Saturday, October 21, 2006
I'm Still Here
I know I've been remiss in posting (and commenting on other blogs) lately.
Some of it has been because I've gone back to college with my older son, and have been trying to settle into a routine.
Most recently it's because I got the flu and it knocked me on my butt for a week or so.
But really, those are just secondary reasons.
Ever hear about the elephant in the living room? The one that everybody has to step around and tries to pretend isn't there?
That's me on my blog.
I haven't been able to write about it, because it's been too overwhelming. It's just been impossible to write about funny stuff because I've been as clogged up as a drain stuffed full of hair.
There's now a light at the end of the tunnel, and my son, aka The Kid Who Is Not Related To Us, gave me permission to write about it.
I first wrote about his problem in A Reality RX. The panic attacks were subsiding and we were able to find some humor in life in The Continuing Adventures....
Very shortly afterwards, near the end of the summer, the attacks started turning into something else. Zero to rage in 60 seconds. Or ultimate heart-wrenching despair. Over trivialities.
Big Kid's initial diagnosis in childhood was ADHD, OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder) and CAPD (Central Auditory Processing Disorder). None of it affected his cognitive ability, and with medication, behavior modification and some school helps (he processes information better when it's in print), he graduated with his class in high school and was accepted into college. Sure, there have been ups and downs---some big, some small, but things were really looking rosy for him.
He's been under regular care, and we all decided that he needed to have a full re-evaluation. Unfortunately, we were unable to get him on the schedule for months. In the meantime, his docs tried to get his moods stabilized with medication.
Those who've gone through the wringer with these issues know that there is no magic pill. There is no "one size fits all" treatment. A lot of it is trial and error to get the right medication and dosage.
One of the medications we tried to stabilize him with was supposed to last for 12 hours. It doesn't. And the rebound effect was horrific. His therapist called the paramedics one night (we had him on the phone) because Big Kid was screaming his head off in the front yard wearing nothing but his shorts.
Of course, the police and fire department had to show up as well, turning it into a complete three-ring circus.
The police showed up first (turns out a dispatcher had sent this out as a domestic violence call, which is NOT what the therapist called in), and by the time they got there, we had been able to get the kid to take his meds and calm down a bit. They thought he was high, searched him, kept asking him where he kept his drugs, threatened to arrest him, etc, and basically scared the hell out of him. And us.
This was NOT a good thing.
It took the paramedics explaining that some of the meds the kid was taking can have a narcotic-appearing effect to get them to back down. Of course, they wouldn't take OUR word for it, even when I showed them the prescriptions. arghh. I know they were doing their job (they were very courteous and professional), but it really didn't improve the situation.
Anyway, the evaluation is over and we got the results earlier in the week. The doctors think The Big Kid has developed bi-polar disorder and is rapid-cycling. The constant anxiety and panic attacks he had in the spring were a precursor. Unfortunately the medication that he was taking for ADHD and OCD exacerbates it.
On the bright side, he's been pretty stable for the last couple of weeks. On the not-so-bright side---the meds make him really tired and hungry. We're trying to dial them back slowly to a manageable dose with the least amount of side-effects.
If anyone has any experience with this, could you recommend some reading---anything informational with coping, diet and exercise tips would be great. I've been reading so many websites that it's hard to figure out what's crap and what's not.
I haven't been neglecting you all on purpose---things have just been a little, uh, nuts around the Attila house lately.
Thanks for all your continued good wishes!