After a Christmas and New Year break marred by illness the girls return to school was much anticipated and looked forward to by all but it has been a somewhat patchy return and we've yet to get to normal - whatever that is!
Two weeks in and the chaos continues with Bear having a lot of trouble with side effects from a new medication. The hope was it would help her manage her compulsive behaviours but I (and I think I can speak for her too) would rather have the face smashing, the bouncing and running than the vomiting, anxiety and (yet more!) sleep issues that she's had over the past week.
As Bear's compulsive behaviours have become more and more prevalent to the point they dominate her days and nights we made the decision to try medication to aleviate the symptoms. She reached the point of not being able to take more than one or two mouthfuls of food without having to get up and bounce or run up and down the corridor, not being able to enjoy a bath without having to get out and bounce (she knows the rule, no bouncing in the bath, so she has to get out). We can ask her not to bounce, not to smash her face into a pillow on the floor from standing but we might just as well ask her not to breathe. This is something she has to do, not someting she chooses to do. This is not fun. This is not rewarding to her.
A few months ago now Bear broke her ankle. It was a classic skiing injury of a crack across her bone just above the level of her walking boots. Even though she was in considerable pain she still ran, with support, the wrong way up the corridor before going out the door for school. That's what compulsion means. No Peace, no space to enjoy simple pleasures, no chance to concentrate or learn.
After trying diet and behaviour modification approaches we didn't choose the medication route lightly, this group of drugs is heavy duty after all, but Bear deserves a chance to fulfill her own wants and desires in life, to make her own choices and learn. Let's hope we can make this last ditch attempt work for her.