One Damned Funny Blog

Love, laughter and autism.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Oh, so you want FUNNY, do you?

I promised this blog would be funny. Okay, so I'm a fucking liar.

Welllllll...not entirely. I used to be funny. Go back to the July entries (which actually track back to earlier in the year) and you might choke on laughter rather than horror.

I'll get funny again one day...I promise. I'll lighten up on the autism thing. I'll remember that there are other things to talk about. (What? There are???) The sun also rises, doesn't it? (Whereas, reading the past month or so of my blog, you'd think the sun also gets set to hurl itself into the earth at a breakneck speed and annhilate anything that moves, breathes or shits.)

I renamed this blog in that spirit. After all, I've been using the tagline "One damned funny blog...I promise" since its inception.

Don't worry. I'll still worry, obsess, sob and go into therapy over Colin's autism. So you see, you're not losing a're gaining a whole new set of neuroses! And I don't know about you, but to me, that sounds like a whole lotta fun.

Surrender the Booty

Tuesday was International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Here's hoping everyone got boarded in the spirit of the occasion. (I didn't. My little dinghy has been on a self-imposed dry dock since last August.) Anyway, to all ye maties: Yarrrrrrrr.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Sotos Syndrome

For posterity, I am recording that Wednesday, Sept. 13, 2006, was the first time I heard of Sotos Syndrome, a condition that includes a large cranium, overgrowth prenatally and for a few years following birth but culmination in average adult height, an elongated face with a pointy chin, widespread eyes, and autistic characteristics; secondarily, large hands and feet, low tonality (usually of the mouth/chewing but also low tone in general) and learning disabilities; and anecdotally, severe stomach/colic issues in infancy.

If this turns out to be "it," I'll be ecstatic and relieved to have finally figured out my little boy.

If it doesn't turn out to be "it"...well then, at least I won't be surprised. I've had the carrot dangled in front of my nose before.

Wish us luck.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Just in time for Hallowe'en

Hubby came up behind me while I was mixing and pouring Colin's many supplements and cackled, "Double, double, toil and trouble!"

(Actually, he said "bubble, bubble," but I couldn't bear to correct him and prove, for the hundredth time this morning alone, what an absolute and utter nerd I am. I learned that lesson the day I corrected his "out, out, damned spot".)

He was right about one thing. Hunching over my many oddly-shaped, oversized, sloshing buckets of god-knows-what, I did resemble nothing more than a witch. Not the earth-loving, tree-hugging, New Millennium Wiccan kind, but the good old-fashioned MacBeth kind.

In our search for "the cure," Colin no longer gets Just Apple Juice. Here's what he gets:

1/4 cup Pedialyte (to hold in minerals he is low on)
1 tsp. DMG
1 tsp. Mineral-Chi Tonic
two crushed Vitamin B-6 tablets

I think that's about it. Soon to come: Natural Calm with calcium, magnesium, zinc and something else. I don't remember what. Bat's wing, probably. Oh, and then we'll be starting his anti-fungal protocol.

Colin is good about taking all this...even the gritty stuff. What a good boy.

I laugh about it now...but hope springs in my heart every time I mix and slosh. And it will keep springing until who knows when. Until, I guess, it either works or doesn't.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Neuroses for Dummies

Q: How do you spot a neurotic?
A: Come to my house.

I'm doing a good deed. One of the fathers at Colin's SDC (special day class) needs someone to transport his little girl, S, from class to the babysitter so that he and his wife can finish their respective work days. He approached me on the playground before school on Friday and brought the subject up. Okay...he flat-out asked me if I could do it.

I was happy to. While he has to rush back to meetings and power coffee-klatches, all I have to rush back to is a dumpsterload of laundry that I didn't create.*

We set everything up, exchanged phone numbers (he had six...I had, well, one--my brief foray into the new millennium ended this spring when Colin threw my cell phone into a sink full of soapy water). We were good to go for today, and each day of the week for at least the next several months. The sitter was local. He'd even driven me there on Friday so I'd have a dry run and wouldn't get lost. Nothing to it. Right?

So why was I TERRIFIED of doing this?

It seemed like a good idea last Friday, but this weekend, the more I thought of it the more my stomach clenched. I was, well, nervous. Nervous of driving a little kid three miles. Things escalated until last night I suffered insomnia over the thought and woke up with a killer stress headache. Come on. What gave?

And then, suddenly, as I was driving to pick up Colin and (gulp) big, scary, 28-pound S, it hit me: She talks.

This is a child who talks.

