After our visits with Dr. F, Tommy and I agreed to have Thomas take the medication he recommended. After about 3 weeks we noticed a change in Thomas’ moods. They weren’t all over the place and he was a tad calmer. No magic miracles mind you but a change that was enough to be noticed. The aggression was less as well. Thomas continued to see Darlene every week without fail.
After a while though (I would say a few months) the aggressive behavior returned. Dr. F was kind enough to do some of our appointments over the phone to avoid us traveling to Manhattan. Plus Thomas really didn’t talk to him so Dr. F relied on my observations and the notes I continued to take. Meanwhile I discover our pediatrician was totally against us seeing Dr. F. She felt it was wrong that we had phone visits and even wrote that in Thomas’ chart! (I found this out years later). The ped now decides she has a doctor/psychiatrist to refer me too~ AFTER we have established a relationship with Dr. F. I refused her referral stating that we already have a doctor, thank you and besides I asked her for a referral months ago and she had no one. Have a nice day :).
I wish I could say I’m over that pediatrician and how she treated me but sadly I am not. She seriously scarred me. When you respect someone and they turn on you and insinuate that you are the problem it’s jarring and quite unsettling to say the least. Even after we left that practice and Thomas had an appointment with a new doctor, I would be a rediculous wreck that the new specialist wouldn’t believe me or that I would be blamed for his behavior. I carry that around still to this day.
Anyway…the aggression was returning and Dr. F increased the risperdal to see if that would help. It did not. To make a very long story short this began the time where Thomas trialed many meds to control not only the aggression but also his moods. Thomas could have periods of time where he would be wonderfully behaved then the instability kicked back in and you never knew what was going to happen next.
The meds seemed to work for a short time, then stop being effective. One medication gave him scary side effects and we ended up in the ER once as a result. Of course by the time he was seen the side effect had resolved but jeez man! The scrutiny I was under in that ER as his parent was unreal and scary.
Thomas even trialed different mood stabilizer medications but nothing worked as well as the original, first med suggested by Dr. F. He is on that med to this day. During the different medication trials there came a point that Thomas was aggressive to his sister so we had to make the decision to hospitalize him in a pediatric psychiatric unit. The first time was at a hospital on Long Island, about and hour and half away. It was a planned admission. Dr. F did not have priveleges in any hospital and I had read online from other parents that they were pleased with this hospital. The nurses and staff were very kind but we were a mess to leave him there. My goodness he was only 8 years old! Visiting hours were strict and not the most convenient. However Tommy and I were so optimistic that this was the right thing to do, that the doctors there would run all kinds of tests on him and we could get a better picture of what was wrong, why he behaved the way he did. Thomas was also developementally delayed and did not present himself as a typical 8 year old regardless of the bipolar/aggression and mood instability.
The hospital environment is one of no stress, no siblings to piss off or get pissed off by, there is a routine and that routine is the same. There is staff everywhere. Thomas thrived in this environment. Since Thomas showed none of the behavior from home we described, the doctors at the hospital decided to take him off all the medications used to control the aggresive behavior. Tommy and I agreed as we figured they would put him back on it once the aggression showed itself in the hospital. The problem was he still wasn’t aggressive even off the medication while hospitalized. He did almost lose it on me at one visit but pulled himself together once he realized the staff was watching. This was par for the course with Thomas at this age.
As far as evaluations and tests that Tommy and I were so eager to have performed…no, not much was done. Well nothing that wasn’t done already such as IQ tests and such. Oh, he had an MRI performed. Ok. All that did was show things that were shown before he had his helmet fitted so many years earlier. Nothing to cause this behavior according to all the specialists who deciphered the MRI report. So after 3 weeks or so Thomas was discharged. On no medication to control his aggression and a very low dose of mood stabilizing medication. Oh sh*t is an understatement I assure you. Dr. F was on vacation. This isn’t happening!! I wanted to yell, but it was.