Sunday, June 25, 2006

Squatting in the bathroom at church

NOTE: If you have emetophobia or anything similar (can't stand to read or hear about someone being sick to their stomach), feel free to skip this one. I'm very emotional right now and just need to talk about it. Sorry for the details. It helps me work through it.

This is our life with Tourette Syndrome.

First, I'm a bad - BAD! - mom. I let one of my daughter's prescriptions run out and she had to go two nights without it. Now, granted, this med is the kind that hits a therapeutic level in the body. Missing one or two days is not going to SEND her into a tizzy. However, I know that my daughter battles extreme anxiety, and the mind is a powerful thing. She knows that she missed the pill. She started getting worked up when she realized there was just the little white pill and not the little green pill. It got worse when I explained that the pharmacy was already closed by the time we thought about it ... again. Mind over matter. I really should start keeping some "red hots" or something in the cabinet as a placebo - if we ever find ourselves in the same predicament. I hate to lie and say "these are the same as the green pills, but here just in case of emergency - which is why they are RED!" However, if it would help us avoid a morning like we had today ....

She wakes up, and still has a nervous stomach. She doesn't really want to eat. She's only happy watching some tv and keeping her mind off of it. When it's time to head to church, she breaks down in tears. She feels bad. Her tics are going crazy (I'm noticing two continuous physical tics and one vocal tic - the whole time I'm fixing her hair, she's doing this humming/grunting thing). I tell her that she can just stay with me in my Bible study class, or we can hang out in Daddy's office at the church. That helps her. Sometimes just knowing she has an "out" can help her calm herself.

As we're walking up to the church she holds her stomach and says "I have to poop." So, I'm trying to decide, "Will the nervous stomach overtake the other end? Should we run to the bushes or sprint inside to the bathroom?" I choose the bathroom.

I get the other kids all sent to their classes on the way in (thank God for friends!). After 45 minutes of some pooping, hugging a trash can, absolute silence (which she insists on when her tummy is upset), me squatting on the floor next to her so she can lay her head on my shoulder and rest ... I finally ask her if she would like to put on her clothes and go home. "YES!"

She gets dressed, I pick up her things, we're almost to the bathroom door and the gagging starts. I think she just needed to get that stomach acid out of her that had been churning all morning. That's really all it was. In fact, in between "blechs" she said, "Hmmm, I guess I was swallowing too much spit." ha! That's all it appeared to be.

I tell her to rest on the floor while I went to get the car. I stop by the front desk and start handing out instructions to more of my WONDERFUL friends (one who went to stay with her in the bathroom, another who went upstairs to make sure my husband knew which kids to pick up and when, etc.). I get the car and meet my sweet girl with a barf bowl (which we keep in the minivan for occasions such as this! Bad mom gets five "Good Mom" points for that one!).

She's talking all the way out the door and smiling, holding the bowl! We get in the car, and she feels well enough for me to stop by the pharmacy now that it is open. She has moments of yuckiness, so she derives a system of holding up her hand ... meaning, "Mommy, please shut your mouth and be quiet or you'll make me throw up." I talk too much. Big surprise. Imagine how bad it is when I'm worked up??

So, we get home, she is on the couch with the "sick child set-up" (good kids' programming on the dish, barf bowl within reach, favorite pillow and a good book). I go to my own room, crawl into a corner, wad up in a ball and cry. To anyone else, this just seems like a regular "I have a sick kid" sort of day. To me, though ... today ... for some reason ... it's just a big reminder of the constant disorder that my child must suffer through. She was not upset that she missed church, or couldn't show her friends her new pants, or tell her teachers all of the new things she learned to do at the pool this week. She is handling it much better than her mother. It just broke my heart.

I don't know why today is different. I don't know why some days we're all really proud of educating people about TS, and knowing it's certainly not the worst thing in the world. Today is different, and my heart is hurting for my child. As I sat, squatting on the nasty bathroom floor, looking into the pale, closed eyes of my eight year old ... I looked up. I knew we'd get through it ... right there on the really outdated pink tile ... helping her hold the big gray trash can (and listening to all of the little old women come in and start complaining after they had washed their hands, "Is it just me, or is there no trash can in this restroom??").

We can totally handle it. It's our life. It's the way things are.

But today, I need to cry and be sad ... and tell someone else.

It's therapeutic.

I'm already feeling better. Thanks.


Sharon said...

I hope you are feeling better, and your sweet child. And you're not a bad mom. Writing this just shows how much of a GOOD, loving mom you really are.

CeCe said...

I know what it's like to just get that "bad mom" feeling and break down. Sometimes it just happens. Glad you feel better.

Christine Brannan said...

Awe... ((GIANT HUG))

Becky said...

I see no bad mom here...just a busy and ultimately loving mom. Just chalk up the snafu on the perscription as getting older and not having enough sleep. It happens to the best of us. :-) You won't forget next time.

Anonymous said...

Stine, you've come a long way from temporarily moving out of the dorm room when I was sick to squatting next to the toilet w/ her. I'm proud of you!!! You have been a wonderful Mom from the day she was born!!!! XXOO - Tiffany

Christine said...

Tell me about it! Presh got sick yesterday (someone gave her a cookie at VBS - eggs!). We got home and she still had a little bit left on her tummy. I was snacking on crackers, with one hand, eyeing my jigsaw puzzle spread out in front of me, and using the other hand to hold the infamous "barf bowl" while she gagged out the rest of the culprit cookie.

Talk about night-and-day difference!!

If it makes you feel any better, every time someone around me in college got the barfs, I had diarrhea just from freaking out! So, I could run ... but I couldn't hide!!!

chelle said...

I am glad you had the opportunity to cry a little and blog a little!! No bad mom, just a loving mom!

Red hots as back up would totally be a good idea!

Anonymous said...

Let's see, mom of multiple children, home-schooling, minister's wife, live with Miguel, and you forget ONE perscription? Not sure that constitutes "Bad Mom" status. Throughout the incident you kept your daughter as first priority! Good mom...good GOOD mom! --- Paul Irby

Leann said...

Girl, you are amazing!!! You are a great mom and I would so love to spend time with you and those precious ones in your home. I know it is a repeated little phrase but as a mom I just don't think you could hear it enough but "I am praying for you"!!! Special needs children are NOT EASY and you are one strong woman to take it all on the way you do. I love ya girlie!!!

Anonymous said...

I have a special needs child, and I know the feeling of thinking you are handeling it great and then it hits you. I've found that life is ebb and flow. Sometimes you have moments of absolute peace and then you don't. It's what you do in the moments you don't that counts the most. --Christy

Cam said...

Wow. Many hugs to you, & to your daughter! I think you're an excellent mom.

Anonymous said...

I know this is a post from a long time ago.. but hey I just found your blog. Actually my dad did... and he passed it along to me as he new I would appreciate your perspective.. (we just adopted a little boy (black- internationally) he knows I have a heart for adoption and that I am interested in anything mommy and homeschool and blogging.. so anyway... I just wanted to say thank you for being so honest.. especially with this particular post ( I have read a lot of yours during my boys nap time today!) So far I am not in your particular situation, but my mommy heart ached with yours and I just wanted to say you go girl! I am digging the fresh perspective and encouragement and just passed your blog onto my friend who has also just adopted a beautiful black baby girl and also has another daughter with autism. Thanks for sharing...