Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by klmno, May 18, 2008.

  1. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Soooo.... As I was checking difficult child's pockets before laundry today, I found an evening dose of medications and asked him about it. He confessed and brought me several other evening dosages. He said he had skipped off and on, evenings only, since being released from psychiatric hospital (almost 2 weeks ago) because they made him so sleepy. I also asked about about a lighter that I had missing, which he denied knowing anything about, then it fell out of a pocket of jeans shortly afterwards.

    As I am finishing laundry, he has a meltdown and I am fussing but trying to maintain as I can see that this is a half-way medicated BiPolar (BP) kid who is not functioning so well. I spoke to him a few times about the necessity of taking medications regularly- not only due to court order and mental health- but also because of physical health- internal functioning like thyroid - and that if there were signs of medications not working, the dosages are increased but now I realize that maybe that didn't need to be increased so it is all one messed up situation. Then, he rages on the house (outside- hitting things against the wall) and then acts like he will hit me with something- not too threatening, but enough to tick me off real good. And you know- there is that look in his eyes.

    So, I think I have to leave this space before I do something I will regret or before I make things worse because I am royally ticked. I put the dogs into the car and drove around a few mins. difficult child is on a monitor so he can't go anywhere without it being known- albeit she won't know it until tomorrow. I came back to driveway, difficult child comes out and slams himself on car and lies across the trunk. I sat there waiting. He got off the trunk and I sped out of driveway again. I came back about 15-20 mins later. I came in house with dogs and said I wanted everything back that he had taken. He gave me one lighter. I think he has 2 others. (I had been locking these in the car but the power window motor went out so it is useless to lock the car doors now.)

    He's calm now and I am supposed to hear back from a therapist tomorrow who sounded good. But I can't expect this therapist to work miracles immediately and I am worried that it might be a day late and a dollar short. We see his psychiatrist on Tues- for what that is worth, basicly, not much at this point. Even if I gave up on him living at home, the local authorites cannot get him in a Residential Treatment Facility (RTF) in-state- they already told me. Suggestions?? Is it legal to duct tape your kid to their bed? (Just kidding)
  2. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    What a day you've had! (I worry about the day difficult child might try to not take his medications) I don't really have any advice but wish I did. I'm glad you have a psychiatrist appointment. scheduled for Tuesday. I hope the therapist can help. Gentle hugs.
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Haven't you been watching him take his medications? How does he pocket them if you're watching?

    What time are you giving medications? Can you give them at bedtime so if he becomes sleepy, it's a good thing? We give my son his evening medications at 9 pm so he's in bed and asleep by 10 pm.

    I think I would recommend telling your son that medications are non-negotiable and if he doesn't take his medications, he will end up back in the psychiatric hospital.
  4. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I don't know how he has been doing it. It takes about 2 hours for the medications to take effect on him so he gets his evening medications about 7:30. Mostly- almost all- were the seroquel that he has been skipping. It is beyond me how he can put them all in his mouth- yes I do watch- and take a drink of something, then speak, but yet he hasn't swallowed it (the tiniest one). If it is true that this has only been happening since being in the psychiatric hospital, then it might be that the 17 yo drug addict that they roomed him with the last few days taught him how. I don't know that for sure though. I wonder if he's been doing it for 2 months. I do believe that he was already in a manic mode, that is why he wanted to stay up late (or all night) and that is why he despised taking a medication that made him sleepy. He told me tonight he wanted to go back to psychiatric hospital and live. Well, this is an acute psychiatric hospital. I am not even sure I could get him back in right now even for a few days.
  5. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    So sorry! I know the feeling! Our difficult child pockets his medications, too. He hates pills and cannot swallow even the tiniest one, so he chews the capsules (eeouow!). We have to watch him very carefully or he will either put it in his cheek, or under his front lower lip, or even keep it in his hand when he pretends to toss it in his mouth, and he puts on SUCH a good act, making faces and the whole 9 yds.
    You're right--you have no idea whether the increased dose is working or even if it's too much, since he was pocketing them so often. If only these kids knew how they were sabotaging themselves.
    I'm wondering if your difficult child is a bit delayed ...I don't see it in his bio, but that's the only thing that keeps me from duct taping my own difficult child or sending him to the moon on the back end of a Soyuz missile. I just remind myself that even though he's 11, he has the emotional state of an 8-yr-old. (On a good day. :) )
    I hope that helps.
    You were right to drive around for awhile. Much better than clobbering him. Sometimes I walk, sometimes I drive. I have to wait until my heartbeat slows down and I can think of other things... a book, the stars, anything but difficult child, so then I know I'm ready to go back.
    Take care.
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Terry! He has appeared to be moving slowly back toward stability over the past few days, coincidently or not it has been since I stopped his allergy medications- so I just pray that he is still going to go back to stability. I swear, I watch him put all the medications that are in his hand in his mouth and take a drink and swallow, then speak. But, I know that something hasn't been adding up too well. Then of course, spring is the time that it never adds up- but he shhould be winding his phase up now.

    really- duct tape??? a viable option???
  7. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I would use a popsicle stick and check IN his mouth, not just what he has shown you. the consequences with the court are too big to let this one pass.

