Thursday, July 08, 2010

I Need a Good Night's Sleep. Or a Banana Daiquiri

So we went on vacation last week.

Against our better judgement.

We went to The Woodlands. Again. A few photos....

You'd think by the looks of that last one that we had a very restful time.

You'd be mistaken.

If you read my previous post, then you already know that we've been having a bit of a rough time with Jacob lately. My mom was still offering to keep him with her when we dropped the animals off at her house, but I just didn't feel that was fair at all. Rotten or not, he's still a member of our family so he should be included in the family vacation. At least that is what I kept telling myself every sleepless night we spent at that serene resort. You see, Jacob didn't sleep the entire time, therefore we didn't sleep the entire time.

I can't believe I thought the attitude and anger was bad, Oh Dear Lawrd, the night terrors and paranoia are enough to make me bang my head clear through the wall. Three nights without sleep makes Mommy (and Daddy) vvveeerrryyy cranky.

The days went well. He was agreeable (mostly) and found friends at the pool (which is big for him). But by nightfall he was a trembling, freaked-out mess. If he heard a noise outside he was sure it was robbers coming to kill us, if the air conditioner kicked on he'd start to cry and beg us to turn it off, he'd cower in a corner picking his palms until they bled begging us, "WHAT IS THAT NOISE?" and there would be no noise.

I'd like to say that we scooped him up and soothed him but after a couple or five hours of that it wears you down. There was much yelling, threatening, time-outs in the bathroom, and a couple of spankings that did no good whatsoever. We gave him melatonin, and another melatonin, sleepytime tea, and an adult Tylenol PM, and that did no good whatsoever either. The kid was convinced we would not survive until morning and as much as it pissed me the hell off because, dammit, that was my vacation! I should've been RESTING!, I felt so sorry for him. He was just so pitiful. Also, he scared the SHIT out of me because, HELLO?, my MIL has schizophrenia, what if it's genetic????

My husband wanted to leave after the first night, but I insisted we stay. I won a free night at that place and scored a pretty awesome deal for the next two so I was cashing in. There were awesome, awesome breakfasts to be eaten, feet to be rubbed, and a poolside bar to enjoy and after seeing my little two waiting patiently in their backwards swimsuits while their parents attempted to caffeine-up, I couldn't do it to them. And did I mention the breakfast. breakfast.

So I did what I had to do to make the days enjoyable for all. I got drunk on banana daiquris at the poolside bar. The drunk removed the grumpy so all was right with the world. At least my world. Mmmmmm......banana daiquris.

He did sleep a little better the next night, but the last night was just awful. I truly expected my husband to get in the car and just leave us there. Remarkably, the little kids slept all week. Thank goodness. I would never want them to witness their brother like that.

So after our Woodlands vacation was over, we traveled north to get the animals and decided to just spend the holiday weekend up there with my parents as it was pouring in our part of the world and dry and sunny in theirs. Jacob (and the other kids) love it there and it's pretty calming for Jacob. Usually. I thought he'd sleep better there since he's used to the sounds and surroundings but if anything he was worse. In fact, as each night passed, he seemed to get worse and worse. There was nothing any of us could do for him and I'm ashamed to say that after a week of it, none of us were anymore understanding. We were all convinced he was either crazy or spoiled and about to punish him into even a short spurt of sleep.

You try going a week without sleep. See how calm and sweet you can be. My mom is the sweetest person alive and I think she seriously considered pitching a tent outside for him. Sadly, my mom developed Shingles on Sunday. I'm sure from the stress of it all.

So fast-forward to yesterday because I got nothing different, same noises, same robbers, same bleeding palms and shaking in a corner, same OMG-WE-NEED-SLEEP panic.

Yesterday, was our follow-up appointment with the psychiatrist who felt it absolutely necessary to switch Jacob's medications yet not at all address the anxiety his therapist sent us there for because, well, all kids are going to be afraid of some things and, he probably feels anxious because of all the bullying, I mean, who wouldn't, let's just change his ADD meds even though you all state he's doing pretty well with the other one.

