Gut Feelings

I learned a long time ago to trust my gut feelings – always. The few times when I was younger that I thought for sure I knew better it blew up in my face…like blew up. I call it my gut feelings but lately as I have gotten older I think I should call them God feelings. Whenever I have gotten a feeling or a push towards something that I cannot shake it has ALWAYS and I mean ALWAYS worked out for my benefit. I could sit here and give you examples and write this long blog post about it but seriously I think you get the point.

So, that brings me to the most recent God/Gut feeling that happened Tuesday….

About a week ago a friend of mine posted on Facebook that she was listing her house for sale – of course I checked it out. I thought to myself – this house is super cute, I really wish we were ready to move blah blah blah. I kept going back to this house, like I kept feeling like I was being pushed to go look at it. So yesterday I text my friend to see if the house was still available – then I got in the shower. I thought ok God if the house is available that’s my sign to go for it and if it’s not available then that’s a sign too. I got out of the shower and the house was still available – ok, I get it time to go see this house. Sent a text to the realtor at 10:00am – we go to see the house at 11:15am. Ever since I have met my husband it seems we have two speeds – Zero and 100mph. There is no in between.

Any other time we have even thought about moving total panic has set in. It all seemed so scary. Trying to find a house – sell our house. Scary adult shit with lots of big numbers floating around. But this time – driving over to the house, talking to the realtor, running numbers, getting pre approved for the mortgage was all very easy. Like Dan and especially me we freakishly calm. It all just fell into place. 

By 800pm the offer we submitted had been accepted, mortgage preapproved and our house was getting listed. I looked at my husband and asked him if we’re crazy and he said nope this is how everything works out for us when it’s meant to be – everything just falls in line. He’s so right. The last time I remember being this calm about something major was when we got married. We met in May, got engaged in July and married in September. It was another time I felt like I was being pushed towards him by God, the Universe whatever you believe in. I was very calm and at ease. 

Maybe I should be freaking out about our house selling – but I’m not. I don’t even know how to describe – it’s just this calmness that everything will be ok and work out. Maybe this is what faith feels like? When you just know? I know my family and probably some friends think we are crazy – shit some of them might still be in a pool betting on when we will get divorced since we got married so fast! But I know my gut and it’s never lead me down the wrong path. 

So, in the meantime we feel like a huge weight has been lifted as far as getting Kate into a good school district for her needs. Like a HUGE weight! We will be closer to everyone and everyplace we have to go on a daily basis. Our whole house is so excited. Our kids are going to love it and that’s why we’re doing this – if it was just Dan and I who cares where we live? But having little Kate changed all the plans….all the plans. We had the plans and God laughed and sent us Kate. She has taught us so much. 

Trust your gut. Trust your journey. Trust in God’s timing – not yours. Not everyone has to understand or get what you’re going through – it’s not theirs to carry – it’s yours. 

 

Carry On Warrior – Book that Changed My Life

About a year ago a friend of mine sent me a text with a picture of a book called Carry on Warrior – I thought to myself – hmm this friend does share my same thoughts on things and if she loves the book, odds are I would too. What the hell, I’ll order it! The book came two days later – because Amazon Prime is my bestie – and I could not put it down! I would read it and read something that would strike me as so profound I would have to stop and think about it before I could move on to the next part. I found so much of myself in this book – which is probably how a lot of people feel. Within the last year or so I have accumulated the serious collection of self-help – if that’s what you want to call them – books – I prefer the term self-healing books – I think it makes me sounds less crazy. I like having the actual book – I like to write notes, highlight, put post it’s all over them. I’m visual. You can’t do that with a kindle. And these books are cheaper than therapy and I can do them on my own time – because seriously with these kids and their schedules I don’t have time to go talk to someone to tell them how fucked up I think I am and pay them to tell them that period.

In this book Carry On Warrior – she talks a lot about her childhood, addiction, being a wife and mother, her faith, family and lots of other things. I highly recommend reading it because this book changed my life. I have not read her new book Love Warrior…yet. I got a copy of it when I got to hear her talk the other night that was included with your ticket. I cannot wait to start reading it. Meeting her was amazing – she is just as real and sweet in person. I had a notebook and pen out while she was talking and a woman said to me are you taking notes and I was like duh – but I said yes, what if she says some profound shit – I need to write it down. Then I looked over and saw her writing on her ticket too. This night was good for my soul – it’s been a long time since I have done something that was good for my soul.

