What the headlines don’t say..

This week Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) has hit the headlines. Articles raising the question if ADHD is real or whether it is indeed just immaturity have popped up all over the world. The question has been raised as a result of some research that has been conducted in Taiwan.

Sadly this news story isn’t at all helpful to parents of children that have the condition or adults that have the condition. There’s already so much controversy over the condition – a global news story claiming ADHD could just be immaturity further adds fuel to the argument that ADHD isn’t real…

But, it is real. There are families living with this condition day in day out. Waking up each day dealing with everything that ADHD throws at them. Being unable to focus at home or at school, being unable to sit still, being impulsive to the point that it can place them in danger and being unable to take turns therefore find it difficult to be part of a team. All of this means they can find themselves in trouble a lot, find it difficult to make friends, leaving them with very low self esteem…And this is just the tip of the iceberg.

This is what the headlines haven’t covered, the reality of living with ADHD and the impact it can have on people’s lives.

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ADHD – the bright side

We often hear of the challenges of raising a child with ADHD but what are the positives? Here’s my top 5…

  1. Boundless amounts of energy. Energy for running, energy for exploring outdoors and energy for helping Mum (well, he may have the energy for helping Mum but it may not always materialise!) Bam does run with me. I love having him as my running buddy, we really enjoy our running chats – although he is able to chat a lot more than me! We also both share a love of the outdoors. Bam loves climbing trees, exploring and camping. Move over Bear Grylls.
  2. Lots of fun and humour! There are plenty of opportunities to let loose and just roll with the chaotic lifestyle that we lead.
  3. In-depth knowledge on a few topics of interest. Bam reads lots of fascinating fact books – from the Guinness book of records to books on planet earth. He’s an avid reader of books at night so much so that whilst changing his duvet the other day I managed to find 14 fact books buried in there -not sure how he finds the room to sleep. He’d make a great addition to a quiz team I’m sure.
  4. Creative. Bam has the most amazing adventures. He doesn’t just go for a walk in the woods – it’s a bear hunt, a Gruffalo hunt, a  pirate adventure. The list is endless.
  5. Last, but most certainly not least, one of the absolutely best things about my boy is he’s absolutely oozing with love. He has the most wonderful caring side that when revealed it totally and utterly melts your heart!

There are many more positives too…I’m proud of Bam and everything he achieves. I have high hopes for that boy. After all,  Albert Einstein is reported to have had ADHD!

 

Run free…

I run for the freedom, I run for the fresh air in my lungs, I run to think, I run to be on my own and I run to chat to other runners!

Being a parent certainly isn’t an easy task, there’s no rule book and you find yourself dealing with situations you never thought you would. Our two boys most certainly do a good job of keeping us on our toes. When you add ADHD into the mix too, we’re always digging deep into our energy reserves because we most certainly need it! Their energy and enthusiasm for life are something that I am proud of. I’m very proud but sometimes I need a break, sometimes I need to be on my own….to think, to be free, to just be me..

Running gives me that time, that freedom, that time to think – I have solved many a problem on a long Sunday run.

It sounds very dramatic but I can honestly say that running has changed me – not just physically but mentally as well. It helps me to be a better parent because I have that time away to clear my head.

I always return from a run feeling refreshed with renewed energy ready to return to the chaos of family life.

After a chaotic week, I definitely need my run today, so it’s time to get my butt off the sofa and get my running gear on! I’ll need to do a bit extra today as I intend to indulge in wine and cheesecake tonight – well, it’s Valentine’s day!

Braving the storm..

Tonight I stood in the rain and wind while Mops played football. Not just light rain and a breeze. Rain lashing down and big gusts of wind! So much so I ended up wrestling the brolly for most of the hour wondering if I should just give up and let the elements win!

A few times the brolly flew inside out narrowly missing the other lovely parents watching their respective offspring. I did wonder if at one point I may have a Mary Poppins moment and fly off!! Momentarily this captured my thoughts – it could be quite good fun to fly like Mary Poppins!

Sadly my feet stayed on the ground, no flying for me, although my brolly will be flying towards a bin as it fought one too many battle with the wind!

Mops on the other hand was having the best time, he barely noticed the weather, he just played, smiled and laughed! I love that Mops and Bam aren’t perturbed by the English elements..outdoor fun no matter what the weather throws at us!

Mops, one day, when you are a professional footballer (as I know you hope to be!) I’ll look back on these days and smile! My only request is to please make sure you buy your Mum seats in a nice dry viewing box or at the very least a new sturdy brolly!

My inspiration

We think Bam’s seizures are back. I’m saying we think because it’s not the drop down seizures, it’s the focal seizures, the ones where he zones out for 30 seconds several times a day…

So we have been back to see the consultant…she has referred us for another EEG. This time though it’s an ambulatory EEG so he’ll have to have wires on his head and a machine with him for 24 hours. It’s great that it’ll be able to monitor his seizure activity on a normal average day but I know he won’t think like that. He’ll think ‘why do I have to have a machine attached to me?’ ‘I can’t have a shower’ ‘I can’t sleep’…..’why do I have epilepsy’

Every day people living with epilepsy will go through these tests, EEG’s/MRI’s/CT scans, everyday people with epilepsy will have seizures and everyday people, like my son will be a beacon of inspiration.

Bam makes me proud, he’ll deal with the EEG next week in the most amazing inspiring way, just has he has dealt with them in the past and will again in the future. For somebody so young, he is an inspiring young chap. He has an abundance of energy and puts 100% into everything that he does.

