Monster “A” verses Monster “B”…which would you choose?

One of the hardest internal conflicts for me to deal with as a mom is the dilemma of giving oral medication to my 2-year old son when he is sick.

What’s the big deal, you ask?

Well, let me explain it like this:  If you ever want to the “Cliff Notes” version of what it feels like to be a heartless monster (and not the cute, cuddly, Muppet type-of-monster), then I invite you to join me when I have to administer meds. for my son.  You’ll depart with full confidence that you can ace any Monster screening exam.

The reason for this is: My son is extremely sensitive to pain.  I’m talking EXTREMELY Sensitive!  His autism makes it hard for his 2-year old self to deal productively with it.  When he’s sick and/or in pain he can (and likely will) go into Full Meltdown mode.  He can’t focus on anything but the pain, including anything that will make him feel better.  It’s just PAIN, PAIN, PAIN!! …Which, leads to crying, screaming, and thrashing.  The pain overwhelms him. 🙁

Micah can’t be rationalized with (He is only 2, after all)!  And…from that moment on EVERYTHING upsets him.

If it’s a pain caused by something I can administer medicine for (i.e., teething, fever, cold, etc..) I am faced with the decision of whether to give him medicine or let him suffer in his meltdown, which could last all day…plus could get worse depending on what the cause is.

Why would I even consider not giving my child medicine if he needs it?

We’ll now introduce Player number Two into this story:  Meet Mr. Oral Sensitivity.

Micah’s oral sensitivity doesn’t just make him a picky eater, it means that other than Micah, NO ONE ELSE can give him ANYTHING by mouth (unless he approves), especially meds.   It bothers him traumatically, the same as for someone that suffers from a phobia.

We are trying to get him to administer his own medicines when they come in a chewable form, so that this process will go easier, but that isn’t so easy because like I said before, once the pain is so severe that that Micah needs medication, he has already shutdown to all thought and is just in a crying/wailing emotional-driven state.  Hopefully, as he gets older and develops more awareness to how things work (& maybe gets some OT to help him with dealing with  his sensitivity rages), then we can nip the pain-induced meltdown in the bud.

In the meantime, here’s how it goes:


To give Micah any oral meds, but especially for liquid ones, I must forcefully prop him up on the couch or lay him down on the floor, hold down his arms, and/or pin him down with my body over his to keep him from squirming.  (Yes, I HAVE to do this. My son may be only 2 years old, but he is a “BIG Boy” and is a minimum weight of 37lbs.  Plus, he is Very strong for his age.)  I hold his head still and apply the oral meds…sometimes by means of forcing the syringe of liquid into his mouth and squirting a little at a time.   While doing this, the WHOLE TIME, he screams, cries, and thrashes about trying to stop me.

(if you don’t already feel disgusted, then I suggest you might want some therapy yourself.)

When finished I feel emotionally dirty and ugly.  I hate myself for what I did even though I know the medicine will help Micah feel better.  I still feel like I’ve been hurting my baby.  It doesn’t help that most meds. take a little while to work, so immediately afterward Micah is still upset & hurting.  He doesn’t understand the connection between my administering him medicine and him feeling better from it.

He just thinks mommy was being cruel to him.  🙁

So…given this choice, what would you choose?

I look forward to the day when I don’t have to make this internal decision anymore…for now I just try to focus on the fact that I am helping him…even though he can’t see it yet.

I knew being a mommy would require making difficult choices that make you appear to be a “Mean Mom”, I just didn’t expect it to start this soon.

I know someday Micah will understand all this and know how much I love him, and do this because of that love…but there are moments when I wish that “someday” was today…if just for a few seconds.



Philippians 2:4

“Don’t be concerned only about your own interests, but also be concerned about the interests of others.”

Am I from another planet?

I’m up at 1:38am after going to bed.  I can’t sleep.  I’m a light sleeper and even the slightest noises can bother me and rouse me from my sleep.  When I do end up awake in the early mornings I find my mind thinks about the weirdest topics…case-in-point, the reason I’m writing this post.

There is an post circulating around my Facebook community right now written by a Mommy Blogger (whose RSS feed I subscribe to) who has written on many topics that I have enjoyed reading and find refreshing, but this one post she wrote I just can’t connect to.  I swear, I must be from another planet because I think I’m the only one.  Every other mom of younger children has reposted her original post onto their Facebook page or commented on how much they love it!  I mean, LOVE IT!  Everyone is totally raving about how she hit-the-nail-on-the-head and totally got this one right.  She did?  I’m not in consensus on this one.

