It’s All About the Attitude

 

Happy Friday!!!  It’s supposed to be a beautiful day here and I’m looking forward to enjoying it.  Today is Guest Reader day at G’s school as part of March is Reading Month.  I’ll be taking off the mom hat and putting on the Black Belt hat and reading to the 3rd and 4th grades today.  I’ll also demonstrated some karate

reading black belt
Me reading to the 3rd grade classes

by breaking two 1” thick bricks (yes I can do that! Amazing, right?!)  It’s crazy that I’m more nervous about reading and talking to the kids than I am about breaking the bricks!  Talking in front of large groups (even 8-10 year olds) gives me a lot of anxiety!  But I can’t expect G to fight her OCD monster if I don’t fight mine!

Crazy morning

We had a somewhat crazy morning here.  First L, got up late so she was rushing a bit.  G loves to go out and ride her bike or swing before school.  Doesn’t matter if it’s 7:30 in the morning and still cold.  This girl loves to be outside and active.  Her teacher and I have also come to realize that on the days she doesn’t do this, she has a much harder day at school.  Anyway, apparently her bike helmet was contaminated because she left it on her bike last night instead of bringing it inside.  Makes total sense right?  So she tries to put water on it but Daddy catches her and doesn’t allow it.  So what does my creative little girl do?  Takes the helmet to the back yard where there is a sled that is filled with rain and melted snow and dunks the helmet!  I mean, that water is so clean, right?  Anyway, we see this and make her do an exposure right away like we learned at Mayo Clinic (to read more about our time there check out Mayo Clinic Saved My Family)

After dealing with this I was getting a late start to my workout and then to make it even better the Beachbody on Demand site I use wouldn’t load (maintenance or something I guess).  In the past I would have just said “screw it” and gone about my day.  But I know how much I need that workout to clear my head and set me up for a good day.  Thankfully I’m doing Hammer and Chisel right now and there are sheets listing all the moves to track your weights.  So I pulled that out and just did the moves on my own.  The site started working about ½ way through so I fast forwarded it to where I was and finished out my workout.

Then I grab G’s lunch out of the fridge to put in her lunch box only to realize it’s L’s lunch!  When I packed L’s lunch I must have grabbed the wrong container.  So after dropping G at school, I drive up to L’s school to switch the lunches. Thankfully I work at G’s school doing lunch and recess duty so I can just take her lunch with me then.

The moral of the story

Anyway, moral to this long winded story is don’t let the problems define your attitude!  In the past this would have made me stressed out and grumpy and just ruined my whole day.  Today I made a choice not to let it bother me.  I solved all the problems, all is well and I moved on!  I decided not to let my attitude be the problem!

How do you shake off a bad morning?

It’s all about the attitude!

P.S. In case you are wondering if I broke the bricks

(If you listen you can hear my daughter defending me when it didn’t break)

Mayo Clinic Saved My Family

The Backstory

My daughter (now 8, oops! 8-1/2 that 1/2 is important!) was diagnosed with OCD at age 5.  Looking back now we started noticing signs as early as 3 years old but we just put them off to being a toddler or just a little eccentric.  Just as she was starting kindergarten we realized there was something wrong and we needed help.  We found doctors (took some trial and error to find the right ones for her) and we started therapy and then added medication. We continued on this road trying different medications, increasing doses, changing doctors and therapists, for 3 years.  We’d have some small improvements here and there, but mostly it went downhill.

In August 2016, our therapy team at the University of Michigan decided she needed a more intensive program and recommended some of the ones I’d heard of (Rogers, McClean, etc.) My daughter wasn’t even 8 and we just couldn’t see going to a program, moving away from home, for weeks or months. Thankfully, someone in my support group told me about Mayo Clinic. They have a 5 day intensive outpatient program which sounded perfect for our needs, at least as a starting point. I called Mayo and started the application process. Within hours of receiving the information they required from our doctors, I received a call from Mayo Clinic to schedule our week.

The process was very easy and smooth and we didn’t have to wait long at all to get in. We were very lucky that our insurance covered it (and our insurance isn’t great) but I think they billed the insurance around $4,000 which was well worth it if we would have had to pay. Obviously this didn’t include travel, hotel and food.

The Program

Our week there was brutal but so rewarding. It was honestly one of the hardest and best experiences of my life. We drove (just the 2 of us) from Michigan to Minnesota. Our relationship, which had been very strained, improved so much during this trip; it was a very bonding time for us.  The first morning we met with one of the therapist in a “getting to know you” type of appointment. That afternoon we started group sessions. There were 3 other families there and the kids ranged from my daughter at 8 years old to a 19 year old. The families were wonderful and we all bonded very quickly.

Every day we had 2 group sessions. Basically you would plan an exposure, do the exposure and talk about how it went and then plan to do one on your own outside of group. At the next session you would discuss how the one on your own went, plan and do another and then plan another on your own. So we were doing 4 planned exposures every day. It was great to learn better techniques for her to cope and how to help her. They also helped us with a behavior/consequence plan for at home and school; essentially earning things for hard work. They assume that you are there because you don’t have access to a good therapist so they are teaching you to fight the OCD/Anxiety without one.

The Take Away

elephant
Pinky the Elephant in DeForest, WI

We left Mayo Clinic feeling so much stronger and ready to fight. I swear I couldn’t believe the amount of change in my daughter in just a week.  It was like I brought a different child home.  Even on the drive, things happened that on the way there would have caused a melt down and now it was barely a hiccup.    She even took time to be goofy with this giant pink elephant statue located at a random gas station in DeForest, WI.

I myself even learned so much on this trip.  I was worried about how I would deal with it alone, along with my own anxiety and depression.  I learned that I’m even stronger than I thought.  I learned how to deal with everything, both her issues and mine, so much better.  Best of all, I got my little girl back and our home life is so much better now.  She has set backs and by no means is the OCD gone or always controlled but now we have the tools and knowledge to fight back.

I can’t recommend Mayo Clinic enough. If OCD or anxiety are ruling your lives, please look into it. I’m happy to answer any questions I can.

For more information, please go to their website here.