I also let the school team know what I'm doing on my end to help Jonah. He sees his counselor every week. This week I met with the psychiatrist about meds and we decided to change Jonah's anti-anxiety med since it is obviously not being very effective. We're still in the process of the elimination diet, and we'll meet with the nutritionist tomorrow to see what the next step is- how to add foods back in to our diet. Long story short, we're doing everything we can to make sure Jonah has everything he needs to be healthy and as happy as possible. Everyone is on board and on the same page, at school, therapy, and home.
Yesterday Jonah had quite a struggle when it came time to get his coat on and get out the door to the bus. First, he locked himself in the bathroom. When we got him to come out, I made the mistake of letting go of him to help the other boys with their coats. Jonah ran upstairs and got into his bed, saying he was just going to stay there all day. Alex tried his best to coax him out. Finally, as the bus was about to pull up, I ran upstairs and wrestled Jonah out of bed. I wrestled my 10-year-old downstairs. He ran to the couch to take refuge from the day. I wrestled him into his coat and out to the driveway. I stood there in my pj's and slippers, shivering, looking at my anxious, sad, depressed little boy and wondering what else in the world I can do to help him. Life shouldn't be this upsetting when you're 10. Jonah got on the bus and ended up toughing it through the day. When I asked him how he did it, he said he kept thinking about how I had said in the morning that he couldn't go to the nurse and call me because I had appointments all day and couldn't pick him up from school. I could have used a visit to the nurse's office myself yesterday, with all my worry every single minute about how Jonah was doing and how I can help him.
It just so happened that yesterday while Jonah was having a total freakout about going to school, Aidan decided he'd jump on that bandwagon as well. He had his own little fit about school. Two brothers freaking out about school made Ben feel overwhelmed with stress and noise, so he was a little out of synch and made everyone more agitated by lashing out verbally. Ella plugged her ears against the Brother Angst and kept asking loudly if I could snuggle with her. Sometimes I wish there were 6 of me. At chaotic times like these, I just make a decision about who needs my attention immediately and most desperately, and work my way through the needy kids one at a time until everyone is eventually taken care of. I take one breath at a time and do the best I can to stay calm and keep working through the knot of chaos.
Last night when I put Jonah to bed I told him about all the ways Dad and I are trying to help him feel better. I told him about the new medicine we'll try. About how his math teacher will help him one-on-one. We talked about it all. I said that he shouldn't worry, something will start to work and he'll start to feel better. He asked if I was sure. He said "What if nothing makes me feel better?" I told him that no matter what, we'll keep trying. We'll keep working to make life happier for him. He smiled sleepily and said he loves me. It was a nice way to end a hard day.
This morning Jonah crawled into our bed saying his tummy hurt. I said "Just stop thinking about it. We're going to have a good day." Then he asked if he could take a shower!! That's never happened before. So he headed out the door into the world today a little bit happier than yesterday.
I'm hoping that all this squeaking of the Jonah Wheel will get him what he needs to just be happy and calm. After I wait and watch and see how things will play out, there comes a point where I have to jump into action and rally the troops around whichever of my little Wheels is squeaking. I pull in our team of teachers, therapists, psychiatrists, social workers, and doctors. I do research and spend every free moment brainstorming about how to help my child. It's exhausting but when it starts to pay off it's rewarding. I always wonder why it is that Ben and Jonah take turns being the squeaky Wheel. Every time, throughout their 10 years of life, one boy becomes more stable medically or behaviorally, the other boy falls apart. Why can't we get a little break where all four kids are just ok at the same time? Do we HAVE to always have one kid in crisis, for crying out loud? And if the answer is yes, could they just write down on the calendar when they'll each be going bonkers so I can prepare?
I'm hopeful that Jonah will start to feel better soon. It's been a long decline over the past couple months and the kid deserves a break. I'm grateful for the team of support we have who always grease up our little Wheels when they get squeaky. I'd be lost without each of these special people who help me take care of our kids when they're in crisis.