Thursday, September 22, 2011

What a Crazy Week!

The major portion of last week was taken up with getting Jack in to see his pediatrician so that we could get a referral to a neurologist to discuss his food and sleep issues. We saw his primary on Monday afternoon, and Dr. C promised to fax a referral over to the neurologist's office. On Wednesday, I called to try and make an appointment with Dr. K, but they didn't have the referral, so more phone calls to Dr. C's office. Finally got that straightened out and was able to get a cancellation for Friday morning. Woo hoo! But when I told Dr. K's office that Jack also sees a family psychiatrist, they asked to get his records, too. More phone calls and a trip to Dr. M's office early Thursday morning in order to sign a form to release Jack's records to Dr. K. Done and done!

Friday morning we went to see Dr. K. He added another medication to Jack's regimen to "boost" the anti-anxiety meds (poor guy's fingernails are chewed to nubs). The biggest and most unpopular recommendation of all was to limit, if not entirely end, Jack's time on the video games and computer. Dr. K says he's addicted to technology. Well, you can just imagine how this went over with Jack. For someone who has no friends in the neighborhood (except for Miss S, of course) and doesn't play outside, doesn't enjoy reading, has pretty much outgrown the Legos, just what is he supposed to do all day? A big portion of his world at home is playing with his online friends on the PS3, designing game levels and creating costumes. He was sooooo excited about his birthday on Monday and getting the Little Big Planet 2 game he'd been begging for all summer. Needless to say, he was pretty upset by this turn of events. It was hard to take him back to school knowing he was upset. I was worried he would have an "issue" with someone at school, as he was already pretty worked up. 

We were so worried, in fact, that Charlie stopped by the school on his way in to work (late day) just to check on him. He talked to the Principal who called and talked to his teacher in the classroom. Both of them assured  us he was just fine and having a good day.

The video game issue is tough. Charlie feels that Jack is not just playing games, but creating and designing. That's what he wants to do when he grows up. On the other hand, I know study after study has shown that too much technology can change a child's brain function, but then he's not a neurotypical child in the first place anyway so maybe these rules don't apply? For the time being, we've decided to still let him have his games, as long as his homework is finished and he's doing well in school, which he is. We do shut the PS3 off around 7:00 when it's time for him to get in the shower, and afterwards he has a snack and we read for a while before bedtime at 8:30.

On the up side, his new medication is working great! I give it to him, along with a very small dose of melatonin, early in the evening. He's been falling asleep in his own bed (hallelujah!) and one night even slept through the night in his own room! Major miracle! Even when he comes into our room, he's pretty much sleepwalking and goes right back to sleep on his pallet on our floor. At least he's getting the sleep he needs and not staying up till 10:30 or 11:00 at night now. Yay!

Just as the dust was settling on that situation, my 88 year old mother took a fall on Sunday morning while she was out walking Cookie, our Yorkie Poo. I was looking at the computer after church and she'd gone out with Cookie, when a few minutes later she came in the front door and said, "Well, I took a little spill." Fortunately, a kind family who lives in our neighborhood (still don't know exactly who it was) saw her fall, stopped their car and gave her a ride home. I posted a thank you note on our Good Neighbor Facebook page and was pleased to see how many people wrote that they've seen my mom walking the dogs in the neighborhood and hoped she'd be okay.

Thank goodness she didn't break any bones or require any stitches this time (four years ago she broke her wrist, once she bumped her head and had to have four stitches and another time she fell and busted her lip open--nine stitches that time). I took her to the ER and they checked her all out. Also took her to see her regular doctor on Monday morning. She was pretty sore for a couple of days, but is getting better every day. She still has a brace on her right wrist and a bandage on her elbow, but it could have been a lot worse. Bad news for her is that her doctor says she probably shouldn't be out walking by herself anymore. This is going to be hard for her, because she enjoys getting out and walking and considers taking the dogs out one of her "jobs." Up side for me is that maybe I'll get out and walk the dogs, and heaven knows I could use the exercise. Just waiting for the weather to cool off a little bit.

Anyway, that's our past few days in a nutshell. Life is never boring around this house! Thank goodness everyone's relatively healthy and happy. Hope the same for your family!


  1. Glad to hear Jack is sleeping better. Sorry to hear about your Mom.

    I hope Jack is not too upset about the doctor wanting to limit his technology time. I had someone recommend this to me a while back because they thought Austin wouldn't be able to give it up without a major meltdown. I took the Wii away for 7 days to see if they were right, they were wrong. Austin asked when he could get it back and how much time was left but there was no fuss or meltdown involved.

    When it comes to Austin and his Wii, I have a cut off time at night. He turns off his Wii himself when he needs a break. He is doing great in school and adjusting well, so I believe the Wii and his iPad work as great rewards. I hope everything is well.

    All the best! :) Heather

  2. I think in our case, Jack WOULD have a major meltdown if we tried to take away his PS3. After talking to his other doctor (the psychiatrist) a few days later, we decided it really wasn't realistic to take away all his technology. It's the world we live in. He doesn't play with the other kids in our neighborhood, he's too old for the Legos and he's not a reader. What else does he have to do? And he's not just playing mindless video games, he's creating levels and designing costumes. He's programming, which in my mind is kind of like working with puzzles. He's using his brain. It's a tough issue.

    We're going to science camp at the end of this month, where he WILL be without his technology for a whole week. Should be interesting!

  3. I see no harm in it due to the circumstances and it is not like Jack is playing "Zelda" all day or something (wait, is that a PS3 game? I am so out of touch ... LOL! Austin's favourite is Mario or now Sonic.) I am definitely considering getting Austin a DS for Christmas. My poor husband, he doesn't like these games too much but Austin does play games to learn too! :)

    I think we need to encourage kids creativity no matter what medium they use. :)

    He will probably be too distracted at camp, right? Wishing you all the best! *HUGS* :) Heather