Monday, September 27, 2010

Concerta Trial a Bust

Well, we tried Concerta for the past 3 days and it turned out to be a bust! David was moody and then the aggression came out in school today. He ended up dumping his desk and terrorizing the classroom. So we are going back to having David only on Risperidal and having no attention span. I am done trying different medications.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Excellent First Week of School!

David had an EXCELLENT first week of school. And the School is being EXTREMELY helpful and understanding with David. I am so happy that he is doing so well and I hope it continues!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Good Start to the Weekend

I can't believe how amazingly great Saturday turned out to be. David and I took Aunt Em to the Farmers Market. I told David before we left that he had to promise NOT to ask for any animals and he did. I also told him that if he was good at the market we would go to the ice cream parlor afterwards.

He really enjoyed being at the market and enjoyed looking at the kittens that the Animal Shelter had there. We went and got some strawberry jam, tomatoes, and peaches. David asked to go see the kittens again while I paid. Then he came back and start asking for a kitten. I reminded him about his promise and he said "I know but I really want one!" I told him no again and said that it was time to leave, when he replied "maybe we can come back tomorrow and get one. He asked if we could find out how much they were and I told him that they were free but that we can't get one. I could see that this had potential to head into a meltdown so I stressed the point that we had to go. He talked about it all the way to the car, but actually got in the car and buckled up without a fight.

So we headed home in a different direction of the ice cream parlor and he said "mommy we were suppose to get ice cream." I asked him if he thought he was good at the market and he said yes and I asked him if he kept his promise about not asking for an animal and he said no; so I told him that we couldn't go to have ice cream because he didn't keep his promise. His response was a sad "ok" and he left it at that which really surprised me. He was really good the rest of the way home.

He played with water hose and sprayer outside and had a blast. Afterwards he went upstairs by himself and started his shower and asked me to come and scrub his back. I didn't have to tell him to do anything. He decided to put his pajamas on for the rest of the afternoon and we all sat down to watch a movie. He played gently with his new parakeet and then carried his iguana around for awhile. He did really well eating lunch and dinner and asked to go to bed about 8:45. 

I have to say that I really think this medicine is working really well. I hope this behavior continues as he starts school on Monday.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Back to School

David will get to start school on Monday. The IEP meeting went well this morning and everyone seems on board with getting him back in school. They are adding some extra accommodations to his IEP that I am really happy about.

After the IEP meeting we had David's therapy appointment and she said that he seemed like he was doing well and that he is very happy which is so much better than the times before.

Hopefully we are headed for a great weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Stressful Day

I am so happy to have David back home but I knew it wouldn't come without some kind of stress. He started off really great and then when I wanted him to get dressed and brush his teeth he started yelling "NO, I'm NOT doing it". At least there was no violence. He definitly lacks attention and that is really frustrating to me. I hate repeating myself. We did attempt the store today and he started getting upset because he wanted something and I reminded him about the talk we had in the car about not getting anything at the store for him. He actually stopped without incident. The really bad thing is that he is still talking very nasty at me and I don't know how to break him of it. I am very tired right now though.

Got a call from the school and they scheduled the emergency iep for tomorrow morning and told me that I can't bring David....Well, what the heck am I suppose to do...he's not allowed in school and I really have nobody to watch him on short notice. Luckily one of my friends was available and he does really well with her so now I don't have to worry. I hope the meeting goes well. I will definitely post as soon as I can.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

David is Home! Finally!

We picked up David tonight at 4:15pm and took him to Chuck E Cheese for Dinner. He had such a blast! Then we stopped by the house we are looking to purchase and saw a bunch of deer and rabbits in the driveway and he got really excited. We met the owner of the house and she invited us in for another tour since Dave didn't get to see it when I did the tour last week. We all love it and while we were there we got a call from the broker saying that we qualify! David can't wait to move because it is close to one of his best friends. We are so happy to have him home!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

David - Adderall = Happiness

So David was back to his usual self this evening, Thank God! Yes he is a little distant and distracted but I would rather deal with that any day over the violent meltdowns that the adderall caused. We had a very nice visit with David this evening and he was very cuddly! Glad to have my boy doing better! Not sure when he will be coming home but he is getting the treatment he needs.

David + Adderall = Nightmare

Last night was the worst visitation session ever. As we discussed the previous day with the psychiatrist we added back 10mg of the Adderall XR to see if it would help him focus better.

The afternoon visit was ok, but David was very aggitated and didn't want to play. He tried playing ping pong but got really upset and quit and started pacing around the rec room. We knew something wasn't right but we thought that he might just be having a bad day ( I mean seriously autism or not we are all entitled to having a bad day).

