Monday, July 21, 2014

Business

I just have to wonder.   What the hell goes through Jacob's mind?

He knows how to behave.  He was "normal" last Thursday and Friday.   He kept his voice down, he got his chores done, he cleaned up after himself, and even initiated conversation with us a few times.

I don't even know what happened today.

I am telling you, it's fricking insane here.

I had to put him outside.  AGAIN.  I had to disable our garage doors.   And the doorbell.

My mother bought us a book, as if we don't have or haven't read enough of them.   He apparently dug through my husband's things at some point because this is how he found it yesterday:




Way to steal my post-its.

I guess I should feel glad he was curious enough to check it out.   The vandalism I could do away with.

This actually points more toward a bipolar diagnosis as bipolar patiens do not think they have anything wrong with them that others are making it all up just to piss them off.   At least this is my synopsis from the things I have read and the time I spent with my mother-in-law.    She would also stop taking her medications.   Jacob, as far as I can tell, didn't have any today.

We couldn't find Adam's game this morning.   I had locked it in the safe a few days ago at Adam's request because he was just so tired of Jacob stealing it.   When I opened it today, it wasn't there.   I wracked my brain to remember if I took it out, but I know I didn't.   Adam went upstairs and found it underneath a shelf in Jacob's room.   Of course.   No wonder he acted like an ass and got his game removed.    Why behave?   He had a back-up.   That pisses me off, for sure, but the real problem with this is apparently he knows our safe code.   The safe that has all of our important papers,  emergency money, and Derick's guns.  I don't know much about that safe, but I sure hope you can change the combination.   How in HELL did he do that?

Elizabeth (because I didn't know how) had to install the Wii downstairs because Jacob spent so much time changing everyone's names to dirty words and erasing all of their accomplishments.    And really, I just don't want them to have to go upstairs around him anymore.

Since the contract did not work (no surprise there), I told him my next step was going to the school and talking with his LDC (Leadership Development Corps) Commander.   They have a creed they are to follow at all times and, well, he obviously isn't.  He LOVES LDC and has the opportunity to be a group leader and hold office next school year.    If Captain finds out he is behaving this way, that won't be an option any longer.   In fact, he may even be kicked out.   I would hate to do that to him, but I will.  I thought by actually putting him in this program he might realize I am serious, but so far, he doesn't seem to get it.   He needs to know I mean business.  

I have a babysitter here tomorrow and the next day for ten hours while I relearn the same crap I learned when I got my degree, but hey, I have to do it, and, well, I won't be here.    If he pulls this crap while she's here, he's going to find out just how much business I mean.





Saturday, July 19, 2014

Cycling

So he did better on Thursday.   The cycle was starting again.   We wrote up a contract with conditions about how he would keep the game and why he would give it back.

He had to give it back today.  Well, we take it away at night, but he isn't able to get that privilege today.  Or probably tomorrow either.   Shoot, probably not all week.

It's so freaking predictable it's not even funny anymore.

Where he was quiet and followed all the rules on Thursday and even yesterday morning, today he came right down at 6 am, started poking Adam with a Wii remote, refused to take his medicine, made strange noises, ran up and down the stairs, threw things, smeared food all over the granite and floor, and turned the television up and laughed like a drowning hyena.    My husband locked himself in (and me out) of the bedroom and then just left the house completely.   "I am not putting up with this shit on my day off" and slammed the door.

Gee, I don't ever get a fucking day off.   Ever.   I deal with his morning tirades all through the school year.  I go to work a stressed out mess every single day.  I clean the messes that he makes before he gets home to see it, I calm the others so they don't lay their grievances at his feet when he returns home.  I drive him to every therapist, psychiatrist, outpatient crazy care while dragging two others with me.  I deal with the teachers, I throw his medicine down his throat.   What does HE do?  Complain about it and then find something fun for himself to do because, hell, he deserves it.