Her post is about how some older mothers will tell you to cherish EVERY moment with your young child because before you know it these days will be over, and you will have missed it before you realize it’s gone. The blogger states that this theory doesn’t work for her because she worries that she’s doing something wrong if she doesn’t find herself in a constant state of ecstasy and gratitude.  HUH? This isn’t what cherish means…at least not from my point-of-view.  Cherish means to have affection for; feel tenderness for…and some definitions state:


v cherish[ˈtʃeriʃ]

1 to protect and love (a person) She cherishes that child.
2 to keep (a hope, idea etc) in the mind She cherishes the hope that he will return.
This is what cherishing every moment means to me, and I’m glad to do it.  Maybe it’s a morbid way of thinking to everyone else, but I do cherish every moment with my child, whether positive or negative memories because I don’t know how many I have.  I protect him and love him to the best of my ability. Now, I’ve never lost a child, (except from miscarriage) so I can’t speak to how that must feel, but I can imagine that any mother that has would probably tell you that they do cherish EVERY SINGLE MOMENT, no matter the situation.  If she could have her child back for just one more moment she probably would hop at the chance.  This is what I try to remind myself when I look at or think about my child.  This is how I approach life (don’t get me started on women that don’t tell you how old they are..this is a pet peeve of mine, but that’s for another day).

Maybe my viewpoint is different also because my child is different from the “Average Joe”.   Maybe when your child has special needs you look at life completely different…i don’t know, maybe?  I do know that I’m not sure when and how I’m going to get those “special moments”, so I take what he offers and I make them special, even when he’s having a meltdown or burning up with fever because there’s something to cherish there, something to love, protect and keep.  I don’t think I need to be in a constant state of ecstasy to cherish this time.  However, I do think I need to be in a constant state of gratitude
(1 Thessalonians 5:18 “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”), so this is what I try to do.
These are the kind of thoughts you get from me when insomnia has got me up.

Reflections of D-day (Discovery day)





I’m not good at journaling, never have been.  I just don’t write my thoughts down every day…but I find myself trying to pick up this habit and attempting to journal every once in a while.  It never sticks (also why my blog posts are random and few & far between), but I try.  I did “try” to start again a few months ago as a way to mull through my feelings about an intense situation that was taking place in our lives.

After sharing a few posts here about our journey these last 6 months with the diagnosis process for Micah and the confirmation that he has Autism, I feel I should share the journal entry that I wrote soon after realizing or “discovering” that Micah was different.


It’s been amazing how many of my friends and acquaintances have approached me about the autism subject since we sent out our Christmas newsletter & had a one-page mention about Micah’s diagnosis.  I never thought it would mean that much to so many others.    I want to be candid and transparent though.  I don’t want someone that might read this post, or earlier ones to think that I am super-strong and never struggled or freaked out at all, cause that is far from the truth.  I totally had my sleepless nights and cry fests….so if you are beginning down this journey into the world of Special Needs parenting or diagnosis of some other disorder/condition/etc…don’t think you are weak, or alone, for that matter.   We were all in your shoes at one point…but, there is hope.  This is not the end.  Things can be & will be tough, but you do not walk this path alone.

Now I’m just gonna post straight from my journal and share with you my thoughts from those early days…


“2 Aug 11
It was 3 weeks ago this Monday.  That was the day that while I was sitting watching Micah do a repetitive behavior of walking in circles around the kitchen/living room for 10 minutes, only to be interrupted by a short diaper change, and then return to walking in circles for another 7 minutes, that is when I realized something was not right.  Developmentally, this is NOT a normal behavior for a 21-month old.
It was at that moment that my fears were revealed.  The thing I had feared the most, even before his birth… and, at each milestone I had checked for any signs of – that fear was now staring me plainly in the face and taunting me.
It was in that second of time that I understood what was going on…Micah was likely Autistic.
(My actual thought at this moment was: Oh.. Myyy.. God!  Micah’s Au-tis-tic!)

As soon as I recognized this behavior of this developmental disorder, all the other behaviors that had gone unnoticed came rushing to my mind clear-as-day.  Micah wasn’t speaking anymore – it wasn’t just him not talking as much, like he does during teething episodes because his mouth hurts.  He wasn’t talking – period, the end.  This had happened slowly over the last 2 months…words beginning to drop off here & there and be replaced with cries and other verbal/visual cues.  Also, there were the unexplained tantrums.  They totally made sense – another behavior!  There was the babbling, the lack of pointing, the other repetitive behaviors that also ALL started up these last few months…add that up with Micah’s temperament/nature to be sensitive to light, sound, & touch, and all the dots seemed to connect.

It all made sense.   Horrible sense…but, still, now I understood.
My heart sank!  How could this be?!?    Micah made all of his milestones goals.  He had a good vocabulary…
How could he have Autism (or another neurological disorder)??
Why him? Why, God!
Please, don’t let this be!  This can’t be happening….but, it is.

