If you’ve been with me for a while or are new around here, you know that I’m a mom blogger, who chronicles her child’s journey through autism, ADHD, and an anxiety disorder. I am also a Behavioral Specialist/ABA Professional, so in my case… one hand washes the other, I guess.
Sometimes when I write, I write with raw emotion. I do this because I know that there are people out there that who have already walked in my shoes, or are about to step into them. And as such, to have the feeling that you’re not alone, is a wonderful feeling. Loneliness is one of the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced in my life, so if I’m able to help and inspire others through my own experiences, than I know I’ve made a difference in someone’s life.
I also write about my family, and as a family, we’ve had our ups and we’ve had our downs. We’ve had triumphs and we’ve had letdowns. And sometimes we seem to dance our way through life by doing the cha-cha (two steps forward/two steps back). But in the end, somehow… we always seem to land on our feet.
As a family.
For the past week, I’ve been having feelings that I just can’t seem to ignore. It wakes me up during the night out of nowhere. These feelings leave an uneasy and stressful mark on my heart. I’ve been extra emotional, and start to cry out of nowhere. I get the shakes, a sour stomach, and the rapid heartbeat of an anxiety attack. I’m pretty good at reading my own body, and knowing when to give in and went to not to, when it comes to surrendering to the overwhelming feelings that I can’t seem to stop.
I’m referring to my son’s hospitalization exactly one year ago.
To make an incredibly long and painful story short, my son’s doctor suggested that we try a new anxiety medication that might help and calm his anxiety symptoms. But instead of helping his symptoms, it only made them worse. My poor boy had a nervous breakdown at school. He needed to be hospitalized at five years old. And after living in the emergency room for four days and three nights, and then dealing with a raging infection in his leg, due to an injection that when horribly wrong, that almost cost him some serious surgery, and months of physical therapy, my son had to be weaned off of the new medication that was causing the opposite effect on him.
Instead of helping his anxiety, it was causing symptoms of psychosis!
After two weeks of testing and observation, it was concluded that Willy would be better off without any anxiety medication in his body, because all of the meds that they tried had the opposite effect. The doctors suggested that home services would be best for him as well as a therapy dog.
So of course I went full throttle with both. Willy started home services shortly after he came home from the hospital, and I desperately searched for the best organizations for a service/therapy dog for my boy. Thank goodness I found APAW (American Poodles At Work) http://www.americanpoodlesatwork.org because our lives have been changed for good. For the better. For the very best!
Right now, as I watch my boy playing in his playroom, I can’t believe the change in him. I’ve watched him grow and flourish more this past year than ever before. I realize now more than ever that medication for certain symptoms is like putting a Band-Aid over an open wound. Some wounds are meant to air out in the open, and slowly but surely they heal on their own. Patience is definitely a virtue, and even I need a reminder every now and then to be patient with my boy.
But as hard as I try, I can’t ignore the fact that my son was hospitalized a year ago because of medication. Our experiences in the ER and hospital will always be with me. But I can undeniably admit that this horrible experience has made me a much stronger person! To not acknowledge our experiences would be like living a lie. It happened, we dealt with it the best we could, and we came out stronger than ever in the end. But lately, it still lingers in the corner of my mind like there’s a BIG PINK ELEPHANT in the room. I just can’t help it.
I mean, look at my boy’s face (I took this picture yesterday)! That is the face of triumph! Strength! Survival! Perseverance! And determination! We wouldn’t be where we are now if Willy didn’t give it his all everyday. This little boy who is now six, works so hard and hardly ever complains. He LOVES his home therapist, he LOVES going to his social group every Saturday, and he LOVES his service pup, Everest! He’s doing fantastic!!
To be honest, I have no idea if my boy ever thinks about his hospital experiences, because he would never tell me. He can’t tell me. Autism is like that I guess, but I do see the repercussions of his experiences every time we go to the doctors office or the dentist. He freezes and doesn’t let anyone in scrubs get within two feet of him, without him screaming his head off and fighting them.
It’s so sad and it breaks my heart.
But as we move forward, I only see good things for my son. He’s taking fewer steps back and our cha-cha is now turning into the tango. Willy now has direction; he’s our leader and we are following his every step to help steer him in the right direction. He’s passionate about the things that loves, and now his future now seems brighter and more possible than ever. I am so proud of my little boy and he knows it!
Have a great day everyone, and if you celebrate Rosh Hashanah, I hope you have a very happy and sweet new year.