TT's story really does belong to him.
But I also think that his story can be used to help other people.
Until I started reading blogs, I had NO IDEA what mental illness really looked like. It is only because other families shared with brutal honesty that I had a clue of what it means to parent a child from the hurt places. And it is because of that honesty and sharing that I was able to do some things as a foster parent that otherwise might have been impossible. I learned from those stories and it helped me.
That is why I share what I do about my kids.
It's also why my blog is reasonably anonymous. TT doesn't need the whole world knowing about his issues and being able to relate his story directly back to him. I trust the people that I know in real life that read this blog to respect his privacy and I don't "advertise" to most that I even write.
Anyway...I'm going to share what it's been like since TT started the Prozac one week ago for his significant anxiety issues.
First, and I know I've said it before but it's worth repeating, TT doesn't have normal levels of anxiety. TT also doesn't look to most like he suffers from anxiety at all. He will hold it together in public or when he's with friends. But behind closed doors, there are many things that come easily to most kids that are nearly impossible for TT.
It is because of this that I decided all of our OTC methods, if you will, were no longer working well enough.
I have taught TT every calming technique in the book. I'm acutely aware of his sensory needs and he is as well. We also pay crazy close attention to TT's blood sugar levels. Where most kids would be fine eating a "healthy" protein bar and a container of yogurt for breakfast in the morning, TT is most definitely not. He HAS to have food in as close to a natural state as possible and he has to have protein. Processed food spikes his blood sugar and the resulting crash is never pretty!!
But all the measures we have in place to help TT with his anxiety haven't been enough. He can't sleep through the night at home. He also wants (desperately) to stay overnight at friend's houses but he simply can't. He gets too nervous. And any mistake he makes while doing school sends him down the road of horrible frustration and shame. Any new situation spikes a level of anxiety that he can't escape. And really, life shouldn't be that hard for an 11 year old.
One week ago today TT started on Prozac.
It takes 2-3 weeks for the effects of Prozac to really kick in. By this morning though, I put together some changes I've noticed, connected them to the Prozac, and called his psychiatrist.
For the past couple days, TT has not been able to sit still. He has been twisting and turning and rolling all over the furniture and floor during school time. He also seems much more agitated and restless in general. And, sleeping through the night (something he has always struggled with) is more problematic again. (He had been sleeping through the night in his own bed for about two weeks prior to starting the Prozac.) The change in personality started around 2-4 days ago. Looking back, it was gradual at first. But yesterday was perfectly horrid. And today, when I was reading out loud for literature, he started wiggling again. This behavior is so unlike him that I sent a text to my favorite doctor, My Genius Brother.
My Genius Brother told me to call the psych because these "symptoms" weren't going to go away.
Thank God the psych handles stuff like this over the phone. We didn't have to kill another 3.5 hours waiting in her office for a visit. She went ahead and switched his med immediately. Starting tonight, TT will be on Lexapro.