Sorry, it’s Summer!

I really have to apologize to all my followers. I tend to get active in the summer, keeping Nicole busy so that she doesn’t get too bored. This summer so far has been a beauty for us. Hardly any rain, so we have been out side…A LOT! I have been learning to use my new camera and we have been adventuring in new and old places.

But without rain comes forest fires.

Forest Fire
Too Close for comfort

The first one was very close and it was 27 Hectares in size. We were out when the call came through, Mr being a volunteer fire fighter got the call. Luckily we were on our way home and he was able to get to the station and help. He battled this fire for 9 hours the first night, then about 12 the next day, with about 70 other fire fighters. They were able to get it under control before any homes were lost or damaged. And no one was hurt.  There was two other forest fires last week in Halifax. Mr was on call at his station for the evening. Once again they were able to get them under control, unfortunately one fire fighter was injured, but is recovering now!

We have had a heat wave and hardly any rain. So what is bad for the forest is excellent for us, we love our summers. We have been to the lake numerous times:

Jumping in the lake at sunset
A large jump into the lake

I have taken her on hikes around our trails for frog catching and exploring.

Today we are hitting the Hartlen Point area where I found tidal pools yesterday:

Tidal Pools
Great places to explore

Medication and anxiety update

All of this has been happening while we have been changing her pills and doing some summer school work. Mr. and I decided that we would help her achieve better marks next year by doing some home schooling over the summer. We give her spelling tests every week. She has to do two book reports by the end of the summer and do some math once or twice a week. We know she has the potential but with everything going on within her mind she struggled at the end of the year, and it showed on her report card.

The good news is that by treating her anxiety and insomnia we are seeing huge improvements in her daily life. A less anxious child means a happy child. She finally got a hold of one of her friends that had disappeared from school just around Christmas time. Come to find out he was struggling just as much as Nicole, so they home schooled him for the year.  So his mom and I talked and we are getting them back into the same class this year and together they should make an excellent team. He LOVES to learn, and keeps her on track. She stands up to bullies, when it is other people she is defending!

So that is why I have not been posting as much! I do apologize for I know some of you enjoy reading about Nicole’s improvements and this summer has been great.

She is currently taking sertraline 100mg to help with the anxiety. We have seen improvements, she has been to two sleepovers, HUGE improvement. She says she does not have any negative thoughts any more and she has not been asking about the doors being locked. She seems more at peace.

Her insomnia is still a bit of an issue, but it is getting better, part of that problem is the screen time.

In August we are starting her on Vyvanse 10 mg and slowly increasing it. This is for the ADHD so that hopefully she can focus better in school this year. I know she wants to do better but her mind lacks that focus and motivation.

Our biggest hurdle is reading with her. She HATES to read but we know she has to learn to do it, especially in high school where they basically hand out sheets and tell you to read it. Or assign chapters in textbooks. So we have her reading nightly and of course with the two book reports it is forcing her to remember what she reads so she can report back to us. She is currently rereading Wonder, which is a fantastic book for children with ADHD because it has smaller chapters. If anyone knows of other books that are short chapters and might intrigue someone with ADHD please let us know.

So that has been our summer so far. Keeping her active and encouraging time outside and in nature has been our goal. So far it is working. We still have six weeks before back to school and I hope we have her meds sorted out by then. She wants to go back to school and start fresh and surprise the heck out of her teachers.

How has your summer been? We love to hear from everyone!

Chill Mom Julia

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My new Photography and Book review site

I finally started a new site. This will be for my photography journey and Book reviews. So that this Blog can focus on Mental Health.

Please feel free to follow along with both blogs!!!

Photography Journey

Another Medication!

So we had our first appointment with a psychiatrist. I didn’t know what to expect, but I figured it would be like all the other appointments. It basically was. We talked, he talked, he explained, but most important…HE UNDERSTOOD.

Oh the relief. The physical strain of having to explain that Nicole does not sleep, she does not want to sleep has been lifted from my shoulders. Her thoughts keep her up at night, this in turn is keeping her from waking in the morning when she should. I now have it in writing that this is why she has a hard time getting up and going to school in the morning. It has her restless and irritable. He gave her a diagnoses of insomnia and generalized anxiety, along with the ADHD.

Now I’m not saying that because she hasn’t slept really well for most of her life is the cause of her ADHD, but I’m sure it does not help! As I type this she is sleeping away…because she didn’t get to sleep until 1 am. So in turn she has to sleep later to catch up. And it is not a good sleep. So when she does finally pull herself from the depths of sleep she is never fully rested.

But I digress. He prescribed a sleeping pill. All I could think was “Finally” I have only been asking for the past five years that my daughter be put on something that could get her brain trained to sleep when it is suppose to and keep her asleep.

He has also taken her off her third medication…Strattera and put her on an anti-depressant, sertraline. His goal is to treat the anxiety first and see where that takes us. Maybe if she starts getting sleep and feeling less nervous and scared she will overall feel better.

She left his office with a HUGE smile on her face, for she hated the medication and felt that it was the cause of all her negative thoughts and feelings. And since she has been off the Strattera she hasn’t had a panic attack. Her sleep hasn’t gotten better but we had to wake a couple of weeks to let the other medication out of her system before starting the sleeping pill, so far no luck. I gave it to her last night (fourth night taking it) and still no luck getting her to fall asleep easily, or keeping her asleep.

