're mine and I said NO!!!"

"If we are building something together, all the pieces are mine."  I don't know how many times I've emptied Dayton's pant pockets before putting them in the wash, to find little pieces of daycare or school lego.  "It's mine!!!"  
"Dayton, we don't have Star Wars lego!"
"But Johnny and I built it together, it's mine..."
Ugh.  I'm not sure if some trading's taking place or if it belongs to the school or daycare, and I'm too tired to fight after making Dayton do his reading...  

"If it looks just like mine, it's mine."  Hmmmm...  This one happened just last night.  
"No Dayton, that's my camping chair!!!"  Screams Evan at the top of his lungs.  I look over and sure enough, the boys are playing tug of war with this fold up chair, and I'm trying to get to them as fast as I can, holding my kidney in place before it explodes.  Sure enough, Dayton wins the tug of war, and in the process grazes Evan's face with one of the legs of the chair.  Tears explode out of Evan and the water works begin.  "DAYTON HIT ME IN THE FACE!!!"  
Evan doesn't care if it was an accident or not, he's six years old, to him there is no such thing as an accident, it's all intentional.  I love this boy as though he was my own, so tears well up in my eyes too.  The pain in my kidney intensifies and my mind goes fuzzy.  I wish I could have got to them sooner, so no one got hurt.  Evan's chair looks EXACTLY like Dayton's.  My mistake.  I figured if I bought the boys the same kind of chair, there would be no fighting...  Boy was I wrong.

Oh well.  One day, my little prince will learn through natural consequences that this kind of behavior will lose him friends.  I hope.  In the mean time, I'm the mamma outside at the playground, sitting in my camping chair, supervising his play, in pain or not.  

Consider yourselves hugged,


Thursday, 7 July 2011

Am I That Big Of A Threat?! Well I'll Be...

Wow, I thought the drama would end with the school year, but apparently not.  It seems "the woman" (let's call her A.K. for Actinic Keratosis) from the Children's Coalition here in Winnipeg really, really, really has it in for me.  Awwwww, lil'ole me?  Seriously?  What threat could I possibly be to this woman?  Not sure, but if she wants to rumble, let's have at it.

I've had a couple of moms and dads contact me via Autism Diva Help.  I've put up my contact information for everyone to see, but just in case you've missed it, here it is again...  My home phone number is 204-837-6308, my cell phone number is 204-771-4546, my email addresses are:,, and let's not forget my facebook:  Anyone who wants to contact me can, I have no problem in being your sounding board or brainstorming with you.

Anyhow, back to the point, the woman is behaving completely inappropriately, asking parents if they have anything to do with...  wait for it...  have you guessed?  That's right...  She's asking parents if they have anything to do with ME!!!  Seriously?  What is it about Autism Diva Help or myself as a person that's getting this woman's panties in a knot?  I really had no intentions of writing about her or the Children's Coalition, but now that I'm hearing that she's turning people away if they have anything to do with me...  How unprofessional is that?  She prides herself on all the work she's done for "inclusion," and disagrees with me when I say that "inclusion" does not work for all children on the spectrum equally.  "Well goodness gracious A.K., I'm so terribly sorry to have offended you, but I have bigger and better problems than to worry about your pride.  Furthermore A.K., your job is to HELP children with disabilities, children that have no choice in who their parents speak or don't speak to.  So now, not only are our children being discriminated against, but their parents as well by YOUR unprofessional conduct."

I see clearly where this woman's priorities lie, in self accomplishment.  God forbid a parent speaks out about how the education system is failing our children.  God forbid we speak amongst ourselves and try to console each other when our children are discriminated against.  God forbid we seek help for our children or don't agree with some bureaucratic organization only interested in making themselves look good.  I mean, who the hell do we think we are as parents, thinking we know what works and doesn't work for our own children?!  How dare we have a mind of our own.  How dare we try and think how to help our children?  How dare I not agree 100% with A.K.?  HOW DARE I SPEAK THE TRUTH ABOUT OUR EDUCATION SYSTEM AND HOW IT'S FAILING MY CHILD AND OTHERS?!  HOW DARE I BLAME THE GOVERNMENT IN HOW THEY ARE NOT HELPING OUR SCHOOLS SUCCESSFULLY TEACH OUR CHILDREN?!  How dare I indeed...

