Once Upon a Fat Girl

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Round up

Well...the December rush of birthdays is over. Ruby turned two on December 8, Nick turned 13 (!) on the 12th and Kevin's birthday was yesterday.

Things have been a little nuts. We spent five days in Ely visiting Adrienne and Nick's grandparents. That town is like Christmas central...it's a living postcard. All the snowy little cottages lit up, snow capped mountains everywhere. Amazing.

As soon as we got back I went to Panama City for my dad's wedding. It's funny--I never think of Florida as being in the south. Maybe the north...I'm not sure. But the pan handle is most definitely Deep South.

I've never seen so many trees. It's like they hacked back the rain forest to build houses. And the food was out of this world.

After Christmas I'll post some pictures. Kevin's parents are coming for dinner tonight and I just don't have the time to get them up until then.

I have totally neglected this blog the past six months. One of my resolutions is to post more often. I'm huge on resolutions and have been having a blast the past few days organizing mine. (good intentions and all that!) Here's what I have so far:

1. Lose 50 pounds. I know this sounds suspiciously like "go on a diet", but I swear it's an improvement. Usually I resolve to lose 10 pounds a month, which is 120 pounds in a year. Fifty pounds is a nice very slow pace--doable just by not binging.

2. Write the first draft of my new novel. In his writing book Stephen King says when he's writing he writes 2000 words a day. Who wants to argue with the master? So 2000 words a day it is. I really can do this.

3. Move away from Las Vegas. Another one that has been a constant for the past couple of years. This year I think I might really manage it, too.

We're thinking about moving to Denver. There is a casino center not too far away, and the university there has an autism research center which means that they must have a better selection of doctors for Nick than there is in Las Vegas. The schools are good, the weather isn't too bad. I know, I know...lots of snow. Big Blizzard this week (everyone I've told I want to move to Denver has called to tell me about the blizzard!) But generally, even in the winter, they don't get bitter cold. It's semi-arid so the kids and I won't be knocked on our asses by humidity. And hello...the Rocky Mountains. Who wouldn't benefit by being surrounded by that kind of beauty? So anyone from Denver? I'd love to pick your brain.

P.S. Nick is officially listed with the school district as autistic. They wouldn't take off the Emotionally Disturbed label--that pissed me off. Who the hell wouldn't be emotionally disturbed by being misdiagnosed and having tons of invasive treatments and therapies (drugs, hospitialization...) for diseases and disorders that are totally misdiagnosed? Never mind the untreated learning disabilities and spending half of his life in classroom placements that were completely inappropriate--even harmful.

Scott went with me to the meeting--total shock. He actually thanked me for fighting so hard for Nick when almost everyone else, including him, believed Nick's problems stemmed from everything from too much sugar to a lack of spanking.

Nick's going to his doctor (psychiatrist) in two weeks. The school thing isn't a medical diagnosis. We'll see what Dr. Baig has to say. I'm still not totally clear about what treatments are available for autism. I know they can medicate for some of the symptoms. Like Nick's obsessive tendancies. He doesn't wash his hands too much or have rituals--but he gets stuck in a train of thought. He'll ask the same question over and over--or tell the same story over and over. Or he'll get stuck on wanting to do something, say call his uncle, and then spend hours obsessing on it if his uncle is at work or it's midnight and he can't call right away.

Also over the last year, since he went off his meds, I've noticed that he is way more anxious than he ever has been in his life. He needs approval for everything--even what he eats for lunch or whether or not he should play a certain game on his Playstation. I think his head hitting stems from this.

I'm reading this amazing book by Temple Grandin. She's an autistic woman who wrote a book about her childhood called Emergence. I'm reading Thinking in Pictures, which is more indepth. Both are incredible. She talks about how her brain works, how things feel and look to her. She says that many autistic children are helped by a tiny (very tiny) dose of Paxil. I'm really glad I read that book, because Nick had such a terrible reaction, culminating with arrest and hospitalization, when he was on a large dose of Paxil mixed with Concerta (like Ritalin) that I would never ever have let him try it again if Dr. Baig suggests it.

Okay....enough already! More later. MERRY CHRISTMAS EVE!!!


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