I'm baaack...

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by howlongto18, Dec 22, 2007.

  1. howlongto18

    howlongto18 New Member

    Not sure if any of you remember me, I used to post here. We managed to get Juan Carlos to a level that we felt we could manage, and I guess we tried to pretend everything would be okay. We had spent a year or so with four different doctors, two of them psychiatrists for the children's hospital, and then we kind of took a break. Now he's on doctor number 5. His behavior has gradually escalated, and I think he is somewhat seasonally affected now that we've had sufficient time to look back.

    He's five and has tried Depakote which didn't help him, and Ritalin which made him worse. We settled on Clonidine which we would only give to him when he was extremely hyper. It didn't help with the raging but for a while we were able to manage the less frequent rages okay. Not anymore. They have become increasingly violent, and are happening daily now.

    We don't have official diagnoses but the one that seems to stick, and that my gut is telling me also, is BiPolar (BP). He definitely has hyperactivity as well, and probably some ODD. Luckily the doctor was able to witness some of his nasty behavior, though he wasn't violent with the doctor. Usually he's angelic for the doctors, so I was glad for the misbehavior (jumping on everything, invading personal space, growling, defiance) which the doctor seemed to think was pretty severe... if only he could see a rage!

    It would take a novel for me to write what all we've been dealing with. I am homeschooling him, which is going pretty well, and I'm thankful I have the ability to do it, because I know that public school would not be going well for us about now.

    I know in my heart that he needs medications, but it's so hard not to second guess it when there are so many people to tell you that you are damaging your child. What's worse though, that or the negative feedback he gets constantly and the danger that he poses to himself and others. He has started saying he wants to kill himself, run away, or he yells for me to kill him when he's angry. He will punch me in the back and say he likes to hurt me.

    The doctor has prescribed Seroquel, which makes me a bit nervous, but we're pretty much desperate at this point. He's been taking it for one day, and we had no rage today, so I'm not sure if it's a coincidence or the medication. The doctor has also strongly suggested locking him in his room during timeouts, and he taught me a new restraining technique because he said he felt sorry for me (numerous times). I definitely felt validated at the doctor for the first time, but at the same time a little offended that he felt sorry for me... I guess though when you haven't seen the sweet side of a difficult child they are not much to get excited about. :rolleyes:

    Anyway... I sort of abandoned this site for a while because I needed to feel normal, but I guess I need to accept that I'm in this for the long haul.
  2. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Chelsea, welcome back! I remember you and your son Juan Carlos. I'm sorry things haven't improved, but for what it's worth, Seroquel might help your son a lot. It was mentioned recently as a possible add-on for my son, who has a BiPolar (BP)-like mood disorder and struggles with anxiety and depression. Very frequently young children with mood disorders are prescribed a medication like Seroquel and can be on it alone for a while until they grow and mature. I really hope it's the ticket for Juan Carlos.

    I hope you won't be a stranger around here. We really do "get" it and will be here for you when you need support and advice. Hugs to you and Juan Carlos.
  3. howlongto18

    howlongto18 New Member

    Thanks. I'm crossing my fingers. So far since the doctor we have only had one violent meltdown, so I bumped his dose up a little bit more and we'll see what happens. Unfortunately this was at my husband's family Christmas party. We had to trade off restraining him down in the basement while he screamed bloody murder for 30-45 minutes. I told him that whenever he is violent and cannot be locked in a safe room, he will have to be restrained. I'm so glad the psychiatrist showed me how to do this because he's getting very strong.

    Does anyone else use this holding technique? Our psychiatrist said to turn him (that's the hard part) so he's face down on the floor. He said to hold his hands together behind his back and kneel on either side of his hips. That way there is no weight on him and he has only the flat cold floor to deal with until he calms down. It was definitely an easier way, I just wish I could figure out a way to keep him from digging his nails into both of our hands! Does anyone know a technique for getting him into the facedown position easily? I'm trying not to envision our life 5 years from now if this continues...

    We've also just finished some space in our basement, and we now have the boys room seperate from the toys, so that timeouts are safer with less to throw. Our rule for the bedroom is only stuffed animals. The only thing he'll be able to do is to trash his bed and pull out the mattress which is one of his favorites, and to pull all the clothes off the hangers and the shelves and out of the hamper and scatter them everywhere. We have to figure out something to do in front of the glass window... any suggestions that are still fire safe?

    I'm just really glad that our doctor suggested these things. As much as people like to call CPS these days, my husband and I felt so out of control... like the five year old was running the house. I feel like I have the power back now, because the doctor finally validated me, and gave me suggestions which I now can carry as ammunition when family and neighbors complain. Another good thing is that during this past year I've come to a place where I'm no longer embarrassed. I know that most people would not be able to handle my son. I have days where I feel like a failure, but then I try to imagine anyone else with him, and I realize that none of them have a clue. When they talk about struggling with temper tantrums I just have to giggle inside, because they are struggling with -tantrums-. When I take out all the emotion it's pretty clear that people who think a two year old tantrum is frustrating couldn't possibly wrap their brains around what this is like, so their judgements are not valid.

    Anyway, thanks for the reply. I'm going to try to post fairly regularly and read about all of you guys, too. Maybe even have a suggestion now and again. My problem is that I tend to be an all in or all out type of person, so I really have to limit myself or I'll become a junkie on the site, lol.
  4. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Our in-home suggested replacing the windows in difficult child 2's room with plexiglass. Still accessible for the fire department, but not easy to break for a tantruming child.
  5. tammyjh

    tammyjh New Member

    I have never tried the face down position but used to sit cross legged, holding difficult child in a sort of bear hug. As she has limited motor skills in her left side, I've only ever had to worry about subduing her right arm and leg. She doesn't have the strength in her left side to do any damage. She's now 14 and my size so I can't do that anymore so I just try to defend when she's coming at me and am still stronger than she is. Again, the fact that she's limited with her left side is to my advantage.

    Welcome back. I'm also someone who used to post sporadically and recently returned :smile: