Saturday, January 8, 2011

The waterworks have begun

Pumpkin is having a lot harder time getting around. She's falling a lot more and even crawling/scooting on her bottom some instead of walking. She's also less vocal (with words anyway). I'm assuming this is because she's back on her seizure medicine. As I'm learning, this is the fine dance with seizure meds. You have to find the correct balance of meds to stop the seizures but still allow the child to function. She was also off the meds completely for at least four full days (possibly longer). Her body has to get used to being on them again to begin with.

Last night Pumpkin missed her mommy. She cried and cried at bedtime (for almost an hour). It wasn't a violent cry; but she was so sad. I held her (as much as she would let me anyway) and she just cried. It broke my heart.

The first thing out of Pumpkin's mouth this morning was, "Mommy????"

Today was hard for Pumpkin. She just seems out of it (for lack of a better way to describe things). She can't seem to communicate as well. She's not as mobile as she wants to be. And she misses her mommy. So, most of the day, I heard the usual babble/moan sounds that she makes normally mixed in with lots of cries for Mommy. Then, as she seemed to get more and more tired (from the meds???) she would just cry.

We're still newbies when it comes to fostering. This is the first placement we've had where the child even asked for mommy. Our little Jordan that we cared for in Iowa (18 month old boy) was probably a RAD baby as he withdrew so deep inside himself instead of expressing much emotion. Our girls MissArguePants and TurtleTurtle had been moved so many times, and their abuse was so severe, they didn't know WHO they wanted. But little Pumpkin wants her mommy.

This is difficult for me for a couple different reasons. One - it just breaks my heart. I want to comfort her but she just wants her mommy. Two - the developmental delay makes it impossible for us to discuss what is happening. She just doesn't understand. It's like I'm taking care of a 40 pound infant.

How do you seasoned foster mammas handle things like this? I'm not sure I can personally tolerate crying all day long. Of course I want to be sympathetic. But, being totally honest here, I just might go crazy if a non-communicative child simply cries all day. It's not the same as a baby. I can't put her in a sling, or a swing, or a bouncer. I don't know what to do to make it better. I never know when to sit with her and try to comfort and when to go on about my business.

For now, if she's saying "Mommy", I try to stay with her. I want to make sure she knows she's not alone. But if she seems to just be crying for the sake of crying, I'm not sure what to do. I'm toying with the idea of a rug, or a place I can put her when it seems like she's choosing to cry instead of communicate. Is that too harsh???? She possesses the ability to talk some. And I know the seizure meds make her in more of a fog. But it's still not OK for her to cry all the time.

But then again, it IS OK for her to cry. I can't imagine what she's gone through. I feel so bad for her right now. Advice please??????


noisycolorfullively said...

Well, I'm sure you've got this mastered, but prayer. Prayer, prayer, prayer. I find that when I'm feeling fed up I'm praying for things like "God, make this child shut up becuase I cannot take it another second!!!" It's when I begin asking for wisdom, community, help, insight, etc. That the difference is made.

So far I think you're doing well. I would think that time will help and I'm often surprised out how quickly it happens. Finally, trust your instincts. And if doesn't work, try something new. You know this child better than anyone else.

I haven't been reading you long, but I think you've got a strong heart. Hang in there. You're doing great.

jendoop said...

You're thinking along the right lines, its OK to let her cry. The trick is finding how much comfort she wants, or if she just wants to be left alone. Some of both is my guess. Take a minute to calm yourself and think without anxiety about what you can do. Trying to resolve a situation when you are anxious will likely increase everyone's anxiety.

As far as the swings and etc.- you can get those for older children! There are so many comfort items out there for autistic children that could work for Cheerio. I made a weighted blanket for my little guy and it helped him sleep at night. There are swings that cradle a child in fabric that can be hung indoors (check IKEA). If you've seen the movie Temple Grandin- she liked to spin in a swing.

It seems as though you have a great agency, use them. Ask if they have resources for handicapped/autistic children such as a play gym, day camps, schools, etc. It could be redirecting for Cheerios to do something like that, distract her from her grief. It could also be that she's asking for Mommy because she wants comfort, right now you are her mommmy so jump in and don't be afraid to try a zillion different comfort methods until you find one that works.

Is there a chance that the meds are causing her pain or discomfort?

Cheryl said...

I wish I had the perfect answer for you but I don't. I am praying that today is going a bit better for all of you.

MamaFoster said...

i wouldn't know what to do either.

of course she has every right to cry because of everything she has been thru...BUT it would make it very hard to keep her in your house.

i would maybe try a weighted blanket like jendoop said...i would try to distract her for sure.

in the end i know i would tell her that enough is enough, you can do this for a few minutes, but you need to stop eventually or there would be some type of consequence