Wednesday, October 14, 2009

A flickering light at the end of the tunnel

The last week has seen some amazing improvements in Emily which I can only attribute to the antidepressant medication taking effect. She is much happier, more well rested, has fewer headache complaints, more energetic, is eating a little faster and is genuinely engaging with people and activities.

She has attended four half days of school and seems very comfortable getting back into the swing of things. Saturday we had company over for Rumoli and she joined in with a mid afternoon snack which marked the first time she has eaten in front of anyone, other than Derek and I and hospital staff, in five weeks. Sunday she went to a friend's house for the afternoon which was the first time she spent time with a peer since coming home from the hospital. That was followed by her participating in a Thanksgiving dinner with my family. She took an Ativan to help her through the event and while she didn't quite finish her meal, she did have an dinner roll before we sat down so her caloric intake balanced out quite nicely especially since she also had a small piece of pumpkin pie. She took a lot of wonderful photos of all of us, many of which will make good blackmail fodder. On Monday I took her and a friend to the Fall Fair and then we went to Derek's family Thanksgiving dinner. She relied on an Ativan again but she not only ate everything I asked her to eat, she also drank some real coke and ate at least two small pieces of apple pie for dessert. I would expect her to have gained more weight this week but she has been so much more physically active that she may not have increased all that much.

Her weight last week was 104 and the weight they want to see her at is 110, so six pounds to go, at 1-2 pounds a week now seems doable. After that she will be more mentally ready to start the therapeutic work on Ed and maybe start doing a small amount of exercise.

Yesterday I wondered around enjoying a small but not insignificant sense of relief. It was not a great big huge sigh of relief because I am too wary of Ed to think huge steps forward are likely and because I am too weary to feel much of anything. But more alarmingly, Emily has started to exhibit some new odd behaviours like jumping around, making weird, almost childish, noises with her mouth, being a little more aggressive in her reactions to Derek and I, constantly moving her feet when she is sitting down and flitting from one activity to another. This morning she complained of feeling jittery and shaky on the inside and having a headache. I think, based on my web research, that she is reacting to the antidepressant. I called the team to make sure she sees the shrink when we go in for our weekly session tomorrow. Her dosage was increased five nights ago so perhaps she doesn't need as high a dose as they expected. I hope they don't have to take her off this drug because her mood has been so great since Saturday. She is even going to a friend's birthday party on Friday night, something she hasn't done in almost a year.

I would hate to see her have to go through the torture of coming off one antidepressant and starting another because that takes weeks and the Ativan is not a good alternative. On the other had, from what I have read about adverse side effects of Zoloft, she could be headed from some really unpleasant reactions including an escalation of self harming thoughts and anxiety. We will have to wait to see what the shrink advises tomorrow, but for today we have happy Emily, at least between meals.

Gotta go finish making lunch, pizza and salad, and pick her up from school.

1 comment:

  1. So glad to hear some hope in everyone !
    You guys are doing a GREAT job !