If you are not familiar with what #followfriday is, it's a day on Twitter, obviously…
The one person who has seen Aj from the “beginning” so to speak has been this counselor that I am going to see today. What I am hoping to gain from today’s meeting?
You see, Aj has now capped on his anti psychotic medication which means he can not go higher and the dose he is on isn’t really helping anything as a whole. If you ask me, he is better than he was without any medication but he isn’t 100% at this time. It seems this boy who often metabolizes medicine quicker than your average child is no longer having much benefit from his Abilify. The new pych has also placed him on medication for his anxiety but the full effects of that won’t be seen for 2-4 weeks and we just finished week 1 of him being on that.
The mood swings, the highs and the lows, the overly loving, the insane OCD and all of that is now back and it’s so difficult to work with. Aj is exhibiting his signs of the autism spectrum that used to shine through when his medication was wrong or when he was on no medication at all and it’s so difficult to parent this child. For instance; Aj doesn’t take social ques and he isn’t good with sarcasm. What you say – you mean. Aj is a very literal boy and if you say “in a few minutes”, when his medication isn’t working, he will stare at that clock for THREE minutes and expect you to drop everything right there because you said “in a few minutes”. That’s just one small example, but the list goes on and it’s so difficult.
Imagine raising a child who never fully “gets” empathy or sarcasm? For me, I am a sarcastic fool but not always as a parent just as a person and when we are playing around in the house I may act goofy and be a little sarcastic in a fun way while playing with the children; you cannot do this to Aj for it will send him into complete melt down mode. Surprises? Forget it, Aj hates surprises so bad he will have a major mood swing meltdown of anger over not knowing what the surprise is – he HATES them. My other two kids LOVE suprises.
I just feel, as of late, that we are going backwards. The pysch says “well I haven’t seen the symptomes of child bipolar in Aj”, and I reply that of course she doesn’t, only his counselor has and a select few people who knew him before medication have seen that. He has been on anti psychotics for over a year now if not two years and that is basically why you are no longer seeing the hallucinations and other symptoms of child bipolar – his meds are working “kind of” but not “fully”. You see, his abilify keeps some symptoms at bay but he really isn’t fully benefiting from the dose he is on. The problem is that based on prior conversations the only other two medications for anti psychotics he can take will have him increase weight again, something he finally is working off from the risperidone side effects. He gained over 30 lbs in a short period of time when he was on Risperidone. I can’t put him in that position again.
It’s such a difficult time and I am fighting to stay strong, it’s getting harder and harder each day with his mood swings, but I once fought for this child without him being on any medication so if he is sort of being helped a tiny bit with medication, that means it’s no where near as bad as it could be. That is what I try to remind myself as I continue moving forward and fighting for my son – that’s my job!
Remember – mood disorders are not a choice, it’s something a person lives with, struggles with and has no control over. Sometimes as people get older they can have better control and coping skills, but sometimes medication is needed to keep that chemical balance going on in the brain. A chemical imbalance is not a choice, it’s something no one has control over. That is really what my seven year old has dealt with since the day he was born and it’s his Dad and Me who will continue to fight the battle to ensure Aj has a chance to be steady in life.
With Thanksgiving and Christmas coming, and watching as Aj’s medication being off is affecting my other two children a lot, I really just hope we can get a solution so that the holidays will be special for us all.