We've actually had a good couple of weeks. Dallas has been pretty level with the moods after a kind of rocky start. We had two days of rather minor (compared to what it could have been, I mean) aggressive episodes that lasted less then 30-45 minutes, back to back, and one crying/suicidal talk episode, but this was during the beginning doses of 25 mg of Lamictal. We were giving it to him at bedtime, and he was up all night, multiple times. Now that we've upped it to 50 mg. and are giving it to him in the morning instead of at night, things seem to be going so much better, and he's sleeping better. No spinning out of control, no depression, no dangerous impulsive stuff, and no violence. He's been able to sit down and chill out, and a simple "no" from us doesn't send him off into a rage anymore. He's still being headstrong and lazy about picking up, taking a shower, coming in when we need him to, etc..., but not in an unusually ugly or aggressive way.
I told him today that it's only a couple of weeks before school starts again, and asked what has been the best thing about this summer and he said "Two things. Spending lots of time with you (yay!), and dad taking me deep sea fishing."
My husband even felt brave enough to take him out on his first deep sea fishing trip this past Saturday. I was worried the entire day (that's just what I do no matter what because I'm mom...), but he was perfect all day, and everyone was very impressed with how well he handled himself. He was the only kid with 4 men looking out for him, so we couldn't have set it up any safer. We had to give him a chance to go and hope for the best. And he shined! This is the best he's been in a long long while.
So... all in all, it looks like we are on the right track with the meds. We had a pdoc appt. today to assess how these meds are working, and figure out what to do about school/ADHD meds, and we've decided to NOT give him any ADHD meds for now and to see if the original ADHD diagnosis might have been wrong since discovering the bipolar medication seems to be helping in regards to anxiety, depression and aggression. Imagine that! Only time will tell how he transitions back to school and if he can cope in a classroom setting with no ADHD medication. Look out school!
His doctor is very pleased with how well he's responding to the Lamictal, and has decided to keep his dose at 50 mg for now. That's a good sign as the usual dose is double that. She also told me that he was "golden" in her office today, and showed no signs of hyperactivity, impulsivity, or inattention. She said he was "night and day" compared to how he was at our last appointment before he began the bipolar meds. I am just so happy I could do a happy dance. And to think how terrified I was just 3 weeks ago...
He's also saying he is excited to go back to school, and meet his new teacher, and non of the negative "I hate school", "I'm stupid" stuff from early summer or any anxiety that I can detect, so hopefully his summer's been long enough too. LOL.
His OT is using a lot of sensory tools and he seems to be responding REALLY well to those... brushing, joint compressions, weighted lap pads, etc.. and they've been working on handwriting and motor skills, and she said his attention span has been better the last couple of weeks! Who knew that OT could help him so much to relax? We are working on determining what of those tools would be helpful in class and get them added to his IEP.
So, all in all, things are going FABULOUS so far. I think we are finally on the right track... and I am so grateful.