Let me just preface this part of my post by saying that I love my parents – I have dealt with my issues regarding my childhood with them and everything is fine now.

Reading this book it was like Glennon was inside my head – being able to articulate every thought I have ever had. My childhood sucked – I’m sure it did not suck as much as it could have but it damn sure was not as good as it could have been either. My parents were young – and honestly should never have gotten married, much less had babies. But what’s done is done and here we are.

I remember feeling like I checked out around 6 years old – that for me was the height of when shit started getting really real and really scary. We didn’t really talk about what was going on because my Mom was working a lot and looking back now having her own hot mess of issues going on, my father was on drugs, off of drugs I don’t know what the hell he was doing, my grandparents took care of us a lot and they did not want to hear anything bad that was going on downstairs – we lived downstairs. They were my constant so if something made them unhappy or uncomfortable it must be bad is what I thought. So what does a 6-year-old do? She keeps that shit to herself and gets lots and lots of stomach aches. She thinks is the only one who feels this way and there must be something wrong with her because everyone around her seems ok. Kids at school are happy, her little brother is happy, everyone else is happy. And so I remember that this is when I start comforting myself with food. Sad? Eat. Scared? Eat. Happy? Eat. So, throughout my childhood I was avoiding all the feelings, all the pain that was happening and I was eating it I guess. Because when you’re a kid with no coping skills, your parents keep doing dumb shit, you’re moving a lot to different schools you need something constant in your life – food – because I was too young to buy drugs and I saw how fucked up my father was from those and thought being fat was a safer option.

Now I’m a teenager and all that pain has transferred into anger because I cannot articulate how I feel and I don’t even really understand how I feel. I am so pissed all the time. I pretty much hate my parents at this point in my life and want to do opposite of everything they have ever done. Like I never want to do anything they did. My mother has sent me to my fair share of guidance counselors at every school I have ever been to and therapist and I hated all of them. Now I’m not just eating for comfort, I have discovered new things like cigarettes, pot and drinking. I have also discovered that anything that pisses my parents off or makes them worry is awesome as far as I’m concerned. On the surface – I get good grades, I participate in extra curricular activities, I have a job, I have nice friends, I get leadership and citizenship awards at school. My parents think they have done such a great job. My mother and I fight constantly – seriously it was all the time. She drove me crazy. I’m sure I did the same to her. Everything that came out of my mouth was anger. I really thought for a while she hated me. So two days after I turned 18 I left home.

That my friends was the beginning of the end. I was just running, running from pain.

For years I couldn’t even look at childhood pictures of myself without crying because I remember being that little girl and how much that little girl hurt all the time. I thought of my parents as selfish. I was angry at them, I was angry at God – shit I was angry at everything and everybody. I was walking around with this hole and just trying to fill it with whatever I thought would make it go away – food, shopping, drinking, smoking, men. This is no way to live friends – no way to live.

Crazy part is I didn’t even realize I was trying to fill a hole until I was in my thirties…

When I had Jonathan, everything changed. I was going to be the exact opposite of my parents. I didn’t want my kid to have a childhood he needed to recover from. His childhood was going to be awesome. So, I thought that I needed to eat, sleep and breathe for my kid. Don’t get me wrong I am sure I have made my share of mistakes with him but we talk a lot – I don’t ever want him walking around thinking he’s the only one that feels something or that something is wrong with him. I wanted him to be able to be a kid and enjoy his childhood. I think I have done a good job at that. He just turned 16 and he told me he has had a great childhood. On his birthday we talked about all the trips we have gone on and his whole face lit up. Moments like that I’m almost thankful for my jacked up childhood – what if I didn’t have that – would I be the person I am now with my children? Probably not. Jonathan is at the age when you talk about pretty deep stuff with him – I have always said that he is an old soul. He’s my wise owl.

I spent a lot of my twenties trying to make sense of my childhood and figure out who the hell I am. I think we all do that. I realized a few things – first, I was going to graduate college so I could provide a good life for Jonathan and because it would be a cold day in hell before I would have to depend on a man to take care of us. Second, after all this bullshit I refuse to settle. I will never get married if I cannot find who I am looking for. Third, I will always trust my gut.

