Now We Know, and Knowing Is Half the Battle

Good Decision?
Why Thanksgiving seemed so difficult seems a bit clearer in the rear view mirror. Yes, life is like this some days.  A few weeks ago, I mentioned the “Do you see any difference in behavior with this medicine?” question as one I wanted more time to consider. The question was in relation to one of my daughter’s meds when she had up until that time been on the smallest dosage possible. We were stuck because the behaviors weren’t much better, but the dosage was thought to be on the very low side. So we were faced with the choice of upping the dosage to a normal for her size dosage or discontinuing it.
Ultimately, I voted for the increased dosage. The logic behind the choice was 1) we hadn’t given enough of it to know if it was going to be an answer to the anxiety 2) Most of these drugs take time to build to a critical effect point in the system and she was already at half that point. So finding out if it worked was never going to take less than it would take to do it now and 3) We had already tried one of the other drugs, but it made her crazy impulsive. Given the relatively few anxiety drugs which can be taken with her heart condition, I voted for the “rule this one out before moving on.” After talking it over with my wife, this was the route we pursued.  Ultimately, she did not react well to Prozac.
When I say not well, it would be easy to point to my Thanksgiving post where I said it was the hardest Thanksgiving I remember, but saying so understates the problem. The night before Thanksgiving, she woke up everyone at 4 A.M. Yikes, but it goes a long way towards explaining the behaviors on Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving night, she fought going to bed from 7 to 9:40. We have been putting her to bed with Harry Potter playing for her to listen. She gets roughly 30 min to listen, but I had to cut that short as she was climbing up dressers and jumping down screaming as one of the crazy things she was doing out of hyperactivity. It made anyone else going to sleep extremely hard. My last post was written during one of her time outs.
As bad as Thanksgiving night was, it pales in comparison to the night after. Because the markers had been placed out of reach after she drew on the walls of her room the night before, she figured out she could still draw on the walls… in blood. Great. When my wife saw this in the middle of the night, she was understandably upset. I probably shouldn’t have joked about it when she told me, but I couldn’t help but ask her if it said “red rum.” Seriously though, writing on your walls in blood because your are too hyper to sleep, drawing pictures and playing tick-tack-toe. This combined with an inability to sit still for anything like a time-out for days lead us to conclude we’ve seen enough. Unfortunately, we couldn’t just stop cold turkey without at least consulting her doctor which will happen Monday.
All of this just bring me back to the origin of the post. What is a good decision? Obviously, a good decision is one which has positive results, but I think ultimately all one should really reasonably hope for is a decision made based on the information available. As parents, I still think the decision was at least sound. Would there have ever been a better time in her life to test? I doubt it. If anxiety is something she has to live with her entire life (a distinct likelihood), then the temptation to try the drugs she can take safely with her heart would always be there. What parent wants their child scared? For anxiety resulting from medical conditions, therapy has not succeeded yet resulting in the suggestion of trying some pharmaceutical approach.
Every parent wants the good outcomes to justify their decisions, but sometimes the good outcome is simply acknowledging something did not work. As a child of the 80’s, I had this drilled into my head by G.I. Joe, “Now we know, and knowing is half the battle.”  What I don’t know is where we go from here.

On the positive front, we went to Cunningham Falls near Thurmont after going out for brunch with my dad. The kids had a blast walking the half mile in each direction and learning the green rocks were slippery with moss. I still find it funny when a parent (even if it’s me) warns not to do something thinking it will deter a kid. Both kids had to learn the hard way, though I caught them both. They both described the walk as a lot of fun. For me, it’s always been one of my favorite easy hikes.


2 thoughts on “Now We Know, and Knowing Is Half the Battle”

  1. Thanks for the post. I hope things ease up quickly as she has just about been expelled from the bus to school for the way she has behaved these past couple of weeks. My wife and I think we know the drugs have greased if not out and out cut the breaks in her impulse control. I keep telling myself in a year this will be looked back in the “You would not believe what our kid did” light typically reserved for stories like our son shoving his poop under the bedroom door for 3 straight nights. These things happen and they too shall pass. At least that is what I tell myself over and over.

    It’s also right about the time I remind myself we chose the difficult path. We shouldn’t be so discouraged by little failures that we miss the accomplishments, and despite our minds normal tendency to dwell on what went wrong, there have been many great milestones already reached. For me the humor is just a way of lessening the some of the distress.

  2. You left a poignant comment on my blog. It drew me here. I can feel the sincerity in you words. I recognize the undercover stabs at humor. I wish you the best with your daughter!

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