So the psychiatrist wants to know how the new meds are doing and I tell him, WOW, they didn't work at first, but then they worked okay, and then somewhere in there he started thinking we were all going to be the victims of a bloody massacre, WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THAT???? Well, the psychiatrist thinks that stimulant medications such as those given for ADD can cause anxiety, *shrug*, here's a prescription for Zoloft. Bring 70 more dollars in two weeks and we'll discuss if that works.

And the truly sad thing is that I just nodded, drove to the CVS, and filled that prescription PLUS the one for 90 days worth of Concerta, put my kid and his meds in my mom's car and sent him to spend a week with her because, GEEZ LOUISE, we need some fracking sleep.

It wasn't until this afternoon after listening to my mother recount their sleepless night and her suggestion that maybe, just maybe, the CONCERTA could be causing his fears/paranoia/schizophrenic tendencies, did that even cross my mind.


WTH? Why did that NEVER occur to me? I read the insert that came with the drugs and it didn't say anything about completely losing your mind as the sun set, but Dr. Google and all those other poor souls who experienced similarities set me straight.

Then I did something completely unheard of. I called Jacob and asked himself. When did you start hearing the noises? The day after I took the grey pill. And it also makes him feel floaty.


I told my mom not to give him another Concerta. Ever.

She has a few of his old meds left and will switch to those. I'm keeping him off the Zoloft too until I can determine if it was the medicine causing the anxiety or if he truly has anxiety and THEN I will treat it through his pediatrician. Or another psychiatrist if I can ever get an appointment with one.

I can't believe I didn't trust my kid enough to just KNOW it had to be something. Maybe it's not, but in my heart, I know it is. I took my kid to that place, let them take blood from his arm (which all I have to say about that is...HELL), switched his medications to make him feel all floaty, yelled at him for sharing (loudly) the noises and paranoia he was going through, all the time telling him to trust me, take your medicine, the doctor wouldn't give it to you if it wasn't going to make you feel better.

Yeah. Right.

According to Dr. Google and some other doctors who have specialists of ADD and shit like that next to their internet names, Concerta SHOULD NOT be given to children or adults with known anxiety disorders for just this reason. Now, Jacob has never been diagnosed with anxiety, but I told the psychiatrist specifically at our first appointment that the therapist and I both felt he suffered from it and the main reason I was there was to find a way for him to deal with that.

He's a freaking psychiatrist. Isn't HE supposed to know these things?

I guess this is why they could fit me right in and no other psychiatrist on our insurance could see us until fall.


If it turns out we are right, it's the meds doing this to him, I think I'm going to call that "psychiatrist" and ask for the 400 dollars I've dished out to him so we can have a do over vacation.

I already hear the banana daiquiris calling me.


Star said...

oh that stinks!!

Poor you, and poor Jacob! I'm glad you've discovered a possible cause tot he issue though!

L said...

Well it sounds like something was freaking him out. I'm betting strongly on the Concerta but what do I know? I'm not a doctor, I don't even play one on tv. I'm so sorry for all of you to have to go through that on vacation. Meds can be tricky with kids but I do think they can be helpful if they are prescribed correctly. My assvice is to get a second opinion.
Is the bullying still happening? I thought it had gotten better.

Jo Ellen said...

Yep. Second opinion. Call tomorrow. See if they can fit you in. Tell them I recommended you and Caleb has been their patient for 5 years. I don't know if that will help get you in quicker, but I hope it will. said...

I know how much you're hurting, Andria. I wish there were ONE therapy or medication that would DEFINITELY work for everyone, but it's such a crap shoot when it comes to psychiatric medications...

And? I understand the fear about hereditary psychological issues. We could have an entire cheesecake over the issues on both my side and PAtrick's side that I worry may be passed onto Justin.

I am also not proud to admit that I have yelled and threatened and punished when exhausted from lack of sleep or lack of patience. As in, extremely embarrassing behavior on my part. Have you guys considered taking him off of ALL medications and slowly reintroducing one at a time to see which may cause undesired effects? Also, are there any combinations of his medicines that might have a bad side effect?

Anonymous said...