I've been very guarded in my optimism regarding Josh's newest med regime and his state-of-being for the last week and a half or so. After what we've already been through, you'd better believe I'm not going to count those chickens until they're ready to be roasted.
But things have been better. Truly. By all reports he's having good days at school. He's been much better in the car and at home. He seems like his old self again, for the most part. He'll still get upset quickly if his requests aren't being met fast enough, but, we're no longer dealing with endless hours of fighting him off like we were up to last weekend. It's pretty much back to what he's just always been like, though probably a little more difficult in the patience department.
I was still reluctant to declare a victory.
On Friday night we had an absolutely vicious wind storm here. And I do mean vicious. When I took Buddy out at about 11pm it was howling, and I could hear all of the trees actually groaning under the strain they were under from the explosive gusts, it was quite frightening. We live in an area and neighborhood with a ton of trees. Big ones. So I got back in the house quickly. Last time we had a storm like this, the power was out for 4 days. So I started frantically making sure that Josh's things were charging or charged as much as they could be - the i-Pad and his portable DVD player. Sure enough, we lost power at about 11:45pm. The i-Pad was fully charged, the DVD player was not.
At least it started when he was asleep. So for the first several hours at least, things were ok. Then morning came and still no power. Wonderful. I knew we'd have a few hours with the i-Pad (I have over 30 episodes of Blue's Clues on it) and some amount of time with the DVD player, though, how much I had no idea, it wasn't fully charged. For reasons that are a complete mystery to me, I can still turn on the gas fireplace when the power is out, so that was on and the house was at least bearable temperature-wise. But Josh is greatly reliant upon modern technology to meet his needs. This was definitely going to be a test for him.
First thing he did was ask for Blue's Birthday, which these days he will ONLY watch on the tv in the family room via the VCR. Of course, I had to tell him we couldn't do that. He was not happy. However, it was not the Ultimate Fighting match it would have been a week or two ago. Noise and some squirming I can deal with. Then of course he asked for the "oven", meaning, he wanted me to make him some frozen potatoes of some sort. Once again, I had to tell him I couldn't do that. He was upset, but we worked through it without injury and franky, it was surprising how well he handled it all. What I thought might be the final straw was when he then asked for a DVD - I can do that, we can use the portable player... oh wait... you want THAT episode??? Um... you mean the one that is still in the DVD player from yesterday and I can't get it out because we have no power for me to eject it? THAT one?? Crap. Yeah, um, sorry Toadie-bean, I can't give you that either.... and I braced for the worst. Once again, he was upset, fussed at me and needed some sensory pressure and tickles, but, got over it, and let me put in a different episode. Wow. And then instead of continually asking for what he knew he couldn't have, which he would have done in the couple months leading up to this point, he went about his business playing in his room, and watching what was available on the portable player and the i-Pad. I would run around and turn both off as soon as he walked away to save as much battery life as possible, since I had no idea how long we'd be without power.
I took him out at lunch time and found our local shopping area was also without power but there were several not that far away that were fine. The area was a disaster, the fact that the power was out was not surprising. Trees were down EVERYWHERE, literally, all over. Several had to be cut up just so we could get out of the neighborhood.
So we stopped and grabbed him some fries from a Burger King to bring home, not only would it make him happy but he deserved it for dealing with the situation as well as he was.
The power finally came back on around 3:30pm that afternoon, so it had been out almost 16 hrs. The fact that Josh did not end up in the frenzied, animal rage that was the trademark of the last few months tells me that what we're doing now IS working. His mood improved dramatically when we went back on and then increased the Celexa. The aggression is certainly significantly decreased since we added the Zyprexa.
It's not perfect, but I wouldn't ever expect life with the Toadie to BE perfect. It is however, much more manageable, less frightening and less dangerous than before. Thank goodness, my little muffin is back! It's such a relief and a joy to see him smile and hear him laugh. I'm not terribly happy that he has to be on some pretty heavy duty medications to achieve this (Zyprexa is used to treat Schizophrenia and Bi-Polar disorders), but, it's certainly better than the alternative. And at risk of offending any Scientologists out there (I don't have that many readers anyway, so mathematically speaking, I suspect the odds are slim to none that this will cross the line with anyone... ), these drugs are the ONLY things helping Josh right now. The state he was in when we tried to come off was truly shocking. He needs this pharmacological help to make things better for him, Tom Cruise can bite me.