A family's story

Med Rollercoaster

It’s been a busy and hectic few days. On Friday, I talked to Jake’s teachers, and then checked in with his psychiatrist. The doctor really feels that Jake’s pronounced tics were driven by high anxiety. The day that he experienced alarming tics at school was a day that: (a) both his homeroom and resource teacher were out of school, (b) another child in his class experienced high anger issues, resulting in a thrown desk in class, (c) a substitute lost utter control of the class, (d) Jake had spent the night in a new bed that he was afraid he was going to fall from.

After talking to the psychiatrist about what we and the teachers were seeing with Jake at school and at home, he suspects that Jake’s dose of Focelin XR was not high enough. We start low and ramp up as needed. As such, we are doubling his dose. He takes 10 mg, twice a day now. We will go see his psychiatrist on Friday, 2/22 to check in. We started the higher dose on Saturday. With the new dose, over the past two days, I have noticed less impulsive behavior, and less perseveration. I’m hopeful. I will check in with his teachers on Thursday to see how the first few days at school go.

Later on Friday, I took Tate for his tri-monthly check-up at his psychiatrist. He’d been on Vyvanse, 30 mg a day for about 12 months. Lately we’d been noticing less focus, more impulsivity, and unfortunately, more opposition and weepiness. One of the negative side-effects of Vyvanse is depression. The doctor tried to ask Tate, twice, if he was feeling sad. She tried to have him identify the emotion by using pictures, since he couldn’t answer her question. When she asked him to point to how he was feeling, he pushed the card away. Because we can’t be certain if he’s truly sad/depressed, or more frustrated because he’s struggling, we are going to try Focelin XR for a month. He’s at 5 mg, 2 times a day. We can call her back sooner if we are experiencing some significant issues…we should know in a few days whether or not the medication is working. He starts the new medication tomorrow.

Of course, because we are introducing a new medication, we have had a few days without medication. If I had any doubt that Tate’s meds were working, I got my answer. Yes…they were…at least a little bit. Oh. my. GOD. We have had 2 days of “Energizer-bunny Tate”. We haven’t seen this silly, out-of-control behavior in over a year…so I guess that is a good thing. I am nervous to see how he reacts to a new medication. I hope it’s an easy transition. I pray he does ok. I know he’s a little overwhelmed by his behavior…he is old enough and aware enough to know he can’t control some of the impulses..and yesterday was rough watching him struggle. He lost the battle, ending up on the couch with the weighted blanket completely covering him to try to relax himself. He was in bed early, and slept quite well, which indicates that he was completely exhausted.

This week is going to be a period of sit and wait. All I can do is…..buckle up, and sit down, because here we goooooooooooo…..


Comments on: "Med Rollercoaster" (4)

  1. I’m glad to hear you are seeing some good stuff from Jake with the new dose! Meds are a roller coaster. Even a med that’s working can end up as not enough and that is frustrating.

    I must admit that when you talked about changing Tate’s med, it was the first time I’d thought about the idea of having to go a few days without any med! I still have the idea that someday, our kiddos might be able to get off the meds all together. Someday…

    For now, we just have to keep on trying to figure out what works best while showing extraordinary patience through the hard parts. xoxo

  2. Hugs mama. I know you have been trying so hard to get this all straightened out. I am glad you are seeing some progress, and I pray it continues. You are an amazing mom for doing all of the work that you do to keep those boys happy and thriving in their environment!

  3. All I can say right now is ((hugs)), dear lady. I hope that the meds roller coaster is a short ride for you this go… But as any of us who must give our children medications know, that peace is so often short-lived. I’ll be thinking positive thoughts your way and sending all the spare strength I have!

  4. I totally understand the meds rollercoaster. I’ve certainly been through it with my own as well. We’ve had good success with Focalin XR. Each child is so different, as you keenly know, but I send you a glimmer of hope that maybe this medication will help the boys with where they are at in this point in their lives. Sending you warm thoughts this week as you try things out.

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