I am so thankful for the time I spent alone – not really alone because I had Jonathan but you get the point. I did graduate college. I did get my career going. There were a few relationships/men that looked good on paper – I even thought to myself – should I stick this out see where it takes us? But in the end I go with my gut – doesn’t feel right pass it by. Finally, I met my husband and it was like he hugged me and put all my broken pieces back together again. He really loves me. He knows all about my fucked up-ness, constant anxiety and depression that I have learned to manage when it creeps in and out of my life like it has for as long as I can remember, he knows that I use food as an easy button when I am upset – I know you are thinking shit Michelle how the hell do you stay married? Well let me just tell you – he’s no walk in the park himself! But he’s an amazing husband and father and our kids go crazy over him. They are big fans of Dad!

I’ve learned that pain is not something to be avoided – it something you need to sit with and feel all the feels and let it teach you what you need to learn from it. I don’t run from pain anymore. I don’t use food as an easy button anymore – but old habits die hard friends. I have to check myself sometimes. I quit smoking about 11 years ago. I don’t really drink alcohol period – since I have horrible migraines that it seems to make worse I just avoid it. I know now what my easy buttons are – I try to stay away from them like the plague.

I have a good relationship with my Mom now. We talk a lot and I don’t hold anything back and I don’t think she does either. I tell my truth like I do with everything now. Life is too short. I do talk to my Dad – it’s complicated but it is what it is. I am ok with that. I talk to my grandparents daily. I love them so much.

Sometimes I wish I could go back to my little girl self to tell her it’s going to be ok and give her a glimpse of what my life is like today. I think seeing this would give her hope. My life is pretty great. It’s great to be comfortable in your own skin and head…it’s really great.

After reading this you are probably thinking – wow you are pretty fucked up. Shit that’s what I might think! Some of the irony in this is – what do girls with messed up childhoods grow up to be? Nurse’s…apparently I just love to care for people and be needed.

Now, I live for my family – my husband, 2 kids, 2 dogs, 2 cats. Yep, that’s my world.

I will continue to be the crazy loud advocate for my kids for whatever they need. They are on opposite ends of the spectrum and they are in such different stages of life – teenager and toddler. It’s hard but I have learned that I can do hard things. I have come to realize that I was made for this. Glennon says – we can either be shiny and admired or real and loved. I choose to be real and loved. This is my blog, this is my truth-telling place.

Today…

Today has totally sucked. I feel like I have totally sucked at being a Mom, Wife and whatever else I’m supposed to be doing today. Yesterday I felt like I kinda almost had my shit together – kinda almost…

My day started with Jonathan in my room at 6:30 this morning trying to sneak out his 3DS…we take it every night so that every morning he won’t be distracted and will get ready for school. We do the same thing…every single day. Why does he only do this when Dad is at work and I’m home?!? Because he’s an asshole teenager…yep I said it – this has nothing to do with his Aspergers…not even one bit…this is a sneaky teenager! Does this child not value his life pulling this shit before I have even had a drop of coffee?!? 

Moving along to the rest of the day…I get Jonathan to school…boom…one down. I’m no longer out numbered until 3:30! Kate and I come back home and the phone starts ringing – like crazy! Kate and I go downstairs to the basement to do laundry, then my OCD kicks in and I see the half assed done project that looks like a crime scene – so I let Kate play and I start cleaning, laundry, etc. How I wish I could just let stuff like that go and pass it by…but obsessing over my need to be obsessively compulsive about cleaning seems kinda redundant right now…

Me and Super Kate head to Starbucks and therapy…extra shot in my coffee today because hey it’s 12:30 and I’m dreaming of my bed already. Super Kate does so awesome at therapy! Especially during OT today – I was just amazed at her progress 😊 

Leave therapy, call our insurance company to find out about ABA coverage – after 40 minutes on the phone with them, they won’t cover it so off to Plan B – because really at this point why would I expect this to be easy?!?Stupid insurance! 

Come home with both kids…I tell Jonathan I need to come downstairs to finish doing laundry. He totally loses his shit…I try to talk to him not realizing we are at death com 5 status – it’s been a long time since we have seen a meltdown – instead of being calm I lose my shit too. I’m not perfect. I am strong but I am tired. I’m so mad at myself. Kate is totally oblivious to this…in these moments I’m almost thankful for the autism…does that sound totally crazy?!? 

