The Medical Update

medsA few weeks back, Mickey and I took Daffy to the doctor to discuss her weight and her ADHD meds. (As you might recall, we fought to take her off a stimulant and get her onto a non-stimulant because of her weight loss and lack of appetite on the Vyvanse. Her PCP prescribed her 18mg of Strattera at the end of last summer.)  After the endless struggles over the past 4 months regarding homework and other tasks, as well as the teacher comments on her report card, it seemed that maybe an increase of the medication was in order. The PCP agreed and increased her dose to 40mg (the next dose up from 18mg). She has only been taking it about a week and a half, but it doesn’t seem to have any effect, which is really too bad. I know that drugs are not a miracle cure, but I was hoping that if Daffy could become more focused, it would be one less thing to argue about.

While at the PCP’s office, I also voiced my concerns about Daffy’s weight. She weighed 64 pounds when she moved here in January 2012. She weighed 64 pounds at the appointment. How can a child NOT grow in more than 2 years?? She had been in the 21st percentile when she moved in and is now in the 4th percentile. The doctor did not seem concerned at all, saying she will likely just be “small”, but I think there is something more. She has had control issues around food the entire time she has been here and she obsesses over being “skinny”… it wouldn’t take much for her to topple over to an eating disorder. The doctor gave her a lecture about trying new foods and eating healthy and she nodded but couldn’t remember what he said when he asked her to repeat it back. Time will tell if this will be a bigger problem than it already is… but at least I documented my concerns. I’m pretty used to being ignored by the “experts”… guess I’ll fry some other fish, so to speak, while I wait for this one to play out. We have a follow up in April, maybe he will care then?

signature

Advertisements

One Crisis To The Next

We live one crisis to the next. Parenting 7 children (between the bios and the fosters), I guess this is to be expected, but it certainly is never any less alarming or intense.

Monday afternoon, Tink’s ex-boyfriend brought her home from school and shared that Tink had a plan to commit suicide by overdose that night. Tink confirmed the plan, so off to the ER we went. It was determined that she should be transferred to a psychiatric facility and she was moved the next day. A series of events has begun since Tuesday that overwhelms and consumes me. My heart is broken for Tinkerbelle and all she has to deal with, but I know that the hospital is the very best place for her to do that.

Despite that stressor, I have continued to be on top of managing the needs of the other children as well. Daffy was vomiting Saturday through Tuesday, but has finally been able to keep food down and return to school. Donald has been having a very tough week at the RTC with multiple agressions. We will be visiting him as a family on Saturday so my stress level is obviously increasing. Goofy and Pluto are truly my saving graces and I am doing my best to stay connected to them and be sure their needs are being met as well. They are just so “easy”, but I dont want that to change and find them seeking negative attention.

That said, my goal is to focus on all the positive things in our lives each day to keep me going. This morning I am thankful for:

  • Snuggles in bed with our puppy who has healed well from his injuries
  • A gorgeous foster daughter who asked me to straighten her hair (a rare occurrence)
  • An amazingly supportive network of friends and family (both in real life and on Twitter)
  • The ability to work from bed in my pajamas while drinking coffee
  • A social worker who always goes above and beyond the call of duty to support us

Despite our circumstances, I am blessed and grateful.

Wishes, Visits, Attachment & Testing

Sometimes I get so busy tweeting the little ins and outs of our daily lives, I forgot to come and blog.When nothing “major” is happening, it doesnt seem to warrant sitting down to write, but I know the little things are often more important so I am going to try to be better with posts! 🙂

A few things of note over the past few weeks:

