A few years ago, I took one of my children to the doctor. Now, I'm not one to scan the internet with every symptom and freak myself out with what everyone has to say about every ailment, but after having experienced so many different things with my kids, I can kind of peg certain things. As I sat down with my child and the doctor, on that particular day, I told the doctor what I thought was going on and how I was treating it. He asked me if I was a doctor or if I worked in the medical field. I laughed. "No. I'm just a mom."
But, I also must give credit where credit's due. More than being "just a mom," and more than experiencing many different illnesses and learning the lingo, I think it's the quiet times when I listen to the whisperings in my heart that teach me how to deal with my children and the many things that get dropped in our laps.
This is the case with this current experience with the child that maybe I should begin to refer to simply as "Sweetie."
I'm grateful for experience. More than that, I'm grateful for how those experiences are brought to my remembrance and help solve issues. This is more than mother's intuition--so much more. It is, what my religion calls, the Holy Ghost. I believe we all have it, no matter what our beliefs, to some degree or another. It's also been fascinating to watch as new lessons are brought forward to add to the others already learned--line upon line.
At the doctor yesterday afternoon, I shared all that was happening. I shared all that had transpired with Sweetie and what the Warden and I have been doing to handle it, learn from it, grow from it.
A number of days ago, it became quite clear that what was happening, an element of it, was not of Sweetie's choosing. It was a physiological thing that Sweetie could not control, but we could. This knowledge made handling what was going on so much easier. To know that the behavior wasn't just Sweetie choosing to be a turkey, put the blame elsewhere and thus made it easier to be compassionate to Sweetie's plight.
How did I know to remove the simple sugars from edible options? How did I just happen to be removing sugar from my own at the same time thus making it much easier to remove from Sweetie's too? How was it that I could recall lessons from my own childhood that assisted in solving this problem?
I learned nothing new at the doctor's office yesterday. Someone else had already taught me.
The doctor told me to keep doing what I was doing. They no longer diagnose people with "hypoglycemia." We all have it to some degree or another. For me, when my blood sugar is whacked out, I shake and get headaches. For this child, it's aggression. Some people are just more sensitive than others.
I had already learned (from a discussion with a friend a number of years back, which was suddenly brought to my remembrance during all of this) that to regulate the intake and processing of sugar, protein is key. I had been, for the last two days, giving Sweetie string cheese or lunch meat or eggs whenever Sweetie ate. When the wind up began, cheese (or some such) was given. There was, within 10-20 minutes a steadiness that would take over.
From the doctor, I learned that if I knew Sweetie was going to be having sugar, I should give some kind of protein about 30 minutes before thus helping the sugar to enter the system and leave the system more slowly, or more regulated. She said that milk, cheese, meat, eggs, peanut butter--any of that--is good to give with any kind of sugar (even fruit). Also, there should be little snacks given throughout the day, and it wouldn't hurt to have protein be part of each time.
She referred me to a team they have through their system that deals with "temperament." This will be fascinating, and I'm rather excited to have a new experience. From what I understand, someone from the team will call me and ask me a million and a half questions about Sweetie. I will give the answers and then they will process the data and help me understand what Sweetie's qualities and traits could mean and how to best deal with them. I wonder if they'd take the time to ask the questions about six others I have hanging around here....
The funny thing is that before this "sugar thing," and before figuring out the protein thing, this child was so very "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" that I think the questions would have been very hard to answer. Since adding more protein these past few days, things are becoming much more even and level. Things are starting to be more in control, and when they're not, I now have a new weapon in the arsenal for how to deal with them. It will be fascinating to learn who this child really is without that element of erratic behavior attached. We're already beginning to see it, and it's so wonderful.
The doctor also added that in these kinds of cases, in which parents come in to discuss behavioral type isses, she would refer them to a counselor. In our case, she said, she didn't feel that was necessary. She said she was pretty sure that the counselor wouldn't tell me anything I didn't already know and practice. What the counselor had learned through many years of education and books, I have already learned from the school of hard knocks.
Yesterday was a much, much better day.
What can I say? I'm just so grateful for the lessons that are taught when I just take the time to listen, and for the little steps that suddenly come along that take a mom to the next level to handle the next thing in life.
We're not done dealing with these issues. I feel that we're just beginning. It's just great not to be alone, and it's great to have hope that all will be well if we just continue to follow what we've learned and will continue to learn. What a blessing to have answers.