For reasons that I'm never going to know...the past week has been radically different with Pumpkin! She has actually been pleasant to care for. Almost easy if you will. (Hopefully I'm not jinxing myself here!)
All the positive growth we had seen in Pumpkin went completely away during the months of June and July (most notably in July). She stopped talking. She stopped playing. She stopped doing everything. And when we got back from vacation in August, it was apparent that she was having a difficult time. She cried a lot. She threw way more fits than normal. She didn't want to cooperate with simple tasks. When school started she avoided that change by trying to sleep at school every day. (Despite going to bed at 7:30PM and getting up at 6:30AM she still was taking naps in the morning at school.) After reunification, I heard that she was still horribly upset. Her therapists reported to me that she didn't want to separate from her mom (understandable) and cried constantly during her entire therapy session. I also heard that she cried a lot at her new school and didn't want to cooperate there.
When she came back into care 11 days after reunification, the crying didn't stop. She seemed so depressed I was starting to wonder if there would have to be another medication change. Pumpkin didn't want to have anything to do with her toys. She spent every day after school sitting on the couch doing nothing.
But everything changed last Friday. Boy do I wish I knew why.
Pumpkin is talking again. Pumpkin is playing again. Pumpkin is engaged with the family activities around her. For the first time EVER...she wants to go outside with the other kids. She's actually aware of where they are and what they're doing!!
It's hard to explain how different she is. The differences are subtle. But there are so many of them. For example...
Yesterday when she got home from school I was playing with her. Pumpkin really enjoyed tickle games and acting like you're going to chase her when she first came. "Rough" play usually made her laugh. Lately though, she had acted oblivious to interaction like this. (Completely oblivious. She would just stand there and not respond at all if you spoke to her. Or tickled her. Or tried to play with her. She was so far inside herself she was like a shell of a person.) Yesterday, I was tickling her and she was laughing. She threw her arms up in the air and kind of bent over as I was playing with her. Well, I helped her bend the rest of the way down, tucked in her head a little and pushed her over into a somersault. She cracked up laughing, stood herself up as fast as she could and threw her hands up in the air. She wanted to flip again. This in and of itself is nothing short of amazing for Pumpkin...but it gets even better. She went into the living room and tried to flip all by herself. She tried to learn how to do a somersault!!
This afternoon she initiated going outside. She actually communicated a want. Up until this week I would have told you that Pumpkin did not have the ability to communicate her wants or needs. Granted, she would choose between two different things if you gave her a choice. But if I didn't give her a choice, she never acted like she cared at all. Tonight, when no one else was outside, she took it upon herself to try and open the door and go out and play. All. by. herself.
I must say, I'm pleased as punch with all the changes. Pumpkin is easier to take care of. I've decided her apathy was one of the most difficult parts to deal with before. Sometimes when I was triggered (read that as angry for no reason) it was because Pumpkin was so apathetic to all that was going on around her. At least now she's actually got a bit of a personality.
These changes could be because of the medication change back in July. (It can take awhile for seizure meds to really go to work and for side effects to subside.) These changes could be as a result of being reunified and then coming back in to care. (I do believe that we interact with her more here than in her bio home environment.) Or these changes could be as a result of something else. Honestly, I don't care! I'm just praying these changes last. For Pumpkin's sake!!