Tools

     There was a time a few years ago when I would have feared an appointment day like today.  I would have stressed, my gut would have a pain all morning as I would drive the hour-long drive to the appointment. I  would never consider taking my son by myself, but would have insisted on reinforcements of a sibling or a care provider. I would never have let him sit next to a door, if it could be avoided, to prevent him from opening the door while the car was moving or trying to get out while stopped at a light.  I would always have tools with me at all times;

tools

A few tools

tools that would assist in making the appointment go as well, to use as a diversion.  An iPod for music, iPad with a video or pictures for him to look at, his favourite stuffed toy, pizza, soda, chips.  I could not make stops or run errands on appointment day; that would be a set up for a  disaster. There were times I would drive 45 minutes home from a doctor’s appointment and have to turn around that evening and drive back into the store to do errands.

        I remember one time when he was much younger, he broke the window out of our van with his foot while I was driving, glass shattering.  He has grabbed hair and arms and faces of his siblings while they were buckled up in the seat next to him,  I look back on those times and my heart sinks; I remember the stress and frustration we lived with.  I can  look back now  see that my son was dealing with so much fear himself. Confusion and anger welled up inside him. He was unable to communicate his fears and he was unable to understand the situation.
  I wish I had discovered Young Living essential oils many years ago, perhaps I could have avoided some of those situations, those melt downs.  Or when the situation fell apart and my neck was tight with knots of frustration, my jaws gritting tight, I would have  had  a tool to use for myself to ease some of my own anxiety.  It was a difficult time, I relied on much prayer. It is a funny thing today to face an appointment without such stress.   No fear that my son will run from the building, hit the doctor or kick someone in the face. We have made huge progress here.  Essential oils have made a difference in our lives. Are they magic? No. But in a world where the only option given to you is pharmaceuticals where it is questionable if the benefits outweigh the side effects, essential oils  are definitely a blessing. Not a fix all, but a tool to throw into my bag of tricks- it just happens to be the tool that has made a huge difference for my son, and for myself?  An answer to many prayers. 

vetiver

 

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Our Silent Victory At Special Olympics

When I thought about doing special Olympics swimming with my son, I really wasn’t sure if it work for him.  I had no idea  how he would react in such a loud, stressful situation.  I’ve seen him fly over nursing desks at doctors offices, dart out of medical buildings into parking lots, wrestle the dentist on the office floor.  I’ve  seen him glue himself into his wheelchair, becoming more and more obstinate until there is a glaze over his eyes and words of reason are interpreted  as  a “blah, blah blah” that makes no sense to his closed ears.   There have been times when he has gone into shut down inside a public restroom unmovable for an hour or sometimes two until he could collect himself and get the nerve to leave the “safety” of quiet. 
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                                                                                                                             photo by Kellie Schmieder
  I confess, I was apprehensive at what he would do at each practice — could I even get him up and out the door that early on a Saturday morning? Could I get him to leave the pool when  class was over? Would he try to touch people? Would he do what was expected of him, or insist on turning somersaults underwater?   But how he surprised me!  Armed with my young living vetiver oil, he took to the class each week like he was the easiest kid in the world!  I was unsure how long it would last; it was loud, full of swimmers and he had to swim laps-many laps!  But it was a safe, friendly, inviting fun environment with wonderful coaches and volunteers.  He now counts down to his favorite day of the week: SWIMMING DAY! 
But when it came time for the special Olympics  competition, I was faced with new ” what ifs”. I just wasn’t sure how he would do; a new place, new pool– lots of waiting….where would I dress him?, where would I take him to pee? Would he understand what was going on? Would he decide not to get into the pool, would he decide not to get out? What if he decided he had to pee while he was in the pool, or worse….poop?  But once again, armed with vetiver oil and cederwood, his favorite toy: Fozzie Bear, and  an iPod-we ventured to our first ever Special Olympics competition.
highfive
He stayed there half the day; he competed in three events, two in the small pool and one in the big pool.  He didn’t cover his ears, he didn’t panic, he didn’t get obstinate and  he didn’t go into shut down in the bathroom.  He made it to the toilet on time, he seemed engaged, he was so happy, excited to be a part of something that made him feel special and he was surrounded with friendly volunteers and his coaches gave him amazing support. 
The whole experience was truly amazing!                                                                                                                          
And although he did finally meet his limit and went into shutdown before we left, he  made it through what he had gone there to do. What he DID  was an amazing feat and I know and understand better than ever, just what an invaluable opportunity Special Olympics really is.  I am forever grateful for the experience for him and for the wonderful volunteers that make it happen.
 
And yes, he did win some medals,but I think the biggest win was that he mastered his environment instead of it mastering him–
He conquered something bigger than any event that day and well,
I guess his momma did too!  

Let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt -Motto Of The Special Olympics

photos by Kellie Schmieder

A Smile is Worth a Thousand Words!

A Smile is Worth a Thousand Words!