Why does Bella needs all of her appointments every single Tuesday?

Update: it has been ages since I did a life update

Bell.JPG

Tuesday are our days we take Bella to physical therapy and psychology.  We sometimes also see other specialist on the same day. Last month we ordered Bella's shoe inserts they are called chipmunks they are a plastic insert we put into her shoes and she wears them all the time. This is part of the treatment for Bella's leg pains that come from having a mild form of Cerebral Palsy. cp for short. Bella has digeorge 22q11.2 deletion syndrome and this is just one of the many ways we keep her as active and healthy as she appears.  Spring break we will pick up Bell's shoe inserts and she is excited about them for now. They stay in her shoes like dr scholls inserts. Her shoes have high arch and are new balance with insert put in. Bella loves running and is excited girls on the run has started up again. 22 laps around the gym every Monday and Wednesday. 

we had Bella's occupational therapy assessment and we have great news.... Bella does not need occupational therapy.  The other stuff will come once we are better able to handle her adhd both emotional and physical adhd and panic attacks a lot better. Bella does get tired more and she is on a mussel relaxer for the leg spasms at night.  We are to continue with physical therapy as that seems to be helping Bella so much with her leg pains from the mild cerebral palsy spasms.

For the psychology part of her appointments seems our girl is having panic attacks the joys of entering puberty and works herself up into a temp of 99.9. right down to tummy feeling sick and while everything her mamma has syncope.

  Seems on Fridays the school calls us and Bella has migraines and no one can tell what is causing them. Bella says the loud kids and sounds in her class but they are no different any other time of the week. I think it is something else all together. We will get down to it and figure it out even if I have to order a smiley face button spy cam to get to whats distressing her. 

Bella needs more self esteem building because she has been told how much she can not achieve at school vs what she can achieve at school. There is also a tight group of girls that Bella is not apart of. She is friends with two other kids who refuse to take part in the clicks which I am so proud of her for standing up for herself. There was a few things that come up where she was picked on by some other kids who claim they were just playing a little game with her but that worked it self out. Bella also does not like how loud the bus becomes. Kids in her classroom seem to be a little to loud for her to handle. We also have some issues where we have taken her to busy restaurant or concerts and the loud sounds bother her there too.

 

Other then the typical day to day stuff of routines and normal structure there has not been much to blog about in terms of updating friends. I did get a new couch and a dslr cannon camera that I am loving. I will have a gallery of my photos soon for all of you to check out

Thank you to everyone who has asked how Bella has been doing and wondering where my updates have gone. Over time Bella updates have been less and less and we are moving forward in the right directions in all areas of Bella's life creating that balance I have longed for since she was little.

oh and we are also getting a dog :) I will share photos of our new friend once we get him home. he is a rescue dog from the animal shelter. I can not wait to share him with all of you and introduce you to our new pet. The godlfish are still alive and going strong. I never realized how long gold fish live when you actually take care of them. The goldfish have been with us for the past 3 years.

 

How to self care as a special needs caregiver

 As a caregiver, we can often overlook the burn out factor.
 I became burnt out friends! That is why there have been very few blog posts. I shared a bit about being burnt out before and last week I wrote a post about attending a conference that helped speakers and writers which I found a new source of inspiration.

This blog is about balance and I have not shared about how I balance and manage to live with 22q11.2 deletion syndrome. It requires a lot of time management in all areas of life, physical, emotional and spiritual. I went to the speaker's conference as I mentioned above and I came back home to the reality of trying to keep up with my two bedroom apartment and kids sometimes I only have free time to sit with my husband and fall a sleep on the couch.

I have a bit on my own plate to manage my own health issues I have gastroparesis and it is gastroparesis awareness month so I felt I needed to write about the struggles I have. 

I have adhd and ptsd I have not talked about my struggles with these things and how I am managing those symptoms or even managing. It is because I am busy managing these issues all at once and on hyper alert and on top of most of it. I say most of it the one issue I had with writing my blog posts lately is because of some of the sweet honest feedback and comments friends have given to me after I was on a few podcast I been doing a few different podcast shows because it is easier for the nerve damage for me to speak than it is to type out an entire blog post. I can transcribe podcast post later after my nerve damage heals but many of you have asked where I have been. What has Bella and our family been up to this summer and where are your rambling updates filled with tired typo. That is because I am stepping up my blog and I am starting to work on book writing perhaps in the future you will see pdf files for sale on my website for right now I sit and type behind my computer screen when I get the change to breath or when I get the chance to get away and type it is almost never this summer has gone by so fast and I have been living in the moments and enjoying each day as if it was my last. Life truly is short. I lost my brother when he was 6 years old and he had 22q the fact that Bella and I both have 22q and are doing as well as we are is a huge blessing and I will not take that for granted. Now there are some people who are envious of how well we are doing or think I have it all and I am accomplished I am not accomplished at all to be honest I’m just a simple mom trying to find her quiet place manage the kids and husband and my own struggles with my health issues as well as Bellas health issues. I worked my butt off when Bella was young I cut off a lot of unhealthy social stress from online support groups where some only wanted to bash each other and compete over who knows the most about 22q I’m not about to play that game to say I know more or less than any other person out there. I know how 22q affects me as no two people with this disorder are alike. That includes my father, half-sister, half-brother and the half-brother who passed away we are all dealing with the 22q11.2 deletion in our own ways none of us hear voices in our heads and none of us have thyroid issues.  As they are common on the list of issues that could go wrong like heart issues we do not have any of these major factors to deal with. Other than mild heart murmurs hypercalcemia my gasteroparies and bellas mild cerebral palsy both mine and Bella’s heart are doing okay.

