Monday, September 21, 2009

What Dreams May Come

I should be doing MANY other things right now, but I thought I'd post this little bit to get it out of my head. The night before last, C woke up around 3 am and was talking in his bed. (He often wakes up at 5:30 am and is awake for the day, but 3 am was a little early.) I couldn't tell what he was saying in the monitor, so I went into his room to ask what was wrong. He said, "Did we flush my green tanker truck down the toilet?" That was it--bad dream. He's had bad dreams before, but never really had enough language to actually describe it. I assured him it was fine and we should go back to bed. He said he needed to go to the bathroom, so I took him in, and he repeatedly questioned me about the tanker truck, and was I the one who flushed him down the toilet. I tried to assure him his truck was still there and explain exactly what a dream was. He got quieter and went back to sleep, but never really seemed satisfied.
Later that day when we were at church, C leans over to me and whispers, "Are we not going to flush our trucks down the church potty?" While I tried really hard not to laugh, I told him we had no trucks with us and that I would never do that.
After sacrament meeting, I took him to the bathroom. While sitting on the toilet, he points to an almost-gone zit on my face and says, "Is that your owwie?" I said it was but it was almost gone. And he said,"Did you get that when you flushed my trucks down the toilet?" Poor boy. Usually I am slightly annoyed when he points out my occasional zits, but this time I just couldn't help but empathize.
Unfortunately, as adults, we are not immune to bad dreams. I was reading a magazine article about dreams the other day, and they perfectly described my reoccurring adult nightmare--I realize I am late for a final exam for a class I signed up for but forgot to ever attend. I did feel a little relieved that I am not alone in dreaming this because as far as adult nightmares go, this is apparently very popular.
The magazine says this indicates that I am a person to whom achievement is important and I have anxiety in my life....well, duh. I think any woman at my life stage is entitled to a bit of anxiety. After all, it certainly is possible that my son really flushed a toy down the toilet and it wasn't a bad dream at all and I think a little bit of anxiety about that is perfectly normal. But I do also believe our dreams reveal a little about us that we may not have known.
Adam sometimes teases me about all the crazy dreams I have, but sometimes I wonder just what it's all for. One day, I was painting a bookcase white, and I was standing over it moving the paintbrush up and down, and I realized I that had seen this exact picture before. But it was more than dejavu--I remembered where I had seen it was in a dream I had weeks earlier before I ever decided to paint it.
Now please don't think I have any belief in psychic abilities because you won't convince me that painting a bookcase had any significance to anyone--even me. But I do know there are all kinds of things about our brains that science doesn't yet understand. It truly fascinates me, and sometimes I wonder if in another life I might be a neuroscientist and figure it all out.
Maybe I'll dream about that tonight.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

The "Transition"

Since even before C's diagnosis, we have been a part of the First Steps program. It is our state's Early Childhood Intervention program, and provided us with PT and OT at home. I don't think I can explain in words how grateful I am for this program. To have trained professionals come to my home on a weekly basis to check on him, work with us, and assess his and our needs has been one of our greatest blessings. I feel like I am pretty observant and educated, and know my child very well, but they consistently noticed things that I did not. It has been so nice to be able to discuss all these life changes we have to make in the comfort of our own home, and I really truly feel like we have made some great friends.
But then C turned three. And at three, the government steps in and pretty much dumps you out on your own. We could put C in the special needs preschool at the local elementary school, but I'm not too thrilled with them, so we're keeping him at home one more year. If we did send him there, we would have had "transition" meetings and "arc" meetings and all sorts of meeting with the school system, but since we decided to wait a year on preschool we are just on our own.
I can say without shame there have been several times I have cried about this transition. First Steps was there to pretty much anticipate our needs and help us find whatever services and equipment were out there. And now we have to go it alone. I have spent the last month or two scrambling to find recommended therapists, who had space for C, and take our insurance. We also have to give back a lot of the equipment we've borrowed, so we're trying to get that replaced as well through insurance. I mean, some days I really can't see how my life was ever busy before I had all this to do.
And today we had our first visit with the new OT...and I am thrilled!!! It's about a 35 minute drive, but they have great equipment (including a disco ball--not sure why they need that, but it's awesome) and C actually gets to see a man now. I think it is going to be really good for him. The guy does all the same stuff as the other OTs, but from a man's perspective. Hard to explain, but very cool.
***And just as a side note, while we were at the new OT's office this guy came in who is a wheelchair rep we had originally contacted to try to get C the Permobil power chair we wanted. He told us that our insurance just wouldn't pay for that, and we had to get this other chair instead--that's all he showed us, one chair!! (That's like shopping for an SUV, and somebody showing you a Ford Escape and saying, "Yup, that's all there is.") So I see him walk in, and I look away but out of the corner of my eye I see him recognize me, and then look at C's wheelchair and just stare. I'm sure he noticed the big sticker with his competitor's name and number on the back of the chair as well. And I wanted to say, "Yeah, see that? That's cause I don't settle when it comes to my son!"...but instead I just sat there and for one brief moment felt like the best mom ever.***