Category Archives: PTSD

Lauren also started doing matching sets...

Lauren, on her own, has decided to start doing matching bracelet and necklace sets. She only uses plastic beads as I am not trusting of her enough yet to set her loose with glass beads. Lauren does all of her own designs, I do all the crimping to make sure the bracelet is closed securely.
Yep, I am one proud Momma and she has sold 1 complete set to someone on FB, 3 necklaces to a BFF of mine, and several bracelets at craft shows, so she is doing quite well.

Manic Monday Became Boring Tuesday

Hello World! Hope everyone is well and in good graces as I write this blog tonight. Yesterday was such a hectic day, that I couldn’t even find time to blog. Basically anything that could go wrong did, short of an ambulance or fire and rescue being called out to the house.

Remember in a previous post, I mentioned that I babysit Kade 3 times per week while his Mom attends college. Kade is a 2 year old handful, who calls me “his Maw maw”. His smart as a whip and very head strong. His parents have been trying to potty train him. Last week he did fine with me, had no accidents, boy did yesterday ever take a turn for the worse in that department.

Kade messed his clothes, I got him bathed, mess cleaned up, and his snack given. I was busy working, when he had again had an accident in his clothes, stop everything and repeat the process. I don’t fuss at him over this, he’s still basically a baby and fussing him will only make matters worse. Yes he was given another snack to take his mind off of the situation. By this time, I am already exhausted.

The whole time I am trying to homeschool Lauren, who was on task until about this moment in my life. I asked her to go into the bathroom to make sure I had everything tidy from Kade’s 2nd bath of the day, while I started the dishes. I never really paid no mind to how long Lauren was in the bathroom except when I heard her scream “Momma”.

I rounded the corner of the bathroom door to find her attempting to bathe the kitten in a bathtub full of water. Now where that came from I have no clue, in fact, we had the discussion about 37 times on why we don’t bath the kittens/cats in the bathtub. Sure enough the kitten was flying over Lauren’s shoulder, claws all extended hissing the whole way. Now on this one, I had to fuss at Lauren, the kitten could had really hurt Lauren and she knew better.

Well upon me fussing at Lauren, that was basically the end of her attention span and the homeschooling lessons was over for the day, I could never get her back on task again.  Now since she was off task, I felt that “making” her do her lessons was not going to be productive at all, so she volunteered to clean her room…..YES I said VOLUNTEERED!

We sorted through lots of her school supplies and homeschooling books and she put away her folded clothes. She even passed the vaccumm in her bedroom and the hallway, so her not being on task with the school work wasn’t a fiasco after all, since she did get something accomplished.

Lauren asked to go with her sister Becky last night to sleep at her house. I said yes, sent homeschooling work and she has asked to stay again tonight. So we are at day 1 1/2 of no Lauren here to drive me batty.

Today I was able to get 4 loads of clothes done and hung up to dry, the kitchen counters and stove wiped down and cleaned, 1/2 of my bedroom cleaned (I was on the floor using the hose to clean the corners of the bedroom), cleaned out one of Lauren’s closets to donate to an upcoming garage sale, and took a load of boxes to the storage unit to get it out of here.

BUT all of this said, I have enjoyed my time away from Lauren, it’s a lot less hectic around here without her, but at the same time I miss her…..With the PTSD Lauren tends to be very clingy towards me and other pertinent adults in her life and is hesitant to leave me, even if it is to go with her sister, so I guess I need to quit whining and enjoy my quiet time.

Now I sleep, tomorrow I awake, then repeat the process hopefully on the other side of my bedroom.
Later,
Reba

“Patience is a virtue”

In life, no matter if a person is dealing with children, adults, animals, or life in general, the above quote says it all. If a person can just have patience, more can be accomplished, but I must say I am not the most patient person, so I am trying to practice what I preach.

