Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Monsters Everywhere

“There are monsters everywhere!”

These are the words that came from my son’s mouth last night as he appeared frightened beyond my own understanding. He quickly fell to the floor and covered his eyes to block out the scary world he saw around him. This all started after he came to me feeling so sad he was sobbing because he thought I didn’t love him anymore.

Sometimes, he wanted to get away from me, other times he begged for me to hold him. At one point, he began trying to fight back. But this wasn’t like a rage. His movements were lazy, lacking the fire we usually see. He was weak and it was easy to hold him down.

Following an episode of scary screams he began to sudden down. When I asked him what had happened, his demeanor changed as he responded with a half smile “I don’t know”. Then he started to laugh. When I asked him if something was funny, he said “I’m surprised how quickly that went by”. He laughs again and says, “I don’t know, I don’t even remember what that was.” When I explained that he looked at me and screamed, he said “Yeah, I don’t know why, it just happens.” When I asked what it is that he sees, he responds, “Monsters.” Then his whimpering begins again as he looks frightened and tries to cover his eyes as he pulls himself into the fetal position.

Then his mood shifts to sad and he begins to cry.

“I don’t know who I am anymore, I feel like you and Daddy died and I’m all alone.”

After he said this he would begin to cry, that is, until he saw another monster. Then I would hear his piercing scream and watch him fretfully cover his head and curl up his body.

“I feel too dizzy...”

This is what he would say every time he would try to stand up. The dizziness kept him on the ground for at least 1 1/2 hours. The dizziness became so overwhelming that he actually threw up.

Then as he started to relax, while lying on the floor, he said that he was seeing monsters. When I asked where they were. He said that there was one under the bed that he could see now. When I asked what it looked like, he said, “A white bunny”. He said that it had a pink scarf around it’s neck. When I asked if it was a nice bunny or a scary bunny, he said “scary”. When I asked if it was a cartoon or a fluffy real bunny, he said, “fluffy”. He said that the bunny was growling at him while holding a knife in one hand and it’s cut off ears, covered in blood, in the other.

Being concerned that the meds were making him sick, we had our neighbor who is a nurse come check out his heart rate to make sure it was regular. It was and we just let him relax until he fully recovered. Once he could stand, we gave him a bath. After that, he appeared like a new kid, smiling and joking with us as he ate dinner.

When I asked if he remembered what had happened, he said, “No, I only remember throwing up.”

I wish my concerns ended there, but this morning he called me into his room after his shower. I found him curled up in a towel crying. When I asked what was wrong, he said that he was having scary thoughts. He explained that he was thinking of the time when I accidently dropped a knife and the time when he grabbed a knife when he wanted to die (bad reaction to Seroquel). I then asked if he thought of hurting himself and he said, “Yes, stabbing a knife into my stomach.”

Within a few moments I was able to cheer him up and he was ready to go to school looking happy and excited about being the library helper today.

* * *

Right now,  I’m anxiously waiting to hear back from our doctors, I’ve left a ton of messages.

I’m sharing this with you because I’m desperate to find out what may be going wrong with my son. I wonder if his medications are causing all this, or if it’s his illness. His nurse has assured me that it’s not possible for the medications to make this reaction, but she’s not sure what is going on.

So for those who may have walked in these shoes, what can you share with me? What do you think is going on?

After this post, I’m going to continue my search for highly recommended doctors within our HMO, I know this may be a long process, but we need help and we need it now!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Home Sweet Home

Well my friends, we’re back home from our family vacation. Everyone is now asleep after a whole day of driving. My son did extremely well, but his illness still showed up during the trip. Which to be honest, I knew it would, but I wasn’t sure to what extent.

My son did a fantastic job on the drive there, our planning really helped to make things go smooth. The trip to the ocean on day 2 was perfect, it was a great family day. On day 3 we took our boys to Legoland. Which if your child is into Legos like mine, you know what a big deal this is.

