7 Quick Takes: Catching Up

I’ve missed this writing prompt so it’s time to resurrect it.

  1. Liam is back to school. We had a really good appointment with Rehab Medicine and he has been doing well since. We had a slight bump over the weekend when he got a migraine and started puking and couldn’t stop. It required a trip to Children’s ER but they got things under control and then it was just a matter of getting through the migraine hangover. He’s also reading again and doing schoolwork again, although some of it is on a reduced schedule. But gains are being made. Hurray!
  2. Jamie, poor dear, has really gotten the short end of the stick lately but he’s doing well, too. I had my parent teacher conference for him in early November and his teacher is very pleased with how he’s doing. He isn’t acting out in class and when he does have a frustrating moment, he can verbalize that he just needs to be left alone to gather himself. Once he’s given a minute or two, he’s back on track. His academics are good as well. We continue to see the psychologist who is also pleased with how he’s doing. His speech therapist is so pleased with his progress that she didn’t even feel that she needed to attend his parent teacher conference. Gold stars, all ’round!
  3. Another Jamie note: I don’t talk about it much, but Jamie is still not night trained when it comes to potty training. He’s just never been a kid who wakes up dry. EVER. So, he’s been in pull ups for years now. But while he is fully trained when he’s awake and in underwear, he refuses to treat the pull up like surrogate undies. He sees it as a diaper and uses it as such. I’ve been changing poopy diapers for over 10 years now. I. AM. DONE. We’ve been trying to get him into undies but it’s very hit and miss. He was still having pee accidents (mostly minor, but still requiring linen washing) almost nightly though he will not poop in his underwear. So we went back to pull ups and all that entailed. Yesterday I found this product at Target which rather neatly solves our problem. They’re real underwear with an insert that protect him from pee accidents but as they’re real underwear, he won’t poop in them. I showed them to Jamie and he was so excited he called them “the best invention in the history of the whole world” and we tried them out last night. Worked a treat.
  4. We did have an unexpected and terrible occurrence a couple of weeks ago. Molly, our adopted border collie, started biting neighborhood kids unprovoked. She’d been getting progressively more territorial and protective of us as a family and was not willing to listen to the kids AT ALL. She finally went over the line. I’m very sad to say that we had to remove her from our house. Animal Friends was willing to take her back and put her through a behavioral program and then attempt to adopt her out again. I hope hope hope that she finds the right forever home with lots of land and farm animals to boss around. She is a sweet, loving dog who just wasn’t right in a suburban setting with lots of kids. We miss her terribly.
  5. We bought a new car! We said goodbye to the MINI – which while fun to drive was becoming a real nuisance. It’s expensive to maintain and the kids were quickly outgrowing the backseat room. The car was 10 years old and it was time. So we traded it in for a brand spanking new Toyota Prius hatchback. Great gas mileage! Low payments! More backseat room! Now I want one, too, but the Honda is still going strong and we can only afford one new car at a time. Still, I like it a lot and it should cut down on our gas consumption.
  6. Scot and I are settled into our jobs and work schedule and things are going well. He really likes being back at IBM and is enjoying working with old colleagues again. I’m enjoying my job, too, and taking on more responsibility as the opportunity presents itself.
  7. I wrote a piece for Listen To Your Mother. Auditions are in January. I’m going to audition. EEP!

Concussion Recovery Continues

Liam has been home full time for about 2.5 weeks now. We’ve been homeschooling during that time and allowing him to rest and recover at his own pace. For me, it’s been exhausting living this way and my house is DESTROYED (crap everywhere).

But Liam is getting so much better.

With the time away from school, he has finally been able to make real progress in his physical therapy and that has meant a great reduction in his symptoms. They’re not completely gone nor are they likely to be for weeks yet but they are much improved. You can see it in Liam’s demeanor; he’s much more chipper and much more like his old self. It is a relief to see.

His physical therapist is very pleased with his progress. His neuropsychologist is less enthused; I am less enthused with her. She seemed to think that Liam’s recovery should occur in a linear fashion and that’s horseshit. She also made it very clear that she wasn’t particularly pleased with us pulling him out of school and she basically made me feel like I was doing everything wrong despite his progress. I was livid when we left that appointment.

Yesterday we finally saw the Pediatric Rehab doc. She listened to us carefully, she looked at the WHOLE picture of his recovery thus far, she took into account family history and notes from the physical therapist. Her assessment agrees with ours – Liam is doing much better, it’s time to go back to school, and we should look to control symptoms as much as possible as he readjusts.

To that end, she has started him on a very low dose of medication that will help with his difficulty sleeping and staying asleep as well as the headaches and nausea. She is also referring us to a neurologist for migraine evaluation.

Because we’re pretty sure that’s a large component of what’s going on here. With Scot’s history of intractable migraines, we knew there was a good chance that Liam would have a more difficult time with recovery. We’ve also come to learn that in children and adolescents, migraine can often manifest as nausea or stomachache instead of a blinding headache. This would explain why the Zofran Liam was given in the ER didn’t help his nausea. We were treating the wrong thing. It would also explain why nausea instead of headache has been his worst symptom. The Rehab doc also told us that in kids like Liam, with this strong family history, a concussion can trigger the migraine issue and bring it to the fore.

So, that’s where we sit. Liam went back to school today. The district is on half days for the next three days for parent teacher conferences so it’s a good time to try to transition him back into the building. We don’t expect perfection – and neither does his doctor – but it’s time to work on getting him back to school.

I didn’t want to pull Liam out of school. I didn’t want to homeschool. But it does seem like it was the right choice.