I'm used to driving around one kid who doesn't speak at three months, and another who doesn't speak at three years. I babble at them incessantly, but none of it matters. It's all for me. It's all just time-filler, sort of a verbal masturbation, if you will. I ask how Colin's day was, but I never expect an answer, so I'm able to buzz right on to the next subject, which might be the weather, bad fellow freeway drivers or Barney--take your pick. It really doesn't matter. I could be discussing the 9/11 conspiracy theory and its relative points for all either of my boys care.

It's not like I've never had a talking three-year-old. I did. But that was (counting on my fingers) 17 years ago. I'm out of practice. What did I used to say to him? Did I talk to him in a high-pitched baby voice, like I still do with my now-preschool middle son? Or did that offend him? Oh, I don't remember, I don't remember! What sort of jokes did he like? Or did he like jokes at that age?

Sweat running down my brow, I reluctantly got out of my car and collected Colin and S while juggling Evan over one shoulder. I settled them all down, buckled them all in, and started driving...

...and this Incredible Talking Kid LAUGHED the whole ride.

Yep, laughed. Why? Christ only really knows. It was adorable, I'll give it that. Every few minutes she'd scream out "COLIN!" to make him turn around. They'd look at eachother. She'd laugh some more and so would he. You'd never know one had mastered grammar and syntax while the other still says "me me me me me me" when he wants juice.

Whenever there was a silence, I'd say, "Why were you laughing?" and they'd start all over again.

And as an was kind of neat how her verbal skills and his lack thereof didn't figure at all into their in-the-car-communication.

Well, if THAT'S all it takes to keep an Incredible Talking Preschooler happy, then what the hell have I been worrying about?

Ah, well, don't worry...when you're a professional neurotic, there's always an obsessive fear just around the corner. I'll think of something.

*Just so's ya know: that was a little bit of literary license. I actually do more than scutwork. Currently I'm working on a month-long writing project. So THERE.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

My Head is Going to Explode

I have to get away from "autism research" for a while. I have to back off of autism sites (the ones for family-members-of, and the ones for ASD individuals themselves). I think I will re-name this blog, too. If anyone has any ideas, please feel free to let me know. I can't do it right now--I just can't think about it.

My head is going to explode from all the worrying, all the reading, all the conflicting information, all the arguing--holy SHIT but there's a lot of arguing in this community in general--and from, well, thinking of my family as "abnormal".

What if this IS our "normal"?

I am SO FUCKING TIRED of having to think, night and day, "What about Colin? What about Colin? What about Colin?" as if he's some sort of freak or something. He's not! He's a boy, a human boy, a very cute, sweet, funny human boy. Why am I required to "worry about" him night and day? What if it's OKAY that he is autistic?

(/lightbulb going off)

No more for a while. I've punished myself enough for not having raised Joey perfectly (for the love of Christ, I was 19) and "making him" sensory-integratory disordered. I've punished myself enough for not breastfeeding Colin and for letting him have vaccinations. I've felt the shame of being embarrassed that my son doesn't speak--no more. To hell with the bleached-fried-cigarette buying bitch who ALWAYS seems to land next to me at WalMart and casts eyes or aspersions in my son's direction for not acting The Perfect Little Man. To hell with my in-laws, grinding "IsColinAnyBetterYetIsColinAnyBetterYet" into my ears at least once a freaking week. NO, HE'S NOT ANY BETTER. HE COULDN'T GET ANY BETTER BECAUSE I FRANKLY THINK HE'S PRETTY MUCH HOT SHIT RIGHT NOW! So what more could I ask for?

Done. (brushing hands smartly together) For a little while, I am taking a vacation from Feeling Different. Right now I don't CARE if we're different.

And on that note...for the love of Mike, it's nearly 2AM. Time for bed.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Sometimes, They Just Get Sick

I am an idiot. On two counts.

The first is this: for two weeks now, I've been freaking out that Colin has developed a "stim". For those who are blissfully not in-the-know, "stimming" stands for stimulating or self-stimulating and involves various motions, sensory or other actions, usually on a repetitive basis. This is generally reserved for autistic people.

When you see the sterotypical rocking-back-and-forth or hitting of the head and yelling of autistic people in movies (God bless Hollywood), that's stimming.

Well, about two weeks ago, Colin started hitting his ears with both hands. I got quietly upset. It was getting worse. He was stimming now...and tantruming. Every little thing seemed to set him off.

Then tonight I noticed that my ears were hurting a little. How odd. And the next thing I knew...Colin, who usually sleeps right through the night, awoke crying and begging, in his own way, for a drink (he calls it "mee-mee"). And something hit me.


