Wednesday, July 20, 2005

20# Setback

It was a couple of weeks after the trip to the high school - the Depakote had begun to help David's mood swings and he was struggling to catch up on his school work - it just didn't seem to be coming as easy as it always had in the past and his anxiety was still apparent - he would rather work on his own rather than have to walk into the school to be tutored by his teacher's, even in after school hours. The principal suggested that the teachers would be happy to come to the house once a week, but David was nervous about this as well - I believe he was embarrassed that he had not been able to keep up with the class. But since the mood swings had begun to diminish I had hope that with time he would begin to become less anxious. However, stability was not yet meant to be - when we went back to the psychiatrist he went over the blood work that he had ordered the week before - he was very concerned - Depakote can on rare occasions harm the liver and David's liver levels, instead of being in the double digits were in the hundreds. The psychiatrist ordered him to immediately begin to taper off the Depakote and to cut back on the Risperdal and the Zoloft - he ordered another test for a few days after the last dose of Depakote and a return appointment - I drove home sick at my stomach - David tried to act like he wasn't worried, but glancing over to find that he was gnawing on his fingernails, I knew he was - I felt like crying just looking at him - he must be wandering "what next" and I worried not only for the health of his liver - but also the health of his mind - how far would this set him back - would the mood swings return - the depression - the voices? It seemed that he had finally begun the long climb back and now we were crashing back down the mountain. As I was to find out soon I had good reason to worry. To be Cont.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

19# The Wheel of Fortune

First sorry it has been so long - I have been very busy with the kids all being home for summer - and now on with the story - Probably most of you have learned at some time about the definition of a tragic hero - yes, the kind that populate Shakespeare's tragedies - well one of the most basic characteristics of a tragic hero is a fall from high - in other words a tragic hero must have at some time been on top - whether in social standing, finances, or luck and then tragically the wheel of fate must turn and bring them to the bottom - unfortunately for those of us that have lived through real life tragedies the idea of having it all and then losing it all is not just fictional. In our case the reality of this hit me one day as I sat in the high school guidance councilor's office filling out an IEP for my son so he could continue on home instruction - it had been a couple of weeks since I had decided that David needed some time away from the pressure of high school - since then he had been having some wild mood swings and his psychiatrist had prescribed Depakote to be added to the Zoloft and Risperdal - as I sat there with the principal and the school councilor looking over the papers I had to fill out - I found that I couldn't read the words - despite my best attempt tears were welling up and blurring my sight - somehow this put an official seal on my son's fall - not that I'm saying there's anything shameful with filling out an IEP - but it seemed unimaginable that the boy who had always been the star pupil, who had never gotten in trouble till this year, who had been in the gifted program was now being labeled as handicapped by mental illness - once the tears began - they wouldn't stop - soon I was sobbing - the well meaning principal brought in a box of tissues and I fought to get myself together - all I wanted was to get through this and get home - rising to leave I thanked them and grabbed one more tissue - but fate was not through with me yet - the principal held out an envelope - "Um - I don't know if you will want to share this with David - but - it was my duty to give it to you" - there in that envelope was the dream that David had talked about for so long - an invitation to the National Honor Society - I never have given him that letter - it seemed too cruel - one more reminder of what might have been - of what should have been. To be Cont.