I need to learn patience, if nothing else, with Lauren’s PTSD diagnosis, all the new drs who now are part of my inner circle, and the fact that I am again homeschooling!
Thanks,
Reba

Thursday: Another Day In Paradise

Hello World! Have you ever had one of those days that just kept on giving; giving you nothing but trouble? I have had many of those days here lately, Thursday was no exception. I had an early morning dr appt so I had to be up and ready to leave the house early. The fact that I had to be awake early, much less ready to leave the house early, is usually enough to put my into a bad mood. With that being said, Thursday my mood was unusually pleasant. Got to the hospital early and was able to pick up on my favorite breakfast sandwich, hot ham, egg, and cheese on toast, add a little lettuce and mayonnaise and life for me is good. I was even called into the room to see the dr about an hour earlier than my appt, woohoo I was on a roll.

The appt was for the GYN dr, yes I am old, yes I have outgrown the OB part of the practice. No more need for OB dr here anymore, thankfully. If I had to have more kids after these four kids I have no idea of what I would do. I mean my children are not harden criminals or anything of that sort, just were very trying to raise, now that three of the four are raised, the old wives tale proves to be true, “the older the kids get, the more problems they become.” My children also helped me to learn early on, that “patience is a virtual”, as I am sure most parents already know.

I have gotten off the beaten path here, that happens when I get to talking about my children. GYN dr says that I will most likely need a hysterectomy soon, I have a ultrasound scheduled in the next 10 days or so, then my decision needs to made on my decision of whether I will have the surgery or not.

Even though, I am not a very good patient, I had drs, hospitals, and everything that goes along with the two, I was still very positive and upbeat about the day.

I managed to get out the hospital and get home to start the never ending pile of laundry and that huge list of ever pending housework that continuously calls my name. Yep, the housework and laundry only knows my name. Lucky me huh? I was minding my business, moving right along, when my youngest daughter’s, Lauren,  neurologist called from New Orleans to review the EKG results with me. I already knew the results, but she wanted to fill me in. Found out that we will have to drive into New Orleans, at least once a week to see the psychologist and a psychiatrist, weekly. Now if we were around the block from the Children’s Hospital in New Orleans that might be a tad different, but we are about 70 miles southwest, so for us it’s at least a 2 hour round trip weekly, plus the amount of time we spend in with the dr and time spent waiting between appointments.

The neurologist also said that even after all is said and done with the psychologist and psychiatrist weekly visits, Lauren still may not be able to return to school. PTSD is back, oh wait it never left! Ok that was it for me. Lauren loves going to school, she loves being with her friends and her favorite teachers. She’s not A honor roll, basically just the opposite in all special ed classes, but she’s the innocent victim here while her attacker can attend school freely, do exactly what he wants freely, attend ball games, school dances, and here Lauren sits, staring at me for her source of entertainment, as well as parent and educator. I don’t break down often, as I am usually a very strong woman who can usually figure things out rather quickly, but the news that she can’t attend public schools, probably never again, was the straw that broke the proverbial camels back for me.

After all of that, Lauren and I came home to find a letter in the mailbox, I am being taken to truancy court over the days missed with all these dr visits/days waiting for homebound teacher to be assigned. I will explain the need for homebound in another post, since I am long winded today!
Later,
Reba

Off to Try and Teach Lauren to Bowl…Again!

I posted Saturday night about our trip to the bowling alley with Lauren. Which was suppose to be a warm up for the bowling league she starts tomorrow. Lauren used to be able to bowl about 100 per game, give or take, Saturday night, she had problems even getting to break 40 points per game. Heck, Lauren didn’t even know how to correctly carry or throw the ball. I assume all her recent seizures, even though they are not epileptic, had something to do with that.

My oldest daughter, Becky, used to bowl on a league so Becky, and I are taking Lauren bowling this afternoon after Kaden is picked up. I am hoping that Becky can give Lauren some awesome tips and help her get her groove back as far as bowling is concerned.

If Lauren doesn’t get back the swing of things where bowling is concerned, I am going to have to see if she still can participate in the bowling league. I hate to not let her join, after I had already promised, yet, she’s going to be doing singles as well as team bowling. UGH!