This is how I felt.  Totally defeated. Scared. Hurt.
My precious child had something wrong and I  couldn’t protect him from it.  I couldn’t fix it… I felt the most powerless I have ever felt in my life.
God, please help…don’t let this happen!
I’m not ready for this.

I don’t know if I’m strong enough for this…
Just silence… &  the aching in my heart –

– interrupted by the idiosyncratic giggles coming from my child who was now fascinated with climbing up & down, up & down, up & down, in a chair.

That’s how it all started….”

ASD – Diagnosed

We finally received Micah’s autism diagnosis yesterday, after a 4 hour evaluation.  It’s actually a relief to get the official diagnosis because it’s been 5 months of chaos since he had language regression, since we first saw signs of autistic behavior & went to our first doctor’s appointment.  Since then, Sooooo many tests were done, so many blood draws, urine analyze, EEG’s, doctor’s appts, evaluations of every sort, just to rule it all down to the “A” word.

The PhD doing Micah’s developmental eval thought we might be stressed about a diagnosis of autism, but we are actually at peace.  We’ve already gone through accepting that Micah has autism and that his brain functions differently than most people.  This diagnosis wasn’t for us. It was for the insurance company, for the medical community, for the therapists, for the nay-sayers that think he is just a hyper 2-year old, eventually it’ll be for his educators (though, we were told they do another one), but not for us.
We discussed a whole lot of jargon and DSM information regarding what type of autism & what that means, but with the definition of Autism in the DSM being revamped in the next year, much of that will change too, or at least the names of the definitions will…

He is classified as having high-functioning autism, but that label means nothing to the average person.  It would be like me speaking Martian to you.  This really only helps his therapists know what type, & what level of therapies to do with Micah.  To the rest of us it’s just a fancy-sounding verb placed in front of the word Autism.  It doesn’t tell you who Micah is as a person, what his interests are, his favorite foods, favorite color, that he has a mischievous streak, or anything else for that matter.  These are the things I want people to get to know…I want them to know the REAL Micah, not his medical label.

I am glad the diagnosis is done, so we can continue down the road and fully incorporate all partners into our goals (hopefully).  It’s difficult working with so many different entities and trying to keep a consistent thought of what you’d like accomplished.  We are fortunate though and we know it.  We have been able to get Micah ABA and speech therapy through a tax-funded agency, even while we were waiting for the insurance- approved, medical diagnosis.  We know that there are many people that don’t have access to these services for their children, so we are VERY, VERY thankful.  I don’t know what we would had done without them these last 5 months.  I can’t imagine sitting around waiting for your child’s developmental appt  and feeling that lost or alone.  You really aren’t provided much information by the medical community until you have your diagnosis.  Until then you’re on you own (and whatever you glean from the internet).   Can you imagine that??

….It was hard enough early on even with the support and information we received from the Regional Center…I just can’t fathom trying to figure out the right path on your own. We need a better system in the US.  Everything is so disconnected and wonky.  I don’t care what side of the healthcare debate you may be on, you can’t argue that our healthcare system isn’t broken.  It shouldn’t be this hard to get the medical assistance you require.

Well, that said… now we have a mini plan for this next year.  Hopefully we will be able to incorporate in some OT therapy for Micah as well, and have everyone play nice and cooperate, but I know we are likely to have some more hiccups along the way. At the end of 2012 we are set for more evaluations because Micah turns 3 years old (apparently, this is a milestone age for the agencies) and he’ll transition to another system.
It’s all baby steps…we have some ground to make up…Micah has a lot of work ahead of him…we’ll just go one foot in front of the other, or whatever way neurologically diverse people walk, with maybe a hint of a skip…if Micah has his way.  🙂

Teething, and other such Horror stories…

This round of teething for the kiddo is Ex·Cru·Ci·At·Ing!

I hope it ends soon because I’m about to go WoNkY.
The last 4 molars are killers:
Fevers, not eating, crying all day from the pain, irritable/moody, indecisive…and that’s just me!
(j/k – I’m just exhausted, and I’m upset that I can’t take away the pain.)


What’s worse this time is with the kid’s oral sensitivities, trying to administer medicine is like performing water torture on him.

It’s so emotionally draining; I hate it….

Did I mention that i really hate teething? No?…well, just for the record – if you’re a “Tough Love” type of person, it doesn’t work out well if you have a kid that’s your polar opposite when it comes to pain.
You’ll be the only one “Sucking It Up“.






Gawg…Momma needs a break.



“Adam and Eve had many advantages, but the principal one was that they escaped teething.” – Mark Twain



Teething advice for parents

Yip Yip Martians

I can’t upload photos to my blog.  haven’t been able to for 2 years.  The hubby says he’s working on it, but it definitely makes it hard for me to write about stuff without this accessory. I like being able to have pictures.  I’m a visual person.

