Hello again!!!

Hello all my wonderful and dedicated followers. I must apologize for being away for such a long time. Summer flew by in a whirlwind of doctors appointments, beach days,  and photo shoots with my new camera!!!

We have so much going on but at the same time nothing. Do you have months like that? Where you feel like everything is happening at once, but nothing at the same time?

Nicole has been doing great, started school without a hiccup. And has been going everyday not late, until this week, she has gotten a head cold and I have kept her home. Her new pills seem to be working quite well and she is the one to up her medication when she feels she needs it. She is taking her own health into her own hands. More responsible and accountable. She still needs to work on handing in her homework and bringing materials home. But small steps.

She stood up to a bully in school the other day, for picking on another child in the class who has ADHD, this kids was yelling at him and Nicole stepped in and told the bully to leave him alone because he doesn’t understand ADHD and that he can’t control when he interrupts and how he acts sometimes. I guess she went on a full rant and tore into the guy. But hasn’t been to school since because of her cold, so I don’t know if it helped. She also posted a YouTube video about how upset she was about how people can be inhuman to others.

She is being more confident in everything, I am so proud of her improvements and changes she has made in her life. She cut off some very negative people from her life and has become more mature in the past few months.

Of course she still has days where she is not feeling the best, and still has panic attacks. She seems able to overcome these quicker.

The cons:

The one thing I will say negative about the medication, and I’m not even sure if it has anything to do with the medication. She has begun to pick at any scab that she has on her body, and unfortunately she has quite a few on her face. We have discussed it with one of her doctors and she said it is part of her OCD. She is hardly aware of what she is doing anymore, but she feels a sense of relief when she picks the scab. I looked this up and have to agree that it is part of OCD:

Excoriation disorder, is said to be a mental health disorder. Skin picking is a body-focused repetitive behavior (BFRB) that typically begins during adolescence, commonly coinciding with, or following the onset of, puberty around ages 13-15, 

I found that on This website

So we have to throw in OCD to the list of things going on inside of Nicole’s head. I already thought she had OCD, as she is an obsessive worrier. Now we just have confirmation. They say the Zoloft will help with this, but I find it gets worse when she is on medication.

She is also losing weight because the vyvanse suppresses her appetite.

Their is no winning sometimes. She is doing good in school, but other issues with the medication will make me stop her from taking the medication.

Has any one else had experience with Zoloft? We would love to hear from you!

 

 

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Home on the couch!

Am laying on my couch recuperating after oral surgery this morning…wishing I was here:

@chillmomphotos
Biking along this trail

But being home on the couch I am able to edit some photos, and catch up on my reading and my blog.

Medication Update

Nicole has had a great week. We have her on 20mg of Vyvanse and she is saying they are helping so much. She is getting her room done for her Birthday this week and wants to do some growing up. So she is getting rid of most of her LPS (Littlest Pet Shops) and wanting to be more independent. Once we have her room all done I will show you all a photo of her nice new “teenager” room.

Her temper has simmered down and she seems to want to get stuff done. Hopefully it stays on this course! Her sleeping has definitely improved and she has had a couple more sleepovers. Much improvements!!!

Social Media

Her biggest obstacle is social media and the “friends” that mock her or are just negative towards her mental health. She had to block four children on her snap chat, and Instagram. I was considering getting rid of her social media for a month or so to see if that helps, but we shouldn’t have to punish her for others actions. We told her to block them and not listen to what they are saying. But being a soft hearted person and a little too gullible makes it hard for her to just ignore people that she considers friends. I also like that she loves to post photos of adventures and I don’t want to take that away from her.

That is all for now, Thank you all for reading and commenting

Check out my other blog for book reviews and photos:

Chill Mom Photos and Reviews

Have a great Weekend!

Chill Mom

 

 

 

 

 

 

Three medications for the win!

Having had Nicole on Sertraline or Zoloft 100 mg for about 6 weeks now I can say we have found a way to beat her anxiety, but as soon as she skips a dose the thoughts will creep right back in.