We took the day nice and easy. My sister, father and step mom were there to offer a ton of support and help with the kids. There was a lot of team work and the kids had a blast. We were very in tune with my son’s limits, once he said he was done with lines, we stopped getting in them. We only went on 3 rides, the rest of the day was spent looking at the amazing Lego creations, which to be honest, my son could have done for many more hours.

But as much as a child has fun in these entertaining environments, limits still exist. Upon calling it a day, my son happily headed to the exit, but once through the doors and into the parking lot, my son started to feel sadness as his moods began to shift and tears started to fall down his checks. I could tell he was caught off guard by it, since he had such a great day. Yet, I wasn’t surprised that his body needed to release all the internal stress from the sensory overload of the day.

Once in the car and on the ride back to my sister’s house, he cried several more times, each time regaining his composure with a hug and words of comfort.

Then he seemed to relax and rest quietly for a few minutes.

Abruptly, he opened his eyes and looked right at me, but I could tell that he didn’t see me. In an instant he became overwhelmed with terror. He screamed out and tried to bury his head into the side of the car, in a panic, trying to get away from me. He was frightened to his core.

I immediately began reminding him that I was mommy and that I wasn’t going to hurt him. It seemed that the more he looked around, the more he was overwhelmed with fear.

I started to instruct him to cover up his eyes. When he did this, he seemed to settle down for a moment, but as soon as he uncovered his eyes, he was back into a scary place. At one point, he said I was trying to kill him, so feeling threatened, he tried to kick, punch and bite me. All while we were driving on the freeway.

Thankfully, my dad remained calm and stayed focus on getting us back to the house while I used my legs to pin him into place and my hands to hold his upper body into the car seat.

I have to admit that I became very scared. I didn’t know what would happen next. Could he get free from me and try to exit the car while on the freeway? Would he in a panic head to the driver’s seat?

I also felt so much sadness for him because I couldn’t imagine experiencing so much fear. It was primal.

Once back at the house, we had to wait for him to calm down to be safely escorted into the house. After several moments, he seemed to change, his muscles started to relax and he told me that he could now see that it was “me” sitting by his side.

At the end of the evening, after a relaxing bath, he was back to himself. Even admitting that he didn’t remember much about the car ride. It made me wonder if he’d entered into a weird sleep cycle where he was dreaming, but looked awake.

But tonight’s behavior has me questioning if it really was that.

This evening, after our drive home, he had a handful of moments where he felt sadness. Once, he explained feeling weird, like he wasn’t “real”. Then, when cuddling with him before bed, he immediately became very irritated by his brother who was walking by, then started acting strange, trying to bite at he. I have no idea what was going on. My husband took over trying to get him to bed, but even he realized that his moods were all over the place.

I know our doctors wanted us to go a week with his meds at max dose, but I’m going to call them tomorrow and see what they think of all this.

In the meantime, it feels good to be home sweet home.

* * *

P.S. Thank you sis for being so generous with my family and giving my boys a great vacation. Love you!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Feeling Thankful

Feeling thankful is an understatement. Today, we arrived at my sister's house after 10 hours of driving and I'm so happy to share that the trip was a success. To say it went well is an understatement.

We left at 4 am and the kids were quiet for the first 4 hours. We were able to keep all the kids content with fun activities, dollar tree gifts every few hours and our most helpful tool, a separate car. My son switched cars about 4 hours in and was able to ride in peace with his grandparents. It was so helpful to have the kids separated when the drive dragged into it's final hours.

Unfortunately for our youngest, vomit was part of the journey, but what's a family trip without a little vomit?

My son seems so happy to be here, he said that he didn't want to miss this trip since he missed the last family vacation, he's also looking forward to our visit to the ocean tomorrow. Thankfully, it's only 15 minutes from my sister's house and the ocean happens to be his favorite place to visit. It should be a very good day.

