My girl has been through hell again lately. And so have we, her family. I am usually the target of anything that disturbs her....from being able to hear me breathe to asking her how her day was at school. We have all endured hours of raging, torn clothes, broken and otherwise ruined items.
In the middle of it all, my girl has softened for a moment, whined to me that she just wants to be nice, beeeeeegggggged me to help her be nice--and in the next moment spit venom at me through hateful words after I tried to suggest something like listening to some music on her ipod or reading a book. And the next moment, she has begged again, pleaded through a crying voice. She has been crying out to me to take this agony away from her.
And I have had nothing to offer her.
Just typing about it, rethinking it, I heave a deep sigh. It's been exhausting. And hard to always stay out of it, not get sucked in to arguing the points. I can't comfort her by touching her arm or rubbing her back; she can't stand touch and vigorously wipes off the touch after she jerks herself away.
She has been on Lithium since Christmas break. Lithium and Abilify. I know that Lithium helps some tremendously. But to us? Lithium feels like water. Or perhaps poisoned water.
A week ago, her school called me to tell me that she was shaking. I had left my phone at home, and when I got back and found the message, I thought, "Shaking? You mean, more than usual?" Because shaking has been an issue for her since before we started Lithium. I called her psychiatrist who, oddly enough, had an opening that morning and agreed to see her. When I got to school to pick her up, her arms were shaking so badly that she could not drink from a water bottle. She was sweating and feeling nauseous. Her speech was slurred (but had been so over the past week or so).
I thought she had lithium poisoning.
Her doctor gave her a cogentin in the office to calm down the shaking and gave me some to give at home. He said it was a combination of the Abilify and Lithium and told me to back down on the Abilify.
But this weekend, she was wildly out of control. We would see extended family (we were out of town for a baby shower), and she'd be able to contain the tantruming, but anyone could tell that something was not right with this kiddo. Wouldn't really look at people, quiet, strange demeanor, and if we were sort of alone, she would be horrid to me with ugly remarks. It was like being pecked to death with a very large and pointy beak.
I had to call her doctor. I was thinking that we were possibly looking at our first hospital stay...and we were out of town. I didn't think that our other three children and I could safely ride four hours home in the van with her. And I could see that on top of it all, she was extremely distraught about feeling this way and not being able to contain it.
Her doctor told us to give the med that we had held back on, and somehow, by the grace of God, we made it home the next day. Luckily, I had an appointment with the doc the next day, and she will be fully weaned off of Lithium in the next two days. Thank God!!!!!
Last night, after I gave her the smaller dose, we read our devotional book, and it spoke about the prophets in the Old Testament and the fact that they were not always popular. And it talked about standing for right even when other people didn't/don't like it.
And my girl, softer than I had seen her in a good while, joined us in the conversation. And she said in the stopping and starting, unsure way of herself that this medicine has given her, "I used to be sort of popular. But now...." And honestly, I don't remember the rest of what she said. It hurt my heart for her.
But then she went on not to mourn any idea that she might not be popular, but to say that she stood up against two others in her class who were being mean to another girl. It took her a long time to get it out, but she was really thinking about looking out for that girl and standing up for what was the right thing.
And my heart melted. Because that is the heart that I know is in my girl. Only a bit more sorrowful and tired.
I love this girl. She's still in there.