She missed yesterday mornings dose and by bedtime she was feeling anxious again. “I feel scared mom, and don’t know why” Asking when her sister would be home, until I told her she was safe at her boyfriends place for the night. I gave her one pill last night and in an hour she was doing OK again, but she wasn’t back to her perky self until this morning after her morning dose. It is fantastic seeing such an improvement with the medication. She is definitely a more confident person. Braver, more likely to speak up when she needs to. For example she got her hair cute last week and was able to tell the hair dresser that she wanted it shorter. Didn’t need to hang off of me or be comforted by my side.  She has been to two sleepovers this summer and she is more comfortable doing things on her own. HUGE improvements with regard to anxiety.

As well we started her on Trazadone for insomnia. This too has helped. She is now able to fall asleep without the aid of melatonin, which I know seems like switching one aid for another. But the melatonin she could beat, push against it until she was past the I’m tired point, and it was not working any longer. With Trazadone she is not able to fight the effects of this medication. She falls asleep within 30 minutes. I feel once we get back into a school routine she will be able to fall asleep at the appointed time. Ending morning struggles. The best thing is that she is able to get up in the morning with out much argument. Which is something we HUGELY struggle with. There have been some mornings when she has gotten up without me asking her too, before 9 am!

Next week is the third part of the medication trial. In this part we are adding a medication to treat the ADHD.  We will be adding Vyvanse 10 mg in the morning and slowly increasing it until we get a desired effect. Both the Psychiatrist and the family doctor both rate it highly. Have seen many people take to it right away. It is still a stimulant but it works differently in the brain. It doesn’t affect serotonin levels just norepinephrine and dopamine. The body breaks it down differently as well. I have read reviews and did the necessary research, and I am hopefully and enthusiastic. The only thing we can do is give it to her and hope for the best. I am positive that she can do better this year in school. With some help from medication, and hopefully patient teachers.

I am hoping for a change in teachers this year, and am very much looking forward to grade 9 when she will go to a new school, with new technology and new teachers.

Overall this summer has been a more upbeat one. We have done some day trips, we have been doing spelling tests with her and she has started working on her first book report on Wonder…Little bugger just remembered the whole thing from when someone read it to her in grade 6. Making her read a new book this month! Gosh she HATES to read!

Anyone have experience with Vyvanse? Good or bad we would love to hear about it.

Chill mom Julia

It is Just too Hot! Global warming sucks!!!

I have been trying to get my self in the mood to post something but its just too hot!!!

I love being warm, but this heat wave we have going on here on the East Coast is a scorcher! And it is all because of global warming and climate change.  I have become more aware of this because of my oldest daughter, her becoming more environmentally conscious we have learned a lot. I try to take a bag for collecting garbage on walks and hikes. I have stopped using straws, and we purchased reusable straws and she has switched to a sustainable tooth brush and floss. We are trying to reduce our plastic use, that is a tough one, because everything seems to be packaged in plastic. We are huge second hand shoppers, for the most part that is where I buy most of our clothing.

But will it be enough.

We are only one family, but I hope that by reducing our carbon footprint and cleaning up what we can we are helping in some small way. Every little bit helps right?

How do you help? Are there other small things that we can do that I am not aware of yet?

 

Exploring Nova Scotia, Keeping busy and active this summer

Our favorite time of year. Summer. We get out, we explore. We hike, I bike. They swim…I sometimes swim. It is a great time of year to keep a child who has ADHD busy.

We have been to several new spots this summer:

Tidal Pools
Great places to explore

Tidal Pools along the coast. This is just a ten minute bike ride from our home.

So much to explore
Exploring the coast even in the fog
Explorer at heart
Look what I found

Then we went to a local wildlife park:

Shubie 005
Add the wood to your bog
Tender
Eskimo kisses

The animals here have been hurt in some way and can never return to the wild. They are no longer afraid of humans.

Nesting box
Make your own

It was #DuckDay at Shubenacadie Wildlife park the day we went and there was ton of activities for her to learn about our environment. We were there about three hours and she had a blast. I included a link to their Instagram account. You can check out more information about them as well!

We are being tourist in our own beautiful province of Nova Scotia. I seen on an Instagram post that you are considered a tourist 60 km from your home. We are exploring our gorgeous province, one tourist spot at a time this year. I hope to check out some waterfalls this year that we haven’t been to before. Also want to return to Burnt Coat and Peggy’s Cove as well.

I’m getting out more this summer. Really enjoying it. Seeing new things and in her eyes makes me rediscover how beautiful our Province is.

If you would like to see more of our photos please check out my Instagram account

Chill Mom Photos 

 

 

 

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