Thursday, October 25, 2012

Getting back to it.

After some desperate phone calls, we finally got in to see the psychiatrist.

He diagnosed JT with depression-NOS (likely bipolar) and anxiety.

He adjusted meds to help JT get back to the happy, flappy little man he is usually.

And it's working.

We are lucky.

Graham is giggly, goofy and happy.

And it's only been 4 days.

Relief is the biggest understatement ever.

He's doing better at school - they've noticed a big difference.

In a week or so (once we're sure he's stabilized) we start a new medication for his ADHD. It's tenex, which is not a stimulant (the good doctor and I are in full agreement that stimulants are a big NO from here on out).

I am not thrilled to be dealing with another go 'round with a new medication, but the reason we put him on it was for him to be successful at school. He can't be at his best running around crazy all day.

However, if this one is a dud, we're out of options. We've tried all the types of meds as of this one.

Fingers crossed and prayers said.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Where we are.


It was more than ritalin.

Undoubtedly, the ritalin caused the suicidal thoughts.

But the rest is real.

Crying at school and at home. Super emotional. Having to drag him to gymnastics (even though he LOVES it). 

He picked back up on the 'you hate me' whenever we're upset with him. He still says he's stupid.

Tonight I told him, "Ms. *school psychologist* and Dr. *psychiatrist* and mommy are going to help you be happy again."

He replied, "I can't be happy."

Broke. My. Heart.

I want this back. This happy, goofy, carefree boy. 

My soul. 

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Going anonymous.

So, I've decided to make this blog anonymous.

Don't be surprised when  you see my babies are now 'Audrey' and 'JT'.

Try not to use real names in comments, please :)

Choosing happiness.

Today I woke up and made a decision.

Happiness sometimes isn't circumstance, but choice.

I am choosing to see the positive from this week. And really, there is some good stuff that happened.

  • JT has an awesome school team. They want to support him. They love him. Every single person from his teachers to the counselor and psychologist just want to help. 
  • JT's doctor is great. He called after our incident, and apologized, even though it wasn't his fault. He also asked me, "What can I do for you, for JT?" He told me he fully supported us. Which is an awesome thing. 
  • We found out JT is distracted/not participating in math in the resource room because he's bored out of his mind. His teacher moved him up to the 3rd grade math group late this week, and he's actually participating and enjoys it (despite the rough week). She told me how great he was at math and she picked up on it instantly, that he's above a 3rd grade level but needs to learn how to show his work at that level first before she can move him further up. 
  • Audrey is crazy amazing. JT still says, "You HATE me!" whenever anyone gets upset with him. Without any discussion with her, she immediately turned around and said, "I do NOT hate you. I love you. But I am REALLY mad at you right now." What 8 year old would do that in the middle of a fight with her brother? My amazing Audrey. 
  • We started a new rewards program at his school. It was an idea I had that his team got SO excited about. If it goes well, we may not have to consider medication anyway. That would rock. 
  • Last, but certainly not least, we have some awesome friends and family. So many people have checked on us this week and offered help or a shoulder. I am so thankful. 

So we're going to do what we do... pick ourselves up and move on.

Next week will be better. 

Friday, October 12, 2012

So many questions...

This week has been a horrible week. "Crisis" is the word that comes to mind to define it.

My son said he hated himself. He said he wanted to kill himself. At 6 years old.

There was talk of taking him to the ER and him being treated inpatient by the doctor.

I found out ritalin can cause suicidal thoughts.

We took him off it.

He stopped the majority of the negative self-talk, the suicidal threats.

Medicine caused this for the most part. Medicine that I decided (with the help of a doctor) to 'try'. Looking back, it went downhill slowly. How did I not notice sooner?

Medicine we decided he needed because he needs constant redirection and is hyperactive. But HAPPY. And he passed the end of year tests, so he's not behind.

So he's progressing, he's learning, he's happy. But he's hard to keep on task, requiring extra work by the teachers.

So who am I medicating him for? My job is to make the best decisions for HIM. Not to make him 'easy'.

His self-esteem is not suffering because of his ADHD. He is not struggling academically. He just requires a lot more of teachers.

I see the flip side. I'm going into education. But we're talking brain-altering medication for my 6 year old.

I'm just not so sure anymore this is the path we need to be on. Maybe we need a break. But we need to make a decision in the best interest for our son, not for anyone else. That's our job.

Then I wonder about the self-depreciation. There is an underlying issue there somewhere that we need to address.

When I say I hate autism, I mean I hate the difficulties that it causes my son. I can't recall ever saying it around my son, but maybe he's overheard me. Does he think that I hate him because I say that?

Another re-evaluation and lesson: however angry I may be with the hand he was dealt, I will not speak negative of it. I can't do it anymore. I can't chance that it may be what hurts him.

I wonder if this is a bigger sign. There is a 'probable mood disorder' diagnosis involved.

It is heartbreaking for your child to say they want to kill themselves. That they hate themselves. You ask if they know you love them, they say yes. Which means I am powerless. My love is not enough. He has plenty of friends. That is not enough. We have family and friends (and friends who are like family) that adore him. That is not enough, either.

