Sunday, August 14, 2011

I want to run away

It's days like today that I envision myself packing a bag and catching the first bus out of town.  I think if it weren't for my boys, I could.  I know that sounds awful, it sounds awful to me! 

I just can't do this anymore. 

I can't take the rages.

I can't take the ups and downs. I hate seeing her happy as a clam one moment and a evil monster spewing obscenities, clawing and growling the next.

She is obnoxious and difficult to control.  An example:  She picked up a heavy metal chair and launched it across the room at me! She's just 6 so the chair didn't go very far, but what am I going to do in 2, 4, 6 years???  She is only going to get worse and more difficult, if not impossible to handle by myself.  Damage control will be much more difficult. 

I said a prayer today during her rage:  "Thank you God that she is the youngest!"  I can't imaging having younger children around that I would have to keep safe from her.

We started a new medication on Friday. A mood stabilizer called Trileptal.  Could this be the result of that change????  I was assured it was very rare to cause these kinds of problems.  We were told "Either it would work, or we wouldn't see any changes at all".

I'm just not buying it.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

...there are calm days among the storm.

Yes, almost as if I'm IN a fairytale.

Today, Kit has smiled.  She has laughed and there have been *no* rages.  It's awesome.

No, things are not perfect, but she's a child! The difference is, she is behaving like a typical 6 year old right now.  Arguing with her siblings and balking because she cannot watch TV all day long. *grin*  I openly welcome simple disagreements such as these.

It's so wonderful to see the sparkle in her eyes.  It's so often missing when the big dark cloud hovers over her head.

I wish every day could be like this.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Maybe she could control herself?

.... unfortunately this is not a fairytale and she cannot.

As I sit here typing this I am watching little Kit in the other room spinning, jumping, darting from one side of the house to the other.  She giggles dramatically or lets out boisterous screams as if she loves the sound of her own voice.

If you didn't know better you'd probably think this child suffers from a pretty bad case of unmedicated ADHD, but we know better.  You see she isn't always like this.  One day she is, the next day she's walking around with a little black cloud over her head.  Very down and angry about everything in the world around her.

As I try to write this post, I have intervened several times as the things she is doing are unsafe. Things such as climbing to the top of furniture and jumping.  Messing with or getting in the face or even climbing on one of our 150+ lb. dogs. (Mastiffs)  Trying start her toy on fire with the candle that was lit on counter.  Things she knows very well are not allowed and are outright dangerous, but she simply can't stop herself.  If we were out and about, she would be touching everything in sight or darting out in front of cars. 

Spanking does not help, time out is a joke.

It's barely 10am and I am exhausted.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

6 year olds don't need Psychotropic Medications

...unfortunately,  this isn't a fairytale and some 6 yr olds do.

I believe the Celexa is finally out of her system now (after going off it cold turkey 7 days ago) and we can clearly see the difference between her with and without it.  Neither one is very pleasant.

Without the Celexa:  We have "Black Cloud" girl.  She is very dark and moody.  Extremely irritable.  Anyone who looks at her is sure to get screamed at.  The entire family walks on eggshells around her so as not to set her off almost as if she is a ticking time bomb.  Frequent, severe rages and very impulsive.

With the Celexa:  We have "Crazy Hyper" girl.  Bouncing from one wall to the next.  Cannot sit still.  Racing thoughts; cannot stop talking.  Cannot sleep.  She definitely seems happier, but it's way over the top!!  The Psychiatrist (Pdoc) thinks this was actually signs of Mania or Hypomania, thus why she had us take her off of it immediately. Kit will likely have a Bipolar dx in the future like her birthmom- though we're not ready to go there just yet.

Now that we have "Black Cloud" girl back, I am even more convinced that no amount of good parenting or special classes are going to help our child.  I'm starting to really feel like we're doing the right thing.  I mean, if your child has Asthma you wouldn't hesitate to treat them with medication right!?  My child has a mental illness (and likely FASD) and if she requires medications to help her function then who am I to deny that? 

*SIGH*...  why am I still battling such an internal war with myself about it!?!?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

...there are never horrible, rotten, no good, very bad days.

Today, was one of those days.

I knew from the moment I opened my eyes that it would be based on the high pitched screams coming from the living room.  Yes, by 7am I can usually determine the mood in the air and what our day will likely entail.  I usually put a smile on my face and greet her with happy greetings hoping to turn her mood around, but it never works. Unfortunately.

One of my boys is currently in Physical Therapy twice a week for some pains in his ankles.  I absolutely DREAD taking Kit along.  It is an hour long and she simply c.a.n.n.o.t hold herself together that long.  Unfortunately, today I had no choice.

As we piled out of the car it became clear to me that we were going to have serious issues.  First she refused to get out of the car.  I took her hand and led her out, grabbing her pink princess backpack filled with art supplies and books to help keep her entertained.  She screamed, yanked her arm away, ran to the other side of the car and got back in.  She sat there pouting with her arms folded across her chest.  I knew at that moment it was going to be a battle and I was quite nervous about it because these battles (in parking lots) often lead to her darting off without any hesitation or concern about CARS.  I hesitated, turned and told my son to head on inside.  I knew I would need to tread very carefully here. I leaned into the car, sternly talked to Kit explaining that we needed to inside.  I gave her a choice, asking if she wanted to carry her backpack in or if she wanted me to carry it.  THAT went no where so I changed strategy and tried to bluff her.  I said, I'm going inside.  If you don't come with me, you're going to be in this very hot car all by yourself!  (Disclaimer:  I would never actually leave her in the hot car for any amount of time.)  She didn't take the bait which kind of surprised me and make a very long story short, I basically had to drag her in.

