Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Lovely Stress, Wonderful Stress

For years now, I've suspected that Gameboy had another mental health issue that wasn't diagnosed. His highs are too high, his lows are inconsolable. Those of you who have witnessed one of his many meltdowns know that his lows are beyond that of the typical toddler temper tantrum. With that in mind, I thought that Gameboy might also be Bipolar, perhaps rapid cycling.

At the time that I mentioned it to his psychiatrist, it was stated that he was far too young to make that kind of diagnosis effectively. More time and data would be needed to saddle the child with yet another disorder to manage.

So we watched and waited. In many respects, he'd been pretty good for a long time. To the degree that I speak for Ed and myself that when I say I was holding my breath, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

The school did some boneheaded moves, ignoring what we've said about the child and his obsessions. Several times in December, he was allowed things that he shouldn't have, thus opening Pandora's box. Once opened, you cannot shut it with Gameboy. He had been given XYZ, and he would persist in getting it because YOU. GAVE. IT. TO. ME. BEFORE!!!!!! with stomping of feet and yelling that would do even the most recalcitrant toddler proud.

As a result, the past two weeks have been horrendous. I've had two meetings at the school, one with Ed and one without. We signed paperwork for testing and had plans to reconvene next week to go over them. Yesterday, an email from the ESE specialist about additional tantrums, one that got a very strongly worded reply from me that they had to expedite testing AND provide me with summaries of what is going on in each teacher's class to give to Dr. N when we see her Thursday. Something had to give.

Today, I left the house to get ground beef to make some meatballs. My phone rang and I noticed it was Ms. E, Gameboy's teacher for the majority of the day. Oh, SHIT. Before she could even say a word, I heard Gameboy screaming at top volume in the background. I'm on my way.

Once at the school, I parked the car and could hear my son screaming through my closed car windows, across easily 500 feet of campus. I could even hear what exactly he was saying. I talk of DEFCON 5, but this sounded like DEFCON 10. A brief visit to the office to let them know I was on campus (but I didn't stop for a visitor's pass), and over to the classroom.

Gameboy's yelling was muted as I rounded the corner of the building, and Ms E tells me that he's in the next classroom with someone. They come back out with Gameboy still yelling. It is at this point the man puts his hand out, "Hi, I'm Mr. T" The school principal. Nice way to meet him, don't you think?

We spend another 20 minutes with Gameboy in rare form. At one point, he's ordered to sit on a bench next to the school buses, and Mr. T and I talk of yesterday's email, Gameboy's need for new placement and that I'm thinking this is a Manic episode. He'd been quiet, until a few kids on the other side of the breezeway parrot back his behavior of a few minutes before and then we were off to the races again.

It is at this point that my chest starts to hurt. Really hurt, with deep tissue pain in the center. Within moments, the backs of my upper arms join in the agony-all while I'm listening to the principal try to calm my child down. Finally, we part company with plans to communicate tomorrow so that Dr. N can get the needed information on Thursday.

The child continues with his "I wanted XYZ" bull while we're walking to the car, and I'm in no shape to redress the behavior. All I could wheeze out was "I want a job and a house of my own. Don't have them, and you don't see me throwing a temper tantrum about it, do you?"

The drive home is a short one, but man, I'm having a hard time. Deep breaths cause stabbing pains. My phone rings-it's Joyce. She catches the strange sound of my voice and assumes she'd awoken me from the nap. It was timely that she called, because I needed the distraction to drive. Part of me fearing this was what a heart attack felt like and me with no health insurance. Crap.

I'm no stranger to anxiety attacks. They entered my life when my ex husband departed and were my companion for about 4 or 5 years. I know my triggers and I know how to control them (loss of control and lamaze breathing for 5-10 minutes).

What happened today was likely a different type of anxiety attack. It was far scarier than any other one I've had. It HURT on a scale of a blood clot, was rather intense and took a few hours to calm down. Lamaze breathing didn't touch the damn thing.

Loss of control? Heck, yeah. I've got no job nor job prospects. I've got a kid that has been so bad that he has no video games until October, no TV, no iPod and I made him take trash bags and pick up all the toys in his room. Still he defies what me, Ed, and any adult in his life tells him to do (except for maybe the Scout Masters for 90 minutes a week). I've got no damn control.

How the hell do I get control of this situation, without dropping my kid at juvenile detention?

What do I do if these anxiety attacks keep happening? The twisted part of me said "Oh goody, I can add anxiety attacks to my SSDI appeal." Because it had been nearly 10 years since the last one, I didn't put them on the initial application.

This sucks.

9 People talked back:

Robin Costello (Delswife) said...

God, I am so sorry you are going through this. I wish there was something I could do to help.

((hug))

Bob said...

hugs from us, too. I'm off 2 days if you want to talk or just vent.

Jientje said...

I don't know what to say, except give you a hug girl. xxx

daysgoby said...

Oh, Suzanne, this SUCKS. This just sucks.

I'm so sorry.
Be gentle with yourself. This isn't your fault - this is something wrong with his hard-wiring. (I think that's a computer metaphor!) He needs time to learn how to process everything, even with new medication, new classrooms, etc.....
is any of this helping? I'm sorry.

Grandy said...

I can't say that I understand exactly what you are going through, because I would never want to minimize what you are feeling or experiencing. What I will share is my twin sister is currently facing this with her son. I can appreciate the ache you go through as a Mom. The calls from the school. The daily report card from the teacher who doesn't have the patience, the capacity, or even the energy to address the needs your son has. She has 30 other kids, all with their needs to be addressed as well. It's not "necessarily" their fault.

My sister is currently heart-broken as the doctors continue to go through different meds. After witnessing a recent episode, the doctors now think there is something greater still wrong because he is SO EXTREME.

I cry as I write this comment to you, because I was doing the lamaze with you as I read this. I am so sorry for this ache. Please know that WE know how hard it is for you and Ed. WE know you are trying. And F*CK those that want to assume otherwise.

I'm going to go back and stare at your meatballs again now. ;)

{{hugs}}

DirtyDisher said...

I read this post and felt so bad for you. I KNOW how it is. My grand daughter has chiari, people judge her harshly when she melts down, calling her brat and worse. But, it's not her fault. Or ours. Hang in there.

Blessings Abound said...

(((Hugs))) I'm so sorry! It must be difficult to be in that position.

Kansas A said...

I commend you for being a parent that is actually doing something about the situation... so many just do nothing and "wait for it to pass." You deserve a special place in this world for your patience and understanding with your child... big hugs to you and I hope it gets easier for you.

Kim @ What's That Smell? said...

I'm so sorry you are going through this....I wish I had some wise words to help you but all I can do is offer up a virtual hug!