Well, bad went to worse at the evening visit. He asked us to bring his transformers tennis shoes because he didn't want to wear his crocs. He had those hospital grip socks on and they would fit in his transformers shoes correctly and he started getting upset. So I got him to put his crocs back on. He started yelling that the socks were killing his feet and that he had to go up to the unit to get his regular socks. We told him that he had to wait and the meltdown began. He started screaming and ended up running into the group room where we were able to contain him away from the other kids and their visitors. Dave took charge and restrained him. David started kicking, punching and biting. At that point I started crying. We tried to reason with him several time (which really doesn't work when he is in this kind of rage, but we tried anyhow). He said that he would calm down and he seemed to so Dave let him go and the rage increased to the point where he started throwing his crocs so Dave restrained him again. This went on several times. His little eyes were getting all bloodshot from the pressure of his screaming and started having trouble breathing. We got him to a point were we were able to get him up to the unit and away from all of the other visitors. If Dave wasn't there they probably would have injected David with a sedative. He was calmer once we got to his room and sat there for a bit. The nurse brought his risperdal and he took it, thankfully.

We were able to get David into the shower and he was doing a lot better and getting sleepy. We had to leave at snack time but I doubt David got snacks because he was on the verge of falling asleep.

It was a very rough ride home. I cried all the way and took 1mg of Klonopin. Dave had a hard time holding it together as well. By the time we got home my body felt like jello. The evening was crap and I ended up having a stress-induced, non-epileptic seizure (guess I should have explained that one under "How I Cope"). So I had one several weeks ago too but since then it has been over a year since I had non-epileptic seizure. However, there is only so much antidepressants can to and my body just went into overload.

Obviously David will not be released today as planned and I am not sure how long they are going to keep him at this point. We are going in to talk to the psychiatrist today. We were going to do a phone conference but Dave's plan is to go and sit there until she is available to sit and talk with us. We will see how that goes.

Monday, September 6, 2010

How Do I Cope

Lately I've been asked "Erica, how do you deal with all of this?" My usual response is "I'm hanging in there" or "It's hard but I try to stay positive and I know it's for the best".

However, I have not been truly honest because I don't want a pity party because I know it will make me feel worse. Some time, yes, I do want to talk about it; but most of the time I would rather just rather talk about normal things, like holy crap Randle El is back with the Steelers, to keep my mind off of what is really going on.

So how do I cope? Well, right now I feel like I really don't. I am thankful for the antidepressants I've been on since all of this started and I am extremely grateful for whomever invented Klonopin for anxiety (or whatever it was initially meant to be used for)! My only downfall are the cigarettes I smoke. I never intended on going back to smoking, gosh I quit back in 2000. However, I wasn't coping and I thought hmmm...cigarettes or alcohol.....I am definitely more coherent with cigarettes so that's where I am. Now I am not saying that I don't drink because appletinis are my favorites! But it is a very occasional thing.

So back to the topic at hand. My morning are always early, it tends to be "me" time! Which I thoroughly enjoy. I use it to check my email, update facebook, and write here. About 7:30am rolls around and I usually hear the pitter-patter of my son's feet heading through the upstairs hallway and down the steps. His head usually peeks around the corner and he lets out a little giggle because he knows Mommy is always at the computer in the morning.Then he runs to me and gives me a big snuggly hug and I ask him how he slept and he whispers "good mommy".

This past week has been horrible because none of that is happening. It plays out in my head, an ever so sweet memory and I just sit here feeling lost. My mornings now consist of wandering around the house and picking up a few things and putting them away. We currently have a lot of clutter which could be aggressively cleaned up, but my mind refuses to deal with it because it is a pile of chaos. Have I mentioned that I don't deal with chaos well? Well, I don't!

Dave has been great with putting the laundry in the washer and I try to remember to put it in the drier but sometimes I forget. Dave has been able to sit down and watch several movies but I just can't seem to sit still. So I do some more wandering. The only time I really sit is when I am at the computer or outside having a smoke. And there are times when I just sit at the computer and stare at the screen. Dave is here for me and willing to listen whenever I want to talk. But just his presence helps me know that everything is going to be okay. 