    It is very likely he learned to cheek his medications from the psychiatric hospital roomie, or a kid at school. sorry.

    I would be worried about the lighters. What is he smoking or setting on fire? I would ALSO search his room while he is out, including under the mattress adn any other area you think he "can't" get into. also search any areas in common rooms he stores stuff in and you don't. Like boxes of video games, etc....

    Wanting to go back to the psychiatric hospital to live is pretty common, in my experience. Wizard says the rules at the acute psychiatric hospital are really lax, all you have to do is bs about "feelings" and you can earn all sorts of privileges.

    I am so sorry. I do admire you for going out for a drive, esp after you came back and he clearly wasn't calm.

  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Thanks, Susie! I go thru his room with a fine tooth comb periodically- yep- it is time I did it again. No need to apologize- I'm just trying to sort out feelings of being angry with him and holding him accountable and still realizing that his therapist of 11 mos has listened to him and said "well, just don't get into trouble-be careful". The lighters- oh, well this is why he is in so much trouble to begin with. He set a brush fire last year- around his own feet - so who knows if it was more of a suicidal threat or what. In any case, I tread on that one lightly because the more attention he thinks I give it, the more he battles my wit. If that makes any sense.

    Thanks, Sara! I have noticed that whether or not the dr's agree, allergy medications make things worse and harder to get his moods back into a normal range. I am still trying to figure out if they are actually causing de-stabilization. But clearly, they don't help get it back under control.
  10. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    If the doctors checked the prescribing informations for the particular drugs your son has been on, I'm fairly certain that they would find the psychiatric side effects your son is experiencing.
  11. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I am, too. I looked it up and found some other documents on it. My difficult child was on all sorts of allergy medications and medications for asthmatic wheezing (although he doesn't suffer from asthma now) and I am not the first to raise this question. Unfortunately, what the research concluded was that if the medications for wheezing and severe allergies resulted in mood lability, then the kid should be put on mood stabilizers. So here he is, I guess.
  12. Sara PA

    Sara PA New Member

    I read your post, powered off the computer and was headed for bed when the full impact of what you said -- or maybe what I read -- hit me. Are you saying that the reason your son is taking mood stabilizers is to counter the effects of allergy medication? Did any of his psychiatric symptoms or diagnoses come before he was taking allergy medications?

    I have to question the research that you have found indication that mood stabilizers should be given to treat the adverse reaction to allergy medications. Based on what I've read, I doubt that there was any such research, particularly on children. I suspect that treating the side effects that way was someone's opinion or a commonly held but not scientifically substantiated belief, much like antipsychotics are prescribed to treat the psychiatric adverse reactions to antidepressants. That doesn't work. I doubt that mood stabilzier prescribed to treat the psychiatric adverse reactions to allergy medications works either.
  13. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Sara, thank you for being so concerned. I was looking online- doing a search- on side effects of albuterol and steroids, which my son was given from 3 mos old until almost 5 yo. And, I was researching psychiatric side effects of antihistamines (zyrtec, benedryl, etc). I can't say off-hand which document said what- all I know is that they did seem to say that these could cause mood lability. And there was at least one research paper that said giving mood stabilizers would counter-act the mood lability and that suggested it would be the best option if the child was having difficulty breathing.

    My son did have difficulty breathing- he was under an oxygen tent in a hopsital at 3 mos old. Now, this is not why his medications are prescribed- they are prescribed for mood cycling. I understand that he probably- actually, must have- had a genetic predisposition for this. But there is something in me that I can't shake that leads me to think that the medications used for asthma and allergies had something to do with this. For one thing, his major instability always happens in allergy season and the time when the allergy medications are given are the same time period when he is going manic. Maybe I am wrong- maybe I am in denial and just grasping at an excuse. It just seems awful coincidental to me that from the time he was born until he was 5yo, I was walking on eggshells this time of year in fear of asthmatic wheezing (caused by severe allergies) and now it is the same thing, except I am in fear of manic activity. And, before my son exhibited signs of "mania" the only other times he appeared completely "out of the norm" was as an infant or very young child, getting breathing treatments with a major dose of medications and he could not sleep, was more than a little agitated, and lied there in a hospital bed screaming bloody-murder. I knew my son's cries- this was not a normal cry- this was screaming like being in a mental pain. I will never forget it.

    Just like some kids with autism might be suffering because vaccinations triggered a genetic predisposition- I think there is a very real possibility that some medication triggered some of our g'sfg to have major mood disorders. Another coincidence- when I was a child, asthma was diagnosis'd in a very small percentage of kids. When my difficult child was born, dr's were treating asthmatic wheezing and allergies with steroids and other serious medications right and left. Maybe this did save a lot of kids, including mine, from serious lifelong illness. But, did anyone ever research the long-term effects of these medications? Now, doesn't it seem a little odd that so many kids have diagnosis's of BiPolar (BP) or other mood disorders?