I get Kate come back upstairs so we can all calm down. I’m sitting on the floor with her on my lap. I hear Jonathan downstairs listening to music – which is a sign he’s ok now. The damn Orkin lady knocks on the door…you guys I didn’t even get up to answer the door. I finally got everyone calm. If I would  have answered the door – Kate would have followed me crying because guess what? We didn’t take a nap today! And second Jonathan would have shot upstairs to find out who was at the door and would have really freaked out if someone else that he was not aware of was coming into the basement…so I pick my battles and I picked to not answer the door. 

Two kids on total opposite ends of the autism spectrum is totally kicking my ass. When Dan came home I was by the sink crying because I could get the lid of the coffee pot – wtf who does that?!? 

After we got both kids to bed – we sat on the couch and said it has to get better. Then we listed everything we have to be thankful for. I read somewhere that helps and at the time I thought it was stupid but when you’re crying over a coffee lid – you should try anything once. Tomorrow is a new day. Not every day will suck as much as this one – thank God! I know that I have seen worse days then this and I know that I have survived 100% of all of them 👍

Letters from Holland…

I first saw this (the story below) years ago when Jonathan was diagnosed and I remember thinking to myself – yes, this…this right here…this is what it feels like. I love my kids, but there’s always a piece that kinda wonders what could have been or when you hear your friends talk about their kids or read Facebook posts – you think – shit I wonder what that is like. 

But then you have moments like I had the other day when you know God is sending you a message…these last few months (ok I’ll be honest since I got pregnant with Kate things got hard) have been very hard on myself, our family, our marriage – we got angry at each other, stopped talking to each other. Kids had no clue – because kids need to deal with kid problems not adult ones. We were so angry at this whole situation and totally overwhelmed with what we needed to do to help Kate – like totally overwhelmed does not even begin to truly describe this feeling. Between therapies, starting ABA therapy, looking at starting preschool in the fall…omg my head is going to explode. 

Meanwhile we also have Jonathan who needs us. He’s going to be a junior next year – which he just needs to stop growing!! I need to make sure he is getting everything he needs and still teaching him to self advocate for himself more and more – which kinda drives me crazy because he has no issues advocating for himself at home. 

But I digress…back to my message from God…ok…I was getting my hair done…this is the one thing I do for myself. It is the one time I am alone doing something for myself – not getting groceries for everyone or picking up prescriptions. I love my hair stylist! I’ve been going to her for about 5 or so years now. I feel like I’m at home there and I’m super relaxed. I’m sitting there in my relax mode and this woman walks in with her daughter. I recognized the woman right away – she was the nurse we always saw when we would take Kate to the NICU follow up clinic. I always thought she was so nice. She always helped me carry everything and was smiling. 

Her daughter was older teenager, had some disability though I’m not sure what it was. She was so sweet and so excited to go to a dance that was coming up. I just sat there watching, observing – I’m a nurse – we love to observe/people watch. Her and her daughter just got haircuts – she must not have the greys to cover up like I do every 6 weeks or as Jonathan calls them my “sparkles”. Cute right?!? Not! Him and Kate gave me all those “sparkles”!

After they left, I asked the other stylist if she was a nurse because I was pretty sure she was the nurse we had at the NICU clinic – she replied yes but she had to quit her job because her daughter has graduated school and needed a lot of care and there was no place with any openings for her to go and they also had another special needs daughter at home. I just thought…wow…this lady was amazing…and if I ever see her again I’m going to tell her so because we are all in this together. 

On the way home I just kept thinking about this amazing Mother I saw with her daughter and knowing she had another special needs child at home and it hit me guys…my God message…although we have been asked to walk this road with Jonathan and Kate – we are still so very lucky and blessed. Our children are beautiful, they are smart, they will go to college one day, they will kick ass and take names one day. 

Things could be so much worse. The season we are in right now is hard but we can do hard things. Growth comes from hard times – we cannot grow if everything is great all the time. So, we are moving forward because nothing good ever came from standing still or looking back. Even though some days are just soooo hard,your tired and you want to just cry…we have to remember that Holland is beautiful too. 

Tuesday’s are hard…

It’s been quite the day around here – Kate did so awesome at therapy today. Then Dan and I divided and conquered- he took Kate with him to the Doctor because he’s got the same funky cold I had and I got Jonathan to his appt with his psychiatrist- we have been with her since Jonathan was 5 (he will be 16 in a month 😬)She is an angel on earth – who I trust and respect completely – two things that I can say I feel towards very few people. She has a sixth sense when it comes to children and we have been so blessed to have her in our lives helping us along on this journey. 

