Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Another trip to the psychiatrist

If I'm being totally honest, my level of normal and what most of the country's version of normal are not the same thing. And lately...things haven't exactly been normal in my house.

Behaviors have been seriously amped up. TT has been struggling with impulsive behaviors, destructive behaviors, stealing (mainly from his brothers), and overall self-sabotage. He and Bart have been fighting almost constantly. It's been a challenge. Line of sight parenting has been very necessary for almost a month. That gets exhausting for all involved.

Bart too has been all over the place. He can't sit still. He's so loud. And he's fighting with TT something horrible.

We're trying to help TT by putting him on an anxiety med. And it's to a place where I feel that Bart needs to be on an Rx for his ADHD. I can only help him manage things so well without this assistance. He got the "official" ADHD diagnosis over a year ago and went on Focalin. However, that turned him into a raging maniac and I stopped the medication. I wasn't thrilled with the psychiatrist so I just stopped the medication. We've been using GABA and a B-vitamin marketed for stress to help him focus a little bit. But it's just not enough anymore. (I also diffuse oils and work in lots and lots of active time into our school day. But again, it's just not enough.)

So I called the new psychiatrist today. Bart had an appointment scheduled for May of this year - the soonest they could get him in. But the doctor has a policy where you can call on Mondays and Tuesdays to see if there are any cancellations. She only sees new patients on Tuesdays. I called four times yesterday but there were no cancellations. When I called at 10:00 this morning they asked me how soon we could come in. We left for the doctor's office immediately. Thankfully the doctor agreed to see TT as well so we could discuss how the Lexapro he's been on might be affecting him.

The appointment went well. The doctor is putting Bart on Vyvanse. She's using this one because it's what Herman is on already and he has had no adverse side effects. Thankfully, ADHD meds typically kick in pretty quick. We should know if this works within a week or so.

The psychiatrist indicated that TT's cluster of negative events has most likely not been caused by the Lexapro. She let me explain, in detail, several of the things that have happened but she didn't overreact. My gut tells me that the spiral downward either has to do with the holiday season in general or the fact that he's definitely in the throws of puberty. (We all know that puberty messes with the best of kid's brains.) However, because TT reports that the Lexapro hasn't changed the way he feels inside at all, the doctor is switching him to a new medication.

Again, we'll have to wait at least two weeks to see if the new med has any effect. The new medication is a relatively untested one according to the pharmacist. The doctor reported that it was developed for adults but was largely ineffective. She did say that several children in her care have had success with it though. The pharmacist said that some people call it little more than a sugar pill because no one can scientifically explain why it does what it does (or doesn't do). TT starts on the Buspirone tonight.

If I'm being honest, I have to say that I feel like a failure because all the children in my house are on prescription drugs due to mental health issues. I know it's not my fault. And I know I tried a lot of other things first. But I don't like giving up so much to the pharmaceutical industry every month.

On the flip side though, when Herman FINALLY went on Vyvanse for his ADHD last year his life literally turned around. He brought his grades up from failing to A's and B's. Life around the house got easier for him too because he wasn't fighting the inattentive problems and he could actually focus.

Both Bart and TT are expressing a desire to go back to brick and mortar school. I believe that they both need prescriptions that are working well in order for them to be successful in a traditional school environment. One of the biggest reasons we brought TT home to school was because of his almost crippling anxiety. And Bart used to get in trouble all the time when we went to brick and mortar school for kindergarten and 1st grade. In order for him to succeed in upper elementary, he'll have to be able to sit down and shut up for longer than 5 minutes at a time.

Here's to praying these meds work. Even if they stay at home for school, I could use a break from the rather high level of crazy we've been dancing in lately.


Meg0422 said...

Once mine got on Ritalin and was finally given the correct dose as an extended dose, his teachers were so amazed at how well he was doing. They told him that now he can be a student, one who can learn. His grades went up a lot, he follows directions. .. It's wonderful. He's still a bit impulsive at times but maturity will help. I too have felt like a failure. You bring home this perfect baby and now I can't teach him the right way to act. It'll get better. I have faith!

Foster Mom - R said...

I'm hoping the meds start kicking in and everything calms down for you. And I understand the failure feeling but maybe re-frame it? If they had asthma you wouldn't hesitate to give them meds to help them breathe. They need these meds to function in life as well. You're doing a good job Mama. Hang in!

Emily said...

Ask your psychiatrist about genetic testing for Bart. They can determine which type of ADHD med is the best for him. We just did this for my daughter. It takes the guesswork out of finding the right med.

NickiS said...

I sure hope they work for your kiddos!! I currently take Busprione for my anxiety and love it! Only side effect I have had from it is just dizziness 20-30 min after taking but doesn't last long and lessens the longer you take it! Best of luck!

Annie said...

My daughter is SO night-and-day different on her meds that I can't begin to feel anything other than profoundly grateful. If it weren't for meds she would be dead or in prison, no question. She now spends the day doing schoolwork, crafts and chores, and while she still has some OCD issues, previously she was:
running into traffic, destroying things, slapping people (including teachers and parents), heaving pots of boiling water around the kitchen, climbing up on the roof and taunting the police who came to help her.... Night and Day. Thanks be to God for meds that work.

Barb said...

With all due respect, it appears you have your hands full with the children you have. Is now the time to add more children to the mix?

Cherub Mamma said...

I've asked that question a lot Barb. Truth is though - this has been our life for years. I just blog more about the foster kids than I do my forever kids. Since there are no fosters here, I've opened up a slightly bigger window to my full life. Also, I think it's beneficial to show others what it's like when you try to get help for mental health issues. It's such a long and complicated process. If I can show someone else they're not alone, that's a good thing. Also, I've received a lot of support from readers as I've shared this side of my life. And that's been good for me.