Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Quick catch up with Aspie teen

Hello again, stranger!
Haven't wandered through this landscape for a minute or 3....but have been thinking of it and you.
There has been ups and the usual downs with horrid not-so-little thugs at school making the Feral Aspie teen feel as dreadful as themselves.
With their fists and feet and name calling.

There were a few explody moments at home that were curtailed with great finesse and elan by yours truly.
Yes, I do fashionable interventions.

Much time at Dunolly of late has soothed the anxiety, brought the irritations down a few notches and slipped this thing called Life into first gear to tackle the hills.
Dunolly is filled with eccentric characters (in suburbia they'd be called weird) and there is no pressure to conform to an expected "norm" as defined by "The Beautiful People".

The Aspie teen will be warbling his bass in the Gilbert & Sullivan production of Trial by Jury - in both the celebration of the refurbished heritage-listed Court House and at the Festival in October - as well as lending a hand to renovate/complete the gorgeously splendid old Junction Hotel (with Ballroom, thankyouverymuch!).
And he'll be on hand during the weekend of the open house of said Junction Hotel (with Ballroom, thankyouverymuch!).
I may be roped into plonking my arse on an upstairs chair, in Victorian dress, to crochet and keep an eye on people wandering through (possibly the Ballroom, thankyouverymuch!).

The Feral One is happy to continue seeing his psychologist via the school; he has a great rapport with him and finds him easy to natter away with.
Something that has been worrying him is the possibility he may have Bi Polar/Personality Disorder like his older sibling, so he discussed it with the psychologist and may be assessed for it at some date in the near future.
I don't think he fits the criteria but it's a worry he has and it needs to be addressed - he has seen the mess an out of control, unmedicated person with it can experience and has a fear he may develop it as he matures.
If an assessment gives him the relief and removes all question, then it's well worth it.
IF, on the other hand, it proves he does have it then we can tackle the bumps with a better understanding and forewarning we didn't have with our other child.
Plus, the Feral Aspie is also fully aware of the need for therapy and medication, something we fruitlessly fought to achieve for his sibling.
Yes, I'm looking for silver linings just in case.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

I iz a'scared

I'm drowning.
There is so much ready to pounce on us in the coming months it feels like everything is LOOMING over us like a teetering tower of monster blocks about to splat us under the weight.

Return to school, return to the Risperdone, Feral Aspie having anxiety attacks at Every.Little.Thing in his daily routine including using public transport and snapping his Myki card in half yet again - those suckers cost $10 a pop to replace, we've replaced 2 so far with a 3rd on the horizon cos Metcards are being phased out.
Return to Feral Aspie being bullied,  misunderstanding others' social meanings,  not hearing/processing what is said to him, getting hold of the wrong end of the stick and/or missing complete instructions from teachers.
He gets a free netbook through the school this year - I am FREAKING that he'll vague out and leave it on the bus, drop it, put it down to tie his shoelaces then walk off without it, play rugby with it (don't laugh, he played rugby while his broken arm was in a cast. And wondered why it hurt even more.It may have been the reason he had to have surgery to straighten the break.).

He turns 16 at the end of this year, which means we have to apply for adult carers allowance for him, which means we have to fill in a forest of paperwork and jump through hoops.
And plus HE'S TURNING 16.
He already thinks he knows everything (yes, he does, if we're cataloguing dinosaurs, transformers, Hot Wheels cars, the family of arachnids and Minecraft).

Now there's news articles detailing how those with high functioning autism will lose their diagnosis, how Aspergers will disappear into being lumped into the autism umbrella, the scare-mongering is running rife.
In the long run there's going to be an ugly transition period where parents are going to have to fight to retain their kids original diagnosis, if only to claw back the measly few pennies they are granted to 'assist' with their child's disability.
Cos the freaking label might suddenly disappear like smoke when this new book gets published but the freaking disability doesn't.

I.Am.Drowning in a sea of anxiety, worry, panic attacks and all I can see when I try to look forward is a swirling black mess.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Let's talk about suicide

The current, long-standing argument is that we and the media shouldn't discuss it/gloss over it lest articles glamorise the act of suicide and encourages others to follow suit.
Well, guess what?
This whole not talking about it thing?
It's not working.

