8iRWeiXjcKj9kUz5Tebo4_k_FtY Life with Two Special Needs Children: Flashback

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


I had a flashback today - and it definitely wasn't a good flashback! 

Flashback almost five years ago.  I picked Caleb up from day care.  Every day as we were leaving day care, Caleb would always pick out a piece of candy.  This day, there suckers to choose from.  Caleb loved purple suckers.  He picked out a sucker that had a purple wrapper, but when he opened it, it was actually red.  See, Dum Dum has, for who knows how long, chosen to print the mystery sucker wrapper in purple - but for a four year old, who had very severe OCD tendencies, he didn't understand that.  Numerous times I would intervene, but this day there was not a chance to intervene as he tore off the wrapper faster than I could move.  Turns out that the sucker was RED and not PURPLE!  The sucker went flying across the lobby of the day care and meltdown ensued.

I eventually was able to get the kids in the car and headed home, with Caleb screaming the entire way.  We got home and the meltdown continued.  Finally, Caleb wore himself out and fell asleep - for about 20 minutes!  When he woke up, he immediately started in again about it being a RED sucker and he wanted a PURPLE sucker.  This continued and there was no end in sight.

Caleb had just six days earlier started a new medication.  The doctor had us only give him a half of the dose that she wanted him on, but then Caleb started saying that he was falling.  When I called the doctor, she thought that was Caleb's way of saying he was dizzy.  So recommended giving him one-fourth of the full dose, which we did.  That was the day before this sucker incident.

We ended up making our first trip to the community mental health center crisis center.  I was so scared and didn't know what to expect.  Since we arrived after hours, we were the only ones there.  The staff were all in the back, behind locked doors and the security officer was sitting in a room behind glass so he could observe.  They have video monitors so the staff are able to observe what is going on.  I filled out the paperwork and we waited. 

During this time Caleb would calm down, but then something would set him off again.  When a staff person finally did come out, we were told that Caleb's doctor was on call that night - which I was very thankful for!  They called her and she immediately said that we were to stop the medication that she had just put him on.  She wanted us to give him some Benadryl.  However, the last time Caleb had had Benadryl, he was up for 24 hours!  They called her back and told her that and she prescribed a different medication.  Because there were no MDs at the location, a staff person had to drive the medication to the doctor's house so she could sign off on it before they could give it to us and send us home.  So we sat at the crisis center and waited.  While we waited one of the staff members came out and talked with us.  I remember her telling us that they told Caleb's doctor that they had no idea what to do.  That's not something you really should be telling a parent that is not sure what's going on with their child!

At our next appointment with Caleb's doctor, she told me that she never had a child respond like that to that medication, but that we would never be putting him on it again!

Fast forward to today!  Caleb's para on the bus has been handing out suckers to the kids if they are good on the way home.  Caleb hasn't been on the PURPLE kick lately, he's just loving his suckers that he gets and wants to eat it as soon as he gets in the door.  Well, today he came in and started talking about his sucker.  Then he looked at it and, lo and behold, it was broken!  Oh boy!!!  Major meltdown.  Kicked the lazysusan in the kitchen, threw down a chair, came after me.  I tried to get him in a restraint, but he was so strong.  He grabbed my shirt and hit me.  I was finally able to get him to the ground. 

The only difference from now and almost five years ago, it was much easier then to contain and restrain!  It also only lasted about 15 minutes today instead of two hours five years ago!!!

Thankfully, we had a major turn and Caleb had a good night.

Oh, what an afternoon!

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