No man is an island, but some are archipelagos…

The morning started with three changes of bandaids in quick succession.  I managed to find a moment to reorder some of our more popular and in-demand models from MFASCO.  I wonder if they think I run a small clinic with very specific wounds being treated.

J was very happy last night.  He was giggly, ticklish, cheerful…apparently that dissolved while he was sleeping.  He woke up stormy, brooding, and easily irritated by the slightly-off crease on the bandaid that sat on top of another bandaid at an infinitesimally-skewed angle.

He has since calmed down.  I am assuming the third time’s the charm, and he settled in but his demeanor didn’t change much.

The med is here, and we will wait until evening (when Dada is home and I have another pair of eyes, ears, hands and legs to help with response) to give him the first dose.  The doctor said we can start with .5mg, but we can also go up to a whole milligram if necessary.  I’m hoping the one pill a day will do the trick.

Right now I feel like I’m dealing with a compartmentalized version of J.  In one compartment I have the J that suddenly seems completely helpless when it comes to tasks he used to complete independently.  In another compartment I have the J that wants things just-so, and will fly off the handle if I fall short of that.  Yet another pocket is holding the J that doesn’t really want me around, but next to it is the one that follows me around the house and asks for hugs.  Another pocket: the happy guy who wants me to play with him.  Another pocket still: the guy who doesn’t want my help, and is impatient if I offer it.  So many pockets…

The questions that tick through our minds at rather high speed: is it his brain?  Is it a mental health issue?  How do we reduce the stress without becoming the non-denominational interpretation of cloistered nuns?  Will we ever watch another episode of Midsomer Murders without interruption?  What is easier: buying more coffee, or trying to get more sleep?  If there’s something wrong with J’s brain, how do they deal with that?  Oh, my god!  What if there’s something wrong, PHYSICALLY WRONG, with J’s brain?  What’s going to happen to our son?  How do we help?  What if it’s the hitting?  What if the hitting is because of something THAT IS WRONG WITH HIS BRAIN?  They’re going to have to sedate him for a CAT Scan or an MRI…how nervous is he going to be?  Will he be totally freaked out?  Will he trust us when we say it’s the thing that has to be done?  Is he further regressed than we had thought?  Is he scared and doesn’t know how to tell us?  What if he needs to be hospitalized?  How is he going to feel about that?

You might picture us freaking out.  Go ahead.  Picture us.  That’s what we’re doing.  We shouldn’t, maybe, but we do…

Randomly, one of us parents will turn to the other and say, “it’s just us, isn’t it?  We’re it?  He’s got no one else?  WE have no one else?”  The other parent says: yes, it is…yes, we are…no, he doesn’t…no, we don’t.

It is what it is, my friends.  The only thing that matters right now is that we figure out what is causing all this grief for our son.  We only want him to be well.  We want J back.  We know that he’s in there somewhere, but he’s having trouble coming to the surface.  He’s murky and can’t follow the light that says “this way up.”  We need to deal with this so we can deal with everything else.

You don’t mind me telling  you this, do you?  I really hope you don’t because, hand over heart, actual physical humans don’t listen.  Maybe you blanked out while you were reading this, and that’s ok.  Maybe you’re nodding and going “whatever, lady…blah blah blah, life is hard…blah, blah, blah…rallying cry of parenthood.”  At least I can’t see the look on your face, and that goes a long way to make me think you don’t think I’m a whiny person.

I’ve gone off-topic again…meds, yes.  We’re back to meds, and we know (because we did this for a while) that there are tentacles on that octopus.  So I am going to work on daily schedules…better ones than the loosey-goosey ones I haven’t managed to completely refocus yet.  (It’s been a weird few days, thank you.)  I am also going to re-tool our menus. Since weight gain is par for the course with Risperdal, we are going to tighten up that department, too.  All Halloween candy has been ejected from the house, and J has had six Skittles last night, and six Skittles as his dessert.  I am extremely thankful that he accepts this as “a serving” and considers his multi-vitamin part of dessert…because it’s gummy.

We know about muscle cramps, and we have all sorts of things to help in that area.  J likes his massage rollers I got him from Gaiam.  He also has a  vibrating pillow (don’t ask) that he loves, and a fuzzy pillow I found for him at Pier 1.  He has a tent, and his ball pit.  He has all sorts of things he can use to help him, and he has us…we’re here.  We’re not the most talented, skilled, capable people ever, but we try…we try really hard.

As of this evening we will wade, once more, into the waters of medication.  We don’t want him sedated, and we don’t want him altered in any essential way.  This is not about making our lives easier for the sake of not wanting to do the work.  We want J to not feel overwhelmed beyond what is manageable for him.

Not enough hours in the day?  More coffee beans, then…




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