Happiness will flow.

I had a rough health scare a few weeks ago. It was a wake up call. Doctors were concerned that with my age, I shouldn’t be having these types of issues. But understandably so, special needs kids come with challenges, that come with stress, that can lead to health concerns.
This is a tough topic to discuss. I don’t want this to feel as if my son is at fault. His disability does bring a lot of stress to us. But that is something that is out of his control.
But this is also part of our autism life. The lack of sleep for months and months on end, the rough meltdowns he has, they add up. And as personal as this is, I wanted to bring this up to create awareness of what most special needs parents go thru. And even after the scare, and after the doctor recommended rest and try to not have so much stress, we have to go back to our ‘regular’ lives. My son doesn’t understand what happened, and he cannot change who he is
My family and I did discuss the sleeping concerns. We had to make drastic changes. We decided we cannot tip toe around this and decided to follow doctor’s recommendations and increase the dose. Of course, we had been hesitant and after months of trying many other alternatives, sometimes life has a way of forcing our hand on hard decisions.
This was about 2 weeks ago and ever since that day, we have slept wonderfully, all night long. The first night that he didn’t wake up I felt like a zombie. It’s a bit strange to walk around having had a full 8 hours of sleep. Is this how regular people feel all day?
I cannot explain how strange it feels that I have not woken up once in the middle of the night since then. There have been no nightly drives or binge watching shows at 3 am.
My co-workers knew that if they told me a story, I would most likely forget about it after a few days later. I remember during Christmas, we were in charge of a toy drive, I asked a friend about her donation. I kindly reminded her that tomorrow was the last day. She tells me: We just talked about this yesterday. I told you I was going to drop off the gift tonight. And my response was: Huh? We talked? Yesterday?
Sleep deprivation affects the brain and may cause the working memory to stop working like it should. And the other side effect? Low-level visual processing. My other side effect is that my eye sight is terrible. I have to use higher font when working. When we are watching shows I see blurry and have to ask my family to read things for me.
I usually don’t plan on talking about me when I want to reach out to our online autism family. But I feel so strong about sharing our real live in hopes that other autism families don’t feel alone. Because adding loneliness to our already heavy load is extremely difficult.
With everything that we have gone thru, I have learned to count my blessings. To always appreciate, be thankful for everything I have. And I am. I know I am blessed with the amazing family, friends, co-workers. I look at our journey and see just how far we have come. It has not been easy, but I’m beyond grateful that my kids are healthy and happy. We have so much, we just need to learn to focus on the good things.

And I want to end with this: If we start changing how we view life, and start seeing it in a grateful view, happiness will flow right behind.


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