It’s been a fun summer I’ve taken a world wide breath taking beautiful and surreal trip to South Africa, went camping with my family for the first time ever! It was a double celebration of my husbands Grad reunion and that our youngest son was finally sleeping through the night at age 5. I’ve kept a vigil at his bedside with his severe sleep apnea that we waited two years to have treated.
Now with the introduction of his Sensory Integration Disorder (SPD) at 2.5, Obstructive sleep apnea at 4, autism at 4.5 and now asthma diagnosis at 5 years of age it’s been a wild and scary ride! With the medication regimen he’s been on for the last two years he no longer requires surgery to treat his sleep apnea. His tonsils have shrunk from three times the size to normal. He had a therapy team at preschool consisting of an Occupational, Physical, and Speech and language therapist. He was also in a private program with an educational aid and since spring with a behavioural home team.
One of our past times was attending appointments at the family doctor, paediatrician, Sleep Specialist, ENT, allergist, behavioural aids, and psychologist. Also keeping our case worker up to date with his progress and requesting services. When you have a child with special needs your village grows as the result of all the support. I feel very blessed that we qualify for Government educational programs and services that provide funding for my sons team. I also have to keep the appointment and lesson schedule organized, collect invoices, bill the funding program and pay our team.
When my husband won this trip to Capetown, SA I was so proud, excited, and nervous. The questions swirled around in my head who would look after our kids, what about the kids school, should I keep them at home or beg family to take care of them, what about our home team, would my youngest lose the progress he made in three months. I worried, chewed my fingernails off with anxiety, and laid awake night after night looking at the ceiling. I had numerous friends, family, and dear readers who asked me if I was getting excited. My token response was “yes it’s a trip of a lifetime and I’m grateful.” It was the truth but not the whole truth.
What people didn’t know was how I was breathing into a paper bag at 2 am to prevent a full blown panic attack! I had never left my kids for more than a weekend and my husband and I had never left them overnight. That’s what happens when you have children with separation anxiety you make sacrifices to ensure their well being. We were overdue for a vacation so I shook hands with my fear, asked it to be my ally and got to work solving the problems and answering all my endless questioning.
We had family look after our kids for the three weeks, we pulled them out of school early to make things easier with travel. I packed all the entertainment, toys, educational supports, and wrote a book about my kids daily routines, medication regimen, and therapy schedule for emotional regulation. There were days of relentless rain, unbearable heat, and ice cream treats daily. My kids got to have a holiday with aunts, uncles, and cousins coming to visit and day trips with their Aunty.
My youngest played games, toys, and had his Bubba read to him. He also taught himself how to play Twinkle, Twinkle little star on Aunty’s iPad and later on her piano. His brother learned how to draw dragons and sketch designs on the Osmo play program. They missed us as much as we missed them and contacted them every chance we could. The time difference was 32 hours from Africa to MST so some of those FaceTime conversations were a blur.
It was amazing to see their excitement and how they wanted us to talk to the pets about our African Safari. We had a fun filled, very busy holiday and enjoyed every minute of it. We even survived a seven hour day en route to Mpumalanga, SA on what would be a regular two hour flight from Capetown to Hudesprite. All we could do was wait, laugh, eat candy by the bushel, and pass time with crossword puzzles.
Now during all my galavanting my blog went on a holiday too as I wasn’t able to post with limited wifi and no phone. I kept myself busy when I had downtime journaling and taking amazing pictures of the sights. I’ve had time now to catch up on sleep, get my internal clock back on Canadian time, and even write a little. I appreciate and value each and everyone of you that comes here to read my stories and I read every comment. Even the spam ones trying to sell me a new program to increase my SEO stats.
I recently received one that was as honest as a toddlers response to how do I look today. The commenter stated that they had added me back to their list of blogs to read. My previous posts had gotten boring but my latest ones were interesting. So I was reinstated on the readers list and told I deserve it. I read that a few times over so I could really absorb the message. After years of advocating for my sons health, attaining information, researching countless articles, and acquiring a team of specialists. While living on broken, fragmented sleep patterns, and caffeine, shakeology, and exercise to get me through the day I reflected on exactly what I deserve.
I deserve to take a holiday and strengthen and rebuild my marriage. Because really folks special needs parenting isn’t for the faint at heart.
I deserve to finally catch up on sleep that I’ve been short of for five years.
I deserve to cuddle my sons and brag to everyone who’s reading of my love and admiration for them.
I deserve to inhale, exhale, and breathe and just let things be as they are. Without losing or giving up control of the situation just saying amen and walking away.
Most of all I deserved a break to be pampered, astonished by beauty and opulence, and appreciate how truly blessed I am. Thank you to you all who still pop in and say hello whether I’m busy or boring. Cheers and blessings from my smile to yours. ❤️