Wednesday, September 17, 2014


My head... My head is spinning faster than I can keep up with!  I haven't even had time to let things sink in.  So much is going on right now.  My days start at 6am.  The kids join my day at 6:30am.  We leave for school about 7:25.  My day consists of 26 first graders needing to go to the bathroom, sharpen their pencils and tell me about everything that pops into their heads - all at once!  While I love every single one of them, they do make my head spin faster at times!  By 3:30 all my first graders are gone and I spend the next little while trying to regroup and get ready for the next day.  My evenings are filled with football practices, cross country meets, volleyball games, church, and the nightly routines of homework, bathes, drum practicing and eating (several times because they are always hungry).  Three out of my five school days, I don't get home until after 7pm.  We put in some long hours on the courts, fields and roads!

I don't think I have really sat down and let Zeke sink in.  Today they educated his class on Tourette's.  I was told it went well and that the kids were really accepting and even shared some of their own little quirks, habits and anxieties.  I was nervous for him all day and it was such a relief to hear that it was all ok.  His tics have been worse lately.  I know that will calm down as all this fades back into the background but today it was front and center.  I knew I didn't need to be in there when they were telling the class about it, but I so wanted to sit outside the door and listen.  It is just another step into our new reality for him.  I am again grateful for an amazing teacher and counselor who have handled this so well. 

I have also been sick (thank you Makenna) for the last 3 or 4 days so that adds to my exhaustion and lack of patience.  It makes the days a little longer than they would normally be :)  Nyquil is my new best friend at night and Diet Dr. Pepper is my friend during the day.

Then we had to throw in moving.  While it is a huge blessing that I am very grateful for, the thought of trying to pack and do repairs on the house is a little overwhelming.  I am glad we have until the first of November but I know that will come quicker than I think! 

In reality, despite all the craziness that is going on, life is good.  We are being blessed in ways we didn't expect,  things will get done, and in four more weeks I will get to sleep in on Saturday! 

Friday, September 12, 2014

A Diagnosis

What a week!  During the middle of the day Monday I got promoted to first grade teacher when the real first grade teacher decided it was time for her to have her baby!  Neither one of us were expecting for that to happen so we were taken by surprise.  That was the start to a whirlwind week!  Monday night we tried to get the house cleaned, the kids packed and everything ready to go Tuesday.  The school day went by fast as I tried to teach and prepare for a sub the next day.  After school the kids went with their temporary families and Michael, Zeke and I headed off to Rochester.  Maddi had a cross country meet that afternoon that I had to miss and Makenna had a volleyball match.  I would have loved to cheer them both on in person but there was no way to make it happen.  We got to the hotel around 10pm.  Zeke finally wound down around 11pm and we went to bed.  I did not sleep well and we were all up at 5 the next morning getting ready for the day.

Our appointment was at 7:30 but we had to leave the hotel at 6am so we could get there on time.  I could tell Zeke was nervous.  On the shuttle ride over he snuggled up to Michael and just looked out the window the closer we got to Mayo.

We got there a little before 7 and got all checked in and waited. 

The appointment lasted a little over an hour.  I really felt comfortable with the doctor and what he was telling us.  He did say that Zeke does meet all the criteria for Tourette's Syndrome.  There is no specific test or anything that you can take, you just have to go off observations and documentations.  Zeke did well at first kind of suppressing his tics but by the time we were done he was not able to hold them in.  The doctor said he was glad he was able to observe him doing the tics because that just confirmed even more the diagnosis he gave.  The doctor also confirmed that Zeke has ADHD.

After the appointment we had some blood work done to check his iron levels.  He does not sleep well and the doctor said low iron can affect sleep.  Then he wanted us to see a psychologist that works a lot with kids who have Tourette's and these other disorders.  We were able to get an appointment at 3 that afternoon.

It was a very long day of waiting.  Zeke had a really hard time.  He had a lot of tics and noises and couldn't stay still and focused.  There was not a lot to do there so it was quite boring for all of us! We were very glad when we were able to get back on the shuttle and get to our car! 

We got home around 9 that night.  We are so thankful for all the people that helped with our kids.  They all had a place to stay Tuesday night (and Wednesday night for Olivia) and then when we found out we would be late Wednesday night we had a friend bring in supper to the kids and she even did my dishes!  Thank you Pam!

The rest of the week was busy and crazy!  Thursday I tried to catch back up on subbing and get things ready for Friday.  Maddi had another cross country meet that I had to miss and Makenna had another volleyball game that I had to miss.  I did get to see the boys play in their football game Thursday.  I am very glad we have nothing to do and no where to go tonight!

So, how do I feel about all of this?  To be honest, I don't know.  I haven't really had time to let it all sink in, yet all it did was confirm what we already suspected.  All it did was take away the false hope that I was just imagining things and that I would wake up and it would all be gone.  It created permanence to the situation.  It is sad, I will admit.  I know there are other kids and families dealing with much worse.  At least Zeke is healthy and strong.  But, it is still something that we have to learn to deal with and accept.  We have to realize that this is life now and learn to deal with all the things that will go along with Tourette's and ADHD. 

I am grateful we found answers.  I am grateful for the kindness we received at Mayo.  I am grateful for the friends we have that helped us get there and back.  I am grateful for an awesome school that is totally supportive of all the kids that go there.  I am grateful for amazing teachers and staff that will do all they can to help Zeke and make his school experience successful.  I am very grateful to his counselor.  She is amazing!  I don't think she will ever know how much she has helped me, Michael and Zeke.  She has gone way above and beyond her call of duty.  This is the second time she has had such an impact on our family and we are very blessed because of her.

As I stated in an earlier post, I am most grateful for the knowledge I have that this is not forever.  This life will be full of trials and hardships and uncomfortable things, but it is not forever.  Someday the things that ail us here will be taken from us.  Someday the disabilities and illnesses that we endure will be gone and we will be made whole.  Because of Jesus Christ we will live again and we will be perfected in Him - physically, emotionally and spiritually.  As I listen to Zeke tic and see him struggle to control himself, I am very grateful.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Appointment is Set

This morning we faxed off our information about Zeke to the Mayo Clinic.  I was not expecting to hear anything back for a little while.  However, sometime during my run this afternoon they called and left a message.  I called them back and we have an appointment scheduled for next Wednesday at 7:30 in the morning.  We are in the process now of pawning all our kids off to people so we can go up Tuesday night and spend the night since our appointment is so early in the morning.  I am glad that we heard back so quickly.  I am nervous too.  I know it will be ok and I am thankful that we will be (hopefully) getting some answers soon.  I am grateful to the friends who are taking my children into their homes on a school night and taking care of them for the day.  I am also grateful to all our friends and family that have said so many prayers on our behalf and have offered so many words of support and understanding.  I am especially grateful to Zeke's teacher and the school counselor.  They have done so much to help Zeke ease into this year and to help me as I try to understand it all.  We are very blessed.