Please excuse my formatting issues…my IT department is currently unavailable 😉
It happens to everyone at some point, I’m sure. Even to the Special Needs parents who may grow to expect the unexpected in a variety of ways. We settle in to a routine and a kind-of acceptance of what is. Certain battles may be fought daily, but at least they are “known” or anticipated. With that routine and acceptance comes a comfort. For many of us there are, and always will be, unknowns regarding the future, sometimes pretty BIG ones. We may feel that we can’t waste too much time on that stuff though…it’s not going anywhere and everyday we are one step closer to the future becoming the present, and then of course, the past. While acceptance is important, if it turns into resignation, we all suffer in the end. Part of the job, in my opinion, of a responsible adult/parent, is to constantly be learning.
Hopefully, with this continual learning there may come a time when you decide, you need to shake things up! Try something you have been thinking about for a while, risking the unknown response. Without this reach, this experiment, this inquiry, we would never know – could that have worked for us?? Could that have offered relief in someway for any of us? So this is what drives me to break the routine and mix it up. Sometimes it is as simple as a new food or a new approach to our school work. This time I wanted to know if we could use essential oils to tackle a variety of issues, ranging from sleep to attention/focus, and go even deeper if possible. I previously dabbled in this realm, purchasing the occasional roller bottle from TJ Maxx for “energy” or “stress”, and even bought higher quality single oil bottles from the Whole Foods and used them topically or diluted in a bath or lotion. Even with repeated use and a desire for a positive response (read: “willing it to work”), I did not feel that the investment was beneficial beyond a nice aroma.
About two months ago I was in Atlanta for work, and as I usually do, I took the opportunity to stay up later and immerse myself in research on any given topic…no pre-dawn wake up call from Kimberly allowed for this! I finally took some time to read more about oils and purity, effectiveness, uses, and a variety of other aspects to this still mysterious realm. As many of you who know us are aware, I am not afraid to try something “outside of the box” in any way….it has actually been a tremendous benefit to us to keep an open mind throughout our journey with Kimberly. This venture proved to be no exception.
I am sure I have previously written about how Kimberly, who had her own room since the age of two or so, is a terrible sleeper. So much so that about two years ago (when she was 8) I was so over having to spend at least half of my nighttime in her bed that I moved her to a cot in our room where I could reach her during the night. She frequently would wake with a start and cry out for me, sometimes becoming very upset – even if I was right there. Her mind just never wanted to shut off. Morning for her always came well before I was ready (typically 5-5:30am) regardless of bedtime. I have long felt that this broken sleep and too few hours attribute to her inability to focus well, learn, and sometimes cause her stimming behaviors to go into overdrive – in an effort to compensate for being tired and overstimulated…and well, we know what sleep deprivation can do to momma’s state of mind. So, to say improving this situation was a priority for me would be a gross understatement. Couple that with a variety of other health and wellness concerns spread throughout the rest of the family, I figured the time was right.
A friend of mine from growing up/school uses oils and I contacted her on how to order a “kit” though the company she uses. My research led me to them and it seemed like a good fit for us to try this on for size. I was very excited for the opportunity to decrease the use of Melatonin – which we have been giving Kimberly for years, and to see where else these oils could take us. It has been almost two months and let’s just say, we have all benefited in a multitude of ways. Kimberly’s cot is gone. She is still sleeping downstairs, but in an adjacent room…not getting up once during thenighttime…waking up with a better demeanor…focusing better on schoolwork (even requesting it!!)…and I am beside myself. It may not really seem like as big of a deal to someone who has not been here for the last 10 years…but THIS IS HUGE.
I diffuse a few oils next to her bed at night, and put some on her feet (her “sleepy oils”) with a roller ball bottle we made together. I use Peppermint on Kimbo and Virginia during schoolwork time for focus and it’s refreshing. I diffuse Thieves blend ( as well as many others) and use it in my hot tea. Lemon oil in the water bottle, R.C. blend for Virginia before she goes rock climbing, Panaway on my super tight shoulder muscles that kept me awake before (not anymore!) and the list goes on.
I think one of the most important lessons for me throughout our journey is to be open to possibilities, share what works or doesn’t work, and to know that we should not stagnate. The future is not told to us by the present, it is truly an unknown and we have to believe that so much can be achieved if we are willing to try. Mother Nature has once again shown to me that She knows…we can learn if we allow ourselves to, but ultimately, She knows!