Friday, July 8, 2011
No Miracle GI Cure (Yet)
We haven't gotten it.
Rather, we've gotten the opposite. Jack's continuing to throw up. He's thrown up a couple of times a day this past week. He's thrown up 5 times today alone.
It's difficult to watch Jack struggle so much with feeding. I love eating. I want him to enjoy it, too. It's hard to watch him eating and then, without warning, it all comes up. If it happens enough, he doesn't want to eat.
Jack's always had a difficult time going to sleep at night; it usually takes him upwards of an hour. This past week it's taken him an hour and a half. In addition, during naptime he's waking up every 15 minutes screaming. He's waking often during the night, too. It's not disturbing us necessarily, because Jack neither needs, nor wants, assistance going to sleep. He'd rather be alone. However, I hear him and his restless sleep and I know that he's not getting the quality sleep that he needs. Now, I know that sleep disturbances are common among autistic individuals, but Jack's have escalated.
The scariest thing is that he's shown a bit of regression over the past few days. Today at OT, Jack wouldn't sign for his therapist. Big deal, you might say, but what Jack didn't sign was "more", to indicate that he wanted "more" of the therapy swing, one of his absolute favorite things. That's scary to me. He's been more difficult to engage and has been stimming more.
Since he can't describe what's happening to him using the few words he can use spontaneously (hat, Cheerios, and "uh oh"), we have no idea what he's feeling or experiencing. From what I see, he's uncomfortable.
Today, Jack has been very irritated and fretting almost non-stop. He's been sensory seeking deep pressure hugs more and gets very agitated if he's not constantly being squeezed. Sensory stimuli seem to bother him more. He's needing multiple prompts for signs. He's not signing spontaneously, even for highly motivating rewards (like swinging and Cheerios). He's been less aware of his surroundings. At one point, I came and sat next to him on the couch. He started to lean towards me, so I cautiously slipped my arm around him. Normally, he would squirm away. Instead, he acted like he didn't even notice my presence. At first, this was kinda cool, because I got a few precious moments to snuggle him, which I never get to do. However, after watching him during those moments, I saw a look in his eye like he wasn't even there. He had checked out.
Now, I've heard of therapy and medication causing regressions and behavior problems. I don't know for certain that is what's going on, but the addition of the medication is the only change to Jack's therapy/diet over the past few weeks. Believe me, he eats a very limited, brand specific diet, so he hasn't had anything else introduced.
Autistic children are so influenced by so many things that don't make sense to us. Noise, lights, vibrations, movement, even chemicals and elements of our food. It's like their whole systems are hyper-vigilant.
I've got a call in to Dr. GI's office about it. Here's hoping that we don't have to go into the weekend with Jack struggling so much.