And it's not that there's nothing to write about. Sometimes it's worse when there's TOO much to write about. The potty training blog is sitting there "in draft form" (which means, I've written "Potty Training" as a title, and nothing else so that it reminds me that I promised to write a blog about potty training) but the whole experience was so big and detailed and full of woe that I just haven't been able to get my brain around the idea of putting it all on 'paper'.
Something that happened shortly after the last visit to the doctor, is that we visited a psychiatrist about getting a non-stimulant for Lily's impulsivity. The stimulant experiment (another 'draft') was such a failure that I think we needed at least a year to let life wash the bad taste out of our mouths before considering it again. We visited our magical autism doctor, and I previously blogged THAT little encounter as sort of a venting thing, and the overwhelming response was that we should pack our bags and find a new doctor. But we're not doing that.
So anyway, during that visit, we mentioned to Dr. Autism that we were going to see another doc about prescriptions and he got mildly butthurt that we hadn't come to him but then made some elaborate "fine, go see her, I don't even have TIME to talk to you about prescriptions so it's awesome that you're cheating on me seeing someone else for that. It's better. I WANT you to go. And I sorta felt bad for Dr. Autism, like he felt like we were totally going to date the cheerleader even though he was the plain girl who played drums but was providing us moral support all along, and probably he was screaming in his head, "John Hughes movies don't end this way!! You're supposed to end up with the supportive girl after you verbally burn and dump the cheerleader for being so vapid!!"
But that was the frame of mind I was in during that visit. So we went to see the other doctor. The appointment was at 4:00 I think. Or maybe it was some other time, but it's irrelevant because I could just pick some arbitrary time and tell the story around it and how would you guys know?? So it was 4:00. I mean it.
Leslie had mentioned Risperdal and Dr. Autism had gotten a little concerned and said. . . "Risperdal is a big gun. I don't think Lily needs that big a gun. If I were prescribing something (insert imagined sniffle) it would probably be Tenex." I had that in the back of my mind as we went to see Dr. Cheerleader.
Dr. Cheerleader's office was in this medical complex on Pittsburgh's Northside. Or near a medical complex. It was somewhat unclear exactly where Dr. Cheerleader's office was, but I plugged the address into my phone and listened to the GPS tell me where to go. I zoomed right into the parking garage with about 10 minutes to spare and took the escalator up to the main floor to find the office.
I eased into my parking spot and took the escalator up into what had once been sort of a fancy little inside mall. I walked past locked doors and empty spaces looking for promising. . . medical complexy type offices but didn't find any.
I doubled back the way I'd come and started over. This time I spotted a girl cleaning up in front of a coffee shop and I asked for directions. She had no idea. I did a few more laps of the building, starting to get stressed out and maybe a little brow-sweaty. I walked back into the courtyard outside the mall and found what looked like a security guard. Surely if anyone knew where to look it would be him, but he just said, he had no idea and pointed to the bank saying, "They probably know in the bank." Yeah. Cause that's what banks do.
The whole complex was under construction. So even following the bank employee's directions of, essentially "thataway", I ran into fenced off construction and had to go inside the mall to get around it. My feet had blisters the size of quarters and I was more or less limping everywhere I went.
|The "Cruel Shoes" Apologies to Steve Martin|
Time for a brief sidebar: I went shopping at DSW because I needed new dress shoes. My old ones were worn out and I wanted a pair that were a little more current. So after about a half hour i found a pair I liked, and were $75 each.
One aisle over I found a similar pair and checked the price. $50! Sweet. From there it was like this weird sort of reverse "Let's Make a Deal" with me exchanging the pairs of shoes I'd found for new ones that cost less as I progressed through the store. I threw caution to the wind and finally headed to the clearance rack. Two pairs of shoes, $35 each! With the money I saved I bought a pair of casual shoes too.
The dress shoes I bought were cheap. And I don't mean "inexpensive". They LOOKED nice, but 1) The insole kept coming unglued and sliding toward the toe so that I was always walking on a wrinkle of leather and would have to take the shoe off, reach in and smooth it out. 2) They hurt my feet. In fact, it is JUST now occurring to me that the foot pain I've been suffering for the past several months probably has nothing to do with imagined plantar fasciitis and everything to do with the fact that my feet kill me after I wear these stupid shoes all day, and 3) they smelled of cheap rubber. The first month I wore them I'd have to take them off in my office and walk out because the fumes gave me headaches. My boss told me to put them in kitty litter because the activated carbon in the kitty litter would adsorb the cheap rubber fumes. And I did it.