I am not going to justify and list all of the issues we have or don’t have but the one common issue we face is hypercalcemia including Bella. Bella and my levels of all three calcium levels have stabilized our iron levels were low to all of us one that was balance things got easier. Sure we deal with things like Adhd and I struggle with time management. Honestly every mom I mentor with a 22q child or not struggles with how to best manage their time it not like there is a crash course in time management 101. There might be I might make a book about it but some other Billy bob out there might take my idea and make it their own before I get around to pulling it off.

I received all of your encouraging words and emails, as I reply to each one slowly I am coming up with blog posts ideas. I love the one question I get from all the parents I mentor is how do I do it all. I simply don’t if it is something that God brings me to he will get me through it. My faith is my strength and that might not work for some of you but there has to be something higher power other than myself I sure couldn’t do this all on my own according to some people they are shocked I can tie my own shoes let alone speak up and out and advocate as well as I do.


 I am now almost all gluten free elimination diets sucks by the way.
 I find I have more issues with milk vs gluten and lactose-free seems to help me with fewer tummy pains. Still eating soft mushy foods but allowing myself a cheat day here and there. I also enjoy going out now I enjoy friends and time with them and I embrace life. I even did a 5k race this past May with Bella and I am training to do another 5k.

I am slowly healing from gastroparesis it will never go away and could get worst before I get better.
 The flair ups and they have been less and less as I learn new ways to eat and balance life. Stress is a huge trigger. I once had a panic attack so bad that my resting heart rate was at 120. I started medication for that simply because I need to find time to reset and balance my physical and emotional as the two are so inter connected. I didn’t realize that having a panic attack could affect your heart as well. I mean I figured I would have to be 50 or 60 before that kind of stuff affected me.

I am 34 and I have to slow down and eliminate the negative social pressure of the crap that people want to fling online even if it something as simple as a good old political debate on Facebook. I avoid it all. I do this because I need to keep myself healthy distant myself from love one's friends or family members I have no issues walking away from if it becomes stressful for me it not a reflection on who they are as a person it just a reflection on my own personal boundaries what I will and will not tolerate.  As I adjust to this new me my family is also and we talk it all out in the open at family meetings. We have routine charts and rules listed on the wall with natural consequences because sometimes it all to much to keep in my head and in the heat of the moment we can forget about coping skills. I even have a list of things to do when angry or bored on the wall by our routine and chore charts. My apartment is decorated with family pictures as well everyone has a role in the family and all have value and worth in my home.
 I even started seeing a new dr locally for myself vs traveling further out. Sometimes just a few small changes add up over time and looking back a year ago I am not who I was and I see huge growth like I mention in that conference post I grew as a person in two years in my speaking journey but I also grew in two years over my own personal journey and finding balance. I even had a fun girls night out last night while Adam watched the kids and my friends' kids. Adam a trooper. I give props to all of the single parents who are out there dealing with this syndrome on your own with your children who have 22q I don’t know how you all do it.  I only know what works for myself.
 I am feeling much better and now I am working on sleep and routines.
 Sleep has always been a struggle as many of you 22q mommas can relate to.
 When Bella was first born and going through diagnosed stage I didn’t get any more than maybe 2 hours of sleep a night.


 So doing managed care for myself and she became too much and I had let my health slide.
 Now 10 years later I am finally back on track I have been on track before but this is a new back on track for me as I am doing everything holistically and naturally. Educate yourself is the key to hope. Question everything and avoid online group drama that stuff and pull you in and suck you dry. The competitive I know more than you are strong in groups and they tend not to be about supporting sad to say not all of these groups are bad and most have good intention but there are 22q haters out there and haters will hate and that’s okay. I’m not going to go out of my way to change anyone else’s mind. I’m just simply sharing what works for me. I ignore the stigma and if I don’t let it be there for me my daughter isn’t going to pick up on it from others either and if they aim it towards her then they are not worth the effort or energy for us to focus no one can say we are normal or close to normal as no one sees all that I struggle and deal with or what Bella struggles and deal with. Why would I want to be remind of the sad angry moments when I can share the positive side and the down low sides but I have ups and downs of this journey and just when you think you have it handled bam something else new comes up on the diagnose journey and we have to learn new ways of management. This disorder is a managed disorder there is no cure and we are all fighting our own journey why make it all the time soap drama when we can go out there and make a beautiful world and help encourage one another.

