Bumping medications (again) for difficult child 2

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by gcvmom, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We're still on the road towards stability with difficult child 2 -- and I guess we're not quite there yet, but I don't think it's going to take too much longer. At least I hope. Gee, he's 12 1/2 and first started medications at the age of 4 1/2... I guess 8 years of trial and error isn't so bad if it will mean he gets the rest of his life on track. :tongue:

    He's been walking a fine line of stability lately -- just one missed dose of his morning Depakote (which is only 25% of his total daily Depakote) and/or one missed dose of his lunchtime Seroquel (which is about 1/3 of his daily dose for that medication) and within 30 hours or so he's starting to have racing thoughts and his behavior begins to unravel. :(

    Initially the psychiatrist just had me bump the evening Seroquel by one tab for a week to get him back on track, but lately that hasn't even been enough. So we had labs for Depakote levels checked last week and found out today it's a tad low (80), so tonight we increased the evening Depakote by one more tablet (now up to 1,000mg at night plus the one 250mg in the morning). I probably won't lower the Seroquel (now at 800mg pm) back to the original level (700mg pm) until we're at least a month at the new Depakote level.

    But for all the dozens of medications he's been on in his dozen years of life, this really seems to be the best combo so far. He is more in touch with his own feelings. He is articulate. He behaves and does not try to provoke people (unlike difficult child 1!). He is caring. He shares things without being asked. He is consderate of others and actually thinks to do things for people without anyone else suggesting it. He is warm and affectionate. He helps when asked (might grumble a bit like any 12yo, but he eventually does what he's asked).

    Gosh, I REALLY am encouraged!!!

    Just wanted to share this for anyone else out there starting down this path, or dealing with similar issues. I never realized it would take this long or be this complicated. But the patience and persistence is paying off. :peaceful:
  2. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm glad you're continuing to see improvement with difficult child 2! Your hard work and patience is really starting to pay off. :thumbsup:
  3. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks for sharing the positive news and it is good you are encouraged! He sounds like a wonderful young man, and I bet you are very proud of him.
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    I'm glad you are seeing some good results with difficult child. Thanks for sharing this. We are just starting down this road (for the second time) with difficult child 2 and it is encouraging to see that it can work.
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    It really can take a long time, especially for kids who are growing constantly. I have been on medications now for almost 10 years and we are still playing with them. I really had to play with them after being sick because my brain got fried...lol.

    Tell me, would you know just seeing me that I am on a boatload of medications? Do I appear "medicated"? I dont think I do. Now at night, after my sleepy-time medications, sure I am a bit tired but I dont have the thorazine shuffle.

    I have worked hard to get my medications to a place where they seem to keep me somewhat stable but also allow me to appear fairly normal. I dont think I could handle being overly sedated constantly.
  6. Fran

    Fran Former Site Owner

    :beautifulthing: Thanks for the good news thread. He is making a lot of progress. I must warn you that we found the hormones of puberty caused a great deal of upheaval then started to settle around 15 for my difficult child.
    Hopefully this will not be an issue for you.
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    TM, Maril -- thank you! Yes, I am proud of him, even when I'm tearing my hair out over his difficult child-ness ;)

    FOP, I hope you get to a good place soon, too with your difficult child 2.

    Janet you absolutely do NOT come across as someone who's even medicated! I think that's where we have to give a nod to modern pharmaceuticals in that they've come soooo far in developing drug options with side effect profiles that are tolerable. Our difficult child's are fortunate to have those options available to them.

    Fran, I hear you! He gives us glimpses of it every now and then when he gets put out over something he has to do. I'm getting some angry looks at times, but he deals with it pretty well I think. Not anywhere near the oppositionality we get with difficult child 1! But he's definitely more mature these days than his older brother ;)
  8. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a great post! I'm so glad he is doing so well. I'm just grinning from reading this:bigsmile:
  9. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Glad you've found the right combination for him!
  10. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    Thank you Sharon and Mary! :)
  11. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    I can so relate to your post!

    Son just turned 13 and has been on risperdal (after trying lots of other medications)for years, but then at about 12, things began to spiral out of control which I attributed to growing and especially puberty.

    I got a recommendation to take him to psychiatrist that is suppose to really have a gift for prescribing medication combos. I had been resisting it, but things had gotten so bad, I knew it just couldn't go on.

    The psychiatrist started Son very slowly on Seroquel and Lamitcal. Very slowly. It's taken several months, but the last increase seems to have made the difference. Oh, he's still a PITA at times, but the outrageous behavior has dissipated. He's even been fairly nice to his sister which is something he has always struggled with.

    I'm so glad medications are making a positive difference for your difficult child 2.
  12. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I so hear you!
    We just bumped the Lithium and switched her PRN back to Risperdal-mtabs
    The Lithium is hard because the results are so much slower... I saw the reactions to Depakote a lot faster.
    I am so glad that he is doing better over the years.

    It is funny, our psychiatrist once told us that only a parent of a difficult child could actually think puberty was easier at times than the rest of life!
    She has a son who has BiPolar (BP) and she told us that the rest of the "stuff" that he went through prior to puberty made that seem almost easy!
    She found that once it got going it kind of evened him out and he found his "true" Bipolar self... he stopped the complete all over the place moods all of the time.

    But for some it does make it worse, let's hope not. But at least we are ready! Warrior Mom.

    I am like Janet, I don't think there has ever been any one who knows I am on medications. I am on 3 or 4 every day.
  13. crazymama30

    crazymama30 Active Member

    You just described my difficult child lately on abilify. It was hard to have him on 3 different medications, and I realize many kids are on this many or more, but for me it was an adjustment. Therapist has been amazed, before his currrent medication combo we had to do appts in the a.m. only as by afternoon his was too distractable and wound up, and now it does not matter. They can work on many emotions.

    It is a long and hard road, but once you get there it is so rewarding.
  14. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    Wonderful news ~ hope the positive continues for your difficult child (& for you!) ;)
  15. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Speaking of trialing medications. My regular doctor just tried me on neurontin for nerve pain. Well 300 was ok in the evening but if I go any higher ...add it in the am, lunch...anything...Im a walking zombie! I tried taking another pill at night friday and saturday and boy I could hardly get out of bed! Guess this isnt the medication for me. Sigh.
  16. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    That's too bad about the neurontin, Janet. I don't know much about that medication, but can you cut the 300 in half for your second dose? Just thinking that maybe another 300 might be too much, but half might do the trick...
  17. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Capsule...no can do. Sigh. We started it back before I got sick and I cant remember what dose I was on or what it was doing for me or to me. I dont think I was on it very long back then. I really dont have much memory of the fall at all. All my medication bottles from October got taken to the hospital and never returned to me so I cant even tell from that what I was taking or if I had even titrated up fully then. I know that eventually in the rehab hospital they were giving it to me round the clock and I was a complete zombie and I think that is one of the reasons I felt so bad during part of the time I was there. I was constantly extremely sleepy. Well...ummm...they had pulled me off all my medications cold turkey then wham bam, threw me back on them without titrating me up again. I was a literal mess. Just imagine...you are supposed to wean off of topamax and lamictal to avoid seizures but then again you need to titrate up on them to get back up to full dosage slowly. They just abruptly stopped my medications when I went in the hospital. I seized numerous times. Then eventually when they figured out why I seized, they threw me back on my medications but not until I could swallow I dont believe. I remember them crushing them in some sort of liquid. Ick! But they put me back on them at full strength!
  18. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    What a mess is right. Yeesh. It's a miracle you survived the rehab hospital!

    Well, I hope you can find something that works better -- Pain. Not. Good.