As for the folks like A.K. who obviously have their panties in a knot,  go ahead and blog your hatred of me, talk about me all night in your chat groups and meetings, I really don't mind.  At least I know you're listening to what I'm saying.  WE HAVE A PROBLEM.  OUR EDUCATION SUCKS, AND OUR CHILDREN ARE DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.  In other words, if I'm making you talk about me, whether it be good or bad, my job here is done ;)  Mission accomplished!  Who knew lil'ole me could have this impact, I'm thrilled!  Not quite thrilled to make enemies all around me, but thrilled that my voice is finally heard.  Thanks for taking me seriously.  It's about time!  A lesson learned perhaps.  I should never had underestimated the power of...  ME!  Learn from my mistake, every single one of us has the power to crawl under someones skin.  Imagine what damage we could do if we did it all together!  I hate acronyms, but LOL!!!

My advice to you, my dear readers, is that if you speak to A.K., deny, deny, deny that you follow Autism Diva Help.  In my experience and the parents who have contacted me, she has been of no or little use in their plight for a better education.  But just in case she may be able to help your child, I feel no offense at your denying my existence.  I want what every parent of a child with autism wants:   A quality education, help for our children so that our children can become contributing members of society.

Why is it that people can't agree to disagree?  Are two minds not better than one?  How boring would life be to simply agree on everything?  It is only through seeing other people's perspectives that we learn from one another.  Only God Himself knows everything and is perfect.  Only He is almighty, all knowing and all powerful.  I don't claim to know it all, and if messing up takes practise, then I am well rehearsed!  I've held a lot of positions in my life and will still hold many more, but above all I am a mother.  A mother who loves her child more than anything else on this planet, and who will stop at nothing to get what her child deserves:  respect for his individuality, acceptance as a human being, and an education he's entitled to as a Canadian citizen.  "So A.K., if this offends you, don't work with me as we've agreed, but you should be professional enough to help others in NEED, whether or not they follow Autism Diva Help or not.  Your issue is with me, so direct your anger at me, not other innocent bystanders.  In other words, DO YOUR JOB.  It's what you get paid to do."

The theory of "inclusion" is a beautiful thing.  In order for it to work as A.K. had planned, the government needs to "tweak" it just a tiny bit.  I'm sure A.K. had not intended "inclusion" to end up the way it has.  Educate the school staff, and their divisions.  Offer assistance to do this, and make education a priority, not a babysitting service.  That's all I'm saying.  Why is this so difficult for bureaucracies to understand?  Sure, it will cost money, I understand that, but imagine how much more money it will cost the government when our uneducated children turn of age.

As always, consider yourselves hugged,


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

Finally, Sarcasm!

I hope everyone's long weekend was as fulfilling as my own.  I love camping, so our family decided to go camping at the wonderful West Hawk Camp Grounds.  While we didn't get to see any fireworks, we made our own July 1st celebrations a smash hit with the rest of the campers surrounding us, making blooper bombs, and pouring some copper and rubber pieces in the fire to create beautiful red, green, blue and purple flames in our fire pit.

Getting ready for camping with a child on the spectrum is no small feat.  I grabbed my large suitcase, and made sure to pack enough clothes to last as a couple of weeks.  Dayton's a messy feller who loves water (see where I need to pack in abundance?).  I packed us six towels for the three day camping trip, which came in super handy because grandma and grandpa forgot to pack their towels.  And grandpa laughed when he saw my heavy suitcase!  Who's laughing now gramps?