Both my eldest and Feral Aspie teen have depression amongst other issues and both have attempted suicide, multiple times with Feral Aspie teen, still ongoing.

We talk openly about suicide at home and how it is the need to end something in a persons life - be it an emotion, a habit, a group of friends, bullying - but actually ending the life itself is not the answer.

Did you know suicide is the leading cause of death in our youth second only to car accidents?
And how many of those car 'accidents' aren't accidents?
Which leads to asking...how many farm 'accidents' aren't accidents?
How many 'accidental over doses' aren't accidental?
How many pedestrian accidents aren't 'accidents'?
The list goes on.

Our bright young children, our future, the next generation - these are our beloved babies, those little beings we guided to adolescence with their knee scrapes, birthdays, school reports and everything in between.

And they are killing themselves.

Not talking about it hasn't stemmed the suicide numbers.
How about we try openly discussing suicide to explain that it isn't the answer to every miserable feeling, it won't cure lovesickness, that it won't change the world... that the only thing it will achieve will be to snuff out their future chances of being on top of the world...and crush those who love them.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Heat stroke Xmas pressie Happy New Year!

Thank you for your kind words in my previous post.
At the rate this kid is going he'll have 'speed walker' or cat walk model as his main career.
Let me explain....

I won't mention the fact he said something, somewhere and later told me about it and that I *may* have over-reacted to this thing that he said.
But I still maintain it was wrong....
I won't mention that he packed his bag, kicked out the fly-wire screen in his bedroom window (which was less like Chuck Norris and more like Sheldon trying to escape a swarm of flying ants) and took off on Christmas Eve.
Hot Christmas Eve.
With no money.
With having no brekkie or meds or fluids.
Because that would mean listening and doing as his parents had nagged him for a gazillion times.
Cos...what teen would do that?!

I won't mention that the police were called, that the air wing (helicopter) was alerted and in the sky searching for him.
I won't mention that he eventually returned, several hours later, with a delightful dose of heat stroke having speed walked to Carnegie station, then caught the train into the city and wandered about in the heat for some time (carrying a heavy backpack) before realising how thirsty he was.
I won't mention how ill he was, vomiting up all the fluids he drank until my nagging finally got through to him to sip it s-l-o-w-l-y.
 Oh, yeah, I did the whole "I told you so" thing.

I won't mention how the little bugger has always been a challenge for keeping his fluids up in the heat but this year he's being contrary; digging his toes in and deliberately refusing to drink the more we nag.
Plus insisting on wearing cold weather clothing and sleeping under his thick, heavy, weighted blankets.
Which is his normal thing but it's becoming more marked as his anxiety rises with passing time, despite the increased meds (which could be feeding my anxiety but let's not mention that, ok?).
And complaining about the noise the fans make....him, not me.

Nor will I mention how getting him to eat is an adventure game in itself, as ceasing the Risperdone has robbed him of the false, increased appetite and we're back to the usual picking like a baby bird with the ritual "I'm not hungry,".
Unless it's chocolate...then he'll eat it until he's sick.
Brown waves of a sickly ocean washing over the floor...not pretty.

He's dropping weight without even trying, which he's loving cos he was getting all self-conscious about the tiny pot belly he'd developed.
Now the non-existent hips aren't holding up the board shorts (no budgie smugglers in this household, thankyouverymuch).

I won't mention how much bribery runs this household... from this morning if he doesn't drink or eat when he's given fluids/food then he loses 30 mins of his precious game of Minecraft.
Any lip and he loses a further 30 mins.
He told me what he thought, which wasn't a lot, let me tell you.
But it's working.
For now.
Until he finds something else to irritate him.

Now, seeing as how I haven't mentioned a thing, let's hope 2012 is a splediferously wonderful year for us all!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Aspie futures

Here we are December already and Xmas rat-a-tat-tatting on the door.
Yes, the shopping is done.
I think.
Hubby did the Chrissy tree and decs while I had the Feral Aspie teen up in Dunolly.
He got his happy on....he trundled about on his treadly, we sang in the choir for the Chrissy carols and he et a delish chicken parma in The Royal Hotel ( cooked by Mine Host, Karen The Kitchen Whizz).

