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Monday, August 22, 2011

Filled with Hope & Fear

We had planned on leaving Thursday morning and spending the day at the ocean. Not telling Teale plans too early is normal in our life, as things change and flexible, she is not. The weather looked cool on the coast and her behavior had been escalating. So we delayed the trip by a day, deciding to leave Friday and skip the ocean day. She had seen the suitcase and taken me to it a day before, asking "You are not going to respite?" Her sentences are often worded backwards and she forms them the way she wants you to answer. No Teale I'm not going to respite, I'm just cleaning up some stuff, had been my answer, knowing telling her anything too soon could cause issues. Mark decided to tell Teale Friday morning, as the time was getting near, that we were heading on her favorite trip of the year. We were packing for Uncle Richie & Aunt Jackie's where all her cousins, aunts and uncles on Mark's side would gather for much fun. She was really excited and cooperating at first to get ready, but then it all went down hill. With much left to do, she insisted on starting the van we were packing and sitting in it to wait. Yes, she knows how to start cars, Mark taught her that one, God and Mark only know why! Anyway, we are packing the van from behind, exhaust smoke blowing into my face, I start to feel nauseous and my head hurt. Being a migraine sufferer, I knew I couldn't afford to go into a migraine. The last thing I want to feel is sick on an almost six hour car ride. I explain my reasons in "Teale language" and turn off the van. Teale immediately explodes, wanting the van on while she sits in it. Now mind you, it wasn't hot out, the air conditioning didn't need to be on while she sat there. She was listening to her personal CD player, which runs on batteries, so no need to have the van on for entertainment. But she is Teale and reasoning often doesn't work, so she explodes! She starts throwing things out of the van, kicking at the controls, yelling and going for me. Teale has NO FILTER in these situations, her anger goes off and she is out for blood. At this point taller and weighing more than me, the only thing I have is my wit. I often need to use my strength and my knowledge to get through these fits without being severely hurt. Now the packing has stopped and we are "waiting her out." Mark has taken her from the van and she is raging in the front yard. We tend to try and get her to a safe place where she can't throw things and we are safe to just guard her until the wave of anger stops. Sometimes we are forced to hold her to keep her safe, but this is tough for even my six foot four inch husband, much less for me. She is screaming about wanting this or that, the neighbors know Teale's explosions too well and leave us to deal with her, knowing she will eventually calm. Often, at this point, the reason that caused the blow up is no longer even on her mind. She is so focused on her anger, she has no idea why it started. Brain damage, mood disorders, bi polar, intermittent explosive disorder or because she is developmentally delayed, all these issues cause the unregulated behavior and it is anyone's guess when the rages will start. Packing is stalled and even though this is what she wants the most, we are no longer moving toward leaving for the trip. Frustrating beyond words, we are forced to stop and deal with her. A six hour drive ahead of us and a raging child, my fears are high. We have medications to help Teale in bad rages, but the side effects are often not worth it, so we use such meds sparingly. This though, would be a time to use them, having her calmer or even knocked out, so we can safely drive to MA, seemed like our only choice. Strangely she takes the medicine fairly easily, so now we wait for it to start to work. Teale's psychiatrist and us have a very close relationship. He has trusted our judgement much over the years and we have a lot of flexibility in our choices of medications he has prescribed. The problem is that contrary to what the outsider may think, there is no magic cure. We regulate Teale with the help of her medical team, the best we can, but it is never perfect. The medications we have to help calm her are strong and coming off of them can be worse than the rages. We chose to take this chance because being stuck in a van with Teale raging is a nightmare. All this, for two and a half days with family in a beautiful, fun setting in MA. Our hope is that once there, Teale will be better with the excitement and fun of family and activities. ~to be continued~

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