She is starting the sertraline today and we will see how it goes. I will keep everyone posted as to how she is doing with it. I hope with these posts someone learns something, although not every medication works the same for everyone, some people have fantastic results on all three of the previous medications she has taken. But I want people to understand that it does take a while, sometimes, to find just the right combination of medication and therapy to help. We have had three years since her diagnoses of ADHD and we are really no further ahead than we were four years ago. Although we do have a better understanding of ADHD and anxiety. And we know what doesn’t work for her.

Now we are going into summer vacation next week, and I know that her sleep will not get any better through the summer. Routines are thrown out the window with the sunny days and late nights.

We are hoping that by September we will have the kinks worked out and she will have a more positive outlook for school and be a little more organized. That is our goal anyway!

 

 

 

Weekly Photo challenge: All Time favorite

Come to find out this will be the last Word press photo challenge…So sad!

I wanted to add to this one because it will be the last one, and I do enjoy posting the photo challenges.

So this is one of my All Time Favorites

Frozen flower
A different perspective.

It is one of my favorites because of the detail and the contrast. Also this is the first photo that I got any recognition for…even if it was only a little, still cool though!

You can check out more of my photos here on our Instagram account.

 

Tender Moments

Tender Moments
Sweet moments with the birds

We are bird sitting these two sweet parrot-lets. They are the sweetest things. The lighter colored bird is very timid and shy, the darker one is very curious and gets into everything. They are keeping Nicole occupied this week, before we head off to another appointment on Wednesday.

 

Electronics too distracting? Addiction to phone?

Sometimes I feel I need two different blogs to keep up with the different aspects of our life. The good and the bad.

Nicole had a bad week last week with her negative thoughts, and the weekend was looking up. Today she can not get herself up and out of bed. We had a great day yesterday, out at the dog park and then canoeing in the evening, but then she got home and was instantly onto her phone and stayed up way past her bedtime.

I’m going to have to take her phone completely away from her this week. It is just distracting her to much and she has become too dependent on it. She literally can not pull herself away from her phone to do anything. The doctor told us that this was a sign of addiction to the phone. This does not help her mental health I’m sure of it. She also got another warning of almost failing again in science and healthy living. She is behind in most of her classes, after just catching up two weeks ago. She literally can not get ahead.

I worry about this because our nephew had the same problem, staying up too late because he couldn’t fall asleep, then literally could not drag himself out of bed on time in the morning.

Really looking forward to her appointment next week with the psychiatrist. Hopefully he can help us a little more. Or change her medication.  Something needs to change before she hits high school. Missing this amount of school will ever be good in high school.

Thoughts on addiction to phones?

Chill mom

Stop using straws, bad for the Sea Turtles #nostraws

 

I had no idea that a common item that most people use daily is so dangerous for Sea Turtles. My oldest daughter who has recently become more involved in nature conservation told us about this harmful plastic item. We are now a straw free home and use reusable hard plastic straws. We carry some in our cars and I will be putting one in my purse. But I would like to tell you how much she is affecting everyone else around her.

AJ is 17 years old, a Warrant officer in her cadet squadron and is maintaining a 94% average in grade 12, pursuing a Law Degree starting at Saint Mary’s University this September. She has several ceremony’s coming up over the next month and plans on bringing up the Sea Turtles in all her speeches. She participates in effective speaking competitions every March through the Lions club. This year she won the first round at the Dartmouth area one, and went on to the second round, where she placed 2nd. Her speech was on straws and how bad they are for Sea Turtles.

Yesterday we volunteered for a Dog Walking Fundraiser for the Lions Club. This is an event they put on every year in support of guide dogs and she wanted to volunteer. She is a dog lover and every chance she gets to be involved with them she takes it. We volunteer at the SPCA to walk dogs regularly.

The head Lion came over to her while we were finishing up and said I want to tell you a story. She said yes of course. He said “I was in McDonald’s last week and I was getting a meal. I was unable to get a straw because of your speech. I just couldn’t bring myself to do it.” I was so proud of her in that moment I can’t even describe it. She was able to affect a change in someone other than her immediate family and friends. She of course was a little teary eyed, and said “That made my day sir…Thank you so much and I’m sure the Sea Turtles thank you as well.”

This goes to show that anyone can make a small change that can affect others. And then that person will affect another change, just by talking about it.

So I’m posting this about the Sea Turtles:

Save the Turtles America

I came across this site and think they are a wonderful American site. They have a lot of facts that I didn’t know, but I seen the amount of straws we collected through my daughters Clean up she did a few weekends ago.

This is a site I found that is just in my “backyard”, over in Halifax. I need to show AJ this one so she can hopefully volunteer some time over there.

Save the Turtles Canada

I’m sure there are many more and as AJ begins her University Life she will learn about more conservation efforts she can join. There are so many great opportunities for young people to get involved. She has organized her own clean up and wants to do more, If she sees garbage laying around she picks it up, which in turn has her father carrying a small bag for collecting garbage on his nightly walks. It really does only take one to make change. So be the start of something great.

#NOSTRAWS

Chill Mom Julia