Tuesday, February 19, 2013


I haven't written for a few days because I've been a bit down in the mouth. Life has felt hard this month, but I'm hopeful we're starting to turn a bit of a corner now.

We picked the car up from the repairer this morning, she seems to be running beautifully. They replaced a couple of electrical relays for the lights, and changed the battery for us. They identified why the fuel gauge wasn't reading correctly, but it's not something they can fix - something was replaced in the car some years back and the replacement part is affecting the reading on the fuel gauge, I don't really understand it. The speedometer and the fan are working properly now. We haven't tested the headlights, but obviously we'll be doing that, too.

The Grumpy Old Man asked if we were to have it independently assessed would it pass muster regarding road worthy? The mechanic said everyone has different ideas about what 'passing muster' actually means, but the GOM stood his ground. The mechanic said if we had it assessed and there were any problems we should just bring it back and he'll fix anything that was pointed out. Hopefully though, there won't be any problems!

Today I'm taking Erik to the GP to get a referral to a local Psych who specialises in ADHD and anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Yesterday I discovered he had used my credit card to make purchases on iTunes. I was pretty upset about it. As it turns out, he (and Lukas) swear the iTunes store said I had credit (which would have been from their Christmas gift cards, which they are allowed to spend), so he thought he was spending his money, but the credit amount must have been a glitch because it came off my card.

I don't know if this is the case or not, to be honest. He was very upset that I was accusing him of having used my card, but then again, he is often very upset when caught doing stuff he just shouldn't be doing. It's an impulse issue and I've been ignoring it too long. He isn't growing out of it, and as a 'phase' it's been going on for nine years now (it's not a phase!). So, I've decided to get the referral I've been meaning to get for him for the past five years.

He doesn't want to go. He doesn't want to see a psych, he feels there is a stigma. I know some parents might feel I shouldn't force him to go if he doesn't want to go, but I feel that many people who struggle emotionally, or with a disorder often don't want to seek help - regardless of whether they are children or adults, and this seems particularly true for men - and by me saying it's okay for him to just live with this problem in his life and not deal with it is setting him up to ignore bigger stuff further down the track.

If he does have ADHD, he is at greater risk of drug and alcohol abuse in adolescence (sufferers often self-medicate), so better he feel a bit self-conscious now at 13 and we find out what is really going on, than try to deal with a wholly out-of-control, desperate and possibly depressed teenager. Suicide is the third biggest killer of adolescents aged 14-24. So, I feel I need to at least check if he is at risk.

Erik is a delightful kid. He is very bright, and very talented. He seems to make friends easily (in the past three years or so, and it did take a lot of coaching, but he's doing brilliantly in that area of his life now). He is one of the better behaved kids in his class - according to his own stories, mind you. Still, the Grumpy Old Man and I are absolutely aware of his constant fidgeting and restlessness (the kid can't sit still most of the time), his lack of focus during conversations, and most of all his impulsivity. Hyperactivity and inattention we manage constantly, but the impulsivity is often very challenging because it can be quite unpredictable.

With a concrete history of ADHD in the family  (now that mum has been conclusively diagnosed, and with my conditional diagnosis from twenty years ago), I feel there is a strong likelihood he has it, as well.

So, today we start the process of checking this stuff out. I'm nervous but I'm hopeful that this will benefit him a lot in the long run.

I have also had some progress with Deakin. I finally summoned up the courage to email them about their lack of response to the email sent by the Vice Principal of my previous tertiary institute in December. I almost immediately received a response stating that the good doctor (I am being sarcastic here), who sent the rather rude, and ill-informed, response to my query about not being successful in apply to do a PhD, has, in fact, resigned his position!

This is why he never responded to the email. As it was only sent to him, no one else even knew this was an ongoing matter. His position has not been filled yet, but other staff will be reviewing my application in the next week or so. The doctor who replied to my email - who I spoke to a couple of years ago over the phone - asked me to send a copy of my thesis, which I did. She will show it to her colleagues, and will also discuss my application with the doctor who would be my supervisor (who is in Japan until the end of this week) and then they will get back to me next week some time.

I'm am crossing everything that they will be happy with my Masters thesis and with my application and will come back with a resounding 'YES!' That would be awesome!


So, we seem to have some forward motion going on here now, which is a huge relief. I hope to bring lots of good news in coming weeks!

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Good Job!