Tag Archives: adhd

Mental

10 Oct

It’s been 8 months since my last post. I don’t know where time has gone. I’ve had sporadic intentions of writing but then words have failed me or outbursts have flailed me. One or the other.

I’ve been working on some self-healing by curling in on myself and only branching out to a few, very close, unsuspecting victims, while revelling in the mundane minutiae of life trying to find some semblance of sanity. And in fleeting moments of freedom from the hazy torpor, I’ve been (over-)indulging in self-care and, frankly, bloody loving it!

Pickle is now at long last under the supervision of the child psychiatrist. Because of his complex nature, we haven’t yet been able to pinpoint the right kind of therapy for him, if indeed there is one.

Rather unexpectedly however, we have found ourselves squeezed together on a (rather small) couch in a child psychotherapist’s office…..without Pickle!!

Talking through our concerns, worries and fears for Pickle now and in the future has been remarkably uplifting. The sessions compound my growing knowledge and confidence and, if I’m honest, make me feel like I am predominantly on the right tracks. My obsessive reading, challenging and fighting must finally be paying off a little.

Over the years, I have attended most professional meetings alone so having the OH with me has been a fantastic support. I think he finally believes that I was right to wallow in pages and pages of psychobabble, funding the endless complexities of my (mostly) female mind. Even though it has (quite possibly) been to the detriment of my own usually steely mental resolve and is (very possibly) the reason I overdose regularly on Jaffa Cakes and gin.

Pickle’s official diagnosis has come after years of my insisting that the professionals followed through with my gut feeling of “attachment issues”.

I was told not to be so “fixated”. Not to “self-diagnose”.

I listened. Of course.

After all, they’re the experts, right? RIGHT?

(I realise I could be repeating myself here, I refuse to read past blog posts)

Countless meetings, assessments, tests, tantrums, outbursts later and I have it in black and white:

Diagnosis: my-gut-feeling-feckin-itis

(Otherwise known as: attachment disorder…with significant traits of ADHD and autistic tendencies).

A testy and unforgiving trio. Not the sort you’d like to meet on a dark night!

Pickle was walloped with some horse pills, which seemed to have little effect. A few weeks later, the dose was increased but again with little effect.

A third and final attempt at a different medication is starting to show some signs of light relief. Though in all fairness, I refuse to place all the credit at the feet of medication. Pickle has made a staunch effort to understand his challenges and still wows me every day with his understanding of the workings of his own mind. We talk very openly. He has a wonderful, descriptive imagination and is excellent at drawing analogies that help me understand his emotions and feelings.

This leads me on to what the actual catalyst for this post was. Last week I heard some dreadful and tragic news: an old school friend chose not to continue in this tangled world of crazy. And it broken my heart. I sobbed uncontrollably.

I didn’t know the man he became, but I did know the boy he was and it made me think even more deeply about my own boys. About the external influences that impact them every day. About how important it is that the channels of communication remain open to our children, our families and friends. About the need to fight even harder to be heard.

Many of my regular followers know how passionately I feel about mental health issues. How disappointed and utterly frustrated I am in the mental health service provision in this country – especially in my local area.

It angers me on a daily basis when I read the stories of the often needless difficulties created by the lack of funding, bureaucracy and oftentimes (in my experience) downright lazy-arsedness. But what angers me most of all is the needless loss of life. This doesn’t and shouldn’t need to happen.

In March 1998, I lay writhing in pain on my sofa – unbeknown to me – with a practically perforated bowel. It coincidentally happened to be Bowel Cancer Awareness Week and I overheard a news item strapline declare: “Don’t die of embarrassment”.

That was the rocket up the ass (pun intended) I needed to seek medical help. Thankfully, I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and not the Big C.

Though ulcerative colitis and crohn’s disease are both physical illnesses, they are also invisible illnesses. As with mental health disorders, you can appear perfectly well to those on the outside.

I was so grateful to have absorbed that message enough to do something about my symptoms. In the same vein and in the hope that just one person who may be struggling with mental health issues will read this and act on it: Please don’t suffer in silence. You’re not alone.

And to those of you who are lucky enough to have close support and are at ease with being open, try not to judge others based on what you see or don’t see, what you hear, what you assume.

