Tuesday, June 22, 2010


It's been a little while since I've written out here, but many things have changed.

I finished up my practice teaching and finished the program and packed up the house. I was lucky enough to be accepted into all three Masters of Education programs that I applied to earlier in the year, and after a LOT of thinking, chose to return to my old hometown and accept at the local university.

The reason I decided this was because of Thing One's issues, and the difficulty that surrounded caring for his mental health and juggling Thing Two and a busy life. I figured that being closer to my family and friends would be helpful should he relapse, especially since it was so much stress while we all practically lived on the psych ward.

So, here we are. Spent Saturday loading a 26ft one way U-Haul and moved all of us back here. It's a lovely place here, we've got our own little piece of paradise in a cute 3 bedroom townhouse in an isolated area. Our front yard is literally a city owned park, with a play structure and winter ice rink. It's lovely - but I'm still struggling. I miss the big city and those people in the big city that I love. I've found myself (after the stressful whirlwind of the last year) plopped down here in a green lazy field with nothing to get me up in the morning, or knock me out at night. The kids have been loving the park and the new house and an early summer vacation. I'll adjust, I'm sure of that.

But now, I've got that cold peach pit of dread in my stomach. Sunday night Thing One had a panic attack after I slightly electrocuted myself on a table lamp. I'm seriously fine, it's just broken and there must be a wire touching inside because I plugged it in and zapped myself. I jumped a bit because it hurt, but the boy child suddenly started clutching his chest and sucking in loud breaths and turning a bit blue around the mouth. I had to shake him to get him to snap out of it and he cried off and on for almost an hour afterward.

Then today - sigh. Today Thing One played out in the park alone while Thing Two watched tv. He came running in frightened, saying he felt someone was watching him and he saw a shadow man by the garbage bin. I can see the whole park from my front window, and there is no one there. A little later he headed upstairs to the bathroom and came down upset because he heard voices whispering in Thing Two's room. Thing Two was downstairs on the couch with me.

He cried and doesn't know why "these things are acting up", and saying that he "doesn't know if its real or not"... this feels an awful lot like the beginnings of what we experienced when he was in crises.

I am afraid, and we don't yet have a child psychiatrist here. What do I do...

Friday, June 11, 2010

The One Where: Not Otherwise Specified really just means We Have No Idea


These are the three little letters that haunt me.

This week Thing One visited with Dr. Weasel. Again.

I do not know why.

She finally had a copy of the discharge notes on Thing One's period of observation. His (Dr. Monkey's) diagnosis on paper is 1) Anxiety 2) Psychosis Disorder NOS. He is considered to NOT be in an acute state currently.

NOS. "Not Otherwise Specified". Which means basically this:

"We did not observe anything specific during the two weeks you entrusted your very broken son to us. We know something is wrong, but we don't know why. It may be his medication, but we are not willing to admit that on paper despite what we have told you in person. It is a mystery, and he should remain medicated to be sure he doesn't want to hurt himself or his family."

And then? She upped the medication.

If there was a way to replicate the sounds that the tazmanian devil makes when he is spinning and spitting and tearing out his hair into type - you'd read it here.

I'm slowly packing up the house around me to return to my hometown and my family support system. I am looking forward (IMMENSELY) to the move and the referral to a new set of eyes.

God help us all but I'm really starting to wonder what the HELL is wrong with this system?

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Here We Go 'Round the Mulberry Bush! OR Who do I punch first? The monkey or the weasel??

Thankyou to all of you that commented on my last post about Thing One's return to the nest. I was, and AM, very happy to have him home again and feeling better.

This week we attended a follow-up appointment with Dr. Brain. Which? Left me nothing but frustrated. I canNOT keep pulling out my hair, there will truly be nothing left.

While Thing One was in paeds psych, he was under the care of a different child psychologist. We'll call him "The Monkey". On the weekends, we were cared for by the original Dr. Brain (The Weasel). I do not have a great history of confidence with The Weasel. She has a very poor bedside manner to say the least (which is NOT good when you're dealing with sensitive mental health issues and their impacts on families). In my first appointment she actually commented "OH, I see..." and nodded emphatically when she discovered that I was a single mother. As if that answered everything, as if attending "positive parenting" classes would be enough to cure my son from his issues.

(Which I did attend, to appease her, but I'm still unsure why I felt the need to prove my parenting prowess....)

Over the last year we've changed meds, diagnosis and opinions. I've been questioned, turned inside out, disbelieved and dismissed. During Thing One's observation period in hospital, Dr. Monkey was quite distressed about the Prozac factor and quickly took him off the drug. He maintained the Seroquel (and still does), and after two weeks of leeching this from his system, the symptoms of psychosis abated.

It is my understanding from Dr. Monkey, that Prozac was the culprit, and that it can happen in children, and has. I did some layman research myself and found the same results. Yesterday, after a week has gone by since Thing One was released, we visited Dr. Weasel, who began the appointment by asking me what the result was from the hospital. Apparently SHE hasn't recieved the report from Dr. Weasel just yet.

Then, she looked at me like I had four heads and calmly told me there are NO case studies showing Prozac to cause symptoms of psychosis and she has no idea what Dr. Monkey is talking about. She was so adamant she insisted that if we were to accept that reasoning, then we should be WRITING A CASE STUDY on my son's experiences since its NEVER happened before.

Colour me confused.

We discussed the recurrence of Thing One's mood swings, temper and aggression (something that abated during his Prozac course and has now reappeared since we've removed the drug). Despite that being true, she now thinks that it's not anxiety that's causing the behaviour changes but the need for limits in the family. (HOLY FREAKIN CRAP BATMAN. I've been down this road...) So now, we are back to serving up the latest token economy to cease Thing One from hitting his sister when he's mad 83 times a day. Which? Doesn't work.

Know why?

I set limits. Have ALWAYS set limits. Have tried the token economy, it fails in the face of a child who cannot control wild emotional response. In fact, in some cases it actually exacerbated his issues, as he began worrying about his performance and chance for rewards. Which makes him anxious. Which makes him volatile. Which leads to explosive behaviour... it's round and round we go.

So, like I said before, WTF? Who do we believe, and WHAT do we do now? Thing One is WAY unregulated and both Doctors can't see eye to eye on anything.

Who do I punch first?