He's been so full of emotions these past few weeks - end of the year irritation picked up from the other kids at school, excitement at school hols, excitement at staying in Dunolly, birthday excitement (he's a whole 15 now, where the hell did those years go??!!) and so on and so forth.
You get the picture - typical Aspie and typical teen coping with all these GINORMOUS churning emotions inside.
But he's been a good kid.
Got his happy on cos of Dunolly.
And wants to get a part-time job.....

We are starting to get scared for his future.
Like any parents we want to see him independent, doing whatever job/work career that floats his boat and coping with Life.
With his Auditory Sensory issues we can't see him coping with even a part-time job after school...he barely takes in the instructions of school lessons or conversations with friends, how much basic Occ Health and Safety will he retain?
He works at a s-l-o-w pace, hurrying him up Does.Not.Work, it only angers him...how many bosses will tolerate a time-poor employee (who has NO concept of time itself) with what they perceive as "attitude" before booting him out?
How many knocks to his self-esteem will he have to cop before something, anything, turns up?

We've even tossed around the mad idea of starting a business in Dunolly just so he could work at his own pace, learn basic safety proceedures at his own pace, work without a boss hanging over his shoulder or the stress and pressure of keeping up.
How to start a business - what business?! - we have not the foggiest.
This would, of course, involve selling my Dad's house and using that money as we are stoney broke and on pensions.
How would we do this with my vision impairment, hubby's dyslexia and lack of car transportation I have NFI.
It seems like an impossibility but there must be a way or something for him.

Hmm, something for researching in the New Year.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Get behind our Victorian nurses!

I was going to waffle on about the hiccup we had yesterday with Feral Aspie - bullying at school, didn't speak to the teacher, couldn't go swimming due to the chopping of the ingrown toe nail, so the anger boiled up and over and boy, did we get splashed with the fall out.
I digress.


So, I've had a bug up my backside since the news broke that the Vic State Govt wants to not only increase nurses workload but that they seem to think PCAs can fill in and do the same job.
Plus increase the nurse : patient ratio that is currently 1 nurse to 4 patients
Because nurses need to increase their productivity.
So they reckon.

Let's put this in basic terms...so basic that possibly even the dimwits in parliament may understand.
IF they ever actually think.
  • We have a growing population.
  • We need to keep pace with that growing population with all types of infrastructure that make up civilisation.
  • We need to increase the hospitals, hospital services and hospital staff to address the increasing needs of that growing population.
  • We need to INCREASE the pay of nurses to reflect the hard slog they do shift in, shift out, every week, keeping people alive, mending, healthy and well.
  • We need to DECREASE their workload because they are the frontline in the defence of people's health, they are the ones who detect any abnormalities, any changes, any complications; they need to have less stress and workload to NOT miss vital clues to a patients state of health.
  • In this day and age while there is an economic crisis everywhere you look but bigwigs keep awarding themselves pay rises for polishing chairs in the board room, it is indecent that nurses have to keep busting their balls (and many nurses, even females, have bloody big balls) to beg for the workplace ratios and pay to not only retain their workforce but to keep us general public alive in their care.


Monday, November 28, 2011

Victorian Police get my vote

In light of the recent criticisms of the Victorian Police for their lack of training in dealing with mentally ill people I felt they got a bit of a raw deal.

The many times we have had to call them out to assist with Feral Aspie they have been absolutely superb with immediate help, suggestions, calls to specialsts and hospitals; there was only 1 individual I disagreed with (and followed it up with a phone call to her the next day, sorted it because she was willing to listen) but that was through the misunderstanding Autism/Aspergers/ABI brings with the fluctuating behaviours not fitting into a strict mental health mould.

How often do you think the police escort a person to the nearest public hospital emergency room to get treatment for suicidal/unacceptable behaviours only to watch the person refuse admission/get told to see their private doctor/come back when there's an R in the month and waltz back onto the street - still in an unstable mental status - while the police are still filling in the paperwork for the call-out in the first place?
It happens very, very often.....

