Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Nurse Ratched

Well the first try on the medication with Blue didn't go so well -big surprise. I hate Psychiatry and the whole trial and error bull that goes along with it...especially when it comes to my child! But when your child is unraveling before your eyes, feeling helpless and suicidal -you're willing to pull out every possible tool from the toolbox to try and fix it. You just have to be agile, play very close attention and stay in very close contact with the doctor.

This past weekend was just a barrel of fun. I watched him go from a pretty fun-loving kid into his angry,"Blue" alter ego in a matter of moments. It was a beautiful, sunny, quiet Sunday morning.We had a lovely, leisurely, family Sunday brunch planned at a local seafood restaurant. My mouth was watering in anticipation of a long casual meal that would be followed by a lack of Sunday dinner cooking. (NOT!) Instead we had to corral our little boy back home. He decided to run away because his life is so horrible.

"This is all your fault! You're not making it any better! Why is this happening to me? Why does God hate me?" This started over a weather report of rain that was over 300 miles away and had a zero percent chance of coming to our area. I don't know if he heard that part, and he certainly didn't believe me when I said it.

Nothing was right for the rest of the day. I think he finally sat down and watched a movie with his Dad later that evening. However, the rest of us all remained the enemy until bedtime. We were on lock down -no family fun to be had.

Monday morning was met first with a 'parents appointment' with the boy's therapist. A 45 minute session that one of the parents showed up 30 minutes late for. No -I was not that parent. It was the one who needed the appointment the most who showed up late. How did I get two difficult children off to school, drive all the way downtown to meet a friend for breakfast and return her cell phone that her baby girl had slipped into my purse a few days earlier, and still make it to the appointment on time?

"Well -I do have a job you know."
Yes -so do I. Unfortunately, it's not of the paying kind.It does however have a fair share of grunt work!
"But you put this appointment on your calendar a week ago," I reply.
"That doesn't stop the phone from ringing," he says calmly.
"But it should have stopped you from picking it up," I say trying not to sound as highly pissed as I am.
"Well -what did he say (meaning the therapist) that was new?" Wow!
In other words -did I really miss anything important?

After that appointment, I took a little "me time"to decompress at TJ Maxx -the best therapy of all. I found a bottle of "DKNY Be Delicious" because I am -delicious, therefore I deserve this. I walked around for an hour before I could decide if I should spend $30.00 on the $50.00 bottle that I've been wanting since like 2 years ago when I ran out of it. Yes -it did make it home to my vanity.

At 1 p.m. I high tail it over to the middle school to pick up "Blue" for his appointment with the Pediatric Psychiatrist. On our way to the appointment, he told me about a video he watched about children in Africa at school. A light bulb went on for him. He assessed, "Those kids don't have hardly anything, but they are still happy. Americans are really spoiled! We have everything and yet people still complain -like my brother, he's never happy with what he gets. I want to figure out a way to make things more equal for everyone. I have to find a way to change the world.” This alone –made my day. Watch out Barack Obama!

Once we arrived at our appointment, Blue very eloquently told the doctor exactly what has been going on for the past two weeks since we saw them last.

"I thought I was doing better, and then I realized it wasn't the medicine that was making me better. It was just me. Somehow when I got home after school, I didn't feel better anymore. By Friday, I really felt worse. I started drawing on my body where I wanted to cut myself." Heartbreak. Of course, that was the end of that trial with Zoloft. We were given a new medication to try. I am not thrilled about this prospect, but you gotta do what you gotta do.

After we left the doctor, the day was so beautiful. The sky dazzled a hypnotic blue. There were zero clouds, and it was a sweet 75 degrees. We just didn’t want to go home and be between four walls when we could be out absorbing the sun. Off we went to our favorite outdoor shopping area –The Domain where walked and talked. He stopped into his favorite store to browse. That would be the Apple store.

Just as we are contemplating stopping for a bite to eat, my cell phone rings. Home…I ignore it. That usually means my son who wants to bug me about something unnecessary. The message is from my mom.

