Zachary and the Dr.

We went back to the dr. today for Zachary. This was the day I was looking forward to and simultaneously dreading for the last 2 months. It's the day that the dr. explained his findings and let us know what he thought. Don't get me wrong...I'm so glad that someone believed us and saw what we saw so we can help Zachary achieve to the best of his ability. But a part of me is just so very sad and anxious to know the very hard work and struggle we have in front of us.

One of the tests that they did with Zachary was an IQ test. He's testing Superior to Very Superior. That's like 1-5 % of the population that tests that well. Dr. Glovinsky recommended that he not go into mainstream classes but instead is in a curriculum enriched program to challange him and help him not become a discipline problem...since his other issues will allow him to do that.

In short, they haven't labeled him as anything except unique. We will be seeing a psychiatrist now to go on meds though. Most likely a mood stabilizer to begin with. Maybe that will be all he has to have...maybe he'll have to be on a stimulant later...we just don't know. We're going to be taking it slow with the meds but there is clearly a biological issue and all the behavioral training isn't going to make that part of it go away. After the med is stabilized then we'll start some serious behavioral training. Basically, Dr. described Zachary as a diesel locomotive. He gets going and basically doesn't know how and can't put on the brakes himself. He has sooo many things going on in his head that he can't shut his brain down (which is why naptime and bedtimes are so hard for him). But it's why it's also important that he has a naptime or rest period...it allows him to rest and clear his head. He definitely shows the precedence for mood swings which leads to the bipolar aspect (as his dad and aunt have it). Dr. Glovinsky is requesting a conference with the school closer to school time to discuss how best to get Zachary's behavior under wraps while still giving him the intellectual stimulation that he has to have. ONe of the options that might happen is he won't get a normal recess time...because that's one period of the day that is unstructured and the biggest problem time of the day for Zachary.

Anyway, I don't know exactly what all the guidelines will be yet....or what changes we'll have to make. It's going to take some more time. But at least he saw what we saw and we can get some help now.

But I'm having anxieties and worries none the less. It's part of who I am.

Did we do wrong by our first child by having the others? Did we do wrong by Luke and Elizabeth considering all the attention that Zachary takes up and now all the different things he’ll be doing/going through/experiencing?

I don’t want any of my children to feel slighted. They are all equally important to me. They just all have different needs. But will they understand that at ages 3 and 5? Or even 3, 6 and 8?

I know there is nothing we can do now but deal with what we have. I wouldn’t have NOT had Elizabeth and Lucas. I love them both dearly and they have such special qualities that make them so endearing to me, make me laugh, make me cry. My concern is that they all know how incredibly special they are; even if Zachary is the only one to be in a special program or get special attention for schooling. Maybe that means I have to make sure the other 2 get special attention for soccer or ballet or something.

Eh, I’m rambling now. My mind is thinking of all the worst case scenarios and I’m having a hard time seeing the best case scenarios. I’m just feeling antsy tonight. Probably the 3 pieces of cake I had and 2 Mt. Dews on top of the anxiety of seeing the dr. today.

I’m worried that we won’t be able to provide the best type of schooling for Zachary. We just simply don’t have the money available to us to pay a $7,000 tuition. And the talented and gifted programs have nearly all been cut due to budget constraints. That’s not all he needs to help him succeed but it will surely help. I find it so frustrating that everywhere we turn we are running into obstacles with Zachary. First, it was finding people to see what we saw. Then, having a freaking dr. return my calls. Third, getting insurance to pay for it. Which didn’t happen so Dr. Glovinsky did it pro-bono. Now, once we know what we need, being able to find it. And lastly, being able to afford it.

And that’s just the school part of it. That’s not even touching how the drugs are going to make him feel and react. I remember going through the titration with Chuck and it’s not pretty. It’s very scary at times and definitely taxing on the whole family. Is that going to cause more anxiety for Zachary? Will it even work? (My hunch is yes, for some of his symptoms). Will just being on the meds make it so that all the other symptoms go away? (My hunch is no). I don’t really want my son to be taking a cocktail of drugs….but then again Dr. stated today that is exactly what he doesn’t want either. But what I really don't want is to lose his spirit. I want to see that super sensitive, sweet, thoughtful, wonderful little boy he is about 75% of the time. I don't want to break him, just help him harness it all and be successful and happy.


Hannah said...

Wow, Lisa. I'm not even going to begin to say that I understand, because obviously I've never been in your shoes and I can't possibly know what you're feeling. BUT, your concerns and anxieties do sound completely justified and normal to me. It seems only natural to be thinking about those things, and yes, even worrying about them. That's a mother's job, after all.

I'm just glad that you are finally get the answers you need and deserve. I'm sure all the other things will sort themselves out, over time. Of course you are anxious about how he'll adjust to the medication, but hey, he might cope better than you think. Or it might be horrendous, but at least you know (from your experience with Chuck) that it won't last forever and the benefits will be worth it.

As for your concerns about neglecting the other kids - just think about all the other thousands of families who have children with "high needs" and who are in special programmes or schools and demand the extra attention. Most of them have other children too, and I'm sure they aren't worse off because of it. The very fact that you are aware of it being a potential issue proves that it won't be ... you won't let it. I know you'll make time for the other kids to do special things on their own that will make them feel like they are getting that same attention. Soccer, ballet, or whatever it may be. You'll be there for them.

One thing I think you should be really proud of is how SMART your little guy is!! He's unique and special and sooooo clever. So be proud of that!


noname said...

Experience will be your teacher. Sounds awful in a way as it doesn't encourage the best confidence, but at some point you'll start to see that trial and error often lead to better things.

I was totally against stimulant meds until I saw how they helped my oldest. That made me a believer. I went through the same thing with anti depressants, sorta. I wasn't totally against them, but I didn't want my kids to take them. My 14 yr old takes Welbutrin, Lexapro, Adderall and Seroquel. I wouldn't have agreed to try all of that if he hadn't tried to push me down the stairs in an ....not even sure what to call it. Never been more afraid for him and my life! I'm glad I agreed to the meds as they've helped him to completely turn himself around and allowed him to finally be "himself". That may sound weird, but it's a quote from him. He said he's never been able to think clearly until after the meds and if I forget a dose, he's quick to remind me.

Sometimes you have to try things, if for no other reason than to rule them out. You guys are in my thoughts!


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