Even though it's been such a long day and rough week trying to pack, I'm finally starting to relax and let go of all my worries. (deep exhale)

I'm also thankful for so much tonight. I'm thankful for all of you that reached out during this rough week. Your guidance lead me to reach out to our doctors more than once. I'm also so thankful for all of you that said that you were praying for my family during this trip, I really felt the love! I'm so thankful for my 3 flower girls, you help me get through each week with our girl time. I'm thankful for having such a supportive family who are always there for us and my sister who welcomed my 3 bouncing boys into her new home and is cooking us a thanksgiving feast. But tonight, I'm most thankful for my son who got to go on a family vacation and have some fun like a 9 year old boy should.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Visions of Monsters

This week continues to be rough. Today, I’m busy packing for our trip, the boys are on their first day of vacation and bored already. Add to it, my son’s moods have been all over the place.

He’s been very impulsive, defiant and at times running to hide under tables. When he isn’t picking on his brothers he’s feeling sad and crying for no reason. It looks like rapid cycling. Sometimes his moods will be completely different minutes apart.

At one point, I had him go hang out in his room since he was having fun scaring his brothers with his impulsive energy. After a few minutes, I went to check on him and when I walked into his room he was startled, then started to cry. Then something happened. He started to panic, he ran to his bed and started screaming out in terror. His face looked distorted with fright and his pupils seems to enlarge. He grabbed onto his head board and crunched up into the farthest corner of his bed. Every time he looked up at me, his anxiety intensified. He started pointing up to my face and screamed out “MONSTER!!”

I calmly told my son that it was just his mom and that I wasn’t going to hurt him, just help him. He continued to pull into into the corner, whimpering, trying to get as far from me as possible. It was terrorizing him to even look my way. I slowly crunched down towards the floor to appear less frightening and waited for this vision to pass.

After several moments, he came back to his senses and I was able to slowly take him into my arms for a hug. Once he seemed relaxed I tucked him into bed and told him to rest for a bit. Five minutes later he came out to asked who had called on the phone acting like nothing had happened. Then 5 minutes later he came back to me crying saying he wasn’t feeling well and his moods keep changing.

Well that’s our day so far, it’s only 3:45 pm and there’s more day ahead. Hopefully the monster vision won’t return.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

On the Road Again...

When I was a child, I clearly remember our long family road trips. It was back in the day when we didn’t wear seat belts and our van seats folded out into a bed. Thanks to my genius Dad, who installed a black and white TV and the video game Pong into our van, we were the coolest kids around. I remember singing Elvira at the top of our lungs and fighting over who got to sit by the windows. Yeah, we were styling it in our chevy van with blue carpeting up the walls.

As a kid, I didn’t have to think much about our road trip, I just jumped into our family van and enjoyed the donuts that were passed back to me as we hit the road. But now it’s my turn and I have a lot of planning to do.

Call us foolish, but we’re planning a long road trip to visit family. We’re going to be on the road all day with 3 bouncing boys in a minivan. Can you tell I’m a little nervous? I can imagine all the things that can go wrong, the meltdowns and changing moods or I can be prepared and hope for the best.

That’s where you come in. I’m sure over the years you’ve learned a thing or two on how to make your child’s road trip go smooth. So, I’m looking for YOUR expertise, any great advice or lessons learned would be welcomed.

Here are a few things I’ve prepared so far:

1. We’re leaving at 4 am so the kids can sleep off some of the trip. (Sorry Dad, here’s a Starbucks!)

2. Grandparents are driving along separately so the kids can switch vans to mix up the view and company. Also, it will be a way to separate the boys if they’re fighting.

3. I always plan a bag of goodies to help pass the time, you know the cheap stuff at the dollar store.

4. I may bribe with money. I was taught through the Magic 1, 2, 3 series to give the kids spending money for the trip, but they have to earn it through quarters given for every mile they behave well. The better they are, the more money they get.

5. We’re borrowing portable dvd players (thanks to generous friends), we’ll have one for each kid with lots of movies from our local library. It will be a great time to finish up The Little House on the Prairie series.

