The first full week of summer went better than I expected. I knew there would be some anxiety with the change of routine, the boredom, the dentist appointments and doctor appointments scheduled for the first part of the week. But, overall Mary handled it fairly well. There were some tense moments, especially when Noah pushes all the right buttons. But there were no major (or even minor) breakdowns. Praise the LORD!!!!!
Mary is very excited about going away to her first sleep-over camp. She has been asking to go to camp for years and it was never the right timing or the right cost. This year she found out about 4H camp through the school 4H program. She did all of her homework and wrote us a nice long letter about how much she wanted to go to camp. She included all the answers to questions she knew we would ask (what about medications, bugs, friends, handling the change in routine, frustrations, meltdowns, etc.). After several weeks of agonizing over the decision, and a couple of calls to the 4H coordinator to discuss Mary's unique situation and our fears, we did decide to let her go. The one thing we have told her all along though is that she has to be stable enough to handle it before she leaves or all deals are off and she is not going. We have also told her that she has to be able to hold it together when she gets home too, or this will be her first and last time going to camp for a long while. So far she is holding up her end of the bargain. And I realize that she can't totally control how she is when she comes back, there will be frustrations and meltdowns beyond her control, but if it continues as it has been, I think she will do fine.
As far as medications go, the new one that we started 3 weeks ago seems to be helping her a lot. So far we have not seen too many negative side effects. She has gained a few pounds, but her appetite is not voracious as it has been on other medications. I am hopeful that with plenty of exercise and activity this summer that gaining those few pounds will not become an issue. After she comes home from camp, we will start tapering off of some of the other medicines and see how she does. This will open the door for us to add in something else should the weight gain become more of a problem. The last thing we want to do is have her overmedicated or on some medicines that she really doesn't need. At the same time we don't want to switch things too much since what she is taking is working and helping ease the transitions. We don't want that anxiety to creep back in, especially right before starting middle school for the first time. It will be a balancing act as it always is.
Another big change this summer will be that fact that Mark is going to be out of town most of the summer. I am not stupid enough to post the dates he will be gone, and I even debated putting this out there for the world to see, but I covet your prayers during this time, both for us here at home, and for Mark as well. It will be challenging for all of us. I am so thankful that he is at least in the country so we will have daily contact with him. He is only a phone call or email away and if anything goes bump, he can be home in a matter of hours. I am so thankful for our church family here that are super supportive and always willing to lend a helping hand. It gives me a new appreciation for those who have loved ones serving in the military who are away for months or even years at a time. I know God will carry us through this time and He will use this in our lives to draw us closer to Him, and that is the ultimate goal of every situation He puts us in.