Having a Sensitive Child and Being a Sensitive Adult

Dinner was done Pajamas were on. Books were read. Boys were tucked in and Jenny the pug was placed on Aj’s bed. All was completed as normal. K-man was fast asleep. Then it happened…

Raising a Sensitive Child

Aj started having his issues that he has every so often, since he has been off of medication these occurrences are few and far between, but they still happen. Aj is a unique child with a bit of bipolar, anxiety, autistic spectrum symptoms and more all mixed into this compassionate, loving 7 year old boy. I am not sure what is the cause of my son Aj being more sensitive to energies of others, specifically mine, but I am the same way. The energy or aura that surrounds people is something I am extremely sensitive to and this is something that Aj struggles with. Being that I am 32 years old, I am better able to work with this sensitivity but a 7 year old cannot yet learn to cherish and work with such a power.

I used this sensitivity to benefit Aj the other night when he found himself, yet again, fixated on the idea that his belly hurt. Aj was very fidgety and slightly whiny over the fact that, within minutes of being tucked in, he was convinced his belly hurt. While most kids are honest when their belly hurts, it’s something for a parent to be concerned about, it’s not the case 99% of the time with my son Aj. Usually his “stomach aches” are more so to do with the fact that his mind is racing and anxiety for whatever reason has consumed his thoughts, thus bringing on a belly ache. Being that Aj fixates on things, a sudden belly ache doesn’t allow his mind to relax to sleep, instead it creates a whole bowl of stress for him and me.

I started to feel really frustrated as this was the second night in a row he was “pulling this stunt”, but I have an open mind, patient soul and loving nature so I knew there had to be a way to work with Aj to ensure he didn’t end up having to sleep on a make shift bed on my bedroom floor. I had to walk away.

I let Aj know I would be back in a few but do not be loud because I don’t want him to wake up his brother who was fast asleep on the top bunk.

After taking a moment to step away, Aj had some self control and didn’t go totally loud, but rather kept tossing and turning and whining about his belly ache while pouting. During my time that I walked away, I thought long and hard, I focused on clearning my mental clutter and freeing my own mind of any stress related topics. I essentially cleared my brain to a blank slate. I then returned to Aj’s bedside. I knelt down beside his bed with my head on his pillow and used my calm voice to relax Aj in an attempt to get his mind focused on sleep rather than the anxiety induced belly ache. Within moments Aj actually said I could lay on his bed next to him, this is something that never happens, as he has sensory issues with touch and doesn’t like people “in his space” when he is trying to sleep.

With a blank slate mind and nothing but calm, peaceful thoughts in my mind, I laid next to Aj and placed my arm just on him. Aj was laying on his side facing away from me and since he doesn’t like the weight of my arm on his body, again sensory stuff, I laid my feather light arm on his side as a way to help submit some of my calming energy to my son. Aj and I have always had this unique connection, he is the only one out of my three that really thrives on my energy, whatever energy I am giving off in my aura he feels and it affects him. Hence why I say my son is sensitive.

As weird as this may sound to those not as spiritually minded, I literally felt my thoughts transferring my calm energy through my finger tips on this side. I could feel energy being placed to him, slowly he stopped fidgeting, slowly he stopped speaking and finally within only just a few short minutes, he was breathing in his relaxed, fallen asleep state. I don’t care what you all call it, but I think in that moment, right there, I showed that I have a power of energy that I never knew existed, I had the power of using my calm aura to get my anxious son asleep without being stern while still remaining firm that he was to go to sleep and compassion for how he was feeling in that moment. I was able to use my calming energy to calm my son. This moment that happened was so spiritual for me and so magical that I felt this same feeling I had felt the first time I felt the warm sun beaming down on me after I had prayed so hard for God to give me a sign. I feel this was merely just another sign that I have more powers within than I ever realized.

The 7 Year old Boy Now and Other Things

Sweet Aj is now 7 years old. He has grown so big in the past 7 years. About two weeks ago or three, he had a med change from risperidone to abilify. Due to many reasons, but as usual with a medication change it takes time to get the dosage right and it takes time to see if this is even the right medication. Finally Aj is on track and while he scowled at anyone who dare make a “big deal” out of him turning 7 today, he was a happy boy who had a day with Dad and came back with birthday presents.

On Monday my other son turns five. I don’t know why anyone ever says “terrible twos” for me, it was age 6 when my oldest and only daughter started acting “off” or in any way that I may deem “terrible two-ish” and my youngest boy has started being a tester of patience since age 4. As her nears 5 years of age I see no end in sight with his patience testing ways. This week it has been NO SLEEP. I don’t know what has gotten into him but he is wired.

