Zachary's school, Dr, and stupid people

*sigh* It's been a long, emotionally difficult few weeks.

After just one week in school, we got the call that Zachary wasn't doing well in school. He was "bouncing off the walls". Really? I couldn't have predicted that when I spoke to the teacher BEFORE SCHOOL STARTED and asked for a meeting. But whatever. We met with the teacher, school counselor and school psychologist and I left with a really good feeling that we were all on the same page. Keep Zachary in a mainstream classroom, work to find things therapy-wise that might work for him in the classroom, and look to get a psychiatrist and behavioral therapist for outside the school.

One week later I got a frantic call that Zachary was out of control and they felt it might be best if he was pulled out and put into a special ed classroom. I asked what the classroom was like (because we're so not happy with his teacher that I might have considered it). She explained that its for children with behavioral issues and that there is a lot of aides and a small class size. I asked what the children were like in there...are they mentally handicapped? Physically handicapped as well? The answer I got floored me....she didn't know. She had never actually seen the room. Then why the HELL would you bring this up to me? We were very clear that we wanted him mainstreamed because he's soo smart that putting him in a room with children not his intellectual equal would be horrible for him. The psychologist then went on to explain that this is SERIOUS now and I need to see a pyschiatrist for him and we need to get him on meds...even if we had our pediatrician do it. I kinda lost it at that point. I was so upset and angry that we had been trying for YEARS to get someone to listen to us and find someone to help and all of a sudden I'm supposed to make this all happen overnight because it's hard for them? Please!! I also explained and still strongly feel this way that I will not have someone who is not a specialist in child psychiatry prescribing drugs to my child. Period. My pediatrician even said she didn't feel comfortable doing that or diagnosing him because she's not a specialist. I then spent a good hour on the phone with the insurance company. I HATE insurance companies. There is ONE psychiatrist in our local area that can see Zachary. One. Chuck calls them. It's a 2 1/2 month waiting list...and oh, wait. You're insurance is THAT? Sorry, our quota is full. I'm sorry. Chuck yells "HOW THE HELL DOES THAT HELP MY SON?" We're at our wits end. So we call another dr. in a different town furthur away...not till mid-December. So I said SCREW IT. Let's pay this out of pocket and see the most recommended and drive 1 1/2 hours to do it.

The day after all this...I go into the school to sign the papers to start an IEP. Miraclously nothing is as severe as it was the day before. Hmmm...and they didn't feel it necessary to start with an IEP before we saw the psych. And really didn't feel we should even consider a special ed classroom at this point. Nice.

Sooo...I get notes home almost daily about Zachary's bad behaviors. I got 2 home that were positive...one said GREAT DAY! and one said "more even. Better day today"...funnily enough the teacher forgot to mention that was also they day that they started the therapy in the classroom with the wiggle seat. Hmmm.

Fast forward to Tuesday: WE see the psychiatrist. We spend 2 1/2 hours in the office with her and another hour in between appts. Zachary was a little anxious... we could tell. She agreed that he has probable early-onset mood disorders and prescribed a medication for that. She also said that the ADHD is more prominant and we need to go back in two weeks for a check up and to start looking at stimulants for the ADHD.

I gave Zachary his first pill yesterday morning. AFter dropping off Luke, I ran up to Zachary's school...where I ran into the counselor and psychologist. Apparently, in the 1/2 hour that school started he'd alredy been in their offices. Nice. So we take a walk down to the gym where Zachary is. He's sitting by himself...not participating...looking so extraordinarily tired. His teacher spots me and makes mention that "this isn't Zach, Mom." I wanted to yell "HIS NAME IS ZACHARY!!" But I refrained. I explained that he started a new med and we need to know what they see, how he behaves, what issues they have. AFter school yesterday, he conked out on the 6 minute drive to the laundromat. He was like a different child...a zombie. I knew this could happen, I remember Chuck being completely out of it too. BUT....

What the HELL was I thinking giving my son an anti-pscyhotic that could leave him with nervous damage if left on long-term? Am *I* the one that's crazy? I want him to be socially acceptable...I want him to have self-esteem which he doesn't have right now because NO ONE wants to play with him...I want him to be successful in school but at what costs? I know Chuck wishes he had had something to help him while he was growing up..but will Zachary thank us one day? Or will he hate us for ruining his life? He's so out of it...he was asleep on the couch by 6:30 tonight!!! BUT he also had an AWESOME day at school and he was sooooooo proud of himself. He asked me how to spell out "I GET A FOR HAVING SUCH A GOOD DAY" and then made 3 smiley faces. He was so happy that he did well.....I just wish I KNEW that we were doing the right thing. I'm having issues saying that ppl shouldn't drug their kids to go to sleep but here I am drugging my baby so that he isn't argumentative and oppositional and hyper. I know, I know...and Chuck has told me yet again that we aren't doing this to make him less argumentative. We are doing this so that he can function. Focus. Think clearly. Function in a social capacity. But it's just so freaking scary.

I'm obsessing about it I'm sure. Goes with my anxiety issues I guess. I can't 100% control this and it's driving me freaking bonkers.

I've agreed to, and know in my head it's the best, to leave him on it for at least a week to see if it stabilizes itself or if the zombie-ness continues. It didn't with Chuck after 2 weeks. I think Zachary is happy that he can finally do what he wants to do and not be constantly trying so hard to hold himself together.

Oh, and about stupid people (besides his teacher). I HATE HATE HATE the people that are telling me "oh, have you ever thought about telling him NO and meaning it?" (Yes, I really did have someone tell me that). But also the people who believe it's all or nothing in regards to meds, diet modification, therapy, whatever. This is all a chemical thing. I HATE that people say they don't believe in ADHD or Bipolar. Come to my house. Spend a week with my 2 men for 24 hours a day. Don't look down your nose at me when you have absolutely no idea what I deal with.


Hannah said...

Oh Lisa! I WISH I knew what to say. I don't know, so here is my love and hugs (((XXX))) for what it's worth. Stay strong - you are doing all you can for Zachary and you're an awesome mom. Just realise that. Other women would have flipped out and given up completely, but you were given that boy for a reason. Because you are the perfect mom for him. You're doing SO well. Of course you feel anxious and wonder if you're making the right choices - that's normal. But trust your instincts and be strong. You're doing a wonderful job.

noname said...

I can't stand those people either. I think that's how the 'walk a mile in my shoes' thing came to be.

You have to find what's best for Zachary and that's no easy task. With my oldest it really wasn't long (looking back now) to find a med that worked. With my 15 year old, however, it's pure and absolute hell. I'm not sure it really gets easier as you go along because you will always second guess yourself with what ifs, but at some point you'll realize that you have a better 'grip' on things than you thought. Keep doing what you feel is best and if something comes up that's better, don't rule it out either.

We get our thanks in seeing our kids continue to forge ahead. They get that from us. Keep doing what you're doing. Educate yourself, question yourself and make every thing count.


XOXOXO said...

All my love goes out to you. You are in an impossible situation, and only you know what is best for your boys. If it helps, my brother had the same problems, and the meds helped focus him. He said as tired as he felt after school, while he was there, he could concentrate, and it helped.



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