6. Of course we’ll have their DS games and Dramamine for our car sick kid.

7. Then for Mom, I’ll have my iphone with my favorite podcasts. (Helps to drown out the whining from the back of the car.)

So please, think back to your last road trip and share the good and the bad, I’m sure we can all learn a lesson or two from one another!

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Voice Behind the Door

I’m standing in front of my son’s bedroom door. He’s screaming bad words at me while smashing who knows what against the back of the door. I can feel each strike he makes through every muscle in my body as the walls around me vibrate. His anger is out of control.

I’m still a little out of breath from having to take him up the stairs into his room for a timeout. The locks are once again broken from a previous rage, so I’m having to use all my body weight to hold the door shut. My hands are aching from clenching the metal handle, my heart is pounding fast and my stomach is filled with anxiety.

As the anger is pushed through his screams, he starts to calm down. Then his voice begins to change.

“Mommy”... “Mommy”...

I recognize the voice. The gentle, innocent tone that I remember from when he was 4 years old. An image of my son in a home video, calling out my name, flashes into my mind. In the video, he comes up to the camera and in his unique way calls to me, “Mommee... Mommee...”, it’s the same sound I hear on the other side of the door. It’s like no time has passed, it’s the sound of my sweet boy before his illness. It breaks my heart in two.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Just Another Day & Another Rage

Yesterday, we continued to see problems. When I picked my son up at school I could tell we were going to have a rough day by the look on his face. It turns out that my son got in trouble for jumping off the top of the play structure during recess. As a consequence, he was told that he would lose all his morning recesses for the rest of the week.

As you can imagine, this just set his mood into a downward spiral. For the rest of the day I was constantly navigating his emotions, trying to keep him calm. I even had a problem with him running off in the store and being impulsive.

At the end of the day, when I was at a church gathering, my husband went to put the boys to bed when my son went into a violent rage. My husband noticed that he seemed to intensify much faster than the past and he was very physical towards my husband.

After the mania that occurred last week, we increased his Trileptal again, but I haven’t seen a positive change yet, like we’ve seen in previous increases. I think in my gut I know we may be headed towards an additional medication.

I hate the thought of that. Every medication comes with new side effects and new risks. But our doctors don’t have anything else to offer. Even our therapist told me that if it’s biological, therapy won’t help in the heat of a rage, only medication can.

The other thing I’m struggling with is the school’s consequence. I know my son should have a consequence for jumping off the play structure, but to have a punishment that will last for an entire week is unbearable. This will just continue the downward spiral of his mood. He needs a consequence that is immediate, then he has a fresh start. I also think that his behavior may be connected with his recent instability. It’s very unlike him to do risky things, when he’s stable he’s very cautious. So for him to make such a bold move at school, makes me wonder if his body was still having moments of mania. So to take away recess, a moment where he can get some healthy exercise, seems to be a move in the wrong direction.

* * *

So how does your school handle consequences with your child?

Monday, November 15, 2010

Really People???

Ok, so I’m a little fired up this morning. As I was placing my daily vote for the Pepsi Refresh Project to help the Child & Adolescent Bipolar Foundation (CABF) win $250,000 to help children suffering from depression and bipolar disorder, I took a peek at who is currently in the lead for winning this amazing grant. It’s an organization that wants to help rescue animals in underserved areas.

Really people???

Now, don’t think I’m a total jerk for not showing compassion for animals, I do like animals, but I love our children more. I would be at peace if the winner was runner up #2 who is trying to help babies with cystic fibrosis, now that sounds like an equally worthy cause, but for voters to be putting animals before the wellness of children just makes me sick. What is wrong with us?

People need to realize that our children are seriously hurt by this illness. They are NOT “moody kids” that just like to defy their parents. These kids suffer in a way most of us have never known.

