Thursday, March 21, 2013

Update on Ben

Yay to Ian being back at school, feeling better.  I knew when Ian and Ben were throwing Easter eggs at a tree in our front yard yesterday in competition as to who could hit the top branch that he was better.

*Note that two boys throwing a basketful of eggs at a tree garnered the attention of other boys under 10 that live on our street.  Yes, I was that parent that let them have fun and throw eggs in my front yard and videoed it on my phone per Ben's request.

Later today I will take Ben to his weekly appointment with his counselor at Lucy Daniels.  Unlike last year when around this point we were just starting treatment and diagnosis, most of the sessions were with us as parents, not him.  The flip flop is that he is now the one on the weekly couch trip.

We are on week 3 of a med trial to find a medication that would not depress his appetite and continue with helping him during school hours.  With crossed fingers (and toes) he has put on 1 1/2 lbs, had an appetite to eat more at least 2 meals a day, has had an all green month so far for March on his school  behavior chart.  He also has been helpful with Ian. That last part is especially helpful as 3 year old are tools.

This is not the magic bullet and that the boys still fight like cats and dogs over typical sibling stuff, but it a marked change for the best. Repeat, this is really good news.

The other part of his treatment has been an increased number of parent appointments.  In the last two months each of us have met privately with Ben's counselor as well as several joint meetings with her. We also meet monthly with the clinic director/child psychiatrist for medication checks.

I'll be honest that meetings with the counselor leave me feeling like a giant parental failure.  I know that it is not the intention, and I'm not looking for accolades in this space that I am just being hard on myself .  If you lived with our family for any amount of time you would understand that Bill and I are part of the problem. Addressing the vast differences in our own upbringing, our expectations, how we interact with the boys, how we interact with each other both verbally and equally important non verbally is part of our ongoing issues we are working on in our time with the counselor.

In the game of parental misery poker there are so, so many more issues that are much worse. I'll take this diagnosis anyday over so much else.  It helps to keep this idea in check, especially when I leave yet another meeting wanting to know that A+B=C. Instead it feels like so many sessions I leave confused, angry at myself or Bill or just the situation at large. 

So many times in the last year I feel like we've been brought to our knees in questioning what we are doing right vs wrong. Too many times I've questioned what mistakes we've made and vow not to repeat them with Ian.  Too many times I play the what if game and 2nd guess myself. I am frankly just as emotionally exhausted as I am physically. 
Tomorrow we are back again for back to back appointments for med checks and then another parent appointment.  I have to tell myself that Ben is better, he is having a more positive year at school, he feels good about himself and believes he is a good boy.  

Any of these outcomes seemed so far away last year when we were just at the start of treatment.  I'm happy to report that a year out, seeking treatment has made a world of difference for our family and most importantly Ben.

Today he is on a field trip with Bill chaperoning in the classroom.  This time last year we took away the Spring kindergarten trip due to behavior.  Ben reminded me yesterday that he didn't get go last year and he was so sad, but that tomorrow he is going because he has made better choices.

A simplistic view but one that means the world to me.

1 comment:

Kate said...

Heather I want you to know I think you are an amazing parent and no I am not just saying that. If I can one day show a fraction of the love you do for your family, it will be more than I could ever wish for. Blessings and love always my friend. <3