OK, later,
Reba

PTSD and How It Has Effected Our Lives

PTSD…Post traumatic stress disorder. PTSD in my life has always been related to the military personnel returning from combat, I never knew it effected non military personnel. Yep I have lived a very sheltered life huh? I wrote an blog during the week about how my youngest child became diagnosed w/ PTSD and gave a brief description of our life as it is. I wanted to share the rest of the PTSD symptoms and how our lives have changed forever!

Before being held at knife point, our youngest child, Lauren, was always the defender of the weak. Lauren would stand up to the bullies on the playground, no questions asked, even though she was the smallest child out of the grade. Her back bone was made of steel. Once being held at knife point, not only is the back bone no longer made of steel, but it seems gone forever.

Lauren is very hesitant to approach a person she doesn’t know. This is a good practice since one never knows who the other person might be, i.e. child molester, rapist, etc, but in another way, the hesitation to approach strangers is a bad habit as well. Lauren will not approach a stranger, even a Wal-Mart employee if she’s lost in the store, she will not approach the cashier at a local market unless chaperoned. When she was attending public schools this was an issue as well, since she needs to create new friendships.

This fear of strangers has changed our relationship totally. I am the kind of person, who will say I love you until I am in blue in the face, not a problem there, but I do enjoy my space. Kiss me, hug me, then go on. Whether we are in public or home alone, she has to be right next to me. I am trying very hard to break her of the habit, at least at home, by telling her all the doors and windows are locked, that we are safe and sound. Sometimes this will work, but she will return to stand by my side within a few minutes.

Lauren is also on Prozac and trazadone as night time medicine. Prozac is a nerve pill meant to get her mood level and end the depression. It’s working ok, but not all that great. Trazadone is for her to sleep. When attacked, she cried, and was awake for three weeks straight. Before being attacked she wasn’t on any meds at all. I am not happy with having to give my child since medicines every day, probably for the rest of her life, but it’s a lot better than any alternatives.

Another definite sign of the PTSD is her screaming, swinging her arms, night terrors, and sleep walking. Even though she’s on Trazadone, which is meant to promote restful sleep, she still has all these symptoms, nightly, some nights are worse than others. Many nights she will play out in her sleep, what she has done during the day. Since I sleep in a twin bed, next to her, everything she does, effects my sleep as well. One of the reasons that I am permanently a stay at home Mom.

Lauren diet has changed as well. I don’t know if this is the PTSD symptoms or not, since we are awaiting for Lauren to have a mental and educational evaluation to see where everything stands with her. She has always been a fan of blueberry muffins, fresh salads, and rice. Always! About six months ago she refused to eat fresh lettuce, any muffins and white rice. She would eat all the other flavors/colors of rice. About two months ago, she announced that she eats only chocolate muffins, lettuce, and white rice, not together of course. I didn’t ask any questions. Friday night we were in subway sandwich shop, I went to order her sandwich, when she then again announced, that she no longer eats lettuce again. I do believe that this is an autism symptom, which can lie dormant in a child until a traumatic event, but this was not an practice of hers, until after she was attacked with the knife.

Lauren was also diagnosed as being OCD since the attack. OCD stands for obsessive compulsive disorder. Again, my sheltered life in a small town, I thought OCD was only the person would constantly stack items, sort items, count items. Boy was I ever wrong, as usual. For Lauren, her OCD is constant repeating of the same phrase, statement, or a tune that gets stuck in her head. She will repeat the same thing over and over. Like 25 times in less than three minutes time. I finally have to say, rather loudly, that “I heard her the first time, please stop”. At times, I must repeat that statement several times before the repeating stops. Again, this symptom was not present before her being attacked, but the OCD may be totally unrelated to the PTSD.

