Ever have one of those days? (or weeks? or years?) It's easy to fall into the habit of posting only the good things going on in our lives. But I'm not perfect, and I'm guessing none of you are either, no matter how "pinterest-perfect" your life looks online. I've been having some really bad days lately and figure it might do me good to fess up to it. It's not any one big thing - just all the little things in life that add up to the weight of a big thing. I've been SO overwhelmed lately.
He reacts to the foods he's allergic to by breaking out badly and getting very itchy (except for the peanut allergy - which makes him have an anaphalactic reaction). So far we're aware that he's allergic to eggs, dairy, wheat, tree nuts, peanuts, soy, corn, coconut, sesame, cantaloupe and pineapple. The hidden things give us fits (such as corn products like maltodextrin, lecithin, xanthan gum and sorbitol - which you probably don't know are corn products unless you're allergic to corn.) Then there are all the things he is allergic to that we aren't aware of yet. Another frustrating thing about this is figuring out what to feed the poor kid. Sometimes I find something he can have only to have the product disappear from all shelves. I had a particular mayonnaise he could have that I now can't find anywhere. Baking is also a challenge. Nothing comes out the same consistency you think it should or it does and you post a recipe online, but the day two results are inedible.
He's on a daily dose of liquid Claritin, and gets Benedryl when he is itchy (which is a lot lately). We use prescription strength triamcinalone cream too (which seems like it's painful to him - as do baths). And then I get "helpful" advise to give him all sorts of odd things - liquid emu oil, some soap I can't pronounce or remember (never mind that it contains coconut, which he allergic to.) It's so frustrating. It's bad enough that I can't figure out how to help my baby, but to have every person we run into offer odd remedies is just too much. I mean really, do they think we haven't been to the doctor (or multiple doctors and specialists)? Do they think they really know some secret remedy that all the doctors in America are unaware of? Seriously people. (Sorry. This was not meant to be a rant).
Actually that's just one of the MANY things going on here. Just the tip of the iceberg. Everything from health issues to just being mentally and physically overwhelmed and exhausted. The house search has a lot to do with that. While we have the freedom to move when we want to (rather than the 30 day rush we were in last time), it's still a big decision and will require an enormous amount of work. We looked at a couple possible houses last week but neither are exactly what we need. Rent here is crazy. We currently pay $1300/month. We looked at one place for $1200, and it was really nice, but pretty small, and had no garage or shed. Then we heard about one for $975 - an amazing deal here. I went to look at it, then took my husband to see it when he got off work. It looks great from the outside and has a big detached garage and work shed. But it's an old (very old) doublewide covered in pretty wood siding. It has an addition built on, and we would fit, but it's pretty dumpy on the inside and they're not willing to replace the orange shag carpet. The ceilings are low and it's very dark. The location was perfect though and there is an amazing view of the mountains. The garage and shed would be nice, but our Excursion would be just a couple inches too tall to fit inside. It was depressing though to get our hopes up about saving all that money only to realize that the inside was in such poor condition.
The daycare has also been driving me nuts lately - probably just all the stress of regular life has made it more difficult for me to put up with the noise and chaos. My daughter is flying back to college on the other side of the country at the end of this week. I have to take her to Denver to fly out (about 7-8 hours from here). We have family in Colorado so I planned to take all of next week off to visit, but then my daycare fill-in person had to cancel because one of her children needs surgery. So no vacation.
Oh and the diet I was on last year - the one I lost over 100 pounds on? It went well up to the point where we had a majorly stressful month in April. It is now a hopeless disaster. I've gained a lot of weight back and feel horrible both physically and mentally. I've tried repeatedly to go back on the diet but I can't even seem to make it through a single day. The cravings are way worse than they ever were before. I go to bed each night thinking I can turn this around and that the next day will be better, but it never is. Very frustrating. I feel like it would have been better never to have lost the weight in the first place. Now everybody is paying attention and sees what a horrible failure I am.
On top of all that, the four year old's autism seems more pronounced these days. We're having more melt-downs and he is way more clingy ... as in, something as simple as making dinner has become a huge ordeal because I can't move without tripping over him. He literally clings to my leg. And it's not just when I'm making dinner, but all the time. His autism isn't bad enough for strangers to see that he has a legitimate reason to act like he does, so they assume he's just really naughty (aka - she's a horrible mom. Why can't she control that child. Why doesn't she make him stop that?)
He's been having a problem going to church lately. He gets easily overwhelmed by crowds and three Sundays ago we were late. When we got to his Sunday school classroom (which is in one sectioned-off area of the nursery) there were a lot of kids there already - several that he hadn't met before. He was nervous about it, but I was in a hurry to get to my own class, so I just dropped him and the two year old off and then quickly went to my class. It wasn't more than 10 minutes before they had to come get me. He was having a full panic-attack-melt-down. I took him with me, consoled him and tried to get him to go to my class, but he wouldn't. The only thing I could get him to do without panicking was to sit with me in an empty room.
The next week, he wouldn't even think of entering that Sunday school room again, so I took him to my class. I couldn't get him to sit in his own chair. He wanted to be held - well more like cradled. Like a baby. And rocked. By the end of class, my back hurt so bad I could hardly stand up. It was a problem all last week and still pretty sensitive. We have a 30 minute break between Sunday school and the worship service, so I sat with him in the nursery hoping to get him to settle in. No such luck. We finally just went home.
Yesterday I figured I'd try to get him there first so he wouldn't have to walk into a class full of kids. He was okay as long as I was there- but very clingy. I even managed to get him to sit in his own chair (which even before all this happened, he rarely did). But I had to sit right next to him. When it was time for me to go to my class though, he insisted on going with me. I did (eventually) manage to get him into his own seat. I know it's progress, but it's very exhausting (both mentally and physically) for me, and I'm sure for him too. Even writing it doesn't sound bad when you can't see the clinging to my leg to the point of not being able to walk without carrying him (all 45 pounds of him).
He's having an exceptionally hard time with the daycare kids too. I think he sees it as an invasion, and I guess I can understand that. One of his biggest challenges is dealing with overwhelming stimuli, and there's really no other way to describe living in a daycare, despite how well it's managed. For that matter, it seems like the daycare might be an issue for the two year old to. He doesn't mind the kids, but our pediatrician suggested that he might have environmental allergies that we haven't tested for - cat and dog dander specifically. All the daycare kids have pets and the doctor suggested that they may be aggravating his eczema. Then of course there are crumbs from the lunch I'm required to feed the kids (specific requirements for carbs and milk that he can't have). No matter how much cleaning is done, there are always crumbs... or generous friends who like to share (normally a great quality.) I've had to resort to locking the two year old into a high chair until I can get everything and everyone wiped and vacuumed. But still we have issues.
After writing all this out, it doesn't seem like it should be so bad. And yet...
Am I whining too much? Should I be able to handle all this without complaint? I know God promises not to give us more than we can handle, and I fully trust that that is true. Most days I handle all this without a second thought. After all, I wouldn't trade my kids for anything in the world. (I just realized I haven't even mentioned my nine year old who is diabetic and has to do 4 shots of insulin per day, or my 23 year old son in the Air Force, stationed in the increasingly unfriendly country of Turkey, or my 20 year old daughter ready to fly across the country for college). I just feel like some days I can't catch my breath. Ever have those days? I really do love my life, but I would definitely enjoy a little less stress.