Happy Dance!!

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, Jul 13, 2009.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member


    Before I say the good news- let me preface it by stating that I am not an advocate for people stopping medications just because they start feeling better. This news is good because difficult child has always had a questionable diagnosis and it has always been a doubt in the profs mind, my mind and difficult child's mind whether or not he has issues that necessitate medications at all- except depression but we learned the hard way (twice) that he cannot take AD's.

    Now the good news: difficult child called tonight and told me the psychiatrist there agreed to take him off all medications while he is incarcerated in order to make a determination if he needs them at all. He told difficult child that he's going to decrease him slowly- starting with a very gradual decrease in the tegretol (which was supposed just be given as PRN anyway but they wouldn't do that and had been giving it daily. The psychiatrist told difficult child a quick decrease of tegretol could cause seizures- even though he's never had seizures- I had no idea of that.) Anyway, he talked to difficult child about what to report to the nurse, etc, and I talked to difficult child about some side effects may be a sign that the decrease in medications is happening too fast, while some might mean that he needs to go back on, so make sure he reports just whatever he might be feeling or experiencing.

    I'm so excited!! It's not an issue that I don't want difficult child on medications no matter what- it's a matter of clearing up this doubt. I also explained to difficult child that we could never be sure if he only had bad reactions to AD's and had a hard time dealing with some things, or if he is truly BiPolar (BP) without going thru this process. I sooooo want that question answered. And I am thrilled that they are doing it while he's in Department of Juvenile Justice. Not only does this keep difficult child safe but he really can't get more arrests this way (unless he killed someone which is HIGHLY unlikely in there), but difficult child will always know that he and his psychiatrist went thru this - not me making the decisions- and the others involved in our lives (school district, legal people, etc) will know that Department of Juvenile Justice came to whatever conclusions they do- not me and private psychiatrists. If they determine he has to have MS's and is therefore BiPolar (BP) or has a severe depression that will only respond to MS's (all other diagnosis's that might respond to MS's have been ruled out), then the school district and legal people are going to have to accept it. If he isn't, then the mental health requirements will change to address the issues that we couldn't get addressed before, I hope. I wish it could happen in a psychiatric hospital, but it can't and the legal system and school district would never give as much weight to whatever the outcome is as they will to whatever another "system" decides.

    I also told difficult child that his psychiatrist at home and I tried to make the best decisions we could for him but that there is no easy determination about BiPolar (BP) and I am very sorry if we had gone down the wrong road. I told him it could be the case and I want to do whatever is reasonably possible to find out if he really needs these medications or not. He said not to worry, he understood and it wasn't mine or anyone's fault. (That just made my heart melt- although I know I'll catch it either way at some point when he isn't in such a good mood. LOL!) If he does have to have them, I'm hoping this helps him to understand why and lessens his chances of coming off medications or refusing to take them as he gets older and makes more and more decisions on his own.

    Anyway- I'm just doing a happy dance to get this explored!! I'm sorry for burnning up the board the past few days.

    (For reference- difficult child is currently on Lithobid, tegretol, and seroquel.)
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  2. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Don't apologize for a note like that--it's what you've been working and waiting for forever! Congratulations! It's great the the dr spoke to your son like an adult, too.
    I've got my fingers crossed that this time, they can figure it out correctly.
  3. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Terry! He was started on MS's to begin with after the 1 1/2 hr crime spree that led to the suspended sentence, which occurred 10 days after doubling a dosage of prozac and 3 days after the school district called telling me to come and pick him up because they were putting him on a long term suspension for being uncontrollable. He was on an IEP for ED so they had no right to do that. Anyway, after feeling so much pressure from GAL and others, I pressured psychiatrist to cut his evaluation shorter than he wanted and do something. He diagnosis'd him as BiPolar (BP) and started him on MS's. He had started with a diagnosis of depression with a rule out for BiPolar (BP) by a different psychiatrist, but months later he was evaluation'd by a specialist in pediatric mood disorders who did not think he was BiPolar (BP) and neither did the psychiatrist at the last psychiatric hospital- at least neither of them were ready to put that label on him just yet. FWIW, difficult child was still unstable every late winter/early spring, and secondarily in the fall, even on various MS's and every period of instability started with major signs of depression.

    I know most here already know this history, I just thought I'd throw it out as a reminder and for any newbies.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2009
  4. Josie

    Josie Active Member

    It sounds like a good plan and good that he will have constant supervision while he does it.
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm really happy to hear your news. Hopefully this trial will prove something concrete and give difficult child a second chance to go down a better road if it seems to be the case that the first one was in fact not right. Hugs xo ML
  6. everywoman

    everywoman Active Member

    I'm glad you are getting this done now. It is the right setting to see what is really needed.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Ladies! I requested it but it had to be up to psychiatrist alone since difficult child is in Department of Juvenile Justice and not officially in my custody. I never did get to even speak with this psychiatrist so I was concerned that he wouldn't do it- especially since he is just contracted to go to each facility and only sees the kids a few mins every month or so. He wouldn't know any of difficult child's history about medications and diagnosis's if I hadn't just gotten it to the head psychiatric and asked her to forward it to him.
  8. Christy

    Christy New Member

    Sounds like a good plan for getting a baseline. You use the word incarcerated and I need to go back and read your previous post to get the background, but I am assuming that he will have adequate medical supervision and be kept safe during this process?

    I hope this sheds some light on getting a correct diagnosis and a fresh start!

  9. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    That's just great news! Glad he's going off the medications in a controlled environment. Great job, MOM!
  10. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    It sounds like it will be a good thing to get a baseline and hopefully a clearer picture of his need (or not) for medication. I will do the happy dance with you!
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Well, he won't be as supervised by a medication prof as I would want. But, he is supervised 24/7 and kept on a regular schedule moreso than a psychiatric hospital would do. One advantage is that if he's having trouble sleeping as he adjusts, he could just get up and go talk to a nursse all night at a psychiatric hospital and the next day, the psychiatrist would rx something for it, probably. Where he is now, he won't get into trouble, but he would have to sit in the dark all night then wait for infor to get passed to psychiatrist- which could take days. That might sound mean of me, but I think it can be difficult to distinguish between needing to adjust to sleeping on schedule without medications and being hypomanic sometimes. So even though they are primarily behavior-focused, maybe that can serve to keep difficult child from looking for a medication solution if he doesn't really need it. ( I was accused by school district and PO and family of just getting medications for difficult child for things he could control.) In either case, this process should make things clearer. I really hope he doesn't get manic then have as difficult time getting stable as some have. That would be the worst, but you know, at least it should be obvious to everyone what we are dealing with then.

    I'm going to call his therapist today to make sure she is telling all staff around difficult child about the medication decrease and that they need to watch for certain changes of behavior, etc. I don't want difficult child blamed if he should become truly hypomanic or manic. I think I better call the school district there, too. They even told me to call them if psychiatrist went this route to make sure they were aware of it so they could touch base with his teachers and catch any signs of hypomania (excessive talking in class, etc) early. He has been getting good marks for behaving well, cooperating, and trying hard to follow all rules, so as long as someone is paying attention, they should be able to spot any sudden change to hyperness, agitation, etc.

    I'm a lot more concerned about the lithobid withdrawal than I am the tegretol.
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2009
  12. Mandy

    Mandy Parent In Training

    I just wanted to pop in and say Good Luck on the journey with difficult child. It sounds like there is a good plan to monitor while going off the medications. I am still a little new to all of this so thanks for giving a little back story;)
  13. maril

    maril New Member

    Thanks for sharing the news! Good luck with finding a definitive diagnosis.