Thursday, July 24, 2014

Troubleshooting the Unknown

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Take a deep breath I tell myself.   Determine how serious this might be, or how minor it could be.  Figure out how to make it better.  Deep down the basic parenting drive... above all else find a way to make it all better.   There are so many things that seem to be an enigma when it comes to Noah.  I have yet to solve his chronic sleeping disturbances, and while some nights are better than others without fail Noah and I together seem to survive on less sleep than any person possibly could.  

I keep going through the same thoughts:  Is he too cold?  Too hot?  Stuck and can't roll over? Sick? In pain? Merely getting comfortable and making lots of noise? Hungry?  Thirsty?  My mind races at 1am, 3am, 5am.... my body finally exhausted from troubleshooting tries to drift off for a moment of sleep only to realize Noah's little brother is ready for breakfast, and I must get up... now!

And it's not just sleep that I spend my time trying to find a solution for.  Two weeks ago at therapy Noah was cradled like a baby and spun around in circles in the pool.  I was at the opposite end of the pool taking notes, like I always do, only to look up when I hear the therapist ask Noah what is wrong and if he's okay.   My stomach drops thinking what did I miss? What happened that I didn't see?  Noah is quickly joined back to the side of the pool where I am and I immediately notice that he is clinching his teeth feverishly.  He cannot stop, not even for a second.  Constant non-stop grinding and clenching.  I try to dismiss it, thinking maybe it's just Noah being Noah.  But deep down I know that whatever "vestibular" motion the therapist was seeking by spinning him around triggered something to happen to Noah.   I don't know if it was "sensory overload"  I don't know if it caused pressure in his head, or his ears, or if it was a defense mechanism to not having control over his own movement.  I have no idea.   It was the first time Noah has ever experienced motion of this kind.  While he was accustomed to jumping up and down a bit in the pool he was never spun around in super fast circles.   Most often times we spend the beginning working on self-calming of Noah's body in a Nemo floaty... one that has been deflated and broken for several weeks and likely will never be replaced (as I had to replace the last one myself and "donate" it).

I thought that Noah would eventually relax and that the clinching and grinding would stop.  I remember Noah having a touch of bruxism as a young baby and toddler but it's been gone for several years.   My concern prompted a doctor's visit, where it is still anyone's guess as to why Noah cannot stop grinding his teeth.  A motion that he seems to be doing by moving his jaw side to side a bit rather than clinching by simply biting down directly.   And I have zero clue on what to do for him or why it's still continuing to happen now,  or how to get him to stop.

I'll admit there is a lot of guilt to the unknown as well.  You feel like you failed to protect your child or fix the problem that your child is experiencing.   Having a non-verbal child is particularly hard when it comes to this.  A child that lacks the ability to communicate and explain what they are feeling, experiencing or need.  It takes problem-solving as a parent to a whole new level.  You find yourself wishing that if aliens do exist that they would pay you a visit so you could beg for extra-terrestrial powers like reading someone's mind, or the power to heal.

All the while you try to tell yourself not to worry too much.  After all he doesn't seem to be in discomfort and his spirits for the most part are happy - unless of course you want to take his games away at speech therapy.  Then he'll really tell you how he feels about not getting his way.   Yet, I still keep searching for answers for all of the unknown. 


Noah's Miracle by Stacy Warden is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.