Jonathan brought Kate up during his session and said that we have been taking her to Iowa City for evaluations etc. She looked up at me from her desk – it was the same exact look she gave me when she when she told me Jonathan had Aspergers. She said I didn’t want to say anything but I can see it there. I just looked at her and said I know. 

I think I have finally accepted it – this global developmental delay is them erring on the side of caution before they tell us in 6 months your daughter has Autism – and I don’t need a doctor with lots of letters after their name to tell me, I see it. I tried to fight it. I thought if I fought hard enough it would go away because surely this was not happening twice. But here I am at the last stage of grief – acceptance. 

The journey to how my sweet Kate came to be is another blog post….a long one 😂 

The thing that made it so hard for me today was tonight I came home from getting Jonathan’s medicine and some of his most favorite snacks at Target – because ice cream cheers everyone up -and I’m telling Dan how Jonathan’s appointment went and then I told him what the Doctor said about Super Kate. 

It all just hit him, I have never ever seen my husband break down…never and we have been through some shit. He hugged our daughter so tight and just let go. I think it was the best thing for him but it broke my heart and reminded me of myself and Jonathan when he was small. 

I will never care for what “labels” my children will have on paper- that does not determine their self worth or their abilities. Their names are Jonathan and Kate and they are freaking amazing ❤ I’m not sure why this is our path but I do know that we are strong enough to walk it. We know how to take care of these precious little souls that have been sent to us. So we will keep on keeping on…Good night Facebook peeps 😴😴😴😴😴😴😴

#mylifeassbackwards

Ramblings for Blog #3

So besides being a Mom, I am also a Registered Nurse. I always knew I wanted to be a Nurse…always! I detoured on my route for a few years because you know I was preoccupied – looking for love in all the wrong places and getting pregnant at 19 but eventually I did remove my head from my ass and go to college.

When I was in nursing school I never knew where I wanted to go after college – where would I specialize? Everyone else seemed to know – I had no freaking clue! Then I thought – shit, maybe this was a mistake, maybe I should have been a teacher – at least they get a summer vacation. But off I went because in my gut I knew I was meant to be a nurse.

I finally settled into geriatrics. Crazy huh? I didn’t know of anyone else who specialized there. But I seriously loved it. I loved old people – they just melted my heart and I had all the patience in the world for them. I typically am not a patient person. When I would look at these patients in this population all I could see was my grandparents.

I love my grandparents –  like LOVE them!! As far as I’m concerned they can do no wrong. Seriously guys, if the feds came and told me my grandparents were terrorist – I would have  thought for sure they had a great reason for doing what they did. I’m pretty biased when it comes to them. They might as well walk on water. I have been so blessed in my life to have them for as long as I have and being able to experience a bond with them that I have. I talk to them every day. Yep, that’s right – every.single.day and it’s one of my most favorite parts of the day.

A few years back I was asked to come speak at a support group for Alzheimer’s. I have never thought of myself as one to do one of those things but I do love geriatrics and especially those with Alzheimer’s and Dementia – I really love them. They are so innocent. They asked what would be my one piece of advice that I could give to a caregiver/spouse of someone with Alzheimer’s…you guys I really had to think about this. Like think so much my brain hurt. I kept thinking all this medical and nursing stuff but I knew that was not what I wanted to say but it wasn’t coming to me…I was over thinking as I tend to do quite often.

I was in the shower – where my best thinking takes place – and it hit me – my duh moment! I was thinking of how I was able to handle Jonathan in the beginning when it was really hard and I didn’t feel like I was getting through to him. What did I do? Meet them where they are – not where you want them to be – where they are. So simple right? Such a simple thought, that I have implemented in my own life. That’s it – that was my one piece of advice. If people take one thing away from what I say I hope that’s it. I have spoken at a few support groups since then and countless families and I always make sure to tell them this.

Lately, life has been very busy, unpredictable. I get frustrated with myself, Kate, God, everyone and everything. I have to pull myself back and realize I am doing everything I can possibly be doing at this very moment. I have to pull myself back and remember that my children are who they are. They are on their own journey and their own timeline. I will continue to meet them where they are. I will continue to advocate for everyone else in their lives to meet them where they are.

