Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Life in the Makris house after STX-209

We are about a week and a half without STX-209.  Well life in the Makris house is definitely different.  Not as different as I was thinking it would be, but different just the same.  We are seeing a lot of changes, some good, some not so good.  Hayden's impulse control seems to be gone.  It breaks my heart to see him struggle so hard with it.  It's almost as if he knows it not right but he can't do anything to stop it. He will lash out at me occasionally and then say "mom, I'm sorry, I'm so sorry".  It kills me. Cynthia  seems to be getting the brunt of it.   He is pinching and pushing her if she bothers him.  Let's be honest she is three and a little sister so she bothers him a lot.  Most of the time its on purpose and frankly often she has it coming.  He hasn't "hurt" her at all but it is a little rough.  It catches her off guard, she's not used to it.  She didn't know Hayden before STX-209.  She is taking it in stride though.  I've talked to her the best I can so that she will understand what is happening.  She so compassionate and loves him so much that she just seems to understand.  I wouldn't call it  aggression it's more of just agitated and it never really hurts anyone it's just there.  I am praying we can find something that will help with agitation and lashing out.  Hayden has never been aggressive or mean and my goal is to keep it that way.

His anxiety is higher than it has been.  He is having a really hard time with transitions again.  Even small ones within our house.  For example the other day we were finishing up breakfast and transitioning into our summer homework time and he had a slight meltdown.  I had to talk him through what to do step by step. I've heard it called getting past the threshold and that is the best way I can describe it.  He needs extra time and prompting to do some of the most basic tasks.  He needs that little count down or a nudge from me to know its okay to move to something else.  Once we do that and he gets on to the next task he is completely fine.  I just have to remember that we can no longer rush anything.  We have to take it slow with a lot of patience.

One of the first things we noticed was how much he is repeating nonsense phrases and gibberish.  Just sitting there mumbling a whole lot of nothing or moaning.  I really did forget how bad that used to be. 

On the plus side he is talking in full sentences like crazy.  He is answering all of my question with more than just a yes or no.  He is adding his own phrases and opinions more than I have ever seen.  Today at lunch I pulled out chips and asked "Hayden do you want chips" he then replied "Yes, not those, I want these chips" and got the ones he wanted out of the pantry.  Hello, yay Hayden you rock and you can have whatever kind of chips you want.

We seem to be holding steady where we are right now.  I am ok with that.  I was praying first for no change.  I was so afraid we were going to lose him.  That he wouldn't stop talking and no longer have his own opinion and little attitude.  We most definitely did not lose any of that. 

I've had to change the way I parent.  I am not complaining about that.  I wasn't liking the mom I was becoming.  Stress was ruling me more than I care to admit.  We've had some reality checks over that last few weeks so I am trying to change the way I am handling things.  I am yelling less and loving more.  I am over looking the little stuff.   I say "I'm sorry" when I lose it.  I am taking moments to calm down before I react.  Most importantly I'm holding tight to and feeling blessed for this life God has given me.  I don't ever want to take it or my children granted.  I am sure I would have come to this realization eventually but losing the medicine and a few nudges from God have made it happen a lot faster.  For that I am grateful.


Friday, June 7, 2013

Ripping off the band-aid

This morning I gave Hayden his last dose of arbaclofen.  I packaged it all up and set it on Mike's bag to put in the mail.  Three months worth of medication sent in Fed-ex bag.  It's done, what we had so much hope in, is done.  We could have dragged it out.  We could have prolonged it.  I thought about it.  But in the end that's just not what we do.  Mike and I have always had the philosophy of you rip the band-aid off really fast.  You make it quick so you know what you are dealing with.  I can't imagine the emotional toll it would have taken to drag it out painfully.  That way has never been our way.  However, we are seeing some regression already.   Mostly with his agitation.  He is more quickly agitate and has less patience.   He is also fixating (perseverating) on one thing and it seems harder to bring him out of it.  He has gone back to  "moaning and screeching".  I kind of forgot he used to do that.  It all came back to us really quick.  He is however sweeter than ever.  He's doing things to make us laugh more than he used to. That might have a little bit to do with the fact that is now summer vacation. He has been looking forward to being out of school for a few weeks now.  He seems really happy.   I mean really happy. 

I am concerned for what tomorrow and the next few weeks will bring.  With no medication in him will the agitation get worse?  Will we have new issues to deal with?

I think in some weird way we are lucky to be finding out what is going to happen during the summer.  We have the whole summer to figure out where we go from here.  That was one of the deciding factors in starting the titration as quickly as we did and not putting up a fight. This way I can take him to the pool every day.  I can give him the space and time he needs.  We will have time to decide if we need new medications.  We  have time to figure out what those new meds may or may not do.  We will see where the next few weeks and months go.  Again we play the waiting game. 

I am so blessed to part of such a supportive and wonderful community.  Our Fragile X family has been amazing.  How we hope, pray and dream for everyone.  Every struggle is our struggle and every triumph is our triumph.  Tears are shed for children and families I have never met.  Virtual high-fives are given to children and families I have never seen face to face.  Hugs are shared with moms I have never actually touched before.  I have been on my knee's with my hand folded in prayer for families and children I have never shaken hands with.  All of this has come back to our family.  Tears, high-fives, hugs, and prayers have been given for my family.  For the Makris family (San Antonio, TX)  that some have never met, seen, touched or even shaken hands with.   Yet so many hope and dream with us.  This is the Fragile X community I belong to.  This the community I am so grateful we are a part of.  This is the community that will over come this set back and we will all come out stronger and better than before.  Because that's who we are.  God gave us this life and connected us in way.  He will pull us out, It may not be tomorrow, It may not be next week, or next month or even next year.  Clarity, peace and contentment will come again.  Until then I will continue to pray, cry, high-five and share hugs with you all.

"I know the plans I have for you," declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future" Jeremiah 29:11