Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Holding our breath...

As I've though about yesterday, it feels as though we have been holding our breath... will the extra 25 mg of seroquel help B back to the life he's accustomed to? He started it Sunday dinnertime & having discussed the extra pill with B earlier in the day, he took it without comment or complaint. He didn't want me to read to him at bedtime Sunday night, so C just sat in the dark & chatted with him until he fell asleep at nearly his usual time. I was a bit nervous about camp Monday morning. B was still having trouble with OCD thoughts & we sat & hugged for a bit after breakfast to help him pull it together. He never said that he didn't want to go, so off we went. We seem to have very deep, interesting conversations on the way to camp, so he was pretty diverted in the car. He ticced pretty violently when he got there, but I decided that they'd call me if he was having trouble... I stuck close to home anyway, just in case (it wasn't hard, seeing as it was laundry day & I needed to bake bread :). I brought both B & his best buddy E home after camp, with a stop to buy water ballons :) B had been very distracted during the day- he was wearing his swim trunks when I picked him up! It turned out to have been funny incidents, though... he spilled orange soda on his pants (& his pizza, which he said didn't taste very good with the soda on it...) during lunch, then another kid accidentally hosed him with chocolate milk. So he put on still-damp swim trunks (with his clean boxers :) & bagged the sodden clothes in the plastic bag I send for emergencies. That was pretty good thinking, actually, although he decided he must have a "mild case of dementia", which he thought was funny... After a snack, E changed into his trunks, too & they commenced with the water balloon fun. After E left B seemed tired, but not overwhelmed, & told me about how the game he's designing is coming along. He couldn't be on his own because the thoughts would overwhelm him, but he kept me company for a bit then went online to look at pokemon cards. I think he's memorising every card in existence as an antidote to the thoughts... It will be very cool & interesting when he gets the japanese cards & can compare them.

When C came home for dinner he said he'd spoken to Dr. B, the psychiatrist, & that she would have a new prescription for B waiting for us after camp tomorrow. She wants him to try klonopin- an anti-anxiety medicine that we'd decided against trying a few months ago because it, too, has a possible weight-gain side-effect. C told me that he has adult patients on it & they'venot had difficulty with weight-gain & it's helped their anxiety a great deal. After dinner it was tubby time. While B was bathing a ferocious thunder storm came through, so after I braided his rat-tail, I read for a bit from our Arthur Ransome book to distract us :) B & C were going to play a pokemon card came after, but B was too tired & asked me to read some more. At one point he had an overwhelming thought & rolled into a fetal position, but he was able to verbalise the thought (it was the one about Rufus being beheaded again- he said it was very graphic). I made physical contact with B, to give him some feedback from outside his head, then told him that this bad thought couldn't happen, that Rufus was safe, & that he was safe... he calmed down pretty quickly & was able to go on listening to the story. He fell asleep within about 1/2 an hour.

This morning felt a bit less like I was holding my breath. B started ticcing the moment he woke up, but the minute he was distracted by dressing & eating breakfast it stopped. He was quite relaxed going into camp, looking forward to working on his game. This afternoon we'll pick up B's new prescription after camp, then go the the store to fill it & have a snack there while we're waiting (B is really looking forward to this part :). Our friend Paula & her son, favourite sitter C, are coming to dinner, so we'll pick up some fruit- maybe make strawberry shortcake for them. We'll also start B's new medicine, continuing the breath-holding phase as we watch for side-effects & to see if it helps.


At 11:10 PM, Blogger Zilari said...

Hi there...I don't know if anyone has already suggested this to B, but the "beheading" thought you describe reminds me of a bad dream I had the other night. In my case, I dreamed that an astronaut was accidentally beheaded during a space mission, and it was VERY creepy to wake up in the middle of the night with that image! I have always been annoyed at how rational I feel during the day, but how waking up in the dark from an unsettling dream seems to result in a lingering sensation of dread and difficulty shedding the impact of certain disturbing images. I'm wondering if this post-dream feeling is in any way similar to how OCD might feel -- knowing what is and is not real, but still having the image "stuck" there and bothering me.

Anyway, what I did that enabled me to go back to sleep was to visualize a "happy ending". I figured that since it had been my dream, and my mind, that I got to make the rules for what happened next. So, I imagined that the astronaut's head had been well preserved and that when she returned to earth they attached the head to an indestructible robot body and she lived happily ever after. Basically, I forced my brain to come up with a "resolution" to the disturbing scene -- though I imagine for some people the "cyborg" concept might be as disturbing as the actual beheading! I apologize if this sounds really weird, but I figured it might be worth mentioning as a concept.

It is good if a person is able to STOP a disturbing thought, but sometimes I think that such thoughts might be amenable to "fixing" or resolving in a positive manner. For instance, if B was thinking about Rufus being beheaded (and that IS an awful thought! I don't even know Rufus personally but he seems like such a character in B's life I'd be mad if something happened to him!), he might then visualize someone managing to put Rufus back together as good as new. The "bad thing' would still have happened in the thought, but it would also have been remedied. I am wondering if perhaps these sorts of thoughts are a manifestation of worry about what a person could possibly do if one of the worst imaginable things happened? It can sometimes be useful to, if a person is emotionally ready for it, actually try to imagine what they WOULD do if that thing happened. And of course, since it's all in the imagination, the resolutions can be whatever you want them to be!

At 10:45 AM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

That is a really wonderful idea Zilari! I'll run it past B's psychologist when we see him next week. Thanks!

At 2:14 PM, Anonymous Klonopin Prescription Information said...

My name is David Root and i would like to show you my personal experience with Klonopin.

I am 25 years old. Have been on Klonopin for at least 4 months now. Started taking it for anxiety and a chemically induced teeth grinding problem from an antidepressant. It works great. It helps with the teeth grinding, and I take a very low dose of it. I don't abuse it. Abuse it, and your asking for problems. I don't see a problem with addiction (I was in a situation where I was without it for 4 days, and I was fine).

I have experienced some of these side effects-
None, a little sleepiness, but nothing ground breaking

I hope this information will be useful to others,
David Root

At 4:13 PM, Blogger Lisa/Jedi said...

Thanks for your input, David. Brendan has been taking the clonapin for a few years now (this post is over 2 years old! hard to believe...) & it's helped him a lot with the anxiety. Hope you continue to do well on it, too.


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