I've started this post over 4 times already ugh I just can't get the right words, and don't have a title yet. Maybe something will come to me if I just start rambling off the stuff that's flying around in my head!
Britni: Last year was Britni's first year in public school after being homeschooled for 7 years and she struggled some with the adjustment. As a result, the district qualified her for special accommodations and she participated in a "learning lab" to help her transition. The idea behind the lab was to give her extra time and support in core subject areas, to increase her organizational skills to meet deadlines, and reduce her test anxiety. In reality, it was a study hall and she didn't really get much out of it. This year I decided not to have her participate, but rather allow her to take some elective classes of interest and work with her at home and in conjunction with her teachers. One really nice thing about the middle schools here is that the teachers work as an actual team and meet weekly to review what's going on with the kids at that grade level. Every 7th grader has the same set of teachers so they always know what's going on with the students. After several meetings with Britni's teachers and conversations with her pediatrician, we have come to the conclusion that she is suffering from moderate-bordering-on-severe depression and general anxiety disorder. Back in December when the doctor and I first starting talking about this, I was clear that medication is a very last option and I would explore other remedies first. At our follow up appointment on Wednesday we agreed that Britni's depression and sleep patterns seem a little worse, but the weight gain seems to have leveled off (about 23 pounds gained in 3 months). So here is the strategy doctor and I have agreed to--Sleepytime tea every night with a minimal dose of melatonin for 30 days with the idea that if Britni can adjust her sleeping patterns so she is sleeping all night without waking (currently wakes 3-4 times every night) she can overcome some of the fatigue that is adding to her depression. I am also seeking a counselor specializing in adolescent challenges and the doctor believes therapy will be a positive component, although she does think it will need to be a long-term commitment. I have invested in a Wii and Wii Fit in conjunction with a permanent change in eating habits at our house. Britni set a very healthy and realistic goal for herself to lose 20 pounds in 6 months; my goal is to initiate a lifestyle change for her that will give her healthy habits and skills to carry with her as an adult. Last night was our first night with tea and melatonin--if she doesn't fall asleep in math class today I'll say we have won a small victory!
Sami: Seems like the worst of our behavioral/legal problems are behind us-hooray! Sami is attending an alternative charter school for at-risk youth that was founded by several members of the justice community here in Boulder County. It's a bit of a drive everyday - 16 miles each way, 25 minutes - but so worth it! She's really doing well and enjoying her classes, no attendance or behavior issues. The school is small, about 250 kids are enrolled but only about 75 attend regularly so she is really getting individual attention and support. I've noticed the biggest differences there are that the staff really take the time to get to know the kids and their backgrounds, show them respect, and treat them as adults instead of delinquent throw-aways. She has a new boyfriend, and although he has had his share of dealings with the juvenile court system, they seem to be a good influence on keeping each other out of trouble and doing what they should be doing. Both of them have consistently completed their court sanctions on time and without complaint, they never miss curfew, and both of them have stayed completely away from the crowd they used to hang out with. I have to say I'm a proud mom right now! Oh, don't think I mentioned before, or maybe I did but it's worth mentioning again, Sami's report card from last term was 5 As and 2 Bs **happy dance**
Hmmm I think I'm going to stop here for now. I'll update on me later, this is getting long :) I think I want to put a separate post and talk some about Inflammatory Breast Cancer and my personal story. It's been on my heart for the last week or so, and even more so today because I was blessed to find a blog post via a twitter search that led me to a woman I tweeted with last night - her blog chronicled her sister's diagnosis and treatment for IBC last year. What I find more and more is that no one really knows what this is, how to have it properly diagnosed, and most importantly, securing an oncologist familiar enough with IBC to treat it in the correct sequence. I've been a little more symptomatic this week and I'm pretty sure that, combined with concern over the girls, is the major cause of my jumble-headed-ness. What better way to sort things out than to write it down?!!