Saturday, May 14, 2011

Dilemas and Research

I have been MIA recently again. I know and I am sorry.

Lately I feel like I’ve been putting out a lot of fires. Doing waaay too much research and pondering consequences of decisions based on that research.

The sad part is that I don’t know if I am that much further ahead even here after a couple of weeks.

Elise has been feeling “off” for a few weeks. She has chronic issues with croup and has been having headaches. Behaviorally, she is been very emotional and weird. Disinclined to do her work, and disinclined to do much but beg for food and watch 17 movies in about 16 minutes. She’ll load up a movie and then decide that is not actually what she wants…and repeat…and so on…and make me lose my mind…ad nauseum… This, coupled with GI issues and the headaches, and I was driven to take her to the pediatrician. The good news is that she doesn’t have diabetes! (Can you even IMAGINE the wailing and sadness, daily????) The “Meh” news? She probably has TMJ that is causing her to grind her teeth and get headaches. (Considering that the first place my mind went was a tumor? This isn’t so bad. With a history of cancer, panic at that level is pretty standard.) The bad news? We still don’t know anything, and will be running a couple extra tests at her oncology/endocrinology visit…which, honestly, was pretty true to what I expected out of this pediatric visit… And so we wait…

Research and Conundrums:
Elise has also managed to figure out all of the latches for the fridge, the pantry, and the bolts on the doors to the outside of the house. Yeah. That’s right. Feel the cold panic well up in your heart. Aahhhh!!!

I am now considering eating out exclusively (yeah, right), buying key locks for 4 doors (million $!!), and buying padlocks for the pantry. The stop gaps, that I will be practically attempting are placing “STOP” signs on the fridge and the pantry door and putting a button lock French door handle and installing backward. I will then have to open it with a hair pin for the rest of time…thankfully her fine motor skills will be in our favor for a little bit…

I found out about 6 months to a year ago, that Elise’s diagnoses qualified us for a handicap parking tag. At first, I felt like this was something that we certainly wouldn’t need. Then, I started thinking about how convenient it would be. Recently? I have wound up sweating from the stress and physical effort of GETTING to the store. From her Stop.Drop.andFlop abilities to the arm-dislocating-body-jerking efforts to run away…I am thinking that it is more of a necessity and less a luxury. I have no desire nor need of it much of the time, but as the summer yawns its hot maw in my direction, I feel panic rising. I picked up the application this week after a phone call to my pediatrician, to see if he felt that it would be an acceptable option. He encouraged me to do it…so I sit with it blank on my table still struggling…

I am also pondering on the possibility of a service dog. Uhhh. That is a sentence that promises both stress and peace. And I am still at a loss of which it would be. Elise has proved her on-going gentleness this year. In the past, I don’t think it would have been a good idea. Lately, she is precious with our outside dog. Trigger is a calming influence on her mental state. Her hippotherapy is acting as a psychological agent as well as a physical and occupational therapy.

She will do anything for her horse, as I have mentioned before. She works and responds for animals with far more effort than for any ole humans.

This idea was prompted by meeting a dog that was being trained at Gabriel’s Lacrosse game. Elise was infatuated and sat and tickled his ear for the entire time I was speaking with his trainer. Of course, to get an autism dog, that would be trained in the jobs that would be a best fit for Elise, costs quite a bit. And my husband complicated things by requesting a standard poodle or labradoodle, because honestly, what with allergies and hard wood floors, the idea of a somewhat hypoallergenic animal certainly is a huge seller.

Well, believe it or not, I have found a (fairly) close by poodle autism dog trainer. Now I am faced with the complication of whether I want to fill out this application. If we actually got one, then we have to afford it. AND it’s like signing up for another family member to feed, groom, care for, make behave, and transport everywhere. SO I sit mulling and praying. Any experience or thoughts, PLEASE feel free to sound off…

I crave the idea of the dog for a calming agent for Elise. A dog trained to keep her home and safe is certainly looking more and more important. She loves caring for animals and adores petting and fiddling with hair…but would the work outweigh the safety benefits? *sigh*

SO you are now updated on the craziness that is my life. Seriously, I will listen happily to any well-meaning advice… But if you would murmur a prayer for wisdom on our behalf, it certainly would be appreciated.


  1. I haven't been following your blog that long and I didn't know you had autism in the mix. While my 8y/o daughter has DS, my 11y/o son has an autism disorder. I can say the autism has been more difficult emotionally. Praying for you, I too have felt the frustration and sadness of not knowing how to best help my child.

  2. Oh goodness, I have no advice but am good at praying. Actually, I am intrigued about the service dog. Would she be able to take him/her to school? HUGS!!!!!

  3. Another good breed for hypoallergenic AND companion is Old English Sheepdog...that is what my mom has trained as a therapy dog. A sheepdog is pre-wired to keep her contained and safe. You may be able to find someone willing to donate a puppy to...thats how my mom got Sparky, and I have afreind who just bred her poodle to donate for Cerebral Palsy.

  4. Hugs and prayers Tiffany...I hate that when something is off with our "geneticly predisposed to cancer" children, normal parental worry escalates in the way that it does (at least for me it does). I will be praying that all of her tests come back just fine...Also, I say GO FOR THE PARKING TAG and don't look back!! The dog sounds like a wonderful idea...probably a lot of work in certain ways, but if the work saved is greater than the work created, it is definitely worth it! Tiffany, thank you for your blog and all the real life thoughts and questions you post on here...YOU are a blessing!!!