They battle a war everyday inside their heads, fighting against their chemical instincts. They don’t see the joy that surrounds their life because their brain makes them see sadness instead. Their stomachs twist with anxiety when sitting in their classrooms and they’re overwhelmed with the pressure to make friends that they often choose to sit alone during recess while the kids tease them from a far. The simple joys of childhood are taken from them when they can’t enjoy birthday parties, movie theaters and amusement parks. They live everyday feeling like they’ve messed up again when their moods make them act out and the stigma of their illness makes them believe it’s all their fault. Instead of bedtime dreams of being a superhero or king of a castle, they have terrifying nightmares seeing themselves being eaten alive by monsters, every time they go to sleep. During their waking hours they hear voices and see scary men living in dark corners. Sometimes, their bodies are taken over by their illness, making them act out in dangerous ways and other times their illness makes them feel so miserable that they would rather die than live another day. Sometimes, this illness does just that.

My son is incredibly loved but his illness makes him feel “worthless”. I hope people can prove him wrong and vote for this great cause everyday, please, don’t let our animals be valued more than these innocent children that are begging for help.


Friday, November 12, 2010


I’ve been looking forward to this post because I have a heavy heart and I hope that after blogging I’ll feel a little better.

This week my son had his therapy appointment. It was disappointing on several levels, but after the appointment, as we were walking to our parked car, my son ran off. He started darting between parked cars and running between buildings while my youngest cried, afraid his brother was gone forever.

The entire time he had a smile on his face and an impulsive energy about him.

I knew from past experience that if I chased him things would escalate, so I tried to keep a distance. At one point, I had to move our car to another lot to keep him in our sights. Once closer, he started attacking the car with his fists. I coached his brothers to keep their eyes forward, to not look at him since it was obvious that my son was trying to scare them. Then my son started climbing onto the hood of my car and started beating the glass.

When I got out of the car and asked him calmly what he was doing, he said, “I don’t know”, with a smile spread across his face.

I asked him if he was having fun scaring his brothers and he said, “yes”.

He then ran around the car and grabbed an umbrella and tried to stab his brother with it, all the while I was throwing myself across the van to protect my little ones. This struggle went on for moments. It was all so fast, it’s like a blur now. I remember there was a lot of screaming, in a panic I was yelling for him to stop, while his brothers were crying in the car, terrified.

I screamed at my little ones to run out of the car into an office building while I kept his brother at a distance. With all the commotion, I wasn’t surprised when a man approached and asked if he could help.

YES! I was so relieved to have assistance. With the little ones safe inside an office, the man and I approached my son.

At first my son looked confused, he started slowing down and continued to walk away from us, but the man began talking. I was so impressed, he talked and talked, about being a soccer coach, about his daughter wanting to marry a rock star, he went on and on.

And it worked! With a look of total confusion on his face, my son calmed down, I was able to take his hand and lead him back to the therapist’s office.

Once there, our therapist got a first hand look at my son’s transformation. He went from being a sweet boy, full of life and anticipation for the weekend, to a scowling child tipping a table over in the lobby.

His brothers confirm to our therapist that my son wasn’t angry outside, but had too much energy and was having fun.

Once my son had calmed down, he explained that it felt fun and he felt powerful when he was scaring his brothers, like he was big and they were very tiny. He also felt like he could do anything. But he wasn’t able to determine what triggered it all.

The next day our therapist called and asked if this type of thing had happened before. “Yes!” I said. He asked a few other questions, then when he was done he said, “It appears your son was experiencing mania”. He said he wasn’t surprised that the episodes weren’t very long since he was so young and they’re new to his illness, only being present this year.

Inside, I had two distinct feelings that were crashing together. The first, I felt such relief that our doctor was now verbalizing something I always believed to be true. My son has been manic.

Second, I felt a sick feeling in my stomach and a deep pain in my heart.

If my son has mania, things are going to get worse.

When I asked if this now appears to be a case of childhood bipolar. He responded that they don’t want to label kids this young, but he did feel that what we were seeing in my son yesterday looked very different than a kid with typical anger problems.

