Thursday, July 9, 2015

On looking for positives, medication and feelings

Yesterday, the positives were a little easier to find.  They still took some mining, but not quite the all out intensive mile deep mining operation they had the few days before.

The change, and I hate to admit this was the change, was that we put Janey back on her medication.  Tony took her to her psychiatrist on Tuesday night, after things just getting close to completely unbearable with the screaming and aggression, and we got the okay to put her back on the two medications she'd been taking for a while (not the new one she took before getting sick)  I hated to do it.  But it's not about what I hate.  It's about Janey, and she certainly showed us that once she felt physically healthy again, she needed that medication.

What the medication does it make it possible to actually try other ways to help Janey---to calm her down just enough so that we can use other methods along with the medication to keep her happy.

Yesterday was a long day, still.  Janey, although screaming much less, still was doing her routine of asking to go to Maryellen's house, over and over.  Toward the end of the afternoon, she hit me when I said no.  She did this after seeming to think about it a moment, like she was thinking "Hmm, maybe a good slap in the face is what Mama needs to understand me.  I'll give it a try!"  There was that much of a delay.

I decided to try a little dialogue.  I said "Ask me again if we can go to Maryellen's house, and I will say no"  I didn't want to set her up to think I might say yes.  She asked again, and I said no, and then said immediately "Now you say 'I feel ANGRY, Mama'"  She said it, and I immediately did the whole positive routine---the high five, thumbs up, A-Okay, with a big hug and praise.  I then did the routine over again, about 10 times.  She loves routines and repeated speech, and she loves the praise bit, so she enjoyed it.

Then she surprised the heck out of me.  Around the 11th time we did the routine, instead of saying "Angry", she said "Sad"  I was truly taken aback.  I hugged her over and over and said "You feel angry AND sad!  Great job talking!"

I decided the time was ripe for some more feelings talking.  I had her guess my feelings, something that is very tough for her.  I made a very angry face, telling her beforehand I was going to, because I didn't want her to think I was really angry, and then I asked her what the face was.  I had to prompt her a lot to get her to say angry.  I did the same thing with sad.  Then happy, and she guessed happy much more easily.  In fact, she often said "happy" for sad or angry, which makes me wonder if she is confused about how people are feeling a lot of the time.

She gave me another surprise.  I asked her to make the faces.  She can't do angry or sad on command at all, although she can do happy---maybe because she WAS happy right then.  I was thinking she really didn't get making faces.  But then I asked her to do surprised.  I showed her a surprised face---no luck.  Then I said "Surprised faces have very wide open mouths.  Try surprised" and she did---perfectly.  I should have known.  She is so auditory.  A face that can be explained in words is so much easier for her to understand.  It made me feel a wave of sadness at how hard it must be to be that auditory but to have such a very hard time talking.

I hope today is again a calmer day.  It's been a long stretch here waiting for summer school to start.  It finally starts Monday, and I have to admit I'm looking forward to it like Christmas.  I kind of bet Janey is too.  We've had enough of each other, but I do hope we will end this long sickness/summer stretch on a slightly higher note.

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