The first post, and the most important information I can give to any parent dealing with a child with special needs is: take care of yourself first. Most essential. For years I ignored that. That means get yourself proper medial care, dental care, rest/sleep, exercise, nutrition, mental health care, get your social needs meet, marital needs, intellectual needs, etc. Don't worry, I hear the big question out there reverberating.....
Isn't that selfish??? How can I do that when my child needs 10,000 different things to get through his or her day?
Simple answer: What do they tell you on the air plane? In case of an emergency oxygen masks will descend, please secure your own mask and make sure it is functioning before attempting to place a mask on anyone else.
Same is true in life. You can't give to the sometimes herculean demands that these children place on us from a dry well. So let's break this down:
Proper medical care: You should be going in at least once a year for a check up with an internist/family Dr. If you are female you need to see an Ob/Gyn once a year. This may seem completely elementary, but I have watched special needs parents take their children to Mayo Clinic and demand the best and ignore these basic essentials for themselves. Go in with a list of questions written down and hand them immediately to your Dr. If he/she won't take the time to answer those questions, find someone else. Plain and simple. You aren't difficult. You aren't a bitch. If your Dr. agrees to a plan of treatment and then changes treatment for no reason or for a reason that doesn't sit well with you, find a different Dr. Again, you aren't difficult, you aren't a bitch. You are entitled to decent health care and to be treated with dignity and respect and as that Dr. would treat themselves or a member of their family.
Proper Dental Care: You need a cleaning and exam every six months. You should have a whole mouth x-ray every 5 years. That is of each tooth and root. Not just two bite wings. I had a dentist who didn't do that for me. Dentistry has unfortunately become a very profit driven industry in recent years. If you have a dentist who seems to be offering you expensive cosmetic treatments that you cannot afford at the determent of basic good dental care, leave. Oftentimes root canals need to be done by an Periodontist and not a Family dentist. A general dentist won't always tell you that because they would like your money, and failed root canal, and subsequent extraction, implant or bridge. If you have access to a dental college, they may be a better bet. Yes, they are students, however they are overseen by highly experienced faculty and the drive for money is not there. Only good dental care. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Invest in a good tooth brush like a Sonic Care or Oral B. Floss and use mouth wash like Crest Pro Health. Consider a mouth wash with fluoride if you seem prone to cavities.
Sleep: Did you know that normal state our brain is designed to function in is sleep? The general consensus is that adults are wired for 8 hours+ of sleep but most are functioning on less than 7. I would find that to be the number one reason for burnout and stress among adults. That is starting out the day in the red, so to speak, before anything occurs. If you are having trouble sleeping, try a Melatonin supplement before turning to harsh sleep aid. Also be sure to turn down all bright lights before bed. That includes TV and computer. Ouch!!! That's hard for me too. Reading a good book with soft light or prayer in dimmed light about 1 hour before bed releases our bodies own natural melatonin.
to be cont.....