My last post, I enjoy saying, is a distant memory now. And as I type, I curse myself in fear that I will jinx our current smooth sailing. Ava's extra bump of Concerta and the change in timing for her second dose of Abilify in the afternoon rather than evening seem to have kicked in for her. We are so grateful.
We had a second session with Ellen, Ava's own psychotherapist. Ava and I talked with her together and then Ava had some alone time with her and then we chatted briefly again the three of us. Wow. What support and goodness comes out of those sessions. Ellen stressed to her the importance of distraction as we've realized, much like our 3 year old when she begins an age-appropriate tantrum, Ava can be distracted out of her rages. The timing, however, must be exact and is becoming a learned art by her father and I. So, we're still treading thin ice many many times a day but Ava knows that her rage is sometimes a choice and that often she IS in control. Ellen also stressed to Ava what a wonderful mother she has. Sounds silly to me to type that out but her saying that brought me to tears. I try so hard and so often feel so beaten down by Ava's behavior that it felt like a boost to the clouds to know that she and Ava had talked about this and to see a twinkle of acknowledgement in Ava's eyes as Ellen elaborated on that part of their conversation. I smiled through my tears and thanked Ellen. I had no idea how much I needed to hear that. My husband can tell Ava that all day long but it means nothing until someone outside the home, outside our close circle of family and friends, someone Ava respects and enjoys, says it to her.
Ironically enough, her positive behavior has coinsided with Chiropractic care we have just begun for her. I met a fellow mom, Amy, who is a friend of a friend. Amy's little boy has Asperger's and when I asked if he was medicated for his bouts of irritablity and rage Amy told me how very close they were but his teacher suggested a Pediatric Chiropractor in our area. Amy gave me his card and I must say that I am amazed by the Chiropractic theory on mood disorders. Ava is a textbook case as she was Frank Breech my entire pregnancy, was colicky beyond colicky until about age 4.5 months. Theory is that the vertebrae are not encasing the spinal column properly (due to her in-utero position and a 'traumatic birth' as a c-section baby) so nerves are misfiring, not firing, firing too much, too little, etc etc etc. When looking at xrays with Dr. Tony of Ava's vertebrae - it was very obvious she was completely out of alignment - her very top vertebrae, C1, was not aligned with the rest of her backbone. And theory is that this causes serious issues with mood and emotion among a long list of other issues. She's had 3 adjustments and who knows what the future holds for her there - but Dr. Tony's hope is that she'll be able to kick all meds by the end of the summer. What a dream. I asked him - "if it's this easy, why doesn't . . . " and he finished my sentence, "I know. Why doesn't everyone with issues like this come in and get adjusted?" YES! He agreed and told me that it's because the majority does not believe in Chiropractic care on our side of the world. I'd have to agree and I may be part of that majority but I'll take a chance on anything at this point to help my child. Anything.
I feel amazingly blessed today to have the support system we do. My husband was laid off due to budget cuts from a fabulous company the day before Halloween. There is often talk of relocating but we push it away as we both know what we have here in regards to doctors, therapists, and friends that cannot be replaced. I have faith that we'll be able to stay in the area and peace will continue to surround us. After our last couples therapy session, I have really considered returning to school for my Master's in Counseling. I have always hated the fact that I didn't continue with my degree in Psychology and imagine I'd have much to give others as far as experience with mental illness.
I'll take today and the peace we have this moment. Hold onto it and hope it spreads to others I know I struggling with this disorder. If times are rough for you, hold onto hope and know that 'this too shall pass.'