The system is not rigged to work for mental health patients; it is for regular, garden variety illnesses and, over the years, the mental health system (with patients, staff and differing problems/laws galore) has been forced to fit in alongside the over-stretched general health model, and now most times inside the over-stretched general health hospitals seeing as public specialist mental health hospitals got flogged off to the highest bidder *ahem*

And, let's be honest here, folks, it's not like the police are likely to be called to attend an afternoon soiree with a mentally ill person, to pass buttered finger buns and sip tea from bone china cups.
No, they usually get called out to help someone who has been let down by the garden variety health system; someone in mental distress who has become out of control for one reason or another.

This is what they are confronted with - the end result of a broken system.
I know I certainly couldn't do their job.
Could you?

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Invisible disabilities

I'm tired of people dismissing the 'hidden' disabilities.
I don't mean just those who don't realise a disability is present, I'm talking about those Joe Blows on the street who think they have the right to query a diagnosis.
Because, dontchaknow, they've scrubbed public toilets for years (and sandblasted god-knows-what off the toilet seats) and they KNOW about medical stuffs!

My darling Feral Aspie already has depression, on top of his other 'invisible' disabilities like autism, Aspergers, Tourettes, ADHD, OCD, anxiety, etc, without stupid strangers making him feel responsible for  his behaviours.
We often get ignorant comments like "He doesn't seem that autistic," or "He seems fine to me,"  and even "Are you sure?".
So many times I've wanted to retort,
"Y'know,  we're not sure. We have no fecking idea cos you know how all those medical specialists are, just making stuff up off the top of their heads like that every day,"
*insert wild eyeball rolling and disgusted throat noises*

And the same goes for mental illnesses.
I've had the comment of "You seem too happy to be depressed."
I've wondered if they were waiting for me to open a vein for their entertainment...you know,
"Pass the hors d' oeuvres, there'll be a blood splatter pattern on the carpet any minute..."

I've nursed hospitalised teens in the grip of a drug-induced psychosis' where parents continued to supply them with illegal drugs because "He doesn't seem that bad,".
"No, that's due to the fact he's in a freakin' hospital, under medical care where we don't administer the illegal drugs that caused the problem in the first freakin' place..."

It's one thing for a schizophrenic to feel better once medicated then think they're 'cured' and no longer need medication but when idiots question the illness they compound the pressure that person is under and, subtly, infer that the person is a liar.
One gorgeous gal I nursed was often questioned about her schizophrenia by strangers and even family members, with her parents refusing to believe she had a mental illness because,
"Who else is going to look after us in our old age?"
30 years after her initial diagnosis her tea-total father claimed it was the single snifter of sherry she had after tea each night that caused her 'problems'.
Who knew sherry was so evil?!

We need to stop this immediate distrust when someone confides their diagnosis and accept it.
Hopefully the International Day of People with a Disability will get through to some people and stop this discrimination.
Check out Rudely Interrupted, the rock band headlining Queabeyan's Festival of Ability on December 1.
Festival of Ability.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

I shall frame this day in gold

Have had such a HUGELY fun day with my Feral Aspie Beastie, it's been one THE best days in a looooong time!
He wanted to explore the local Sunday market so we had to unearth one of Dad's old wheelchairs as he's strictly not allowed to weight-bear on his toe/foot.
It was a case of the blind leading the blind (almost literally) as he had to verbally direct me as I pushed him along.
It made for interesting conversation as I rediscovered muscles I haven't used for awhile!

We trundled along under the Warrigal Rd overpass - where gazillions of wild pigeons nest with their squillions of squabs -  just as a car full of 20-something yr old females drove past Feral Aspie was heard to exclaim,
"Check out mah ride, chicks!"
I refrained from asking which chicks in particular he was referring to!

The thing with the Feral Aspie teen is that he is the size of an adult, he looks like an adult and while he may have 5 uni subjects under his belt he still loves things like Ben 10, Transformers, Hot Wheels, Lego, etc.
Which means that when he hangs around the toy section in the supermarket or checks out the toys at the Sunday market people think he's weird in the former, a collector in the latter and try to charge him more, so I took great pleasure in pushing him over to the kids section today and letting him have his fun by checking out all the toys at his leisure without worrying about funny looks.
Cos the wheelchair is visable whereas the Autism isn't.

He has laughed and giggled today, due to me playing silly buggers, he's been so happy and relaxed, chatting and joking with me.
It's been a golden day :)