Sunday, March 01, 2009

I QUIT.......temporarily.........

This past week turned into an appraisal-marathon with one goal in get all pending reports out by the end of the business day on Friday. (I almost made it.....I had to take a break for a change-of-sports meeting at the school at 6:00, and then hit the computer again and completed the last one about 9:00 pm.) The reason this goal was so crucial is that I am now officially on vacation! For two whole weeks!!! WAHOO!!!!

I came to the realization about 3 weeks ago that I was running myself into the ground. Physically and mentally........I was on "empty". So, rather than just feel sorry for myself, I decided that it was time to make some decisions about resolving some issues. The answer was to take a lengthy vacation in early March, and do some really creative scheduling to maximize the time away from appraisals and still accomplish something productive. Hence, we have five doctors appointments scheduled for Jen in the next 10 days. Part of the appointments being done like this is just sheer coincidence that some of the specialists we've been trying to schedule just happened to fall into place in early March. And the other part was deliberate since I'm going to be off. I also am going to spend some leisurely time working on computer data exports and spreadsheets to prepare for some appraisal regualations that are set to change on April 1st. (Ah.......the joys of working in a declining economy where all the major players are placing the blame on someone else.)

Of course, I didn't exactly anticipate that Jennica was going to scale the kitchen walls on Friday while I was in the shower to feed a craving for a gluten-filled bagel. She is usually so incredibly good about respecting her dietary limits that this was totally out of the blue. Despite catching her munching about halfway through, and immediately giving her digestive enzymes, which are supposed to help her digestive system in case of an "accidental" ingestion of an allergen.......within about 30 minutes her neck was covered in little red dots, which slowly spread up her face and turned her into a radish. I don't understand why we didn't see rashes BEFORE we removed gluten from her diet, as she was just as allergic then, but we sure see them now. She got through the day at day care okay......but the behavioral impacts were raging by Friday evening. After 2-3 weeks of really drastic improvement, we plummeted back to sensory dysfunction in a hurry. She has been raging and screaming ever since. This morning, she couldn't even tolerate the physical sensation of a hairbrush. This afternoon, she is tactile/vestibular sensory-seeking to the utmost. She's stripped down to the panties and running around the house enjoying the feel of the air on her skin, rolling on the floor, climbing to high places.......anything she can do to gain input. I honestly hadn't really noticed that her sensory-seeking behaviors had subsided until now! And, oddly enough, her outbursts of rage today have been followed by tears of remorse, which pulls at my heartstrings. Its AWFUL to hear her crying, "I'm so sorry, Mommy! I'm so sorry! I don't want to yell at you!" I can only chalk it up to the fact that, after a few weeks of feeling like the world was "right", it must be so hard to feel so out of control again. And all over ingesting some wheat flour from a bagel??!!?? Its mind-boggling!!! But we're living it!!!

So, out of necessity, the white board is back out to get through a simple meal. Visual reinforcement.....visual visual visual. She will improve, with a best prediction of about Monday evening or Tuesday morning. Until then, we bite our tongues and be patient. And try to remember that she's out of control, and she doesn't like it either. Punishment would be like punishing an alzheimer's patient for forgetting things.

I'm going to enjoy the next two weeks. To the fullest. I might even take a nap. Or two. Or three. And sit and drink hot chocolate. And maybe even turn on the TV. :)

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