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Recent Entries to this Blog The Teenage Runaway
Posted: 17 Jun 2006
Date night with my son
Posted: 02 May 2006
A perfect family weekend
Posted: 30 Apr 2006
Teenage depression and drug use
Posted: 27 Apr 2006
Three types of parents
Posted: 27 Apr 2006

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Real Life in this Mom's Corner

Teenage depression and drug use

Category: The Kids | Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 4:10 pm

Teenage depression can be a problem and is common place among today's teenagers. If you have a teen who has a problem with drugs and/or alcohol, the problem is figuring out if the depression came first or the drug use. Although there are times that a teenager will turn to drugs or alcohol to help them free themselves from the depression, more often than not, the drug use came first thus leading to the depression.

Most of the symptoms of depression in teenagers are also the symptoms of drug abuse. Personally, I think that the main difference is that a depressed teen will cut themselves off from everyone, including their friends. A teen who is abusing drugs will cut themselves off from everyone except other friends who are using.

When my son was diagnosed with depression and placed on medication, he was getting exactly what he wanted. More drugs. Even worse than the doctors giving a prescription for depression rather than seeing him as an addict, was the fact that the Prozac, coupled with the illegal drugs made him worse than ever.

At the time, I was told that if we were able to get a handle on the depression, we would take care of the drug problem. Even the court system agreed, going so far as ordering into the sentence that the prescription be taken on a regular basis. Fine, if the doctor's and the courts all agree on it, then it must be the right thing.

Looking back on it, I can understand why I fell for it. I had no one to tell me otherwise. But, to this very day, I will tell you otherwise. If you have a teenager who is an addict, you have to get to the bottom of that BEFORE you treat the depression. More than likely, you treat the addiction and the depression is no longer a problem.

If you have a teenager who is using and are unsure of why or what to do, find a private funded teenage treatment center and make an appointment. Not a mental health center, but a drug treatment center.

This blog entry has been viewed 308 times

Three types of parents

Category: The Kids | Posted: Thu Apr 27, 2006 12:10 am

Present day and I am sitting here thinking about all of the things we have been through as a family. After the birthday dinner and night in the woods, came the family vacation. That iwll be the next post.

The one thing I have come to understand is that parents fall in to three groups:
1)Confront the situation, whether in the right way or the wrong way.
2)Want to help but do not know how.
3) Completely ignore the situation and continue on with their own lives.

Some parents fall into only one category and others fall into more than one of the categories, depending on where they are in the learning process.

Confront the situation: This would be the parent who will confront the situation with a calm voice and a Love and Logic approach; or the parent who reacts to the situation with yelling and a 'you are worthless' attitude.

Want to help but do not know how: This is a tough one. To know you want to help your child but are unable to find the help you, as a parent need, to help the child.

Completely ignore the situation: This is a very sad type of parent. Unfortunately, this is also the type of parent that I have seen the most in relation to my son's friends over the years.

After the overdose, I spent hours on the phone. The first of many hours on the phone to be spent. I made a doctor's appointment for a physical for him and requested a standing order with the lab for random drug tests. The first test was positive, just days after the overdose.

From there, after several failed attempts at finding a helpful path, I was able to get him evaluated for the local mental health hospital. They placed him in a one week day program.

He came out of that with a diagnosis of depression and a prescription of Prozac. If I knew then what I know now, I would have laughed at them, threw the prescription away, and kept looking for the right kind of help.

But I did not know. So counseling began, with weekly visits that went no where . Not to mention the random drug tests which continued to be positive. But I give it time in hopes that it will help. I mean really, what else could I do?

This blog entry has been viewed 424 times

A cold night in the woods

Category: The Kids | Posted: Tue Apr 25, 2006 1:07 am

Moving forward from the F.A.P. diagnosis. It is the younger ones 10th birthday and we are celebrating by going out to dinner and a movie. Andy and I actually dared take the two boys to a sit down restaurant in the hopes that they would mind their manners and enjoy a nice family meal. Unfortunately, between the older one's phone calls on the cell phone and the constant comments of "how long is the movie?" it was a miserable dinner.

