Thursday, June 7, 2012

Which would you choose?

Which would you choose...emotional health or physical health?  For you?  What about for your child?

This is the question we've been asking ourselves regarding our almost 13-YO Spicy Boy.  In the past year he has gained 25 pounds, without growing taller.  9 of those pounds have come in the last 2 months while on Abilify, known to cause weight gain, but which has done a remarkable job of keeping a lid on his "brief, reactive psychoses" (yes, that's the term from the psychiatrist to describe his horrendous meltdowns).  He is also on 3 other medications daily.

He also has a ridiculous obsession with food and has been known to pilfer, steal, beg, hide and cajole others into giving him food.  One of our 72 hour kits is now bereft of three days' worth of Chef Boyardee.  I even got a call from the assistant principal at the middle school, asking would I PLEASE put money on his lunch card?   The lunch ladies can only be so kind, you know, to let him slide and get a free lunch a couple, three, four times.   We really don't want him to go hungry.  Okaaaay.  Could I please have known after the first time?

I pack him a lunch every. single. day.  There is no money on his lunch card on purpose.

Mrs. P. just said, "oh."

It is frustrating to repeatedly attempt to accurately portray to others (especially school officials) that we are doing the best we can with him, and we actually know what we're talking about most of the time.  We get it.  We really do.  He is hard.  And no, nothing is going on at home.  We told you that before.

So we decided to take Abilify out of the picture this last week.  The result has been awful.  Glasses broken on purpose (not the first, or even the second pair to have such a fate), yelling, crying, and my favorite...being suspended today for hitting three of his favorite the teachers' lounge...while having a special lunch with one of them...all because he was told he couldn't have candy.

So...which would you choose?

Fat and happy looks pretty good right about now.  What am I supposed to do with him?


  1. Oh, Cheryl! I'm wishing I was near enough to come over and give you a big hug!! Such a tough decision...if the medicine is helping the letdowns I would probably keep with it. Does it help if you increase the amount of exercise that he's doing? Let me know if you need anything! xoxo

  2. My heart breaks for him and you. My little Ben is such a special kid. I know you are doing what is best for him. We don't always understand our trials, but continue to trust in the Lord and He will lead you. I guess fat and happy is the route I would go, personally.....but it is such a hard place to be, to choose the lesser of two unpleasant situations. We love you.

    Tell Ben I love him and miss him!

  3. I wish we could be of more help in this. You all are in our prayers EVERY DAY. Even though some of your days "in Holland" may be more like the days of World War II with its many battles and horrors, some day (and some days)it will be like the spring with the miles of gorgeous tulips and the Rembrants. Remember you and Glen and Spicy Boy's siblings are the dikes that protect the low land from the flooding from the seas. Everything will be alright in the end. If it's not alright, it's not the end.
    Much love, Mom & Dad

    Welcome to Holland
    By Emily Pearl Kingsley

    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It's like this:

    When your're going to have a baby, it's like planning a fabulous vacation trip to Italy. You buy a bunch of guidebooks and make your wonderful plans... the Coliseum, Michaelangelo's David, the gondolas of Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It's all very exciting.

    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, "Welcome to Holland."

    "Holland?!", you say. "what do you mean Holland? I signed up for Italy! I'm supposed to be in Italy. All my life, I've dreamed of going to Italy!"

    The stewardess replies, "There's been a change in the flight plan. We've landed in Holland and it is here you must stay."

    The important thing is that they haven't taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place full of pestilence, famine and disease. It is just a different place. So, you must go and buy new guidebooks. You must learn a whole new language. You will meet a whole new group of people you would never had met. It is just a different place. It is slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy, but after you have been there while and you catch your breath, you look around and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills, Holland has tulips, Holland even has Rembrants. But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy and they're all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life you will say, "Yes, that's where I was supposed to go. That is what I had planned."

    The pain of that will never, ever, ever go away because the loss of that dream is a very significant loss. But if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn't go to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things about Holland.

  4. Oh Cheryl. I would choose mental health. For me and my family. without mental health we have nothing. we need to go to lunch. In July I'll have more time.

    and then there is diet jello. low calorie and filling. and air filled popcorn, (spoken by someone who struggles with weight issues!!)

  5. Wow, Cheryl.

    I don't know what I'd pick when you paint the picture as you do. What I wonder is there another alternative as to meds? I know that one set I was on for migraines didn't work but there were a few other options and one of them is working out very well.

    Fingers crossed for you, girl. I hope you are able to get this worked through.