In this month of giving thanks, many people espouse that they are thankful for their health or their family or even a sunshiny day. While all of those things are pretty wonderful and worthy, I have one particular person that I’m most thankful for.
You might think it is my husband or even my best friend but you’d be mistaken. Don’t get me wrong both of these people have been my lifeline on many occasions but this person I am referring to, gave me my daughter. Nope, I did not adopt my daughter. She’s my flesh and blood. My daughter’s psychiatrist who I am referring to. She is my hero.
My daughter has a mental illness along with an alphabet soup of other disorders. In the Summer of 2013 my child’s mood swings and rages were out of control. They started because a medication that had been partially working for her, caused her to gain weight at an alarming rate. At the same time that we discontinued this medication, a change in insurances led to a different medication not being approved. So now my daughter was off of two drugs that she desperately needed. The months from June-September were a living hell in my house. My daughter could not control her emotions and did not know what she was experiencing so she did what we would all do in that situation, she lashed out.
After several trips to the ER where we were turned away because a gatekeeper didn’t take us seriously, my daughter was finally admitted to her first of four hospital stays over an eight week period. The behavior hospitals would get her stable enough for the insurance’s liking then we’d be home a few days only to return again and again. We could not find the one medication that would bring peace and stability to our daughter’s world even though we had finally been able to secure one medication from the pharmaceutical company for her ADHD problems.
After eight weeks of being bounced around, we placed my daughter in a school that would meet her needs during the day, but non school hours, and days were still pretty rocky until my daughter’s doctor AKA, Dr. Wonderful, attended a seminar about a new medication. Shortly after this we had our monthly appointment with Dr. Wonderful. She’d tried everything that she knew and tried to work with the hospitals but unfortunately had come up empty-handed each time. In October of 2013, I was informed about this new promising medicine that had helped many Alzheimer patients and was now being used in children with severe behavior issues. As you can imagine, I was pretty hesitant to try one more drug. Over past three years we’d tried many things with only limited success. Since we had a very good working relationship with Dr. Wonderful, my husband and I decided to try it.
We started out very slowly. Within the first few weeks we began to notice that my daughter was not edgy as much. The executive functioning that she’d always struggled with improved dramatically. So we titrated up a bit more. Little by little we saw more and more improvements. Eventually we no longer saw the severe mood swings. No longer was my child wearing only one outfit due to her severe sensory processing issues and anxieties. Overall she became the happiest I’d ever seen her. We had a new normal in our lives.
When I say Dr. Wonderful gave me my daughter, I mean she gave me the daughter that I never knew I could have. Her mental health impaired her so much that our family was unable to really enjoy the beautiful child that she is. Sure my daughter still has struggles but they are not as disabling as they once were.
For this Thanksgiving I’m saying an extra prayer of gratitude for a doctor who was unwilling to give up on my child and believed there was stability out there for my daughter.
Cate Luther describes herself as a mom, wife and friend. She is her daughter’s biggest advocate and blogs at http://charsmomtonf.blogspot.co.uk/