I know, you are thinking...why did you not take the phone away? Well, honestly there were just things at that point that were not worth the fight. So often we were at war and a nice restaurant was not the place for a major battle.

Dinner finally came to an end and we headed off to the movies. Good grief, I swear that the older one must have left the theater a dozen times to "go to the bathroom". I do remember that the rest of us managed to enjoy the movie. We then all headed home, at which point the older one left and went to a friend's house. Whew, some quiet time.

Odd thing is, I slept well that night, although most nights I did not. By this point, the older one had taken to sneaking out of the house at all hours of the night. But on this night, he had actually told me where he was going, or so I thought.

He comes home the next morning and slept all day. Typical of him at this point. Spends more time high, drunk and sleeping then he spends on school work, helping around the house and spending time with the family.

He finally has slept and is sober enough to tell us about the night he had.

Seems he and a buddy somehow got involved in a fight between a woman and her boyfriend. He says they were trying to help the woman. Next thing he knows, the guy pulls a gun out and starts chasing them. They ran for the woods and hid, scared out of their minds. They were afraid to come out and ended up sleeping in the woods all night.

OK, and you did not use the cell phone you had on you why? I mean really, you cannot get through a family dinner without using it. I would think you could have used it in the heat of the moment to call the police or me. But no, drugs make the mind work in mysterious ways. Better to hide in the woods all night and freeze then to call for help. What next?

This blog entry has been viewed 305 times

Shade garden taking shape

Category: The Garden | Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 5:11 pm

The boys are at their dad's house this weekend. Gives me time to do things without constant interruptions.

On Saturday, Andy (my other half) and I went to the greenhouse and browsed through 4 acres of plants. From there we went out to his Mom's house to get rocks and then to the local home improvement store for mulch. That took up the whole day! By evening, we crashed on the couch to watch a horror movie.

Today is rainy and cool but we had about an hour of dry this morning to get the pathway set in the shade garden. I love watching each step of a garden take shape. Monday is suppose to be better weather so I hope to get the plants in the ground.

The rest of today will be spent cleaning house and working on the online business. The first 4 HD DVDs are in stock and ready to ship but no one knows we have them yet. Need to get them added to the store.

Maybe I will have Andy do that so I can attack the house. It is amazing what a whirlwind of messiness two boys can be.

I guess it all depends because today is also a great day for a nap!

This blog entry has been viewed 292 times

Familial Adenomatous Polyposis

Category: The Kids | Posted: Sun Apr 23, 2006 1:04 am

Time to switch gears somewhat.

Two months after the overdose, I had to have both the boys genetically tested for F.A.P. (Familial Adenomatous Polyposis). It is a hereditary colon cancer disease which is being passed from the boys father. The genetic test was to find out if none, one or both of my boys had the the mutation. Both the boys have known, since they were old enough to understand, that this was a possibility.

2 weeks after the blood work was drawn, we got the news. The 13 year old was negative for the gene. Unfortunately, my 9 year old was positive. Heartbroken, I watched him go through a multitude of emotions over the next few days. I knew he had come to terms with it when, one night when just he and I were talking, he told me "God gave me it for a reason, and not my brother. He must know that I can handle it and that my brother cannot."

I cried. Nothing else to say except I cried, hugged him and told him how much I loved him. Then I cried some more.

F.A.P. information of interest:
Kids with F.A.P. will develop hundreds to thousands of polyps throughout the colon. Although most times they begin to form once puberty is reached, they can start developing earlier, around the age of 8 to 11.

The biggest concern is that the polyps are all pre-cancer and will become cancer without treatment. It only takes one polyp to change from pre-cancer to cancer. Usually in the youth, the polyps are found in the colon. As they mature, the polyps will also be found throughout the entire intestine (large and small), the duodenum, the stomach and the esophagus.

Although it means regular intestinal and stomach scopes (at least 2 per year) as well as several surgeries throughout their life, most kids with F.A.P lead normal lives.

This blog entry has been viewed 285 times

I refuse to chase crickets!