Now, she will go into OCD mode and start cleaning her room from top to bottom, wiping everything down, making sure everything is in it’s place and in order, but this is no way a bad thing, especially since I can’t get her to clean her room otherwise. I have had friends of mine, kid me to “borrow” Lauren to go clean their house….I just laugh, it’s not a button I can push and make her clean, I wish it was, my life would be easier, my house would be cleaned. LOL

According to my research, PTSD in children and adults, have some different symptoms as well as some of the same symptoms, but PTSD in between teenagers and adults is basically the same. I will do another article later, on my research of PTSD and the symptoms and recommended treatments.
Again, thanks for the read,
Reba

Our Homeschooling Day Outside of the House, Without the Books

I am a firm believer that everyone should learn something new everyday. Even the smallest tidbit of new information, no matter how meaningless. Here I will share my yesterday’s meaningless tidbit of useless information. Rabbits and guinea pigs can be spayed or neutered. Yep, rats can be altered as well for rat control (we already know my opinion of rats).

Whether my youngest daughter is in public schools or not, I always try to make every experience a learning experience. She’s learning delayed, so she learns different things different ways. I have several ways to teach her all the school subjects, I am still willing to try new things.

Today for lunch we went eat at our local Chinese buffet/hibachi restaurant. My youngest daughter, Lauren is famous, for not trying any new foods or foods cooked any ways except the way she is accustomed to.  She was fixing her plate of food with her favorite selections and I happened to remember the restaurant has hibachi. I quickly showed Lauren how she can select her foods, sauces, then the process to prepare the foods in front of her. She was pretty amazed as the chef was fixing another customer’s food. She was willing to try this herself. This is huge.

She choose the shrimp and spaghetti noodles. Yes, kind of plain, but it’s a start. She stood there, watched the food be prepared, in total awe. We proceeded to the table with her two plates, plus mine.  Upon tasting the shrimp, she was “impressed”. She tasted the spaghetti and decided it was not what she thought it was going to be. I was kinda disappointed, but very happy that she had tried something new. I praised her for that as did our favorite waitress, Juby.

We left the Chinese restaurant. My oldest daughter Becky is a student at an online college. One of her weekly assignments was to search the fresh fruits and vegetable section at our local grocery store and make notes of where 25 different fruits and vegetables are grown and imported from. This will be Lauren’s second homeschooling lesson for the day. Becky, Lauren, and my youngest grandbaby Kristie Lynn were off to the store to do the assignment. Becky let Lauren find her own 25 items, discussed what each item was, and why or why not the fruit or vegetable can or can not be grown down here in southeast Louisiana. Some of the vegetables, neither of them had a clue as to the answers, so they came home and did research via the internet. They were done that in under an hour.

Lauren is due to start the homeschooling bowling league starting Tuesday.  The bowling league will cost me 36.00 for four sessions. The sessions are every other Tuesday. Plus I will have to pay 17.00 for the bowling league t-shirt. So the total is going to be 53.00, that’s a lot for a stay at home Mom to afford, but to help boost  her moral and self-esteem.

So tonight, I took her bowling. This is the third homeschooling lesson of the day, we will call this physical education, unfortunately it didn’t go well as I had hoped. She has been talking about going bowling all week long.

 “Santa’ bought her a Hello Kitty bowling ball, the bowling shoes, and the bowling bag. I wanted her to get use out of these items, since “Santa” paid a pretty penny for the whole set up. The last time she bowled, probably around October, she was able to bowl about 80-100 per game. She’s was better than I ever was.

I must say, since the last time she has bowled, Lauren has had several seizures as well as us finding her non responsive in the tub one night, as well as we couldn’t wake her up the next morning. I am going to assume that even though these “seizures” are not epileptic, they are PTSD related, they still caused some sort of memory loss, as she didn’t even know how to throw the ball. She struggled to get the score up to 43 in the second game, first game was less than that. She was in the gutter more than in the lane. She became so discouraged, we came home after she had only bowled two games. I felt sorry for her, with every gutter ball, her spirits just failed a little more.

She has confided in me that she’s not sure anymore that she even wants to do the league bowling. She was so excited when she found out that she was going to be bowling with the league, I can’t let her quit now. So Monday, I am taking her back to the bowling alley, getting one of the lanes at the very end and we are going to start from the beginning with the lessons. My oldest daughter Lauren used to bowl for a league too, so she’s going to come out and help me see if I can teach her.

