We have heard J grunting. Softly, but grunting nonetheless. Last night, after what I would deem a very good weekend, J threw a tantrum that was spectacular…all because of cheese. I didn’t let him win. Maybe I should have?
It all started last week with the hats, and it seems to have become slightly worse since then. It’s not that it’s constant, but rather that it’s happening at all, and it’s pretty intense. Last night, for example, J went completely overboard with his displeasure over being denied cheese he didn’t need, and his hands and forehead ended up red from all the hitting and smacking he was doing.
I told him to remove himself from the dinner table and he resorted to one word requests, which are not acceptable. When he wanted to return to the table, he was asking for CHEESE not for FOOD…I said NO. This effectively marked the end of J’s dinnertime; it also marked the end of mine. By the time we’d been sitting downstairs for about two minutes, J was resorting to THANK YOU. I said NO. I explained that I was very sad, really angry and worried.
He tried to deflect with THANK YOU again, and I simply put a timer on and told him he had to get his hats when the timer beeped. I went upstairs.
I don’t know what to tell you. I don’t know if the body is now officially aware that it has less Risperidone to work with and it’s reacting to that. I don’t know if he’s just thrown off by the saga of the hats at school. I don’t know if it’s the absence of his trusty aide from regular school who this year didn’t work ESY. I don’t know if it’s hormones. (Damn hormones…they’re driving ME nuts, so if he’s in the same boat…we’re screwed!!!)
I am trying to figure out where the issue is coming from, and I’m not succeeding so far. Is it that I’m stressed out? Is it that the move is approaching and he senses the upheaval that comes attached to it? Is it that Dada is working a lot and feeling slightly overwhelmed by work? Is it a combination of all these things?????
I am stressed out enough that this morning I yelled at the customer service rep from the health insurance company. After submitting all the paperwork regarding guardianship and being given the green light, today I got put through the same ol’ wringer again…same questions, same balking, same you need to fill out a form to be authorized… And I lost it. I really did. I cried (I hang my head in shame,) and I issued as many insults as I could come up with without actually saying anything uncouth. She told me she’d call me back and I flatly refused to accept that option. (Poor woman…I’m sure she’s flagged me as a customer whose calls she won’t take.) I asked for a supervisor, and then I clarified to the supervisor that my reaction, inappropriate and unfair though it was, stemmed from the frustration caused by having to go through the same rigmarole time and time again even though I’ve been told it’s all been notated in J’s file and I’m clear to ask away as his legal guardian.
At the end of the call, I was satisfied with their answer. At the end of the call, I asked the person who ultimately helped me to insert into their training program a concise explanation of what an Order of Appointment of Guardian entails, and some sort of sensitivity training where the customer rep learns not to say “if the member signs a form giving you authorization” after they’ve heard over the line “the person in question does not know how to write his/her name and is a protected person precisely because they lack the mental capacity to take care of their own medical needs.” I don’t think the script they’re given (because I’ve taken trainings of all sorts over the years, and I know there’s a dialogue that one learns in order to sound soothing, helpful and knowledgeable) is actually productive when the customer is saying “we’ve been through this before and you need to contact your supervisor NOW to clarify this point.”
These are my missions for today: calm down before J gets home; observe J as closely as possible to determine what might be triggering his altered moods, and keep him engaged so that I can redirect him as quickly and effectively as possible. I don’t know if I’ll be able to achieve any of this. I confess to you that I am slightly thrown off by this new development for the worse, but I am trying to be positive about what it might mean. It could be something quite simple, right? It could also be something quite difficult to pinpoint. It could also be the new normal where grunting is back in vogue and we regress to refusing to let go of the hats.
I thought we were making progress, but perhaps we are simply moving crab-like towards the side and sort of backwards and forwards…
I wish the hats had been part of the note sent by school to the other school. I wish I’d brought this up myself rather than decide to think they know what they’re doing and it would be bossy and nosy of me.
I feel like I am dealing with as much of a handful but of a different quality, and…I confess…I am failing miserably at being calm, cool and collected about this…