Category: The Pets | Posted: Fri Apr 21, 2006 11:35 pm

Once again, meet Fred, our veiled chameleon. He was 8 weeks old when we brought him home. He is now 16 weeks old. Length wise, he is about 3 inches from tip of snout to end of body. His tail is about the same length as his body. He should grow to be about 12" long or so, plus tail.

I took a couple of pictures during feeding time tonight. Veiled chameleons are not known for being social, but Fred is. Especially at feeding time. He will see me getting his crickets ready and he heads straight for the door. The minute I get the door open, he heads straight out and into the dish. He is to the point where he will stay in that dish while he eats about a dozen crickets. Once he is done eating, he will head back into his cage.

The really funny thing is, once I close the door, if he is still hungry he will sit on a branch looking at the door in hopes I will bring more. Way to funny to watch.

This blog entry has been viewed 288 times

And you were thinking what?!

Category: The Kids | Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 9:03 pm

Back to the present for a moment. My now 16 year old has been in a full-day rehab setting for almost 4 months and just graduated to the second level on April 19, 2006. That placed him in a high school setting (first time back in school since last November) which includes a rehab classroom that he goes to for first hour, lunch time and after school.

Today was what is called a staffing meeting. All staff members from the rehab school, the rehab classroom, the school vice principal, high school teachers, his father and myself are included. My son had to lead the meeting, giving details of his use and addictions, what his triggers are, what teachers and staff can do to help, where he is currently at and where he is going. Everyone could then ask questions.

He did great with his presentation, but was busted for skipping his 6th hour strength and training class several times, including today. Duh! Skip the class that is right before the meeting!

This came on the heels of 2 drug drops in 24 hours and now another one this evening because of a situation that involved one of his peers. Of course, not completely knowing my sons involvement in everything but knowing he was involved or knew of it, rehab felt it was better to stay on top of it. The first two were clean, and I am hoping the one tonight will be clean as well. He says it will be.

Then he gets upset because no one will believe him. He tells me he might as well use again as everyone assumes he is. Excuse, what is he thinking, he has been sober since January 4, 2006. OK, I understand sort of what he is thinking.

But I say to him, "You know, if you do not give them a reason to distrust you, then they would not have to question you. Hanging out with a peer that is using again and not calling him out during the morning meeting is only enabling him. Skipping class with him is only giving them reasons to suspect you. Look at the big picture. You have come so far and are doing great. They are there to help you, but you have to be completely honest, and you have to be accountable for your actions. It is only a small set back, which you can overcome very easily. And always remember that I love you, and support you, but you have to do this for yourself."

He is quiet for the rest of the ride back to the main rehab house for a group outing. When he gets there, he says to me, "Pick me up from the outing at 7:45 tonight so I can go to an AA meeting (he attends AA 3-4 times a week, depending on his needs).

I am proud of him; having a minor bump in the road of recovery, taking it in as a learning lesson and moving on. Now let's hope that tonight's drug screen is negative as well and that the lesson learned today sinks in permanently.

As for me, each incident becomes smaller and how I deal with it gets easier. I have the rehab program to thank for that. They require parents to attend group meetings where they help us understand and deal. They require us to attend individual family meetings so they can teach us how to interact as a functional family of an addict. And they involve us every step of they way.

This blog entry has been viewed 258 times

The Overdose

Category: The Kids | Posted: Thu Apr 20, 2006 4:24 pm

Flashback - We were now half way through his 13th year. Made it this far, yet wondering how we have done it.

He is spending the night at a long time friends house. I figured it was no big deal as I have known this family for years and they live right around the corner. Am I kidding myself here?!

11:30 p.m. I get a knock on the door. The mom is bringing my son home. He walks in the door and I can immediately tell he is on something. OK, the questions begin.

Other Mom: I was sound asleep and I felt someone in my bedroom. He was just standing there staring. I called his name, but he did not answer. I turned the light on and he did not bat an eyelash. He just stood there staring.

Her son also came to bring him home, so I ask him: What did he take?

After prodding and getting "I don't know", it finally came out. They had gone to the local drugstore and stole over the counter Dramamine. So I search his pockets, while he stands there staring and trying to talk, but cannot.