 

 

 

 

Update…

This is the first time EVER we have left Iowa City and not cried or wanted to cut someone. It’s progress! We got some answers – the evaluation itself was long – very long. The psychologist we had was amazing – she treated us like people, like human beings should be treated. She was the nicest Wizard we have ever met there. 
On all the evaluations they have done on Kate they always ask her to feed a baby doll. She has never done it because she doesn’t play with baby dolls – don’t they know Super Kate doesn’t have time for baby dolls?! She’s going to run the world one day. At first it kinda pissed me off. Would they ask a boy to play with a baby doll – my guess is no. So I refused to try and force this gender standard on Kate – that’s the feminist in me talking. Finally, I broke down and said fine I’ll see if she will feed the dumb doll. If it will give her another point in the right column I’ll do it! So being the point whore Mom I have become – we practiced – she caught right on! She looks like she is stabbing the doll in the face with the bottle but whatever it counts! Do you know we got there today and they did not ask her to feed one damn baby doll?!?! Not one! 
After it was all said and done we left with the following: no Autism diagnosis right now. They think she has some red flags – duh thats why we are here! But they are not enough or even severe enough that she would warrant a diagnosis at this time. Whew..ok…but wait there’s more! She wants to see us again in 6 months. So I’m pretty blunt if you haven’t already gathered that and I need to know things, so I just flat out asked if you had to give Kate a diagnosis for today what would it be? The Wizard said Global Development Delay Disorder – hmmmm thats a new one, even for me. My facial expressions usually gives me away and it sure did today too so I must have had the deer in the headlight look. What she explained to us is that when a child like Kate has delays in more than one area – like Kate does – this is a diagnosis they are given. It’s a fancy word for it. Huh, I thought. I will need to google all there is to know about this fancy word. 
So there it is folks! We came home and told Jonathan about our trip and he gave Super Kate a hug and said I’m glad you didn’t get a label today. I’m so damn proud of that kid! 

Off to see the Wizard 

I never intended for this topic to be my first blog post, honestly I’m not sure what I wanted my first post to be…but here I am. Something happened today that just compelled me to start writing. It’s a situation – which is really not the right word but to get my point across we will call it a situation – that we have been dealing with for a few months and something happened today that just flipped my inner Mama Bear bitch switch. 

I really try to give both of my children everything they need from me. They are 13 1/2 years apart. One kid is one kid and two kids are twenty kids – I don’t care how far or close they are in age. All kids are needy at every age in different ways. Jonathan is my oldest. He has Aspergers/ADHD after many years of hard work, he has reached to what I like to call “stable”, he’s good. He is the best thing I never knew I needed, as he was a surprise to me at the age of 19. He’s a typical teenager in so many ways and then out of nowhere he says some profound shit and I just sit and stare at him in amazement that I helped make a human being so self aware and in tune to the world around him with such feeling – which totally contradicts the Aspergers diagnosis, but that also another story for another post! 

Today my youngest, my miracle baby, my Kate is heavy on my heart today. Kate came into this world like a firecracker- that too is a story for another blog. She came into this world early. She is beautiful. She is smart but most of all she is strong. Kate or as we have been calling her since the NICU – Super Kate has had delays starting around 9 months. Immediately they were detected and therapy started. Super Kate always catches on quickly and progresses. She is nothing short of amazing. I watch her in awe. Fast forward to the last few months…she has had most importantly some Speech delays. We have had with no exaggeration- everyone and their mother evaluate Kate. Finally, it was put to us that maybe we need to look at the University of Iowa CDD (Center for Development and Disability)…I freaked out! What? I’m not going back there. That’s where I took Jonathan to get diagnosed and this was not supposed to happen to Kate. We have been through enough. We’re not going! It was like a band aide had been ripped off an old wound. I think I was in shock. How is this happening again? After my freak out – which ALWAYS comes first – ALWAYS, like I have to get it out of my system before rational thinking can take place. One good cry later I calmed down. I called my Mother and cried, yelled and vented to her. My husband and I decided not taking Super Kate to the CDD was not helping her. It was me, it was my issue with going there and I would be selfish to not take her. I needed to pull my self back, get it in check and move it along here. 