  • Daffy asked her “Fairy Godmother” to grant her a wish… a picture of her and her biological Mom! Her Fairy Godmother was able to grant that wish and it was an amazing moment! Daffy opened the package, saw the picture and was completely overwhelmed with emotion. She told me later that night that she never cried from happiness before. She has been thrilled to show the picture to anyone who will look and is often analyzing it for little details and similarities.
  • Daffy saw Donald for the first time since being moved to the new residential treatment center. Daffy was “bored” within 5 minutes of being there and told me as we left later that she thought the place was “creepy.” I really didn’t know what to say because honestly, it IS creepy.
  • Donald’s former CW and I took him to lunch one day after a meeting last week. I was not happy when his new CW and our SW bailed on going because I had made it VERY clear that I did NOT want to go alone with him, but ultimately I ended up driving him both ways by myself. He scares me and he knows it. I try to put on my “game face” with him, but I know he can see right through it. (I have never really had much of a poker face, anyway.)
  • We received a copy of Donald’s Treatment Plan. I am happy that there are some very specific goals set for him over the course of the next year, but at the same time I feel like only Donald’s needs are being viewed. For example, he is currently physically attacking peers and staff an average of 1-2 times per day. The goal is for him to decrease the attacks by 90% before he moves in. Ummmmm, I am not really okay with my FAMILY (or anyone!) being attacked at a rate of even 10% of what he is currently engaging in. How can the state even ASK us to accept that???? If he were an adult, the state would pull my children for allowing them to be exposed to that kind of domestic violence.
  • Daffy has been sharing all sorts of things with me during our chats. She shared about the last visit she had with her mom and what it was like the day she was taken. Her therapist thinks these are signs that she is attaching. All this attachment talk boggles my mind. I mean, I GET what attachment is, I know why its important, I understand what causes issues in attachment, but what I dont understand is how I will know if Daffy is truly attached. I know *I* am attached to her…. the days that we thought she might be moved, I was paralyzed and physically sick over the thought of losing her. The more I search for answers, the more questions I find myself asking.
  • The process to get Daffy tested for ADHD is well underway. The school has sent home several forms for us to fill out and this morning I picked up additional forms from her pediatricians office for us and the school to fill out. We WILL get answers.
  • Tomorrow our SW and I will be meeting with a specialist to discuss Daffy’s sensory issues. While I dont think she has “major” issues, I feel she should be afforded the same close scrutiny that her brother received to best accomodate her needs. I feel she has been ignored for far too long already because her brother had the bigger (& more dangerous) issues. If one good thing can come from their separation right now, its the ability for us to focus on Daffy to allow us and her therapist to help her flourish.
  • Daffy got her new glasses. The eye doctor had told us the prescription was minimal and there was no need to get it filled unless she started getting headaches while reading. The school, however, wanted us to get the glasses indicating they couldnt test properly if she couldnt see,  so we got the glasses. I was SHOCKED when I tried them on to find how strong they are! She wasnt really thrilled to get them, saying they made her look like a “teacher”, but they seem to be growing on her, especially as people comment how “cute” she looks in them!
  • She had her first sleepover away from the house this weekend. The next day I asked if she forgot what I looked like since she didnt call and she said she was wondering if I was crying because I was missing her. I feel like the fact that I was on her mind was a good thing.
  • I have several trainings coming up in May. I love learning and I can’t wait!

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

More transitions

Donald was moved to the new facility yesterday. We met for lunch with his current and new caseworkers and then headed over. We were able to see his room, school and some of the facility. Its set on a hill and its cooooold up there so we didnt ask for the full tour! Donald seemed really nervous, barely speaking two words. Because we arrived mid day, no one was on staff at the dorms, so he was required to go directly to his classroom. There seemed to be 5 students and 3 teachers- not a bad ratio.

The decision to remove Donald from ALL homepathic remedies was made by the state and those meds did NOT transfer with him. He stopped cold turkey. I dont know if I believe they even assisted with anything, but if they did, well this new facility is in for a real surprise! He is currently not medicated in any way. Its just a matter of time until he assaults someone there.

We raced off to our local school for Daffy’s Special Ed referral meeting. The “team” was resistant to testing her, saying that they dont diagnose ADHD (which we knew) and that they feel her school issues are solely from the transition in January. I was surprised at the resistance since our school is NOT the one who will pay, but rather the “sending” district, the district they lived in when they were taken. That district whole heartedly agreed with full testing. The testing is supported by the caseworker, therapist and social workers for the agency we work with. What more does the school want?? Ultimately our local school did agree to test, but in the mean time we need to get her reading glasses (the lowest prescription on the planet was prescribed last week and not recommended to be filled by the dr) so they can confirm that sight is not part of her issue while she tests. Honestly, its a waste of money, but we will do it to humor them. Testing will not begin until the appropriate paperwork is signed by the state. Lets hope they feel like hurrying about something.

Our social worker will be back next Monday and while I love the family support specialist we work with, I really need our social worker to be running the show. She is so organized. I feel like I am trying to juggle all the balls right now and something will slip through the cracks. April is going to be a busy month of meetings and a time of more transitions as we are hoping that treatment teem meetings will now be held separately. Should be interesting to see how this plays out!

-Minnie xo

[All names have (obviously) been changed to protect the privacy of our family.]

The first of many times….

Today we were asked about Daffy’s medical history when we brought her to the eye doctor. I know this will be the first of many times we are asked about her family history and the first of many times we will have to explain whey we dont know.

I am familiar with this process. As an adoptee, I spent my life saying “I dont know” about diabetes, about heart disease, about cancer, about hypertension, about mental health… I just didnt know… and I hated it. I hated having to explain that I was adopted. I hated the way they looked am me with sadness in their eyes, because they knew I had been rejected. Rejected by the very person who should love me the most.

When I eventually reunited with my birth family in the late 90’s, I was elated to be able to provide medical information when asked. I recited it plain as day, without explanation…  and without the sympathetic looks to follow. As time has gone on, though, since contact with my biological mother ended (a mere 5 months after it began) and my biological father passed away (4 years ago now), I have stopped being able to recite that information. I have *some* medical information, but many things could have changed or developed in my family over the years that I am not privileged to know, so I am back to explaining why I don’t have all the facts.  And getting the sympathetic look. And I hate it.

I hate it for me but I hate it even more for Daffy. All she wants is to be a part of a family. To have a mom. And a dad. And brothers. And sisters. She does not want to be singled out. She does not want to be different. Yet every time we go to the doctor’s office, she will be. No matter if she adopted and no matter how much we love her, she will always be the one with missing pieces of her past. She will always feel that same raw rejection when asked. And there is nothing I can do about it.