How the Heck Are We to Survive?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by jal, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. jal

    jal Member

    What an awful weekend. First of all the weather was pretty BLAH for a holiday weekend. I need to vent - husband and I just do not know what to do. Thur I am let out early fom work (yea). I head to pick up difficult child from summer program (husband was supposed too, but he got out early and ran an errand for my mother). difficult child sees me and smiles then proceeds to say "Why are you here so early?" I told him why - then he blows a gasket because it is I not his dad who picked him up. I tell him we are headed to the lake to see grandparents new boat and that husband is already there because he helped them. difficult child gives grief about going - I given him a choice to go home and do nothing until husband's softball game or goto the lake and check out boat. He goes to the lake.

    Doesn't listen!! "difficult child get off the boat, can't go in until its in the water", he climbs on, then on again and again like the English we speak was never his first language. Proceeds to drive us all nuts until he leaves with-husband for the game.

    Fri am- husband goes with a coworker of mine to fish at 3:30 a.m.. They go nice and early then husband is home by 9-9:30a.m. By 8 am difficult child tries to get me up-he complains I need to come out and be with him. He then goes to his annoying side and gets on the bed, gets on me, pushes at me, whines etc. anything for me to get up. He is almost 6. He can get cereal, juice, yogurt etc. to eat. His medications are laid out the night before-he knows the routine. Finally I get up and now he has no need for me - UGH! husband comes home with-a muffin for difficult child. Which difficult child proceeds to eat (on the outisde deck) take a bite, stand up and walk around while chewing-repeat process all while spilling crumbs everywhere (very spacially oblivious).

    Now difficult child wants to go to grandpartents to use his new boogie board-mind you it's not nice weather-overcast and sticky-no sun. We are to go to grandparents after 3 for swimming-boating-cookout. When told not at that moment difficult child goes "I knowwwww". Then asks again in the next 2 minutes and has a major meltdown.

    Gets sent to his room for time out, this causes difficult child to try to run down the stairs and out of the house. He is brought back in - this causes difficult child to begin banging on the glass of his bedrom window, throw things etc. Continues for around 30 min. Several long tantrums this weekend. Drove us nuts at grandparents that afternoon for quite a while.

    Saturday afternoon and Sunday where much more of the same. Asking for things that he knows aren't going to happen, then tantruming and the screaming is unreal. Scream, scream scream - so much over the time I have tinnitus, but it is hel8acious how the kid can scream.

    Last night husband and I wanted to send him away. The amount of stress and unhappiness this child has caused in our lived is unbelievable. Even my parents remarked how it is hard for them to find joy in their interactions with him, because he is so da*n difficult. I ended up crying in my car last night because of all of this and husband ended up joining me. He was so sick to his stomach that he didn't even go into work this am. Honestly, there is so much more that happened than I am posting here as this already so long, but we just do not know what to do anymore. If we can't get some kind of respite or more help someone will end up leaving - we cannot continue to live our lives this way.

    To top it all off husband and I underwent hypnosis to stop smoking this Saturday (let's talk about adding stress fuel to the fire).

    I don't know where to turn.

    Thank you for letting me vent!
  2. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Wow, it sounds like a lot of anxieties at work with him there. That can be really hard to deal with for him and for you. Does he have any appts set up with the therapist? Maybe they could help him with some coping strategies.

    Sorry it was such a stressful weekend.
  3. jal

    jal Member

    He has a ton of anxieties! husband and I have a therapist appointment this Friday. She wants to work with us to help him, but we need someone to specifically with him. We have only seen her once so far and will get more info (I had psted something about this before) but I really feel eventhough we have to treat his problem as a family problem that he also needs some type of individualized therapy.

    He just shows no hint or any type of logical reasoning and seems that he is just an angry kid all the time. If it is not exact or doesn't happen at exactly that moment the explosion is HUGE!
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    When is his next psychiatrist appointment? Are you sure his medications are right?