I have been cooking better foods, from scratch. We have been eating healthier. This has helped with us all being fuller quicker! I also weighed Aj in today, each week on Tuesday morning I weigh him. We are suppose to keep track of his weight because it went pretty high on his rispderidone. The abilify is not known to really push weight onto kids, so I am making sure that is true. Aj is now down to 93lbs when he was up to 100lbs. I am happy to see his weight going down.

Anyways.. I know this was super rambling, but in all honest, with the lack of sleep from K-man this week I can barely speak, talk and I am really having a difficult time even being around people. This coming weekend there will be no kids in this house, that means Sat, Sun and Mon I will be able to recoup my brain, catch up on sleep and move forward for more happy week ahead! For now, I write when needed and take a break when needed.

Have a wonderful evening my friends! If you are looking for me, I will be the one on FB trying to keep my eyes open until my almost five year old decides to CRASH asleep!

Women Are Frequently Misdiagnosed When It Comes To Sleep Apnea

It is generally accepted men often suffer from obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). Why doesn’t the public hear more about women who are afflicted with this same medical condition? The fact is women aren’t as apt to be diagnosed with this condition.

In past sleep studies, the ratio of male versus female patients was definitely unbalanced toward men; however, other studies reveal the true ratio is close to two to three males suffering from OSA for every one female with this condition. This is obviously a medical condition both genders endure.

When first diagnosed this circumstance was described as one plaguing overweight or obese men who were middle-aged. As a consequence, females complaining of problems were not diagnosed with OSA because it didn’t occur to the physician it was the root of the woman’s complaints. Thankfully, that perception is changing although physicians still don’t have as high of an indicator of suspicion for sleep apnea in females.

SYMPTOMS IN FEMALES

Women do not exhibit identical symptoms as men when suffering from certain medical conditions, including a heart attack and OSA. Males with OSA are often witnessed by their bed partner snoring, which wakes up the other person, as well as experiencing pauses in their breathing. Women are considered “vigilant” snoozers and are more likely to be alarmed by their bedmate’s sleep patterns whereas men sleep sounder and aren’t as apt to observe sleep abnormalities in their female partner.

Women suffering from OSA may complain of mood instability, sleeplessness, weariness and headaches in the morning pointing to other medical conditions, leading to an inadvertent misdiagnosis. Sometimes the complaints from females are vague and include restless leg syndrome and depression, which are not exclusive to OSA.

Women may report awakening during the night and feeling as if they are choking or gasping for air. Experiencing a dry mouth in the morning as well as a sense of being besieged are indicators a woman is suffering from OSA.

When OSA isn’t suspected the female patient is not sent to a sleep clinic for auxiliary assessment. Additionally, even if it is suspected women are not as likely to agree to take part in a sleep study because they are frequently the caretakers of children and cannot afford to spend the night away from home. They would prefer being armed with a prescription, hoping it will cure their ills.

SLEEP STUDY

A sleep study is undergone to determine whether the patient is suffering from central sleep apnea, obstructive sleep apnea or complex sleep apnea, the latter a combination of both types of apnea. The most atypical kind of apnea is central sleep apnea, which is the result of the brain’s failure to send the correct signals to the breathing muscles. This leads to pauses in breathing and is often the result of other medical conditions or certain medications that are taken. The person with central sleep apnea doesn’t necessarily sore.

Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) is diagnosed more frequently. This condition is the result of full or limited obstruction in an individual’s upper airway that occurs during sleep. When a blockage is present the chest and diaphragm muscles must put forth more effort into opening the stymied airway and this causes snoring and snorts. When there is an obstruction this limits the amount of oxygen getting to organs and leads to an irregular heart cadence.

WHAT CAN YOU DO?

If you are experiencing symptoms such as weariness, depression, restless leg syndrome and are aware you are awakening during the night and gasping for air, address this with your physician. It may be you are suffering from OSA.

Alterations in lifestyle may help, including losing weight, not smoking and reducing alcohol consumption. Some victims of OSA wear a CRAP or continuous positive airway pressure mask during the night, which amps up the air pressure in the individual’s throat so it does not cave in when the person breathes in.

Another option is an oral appliance worn in the mouth which prevents the crumpling of the soft tissues in the back of the throat and tongue, keeping the airway open. There are surgical options available as well.

Lesley writes widely about issues surrounding dental health. She feels that Dr. Chet Hawkins sets the gold standard for dentists in Texas.

