July 2, 2012 by Marj Hatzell
I’m often hesitant to be all, “OMFSM THIS AWESOME THING HAPPENED!!!!1!!ELEVENTY!” mostly because eventually the other shoe drops and then I’m all, “Ok. Then. I was wrong.” As hard as it is for me to admit that I’m NOT perfect. INORITE?
But sometimes things are so blinking awesome I must enlighten y’all so that you may share in my good fortune. Because I’m awesome like that.
For example, Bugaboo. He hath sleepeth. It turns out that now that we’ve got him swimming again, he wants to eat more. Eating more means his belly is full and means he is more “regular”. Which means he isn’t waking so frequently because he’s sated and isn’t in massive pain.
And that equates to better sleep. WHO KNEW?
Of course, we’ve also dropped one of his meds like a hot stone. Allow me to ‘splain.
A few years ago, when we were at the point of desperation and no therapy or intervention seemed to work, we consented to trying medicaiton. We knew his neurological condition(s) weren’t going away on their own and only seemed to increase with age.We did a ton of research and felt a stimulant would help the Bugaboo quite a bit. We had already researched it for Bug Boy and he was having wonderful success with it, his performance in school was nothing short of miraculous after a few years of struggling. We knew he had it in him but he needed another tool, another piece of the puzzle, so to speak. Not the Autism Puzzle. Bad analogy, ok?
Anyways, Bugaboo. We tried it. We were desperate. It worked. Quite well, and this is after a few other non-stimulants backfired and we swore we’d NEVER do that again.
He was suddenly not so restless. He was sleeping better. He wasn’t running away quite as much. He put weight on, a year or so passed, dose increases helped but then we switched to a new formula. Similar results.
In other words, improvement. But never what we were looking for.
Then this past spring happened and the boys both had MAJOR episodes. We were left reeling, our house was in chaos, I was often in tears. I was dealing with my father’s death, my medical issues and the boys’ were barely staying glued together.
We ended up seeing a few doctors to try to figure things out and to see if we could bring my boys back from the dark side. And in the past few months, we’ve crawled our way back, day by day, minute by minute.
New diagnoses, tossing out the old diagnoses. Basically, two BRAND! NEW! SPECIALISTS! both agreed (second opinions that say the same exact thing? I believe them) agreed that Bugaboo never truly had ADHD. In fact, although they were reluctant to diagnose anything so young (but knew they kinda had to because of BS insurance crap) they also both agreed that what Bugaboo was experiencing was ACTUALLY MANIA.
As in Bipolar Mania.
Yep. Nine years old.
But if fit. It was as though I could finally see through the fog. It made sense. All of the sleeplessness, the mood swings, the hours of sobbing followed by hours of maniacal laughter followed by his swings of self-injurious behavior. It all fit. It fell into place.
It made sense.
Since then we’ve stopped some meds, started others and got back into the groove. Bugaboo is back to being a happy Bugaboo. He’s thriving. He’s eating. FOR THE LOVE OF FLYING SPAGHETTI MONSTER HE IS SLEEPING!!!!! He’s back to going back outside. He’s wanting to do the things he loves again. He is doing much better at school again. He is happy. He’s being a child.
Which includes stomping off to his room and slamming his bedroom door like every other kid does. (Be careful what you wish for, yo!)
But there was still an edge to things, see. So last week, we stopped the stimulant. And the results were immediate. While they helped a few years ago, stimulants are no longer appropriate for him. They make him edgier and crankier. He doesn’t sleep as well. He barely eats. And they were messing with his bowels.
The seizure meds that also happen to control his wicked rapid mood swings? AWESOMESAUCE. The stimulant? NOT SO MUCH.
This is just the way our life goes. Ebbs and flows. Ups and downs. Good with the bad (and every other cliche you could possibly think of).
It’s the ciiiiiircle of liiiiife.