In his world his epilepsy has always been a part of him. He was four and a half when he was diagnosed so he doesn’t really remember a time without epilepsy. He’s always been very keen to learn more about his seizures and is passionate about helping other people with epilepsy. He was my number one supporter at the run I took part in for Young Epilepsy) and has future aspirations of becoming a doctor so he can help people with epilepsy. Good plan Bam!

There are lots of inspiring young ladies and men out there living with epilepsy every day. That’s why I was so pleased to hear about the Young Epilepsy awards. If you would like to nominate somebody there’s still time!

More information can be found on the Young Epilepsy website

 

Back 2 School!

Fun days out (even time at the beach) are now very much behind us and back to school preparation has descended upon our household! School shoes that have seen better days and PE kit t-shirts that were once white now a mud-stained mess will be replaced. School uniform that has been sitting waiting to be labelled since the start of the last term might finally get a label on it! Oh and not forgetting the end of the holidays hunt for the school reading and library books!

I know I have had two weeks to complete all of these tasks but somehow the time has just slipped away, leaving me rushing around at the last minute worrying about getting it all done! I’m sure I’m in good company though, right?!

As I’m running around getting the last minute tasks done I’m reminded of a conversation I had with Mops in the first couple of days of the holidays. We were in the car and he said ‘Mum, I’m not sure holidays from school is a good idea?!’ Hmmm, where is this going?! All children love school holidays, don’t they? So I replied ‘Why’s that then?! ‘ ‘Well I’m going to forget how to do my ‘j’s’ At the time I thought how cute is that!

Now, as I’m rushing around worrying about the return to school, work etc I’m wondering what the boys worries are?! Will Mops have remembered how to do his ‘j’s’? Is that going to bother him tomorrow or will he just stroll in to school not even giving it a second thought?

Who knows, we’ll see what tomorrow brings! Meanwhile, good luck to all those parents out there that are going to be battling the shops today for those last minute school necessities!  Have a good first day back! Oh and Mops I can’t wait to see all your ‘j’s’ xxx

Santa, we’re ready for you!

The festivities are well and truly upon us! I can safely say that our house is full to bursting with excitement. In fact it’s so exciting it’s almost a little bit uncontrollable!

As the environment changes around us from grey skies and leaves falling off trees to one filled with Christmas trees, flashing lights and mince pies, Bam’s excitement levels reach an all time high.

I’ve been here before, we know it’s coming! This year I decided to be a little bit more organised so I could embrace Christmas with him and not fall into the trap of having loads to do while his energy levels are so high –  well I tried and I still am trying!  Christmas presents have been bought, cards are bought and some have been written, the tree is up and I’m almost on top of everything school and club Christmas related! There’s constantly a carol service, Christmas play even a Christmas sing along!! When I say on top of this, it’s definitely a one day at a time thing, anything more than that then there is a serious chance it could all get a little bit messy!

So in my attempt to embrace Christmas, I thought I’d try and keep up with Bam’s excitement levels! So…..

…….when he walked into the town centre in November, saw the Christmas lights and started leaping around in a twirling motion – I expressed how exciting it was and how Christmas is on its way!

……When I caught Bam saying ‘I love Christmas’ in an excited whisper to himself, I smiled.

….When I caught him watching TV at 3.30am in the morning in the lounge because he was too excited to sleep, I gently coaxed him back to bed! On the plus side he was very well informed about the world news and weather – I guess there isn’t anything else on the TV at the time in the morning?!

……And when I saw the excitement literally attempting to burst out of him when we put the Christmas tree up, I looked at my husband and giggled!

Everyday the excitement is building, I’m trying to keep up with his constant bubble of energy! With two weeks to go, I feel like my energy levels are declining but I’m determined….there’s always boxing day for snoozing!

 

Coffee anyone?

I’m sitting looking at a cup of coffee, a coffee that I have bought but didn’t want – I’m not a cappuccino lover. Somebody had other ideas, somebody decided to press the coffee dispensing buttons resulting in me doing some kind of ninja move to quickly grab a cup to catch the hot liquid that was about to come flooding out of the machine. Luckily my ninja moves are good otherwise an unfortunate incident could have occurred.

From that day forward I resigned myself to the fact that ADHD and cafes probably aren’t a good combination. When you struggle to focus mealtimes are tricky. I know this, so why did I think a cafe on my own with two kids was a good idea?

Why then did I make the decision a few weeks later to go back? It’s like giving birth, you forget most of it apart from the good bits. Everyone’s fed, no washing up – but at what price?

So I find myself sitting in the cafe again, this time avoiding any coffee machine dramas. Instead, this time I find myself wondering how mash potato has made it’s way across the cafe. Well, I know how it made it across the cafe – it was catapulted via a fork. Somebody decided it wasn’t the best tasting mash in the world so decided to get rid!

It’s something that will always be tricky, I’m not sure what the answer is – no going out for tea on my own with the kids? Finding an activity to do during dinner? Reins 🙂

May be he has a future career as a chef – at least he won’t get fed up waiting for his food and he can cook it exactly how he likes it?

A time for reflection

It’s on its way…. we’re all starting to turn our focus to Christmas. It’s such a magical time but also a time we find ourselves taking a moment to reflect on the past year.

I would like to thank Young Epilepsy for their support. They have supported lots of young people with epilepsy this year in many different ways. Check out what they have been up to on their lovely snowy, Christmassy page…

http://www.youngepilepsy.org.uk/christmas

Here’s my fellas looking for a certain man dressed in red…I wonder what they’re wishing for….

 

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