Wednesday, December 12, 2012

This Doctor, And That Doctor, And This Doctor...

I keep holding off on an update with R and counseling, hoping for a definitive answer, but one appointment just keeps leading to the next.  So I'll write a little update now anyways.  I'm very hopeful with the direction we're headed, and I know in a few months we'll be in a whole other place.  I'd like to start with last Monday.  A friend of mine (who I rarely see because she lives about 45 minutes away, works as a nurse and raises her 2 boys) text me, asking if she could take me to lunch one day and discuss how things are going with R.  I was touched that she would want to take the time to do this, but a bit nervous too.  We set a lunch date for Saturday, while my husband watched our kids and her kids.  How awesome is he?!  As we sat there across from each other, just catching up on life, I think we both got a little nervous, and she said, "Well, I wanted to do this because I thought maybe you needed someone to talk too.  I'd like to sit here and just listen, and then offer some help if you don't mind."  There was no doubt in my mind that God had called her to come to me that week.  I talked and talked and talked.  She gave me some amazing advice and parenting tips.  The two main things I took away from our conversation was this:  #1.  She told me when she started reading my blog, she had to stop because she couldn't believe what I was writing and it made her very angry with me.  But she proceeded to tell me that she later felt selfish for feeling that way, and read some of my recent posts, realizing that I was hurting.  This lead to me to go through each and every post I've ever written, and delete the things that would be hurtful to R if he were to ever stumble upon my blog.  #2.  We talked about control.  She said in the past year she had learned how to stop in a situation that she wants to control, and say, "What is that I'm afraid of, if I don't control this?"  It made so much sense.  There are so many things I try to control, that I drive myself crazy.  Some times I just need to 'let it be' and see what happens.

As our lunch came to an end...because we had left the hubby with 5 kids for at least two hours now...she told me she felt like she wanted and needed to help me and my family in some way.  She researched ways she could help, and kept coming back to one thing, a mother's adoption retreat in Atlanta for a weekend.  She told me her and her husband would like to send me on this retreat, all expenses paid.  I was floored.  What an amazing person and huge heart!  She had hoped she could present me with the retreat during lunch, but unfortunately it's full and she's waiting on a spot to open up for me.  I left this lunch a changed person.  I had no idea that people who care this much, existed.  I decided as soon as I got home that I was going to begin reinventing myself.  I set goals for myself, and shared them with my husband the next day, after church, while we were having lunch.  So that's where I am.  I'm working hard every day, with my patience, giving up some control, and trying to find peace in my heart.

Last week was also a big week for R.  I took him for, what I thought, was a psychological evaluation.  I think it was actually a consultation.  I didn't know how to tell him where we were going and why, so I simply told him we were going to see a doctor for a check-up.  When the doctor starting asking about our concerns and a history, R immediately slumped down in his chair, lip puckered out, arms crossed and tears started rolling down his cheeks.  The doctor and I both tried to speak to him and find out what was upsetting him so much.  All he would say was that he didn't like it, he didn't want to be there, and he didn't want to talk about it.  He was rude and argumentative at times, but I just let it slide because of how upset he was and because I didn't want him to shutdown on the doctor.  The doctor decided to refer him for a psychological evaluation and family counseling.  He also had us fill out a survey on R, as well as his teachers.

The day after the consultation, we had our first family therapy session, with me and all of the kids.  The hubby was working, of course.  She showed me the results from the surveys filled out by us and the teachers, and they showed, without a doubt, some major ADHD.  I was a bit relieved to see that we weren't being crazy and picky, and that the teachers were seeing it all too, and much much more.  The session went well, in that we all really liked the therapist.  But I was very disappointed in the way R acted, while at the same time, glad he did act out so she could see it.  Had my husband been there, I don't think he would have acted out and shown her what it is that I see and deal with.  He told her he didn't want to talk about his past. He tries to forget it because it makes him sad and makes him miss grandma.  She explained to him that he didn't have to talk about anything he didn't want to talk about, but that she would need to ask him some easy questions and she would really like for him to talk to her.  In his baby voice, with his head down, he said, "Huh uh, she can answer all of the questions," pointing at me.  The therapist said, "Oh no, that's not the way this works.  I'm not agreeing to that."  So R wheeled and dealed with her, telling her if she gave him one of those candy canes on her desk, then he would talk.  Had the therapist been a man, he would not have spoken to her in this way.  She asked him if he likes having siblings.  He responded, "Not really.  I don't get all of the attention."  Grrrr!  She also asked him if he could do anything, anything at all, for a whole day, with anyone, what would it be and who would it be with.  This 9 year old boy said eat, with himself.  I think most 9 year old boys would say go to the beach, play outside, play video games, or something along those lines.  Come to find out though, there were times when he didn't eat.  He said Grandma rarely ever cooked and he made a lot of bologna sandwiches and hot dogs.  At the end of the session, R became very angry and rude.  She asked him if he knew why we were there.  He said, "It's because they think something is wrong with me."  Together we explained that wasn't it at all.  She told him he's had a lot of change happen in his life, and she thinks she can help him work through all of that change.  He said, "I don't need help.  Maybe you do, but I don't."  My blood started boiling, watching him disrespect her like this.  But I continued to let her handle it.  As we were leaving, she asked us how we wanted to do the next session...all of us or just R?  R said , "Just me, just me!"

At the next session, the therapist had me come in at the beginning to explain her treatment plan she had come up with.  By the 12th session, her goal is to see an improvement within the whole family, as far as adjusting and bonding.  She wants us to be able to rate it above a 6.  She'll also be assessing if his ADHD will require medication, and teach us and him some skills with coping with ADHD.  She'll work with R and I together, helping us bond.  She's going to try to get to the route of his gender confusion also.  There have been a couple of times where he has told me and my husband that he didn't know if he wanted to be a boy or a girl. When I returned to pick him up at the end of the session, she asked if we could have everyone at the next session, because she couldn't get anything out of him one on one.  He just wanted to be the center of attention, but wouldn't tell her anything, saying everything was just great.  So next week, we all get to go, including my husband.

Today he had his first of three parts to his psychological evaluation.  I answered most of the doctors questions, giving her a background and telling her our concerns and what we see.  R loved her office, filled with toys and a basketball hoop on the door.  We will go back to her the day after Christmas, where he will go through a 2 hour test.  And then our third visit will be the feedback and results.

So as you can see, nothing happens overnight.  It's a long process, but will be well worth it.  I have faith that things will get better...that I will get better.    

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