I have a mandatory preschool conference next week.  My mother is extremely ill and cannot come watch them like we had planned on.   My husband just CANNOT take any time off to help me with this.  I can hire a teenage babysitter, but I am not really comfortable with that.   We are forty plus year old adults and this is very hard.   I am just so afraid of what will happen if I go that route.   If I do not go to the conference, I cannot work at preschool next year.  

I will probably get fired.  

I really LOVED that job.   I mean, without that, I don't really have a happy place anymore.   God knows, here isn't it.

Five more years.

In five more years he'll be 18.   At that time, he is out of our home.   I know that is harsh and I hate even thinking it, but he'll be 18.  I'll teach him everything he'll accept until then, but if he refuses to take it, then so be it, but he isn't staying here.  I don't owe him anything after that.   I remember my tiny baby and try to go back and think of him like that, but it's hard.   All I see is this rude, nasty creature and I just want to be free of him.   I had a boyfriend who cussed me out once and then burned me with a cigarette.   I promptly broke up with him and then got a restraining order against him the minute he came around trying to suck up.   I wasn't going to put up with that shit, but man, I put up with it now.  Society really frowns on dumping your own kid.   No one cares how the other children are doing.   We will talk to him and then send him back home with you.  You gave birth to it, you are dealing with it.  Period.  

Only five more years.


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Great

So.

The therapist thinks Jacob is also bipolar.

Hmmmm……

It's possible.

Derick's mother was bipolar.   She had a hard life.  A hard, hard life.

She was also very hard to deal with.

Ugh.   I knew when I married my husband this could happen, but you know, you don't really think it's going to happen.

Now not only am I worried for Jacob, I am worried for the other two.  What if they get it too?

Why did our kids get this and not his sister's?    She smoked and drank while she was pregnant.   I doubt she ate very well.   I cut out caffeine, blue cheese, lunch meat, all forms of pain medication and I had nine month long headaches.   Why does she get normal kids and we don't?  How in the hell is that fricking fair?

My husband interrupted the therapist to say he thought Jacob was like this because my mother and I spoiled him by buying him toys when he was a baby.    I wanted to reach in and rip his tongue out.

And OF COURSE we bought him toys!   He was our first child, we didn't HAVE ANY!

I guess our next step is to continue the three hours a day through next week.   The following Monday we meet with the psychiatrist to adjust his medications…..lower the ADD meds, add mood stabilizers and antidepressants.   If he refuses, he will be hospitalized in psychiatric hospital for a week to regulate the new medicines.

And THEN our summer will be over.

Goody.


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Cleanliness is Next to Godliness

Isn't that how the saying goes?

Maybe they were on to something.

Jacob refuses to bathe.

I am not real sure when this started.  When he was a baby a bath was the only way to calm him.  Some days I would put him in the tub ten times.  If he was in the water,  at least he wasn't crying.  Of course, then it exacerbated his ecxema and then he'd cry because of the creams, but hey, at least he wasn't crying during the bath.

I guess about the time he started school he stopped wanting a bath for fun.   I'd have to really put my foot down to make him take one every evening, but I just figured it was a kid thing.

Fast forward a few years and getting him to bathe is a full on fight.

Some days he runs some water (he ABSOLUTELY refuses to shower and I don't push that one due to the sensory issues) and sits there.  Some days he runs water and wastes it, he just stands there.  Some days he doesn't even go that far.   He'll just come down with greasy, sticking-straight-up hair and flip the eff out when I point out he's lying.  About twice a week my husband will corner him and put him in the shower fully clothed and wash his nasty hair.   We just gotta hope that soap running down is getting something clean.

The last time he washed his hair was Saturday.  Today is Wednesday.  The last time I saw a pair of his underwear in the laundry was early June.  The soap and shampoo I left on his bathtub at Christmas is still 3/4 full.  The last time I cleaned the sink was about that time too.  He doesn't brush his teeth either.

So far I haven't found any correlation to ADD and bathing.   He swims.    He seems okay with splash pads and sprinklers   I just don't get it.  It's gross.

I haven't pushed it much since he's been "in treatment".  I want them to make a fair assessment of him and this is part of it.   I am eager to see what they have to say.  Our family meeting is tonight.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

ADD PSA

This kind of crap pisses me off.