Talk. Ask people how they’re feeling.

And more importantly, listen!

Today is World Mental Health Day and it felt fitting to write this post, which I now realise is completely haphazard, manic and maybe slightly….mental.

But I’ve written it with no thought, just a mixture of anger and deep, deep sadness.

In memory of PG.

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Antsy? Not ‘Arf!

12 Nov

No one person’s problems are any greater or lesser than our own, since fundamentally everything is relative!

My ‘tough shit’ is written here….in this little padded cell in cyberspace that I’ve claimed for myself, yet share publicly. This space is my psychiatrist’s couch. It’s where I lie; it’s where I spew guff; it’s where I whingebag my way through life; it’s my space to say what I like when I like and drink as much virtual gin (my new tipple of choice: Brockman’s Gin – Try it!!) as I like without having to suffer the intoxicating after-effects.

Right now, I am feeling frustrated. We’ve hit somewhat of an impasse in the Permanently Pickled Household. And I’m buggered if I know which way to turn.

 

Actually, to be honest, I’m feeling downright fecked off, Dr. T’internoob!

I lay awake last night pondering the TAC meeting that we had a couple of months ago. Going over what was said, what wasn’t said. Going over how I personally felt in the meeting.

Feeling the defensiveness and sensitivity rising up and overwhelming me and having to bottle it up while the professionals battled over who has more experience, who can blind who with their semantics, and who has the busier diary! And all I wanted to scream was this is a child, a child who doesn’t understand compliance once his mist descends, a child who will not conform to the ideals of your theory books!

Listen to me! But I stayed quiet for fear of being the inflexible, irate and witless harpy that I invariably am these days.

I listened to them preach to me about healthy eating, exercise, and yes….rewards and consequences (was that an audible scoff from the adoption community??). I was asked about my parenting and about how we are helping to control Pickle’s weight.

Seriously!?!

I. Am. Frustrated. I have been festering on this for weeks.

Can you tell, I’m frustrated?

We had a brilliant summer in terms of Pickle’s behaviour this year. Given the huge changes that took place prior to the summer and during this summer, this was somewhat of an achievement.

Grandma passed away after a long illness. He was a rock. As ever, we were unable to predict his exact response. But this time he shone. Or had we raised our game of patience? Probably both.

Prior to the end of the last school term, Pickle was removed from his ‘mainstream’ class and placed unofficially in the Moderate Learning Difficulties division. Unofficially because he doesn’t have an EHCP. He has taken the non-existent 11th place in a class of 10!

I will be completely candid. On being notified of Pickle’s move to the MLD division, I was beyond gutted! I broke my heart crying and felt like I had let him down. There is no doubt that there is an underlying capability that will allow him to do well in mainstream education. But his hypersensitivity and hypervigilance make it difficult for him to concentrate, to relax, to function, to co-exist with others without eagle-eyed adults pre-empting his every move.

He is followed around the playground!! This week he attempted to escape the playground. As would I if I were faced with such totalitarian constraints.

Not long before his transition to the MLD I had been posting about how well he was doing. So well in fact that the TAC team had decided to cut back on the meetings. We were spending our time discussing his achievements as opposed to any negative issues.

So what happened? I have my theories, I know my child. I had a plethora of information in my head that helps me understand what is going on for him. I have the supportive words of many other adopters, carers and birth parents going through similar issues. But to lambast at this stage is not going to move things forward.

Over the summer, we had our first meeting with CAMHS and Pickle has subsequently undergone the QB test for ADHD. We still don’t have the results!

 

We have purported referrals for speech and language, the educational psychologist, and occupational health.

 

He has seen a physiotherapist for his gait, though we have had no feedback from her supposed visit to school, of which the school have no record.

 

I am still awaiting the minutes from the TAC meeting. As well as the TAC plan and its concomitant timescales.

 

I’m sure you get the general gist of how I’m feeling!!! And, to boot…I’m at an age when you really shouldn’t be messing with my tolerance levels. Even my see-sawing hormones are frantically trying to escape my crabby body.

 

So here I sit, weltering in my cul-de-sac, with my Brockman’s gin and current malignant loathing of the system, planning which of my prey to attack first!

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