Yes I cry, a lot. Most antidepressants help curb that but there is only so much a drug can do and I do not want to take anything stronger because I need to feel that emotion and not be a zombie myself. I no longer keep things bottle up but I have and issue with things eating at me and that is my real problem. Yes I have my own therapist and she is wonderful. I know I would be 10 times worse without her. I've told her that I just feel like walking out into the middle of traffic on Rt. 17, but I know I would never do it and so does my therapist. It is just a nice thought sometime. Yes, I am crazy in my own way, but I would never hurt myself because that is extremely selfish and against my beliefs as a Christian.

So, how do I cope? I don't! I get by with the means I know and the knowledge I have and I try to just hold it all together. It is like hanging by a thread and that thread is really frayed. And I will hang there with all of my strength and know that I have the help of others when that thread feels like it is going to break.


I spoke with the doc and they said that his attention was extremely short so we decided to add back the adderall xr but only 10mg to help him focus in school. The doc also said that he might be able to come home Tuesday afternoon.

Yesterday's afternoon visit was pretty great until David started getting frustrated and punching himself in the head and stomach. So I spoke with the doc about it since we are adding back some adderall and our concern about it adding to the aggression he was displaying with the frustration so we decided to up his risperdal to 1mg. The rest of the visit went well. As we were waiting to leave David hugged me and looking up at me and said "Mommy, I miss you a lot...Can you talk to them and see if you can stay all day?" There was definitly no holding back tears there, the flood gates released and I held him so close and told him that everything would be okay and that as long as he listened he would get to come home soon.

Since they increased the risperdal they needed to give it to him a little later so he wasn't asleep by 7:30. That posed a problem when it was time to get dressed after his shower. He started fighting over the socks he was going to wear and it took us a bit to get him to put them on right (they only have hospital grippy socks in size large so they are big for the kids). He was very aggitated after that and when we took him for snack they reminded him that he had to do his chore (sweeping the floor) today. Well, that set him off and he was very defiant. He didn't have a meltdown, but would not do it. Again we were at a time where the risperdal was worn off from the previous day and the new dosage hadn't kicked in yet. So we will find out today how things went after we left last night. It was difficult leaving him so upset.

Today being Labor Day it is treated like a weekend at the hospital and we get 2 visitations again. I look forward to seeing how David is doing on the increased risperdal and the added adderall xr.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

My Little Man!

Yesterday was a true blessing! My little man was what I remember before the autism wrapped his life in chaos! He was laughing and playing with Daddy and wasn't getting frustrated. My heart just melted!

The afternoon visitation went really well, David and Daddy played ping pong and David ran around outside. When we returned that evening for visitation he was still such a happy boy and Sydney, his wonderful charge nurse, said that he had a really awesome day. Unfortunately she didn't know how tired the risperdal was going to make him so she didn't give it to him at 5 like he was suppose to get it so I asked her to please go up and get it because he did fine the night before and wasn't too tired to visit. She went and got it immediately but he was getting it an hour and 15 minutes later than he was suppose to.

The evening visit went really well with David and Daddy playing basketball and dodge ball outside and then some ping pong again inside. That was when we started to notice David getting frustrated and a bit angry, but didn't get violent. The risperdal from the previous evening had worn off and the new one hadn't kicked in yet. So we definitely know that he must get his new medicine at the exact time every day. He started calming down again and we went up to give him his shower. He did really well and we had to leave when snack time began. David was already starting to get sleepy so we knew he would be in bed soon after.

I really look forward to our visit today!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Hospital

It has been a very emotional week....

September 1st David had a very violent meltdown at Kohls where he was punching and biting me. His doctor said that if this behavior happened while we were out that I was suppose to take him immediately to Maryview Behavior Center. His meltdowns have been getting progressively worse and more violent so we drove immediately to Maryview. They admitted him last night and are keeping him for 5-7 days.

I know I made the right decision because I would do anything for David to help him feel normal. It was just so upsetting that I have to leave him there with strangers when he is already having abandonment issues with Dad deploying and then coming back, but has crazy work hours because he made chief. And then with his sister deciding to just move out and she hasn't seen or talked to him since July 8th. Dave's work let him stay home with me the following day because I was such an emotional wreck.

One good thing is that they have visiting hours every night from 6-7 and twice a day on the weekends. So we are taking every opportunity to visit with him. They are letting us stay until 7:30 because we are helping him get his shower and then we get to snuggle with him a bit afterwards.

They took David off all of his meds (adderall xr, abilify and regular adderall) to try giving him just risperdal. David had several meltdowns during the week and they had to inject him with a sedative. He finally took his riperdal Friday night at dinner. So I really hope this works.

I really look forward to visiting him today to see how the medicine is working. I called this morning to see how he was doing and they said that he was doing great and has been really calm. I hope this continues for the day.