Oh my goodness!  My precious cheerleader daughter didn't want to do her homework!  Her daydreaming was so, so worrisome.

I want some of that.

This is the kind of shit that makes everyone else in the world believe that ADD is a made-up illness.

Step right up!  Come see OUR ADD!  It will make your head spin.

Our ADD started at 6:30 this morning.   We were all awakened by the loud, incessant, not-at-all-in-tune whistling.   He says he just likes it.  I asked him to stop, he gave me an evil grin and went louder.  So now that we are all up,  HEY, how much fun might it be to eat everyone's food?  Every kid eats three whole boxes of cereal don't they?   I have two little ones sobbing at the moment because they NEVER wake up in time to eat THEIR cereal.   I am so glad he is happy about it though, I guess he is, he is maniacally laughing when he's not shoving that shit in his mouth.  They may have been able to eat the leftover bacon and hash browns  if he hadn't smeared that shit with ketchup (the littles hate ketchup), then blew it up in the microwave, and then figured it was some sort of abstract art and left it there for all to see.  When I handed him some towels and told him to clean it up,  he growled at me like a dog, told me I could burn in hell,  and ran upstairs screaming how unfair we all are.

He has refused to take his medications and we are to a point now I cannot force them on him.   He is small and weak, but the adrenaline makes him strong and violent and I'd like to keep my ribs intact and my glasses on my face, thank you very much.

According to "the book", this behavior is a direct result of the deficiencies in various parts of his brain.  He will subconsciously start conflict to raise his adrenaline levels because the adrenaline evens out those "bad" parts and actually helps him to calm and concentrate and go about his day like the rest of us just do.  I get that.  I feel for him, I really do.  It's just, one day I want him to move away and get a job and this kind of behavior isn't going to fly with the boss.  Or a wife.   I don't care what he has, he isn't going to sit on his ass and be waited on the rest of his life.   You smear ketchup all over the kitchen, it's your responsibility to pick that up.

So thank you Holly Robinson Peete!  I am sure you meant well and all, but you have no idea what ADD really is.  Your PSA isn't really helping the cause here.  If you really want to help, go to one of the many psychiatric facilities and sit in the waiting room and exchange stories with the other shell-shocked adults in there.  Listen to the kids fighting and screaming in the back and you may even see an ambulance come to take one away.   Look around and notice that you might actually be the only PARENT in the room.  Talk to the ones around you and learn the other parents have already relinquished their rights to the grandparents because they just couldn't take it anymore.  You will leave with a heavy heart when you see those poor old people, one with a cane, just doing the best they can when they really shouldn't be doing it at all.   You will be surprised to know that everyone of those kids are the same as my kid.  They take the same medications, they have the same outbursts, they have the same diagnosis:  ADD.

And not one of them is daydreaming.





Saturday, July 12, 2014

Healing ADD

So he was better yesterday.

But he always is.

He wants his game back, so today, I am expecting stellar behavior.   Because we have ridden this ride so long and know this twist so well,  I know that most of today will be just fine and then about three he'll use his best manners to ask his dad if he can have that game back and he will oblige but preface it by saying, "I don't want to hear or see anymore of whatever-behavior-got-it-removed-in-the-first-place" and Jacob will say, "Oh, yes sir" and go about his business.

Tomorrow morning, the shit will hit the fan again.  

I know you're wondering, why the hell does he have the game at all?   Why give it back?

Well, because every class, support group, book, therapist, and psychiatrist says children, especially those with ADD need to work for something in small doses.  You cannot expect them to work and work and work and then work some more and the reward never come.   Kinda like how adults feel at the end of their two week pay period I guess.

So he has a hand-held game and that's all he wants.  Ever.  He has it for a day, is without it for a day or sometimes longer, gets it back and we start over again.

I have tried charts, reward systems, checklists, token economies, every single approach in the three books I kept from all those behavior classes in college and while they work spectacularly with the littles, not so much with the big one.

