Search this blog!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Phone Calls......

He has been without CLS help for
     He has been without CLS help for a few days and has been demanding a lot of attention. His uncle helped him for a while today. He really hates being alone.
   He called while I was in a an appointment with my oncologist and while I was at the Y working out.  I returned his calls when I was leaving. He wanted me to come to his place but I explained to him that I had a stressful day and needed to go home. He called repeatedly into the evening asking me to remind Larry to call him, which I did. He thought Larry was deliberately ignoring his calls because they went directly to voice mail, but his phone battery had died. I asked him to call him with my phone, which he did and I explained to Tim the battery issue.
  We both forget to charge our phones at night on occasion and they run out of power the next day. I can charge mine in the van or at home but Larry can't re-charge his if he's on the bus in the evening. Tim does not think about those things. Just like he did not think about calling even though he knew I was at the Y and would not have my phone on me or when I was in the doctor's office and turned my ringer off.  Such is Asberger's Syndrome.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ever wondered?

Here is a page that will answer your questions!
http://www.tonyattwood.com.au/index.php/about-aspergers/what-is-aspergers 



 
This was a tough afternoon.  He called me repeatedly while I was at the Y working out, which he knew I was doing, and when I was finally able to answer his call, by the time I got the headset untangled so that he could hear me, he had become frustrated and went off on me.  I told him that I would not talk with him again until tomorrow and that I would set up his grocery shopping funds with Jamal this evening when he was with him, which I did.  He is not a happy camper.  Lucky for him that it's only until tomorrow.
   Our plans for the Gathering have changed.  He is going to go with us, it appears.  His plan is for Jamal to bring him to Lexington on Saturday but my suspicion is that Jamal has not agreed to do this and he will end up going with us on Friday.  He wiggled his way into this through his dad.  I would not have allowed him to do that.  If he by chance reads this, he will not like it.
  How I wish that he could have someone to help him to progress with his photography and start building a life of his own that does not depend on us so heavily.   Everything that we do, he wants to be included and feels entitled to do so.  For instance, if we go out to dinner tonight he will feel slighted when he finds out that we did so without him.  Then he feels that we owe him something in compensation for not including him.  Most of the time a gentle reminder that we do lots of things for him will suffice, but the next time it happens, he has to be reminded again, and again...  It doesn't stay with him.  I suppose the feelings associated with it are so strong that he forgets the reality.
   That is the tell tale thing about Asperger's Syndrome that almost all Aspies share.  They experience life with intense emotion and it is often socially inappropriate emotion that is very hard for neuro-typical people to take in.  It is seen as deliberate but it actually comes naturally to an Aspie.  Some learn to compensate and find ways to choose another response, but others don't.
   My refusal to talk with him again until tomorow works fairly well, although today, he has continued to call by blocking his number.  I have no way to prevent blocked calls.  I wish I did.  He is anxious about the upcoming trip.     
   I don't mean for this to be a rant blog.  This isn't the whole of my life by any means.  I did not mention that I had a good workout and that my fight with diabetes is improving.  I am learning to better control my diet and medication so that I do not have lows when I work out.
I have reduced my need for the medication by half and my goal is to not need it at all.  The fact that a half dose can make me go low is a good sign.  I am getting closer to that goal. 
   I have many good people on Facebook who support me with their friendship, thoughts, and prayers, so I know that I am blessed.  And I am blessed with an AS son who never  provides a dull moment!  

     

Monday, March 10, 2014


   Friday night's events passed more smoothly than I had expected, which is one of those surprising aspects of being an aspie parent.  Saturday went fairly well considering we were way behind our original schedule.
  On Sunday, Larry and I took a short road trip to Bardstown to attend the Second Sunday Jam.  I had left my phone at home, so I had no phone calls to manage until we returned home.  Even then, the phone was dead and had to be charged for a while.  It turns out he had CLS staff, Jamel, that afternoon which gave him something to do, although he did send me a copy of a text he sent to Andrew complaining that we were not answering his calls that day.  My phone was at home and Larry would not answer his.
    Monday morning came too early for me.  I was up into the wee hours of the night when I should have gone to bed earlier in order to be functional today.  We had a meeting at 11:30 am with Kristin, his case worker.  I barely arrived on time and I was too tired to bring Tim home with me afterward.  Jamel had a court date today so he had to spend the day by himself, something that is very hard for him to do.
   He began calling me mid afternoon wanting to come to our house to print photos. He is getting more interested in photography now that spring is beginning to appear.  But his actual motive is that he wanted time with us because we are going to the Ohio Valley Gathering next week and he wanted to trade today for Sunday, which we would otherwise spend with him.  His dad picked him up after work and they came in with a movie, "The Lone Ranger", to watch with us tonight.  I guess the trade off has been settled.

