So it’s been a few weeks since I started Cameron on his medicine, Clonidine. I had an extremely difficult time coming to the decision to even ask, let alone place him on medicine. I had seen how Ty’s medicines had affected him. At times he would shake and tremble, sometimes he would twitch and then there were the behavioral differences. I have seen Ty go from laughing to bawling, all because of the medicines he’s been prescribed for his ADHD. I have even experienced him being completely zoned out like a zombie. And for anyone who has ever known me, you know zombies creep me out and there I was in the truck with a child who was acting like one. It wasn’t an easy sight to see at all.
But for Cameron, the medicine has been fairly kind to him with the side effects as well as for my own sanity. For those of you who are not familiar with my situation, Cameron is the type of child who wakes up at 100% energy and goes until the moment he crashes. Some days he will stay up for as long as nearly 23 hours straight, before crashing into a deep sleep for all of an hour or two and then waking up to do it all again.
Needless to say, sometimes it is extremely difficult to live with a child who goes longer than that freaking energizer bunny on TV. Some days, I’m just too exhausted to even bother doing anything at all. And in the end, I had to make the difficult decision and ask for help.
Cameron’s prescription is a relatively small one. He takes 0.1 (1/10) mg of Clonidine, every night. This medicine has allowed it so I can somewhat regulate his sleeping habits and I must say, I’m surprised, but it’s actually working. The only side effects we have really noticed is, about 3 in the afternoon, the medicine is completely out of his system and he’s so active, it’s starting to cause problems on his bus. The only other side effect is this half-coughing noise. Almost as if he’s trying to clear his throat (like when you feel like you have a pill stuck in your throat). Well, his pediatrician said that is a tick from the medication. So if those are the worst of his side effects, I am completely content with how well the medicine is working.
There was a slight mix-up last week and the doctor office accidentally sent in the wrong prescription, so I was stuck without any medication for him all weekend long. I was prepared for an all night battle, but surprisingly, he still managed to fall asleep at a reasonable time. With that knowledge, I do plan to eventually try to wing him off of the medication. Especially since I am so weighted down with the guilt of being one of those parents.
You know which ones I am referring to. The ones who do nothing but insist their children stay medicated. And while, I know this is the healthiest thing for both of us (because lord knows, we needed the sleep), I can’t help but hate myself for putting my child through this.
Since beginning the medication, Cameron’s awareness has improved greatly. He’s even progressed to the point where he is starting to ask the question “Why?” and is even beginning to show signs of his imagination.
Unlike most children, Cameron has rarely shown any interest in stuffed animals of any sorts. But these past few weeks have shown another side. For Christmas, his teachers had given him a soft, adorable teddy bear, whom he promptly named Eugene, when I asked him what the bear’s name was. Eugene has become almost like a child for Cameron. He attempts to dress Eugene, informs Eugene when he must go to the doctor or promise to take him to Mc Donald’s, Eugene is the first thing he looks for when he gets home and the last thing he asks for when he goes to bed at night. Eugene has essentially become apart of our family.
We’ve had a few other additions to our very small family over the past month. Shadow had three kittens on the 23rd of Decemeber and Cameron is fascinated by them. He calls them his babies and even argued with me that they were babies, not kittens. What is even more shocking is, after I explained that kittens were baby cats, he began referring to the kittens as kittens.
Our finally addition, is Tigress. Cameron had his long-awaited dental surgery on Thursday. It was a rough day for us both actually. Unable to sleep, I loaded up Cameron, Eugene (of course) and myself and we headed down to Lake Charles at 3 am. We weren’t required to be there until 6, but I was so worried I’d be late, we wound up getting there an hour and a half early. Cameron was actually the first child to go under that morning. Because of his autism, they opted to operate on him first instead of leaving him til last like they would have done if he were a normal child. Which I must admit, I hate that phrase, because honestly what child is truly normal?
Anyways, we were forced to share the room with another child that was waiting for her surgery and let me tell you, I thought Cameron was annoying. This little girl about drove me nuts. She wouldn’t leave us alone. We were asleep when they showed up (30 minutes late, I might add), and they were so rude. They turned on the TV and every light in the room. Needless to say, I wasn’t a very happy person. Also, after I came back into our room, from taking Cameron up to surgery, I found the little girl digging through our belongings. I almost said something to her mother, but I truly was too worried about Cameron and opted to ignore the little girl.
But what really set me on edge was after they brought Cameron back from surgery. When they wheeled him in, I won’t lie, my heart stopped. At first he looked like what I would imagine a dead body looked like. His face was void of all color, and there was blood running from his nose (they had intubated him) and his mouth (because of the dental surgery). His dark eyes flashed open and there was nothing but pure terror, confusion and pain written all over his face.
Since he had been under anesthesia for over 90 minutes (when they informed me it would only take 30-45 minutes), he had been succumbed to suck in a ton of air and blood into his lungs and it sounded awful to hear him try and breathe.
Prior to the surgery, I was instructed to try and get him back to sleep once he was wheeled back down to his room. They said the anesthesia would cause him to feel hung over if I didn’t. Now, I tried. I was there cleaning his face and hands of the blood that they let just sit and dry on him. I even managed to get him to take a few sips of apple juice which allowed him to burp and release some of the excess air from his belly and lungs. Meanwhile, the entire time I’m trying to care for my child, who is in agony, this little girl won’t leave us alone.
Her mother was absolutely useless. The little girl kept playing with the curtains that divided the two beds, turned on the TV and blasted it in his ear while he was trying to sleep and all in all just wouldn’t get out of my way. I was about at my wits end when the nurse arrived to discharge us.
Well, the hospital had given Cameron an LSU tiger (it was an LSU hospital after all) and he had promptly named her Tigress after the Tiger from Kung Fu Panda. So I gathered up Cameron, Eugene and our newest addition, Tigress and as we were headed down the hall, he began throwing up blood.
Now, I have an extremely weak stomach for things like throw up and I am honestly surprised I wasn’t affected. In fact, I was just worried about him. He managed to get both him, me and his blanket covered in it and luckily one of the nurses gave me a bag to put our stuff in. And besides one time when he threw up in the truck, we made it home in one piece.
Cameron is doing much better. He had two extractions, they capped his back teeth and besides the usual pain from dental work, he’s back to his usual self. He even attended school yesterday. I had considered allowing him to stay home yesterday, but he only allowed me a few hours of sleep and I needed to work while he was in school. But he had a good day at school, so I’m glad to see he made it through the day okay.
Hopefully, he will now allow me to actually brush his teeth more thoroughly, once his mouth heals up a little more.