Maybe the boy is SICK.

I put some Benadryl into his bottle and let him suck away, and now he's back asleep again.

Lesson learned. Even when you have an ongoing diagnosis of one type or another, NEVER OVERLOOK THE OBVIOUS.

Reason number two why I'm an idiot (are there only two?): I was crying to hubby Dave tonight about brother-in-law Bob. I could hear Bob's voice in my head, saying normal things, laughing, and I just couldn't believe the man could now be so sick. Dave was trying to get me to see a more positive spin. I accused him of not caring. He told me that he does care--but he doesn't want to go on this downward depression spiral about it when Bobby needs the people around him to offer hope.

So I snapped at Dave (my husband, remember): "That's easy for you to say. What if it were YOUR brother-in-law?")

(tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock)

(crickets chirping)

"It is," Dave clarified.

Oh yeah. Double-doy.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Bobby J Update

Okay...all those prayers must be working, because Bobby J has already crossed one hurdle. Or vaulted one hurdle. Or got over...oh, I don't know. He got past something big. Here it is:

Bobby was originally admitted into the hospital with jaundice. When they discovered that it was cancer, the big fear was that the jaundice was from impending liver failure. The alternative possibility was that it was from a blockage, which could be held open by a stint and would be much less serious. Then, chemo would be able to start immediately.

Well, apparently it was just a blockage because Bobby begins his chemo tomorrow. I didn't get much out of my sister, having called her at 11:17 PM her time and woken her from probably the first sleep she's had in three days (oh nice going, Mel!), but she promised to call tomorrow.

All for now. Keep those hands together or circling the rosary or sacrificing goats or whatever it is you do to pray--at this point we're not picky, and it's working.

I Want to Be a Three-Year-Old Boy

Oh how I would love to be a three-year-old boy! Here are the top 10 reasons it's great to be a preschooler:

10. Nap when you want, where you want, and if you want. If not...okay. If so...okay. Boo-yah! Being three is worth it for the nap factor alone.

9. When you cry, someone mashes you into her breasts and tells you how fine everything is going to be. (Compare this to 30 years into the future, when your crying will be met with "For Christ's sake, Henson, it's a deadline, not a death sentence! Suck it the hell up!")

8. The doctor is HAPPY when you gain weight.

7. You get fifty chances to answer things. "What color is Elmo? Look, looooooook at Elmo. What color is he? Is he blue? Nooooooo! Is he purple? Nooooooooooo! What color is he? He's like a firetruck, vroom-vroom!"

6. Christmas doesn't cost you anything.

5. Once you become a grownup, it isn't okay to piss down your leg anymore. (Don't ask me how I know this.)

4. Being selfish still looks cute.

3. Grownups never really know whether or not what you do is an you can usually escape an ass-reddening by looking innocent. "Okay, honey, Mommy believes you weren't really trying to lop off Baby Brother's head with that garden hose."

2. Cookies cure everything. Everything.

And the number one reason it's great to be a preschooler:

1. For now, pinching a 21-year-old girl's ass in the supermarket is ADORABLE.

And on the lighter side...

So Colin is doing very well in school, except for the occasional tantrum. Comes with the territory--the child can't speak, so he, well, screams.

There's just one little thing that the teacher's aide brought up to me this morning as I watched Colin scramble around the jungle gym with six other little blonde boys, sippy cup in hand.

"I promised Colin that I'd let you know," V. (the aide) said, "how much he would love for you to send him in with Goldfish crackers."

"Don't I know it," I answered, "but he's on a restricted diet. He can't have them."

"Ohhhhhhh!" A pitying look came over her. "Because, you see...he REALLY seemed to want them."

"How much?"

"Enough to take them off other children's plates."

That's my boy. He does the Helen Keller thing at home too: traveling from plate to plate, filching food.

If his hair analysis tests come back that he can have wheat again, then it is going RIGHT back into his diet. I don't mean to feed the monkey, but the boy doesn't just like wheat. He craves it. Colin still doesn't really speak yet, but when he finally does, I'm pretty sure his first words will be a slurred "I'll tell YOU when I've had enough" as he shovels fists full of Wheat Thins down his throat.

Poor Colin. The torture we've put him through in the name of "curing" his PDD. Some day he'll be bigger and stronger than we are, and probably of sounder mind, being much younger. I'm sort of afraid to think what he may do to us then in comeuppance...I better start secretly hording Twinkies right now.