Monday, January 16, 2012

A Weak, Yet Manic Day

Today has been a bad day. Ethan is still suffering from the effects of the old ADHD meds and it is causing these behaviors that I would call manic-like. His brain is going a million miles a minute, and his mouth is following at the same pace! There are tantrums, lashing out at family members, both verbally and physically. He is paranoid and obsessed about certain things and no matter how patiently or calmly I try to talk to him about these things, it simply sends him over the edge...and this is just a small sampling of what we've been going through today!

As a mom, on a day like today, I'm simply helpless! I try very hard not to dwell on the negative, and I usually do a good job...moving my child from his upset place, to a place where we can work things out by jumping, playing in water, or whatever other sensory activity that is needed to get his body and brain back to neutral and working again.

But today, I admit that I have been weak. I can't stand to see my child like this...when his body is shaking and his heart is racing. I hear the things he's "seeing" or "visions" and I know that is not my child. I hear the terrible words my child is saying, the things he wants, what he wants to happen, and knowing that those words are not his.

I'm the mom, the one who kisses the boo-boo's and makes everything better. I bring lunches to school that are forgotten, I hug teenager's who have broken hearts, I give moral support to a small boy getting shots...but to see a child, MY child, going through what he is going through right is heartbreaking!

My mind screams that this is not fair to him! Does he not suffer enough with what he has already been given to work through in his life? He has sensory issues...and I learned everything I could about that and we moved on. He has auditory processing issues, and again, I learned everything I could about that. I educated them at school and we moved on. They confirmed that he has ADHD and I learned everything about that and the medications given and with the gracious help of our pediatrician, I cautiously move on until our next conference. The school system confirmed that he has Asperger's, a high-functioning form of Autism. Again, I learned everything I could, I educated everyone who came into contact with him and daily, we move on.

Those are a lot of disorders to stick a child with. We have had up's and down's, but up until the end of last summer, life was pretty great! But to now discuss a possible addition of co-morbid disorders, caused by the previous ADHD medicine he had been's just so unfair. I hate that there are meds out there that can completely change a child's life for the better, while that same med can completely ruin another child's life. No medication is either great or terrible...because every child, their body and the way medicine metabolizes in their body is different. The trick is always finding what works for YOUR child! But I never thought of what happens when a medicine makes your child worse, when they regress, when you feel like you have to check on them every 10 minutes just to make sure they are safe! I never thought I would be doing that...but now I am!

People have said to me that they could never be as strong as me and deal with everything I have to deal with. My usual answer is that if it was your child, you would find the strength. Today, I said that I was not going to be able to handle this new part of our life...but I will...I have to. He's my child. He's my responsibility. And I will do anything and everything I can for him.

Please let me know if any of you have experienced anything like this. I would love some advice...this is truly the hardest thing we have gone through in his 10 1/2 years...


  1. Hi Meredith- I just found you from your comment on my blog. I gotta say how sorry I am, this sounds so frustrating. I know with even the simplest things I want to solve them for my boys- I don't know how you do it. You are doing an amazing job and need to remember how important you are. He IS your biggest fan xo.

  2. Thanks for you positive words. He was filling better this morning, so as always, I have only hope for the day. Luckily, we have a great team that works with him at school and they have already been informed, so I won't worry unless they call.

  3. Meredith-
    Thank you for being a follower of Cherry Blossoms and thank you for your comments on my blog! Have a lovely day!

  4. Hi. I hope today is a better day, I am also dealing with my 7-year-old boy who was diagnosed with DAMP and we were told there is the possibility of the diagnosis changing to Aspergers. Although our situation is not identical, I know how you feel. Our children tend to hold themselves together as much as they can, but when they reach Mom, they let all their frustration flow, verbally and physically. There are days when I think I won't make it through to bedtime. Given all this, I know I am fortunate, although he has some side effects from the ADHD medicine they are minor in comparison to the benefits and they only appear when he has been off and goes back on. I am also fortunate because with all the challenges my son gives me, he also gives me great joy. At times like these we have to remember that for all the bad stuff we have to put up with, there is the other side of the coin which is as joyful as the bad is frustrating. Have strength, hang in there, know that you are not alone, many of us are going through similar trials. I was one of those people who thought I couldn't handle a child with these many problems, I have been proven wrong. I'm sorry I don't have advice, just encouragement. You can do this.

    1. Thanks for the encouragement. He had a better day yesterday and today he seemed a little dazed, but still nowhere close to the way he was on Monday. They are having benchmarks at school both yesterday and today and I know he did well yesterday, so we'll see about today. And you're right, he does usually hold everything together until he gets home, but what we saw Monday was just something different. I really questioned how I would make it until bedtime, but we did. I guess that's a blessing for us mom's of kids with special needs...even when things seem the darkest, we somehow keep going and make it through!