As he finished the call he said that we should expect a lot of med changes in the coming years and be prepared to add a second mood stabilizer soon. In the meantime, he told me, “We need to hope for the best, but treat aggressively.”

Hmmm... after all that blogging, I still have a sick feeling in my gut.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Curse of Reality TV?

Today, the morning news reported that yet another reality TV star has committed suicide. This is such tragic news and I can’t begin to imagine the pain that the family must be going through. When I hear that the individual was suffering from depression, a part of me becomes filled with fear, could this be something my son will struggle with?

Our pdoc claims there’s a possibility that my son will outgrow most of his symptoms and maybe only have depression as an adult, which she implied was no big deal since a lot society lives with depression and they have many medications to treat it. But you can’t ignore that one of the risk factors of depression is suicide. And this is so frightening to me.

Not only was I disturbed by today’s news report, but I was annoyed by the hype they gave it. They and many other reporters were trying to make the connection that reality TV has a curse (you can google it yourself). I tend to think this is foolish, it may make a good headline to bring ratings, but the truth is, that people are suffering from mental illness all around. So if you pull out a segment of society and put them on TV, they too will have a percentage of individuals suffering from mental illness. You can also make the claim that maybe some suffering from a mental illness that influences high risk behavior may seek out reality TV to start with.

Either way, I feel that these stories have less to do with reality TV and more to do with... reality.

Monday, November 8, 2010

A Different Kind of Cool

This weekend I had the privilege (thanks Mom and Dad) to see Jack Gallagher’s one man show, A Different Kind of Cool. From the beginning, I was captivated as he shared his honest experience in raising a son with autism. There were times when I laughed, which was no surprise since he’s a comedian, but I also had to hold on tight to my tissue because the tears started to flow.

Even though my son has a different kind of illness, I could relate to the pain and frustrations he’s felt. Especially the pointless efforts to “fix” my child. Early on in my son’s illness I read every book I could get my hands on, trying to learn the perfect parenting techniques to help my son get better. It wasn’t long before I realized that his illness wasn’t going to disappear because I used the Magic 1, 2, 3 timeout method. I had to come to terms that I couldn’t fix this.

I could also relate to the sadness he shared in knowing that your child has a serious illness and how it breaks your heart in half. He shared a terrifying experience where he watched his 4 yr. old son being taking out by the ocean. He remained helpless to save his son, only being able to watch it happen from a distance. This story seems to fit my own experience sometimes when I too feel helpless as I watch my son being sucked out by this illness. Like his story, all I can do is watch from a distance, bringing me unimaginable pain.

I also appreciated his honesty when he shared how once his son was given a label of autism, he started to treat him differently, he started to see him through the eyes of the label, forgetting the fun, creative son he was before the diagnosis.

I think it’s easy to fall into this. When our children’s illness takes over our lives, we all can get lost in it. It can be easy to forget that our kids are still those silly, creative, sensitive children under all those screaming symptoms.

As Gallagher states in his show, “They said my son was something, but he is Liam.”

I really like that. I know my son has many challenges, but he isn’t those challenges, he is my son and I’ll love him forever.

* * *

You can read more about this one man show at the following link.

Review by The Autism News:
A Different Kind of Cool

Jack Gallagher’s website:

You have to see this amazing show yourself!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Pepsi Refresh Grant: We Need Your Vote!

CABF is competing for a $250,000 grant from The Pepsi Refresh Project during the month of November. The winners will be decided by popular vote. CABF needs your three votes EVERY DAY this month!

Voting all three ways; follow the two links below and text from your cell phone. 

Vote Online
: Go to http://www.refresheverything.com/CABFhelpsmorekids . This will take you to the CABF Pepsi online voting page. Click "Vote for this Idea". Register once and then you are all set.

