Thursday, May 26, 2011

Doodlebug Update

The last time I updated on Doodlebug's medical issues and delays was last summer. A lot has happened since then. But he still is as cute as ever.





Right before J Bug was born we had an appointment with the geneticist. We did a bunch of metabolic testing. Most of it came back normal, but not all of it. The stuff that wasn't quite normal wasn't abnormal enough to tell us what is going on, but it wasn't where it should have been either. We had a bunch more lab work done. We still don't know what we are dealing with. It's possible he has mitochondrial disease (mito). Basically that means that the body has difficulty converting the energy from food into the energy your body can use. There's lots of places that can break down and it expresses itself in lots of different ways.



Our neurologist says he doesn't have it because one of his lab tests came back normal. The third time. The other two times it was not normal. No idea why. I have done enough research to know that the lab test that came back normal is not a reliable indicator of mito. Lots of people with mito come back in the normal range. I know several moms who have kids with mito. Three have told me that they think Doodlebug has it. So for now, we are kind of stuck in limbo. We do need to find out though because there will be additional medical issues if he does have mito.

We do know now that he has a sensory processing disorder (SPD). (You didn't know you were going to have to have a medical degree to read this post did you?) What is that? It means that when his body gets information through his senses the information gets scrambled on the way to his brain. Take, for example, hearing. Children with SPD do not have issues with their hearing. The ear works just fine. But when the child hears a sound and the ear transmits that information to the brain something happens to it. Do you remember the game 'telephone' we played as a kid? All the kids sit in a big circle and whisper a message from one child to the next all the way around the circle and by the time it gets to the end the message is totally different from the one that started. That is a lot like what is going on. A child may be hyper-sensitive to sound and being in a lound environment (like the mall) may physically hurt them. Or they could be hypo-sensitive and unable to respond to someone calling their name because they just don't register the sound over other background noise. This same thing can happen with any or all of the five senses. And most kids are a mix of hypo- and hyper-sensitive. This explains why Doodlebug generally prefers really spicy foods (the extra flavor is what he needs to really taste anything) but something about biting off a bite of food throws him into a tantrum. He is hypo-senstive to taste and hyper-sensitive to the sensation of biting.

This explains a lot of his quirkiness. He is just reacting to his world. And if we can figure out what he is reacting to and help him with it then we can end a lot of his behavior problems. One of our lasting and frustrating issues was his refusal to walk when we needed to. He can walk all over the house and backyard, but if I need him to walk from the car to the grocery store he freaks out. He falls in the parking lot and screams. Not fun. We often have people stop and stare or ask if he's okay. One day by accident we realized that he can do this if he is pushing J Bug in the stroller. How odd. Then we played around and realized he can also do this if he is wearing a backpack with a couple of pounds of weight in it. The weight on his back or the weight of pushing his brother settles him and keeps him from being overwhelmed and melting down. It took us 9 months to figure that one out.

We are making progress. He is talking a lot more. All of a sudden he is starting to know his colors, letters, numbers and shapes. We finally figured out that if he is sitting up straight in a chair his attention span is at least four times longer. He can walk into stores and church with minimal fuss. He now calls me "Mommy." Well, actually he calls me "Mom-meee!" but I love it. I have waited a very long time for that. We figured out that eating and drinking dairy causes him to have behavior problems. He no longer has dairy in his diet and his behavior is much better. He's not where he needs to be, but he's not where he was either. We have come a long way and have a long way to go yet. He is also a fantastic big brother. He plays with his baby brother, brings him bottles (usually empty, but he's working with what he's got!) and loves to hug him. Unfortunatly hugging often turns into steam rolling over the baby, but  J Bug is one tough baby so it works out.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

$100 Christmas Challenge finale

Well, since it's May now, I think it's time for me to wrap this series up! Yes, we did manage to stay in the $100 budget and no we did not give everyone $1 or some random junk.

This is how it all worked out...
-T. our 4 year old nephew got a Lego set. Chris and I decided long ago that we are going to build him a giant Lego collection so we work on that as his birthday and Christmas gifts. I think it was about $25 (yikes!) but we bought it before I heard about the challenge




-Z. our teen aged nephew got a rubber band gun ($.50 at a garage sale) and a Wii game ($7 at a garage sale




-C. our collage aged nephew got a gift certificate. This is where I learned the hard way that you cannot give a gift certificate from Amazon with credit applied to your accout. So that came out of the cash budget. Another $25.




- Doodlebug got a computer and desk that I picked up at Goodwill and a bunch of toys in his stocking that I got for free. I put a piece of chocolate in his stocking that I bought on sale and added in another couple of small garage sale finds. I think he came in under $7.




-Cudabear got a computer picked up at Goodwill too. I bought him some really cute socks for his stocking and stuck some bath toys in there too for good measure. He came in under $5 I think.




-My parents got the Shutterfly calendar, pictures of the kids on a CD (we had the CD laying around and these are just pictures we took), the infamous leg lamp (it was a gift we got them last year that they regifted back to us so they got it back again-tee hee hee!) and some bargain priced chocolates.




-The remainder of the funds went to small gifts my husband and I put in each other's stockings. I finished my shopping early and told him how much was left to spend on my gifts and he worked in that budget. One of the reasons I love him so!




And here is the really astonishing part, we did it!!! I don't think anyone felt deprived or left out. If they did, they didn't tell me about it. Our budget was in tact, and we gave gifts people really wanted or could use. We missed a lot of the hustle and bustle of having to run all over the place in December, which was a good thing since I was pretty sleep deprived that month!




We are so doing this again for Christmas 2011.




Friday, May 20, 2011

$100 Christmas Challenge-Groupon

Have you tried Groupon yet? This can be a great way to save some money and get a deal on products and services. Mostly there are deals for local restaurants and services, but there are also occasionally other deals too. My favorite was a local health food store that sold a coupon for $15 and was worth $30 when redeemed in the store. Whoo-hoo!

(Time for another official disclaimer, if you sign up through Groupon using the link above and purchase a Groupon I will get $10 put into my Groupon account. You do not have to use the link above to go through Groupon, but I would greatly appreciate the extra $$$ if you do.)

I bought a groupon for $10 for a photo book on Shutterfly and used it to create an 8 x 8" photo book. It was a huge chunk of the $100 budget, but it was well worth it.
 
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