First before I delve into more of the fascinating story that is my life I need to announce that I scored a Vera Wang cardigan today at the thrift!!! Yes, Vera Wang, and not “Simply Vera” from Kohl’s~the real deal. I think I paid around 3.50 and it’s blue and it’s gorgeous 🙂
Ok, now…when Thomas was around 5 and a half, shortly after we moved here and I gave birth to Daniella, I managed to get him into counseling with Staten Island Mental Health Society. There was a waiting list at first and I called and called telling them how Thomas’ behavior was not normal and he was hitting, having long lasting fits, etc… They told me to bring him to the ER. No. That was not the answer I was looking for. His pediatrician continued to be useless and would not refer me/him to a private counselor so this clinic setting was all I had to go by. After what seemed like forever (probably only a few months) we were set up with a therapist. Her name was Darlene and she was wonderful. She listened to me and saw Thomas on a one to one basis every week. I can honestly say I rarely missed a week, like the boy had to be sick to miss out. I told Darlene about our experience in NJ, and I was NOT doing sticker charts, btdt with the one in NJ. It didn’t work with Thomas. In fact to this day I loathe that phrase: “sticker charts” please…gag… This is my experience and in no way do I wish to offend anyone, so if sticker charts worked wonderful for any parent out there I’m very happy for you.
After Thomas was seen by Darlene for a couple of months she agreed to refer us to the psychiatrist to talk medication. Fine. The doctor was nice enough but she didn’t have a diagnosis, just treating symptoms. Whatever. Thomas’ fits were bad, the hitting of me was bad. One time I had Daniella in the stroller and Alyssa and Thomas walking, we walked to the nearest drug store a block away. On the way home Thomas threw a fit for whatever reason and I had to push the stroller with a young baby, ensure Alyssa was still following me and carry Thomas under my arm with his arms flailing and thrashing around. I did this for about a block and a half. I digress…the psychiarist wanted to try an ADHD drug. Tommy and said fine because we had no idea what we were dealing with anyway. I don’t remember off hand the drug but it was a low dose and a short acting one. Like it was supposed to last about 4 hours. I gave him the first dose on a Saturday morning. An hour later my son started crying and cried all day. All. Day. No exaggeration. Tommy and I were at our wits end. We knew it was from the medication. Finally the covering doc called us and we explained the med trial. He said not to give anymore. Really??? OMG. Of course we weren’t going to give anymore.
So that ended the ADHD trials. I refused to give him more ADHD medications. The psychiatrist then suggested a medication to help Thomas be less aggressive. Tommy and I agreed. We had the prescription filled, I read the side effects and promptly poured the med down the drain. I was terrified! Two weeks later I called the psychiatrist and told her what I did and that I was back to my senses and asked for another prescription. Thank God the insurance covered it again. The med was Risperdal if anyone is wondering. Thomas had a mostly positive response to the risperdal, it did help with the aggression and the hitting became less but not gone. He still saw Darlene on a weekly basis.
The psychiatrist still did not have a diagnosis and that really irked me. Some doctors don’t understand the importance of having something you can “touch”. With a diagnosis, I could look things up, what’s the best treatment?, who’s the best doctor we can find? A diagnosis would be tangible and real for crying out loud.