The Stubborn, Strong Willed & Determined Child

I have no clue where my youngest gets his stubborn, strong willed and determined attitude from. Couldn’t be his mother. Nope. Not at all.

It’s great to have those skills in life, maybe when you are grown and trying to be successful in working from home or working in general, however, when you have mastered those personality traits at age four, it can be a nightmare for the parental figures.

Case in point. When the four year old doesn’t want to sleep. He doesn’t sleep. My other son was recommended children’s benadryl then later on melatonin but I obviously don’t know the dose of melatonin for the four year old and wouldn’t give that without the recommendation from the pediatrician. Dangerous stuff when not used properly. Children’s benadryl on the other hand has been recommended in part time doses by the pediatrician. I know my four year old’s dose due to the wasp attack during soccer season. The problem I have with using any sleep help is that I don’t want my kid to think he “needs” that to sleep, and since I have tried it a few times he seems to beg for “sleep medicine” when he is having a difficult time sleeping.

I refuse. Flat out refuse to give my kid benadryl because he asks for it and will sing, rub his back, his head, lay with him if need be and not give him that. No way, no how am I going to raise a medicine addicted kid when I barely ever take medicine my own self. So the challenges at bedtime and occasionally during the day have been that my four year old is scared of the dark, scared to be alone in a room even during daylight hours and is seeing shadows that spook him. Even though my four year old can clearly tell me the shadows are from various toys, his bed posts or even his own self, he is still scared.

I recall my daughter going through this same phase, thankfully her phase was due to sleep apnea with enlarged adenoids and tonsils. They were removed. She was better. K-man doesn’t seem to have this issue. He is just plain out right scared or being determined to get into my bed, because he knows Mama is exhausted and will so let him in her bed if the situation doesn’t get resolved within about an hours time.

I am working on being stubborn, strong willed and determined when it comes to bedtime with this kid, but it’s difficult. Hopefully this weekend I can catch up on sleep and come back swinging on Monday night when bedtime rolls around. Every other night I have an issue with this kid. Every other day I have an issue with him too with the fact that he isn’t practicing good safety rules when walking near roads and crossing roads. I end up forcing him to hold my hand while he kicks and screams. I explain to him “I would rather you be safe so hold my hand, flip out if you need to, but I am not letting go”. What does the four year old reply with? “I am not moving until you let go of my hand”.

It’s a mom vs four year old stand off every other day, but I am winning so far and I will succeed in showing him who da Mama is….

What’s with the Early mornings?

I have tried various bedtimes with my two sons in the past, never having been able to get them to wake up much later than 8am. That was nice, but it only happens on some rare occasion. Regardless of what time my sons go to bed, you can count on them rolling out of bed between 4am and 6am every day, seven days a week.

Now I don’t know about you but when the weekend comes I want to stay up a bit later, watching a movie, hanging out or writing on my blogs but then I pay for it come morning time. K-man has been waking up a couple of hours, if not as soon as I fall asleep, for the past few nights. He then ends up in my bed to sleep for the night, waking up for the day around 5am when his brother is whining and wide awake demanding breakfast.

I have no clue what to do to deter this early morning wake up, now if you think about it the boys sometimes pass out between 7pm and 8pm, waking up at 5am puts them sleeping somewhere between 9 and 10 hours. I don’t know if that’s enough sleep for a 4 & 6 year old or not. The boys used to sleep closer to 11-12 hours per night and then they were in better moods, so I can only assume they are boys who need 11-12 hours of sleep for a steady mood through out the day.

Lately I can forget about doing much past mid day because their moods are so horrible from being over tired that I can barely tolerate them. I want so badly to enjoy my sons but lately with them not getting enough sleep, which is what Aj used to do all of his life up until about a year ago, I just can’t function as well or have as much patience. I hate watching as Aj is having troubles sleeping as much as he needs to again, after all I thought he finally had a proper mood disorder diagnosis and was on the right medication. Maybe due to weight gain and growing taller it’s time for the dosage change, but I am not sure that’s the answer quite yet. I happen to like that he is on the lowest dose of the Risperidone.

Whatever the reason, whatever the diagnosis; the fact of the matter is my two sons need to sleep more and how do I force them to sleep more? Trying to force them to stay in their bedrooms is like asking to have a tornado of screaming, crying and sometimes aggressive behavior in your home. I decided to do what I do best; reach out to my blog readers and community for help on how to get the boys to go back to sleep, stay in bed longer or even take a mid day nap??

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