The weather changes things while change looms ahead…

If past lives are a fact, it is now safe to say that J didn’t live one of them during a drought.  The arrival of torrential (and most welcome) rain yesterday evening was a major bummer for him.  As the puddles danced with each drop that fell, J’s shoulders slumped in frustration and he headed back to his room, a sad camper indeed.  We stood on the deck, frantically moving things that we didn’t want to get wet, and the neighbors stood on their porches, doorways and windows watching the rain fall and then run down the street.  The heat didn’t really abate, but everything that was green and drooping is now happily reaching upwards and outwards…

The morning schedule was thrown off by fog and a drizzle; J sat on the couch going from one movie to another with as much enthusiasm as people who work rubber-stamping official documents display when they fall into the rhythm of stamping and shoving to the side each piece of paper.  A break in the clouds was enough to motivate J to leap up and start moving things back to their usual spot.  In less than ten minutes he set up chairs, pillows and music…we seem to be approaching “normal” now.

I don’t have the heart to tell J that the weather forecast calls for a 70% likelihood of rain and thunderstorms.  I think I’ll stick to running out there and carrying things back in as soon as the weather turns nasty.

When J is stuck indoors, I’ve noticed, he requests food to pass the time.  I redirected him by shuffling chores around.  I introduced him to the wonderful world of using a funnel (a collapsible one, to boot) to put detergent from a regular bottle into a bottle with a push-button spout.  J was not impressed, but it consumed ten minutes of our time.

This morning I started finding more PECS for him, and he kept looking over my shoulder to see what I was copying and pasting.  I think I’ve come up with a good series of additions to our repertoire.

I would like to update everyone on the hatless situation.  J is the best judge of when he wants to set a timer and be sans hats.  He is doing beautifully and the next big test is having him remove the hats during his upcoming appointment with the psychiatrist.  We are going (all four of us) on Tuesday afternoon; we hope to discuss the med reduction so that we are clear on what to expect.  TGG has suggested (and he is right) that we should tell J what is going to happen; his logic stems from procedure at the hospital.  We convened upstairs for five minutes yesterday as soon as Dada got home, and TGG said “no matter how out-of-it a patient seems, we always tell them what we’re doing and what we’re giving him/her.”  This weekend we’re all sitting down to tell J that the doctor might decide to reduce his med, and that we’re all here to support him during this transition.  We have come to realize it’s only fair, taking into consideration his newfound awareness and involvement in all that we put in front of him, that he knows he might be experiencing certain things he hasn’t faced in a while.

Again we reflect on how far we’ve come.  Two years ago we put J on a med because there was no reasoning or communicating with him.  We acted out of fear for his safety and out of self-preservation.  Now, look at us, we’re going to inform the kid of what is going on and how it might change things around here.

If you have thought to yourself that my life has become a little boring lately, that I’ve lost some of the zing that used to be present in my entries to this blog…never fear!  The likelihood that I will soon be up to my ears with madness and mayhem is pretty good.  Once that half-dose of medication is gone, we’ll be on a high-wire…and probably haywire, too.  I am soaking in the well-balanced life we’re leading right now because, quite sincerely, I don’t know if it’ll be here in a couple of weeks.

I am tempted to hide the boxing gloves one at a time.  Perhaps J will forget them.  Perhaps he won’t look everywhere for them.  Perhaps now that they spend 99% of the time on his bed, abandoned to a day of boredom and pointlessness, we can phase them out.  Then I think of the sound of J’s fist hitting his forehead…and I get scared.  (Just thinking about it has triggered a small wave of acid reflux…)

Our trepidation is being internalized.  We want to show J a positive demeanor, encourage him with our reaction rather than show him we’re petrified.  This would be unhealthy if we didn’t think we’re all going to have to rotate so that everyone gets a chance to “go vent” if things get difficult around here.  How long, though, do we give it before we call this whole thing a bust and go back to a whole dose?  That is what we’ll be discussing at length with the doctor on Tuesday…

For now, I’m researching online as much as I can regarding the effects of reducing a dose of Risperdal.  Not much is available that doesn’t come with a lot of language that I wish I’d taken Chemistry in high-school so I could understand.  (No, I didn’t take Chemistry.  Considering that I was not the most attentive child in class, skipping Chemistry was probably what prevented my school from blowing up.)  The articles I’ve found that I understand do little to alleviate my fears.  The words hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and autism string through them like horrifying Christmas lights…  Word of warning: don’t read message boards about this…you’ll need a paper bag and you’ll feel like assuming crash position.  I am feeling like reducing the dose is a bad, bad, bad idea, but -at the same time- I think the med is not doing as much for J as ABA and proper attention are…

So that’s where we are today…



2 thoughts on “The weather changes things while change looms ahead…

  1. I didn’t realize you didn’t have the pleasure of having Mr. Cordova in Chemistry class….. I don’t remember much about it anymore (I do remember dissecting frogs in biology though) but I do recall being entertained by Mr.Cordova and the interesting characters in that class. 🙂

    • I had Mr. Cordova for Anatomy and Physiology which was infinitely more entertaining to me…ask Maite about her ancestor’s bones. 🙂

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