Hoping this all works out for the best, as Lauren’s spirits, moral, and self-esteem can’t take another hard hit. She is still suffering from not being able to attend school due to her seizures. I will keep everyone posted on how this all works out.

PTSD in my teen daugther

Hello world! Yes this will be the second post for me today, wooohooo! LOL! When I use to hear the term PTSD I thought of military returning from overseas. My hearts went out to the soldiers.

PTSD is now an intricate part of my daily life. In January 2011, my youngest child, Lauren was in the public school system. She was at the junior high school. I was called and told that Lauren was presented with a knife at the school bus, but the situation would be handled in the morning.

Turns out the knife was “presented” to her at morning recess, which is 1030. It was also held to her neck, by a male friend (we will call him Bob) of hers. Bob threatened to kill Lauren, when her friend (Sue)  freaked out, he put Lauren down and did the same thing to Sue.

Lauren literally freaked out, for three weeks she did nothing but cry and not sleep. As a parent this was devastating. Eventually I was able to find a counseling clinic and she was diagnosed as PTSD, but she continued to attend the same school. Bob was sent to an alternative school for disciplinary problems.

Lauren was told that the school was secure from Bob, she was safe there, so she had no problem continuing on at that school. The school administration was less than helpful dealing with her PTSD, but she was fine. In June 2011, Lauren seeing a psychiatrist at another clinic, where meds were started and she was also diagnosed as anxiety, depression, and OCD, all stemming back to the knife incident.

In January of 2012, Lauren and Sue were sitting on the school bus after they returned from vo-tech for the day. Lauren said she heard Bob. Sue said that Lauren was being silly, for her to stop. Bob walked by the bus, flipped her the bird, and kept walking. Lauren lost it completely, came home crying again!

It seems that the Bob’s bus broke down on his way from the alternative school going home. Instead of the school calling me and telling me that this was happening, they choose not to. Instead, I was left with a child who cried constantly. I went back to the school admin, who says “Bob has the right to have a ride home from”.

At this point, I started homebound with Lauren supplementing with homeschooling work and activities. Lauren was able to do her schooling, attend dr appts, and was coming around, for the most part. She was still having bouts of screaming out in the night, banging her head on the walls out of anger. For awhile there it had gotten bad.

In May, the counselors, psychiatrist, family dr and I agreed that being back in school was the best thing for her since she has full time counselors at school plus her friends, which homeschooling her, the socialization was at a minimum, Lauren started back at the high school across the road from us in August 2012. At first I found myself hold my breath, waiting to exhale. Lauren and Sue had the same schedule, but Bob had different class schedules so they only crossed paths for 20 minutes during lunch. The lunchroom was full of admins watching Bob so he doesn’t attempt to hurt Lauren .

About a month ago Lauren started having terrible seizures, first one was at school. Then another, then a third. She was taken to the local emergency room, with no positive findings or results. Lauren also started having episodes of non-responsiveness at home. One morning, I couldn’t wake Lauren up out of the bed, that night, she had to be pulled out of the tub because she was again non-responsive and stiff as a board.

We were sent to the neurology clinic at Children’s Hospital in New Orleans where a 24 hour sleep study was done. The neurologist who read the results, not her dr, said that these seizures and episodes of non-responsiveness were not a form of epilepsy. They were in fact, PTSD related. Seems the neurologist thinks, that seeing Bob was more than Lauren’s mind could handle. Dr said that since she only actively seizes at school, she’s afraid that one of these seizures will be massive and Lauren will fall, hit her head, then we will have a traumatic brain injury to deal with on top of everything else. SO Lauren is back into homeschooling again. This time is not going as smooth as the first round. Lauren has regressed in several areas of learning, tends to be more stubborn to do lessons, and just all around being hard to deal with.

She’s homebound, which she will meet that teacher 2x per week at the library in the front of the school, then again, I will supplement the lessons that the school is sending home.

OK there’s the reason why we are a PTSD family, unfortunately, it’s PTSD in a child who’s only desire is to be across the street at school, with her friends, her favorite teachers, yet her we sit!

Thanks for the read, I hope to be back later,
Reba