     I am over the virus I had last week but I really lacked energy today.  I spent about 40 minutes at the YMCA and did about half of my normal workout.  Our son goes to the Y also.  Jamel can go with him to help him navigate things like showering and privacy in the dressing room.  It has been very good for him and for me, even though I go separately, most of the time.  My trainer, Kaleb, spotted me today and asked where I had been and I explained the situation I had last week which kept me home.  I did feel better after working out but I needed a quick nap.
     Exercise is important for me for my breast cancer survival but it is also important for my caretaker sanity as well.  It helps in dealing with stress as well as burning calories!  I will not stay up late tonight.  That is just a stupid thing to do. 

Friday, March 7, 2014

    Today was quiet until I realized I had left my phone in the car and it was probably no longer charged.  I am feeling better but still weak.  I was on the couch most of the day.
     We are working with a behavioral therapist with our aspie and we have just begun a new plan to try to teach him to control his impulses to call us.  He has a limit of 4 calls a day to each of us and he also has a time limit on when he can call.  It actually is working fairly well, as long the therapist stays with him for a long while, it may stick for him.
   I was surprised when I checked my phone for missed calls.  He had not called at all and it was near 1:00 pm.  It was only a half hour or so until the first call did come and he told me that he was at my mom's and was going to work with my brother and stay the night with them.  That was good news.
  A couple of hours later, I received a call from Mom who told me that he had decided not to stay the night but he had worked with my brother.  I wasn't surprised by this because I figured he had gotten paid and wanted to go shopping.  He made his 2nd call when he arrived at his apartment.
    I was feeling isolated and antsy so around 5:15 pm I called hubby and let him know that I was bored silly and wanted to go out when he got home.  I also asked him to call our son to discuss tomorrow's activities because I had promised him I would.  It always helps him to know what to expect.  But a wrench flew into the works a little while later.
   I received a call from hubby around 6:45pm saying he had 2 flat tires, had pulled into the tire store lot, and they were closed.  I had to go pick him up and we left the car in the store lot.
   We went to dinner, did a short grocery store stop, and then returned home.  It was already 9:00 pm and our son did not know what had happened and that it will greatly change tomorrow's plans.  At 10 pm I reminded hubby to call him.  He will most likely have a difficult time dealing with the change and it greatly depends on how we break the news to him and how we respond to his reaction.  Hubby is avoiding the call.
   Avoidance is one of the worst ways to deal with an Aspie.  They need to know what to expect and it is very frustrating for them when things happen differently.  There are very few grey areas in his thinking, regardless of many past experiences to prove that things do not always happen the way we expect them to.  He will need lots of assurances that he will still be able to do some of the things he had hoped.  
   It does not help to tell him that our plans were also changed.  He does not see well beyond himself, initially. Many times he is able to understand our situation but it is after he has calmed down completely, which can be days later, nearly never at the moment that the change has ocurred, or, as in this case, when he learns about it.
    It takes patience, diligence, and planning to help him through these experiences and sometimes, it isn't enough.  There can be surprises that none of us could possibly expect.
   So, here I am, still not feeling 100%, with an aspie son who needs to know that tomorrow's plan has changed and a reluctant hubby who has not called to update him and discuss new plans.  It's 10:20 pm.  I just want to go to bed!



