Medication and Tantrums

It’s been a few weeks of ups and downs…what else is new?  Sunny had a “well kid” appointment at her new pediatrician. My aunt works there as an RN and one of the many small things I had dreamed about in and out of all my infertility and pregnancies was taking my babies to see Aunt L at the doctor’s.  It was one thing that was hard to let go of so it was kind of special to be able to take Sunny there and have my aunt do her check up.  I could see she was happy to introduce us to her coworkers and to take care of Sunny.  It could never be the same or take the place of bringing my newborns there and knowing they were being cared for medically by someone who loved them but it felt good to experience it with Sunny.

It was funny, when I was signing us in, Aunt L came out to call in someone else and I said hi.  She said a normal “Hi” and then after a look…I got an excited greeting.  You know that one you gave your teacher when seeing them at the store… it’s so weird to see them out of their “normal” environment.  I had told her we were coming but I guess we surprised her anyway.  I think Aunt L will retire next year so I almost missed out.

Although one of my long term goals for Sunny is to get her off her medication, I didn’t think it was the right time now.  She’s had so much going on the past few months and doesn’t need that adjustment right now.  However, I was unaware that D.CF.S has to approve the “new” prescription and has to keep approving it every 180? days for psychotropic drugs.  Social Worker told me to take her off of it until the approval came through.  She didn’t say it would take nearly two weeks.

Yes, I know yanking a kid or anyone off medicine like that is not the best strategy.  I know from experience the harsh feelings it can cause.  But what could I do… Foster parents are constantly reminded that this is not your child, but a child of the state and the state can do anything they want with them.  I wasn’t willing to risk giving her the medication without approval.

So we embarked upon several days of raging tantrums.  Usually these were tipped off by homework.  She would get “one inch” frustrated but would react “one mile”.  It would happen so fast I wouldn’t have a chance to suggest an emotion strategy or even to say anything calming.  One night she was raging around the house, and I was trying to make the best of the time waiting for her to run out of steam.  I was in the kitchen painting a picture frame when she stomped in, stared at me for a few seconds and then started screaming, “What now!  I’m not even allowed to be in the same room as you…Oh my God!” and she stomped  away.  It would have been laughable if it hadn’t been me she was screaming at.  I hadn’t said a word to her so clearly irrational thoughts had taken over.  Another night she was in another room trying to do homework and I could hear her talking disrespectfully to herself.  “Well, Sunny, APPARENTLY you have to erase everything!” and “I will NEVER get this!”

At one point, I had to give her a choice.  Either she stop yelling at me or I stop checking her homework.  Guess which one she chose….luckily she has an awesome teacher who talked to her about it and who showed her how her grades would go down if she didn’t get help at home.  Also, during this time, Dad began to stop by some nights.  She would allow him to help her and not tantrum like she would for me.  A little frustrating for me when he would use practically the same words and examples I had before and not get an emotional, frustrated, stomping and screaming kid as a result.

Also, during this time, I received our first behavior note home.  She’d been writing unkind things in a note calling one of the girls in her class a “friend stealer”.  This same little girl was the first one she wanted to invite to her birthday party.  I am not in favor of children being on drugs but I know she must have been feeling terrible inside if she was acting this way on the outside.

Thankfully, the approval came through and I’ve gotten my Sunny back.  She still gets frustrated with homework although she’s very smart and gets good grades.  Now, she’s able to take a “step back” take some breaths or a break and then come back and do the work and accept help and corrections.

On to the next roller coaster….


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