Encouraging others and mentoring others is why I started my blog to avoid the drama and focus on finding others who are going through the same things.  Who are not wanting to be Debbie downers but want to figure out healthy ways for positive change from a negative stressful often times emotionally unstable process of healing and living with 22q211.2 deletion

I think I am only in three groups now. I was recently asked to help monitor one and I am honored to do so as the few groups I am in are really on the ball and yes allow venting but not whining there is a difference.
 The blog has been around for 4 years and going strong at over 4,000 subscribers even with the changes I have had to make with web hosting. Do you remember me considering putting together a website vs blog this is that website I told you all about!

I am also working on a YouTube channel in the future as that’s how media trends seem to go.   Remember it’s okay for self-care so you can be the best you for your kids and family. I am so glad I was tested and treated for 22q issues. Some others hate the fact they were tested because there is no one who knows how to treat because most doctors don’t have a clue what it is still even after all these awareness efforts that are why I share outside of the 22q community an old fashion grass roots system of just sharing about our journey and if it brings awareness that is a nice added bonus. So distance yourself from the negative people who want to hate on you or bring you down and focus on the positive friends you do have and there will be room to make for new connections that will be of support both ways it a give and take that is how you know it is a healthy kind of support system.
 That is my tip for the week.
 What are some of your favorite self-care tips?

Until next time take care and have some fun when you can

Love

Amanda Ripsam

 

22q and behavior-Calm down activities

22q and behavior.

 

27 anger tools & techniques   

 

I’m giving you a toolkit that Bella learned this week in therapy and passing it on to you.



 

I had a friend who made a comment about my post that I shared on Facebook and I loved her reply so much that I had to make a blog post about it and share it with my mommy friends.

My friends reply after seeing my post from Bella’s therapist this week.

“What if the educational system wasn’t so hung up on grades and funding? what one thing that might help stop so much bullying sometimes I think regular classrooms with regular kids should have this as their regular curriculum. I think it’s coping skills for all of the emotions that get tossed at these kids every day while at school.

(AND we ALL need to practice a little more “I feel” in favor to “I hate” …every little bit counts -& with every bit of effort on our part, the Holy Spirit gets a better toe-hold, a better opening to move in …if we allow its guidance to be our persuasion) “

This last part was the reply my friend had.

Imagine if we equipped our children with even more tools every little bit we share with them isn’t going to stick and work.

Trust me I am the master of trying new products and programs that might work with our child.  

From one tantrum to the next tantrum it was overwhelming between her emotions and my own emotions trying to sort out what was really the issue at hand and being more stubborn then she is and not giving into her every wants just because she is having a hard time understanding why we said no to something.

Of course therapy was not the only course of treatment we have attempted to read books and follow along programs such as 1,2 3 magic and it worked for a bit then she caught onto my tricks and developed some of her own to get her way. As a mom you discover that upsets your child one minute and one day might not upset your child the next day.

This year we are trying love and logic but we combine the two approaches and wow the little bit of difference just giving a child a set of skills that us adults need to remember to use. Natural consequences have seem to be a powerful lesson to get my message across and help her understand why he couldn't’ have or do what and when she wanted. Impulse control from the Adhd was strong with Bella and we still work on calming down methods such as timeouts, we do a trick called blow out the candle where she takes her fingers and blows out a pretend candle and inhale the flowers and she smells the back of her hand.

 

How often do we say things without thinking about how it can make someone else feel? How often do you think kids do that when we are not around and they are having interactions with other kids on the playground. You know the kind of interactions I am talking about, I don’t want to play with you today I want to play with so and so. Or how about I don’t like your hair you poopy head. I mean kids don’t mean what they say to one another they can be mean one day and their best buddies the next day. Once children start school they are basically people trying to manage in day to day life just like us adults are.

The only thing I think I would change is prayer should be the top of this list, not the last resort.   Once a parent thought the process is off a prayer to re-center and calm can make all of the difference. If praying remember to pray with the right wording and emotions and leave it up to God after that. If prayer isn’t your thing find your mantra or center or whatever it is you need to do to realign your thought process.

Giving my daughter a list of coping tools to use when she’s upset instead of just ignoring the behavior has made things go a lot smoother not perfect but easier to manage. There is nothing more important than a relationship between a child and a mother (parent figure) and allowing your child to pull out a coping skill instead of bottling up that anger is only going to make your bond with your child stronger. Teaching your child to pray or meditate is a strong tool to use and help manage their feelings that are hard and overwhelming.

I feel that if we teach our children at a young age how to cope with our feelings and frustrations they will be able to handle whatever comes at them with a little bit of self respect and in turn help others with some of the tricks and tools they use.

My friends asked about what number 25 was? it’s called move the wall what move the wall means is you push the wall with your hands over your head and legs stretched back out pushing the frustrations away.

 

So enough talking from me. Now it’s your turn!

Practice time:

what coping skills or tools do you use when you are angry?

what coping skills or tools have you given your children?

 How do you plan on correcting your own behavior to allow for them to see a model example?