This week we've been running back and forth down to the city to have THD totally evaluated mentally and physically. It just happened that we set the appointments up when he got here at the end of March, and this is the soonest any specialist could see him as a new patient.
Unfreakingbelievably, we STILL don't have his new state-issued Medicaid card, although he has been assigned a number. Our local pharmacy and family doc took the number with no problems, but I had to do a lot of sweet-talking to the others to accept it. grr.
Like a used car, we're having the kid completely overhauled. It's been years since he's seen a dentist. Next up is an eye exam.
When he got here, THD's medical records were sketchy. Apparently, with all the moving around he's done, whoever was in charge of his care at whatever time didn't get records forwarded from all the previous carers. So he had a lot of diagnoses without any original evaluations. In fact, he doesn't remember even HAVING any primary evaluations. Except for an MRI in 2004 which isn't included anywhere.
So he came to us with a boatload of diagnoses hung around his neck without any data to back it up. Complete with prescriptions. It's been absolutely puzzling to us, simply because the kid REALLY DOESN'T SEEM TO HAVE ANY PROBLEMS (other than being a teenager)! We needed to do more than kick his tires, and in the last 7 days or so, we've had a complete diagnostic.
These are the results so far: ADHD? No. Whatever mild attention deficits he might have had could be explained as a result of anxiety and depression due to his life circumstances. He completed this final quarter at school with straight A's while holding down an after school job, and enjoying a budding social life without the benefit of ADHD meds.
Tourette's Syndrome? No. This diagnoses was actually grandfathered in when THD's older sister looked up "eye twitching" on the internet. She found Tourette's Syndrome, and the family started telling everyone he had it. He doesn't. He has eye twitching due to a brain injury he had as an infant in his biological home. It's called nystagmus.
Anxiety disorder? No. Duh. He was in multiple foster homes and even a shelter over an 18-month period. If you were worried that somebody was going to steal the only pair of shoes you had while you were sleeping, you might be anxious too.
OCD? Hah. The kid pees on the toilet seat sometimes and has to be reminded to wash his hands. Monk he is not. On a more serious note, he doesn't have any obsessive or compulsive thoughts or habits. This diagnoses just got attached like a bad smell that you can't find the origin of (so you blame the dog for poofting).
ODD (Oppositional Defiant Disorder)? Another dog fart. This is one of those issues that is self-controlled. You choose to argue or you don't. We happen to be a family that enjoys a lively debate as long as it doesn't include dish throwing or spurting stumps caused by machetes. Tomato, Tamahto.
RAD? While this is a very real and serious condition, THD's treating doctors feel like sometimes it is automatically attached to children who have been in the system whether they have it or not. If THD has it, it's manifesting itself in a mild way. He exhibits a strong capability to bond, but is impatient with silly girls who want a commitment. Doesn't sound like much of a problem to me. He's a teenage boy, for pete's sakes. LOL
Lowgrade depression? Maybe. He's on a low dose of an anti-depressant and that may be keeping things smooth for him. So he's going to stay on it for the time being. Everything else is gone.
How is he doing? Really great. Along with good grades, a job and friends, he is volunteering at the local animal shelter in his spare time. He's a guy who likes to keep busy. The honeymoon period is definitely over--hehehe--he's had to be on phone restriction a couple of times (oh a fate worse than death!), but all in all, it's a cakewalk compared to 99% of the rest of life.
The other day we were in the car and he said, "How come our dogs are soooo stupid?"
My eyes filled with tears. He said "our"! He really feels like he's a member of the family!
He noticed instantly and said, "Are you crying? Did I say something wrong?"
I didn't want to get all gushy and embarass him.
"You're not allowed to call my dog stupid! It's not HER fault her brain is the size of a walnut!"