Zachary's monthly psychiatric appointment was yesterday. I was a little apprehensive going because I had a feeling things were going to change. And I don't necessarily do well with change.
My fears were warranted. First off, Zachary was squirming in his chair and when she asked him to step on the scale to see where his weight was at (he's gained 5 lbs in 6 weeks. Wah! His pants are getting snug. That in and of itself makes me sad!) he couldn't follow simple directions. She asked him to find some toys to play with in the other room so that mommy and daddy can talk. When the door was closed she said "Wow. I can see the hyperactivity is still there." I said "What? That is good." Chuck told me that I'm just used to him at this point...for us this is really good...but I guess it's still more hyper than most people are used to seeing or dealing with.
After explaining some things to her about his behavior the last month...the 3 day long crying episodes...the statements of how life is just too hard and he wishes he wasn't here, wishes he'd never been born...Dr. K stated that he is obviously still cycling. Which we really already knew. The aggression and anger is gone, but now it's just the downs that we are dealing with. The downs are something that I *can* deal with too because it's not so in your face all the time. However, Dr. K made a very good point. If he's depressed, he very well may be turning that anger inwards towards himself, hence the reason for the self-loathing talk that we get so often during those times.
If you've never heard your child tell you that he wishes he were dead...or that he wishes he'd never been born because life is too hard...you have absolutely no idea how heart wrenching that can be. I seriously want to cry when he tells me that. I want to make life better for him. I want my oldest born to be happy and succeed in life. So, while the decision to switch meds is hard, it's made easier by my desire to help Zachary become happy, self-assured, loving to himself and succeed in school and in life. But I still don't like the choice I have.
The words Dr. K spoke tore at my heart: Depakote or Lithium. I knew they were options. But I hear Lithium and I think of the crazy homeless guy on the corner who sees people and hears voices.. Not my baby. Not my handsome, gregarious 5 year old who wishes nothing more than please people. I know that it is a stereotype, but it's still hard to think about. (I'm crying as I type this)
Chuck asked me after the appt (and after I stopped and got ice cream) if I was about to cry when she mentioned depakote. I told him I didn't want to think about it right now. In my head I knew that if we discussed it at all, I would start crying...and that is not something I feel Zachary needs to see. I think he has enough going on in his head to try to deal with my bag of emotions. Chuck then asked if that was the reason for the ice cream. My hubby knows me all too well. I eat when I'm emotional; I don't even think about it. I guess I need to start because I think this is going to be an emotional roller coaster for everyone involved.
As far as the hyperactivity goes, we'll also be starting a stimulant. Concerta XR. I know in my head that its the best but again I HATE having him on a cocktail of meds. We do try to limit things in his diet that we notice affect his moods too such as refined sugars, juice, and Red Dye #40. I know that there are a lot of people out there who say he probably has an allergy to wheat or gluten but I truely believe that this is a chemical and genetic component of the brain. Afterall, Chuck is the same way, as his is sister (I think she has WAAAY more going on than Chuck does...but we'll never know because it's an unspeakable thing in their house), and possibly others. But I never stop looking at things that could help him more...but I know that the meds are going to be the crux of his treatment from now on.
2 hours ago