    I personally, don't think all these diagnosis's are a result of parents claiming something is going on that isn't really going on with their kid; and I find it difficult to believe that so many psychiatrists would be that incompetent. So, what is triggering all this in our kids- even if the genetice pre-disposition was already there- why are all these kids now exhibiting serious mood disorders?

    I hope that hasn't offended anyone- it really wasn't meant to. To specifically answer your question- allergy medications and steroids have always been in my son's life- not consistently, but off and on. He did not show any signs of a mood disorder until some sad events occurred in the fall of 2005. He was almost 11 yo and he did show signs of depression- which first appeared to be situational. By the spring of 2006, he was manic, although we didn't have it classified that way at the time. He is stable , basicly, from May until Jan. since then, and I have to keep a watchful eye for mania between late Jan. and May each year. Of course, this is only 3 times, so other things are being looked at too- like differences in teaching patterns at school, etc.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    You can use the Residential Treatment Center (RTC) way of making sure they take their medications. You pour the medications into a little plastic cup like comes on top of a pepto bottle, he pours them all in his mouth at once. He takes a big swig of water and swallows. Then he opens his mouth, swishes tongue around, leans over towards floor, pop the back of his head...he coughs again...nother drink of water.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    The little ones fit really nicely between the fingers. I know this because my hypertension medications are tiny and I often have to check between my fingers to make sure it goes into my mouth. I take a whole handful of vitamins and supplements, so it's easy to miss. Although I usually know I've missed it because when I take my hand away from my mouth and open my fingers the pill goes flying.

    Make him spread his fingers, lift his tongue and pull his cheeks away from his gums. You could tell him that you can re-visit the issue of him returning to the hospital in therapy when he is medication compliant. There's no reason for him to be in the hospital if he is not taking his medications.

    I remember one of M's friends whom he met when he was about 8 or 9 years old. He lived in a hoity toity neighborhood, in a nice house, with his dad and step-mom. He always said he wanted to go back to AZ and live with his mom in an apartment like ours. We lived in a trashy HUD apartment with broken down cars all over and feral cats and the police were regular visitors. I told him "No way! You don't want to live in a place like this!" But he knew what he was talking about, and he really did. He was just waiting for his mom to get out of jail so he could go back. He was 8 for crying out loud!

    I don't know whatever happened to him. I know that in middle school he was troubled and in trouble. I always felt badly for him. He really didn't feel he deserved a nice safe place to live. (Unlike M who thought he was going to magically become a millionaire.) I hope that he changed his mind. I know his father and step-mom wanted more for him, but he was a real handful. He sure taught M some nasty tricks. That was where M learned to refuse to eat. The teacher told me that the other boy had been pulling it on his step-mom for months before M started.
  16. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Klmno, you forgot to say that your son's major crime spree occurred after his dose of Prozac was doubled.

    I don't know if your son has ever taken Singulair, but the FDA in March informed health care professionals of a possible link between that medication and mood/behavior changes and suicidality. Due to complexity of the issue, the FDA said it may take up to 9 months to complete its evaluations. Here is a link to more info on this issue:
  17. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I'm going to try the cup method, Janet. Thanks!

    Witz- that may be how he is sliding the seroquel. I suspect he did this with zyprexa, too. I can't trust anything he says when he isn't stable. Furthermore, His raging over the past few weeks would be indicative of not having a correct dose of lithobid and this has been going on- with cycling- for several weeks now.

    I did find a lighter this morning- that is good. Now, only one missing from the car.

    You are right, Smallworld- I didn't mention the prozac last year. He had also been on allergy medications right before that incident. I don't think the allergy medications caused everything last year - there must have been a disposition and other factors- but, I think they could have been a contributor. Now, I just wonder if they decrease the effects of the mood stabilizers. He had never been on Singulair- I have to wonder though if other medications with similar ingredients would be the same risk.
  18. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Singulair is different from the Zyrtecs, Claritins and Allegras of this world.
  19. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Klmno, sorry you're dealing with this.

    In the room search...check IN the box springs of his bed. The cover under the bottom can be torn or neatly cut so you don't notice and items stashed there. Also, check under YOUR bed and box springs. What parent searches their own room?

    Good luck. I feel for you. And I agree with your argument on medications... We're messing with the "survival of the fittest" way of life, and I think it has consequences that we're just beginning to see and pay for. I'm certainly not against medical breakthru's and saving lives, etc, I just think there are going to be downsides to it, too.
  20. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, three areas down, three to go. Attic and our bedrooms (including box springs!!) are done. A notebook of girlie photos (yet he can't organize a notebook from school) and enough crumbs, wrappers and soda cans that I am surprised I don't have roaches. I think he can clean out from underneath his bed tonight.