Found the pills and after more prodding of the friend, figured my son probably took about nine 50 mg tablets. OK, so off to the hospital.

He overdosed by accident. Whether he figured he could handle that many, or just did not realize how many he took, it made for a very long night. I can tell you that having your child throw up thick black charcoal quicker than he can drink it is not fun.

And the hallucinations were amazing. The things he thought he was seeing and hearing, in a way made me chuckle. Unfortunately, because of the hallucinations, he does not remember the seriousness of the situation.

About the only thing he remembers is thinking the sink on the wall in the ER was a toilet and urinating in it. Well, not really in it; More like all over the wall and the floor around it.

Hospital releases him and I bring him home, put him to bed and follow their orders for observation for the next few hours. I have another sleepless night and take the time to begin putting together a plan of action for phone calls for help.

He lived though the overdose, but another part of me died inside that night.

This blog entry has been viewed 278 times

Grape News!

Category: Daily Life | Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 8:30 pm

I looked in the mirror this morning and realized that, yes, I am getting older and my skin shows it. There are those pesky fine lines near the eyes, as well as the smile lines by the mouth. There are frown lines on the forehead and the neck is a whole other story. The question is, even though I am getting older, and hopefully wiser as well, does my skin really have to show it?

Open any women's magazine and you will find article after article on the latest fads for younger looking skin. Fads such as surgery, injections and acid peels. Yikes! Well, guess what? I have grape news for you. A few drops of grapeseed oil smoothed onto the skin can help reduce those fine lines which are leaning towards becoming major wrinkles. It can help improve your skin's appearance and leave it feeling silky smooth.

But, is this also a fad you ask? Take a look back through the history of beautiful women. Pictures of the past era of the Southern Belle show woman with beautiful skin. It is said that they not only ate grapes, but the seeds as well. The Italian women who stomped grapes to make wine noted the smoothness of their skin. It is even noted back to the days of Cleopatra that women would use the leftover remnants from the wine making process on their skin, leaving it smooth and beautiful. In more recent years, it has been discovered that it is actually the oil within the grapeseed that gives us the smooth, beautiful skin and anti-aging properties.

Anti-Aging Body Oil

2 oz Grapeseed Oil
10 drops Vitamin E Oil
2-4 drops of your favorite Essential Oil ~ Feeling down? Add a blend of basil, rosemary, and lavender which is guaranteed to raise the spirits!

Mix well and smooth oil directly onto the skin, focusing on the neck and area around the eyes. Store in an airtight container and refrigerate for a longer shelf life.

Grapeseed Oil is light and absorbs easily through the skin, without leaving you with that greasy feeling. Will it stop the effects of aging? No, it probably will not stop it, but if it slows it down, it sure is worth the try.

Mom's Corner

This blog entry has been viewed 274 times

Teenager and so it begins

Category: The Kids | Posted: Wed Apr 19, 2006 1:12 pm

Fast forward to two months after the thirteenth birthday. He is an official teenager. This just makes it easier for me, as mom, to say he is "testing the waters" of adulthood.

6:00 P.M.

"Mom, it is Friday night, can me and my buddy go over to a friends for a while?"

"Sure, be home by 10:00 p.m."

6:50 P.M.

"Why are the two of you back home, what happened?"

"I think he drank to much!"

Well, he certainly did. "What did he drink?"


"How much?"

"I am not sure but we had a fifth and I only had a couple of drinks."

"How much is left?"

"Not much"

Sent the buddy home.

I spent the next hour holding my son's head while he puked up everything he consumed, and then some. He passes out and the following hour was spent wiping the drool from his face and nose, keeping him from smothering in it. From there I checked on him every 15 minutes, until the breathing went from passed out drunk, to the normal breathing of sleep.

OK, I can check on him every half hour now. About 4 a.m. I finally fell asleep exhausted thinking that we would have a nice long chat tomorrow. The first deep down, nitty gritty talk, not the standard talk that every parent gives at some point.

Little did I know, it was the first of many more to come.

This blog entry has been viewed 270 times

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