February 7, 2013

2012 turned out to be a year with major changes for our family.  At the beginning of the school year, my mother-in-law had a very debilitating brainstem stroke.  She is still with us but her health has declined so much that she is never going to be able to walk again.  She requires constant attention and care as well.  This means that someone has to be with her all the time.  We have a team of friends and family who have stepped in to help and without them I don't know how we would have survived.  Nonetheless, it has been overwhelming many times.  My mother-in-law was always used to being independent so it has been so difficult for her to rely on others for everything she needs.  She has become very depressed and hopeless at times.

Also, at the end of the year we began noticing some problems with Alex at school.  He has always been a very active boy so we are not suprised when teachers complain about him standing up or walking around during class, but then he started becoming more and more aggressive, explosive and angry towards other classmates and his teachers.  Finally there was an incident that caused alarm with his English teacher and I realized we might need to get some outside help.  Christmas and New Years came and went and with everything I just let him have a break and tried not to worry about it.  But as soon as school started back, his teacher informed me he might need to see a neurologist.  That made me angry since she is obviously not qualified to make that kind of comment... but I decided to see a child psychologist that a friend recommended to me.  After spending three sessions with Alex she told us that she found him to have attention deficit and hyperkinesis.  She told us that he is highly intelligent and has really tried to cope with the things he is dealing with but this year it has just exploded. He has a very strict, old-school teacher who just pressures him too much.  She said he is acting out to protect himself and that he is really having a hard time dealing with everything.  I was so sad to think about how hard it has been for him to cope, but at the same time I was glad to know that this has a name and a solution.  We are starting weekly therapy with her, for Alex and for us as parents to learn how to help him better, to set the right kind of limits for him and to help with his self-esteem and development.

I know there is no use in worrying about the future, I have too much to do for me to be able to stop and worry about anything, but it has been a rough six months.  I guess all I can do is move forward and work hard....but I could sure use a vacation already!