I am here and I have coffee, and that is good enough for today.
It’s been a long few weeks, folks.
Xander has had reactions to two new medications that we have tried and we are currently trying out a third. The first med we tried was a complete bust and caused Xander to be extremely aggressive. Apparently it happens as a side effect to 1% of patients, and boy was it awful. Xander struggles with aggression from his uncontrollable OCD and anxiety among other things, but this was something else entirely. Whew. The name of this drug, which is a very good drug for most people, is called Clonidine. I want people to be aware of some of the potential side effects if they are considering this for their own little guys and gals. 1% is a small percentage, but when being in that 1% means having to forcibly remove your 3 year old from choking his baby brother I think it is worth mentioning. There were many episodes, but the one that I will remember forever is the necklace incident. Xander’s aggression escalated so quickly that before I could blink he was pulling with all his might on a double looped dress-up necklace that was wrapped around his brother’s neck. It was so tight that D’Angelo could barely cry, and I can’t bring myself to think about what could have happened if I wasn’t always rightthere with them. Xander has no idea about long term effects and couldn’t possibly know how choking his brother could potentially end, so please remember that. I worry that by sharing some of these stories that I am painting this sweet little boy to be something that he is not. He’s just a kid, not a monster, but I feel that this story could help someone else in their decision to medicate and so here we are.
The next drug we tried was a fairly common anti-depressant. While this particular drug seemed to calm his OCD a tad it raised his energy level through the roof! Those of you who know Xander know that he is already incessantly on the move, but I swear to Dog that the child didn’t sit down for three days.
So here we are 4 days into drug #3. It is also an SSRI but so far it seems to be okay. No real positive effects yet but I haven’t seen any negatives either, so I’m starting to get optimistic.
In between the drug dramarama we have also been busy with therapies and appointments and even some fun stuff! My mom is here from Nova Scotia for a week and a half and that has been fun. The kids are enjoying themselves for sure. It took Xander a full day to acknowledge mom and adjust to her being here, but since then it has been great! This is her first time here since Xander’s regression and autism diagnosis, so she has essentially had to get to know this “new” child and we weren’t sure how it would go… for either of them. But it has been okay. Emotional, but okay.
We are doing okay. Pat and I are holding strong, taking turns pulling each other up when things are tough. My amazing stepson is kicking butt this soccer season and teaching us all how to play Minecraft which has been a BLAST.
Damien Angelo is doing pretty good. Aside from being a casualty of the terrible head cold that has ripped through the house, of course. Next week he will be a part of a training program to help doctors learn the new ADOS testing, and I am very excited about it. The ADOS test is one of the common tools for autism diagnosis so not only are we helping the professionals get familiar with it we are going to get a sneak peek into whether or not we should pursue a formal diagnosis for D’Angelo at this time. I’m looking forward to the insight! He is still not communicating with us and screams nearly constantly. He has just turned 20 months old and is displaying a lot of the same “quirks” that Xan was at this age, but that could also be perfectly typical. Any parent will have a metric ton of stories that prove that all children are odd ducks. All toddlers are weird! Ha!
Vito is doing well too! He is coming up on 10 months old here, and has become such an important part of our family. We are so lucky to have this big gentle goof-ball. Plus, would you look at the handsome face?!
He fits right in with my adorable kids!
So there you have our current update. Thanks for sticking around even though I haven’t been posting frequently. Y’all are the bees knees. xoxo