Vote on Facebook
http://tiny.cc/cabfhelpsmorekids. The first time you vote via Facebook, you'll be asked for permission to access your information. Click "Allow". This will take you to the Pepsi Refresh Vote & Share application. You will see CABF's project below the search bar. Click "Vote for this Idea". (After you vote, be sure to click "share this idea" to encourage your friends to vote for us on Facebook. Do this every time you vote!) Note: If you don't see our project, search for "CABF".

Text your Vote
: Text 104174 to PEPSI (73774) (Normal text rates apply).

(How do I text?)

Winning a $250,000 Pepsi Refresh grant would truly transform CABF's ability to provide support, information and hope to thousands more families. Thank you for your support.

* * *

Overview of how the grant would be used:


Expand awareness of depression & bipolar disorder in youth
Educate parents about symptoms and treatments
Enlighten the public about teen suicide
Eliminate the stigma associated with childhood mental illness
Extend hope to families raising children with a mental illness

Youth depression and bipolar is seldom discussed. It affects 7% of all children in the U.S., yet only a small fraction receive treatment. We plan to launch an outreach campaign to inform parents about the symptoms of mood disorders and how to find help. The outreach will be accomplished via:

-Detailed Communication Plan

-Online ads

-Bi-weekly webinars

-Weekly podcasts

-Daily social networking

-150,000 brochures & 3 mailings to psychiatrists

Experienced CABF staff members will coordinate the webinars, podcasts and volunteer training. Our trained volunteer corps of 100+ around the US are ready to assist new families and youth who reach out to us in crisis. CABF has the capacity to refresh the lives of so many more youth!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010


Yesterday, I forgot to give my son his afternoon medication. Right now he takes meds 3 times a day. Being type A and all, I preset my iPhone so an alarm bell would go off at each designated time. That way, I would never miss a dose.

So far, this method has worked like a charm. But in a single moment, after turning off the alarm bell and heading to the medication, I was distracted by one of my kids needing something and then completely forgot the medication, oops! My bad!

It’s disappointing that my iphone doesn’t have a sensor to make sure my brain stays on track, maybe Apple can work on that with their next upgrade.

Anyway, the day seemed to go fine, but last night those bad nightmares were back and my son came running to our bed in a fright to sleep with us.

I was actually surprised that a single missed dose brought those pesky nightmares back, we haven’t seen one in such a long time! But another part of me was very thankful that his medication is indeed doing its job.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Halloween Rage

The night was almost over and my 3 boys were heading up to bed after a fun night of trick or treating. In a quick moment, our son became upset with his middle brother and impulsively pushed him hard. As we comforted his brother, he went into a rage.

Dad kept him in his room while he continued to rage for about 25 minutes. He was kicking, hitting and throwing stuff at Dad the entire time, until his body couldn’t fight anymore. After that, he was overheating and having trouble breathing, if you asked me, it looked like a panic attack. He said he felt like he was going to die because he felt so sick. I tried to reassure him that he’d be ok and that he was just feeling the surge of chemicals in his body and that the adrenaline would soon calm down. We covered him with cold wash cloths and worked with him to calm his breathing. He still felt overheated, so we put him in a cold bath for another 30 minutes until he felt better.

In the other room, his middle brother affirmed that he loved his brother whether he was raging or not, he’d always love his brother. The youngest brother anxiously checked the door to make sure he was safe inside his room, so big brother wouldn’t come in, all while they listened to the screams of rage coming from the other room.

After it was all over, our son wanted to talk. He shared that he felt scared. He felt scared of his own strength and what damage he could do during the rage.

So today I called our therapist. I think it’s time to have our son work one-on-one with him. In the past, our therapist has only quickly checked-in with our son, then spent the rest of the appointment alone with me to find out our challenges and teach me how to handle them.

But now, since my son is getting older and is more in touch with his feelings, I think it’s time to try therapy that’s focused on direct communication with my son. Our biggest challenge will be for our son to feel safe and comfortable enough to open up during the session.

As for today, we’re starting our Monday morning a little worn down and my son woke up a little rough around the edges so I’m preparing for what the day may bring by praying and clothing myself with patience.