It's not a huge stretch to say I'd just walked two miles in those stupid cheap shoes. I called Leslie, but she was already in the exam with Dr. Cheerleader and said, "I can't talk now, bye!" and hung up. I texted her a terse message indicating I had no idea where I was but that I'd be there if I ever found out.
Eventually I just got frustrated and started walking North up the sidewalk. And there it was.
I had parked in the wrong garage. And not just sorta wrong, really wrong. I was late, and sweaty (it was hot outside) my feet hurt and I was stressed out and frustrated that I missed the start of the appointment. But I was there. Leslie hadn't been able to talk to me because the doctor was working with Lily and Leslie was in the office with them and didn't want to screw it up.
Also. . . to be clear, Dr. Cheerleader doesn't really look like a cheerleader, and there's no "popular" vs. "nerdy" vibe, and I'm starting to regret bringing my whole reimagined "Say Anything" storyline into it, but Dr. Cheerleader works as a nickname for the story since I'm not offering up real names, so we're just going with it.
We talked about Lily and answered questions for 15 or 20 more minutes and Dr. Cheerleader made her recommendation.
So we could have stuck with the plain drummer girl with the bad haircut after all! Not really, but it was actually nice to have a built in second opinion completely independent of the first. She, like Dr. Autism, felt that Lily just needed to take the edge off some of her impulsivity, calm the tooth-grinding and hand-wringing, possibly keep her from feeling the need to pick at her fingers. . . we shall see.
Because Dr. Autism had given Lily four new supplements to incorporate, and because we wanted to first see what the Tenex would do, we agreed to start the medication very slowly and ramp it up and let her get used to it before doing anything with the supplements. We agreed to meet again, and we ended the appointment, I limped Leslie and Lily to the minivan (which was parked about 50 yards from the door) before heading back to my car which was parked in the next county.
When I reached my car is when I noticed the signs that said, "Cash Only Upon Exit" and "Exit via Gate C". I had no cash. I had no idea where Gate C was. I decided to drive around the garage looking for the exit but inexplicably could not find it. After going back and forth about five times I parked the car and took a service stairway up to the mall where at least I knew I could find an ATM for cash.
I got money out then couldn't find the stairway I'd taken to get up in the first place, so I just picked a stairway at random and walked around the garage holding my car remote in front of me like a dowsing rod, pushing the "lock" button and hoping to hear my car's beep in response. But I never did, and ultimately found the car around the corner from the service stairway without TOO much more difficulty.
It probably took me 30 minutes to get out of the parking garage. I was sooooo pissed by the time I left. It was a bad brain day the summary of which is essentially, late to an appointment because I got lost. . . then got lost trying to leave the appointment. It was like the doctor's office was the Sargasso Sea and the parking garage was the Bermuda Triangle.
That was two or three weeks ago. Which brings us to today. I don't know how much the Tenex has impacted Lily. She HAS been less impulsive while still maintaining her happy and energetic personality (unlike the changes that killed us when we tried the stimulants) so I suppose if nothing else it's been a much better fit for her than stimulants EVER were.
And returning briefly to the subject of potty training. . . she's down to about one accident per day. . . many days NO accidents. Is that the potty training we utterly failed somehow taking root? It was better even before the Tenex, but now, when she wakes in the middle of the night, she calls us, and often she's still dry. We put her on the potty, she goes, then we put her to bed and she goes back to sleep. All of that is good good good.
I'm not saying she's completely potty trained, but she's really close (for no apparent reason other than she's doing better).
Her behaviors are way down too. She grinds her teeth a little, but I cannot even tell you the last time she spit. She's happy. She doesn't resist as much when we transition or offer to take her to the bathroom.
Part of the reason I suppose I haven't really been putting much of this down on 'paper' is because things with Lily have been. . . good. . . boringly good. There really haven't been too many stories to tell. And there have been, of course, but with everything ELSE going on, I just haven't made time to tell them.
I've been meaning to mention the ridiculousness of the visit with Dr. Cheerleader for weeks now. Anyway, in the midst of all the autistic kids dealing with tough transitions from structured school work to completely unstructured summer chaos. . . Lily's just been steady as the northern star.
She starts ESY next week, and we've mentally prepared ourselves for some backsliding, but it's really been sweet and stress-less (to an extent) and nice here, at least where little Lily is concerned.