*Interesting fact:  I have a masters degree in Special Education with an emphasis in learning disabilities and, what for it, ……….behavior disorders.   Graduate Summa Cum Laude too.  Way to screw with me universe. 

His therapist called last week to say she read a book that described Jacob so well that she wanted us to read it too.  It is called Healing ADD by Dr. Daniel Amen.  If you watch PBS you can catch him during the money begging segments.    According to him there are seven types of ADD based on which part of your brain is deficient.  He does brain scans to note activity in the temporal lobe and frontal cortex etc. and diagnoses they type and then has a treatment plan to address those parts of the brain.  Jacob, of course, is the worst type.  According to Dr. Amen, he has Ring Of Fire ADD which affects many parts of the brain and is very difficult to treat.  OF COURSE.

Of all the books I have read on this subject (and there are MANY), I like this one the best because FINALLY Jacob is addressed.  THIS is the ADD we see.   Oh, how I wish it were as simple as sitting still.

So I am still reading this book.    There is a diet to follow.   I am slowly taking that on.    There is a lot to digest (see what I did there?).  

But for today, it is 7:45 and so far no outbursts.   I'll take what I can get.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Where I Am

So yesterday was interesting.

We spent almost three hours locked in the bedroom and then drove him to his two hour session.

My mother asked me to buy her some fabric so off we went.   This place is just far enough away that it makes no sense to return home only to turn around 20 minutes later and go back, so we find things to do.   We hit the resale stores on Tuesday.  The supermarket on Wednesday.   Thursday it was the fabric store.

So we go into the fabric store, which I usually love, and peruse the material.  I was looking for non-fraying satin so Gammy can make Adam a pair of pajama pants.  Oh yes, satin pajama pants.  So he'll quit wearing his sister's.   At least it makes me smile.  Anyway, I find the satin and I can't figure out for the life of me what I should buy.  I was confused.   In a fog.  I couldn't even do the math.  I mean, I struggle with math, but this was elementary basics, I DO know how to do that.   So I decided the hell with satin, scrapbooking sounds fun.

Until the entire row of colorful goodness completely overwhelmed me.

So we went to the yarn.  That's it!  We'll knit.  Ummm…..couldn't even figure out the most basic of patterns.

And then we left empty-handed.

I got in the car and tried to remember if I had been drinking or maybe snuck a seven year old leftover vicodin in the middle of the night.   No.  It wasn't that.    Too much caffeine maybe?  Didn't have any.  Someone poured my iced coffee down the sink.  Did I eat breakfast?  No.  But I rarely eat breakfast and have never had this reaction…..

Except…..

Thirteen years ago when I had a screaming baby eighteen hours a day.

The shakiness, the fogginess, the stomach pain, the loss of appetite (which could be a good thing, I could lose 10 pounds), same stuff I encountered when a family therapist suggested I was struggling with post traumatic stress disorder.

Hmmmm……interesting.

Of course, it's very much the same this summer.   The screaming does go on almost all day and into the night.  The only difference this time is it's accompanied with words.  Very nasty, mean, ugly, disgusting words and names and phrases.

I was brought into a tiny room yesterday to pay the rest of our deductible for these services.  I explained to the lady then that I didn't think this was helping and could we move up to the next phase which will be SIX hours a day.  She didn't seem to care at all, said he was doing okay in the group and I could discuss it with his therapist at our family session NEXT WEDNESDAY at 4, here's the door, have a good day now.

No.  I am not going to have a good day.

My little kids have to wake up earlier than usual, spend three hours piddling around every single day when they'd rather be holed up in a fort in the living room in their pajamas.

I can't stay home and just chill which I really look forward to during the school year.  I love not having to get in the car, sometimes for whole weeks.

We never do get to go to the pool, our happy place.  It's too early in the morning to do a morning trip and too late in the afternoon to do it then.

I can't have a conversation with my oldest child or even be in the same room with him.   Not really what I would consider a "good" day.

Really, really hoping that something shifts and we can find that again.