We had an appointment with Ye Olde Developmental Pediatrician this morning, ostensibly to talk about the status of the J-man's medications. I kind of left you hanging on that one. Well, we had a great couple weeks, actually. We were giving him Focalin in the cream of Oreos, of all things, and that worked GREAT. For 13 days. The thing is, he's a "fast metabolizer", and since he refuses to take any extended release medications, that meant he was eating 7 Oreos a day. Even a kid can get sick of Oreos after a while. And so, the Oreos were doomed from the start. I gave it 10-14 days and he lasted 13. Did I call it, or what?
Two days off of medication and we knew he wasn't safe. I called YODP that Saturday night and left a message saying it wasn't urgent, but if he could please call me sometime Sunday to discuss options, that'd be great. His return call couldn't have been made with more perfect timing. An unmedicated J-man is a sight to be seen, and he proved once again that he simply isn't safe without medication - not to himself, nor to those around him. He is simply too impulsive. Just before YODP called back, J had impulsively pushed a chair out from under Ellie who was otherwise calmly eating her breakfast. We are so lucky she was able to catch her balance and I got to her before anything dreadful could have happened. And then the phone rang. YODP and I are nearly always on the same page, medication-wise. I had already given J a Clonidine patch on Saturday in hopes that would be enough to help keep things at bay until we could find other ways of helping him, but clearly that wasn't enough. So YODP and I agreed that, side-effects be-darned, safety was paramount. At least as a stop-gap measure, J had to go back on Daytrana (patch).
Though not ideal in terms of side effects, it has the advantage that J will take it, so at least we know he's safe. And that's where we've been holding for the last few weeks. It'd be great if we could get other medication into him to help with the beginning and end of the day. Or if we could get something into him to help with appetite stimulation, or with the anxiety side effects. But right now? He's safe.
So we went for an appointment today with YODP, ostensibly for a talk about medications - but we know where we are on the medications. We'd like to increase the Clonidine, but we won't without getting a baseline EKG, which we've got scheduled for tomorrow. We talked about that, but we'd already talked about that last week over the phone, so that was nothing new and didn't take long . We talked about J's appetite and strategies to get calorie-dense foods into him (the world's pickiest eater) . And we talked about how to proceed with speech therapy for the summer (probably taking a break).
For the first time ever, we found ourselves out of things to talk about ... with 20 minutes to spare. And the Good Doctor put his keyboard aside and danced around for minute or two with a few sideways questions, but I knew where he was going. And finally, he simply came out and asked me directly: "Do I need to be referring you for therapy and/or medication? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Depressed? Anxious? All of the above?"
Sure, Doc. But let's be real - where is the time to deal with any of that going to come from? I have to work; I have to make face-time at work. I have four kids. I have no wiggle room left on my work schedule because the kids have therapy on both ends of my work schedule. My husband has a totally unpredictable work schedule which means that I never knew which days I have flexibility in the morning and which days I have flexibility in the afternoon, and I just... can't miss any more work. (Evidence? I'm sitting here hacking out a lung today, but can I go to the doctor? NO.)
"A good deal of my job is to make sure that parents get through these very difficult early years without breaking."
Broken. That's what I feel like. I feel broken. I feel like I'm in a million tiny pieces and I can't find them all even if I thought I *could* put them back together.
And I feel sort of wimpy and dumb. Because there's nothing really wrong with my life. I have four beautiful children, the best husband in the universe, a job (I mean, I hate working, but at least I have a job in this troubled economy, right?), a house. The things that go wrong are things that I have a perfectly legitimate reason to be stressed out about. So what on earth am I whining about? HONESTLY?
But he's right. I'm not coping. I'm miserable. I'm constantly scraping the bottom of the barrel on my reserves. I have nothing left. I'm crying all the time, usually for no good reason. I don't enjoy things anymore. I don't want to do anything. I don't want to eat most of the time. I don't sleep well when I do sleep, but mostly all I want to do is sleep. This whole year has sucked. Royally. And while I have legitimate reasons to be at the end of my rope, that doesn't change the fact that I've truly lost my ability to recover from the things that happen to me. That's the difference between the me of today and the me of this time last year is my recovery time.
All right, doc. You win. I left a message for the therapist he referred me to. I don't promise that we'll actually FIND a mutually agreeable time, but I left a message. That's something, right?
(Update - the therapist did call back the next day and we scheduled a lunchtime appointment for Tuesday the 23rd. Now that it's scheduled, I feel like it can't come soon enough, and it's like I can barely hold myself together enough to make it there. Probably doesn't help that I'm really sick and it's nearly "that time of the month" but still... Anyway, YODP's whole idea had been that maybe she would have a lunchtime appointment available for me, but I had been skeptical. Turns out he's just as smart as he looks - maybe Michigan State isn't so bad after all.)