Then I sat there in the waiting room for over an hour while being kicked, pinched and hollered at.  Her opositional behavior was over the top. 


me:  I'd be happy to give you a drink of water.  Here.... (unscrewing the cap)


me:  (rescrewing cap)


me:  You said you didn't want it!?


me:  I'm happy to let you have some.  Here... (unscrewing cap)


You get the picture.  After about 5 minutes of that game I was done.  Of course, anyone that walked in the door after that point probably thinks I'm the worst mom ever for not letting my poor child have a drink of water! 

I'm completely raw by now.  Tears began streaming down my face and I was seriously contemplating what I would do with her.  The Pdoc is out of town for the week, I feel like my hands are tied!

She laid across the couch in the living room and grumpily colored in one of her books.  Her feet kicking at me every so often as if she needed me to know how grumpy she was.  Every time she couldn't find the right color crayon- it was MY fault and she would scream at me.  Once even reached over and slapped at me! 

The tears came flowing some more. A woman sharing the waiting room with us, watched my daughter as if she had 2 heads.  I'm sure she blames me.  I mean, why shouldn't I be able to control a 6 yr old!?!?!

The whole way home I cried silently to myself.  I feel completely helpless when she behaves this way. 

Sunday, July 31, 2011

Medication struggles

We started Kit on Intuniv first.  The Psychiatrist (Pdoc) thought was that perhaps if we can help her to control her impulses, then she may have less mood swings and rages.  (Because she feels more control over herself) Frankly it kind of made sense to us. Knowing that Intuniv is one of the mildest medications of that kind,with very few side effects gave us satisfaction that it couldn't hurt to at least try.  We did and it seemed to help.  Some.  We decided to go ahead and continue it.

Unfortunately, it did not help her to be able to better control herself and so at our last appointment we talked in depth about the risks of giving a mood controlling medication to someone with a family history of bipolar.  For some reason, that class of medication can actually trigger Mania and cause them to be much worse.  We decided to proceed with caution.  Our reasons?

1.  It's summer and this would not interfere with school in any way.  We can fully monitor her in the comforts of our home.

2.  This will give us a big clue as to which direction her treatment should go. It's still not clear whether her behaviors are due to a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder *or* whether she is showing signs of early Bipolar Disorder.

We started her on a VERY low dose of Celexa.  (1/4 of the lowest prescribed dose)  I was comfortable with that.  Within days she seemed to be doing so much better.  We had almost a week of the wonderful, sweet side of Kit that is rarely seen.  It was awesome.  And then, it seemed to taper off.  So we increased the dose and it was as if someone flipped the switch.  She was bouncing off the walls as if she had consumed an entire can of Mt. Dew!!  She had racing thoughts, raw emotions and all but stopped sleeping.  All signs of Mania. My husband and waited and watched for signs of improvement for several more days before throwing up the white flag in defeat.  I called the Pdoc who instructed us to immediately stop the medication.  She said because Kit was already on such a low dose we didn't need to taper off.  At this very moment I am SERIOUSLY concerned that we should have anyway because things are even worse.  I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she will come down soon.

It's so scary to see her so out of control of herself.  I so badly need someone to talk to, it seems like there is no one that understands what we are going through.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

...a lot can change in 5 yrs

5 years ago, if you had asked me what I think about children taking psychotropic medication, without skipping a beat I would tell you that was outright crazy.  Once again, those freaking parents need to PARENT their children, not medicate them!!  5 yrs ago, my daughter was still just a baby struggling with severe developmental delays- likely attributed to the choices her birthmom made while pregnant with her.

Sure, we had taken all the classes required of us as foster parents.  You know, the classes outlining the good, the bad and the ugly that can come from these children exposed to more in utero than most of us will be in our lifetime.  But I thought our situation would be different.  We had all the best Doctors, intense therapies.  She was loved and doted on 110%.  That would make her outcome better.  She would be okay! 

5 yrs ago, I must have had my head in the sand.

So you can probably imagine the fierce inner war I had with myself as I drove to the pharmacy to drop off my daughters first prescription from her Psychiatrist.  I was literally making myself sick with anguish.  How did it come to this?  How could I allow them to prescribe her medication??  How would I let these mind altering chemicals pass through her lips???  What kind of mother had I become????

...and then from the backseat of my car, a rage began. The rages often begin in the car for reasons I have yet to understand.  Kicking, screaming and thrashing about.  Seat belts are restrictive so she always removes hers and tosses around in the backseat like a bouncy red ball.  Words cannot describe the intense feeling of helplessness when you are driving down the highway at 70mph and your child is in full hysterics in the backseat.  I immediately pull over to remedy the situation.  I grabbed her and held her firmly in her booster seat with one hand while I installed a carseat lock with the other.  I got back in the car and continued on my way, trying to keep my cool so as not to add fuel to the fire.  All the while she alternates kicking the back of my seat and slapping the back of my head with her shoe and belting a high pitched scream. I've long ago learned there is no reasoning with her during this these episodes.

At that moment, I decided I would fill that prescription.  Our daughter needed help so badly, she was out of control and we had already tried everything else humanly possible to help her. 

A lot can change in 5 yrs.