Thursday, March 6, 2014

    I have not kept up with posting here for a long time but I think that today convinced me that I need to pick it up again because it also can help to relieve stress.  When I first started this blog, I was hoping it would be a help to other Aspie parents out there, but today was a totally Aspie day and my intentions are completely selfish.
  When I was diagnosed with breast cancer 1 and 1/2 years ago, I thought it was the most difficult thing I would ever face in my life.  At the time, it was.  But I have come to realize that the little events of daily life, when combined over time, can be very difficult too, especially the challenges of being an Aspie Mom.  One of the major factors in breast cancer recovery is learning to reduce stress and the effects it has upon you.  I have always found great comfort in my faith, but I have embraced several other small changes in my lifestyle in that endeavor.
     I have found yoga to be a great stress reliever, as is massage and Reiki.  I have drawn from some past experiences with physical therapy sessions to ease pain and increase restful sleep.  Exercise, diet and nutrition, although they are different factors in recovery and health maintenance, do bring a degree of stress relief, in that I feel better if I use them.  I also feel more hopeful, knowing that I am doing what I can to help myself to be a healthier person with less risk of a recurrence of the breast cancer.  And if it should return, at least I will know that I have done all that I can do to prevent it.  
   When I said today was an Aspie day, please let me explain.  Aspie days can be wonderful.  There are plenty of times full of surprise and laughter but there are days of stress and hardship as well.  This day was of the latter type.
   I have been fighting a GI virus this week, not the 24 hour type that make their visit and then disappear, but the type that linger for days to be sure you know they were there and they really did not like the way your body treated them.  This all began on Monday.  Maybe I should have called this an Aspie week????
   Anyway, today is Thursday and Thursday is "His day".  Thursday is one of the two days a week he gets to spend with us doing the things he wants us to do with and for him.  Being an Aspie, I don't think he has a clue that he could be doing things with and for us, it is all about him. 
     He has a  Community Living Services worker who came earlier in the morning than usual and brought him to our house around noon.  He had called me around 10am to ask me to take him downtown and I had already told him I was ill and could not do it, but when he arrived at our house, he was expecting I would change my mind.  I did not.  I explained that driving downtown would put me in a precarious position with the illness that I have and I did not want to run the risk of the possible repercussions.  I doubt I have to explain what a GI virus can suddenly do to you.
   However, my appetite is returning and I told him I would take him somewhere close-by  with foods that I could tolerate.  He realized he was not going to change my mind about the trip downtown, so he settled for lunch.  We found the place and ordered lunch but just as I was beginning to eat, the GI issue decided it was time to take me out.  I could not get out of the booth quickly and I barely made it to the restroom!  Just what I had feared!  I asked for my meal to be put in a box, paid the bill, and returned to the safety and closeness of my own bathroom!
     I guess when he saw litterally that I was telling the truth about what could possibly happen, he finally realized that I truly was not well enough to trek him downtown.  He decided that the bus was his better option and that a ride home with Dad from his work would be better for us all.  I just hope he doesn't catch what I have had! He won't want to ride the bus for a month!
     This is very typical of Asperger's Syndrome people.  They often are not able to see beyond themselves and understand the needs of other people.  He could not see that I needed to take care of myself, rather than him today.  And that is one of the most difficult things in life that we Aspie parents have to deal with.  It isn't the Aspie's inability to understand, it is our inability to know when we ourselves need attention first, more than they do!     
   Maybe someday he will learn to look beyond himself, but maybe not.  Therefore, I must learn to be aware of my own needs and be able to set his aside for a day or two, or however long I need, to heal and de-stress.  
    So he left on the next bus for his ride downtown and I am in the quiet, peaceful surroundings of my home with my laptop, de-stressing and writing about my day.   My gut has settled down and I may even go to the kitchen and enjoy some jello.  I hope you have had a great day too.


Total Pageviews

Followers

About Me

My photo

Hi, I am Teri West, a wife, retired home schooling mom, 2nd year breast cancer survivor, crafter, musician, and primitive artist living and working in Kentuckiana, (the Louisville, KY and S. Indiana area). My family heritage is in the hills of Eastern Kentucky and Southern Ohio. I grew up in Louisville, Ky and attended Eastern KY University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, graduating with degrees from both in education. I married in 1979 and have three grown children, one a degreed artist, one a techie/artist, and an autistic one, a photographic artist. Hubby is a techie. I work out of my home creating primitive items for friends, family, and you. My loves are American folk music, primitive crafting, and American folk art which all emanate from my devotion to my faith, family and friends. I belong to the Louisville Dulcimer Society and I play mountain dulcimer, guitar, violin, native flute, tin whistle, bowed psaltry, and ukelele as well.