I can't believe that it has been over a month since I last posted! I am sure you know how the month of May can fly by with all of the end of the school year activities. Multiply that by 4 kids in 4 separate schools, and, well, you get the idea. It has felt like a whirlwind of nonstop activity around here. I am happy to report that all the kids finished strong in their various schools. I am also happy to report that next year we will be cutting our schools in half! Our oldest graduated from high school with honors, and we decided to move our youngest to the private school that Mary has been attending for the last half of this year. So 3 kids in 2 schools seems to be much more manageable at this point in our lives.
Mary seems to be leveling out somewhat. She is still cycling slightly, but the swings are not as dramatic. The anxiety medication seems to be helping (a big PRAISE GOD!!). A month ago I would have said that the raging and suicidal thinking was simmering just below the surface. She was like a caged lion, pacing and agitated just waiting for something to throw her into a meltdown. Now she seems to be much more relaxed and less on-edge. She is still pacing and rocking but not agitated.
Our next big hurdle will be to have blood drawn. We were told by our p-doc that we could wait until school was over, and well, school is over. We have been trying different doses of sedative to try and find one that would relax her enough to have it done. Unfortunately we have not yet found the right dose (or maybe just haven't found the right medication?). The one that we have been tweaking has some pretty strong side effects as it is clearing her system. She goes back to the highly agitated state and is very emotional. It does not sedate her enough (in my opinion) to have the blood drawn without the typical hysteria that accompanies it, and of course if we force the blood draw on her, we risk having her develop PTSD because of it. I think that if we could just find the right sedative at the right dose to make a few blood draws painless and non threatening we would be well on our way to helping her conquer the overwhelming fear that she has of needles. If we can just show her that she can do this, it will make a huge difference.
I am determined that the kids not lose much of what they have learned this school year over their summer break. So, I am going into this break armed with some good handwriting books, math reviews, and grammar reviews. We have picked out a Psalm in the Bible to memorize (a few verses each week), and they also have picked out the Chronicles of Narnia to read. We will spend a little time each day doing these and I really hope that it helps keep their brains focused on learning. I will need encouragement to keep this up as it is my nature to start strong and then slack off as time goes by. I am threatening that unless they get their assigned work done each day they won't be allowed to go and do fun things with friends. I am also dangling a carrot in the form of a reward at the end of the summer for each week that they complete their work. Maybe these will motivate us all to stay consistent?
As we begin our summer break, I am praying for continued stability, a smooth transition, and a summer we can look back on with fond memories. It will be tough as Mark will be out of town most of the summer, but my prayer is that we all lean more heavily on Christ when we are feeling most overwhelmed. I want to recognize the hard days for what they are- a reminder that this world is not our true home and can never fully satisfy us. There is a new song out there by Laura Story called Blessings. If you have not heard it you can find it on i-Tunes or see videos on YouTube. I highly recommend listening, really listening to the words. It brings me to tears every time! Now, go listen to it...