It’s Still Cold

I was very intentionally waiting for a time when things were going well before I wrote again. But I’ve been waiting too long, and that time has not come. Things are not going well. It reminds me of this Club Penguin comic that’s one of Javan’s favorites. So, this penguin in the North Pole decides to take up as a weatherman. He’s all excited his first day or two to report the cold weather. He becomes gradually less enthusiastic as he realizes that’s pretty much all he’s ever going to report. Eventually, he just stops showing up to work. In his place, he’s taped a sign to the weather screen that says something like, “Yep, it’s still cold.”

Well, folks, things are still cold here. About three months ago, Javan’s Risperdal stopped working. That’s the medicine that controls his bipolar symptoms. We couldn’t up the dosage anymore, as it was already causing significant weight gain and could cause heart problems if the dose went any higher. So we decided to try one last medicine. The doctor was very straightforward that this was the last thing to try, so we really duked it out hoping for the best. We did a 10 week trial of Geodon. It was awful. I won’t even go into the details except that it was just awful.

I called the psychiatrist in a bit of a panic when I finally admitted to myself that we had to get him off that medicine. He reassured me that it would be ok. We got him off the Geodon, went back on a lower dose of Risperdal, and made an appointment. The doctor told me he still had some tricks up his sleeve. Waiting for that appointment was hell. But it’s only gotten worse since.

Apparently, the trick up his sleeve was very limited, and I rejected it on the spot. He had us go back up to the former dose of Risperdal – you know, the one that had quit working? – and suggested we might add something to it to help with the weight gain. But the additional medication would also dull his cognitive function. Well, cognitive function is sort of important to me as his mother and teacher, so that one bit the dust hard. So what now? He said just get him on the former dose of Risperdal and pray. So basically, the field of medicine is out of answers. We just take it the best we can and we pray.

Javan’s been back on the upper dose of Risperdal for three days and it hasn’t been pretty. Let’s paint a picture of a day in the life. We sleep in, not a bad start. The Risperdal can make him sleepy for a few days when we increase it. We attempt to get some schooling done before the Occupational Therapist (OT) arrives. I say attempt, because, well, some days it’s going to fail. More days lately than usual have been total fails. I try not to take it too hard because this would be the case for him no matter what school he was in or what teacher he had. At least we can pick back up where we left off so he doesn’t get left behind. We have 12 school jobs to get done each day. We get 1.5 school jobs done before all hell breaks loose and he’s out of control and I’m going right down with him. He’s yelling and fighting and I’m yelling and stamping. Beautiful, huh? We get calmed down and I give him some time off before the OT arrives so that he’s not a complete mess when she gets there. But he quickly becomes a complete mess when she gets there anyway. He’s growling and hitting and talking like an angry robot. He comes at her with a toy sword, I deflect, and he’s in time out to use any one of his many calming techniques in there (rocking chair, hammock, bouncy horse, etc.). He comes back out and before I know it he is coming after her with a pool cue. I was right on him and he never got near her with it but still. I had to ask her to leave. No therapy today. We eat and watch tv and I generally walk on egg shells to try not to set him off again. We get back to school, and it goes better. We figured out quite by accident that letting him do his seat work in roller skates helps a great deal both in focus and quality of work. He just rolled his feet all around on the floor while he worked. Whatever works. Fast forward to this evening. A pack meeting at the cub scout pack we joined a month ago. Each and every den and pack meeting has been a complete and total disaster. Tonight was no exception and I left by asking for our camping money back because there is no way our family will survive camping this weekend. What was I thinking? I foresee us having to leave the pack altogether and count cub scouts in the “expensive mistakes” category. Bedtime did go off without a hitch, to my immense relief. And now we wait for tomorrow.

We are left hopeless and lost. We can’t help our son. We can’t heal our family. We can’t. I want so badly to find the answer for him. I can still look into special diets and natural supplements, which will undoubtedly add to the expensive mistakes category. But we have to try. Because bipolar disorder is winning. And I can’t let that happen.


3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. vera
    Oct 07, 2013 @ 23:29:34

    My heart breaks for you all 😦 I wish I had something more profound to say. Your blogs often remind me of that story January First. I know she has had many hospitalizations to stabilize her. Prayers and hugs to you! Ithink you’re amazing:)


  2. Aunt Sue
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 07:23:33

    I so wish the love we have for your family was enough to fix this for you. I think of the pain families go through and the path they each have to walk…it’s a huge burden sometimes. I so wish this burden could be shared better to lighten your load. We continue to pray for answers.


  3. She knows who I am
    Oct 08, 2013 @ 08:51:36

    This down period was one of the cycles of bi-polar for us. Be assured that the upswing is there and will come again. It doesn’t make this time easier to handle but it is a thread to hang on to just the same. (Any thread in a storm) try charting his ups and downs. Having a pattern made it easier for me to deal with the down times. I knew they would end and could look ahead a little easier. NO offense, but I had to laugh a little in the middle of your blog, my child used to use wooden swords and go for others too occasionally. Took me back a little to forgotten memories. Here’s hoping you can get past these days quickly. Prayers to you guys.


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