So…I haven’t any pictures up of Micah, or anything that we do lately, but finally found one I can show off.  Because of Pinterest, I was able to upload my creation for Micah’s 2nd birthday.  I made martian cupcakes & a space alien cake.  The cupcakes were a hit! The link above goes to my picture of them on Pinterest’s site.  Made them in October 2011.

It was a fun party and a distraction from all the medical hoopla we’ve been going through with the little man.

Hope to post better pictures w/o weird links by next year’s birthday.

Life’s Crazy Chaos – accepting my path

When I first started this blog website I intended it to be for me to critique foods and restaurants that I tried, hence the name of the website: Smashed Bananas.

Since then there have been so many twists and turns, and so little time…I have also found that I am not the best at keeping  up-to-date with posts (this I should have known, since I wasn’t good at keeping a daily journal when I was an adolescent).

Now I also find that the nature of what I want to share has changed too.  Yes, I still will always be a foodie at heart, but that just doesn’t fit as well into my life anymore (especially having 2 picky eaters in my household).  😛

Today I find that my interests have shifted…er, they have been forced to shift.  Let me explain: A little over 2 months ago, I noticed that my then, 21-month old son had lost most of his language ability (spoken, signed, and receptive) and he was also experiencing some repetitive behaviors.  The warning bells went off in my head and I immediately ( and frantically) made an appt. with his Pediatrician!!!  The doctor agreed that there was development regression, mostly because I’m a compulsive freak and had such good records that we KNEW exactly how many words he knew at his 18 month check-up, so we were able to chart the amount of regression.   She was also concerned and immediately referred us to specialists in the pediatric neurology & developmental fields.

In my Naivety, I thought that once we had the referrals it would be a few weeks before we’d get a diagnosis and start our son in some therapy.  SO WRONG!

The process to diagnose your child is a long, drawn-out one, especially if you go through the Insurance-provided  path to get there.  The medical community wants to rule out every rare disorder and condition known to man, so that when they do present the insurance company with the actual disorder they can say that they were thorough in their approach and diagnosis.  In the end it will be 5 months before we get to a point of having a full diagnosis.  Not that we don’t have an idea of what is going on already, but I find the professionals in the medical community are scared of saying a certain word, even though that’s what everyone is thinking.  It’s likely that it’s some form of Autism Spectrum Disorder, but none of the MD’s, speech therapists, case workers, nurses, etc… want to acknowledge that word.  Truthfully, I’d be better with that diagnosis than some rare metabolic disorder, but they won’t bring up the word unless you say it first.  This is insane to me because by being afraid to speak about it, you give this word and the fear of it more power!  🙁

So…  we finally have my son’s speech evaluated and hope to get some therapy for that soon ( I just found out that the INS may not approve this at this time).  His developmental evaluation is months away, and in the meantime we wait…and do more tests.  I am learning to be patient, but I know this is the lull before the chaos.  Once we have the diagnosis (whatever it is..) we will then be full-steam into therapy every week…so I guess I shouldn’t complain about all this waiting.

I need to keep plugging away; need to do it for my son.

Wow! Soo many changes…

My last post was the day after I miscarried a pregnancy.  I was deeply depressed, wanting to just curl up and hide in a hole….  That time seems so long ago now.

One thing about life is that it’s constantly changing and you’re never stuck in one state for long.  It’s hard to grasp that when in the midst of an event, especially if it’s extremely happy or sad, but everything keeps changing, moving.

Today I have a healthy 5 1/2 month old baby boy that the Lord blessed our lives with almost exactly one year to the date that I miscarried.  He took away my sorrow and added so much more joy to it.  It overflows now.  I know that I will keep both experience close to my heart because both joy and sorrow help shape who I am, and I would be a very “flat” person if I only choose to cherish the happy experiences, but I am also thankful for grace.  I’m glad my God walks with me in the sad times, helping to get past my trials, and then… shows his love and grace to me by blessing me with my heart’s desire.

Life is so busy now, filled with many baby duties.  I decided to stay home, so I’ve been slowly learning this new “job”  and transitioning to the next phase of my life.  I think by the time I have it down things will change once more.  But that’s how life is, right!

I don’t get much time for all the things I once did, and have pushed back a few goals (like starting my own business), but I’m trudging along.  Just don’t expect many posts here until I figure out how to cram a few more hours into the day.  ;P

Heaven Born

Perhaps they are not stars, but rather openings in Heaven,
Where the love of our lost ones pours down through
And shines upon us
To let us know they are happy.

I’m a Grandma!

My bunny, Truffles, had babies before I bought him.  Here is a picture of them!

Aren’t they cute? 🙂

 They were born on  12/22/07, the day before I picked him up from the breeder,

so he didn’t get to spend much time with them.

He doesn’t even have to pay child support…what a lucky bunny!