Sometimes my sons ask me what's wrong with their sister. Why is she like that? they ask...I tell them she was born with a different brain. I don't know what to call it, and I don't think there is a name for what makes her special. She's a cafeteria of 'needs' and I live at Hometown Buffet. Thank goodness for medication. And I really mean that. The dear girl takes three different medications everyday. Some people don't believe in meds, but I do...and after today, her teachers do too.
It was one of those days when my husband and I looked at each other in stark realization that there weren't any more meds--we were out! We sent her to school like we were sending her across a tightrope--the uncertainty of failure or success was there with everything to gain or lose. I had the prescription ready to fill, but you know how those triplicate meds are, being so closely watched and all. I waited for 'the call.' It came in email form and it read exactly how I imagined it would. Her functional skills teacher writes, "Kindsay is having a really bad day. Is something different going on? She's agitated, keeps putting her jacket over her head, I can't get her to focus on anything, she's up and down and every where...." She's very kind and loving about it, and I cringe as I return the email with profuse apologies for having been a dope about the dope (that's just a pun, she's not on dope). It wasn't until I got the OTHER email, from her block A teacher who has her twice a day. This email read a little differently, though the message was the same. To some effect she tells me that we need to address some serious behavior issues, that Kindsay literally prevented any child from learning in her classes, that her rolling on the ground, breaking school equipment, constant noise-making, flailing, etc, were nonstop....they actually pulled someone from her usual job to be Kindsay's 1:1, and that still wasn't enough. Eventually, she was sent back to her functional skills class. The email was a few paragraphs in detail and shock, and I wrote back with more apologies, but this time I added that today they experienced the Kindsay I know. How many times do I hear how adorable, sweet, wonderful she is--and don't get me wrong--yay! I'm happy to have her be so loved in the world, but MAN...when she gets home, the meds wear off and her charm does too and I got Kindsay the Hun to deal with. I said, "You now know what I live with every night after school." I think I owe them some serious Starbuckage. (legally I don't have to medicate her and the school would have to put up with her behaviors if I chose that route, but I am not a hater...I want to go to heaven.) But then it hit me--I have to go home to her. I raced home, first stopping by the pharmacy to get the med order going so the next day wouldn't be a repeat...and I call home to check on her. "How was your day? I heard it was hard." Oh yeah, it was hard...as she tells me about it, which to her it wasn't as hard although getting in trouble all day isn't fun--but she is so out of her mind that I don't think she notices the turmoil around her. All the while she's talking to me she's in the mouse cage. She lets loose the baby mice so she can hunt them down. "Mom, I think I grabbed the baby too hard, his eyes are big." Here we go, George. I tell her to leave the mice alone until I get home!! (I find out she put the mama mouse in a box and squirted water from a water bottle on it to make it drown. Yes, we are getting rid of the mice.) I come home and find this whirlwind of a child. Her arms are flailing, literally, over her head, around her body, she's making noises without purpose, she's making food in large quantities and leaving it on the counter untouched, she's pulled out huge shelves in the garage in an effort to hunt down the mice (I could only move that amount of stuff if I was trying to save a child beneath it...it's huge.) I finally sit down in the oversized chair in my family room to meditate--aka--go out of body. I imagine myself somewhere-anywhere!-else. She sees my guard is down and I'm cornered. Out of my fridge she pulls a gallon of milk that has about a cup left. She walks up to me, tilts her head back and tells me, "watch this" and begins to drink from the gallon. OK--that is a huge no-no in my house (as with most) but I hold every muscle back from giving her the response she so badly wants from me. She tries to poke me, rub me, grab me, she's all over the place and I'm in la-la-land. I had told Greg to stop by the pharmacy and get her pills plus I put an order in for my anxiety medication (is that really a shock, now come on!)...he comes home but I only know he's home because here she comes with all four bottles of meds in her hands. All the sudden she's salsa dancing through my kitchen with all four bottles acting as some kind of rattling instrument. She's literally four to five feet from my kitchen island which has a double sink and fervently shaking the bottles while making some unearthly noise. Then I see it--an entire bottle's worth of meds goes flying through the air and lands 'without the net' into the garbage disposal. Now, in a million years I couldn't pull off that stunt, but Kindsay has done it...I jump to find what meds they were and I saw white round pills that looked like her night pills, which keep her sleepy and not up all hours of the night which she is without them. I start pulling them out of the disposal--of course my dishwasher is on so the sink is watery and the meds are too! I grab the bottle--whew! They were mine, though I realized I had half a month's supply for the next month. Help us all. My mom knows Kindsay is 'out of her mind' and came over to check on us. Kindsay is still going in circles, whirling, chirping, but this time she has a throw blanket she's whipping around. My mom approaches her with loving attention only to have Kindsay begin to whip her with the blanket. Yes, my daughter was whipping her grandma while grandma was trying to ask her about her day. I am watching this, wondering how long my mom would hold herself together while fluffs of her hair are static charged in the air with every whip. Let me explain something you might be wondering. No, she cannot have her morning pills in the evening. No, she cannot have her night time pills until a certain hour or she is off her schedule and up at 3 AM. No, we cannot tell her to go to her room and stay until her next meds (there isn't a punishment in the world that would keep her in one spot). She wasn't even interested in the computer, which is her most favorite thing. She was like a wound-up toy on coffee-spiked Rockstar. By 6 PM I give her the night time pills. A few times already I had to calm Greg down and pull him away from a situation before it escalated, reminding him that when it came down to it--it was our fault she was the way she was. We gave her the meds, and slowly...in small doses, she finds her way to her room, crawls in bed with the computer and finds her favorite song "Superman" and plays it over and over until she drifted off to sleep with the laptop on her stomach still replaying the song. My husband and I leaned over to see her and it was like looking at a baby...they drive you nuts but then they are so cute when they are sleeping that you feel bad for ever getting impatient with them. People called to console me after the day they knew we had and the question I get all---the---time "how do you do it?" I say the same thing every time...because I am no "Superman"...'you would do it too if you had to.' They always pause, 'yeah, I guess I would if it was my child,' then they politely refrain from letting me hear the sigh of relief under their breath. Y me?...Y not?