It’s Like a Cruise Ship, But This Ain’t No Pleasure Cruise

I’ve expressed some frustration at feeling stalled lately. I’m looking for the leaps of progress we saw early in Martin’s recovery, when we sped from not sleeping to sleeping, from low muscle tone to good muscle tone, from lethargy to energy. Nothing so monumental has happened for a few months. Since before I started blogging, in fact.

For my own sanity, I need to talk about what’s heading in the right direction. We’ve got the answers to open-ended questions, as I posted yesterday. At Martin’s bedtime this evening, he and I exchanged a few words in a manner that mildly resembled a “How was your day?” conversation. His joint attention is flourishing; frequently he checks my face to see if I’m listening. (When he wants me to be listening, that is. Often enough he chats for his own amusement, no audience desired.) His relationship-understanding may have improved lately. He’s taking better notice—I won’t claim obedience—when I speak sternly (“No! No going in Mommy’s office.”). And earlier today, I took advantage of the Muppet Honkers performing “Honk Around the Clock” to make up a silly dance. Martin diverted his gaze away from Sesame Street (victory!) to me (victory!), understood that I was joking (victory!) and laughed (victory!).

Amidst these tiny successes, what bothers me is the big deal: the lack of general attention. Name responsiveness remains low for the moment, and Martin is rarely “with you” unless it’s a one-on-one situation. His teachers say he needs constant monitoring to stay focused in class. When he and I are playing, I find him about half the time talking to me, and about half the time just talking.

Over the past couple days I’ve sensed some inkling that the attention might be changing direction, maneuvering ever so slowly. It’s too soon, though, to get my hopes up, so I’ll just leave that notion on the table and follow up in a later post.

Remember the movie Titanic? Bill Paxton’s character Brock Lovett says something like, “The ship’s too big with too small a rudder. It doesn’t corner worth a damn.” We’re caught these days in oceanic currents of environmental toxins, EMF’s, chemicals, induced labor, processed mush disguised as food. And here come Adrian and I, trying to divert all that with our little toolbox of therapies, supplements, and organic foods.

It feels like steering a cruise ship with a rowboat paddle.

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