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Recovering from Crisis Mode

Recovering from Crisis Mode

We made it! Dad has recovered enough from surgery to lift the toddler. The toddler has recovered enough from his cold to only need medicine overnight. I actually got a chance to take the REAL cold medicine last night. You know, the kind that not only cures all your cold symptoms but also knocks you out. Even if the symptoms were to somehow to break through, you still sleep like the dead.

The laundry and dishes were done over the last week and a half, but everything else took a backseat. You can actually see the path our toddler takes from one place to another. It looks like a little tornado meandered through our house on multiple occasions. Am I going to clean it up today? Maybe, but probably not. Today is the day for a victory lap! It’s time to celebrate making it through this most recent family challenge. I’m going to have coffee with a friend for at least an hour or two while Dad cuddles the little man.

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Managing Your Stress, Part Three: New Normal

Getting settled into a new routine after a emergency or crisis is one of the hardest things I’ve had to handle as a mother of a special needs child. One of the tricky things about not having a diagnosis is that you never know if you’re looking at a new illness (virus, infection, etc.) or a new feature of the undiagnosed syndrome. It’s happened several times that the new problem has turned out to be another clue to the underlying syndrome and we’ve had to adjust what we’re doing to accommodate. So, that’s all well and good, but how do you do that?

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Managing Your Stress, Part Two: Crisis

OK, so what do we do when we’re in a crisis situation? We need to have a plan ahead of time, because there isn’t any time for planning after the emergency begins. No one sits in the back of an ambulance, or in the ER thinking, “OK, lets make a crisis management plan!” First, we need a support person. Ideally this would be someone you trust completely and is competent enough in the basics of your child’s care to take care of them for an hour or two. At minimum, it can be a friend who would be willing to take the time to call you once a day, see how you’re doing, and remind you to eat. Ideally you would have a backup that’s probably closer to the latter than the former. It’s unlikely that your support person would become laid up at the same time your child is going through an emergency situation. Unfortunately, depending how many emergencies your child has on a regular basis it’s far from impossible.

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Managing Your Stress, Part One: Crisis vs. New Normal

This post is part of a three day series about how to handle stress when you’re bouncing back and forth between crisis and calm. I hope you find it helpful. I would love to hear about things YOU are doing to manage your stress.

There are two situations mothers of special needs children find themselves in more often than we would like to admit. The first is crisis situations. Many, although not all, of these land us in the hospital with our already struggling child. Once there, we fight fiercely to protect them from catching something even worse than what brought them in in the first place and engage in a constant power struggle with the hospital staff to let our children sleep. The second is what I call the, “new normal.” This frequently, though not always, comes after a crisis. Something has changed in our child’s condition and it’s changed the way that they and we have to live our lives. Identifying which of these two situations you’re in is key to properly handling your stress level.

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