Super Kate and myself get up for our first appointment with the developmental pediatrician and the audiologist. I thought both appointments went great. She passed her hearing tests. The time we spent with the Doctor I asked a million questions and like any crazy Mama Bear would brought reports from her therapist, videos etc. I was ready! I was honest and upfront. I asked her do you think Kate has Autism? I let her know that this was not my first rodeo. We just want answers. We left there with a diagnosis of expressive language delay. This was not news to me. Apart of me felt like huh maybe we are out of the woods? This Dr has been doing this a long time surely she knows what she’s talking about, maybe I’m letting my own anxiety cloud my judgement. 

We come back Dec. 23 for our speech evaluation- we are thinking this will be no big deal because we already know she has a language delay. So off we go to see the Wizard – that’s what I call it when we go there. It kinda is like going to Oz because as soon as you get there you can look around and realize you’re not in Kansas anymore. Hubby came for this visit. We get back to the therapist office and she is going over the info with us and then informs us that we are here for an Autism eval….what? I looked up at her like she had 3 heads that had horns coming out of them. I politely informed her that she must have us confused with someone else because we are here for a speech eval. At this point Kate poops her pants and Hubby takes her to get changed, I’m totally blind sided not sure what to do, I still have yet to receive the report from the last trip. I can feel the anxiety coming but I know I gotta get my shit together – Kate will sense it in two seconds of being back in this room. After some thought- still being totally pissed – I figure we are already here and we might as well proceed with the assessment. At the end of this assessment – which was horrible – tiny office, no windows, horrible toys, big camera in the corner that probably got my freak out on video (hopefully could be used for learning purposes?) – this therapist tells us that Super Kate scored in the moderate to severe risk for being diagnosed with Autism. That was it. This woman did not even blink telling us this, her tone of voice did not change. She might as well of told me my check bounced. It was so matter of fact. I’m so upset, angry and devastated at this point I’m not sure what will come flying out of my mouth and from years of experience I know it’s usually not good and it’s best to retreat and regroup at this point. 

It takes everything in us to get through Christmas. We make a battle plan. We don’t feel in our gut this was an accurate picture of Super Kate. Meanwhile I am fighting in my head so hard not to fall back to the depressed and mad person I was after Jonathan got diagnosed, it’s difficult to get out of your own head. I cannot let my kids see me break. I make what feels like a million phone calls and emails. I get an evaluation set up with the AEA in our home with someone we know and trust. If he says we need to worry, then we worry. I schedule an appointment for the cognitive assessment at the CDD. I do not want to go back to see the Wizard…again, which brings me to today. I’m at Physical therapy with Kate. Phone rings, it’s the CDD telling me that our appointment is now at 930 not 1030 and with a different doctor not the doctor that we scheduled with – asked about, researched, etc. I am livid. This is just the straw that broke the camels back. The girl on the phone gives me the number to scheduling. Keep in mind I’m doing all this as I am cheering Super Kate on while she is learning how to jump – and doing amazing at it by the way because of course she is she’s Super Kate! I call scheduling…I tell them the situation and this poor soul on the other line has no idea how this happened or what she can do to help me. At this point in time friends, I just totally lose my shit and this is what I say to the poor soul in scheduling…My husband took off work for this appointment, I scheduled this appointment this way because I have to bring my oldest child who does have Autism to school so I can bring my youngest child to you so you all can tell me if she does have Autism – sounds life changing right – but yet here I am on the phone with you being told that my whole schedule has been rearranged without a single phone call. This is not how you conduct business when your business is people – my children are not transactions, they are children. Then I apologized to the poor soul in scheduling because I’m truly not a mean person and I know she is the messenger and none of this is her fault. This girls tries to find someone who can help me but everyone is at lunch – I’m still at Kate’s therapy appointment – I told her you have my name and here is my number and I will expect a phone call from someone today, I apologize again and tell her I really hope she has a better rest of her day. 

Two hours later I get a call from a woman named Kelly…Kelly turns out to be an angel. I tell Kelly EVERYTHING! From our first appointment to this most recent cluster today and how upset I am. I just want answers for my daughter. Kelly pages the Dr who will be with us tomorrow and asks her if she could spend some more time with us and explains the situation. The Dr agrees! I finally feel some sense of relief, like maybe we will really get some answers tomorrow, because I don’t feel it in my gut that Autism is right for Kate. I always go with my gut it has NEVER steered me the wrong way. So tomorrow morning we will all wake up early to go see the Wizard.