Shoeless Josh and the Attack of the Hive Monsters

Let's get back to Toadie, shall we?

 

Interesting things have occurred since I went to Vegas.  And when I say "interesting", it's in a "Seriously? Are you freaking kidding me with this?!" sort of way.

So anyone who's been here for a while or who has read back knows about Josh's shoe issues.  They have been exacerbated over the last few months by a terrible bout with plantar warts on both his heels.  I've been able to treat one side fairly well with Compound W at night after he's asleep, but the other side is a pretty concentrated cluster that is being highly resistant.  It's clear that they're making him uncomfortable, he started walking on his toes again. Putting his shoes on was becoming more and more of a struggle.

During the two days that I was home between Vegas and my trip home, he was running down the hall and slid on the floor and smashed the little toe on one foot on the corner of the wall.  Pretty hard.  He was limping after that, and the next morning, that side of his foot was bruised and swollen - he may have broken a bone in the toe.  Needless to say, I couldn't even get his shoes near him.  So, since he would still wear my old slippers without a fuss, I just let him wear them to school while his toe was healing.  Since they were mine, they are too big for him so there is nothing constricting about them. 

School was fabulous, as they have been this year, didn't phase them a bit.  As I was apologizing for his being there in my old slippers, they were like, "hey, no big deal, most of the other kids spend the day without their shoes on too, it's fine."  Have I mentioned how much I love them?  I know I have, but I'm doing it again anyway.  At his elementary school, they used to freak out when he would take his shoes off.  So this is very welcome acceptance, that's all.

So he was going to school in my slippers.  Which he was pretty happy about.  Problem was, even once his foot seemed better, I still couldn't get the shoes near him.  Whether the heels were still bugging him, or he just got used to being able to wear his favorite footwear out, no shoes were happening.  Reluctantly I would take him out, wearing the slippers.  Of course this is my own hang-up, what should it matter to anyone else, he's got something on his feet at least. 

But I was worried about sending him out to school as Fall gets in to full swing here and we head in to Winter - the weather is getting colder and wetter.  And my old worn-out Uggs are not going to keep his feet warm/dry.  I tried everything.  He likes to wear Zach's shoes around the house, so I tried putting him in a pair of Zach's shoes one morning.... um, no.  With Josh, footwear will now be on his terms and I can no longer force the issue.  Even if I were to get them on after an epic struggle, he takes them off immediately.  So that didn't work. 

I finally got smart, though, it may take me a little while, but I get there!  I was wracking my brain about this last week and thought, well, he obviously really likes the Uggs.  They are easy to slip on, when they are too big they don't constrict his feet at all.... and they come in kids' versions... and boots.... and hello, Zappos! (this was before the whole Pedophile book ordeal)  So, I ordered him these:

 

When they arrived, I just put them on the floor in front of him and said they were his new slippers.  He promptly put them on... and has been happily wearing them since!  I ordered them a few sizes bigger than he wears so they would still be loose enough for him to be comfortable, but with the boot legs and new sheepskin interior, they will keep his feet warm.  I sprayed them with Ugg's suede protector so they will stand up better when it's wet.  He wore them to school no problem so I'm a happy mama.  Uggs are pricey, but if he'll wear them?  Worth it to have something on his feet.  They are well made and last a long time.

So I'm feeling pretty pleased with myself for sorting that little issue out.  Hey, I'll take every victory I can get!

 

Meanwhile, you may also remember that Josh was starting on the Risperdal when I went to the conference.  He was doing well on it, not too sleepy, and his mood was clearly improving - I was so happy, maybe we finally got a handle on his anger/aggression!  Then not quite a week on the medicine, he developed what I thought was a rash.  It appeared on and off for several days, and seemed to be very itchy.  He's had a number of random rash episodes in the past, so I didn't think too much of it at first, until one morning I got him up and he was COVERED, and I mean covered, head to toe, in raised, red welts.  And he was scratching like crazy.  Holy gods...  in a panic I asked his dad what was up (he's a pediatrician) and he was like, those are hives, not a rash.  Oh.... uh, well, that's what he's had for the last several days....  except this is ridiculous... given that there had been no changes in soap or laundry detergents or anything at all, the only possibility was that he was allergic to the Risperdal.  FANFREAKINGTASTIC.  So, we had to stop giving him the one thing that seemed to be making a difference in the mood/behaviors of the last few months.  I was pretty depressed.  But stop it I did.  The hives continued, though.  Off and on, but as I was pumping him full of Benadryl a couple times a day, the fact that they'd go and come back wasn't surprising.  And they continued.  He had been off the Risperdal for 5-6 days and he was still covered in the hives on and off.  So we thought maybe it wasn't the medicine after all.  So we started it again.  Still with the hives, but nothing had really changed.  Then after 2 days back on the Risperdal, I got him up for school and he was one, giant, little-boy eating hive.  His eyes were swollen almost shut,  his back was one enormous welt, it was crazy, I've never seen anything like it.  Needless to say we stopped the Risperdal again, thinking it was worse because we had re-started it. 

Poor Toadie.  Seriously, is his life not hard enough that he needs to be covered in itchy hives from head to toe for reasons we can't figure out??  He's been off the Risperdal for good for a couple of weeks now.  But he is still breaking out with the hives sometimes.  Not as bad as they were, but certainly still happening.  So now what?  Was it the Risperdal since it did seem to be worse when he was on it or was that a coincidence?  And if it was, then what happens now?  It was the only thing that seemed to be helping his rage behavior.  If it's not, then what the hell is it?  He needs to see an allergist.  This will present a whole host of fun, as the differential diagnoses for chronic urticaria (hives) are many, meaning, loads of tests.  Good times.  To his credit, despite being covered in itchy badness for the better part of the last several weeks, he has been remarkably good natured about it - relatively speaking.  He's had his moments, but over all I think he's handling it better than most typical kids would.

So, this is where we are now.  New Uggs, no shoes, and inexplicable hives.

 

As for the car situation: the safety devices I ordered came, and the one that was to go over his buckle in the Husky (Britax seat) wouldn't fit.  So I ditched the big seat, put in a regular booster, and am using the device that goes over the buckles with buttons on the top.  It works - he cannot get it off unless he's EXTREMELY angry and rips it, but he hurt his hand pretty badly the one time he did that and hasn't done it since.  I just have Zach sit in the back row pretty much all the time now, and Josh with the device on his buckle in the center row. 

Stay tuned... I'll keep you posted as things evolve.