    I'm sure you know this, but Strattera is an antidepressant that can cause kids to be moody, angry and aggressive. Tenex has been known to cause manic-like symptoms in kids with BiPolar (BP).

    How much Depakote is he taking? When was his last blood draw? What is his blood level?

    Has he ever trialed a different AP? I've heard anecdotally about a lot of kids who don't do that great on Abilify. If he has a lot of anxiety, Seroquel might be a better choice.

    FWIW, we treated my son's ADHD for many years. When we finally stopped treating ADHD and got him on the treatment indicated for kids with BiPolar (BP) (two mood stabilizers plus an AP), his mood stabilized. We had been on the medication merry-go-round for 4 years.

    Hope things settle down soon.
  5. jal

    jal Member

    His last blood draw was the beginning of May and numbers were perfect. He has always been this way - it is not something that is new-it is just something that has never ceased in happening. He's very inflexoble. Very angry. You would think that any kind who gets picked up early and gets to go out on a boat on a lake would be happy? But no this just causes further problems. I do not know if I chalk it up to anxiety, since everytime you try to get him to open up he won't make eye contact and shuts down. The medications haven't changed for over a year now and with the Straterra and Tenex we were trying to help with ADHD and focus, but NOTHING works in that department. We just had a psychiatrist appointment 2nd week of June so I will be hearing from the office I imagine for an appointment in 2-3 weeks for July.

    Some part of me really wonders if this kid is not on the austism spectrum. I mean he shows a lot of the BiPolar (BP) signes EXCEPT he has no trouble sleeping through the night and has NO depression.

    Yet on the autistic side there is trouble with-eye contact and he used to do quite a bit if flapping of the arms. He also used to slap his feet when he walked. Not on the balls or heel, but just slap, slap, slap.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    That was my next question -- has he ever been evaluated for Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)?

    Kids with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) have rigid thinking. They have a hard time adjusting to changes in schedule, which may be why your difficult child can't be happy when you show up early to pick him up.

    Evaluating depression in a child can be tricky. Irritability and anger can be (but are not always) depression.
  7. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    I'd agree with the others about taking a good hard look at his medications. We tried Stattera with difficult child 1 which was great for about a month, then deterioration set in and you would have been convinced that my real name was Rosemary (as in Rosemary's Baby!).

    He was evil, mean spirited, anxious, spiteful and cruel.

    I insisted that we take him off that and when that proved to be right, I insisted that we take him off Concerta as well. He's doing 8 mg. of abilify and he's a different kid. I actually like him now (I haven't for YEARS! if the truth be told!).

    Don't throw in the towel. Cry in the car, cry to us and make sure that you look into the medications!

    Big hugs!

  8. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Rather than looking at the medications now, I'd want him to see a neuropsychologist. This kid has some serious symptoms that are more related to the spectrum than bipolar (My kid was misdiagnosed with bipolar). I would want him to see somebody who understands the spectrum, as well as other disorders, and that is NOT a psychitrist. Few psychiatrists know much about the spectrum and often mistake it for something else (and medicate heavily, when it is interventions that work). Since bipolar medications aren't working, nor ADHD medications, I'd take him in to a different professional for a fresh eye. That's what we did, and we are so glad we did! How was his early development (speech, motor skills, interaction with peers?) How is it now? Does he have an "quirks" that can't be explained? If he is on the spectrum, even if he also has bipolar (which is possible), he will need atypical coping strategies and lots of hands on help from school and the community so that he "gets it" and can function in adulthood. Good luck.
  9. jal

    jal Member

    MWM - He had a neuropsychologist evaluation last summer in preparation of us getting geared up for this past school year. Dr concluded that there were no Learning Disability (LD)'s and that she agrees with mood disorder diagnosis.

    difficult child has had an IEP in place (just completed kindergarden and moving into first grade). He has has a one on one para educator all year and she will be moving into the 1st grade with him. He has many strategies in place and has improved a lot this past school year. Also a behavioral functional assessment was completed towards the end of this past school year and those tools and strategies will go with him in first grade.