My husband is in really bad shape and needs me to take him to the doctor. Mind you –he’s been sick for going on two weeks. He was scheduled to leave town again the following day. I had insisted that he see a doctor before the trip because he has had this congestion for so long. Good thing he had that appointment scheduled for that evening. He came home with a high fever, body aches and the whole shebang all over again.

This meant I was off -back across town to pick up my husband for my third doctor’s appointment of the day. As it turns out, he has the flu. There would be no flight the following day. He would have his butt in bed, recuperating, like he’d been refusing to do for the past two weeks. I stop to get his medicine, Gatorade, soup and ibuprofen. I will be playing nurse Ratched for the next couple of days. All while playing Psychiatrist, Therapist, Driver, Cook and Maid.

Flippantly –my 22 year old son says to me last week, “Maybe if you got a job outside of the house…Dad wouldn’t have to work so hard.” I wanted to slap him back into the future where he would have his own difficult children…and maybe he would catch a glimpse of how much it takes to raise them. THIS IS A FULL-TIME JOB! I have three children to care for (including my husband). I add my 71 year old mother that mix. I am responsible for taking her to the doctor, dentist, grocery shopping, and to get her hair done (which is much more often than I get my own hair done mind you.)

Just call me nurse Ratched running the crazy ward –only I’m a lot nicer, at least most of the time.


  1. The meds trial-and-error process is so intense!! We've been through several rounds of it: observing, logging, reporting, tweaking, repeating...

    Sending prayers for your comfort and strength.

  2. It sounds like you had a tough day (or a tough week).

    Just a point to make about medication... You went to the doctor because obviously the Zoloft wasn't working and he gave you a new medication to try.

    We're going through the same thing with my youngest (my eldest is already on Concerta - and it's working well for him).

    The thing that I'm concerned about with my youngest is that the doctor is trying different medicines FIRST. Isn't he supposed to suggest different therapies first and then, only when they fail, suggest medications?

    (btw: sorry if I'm being "forward" and you've already unsuccessfully tried the various therapies).

  3. Gavin -Thank you for your comment.
    Yes...we've done other therapy, groups, equestrian therapy etc. The problem is that his anxiety is so off the charts lately, he can't really absorb anything from the therapy. He just leaves the therapist office more frustrated than when he came in.

    I received a comment from another parent who suggested a Pediatric Neurologist instead of Psych. I will be looking into that tomorrow. This process is frustrating.

  4. Thank you Terri! Much appreciated. It is an agonizing process.

  5. Ugh! You seem to have so much on your plate, and I have no idea how you manage. I have only one child with Aspergers, and there are days I feel like I need a one-way ticket to the funny farm, so I think it's magnificent that you devote so much of your love and time to your family. They may not show it now, but someday your boys will thank you and have appreciation for your sacrifice.

    We used a medication called Buspar that worked wonders for our son's anxiety a few years back. It's one of the safest anxiety meds with virtually no side effects. If you've tried it before, just disregard my unsolicited advice! ;O)

  6. Thank you Keri for your comment.

    I do have my hands full. I try to take breaks to help me get through the tough times.

    I will check look up info on Buspar. Thanks for the tip!

  7. Hi! I am the niece of organicgreendoctor. He forwarded your blog to me as I have a 21 year old Asperger son and thought I could relate to your challenges! After reading the first few lines, it was more than just reading a blog - I was right there with you sister! We've been through various meds (especially during puberty), various therapies, and struggle to find a doctor in any modality who actually understands an Asperger kid. I enjoyed reading your blogs and want to encourage you that you are not alone in your challenges! If you ever need to vent - one mom to another who will understand and not be judgmental - feel free to give me a shout! Hang in there!

  8. Oh Sue thank you so much for reading. It sounds like you would be an great resource since you have stood in my shoes and you now have a 21 year old son. I often wonder where my 15 year old will be at that age. I would love to bend your ear. Can you e-mail me?