Packing for me is  a complete nightmare, with or without autism.  I see myself as a poster child for adult ADD.  I'm to sedentary to say ADHD.  I'm so not organized...   I either start packing waaaaaaay to early, or pack the last minute.  It's horrible and never ends well.  When packing early, I play this game called add and subtract clothes.  We end up with less of what we need and too much of what we don't need.  When packing last minute, I swear, everything but the kitchen and bathroom sink end up in my suitcase.  Snow pants, shorts, jeans, turtle necks, tee shirts, tuques and swimming shorts for Dayton...  Taking care of Dayton's needs comes first.  You just never know if we hit a snow storm in the middle of July...  I always end up leaving the trip wondering if I packed MY medication, MY panties, My swim suit...  You get the idea...

Our second day camping, grandma has the fire going and needs to use the lady's room.  I'm tired and aching from my kidney stone (I ended up in the emergency room once coming home from camping, the kidney stone is round with spikes, making my kidney bleed and giving me a kidney infection) and all I want is a hot cup of coffee...  I turn my back for one minute, just to pour creamer in my coffee cup, when I hear grandma screaming:  "Dayton!!!  What are you doing?!?!"  I turn back to Dayton...  He's holding a newspaper, lit on fire, walking back to the fire pit from the edge of our camp spot.  What the hell...

It appears he wanted to set the grass on fire.  Seriously?!  Why?!  "I dunno," says Dayton.  This is life with autism.  Constant supervision is necessary at all times.  I rely on family and friends to keep an eye on Dayton and make sure he's playing it safe. 

Needless to say, Dayton was grounded.  Right away.  How do you do this when you're camping?  The only option I had was to have him sit inside our camper on my bed.  When I made lunch, I had him sit on a camping chair, with his lunch on his lap, facing the camper door.  Thanks to grandma.  She's just so smart.  She comes up with some really great ideas in disciplining Dayton.  She totally 'gets' him.  I don't know what kind of reprieve I would have come up with without her.  For the rest of the camping trip, Dayton was not allowed to sit close to the fire.  He had to sit either behind me or his father.

We still had fun camping.  Our first evening out, I finally got to see the Northern Lights dance in the sky for the first time in my life.  We got to see fire flies in the tall grass bordering our camp site.  What a beautiful, natural light show it was for all of us.  I haven't seen fire flies since I was a child, and Dayton's dad got to see them for the first time in his life.  Dayton actually used figurative speech!  I was thrilled.  He said:  "I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me mamma.  Sometimes, I close my eyes and see little lights, sometimes they even have colors."  Hoooooooray!  Well done Dayton!!!  We fed the deer, who were used to us city folk coming to visit.  I actually got to put a bun in my mouth and have the deer take feed off it.  It was amazing!

The most fun we had was Dayton finally using sarcasm - intentionally.  Most parents are appalled when their child becomes sarcastic, but parents of a child with autism almost celebrate!  I know we did!

Dayton's father, the annoying schmuck (I say this ever so lovingly), really got under Dayton's skin.


Glen:  "You know what I'm going to do after this Dayton?"
Dayton:  "What daddy?"  (all excited).
Glen:  "Put my cup down."
A minute later...  Glen:  "You know what I'm going to do after this Dayton?"
Dayton:  "What?"  (all excited).
Glen:  "Put my cup down."  A few seconds later, he brings the cup back to his lips.  "You know what I'm going to do after this Dayton?"
Dayton:  "What?"  (a little annoyed).
Glen:  "Nothing."  A few seconds later...  "You know what I'm going to do now Dayton?"
Dayton:  "What?"  (a little more than annoyed by now).
Glen:  "Nothing."
Dayton is visibly annoyed and starting to get angry with Glen.
Glen:  "Just kidding, I'm going to pour some milk in my cup."
Dayton:  (Full of sarcasm and uses a voice to match it)  "Ooooh, good for you dad, can I watch?"

I laugh so hard, I'm sure my kidney will explode.  My heart swelled with pride.  He may look like his dad, but at least he's going to be as sarcastic as me!  Well done Dayton!

Consider yourselves hugged,


PS. In case you're wondering, we're all modeling the same hat.  We are just a smidgen on the redneck side.  I had just bought it, and everyone loved it, so we thought we'd have a little fashion show.  Hope you enjoyed our trip!