    Early development was ahead and/or on target. No delays. Social interaction with peers still needs help (has always been weak in that area) but has improved.

    I am wondering if best to now seek out a Behavioral/Developmental Pediatrician to look at spectrum possibilites?
  10. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    My son's first neuropsychologist said he had "autistic tendencies" but agreed with bipolar. I didn't really buy it, but what did i know? Call your nearest autism society and find out the best place to test him. He may not have it, but it's worth a shot and a second opinion. My son's diagnosis. changed his life for the better and he's doing really well now. He has lots of help in school (Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) help, not behavioral) and best of all we have found he does better OFF medication. At the very least, you will get more validation that your child has a mood disorder. It certainly can't hurt. As they get older, it's easier to see what the problems are. by the way, my son has no learning disabilities. You don't have to have any in order to have Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD). Good luck, hon, to both of you :)
  11. prescottsunshine

    prescottsunshine prescottsunshine

    I totally relate to the impossible crippling feelings of helplessness with regard to our children. How are we to survive? I am at a point in my life where I have never felt so isolated and so powerless with regard to my son. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. As I have watched my siblings despair in a world of drug abuse and alcoholism for the last 20 years, I fear my son will follow in their foot steps and I will not be able to handle the loss. At twelve, he is diagnosed with ODD/Anxiety Disorder and Learning Disabilities. At twelve, he has now tried smoking, is sneaking alcohol, stole a knife from Walmart, ditched school and has recently looked up porn on his computer. I have calls daily from people in the neighborhood complaining about him. My live in boyfriend, who is currently catagorized as an ******* in my book, is completely intolerant of him and thinks he is going to end up in jail. People think I am a ***** because I stand up for him, am rude to people who come to my door to complain about him climbing trees at the park or being on their unmarked property. His dad and I have dumped $60,000 out of pocket into his care over the last 10 years and are at our wits end. He has received the best care that money can buy, has a family that loves him, has wonderful things in his life. Both his parents are educated and loving and he stands to lose everything good in his life. How are we to survive? How can we cope when we lose our support due to lack of faith? How can we make it better?

    I hear you. I feel for you. I know how much we love our children. Here I stand a failure after 12 years and I don't know where to go from here.

  12. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    What kind of neuropsychologist testing did he have done jal? The end result should include IQ testing that shows his level of comprehension both verbally, non-verbally, as well as in many other areas. This testing takes 8-10 hours. Sometimes it requires the child to be in patient in order to receive all that is needed.

    It seems evident these medications are not working. Has your psychiatrist mentioned doing a wash, and starting over with new medications?

    He is only 5..........there are SO many options. Press everyone around you to find the best resources possible for this kiddo.
    Do not give up hope - there will be a solution.
  13. bran155

    bran155 Guest

    Wow, so sorry you had such a dreadful weekend. Raising our difficult child's is exhausting to say the least. I can completely relate to needing respite. It is very hard to enjoy our children sometimes, they are jobs that never end!!! Do you have someone who can take him for a night or two, so you and husband can have some much needed and much deserved down time?

    Hoping things get better for you and your family. God bless. :)
  14. jal

    jal Member

    bran155 - I wish I did. I had never found a baby sitter for him because he's just so much-hard to tell if even a teenager could handle him. I hate to intrude on my parents. They are great to watch him when really needed, but I do not rely on them too much as he is just so much work. Basically, they take him overnight like 1-2 times a year and on short stints if husband and I have an appointment. My mother in law is really in no shape to take him for extended periods, plus she lives on a main road and with his pension for flight - makes my heart skip a beat!

    Steely - the neuropsychologist testing was done at the dr's office. I think it looked more for learning disabilities. It ran about 4 hours. I know he's 5, he'll be 6 in 2 weeks - but this has been going on for years. Nothing we've done has worked. Like I have mentioned before we have been through a renouned and authored psychologist, behaviorist, 2 psychiatrists, neurologist, neuropsychologist, therapists - NOTHING WORKS!!! So frustrating.

    Thank you for all of your information and support!