The past few weeks have been a big roller coaster of highs and lows. After the unexpected, abrupt, cold-turkey end of a medication that Jacob has been on for 3 years, we dealt with quite a lot of withdrawal symptoms including some intense, unrestrained aggression and a Grand Mal seizure.
I had quite a debate with myself, and with Chris, over whether or not we should keep him unmedicated or try one of the alternatives. He seemed so happy the first few days off of Moban, but his happiness was a kind of psychotic, manic happiness with extreme silliness and hysterical laughter. It was fun for a day or two, but quickly became rather upsetting and disturbing as his hyper-ness rapidly turned into being mean.
The medication that we chose, with the fewest side effects and lots of years of usage by children with autism, is one we have used in the past. We knew that it would work to calm him, decrease aggression, and help him sleep for more than a few hours a night. The problem was that despite all the good results we knew we'd see, this med also increases appetite. Jacob went from being a large-but-not-extreme to 60 lbs overweight in just a year and the last thing we want is a repeat of that.
You can see the dilemma. Due to tight control of his eating habits Jacob has lost in about 8 lbs in the last few months and we have been so thrilled with these results. But we know that this medication will change that soon enough.
I am preparing to deal with fights, tantrums, and all sorts of violence over us restricting his food intake. I have noticed his food-seeking has increased already in the past few days. I pray we can keep control over this without too much struggle. Fingers crossed.
One really, really, great thing that has happened in the past two weeks is that we have eliminated diapers! We thought we had some in a closet, but discovered they were all used up at a very inconvenient time. Chris and I decided right then to not buy any more. It was a big risk, with potentially messy results, but it has paid off! Jacob has had only a few accidents in 14 days, and he is doing amazing!
Its funny, and kind of lame, that it took so long for us to decide to do this. In my mind it was such a big deal to potty train him after our efforts to do so for several years. It had always been a difficult task and a most unpleasant one. But this try the timing was right and he was ready.
I haven't had a break from diapers since Tyler was born. 14 years and I was definitely ready to be done with that stage. I am so proud of Jacob and so thrilled to never buy diapers again.
And- BIG DEAL!- We are going on a vacation- the whole family- for the first time in several years. Travelling has always been such a struggle, but I think we are finally ready to take on the 16 hour drive and visit family. Yay!