My son lives in a world where everything is mixed up, and a lot doesn't make sense. Things that are supposed to be easy are hard, so hard. This world is not always a friendly place for him.

I do my best to keep him happy. To help him love his life. To teach him how to navigate this world that doesn't fit, trying to interpret how he sees things and what he needs and getting it from every situation.

It's exhausting.

And now I feel like I'm failing.

The ONE job on this earth that I feel I cannot, must not fail at is being a good mother. That, to me, is the single thing that I cannot screw up no matter what.

So I am struggling with him, trying to find my footing and get back to helping him, stopping the hurt, making his life good.

Every first star I see, every yellow stoplight I go through, every lucky penny I find, every night when I pray (and day, several times)... my wish is the same. For my kids to have everything they dream of in life.

I can only hope that this is an answer to those in progress. A rough patch to lead to our dreams.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012


I wrote this post yesterday, and scheduled it to post for this morning. 

Today is my birthday - I'm officially 32!

It's my best birthday ever. EVER.

I am on my way to doing what I am meant to do in life, and I am doing fantastic at it and loving (almost ;) ) every second of it. It is challenging material, it is challenging to fit into an already busy life, and it is challenging to manage my time to get it all right. But I'm doing it - and well!

My daughter loves school, and is learning stuff that is crazy for 3rd grade... and her latest progress report shows she has a 97% average. She was SO worried about this year, telling us maybe she didn't want to do TD... but she LOVES it. Her teacher is fabulous, and she is thriving.

JT (despite recent setbacks) is doing amazing overall. He is learning, he is succeeding socially, and has a great doctor and academic setup overall.

The Hubs's store is doing amazing. He is so great at his job, it's not surprising. But awesome that he is doing so well!

I love my husband.

For my birthday, I got a new car. So, technically it's in my name, and we had to get a new car, but the timing of getting the most awesome car ever was perfect. Then he also got me a Keurig. If you know how much I love coffee, you will appreciate how freaking awesome this is. I am the only one who drinks it, so I end up tossing a lot of coffee down the drain. No more! HOORAY!!!

I seriously cannot ask for any more for my birthday.

Amazing the difference a day can make.

My facebook post from yesterday afternoon sums it all up:

Worst day of my life. Got a call from the school today. JT told his teacher, "I hate myself." Before she could get past, "What?!" He added, "I want to kill myself." The school counselor talked to him and determined he was serious and knew what he was saying. He is 6 years old. 6. Years. Old.

His psychiatrist has us watching him for any additional talk of killing himself/dying tonight, which means trip to ER. He's calling tomorrow morning with further instructions. I have asked the school to involve the psychologist on staff (the counselor is already on it, she is obligated to respond to suicide threats).
So here's the deal. I now have a Kia Soul, a Keurig and a suicidal son. 

I'd give up every material possession I have ever had to make my son okay. EVERY. DAMN. THING. 

So truth? 

32 can only get better from here.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Why is it...

that when things start getting better in one area, they start falling apart in other areas?

JT is going through a progress spurt/problem spurt.

We seem to have these concurrently every time.

HUGE progress = HUGE problems.

Right now JT is doing well socially. Really well. He is doing cool things like raising his hand at school. Playing with peers completely appropriately (when he feels like it, haha). His speech and communication is skyrocketing. So cool!


We are seeing some really troublesome things. He is constantly calling himself stupid. Dumb. Bird brain. Ugly. Stinky. He's SUPER emotional. Cries in huge, choking sobs over seemingly tiny things. This happens both at home and at school.

His OCD is WAY out of control. He repeats things over and over. For instance, when you hand him a drink, before he will drink it he will repeat, "That my chocolate milk (or whatever drink it is)? Yep, that my chocolate milk. That my chocolate milk? Yep, that my chocolate milk.", sometimes at least 15-20 times. Or upon taking the car out of park, he will repeat, "Bucked my seat belt? Yep. Car is moving? Yep." several times. If he is agitated, he repeats it more, and louder. Sometimes he is screaming phrases like these.He does this both at school and home as well.

The teachers and I are keeping tabs on it, and JT's next doctor appointment is mid-November. Logging the behavior seems like the best thing to do, so we can figure out if there is any factors that cause it (we have found that he does sometimes use the negative self-talk when he doesn't want to do something, although that is not always the reason) and that disruptions and interrupted expectations seem to fire up the OCD more (again, sometimes this reason isn't it...). But it's a start, and a great tool for the psychiatrist to help us when we see him again.

We have had some big changes lately, so maybe that's part of it. We got in a wreck and the car was totaled... and JT was very attached to 'Blue Car'. Thanks to the ever-popular 'Cars' movies, he believed 'Blue Car' was hurting, and had feelings. No matter what I said he would not believe me. So eventually I lied and told him even though we couldn't fix the car, a nice mechanic took him home to fix him up perfect for his family.

We also bought another Kia, and told him 'Blue Car' is 'Dune Buggy' (the new car)'s friend.

Dune buggy

Don't judge. You do what you have to do.

He seems to like this, and reminds us of it.

My little guy is having a rough, rough time right now, and it ups the stress level in our whole family, too.

Hopefully we can figure it out and help him, because it breaks his momma's heart to see him hurting.