If you are not familiar with this child of mine, please read more on site at the Mood Disorder category to get yourself familiar with some of the back story, or just read along here if you wish! The gist? My son Aj is 7 years old and he long ago ended up being diagnosed with Mood Disorder – NOS as well as Anxiety – NOS. This is my update regarding the fact that he has not been on medications since January 20, 2014. I use these blog posts as a way to document my observations while we wait for him to see a new psychiatrist and to possibly help others in their own lives.
It has been 8 days since my last update regarding Aj not being on medication and how frustrated I was starting to get with some of my observations, I will tell you this – raising a child that has all of these symptoms and is not a text book label for a diagnosis really is draining physically as well as emotionally on his whole family. Having a child that needs extra extra attention does take away from the other children and can create this domino effect of spiraling downhill, but we are a strong united family and work hard every day to ensure we keep our happy during these challenging times.
We have met with the counselor since my last update and it was decided that Aj, while he does have an underlying mood disorder, has also picked back up with some learned behaviors. This was of no surprise to me when Aj’s counselor stated this because after months and months of Aj being off kilter, it has been difficult to be consistent as a parent. When Aj is not on proper medication, or not any medication at all, his reasoning and logic skills go out the window. This is a child who seriously believes that he did/does no wrong and he also truly cannot remember when he did something only moments ago. It’s difficult, sometimes near impossible, to get through to your child when he is like this. I admit that I am only one person so when my level is full, I will let some things slide. This is my bad and something I made a clear conscious effort to work on since our last counseling session.
Aj came home from school after a weekend with his Dad acting absolutely out of his mind. I could not get a handle on him and had to restrain him in a basket hold multiple times. Mind you, my son is 53″ tall and 99lbs, I am 66″ tall and 220lbs. My strength is gone because I haven’t been working out and I am not quite tall enough to get the proper grip on his legs with my legs during these restraints, it literally takes every ounce of my energy to keep this child restrained properly until he has moved to a calm state of mind. Later on that day I found out that Aj hadn’t gone to bed the night before at his Dads home until 9pm, which is too late for my son to be sleeping on a school night. Without sleep, this is what happens — Aj is irritable, out of control and has to be restrained frequently. It’s a nightmare to say the least.
Tuesday came along and Aj didn’t sleep very well the night before, I was starting to get nervous, but there was a snow day and other kids were getting sick so we stayed home for the half day of school that was called. I had a great day with Aj on this particular day. Very minimal issues and he even served a time out without having to be restrained. Progress!
As of this date I am typing this, February 20th, Aj is now taking to time outs without restraining, he has reluctantly accepted a time out and I have not had to restrain him since the Monday prior to this date. The home front is doing better as far as symptoms of Aj, he is having a hyper manic style bipolar episode these past couple of days but I will take it, it’s better than irritability. I did, however, receive a phone call from the school nurse at end of school about Aj’s behavior in school that day. Apparently Aj was irritable, having odd body movements, very itchy and fidgety all day long. Aj was unable to focus and was rather bouncy. I replied to the nurse, “welcome to what I live with. This is Aj not on medication and this is the real Aj”. I am not trying to make light of how my son is but in all reality there is little that can be done until we start seeing the new psychiatrist, the prior one was an intern and has left that facility, since Aj is seeing a new pysch in the beginning of March there is no point in setting him up at the old facility with a new person. So we wait. We watch. We communicate with the school and we make sure to stay strong to keep those learned behaviors nipped in the butt!
Oh … and we love Aj with all of our hearts, that goes a long way to make a kid struggling feel more secure!