Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Scorpion World

Apparently it's not uncommon for children who have psychotic disorders to come up with an elaborate fantasy world all their own. Korbin's has been building for years. Every day I learn more about the world of Scorpion. Some things are fairly simple. The people are called "the scorpions" even though they are not scorpions as we know them. They speak Scorpionese. The football team is the Scorpion Raiders (don't expect to see them playing with the NFL).

Korbin prefers to be called Empire, which is the name he's taken as the leader of the Scorpions. Most of the people in this land are friendly and helpful, but there are bad folks there too. He says that the Soviets in the Scorpion world are the bad guys, unlike those on Earth. Sometimes they fight or will send monsters to try and destroy Korbin (aka Empire).

This past week has been fairly rough. I'm finally seeing the classic bipolar pattern that the psychiatric nurses saw while he was inpatient. When Korbin gets upset or overstimulated he has a lot of trouble calming down. To often he will get to the point where he crosses over into a manic state and quickly begins a full psychotic departure from our world. One night, as I was having to restrain him for his and our safety, Korbin kept looking at me with fear. Every time he got to where he could see my face he would work harder to attack me. Finally he slowed down, physically and emotionally exhausted. Korbin turned to be and said, "There you are! I thought you were someone else." Ouch. I reassured him that I had been with him the whole time, helping him to calm and stay safe.

He had another psychotic rage at my nephew's birthday party. He was upset that he couldn't barge in on my niece's play with her friend and immediately began attacking me. Before I could turn him around safely Korbin bit me. Thankfully it was on my clothing so the damage wasn't as severe as in the past. Later when I ask him why he bit me, he said it was because he's a poisonous snake and he was injecting me with his venom. I explained that he is not as snake and has no venom. Yep, he was mad again. He began to act like he was pulling something out of the air and shoving it in his mouth to chew. He stopped, panicked, and started yelling, "My sausage! I can't taste my sausage!" HAHAHAHA! He said that he just ate a giant sausage, but couldn't taste it and was angry that it was all gone. Wow! I promised him that I would cook some sausage for him with his dinner so he relaxed again.

The people from Scorpion come and go. Sometimes they are part of a rage; other times they are playmates. Either way, Korbin's strange world is part of ours. Both places give us laughs and tears. They give us amazing experienced and wild stories to tell. As long as we can keep laughing along with them, I think we'll be ok.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

There is something disturbingly cute about kids falling asleep in Mom and Dad's bed.

Yeah, I dropped the ball

It's been over a year since my last post and I have no excuses. Other than Korbin being in and out of the behavior hospital, changing schools more times than I care to remember, our first run in with the juvenile detention center after 2 cops didn't understand autism, new therapists, old docs, and cooking dinner a few times in there.

At the moment Aidan is attending an alternative school for the high school kids who can't attend with the general population. It's not the best placement, but it's all we have. He's fairly stable at the moment and coping well with sharing classes with the districts biggest bullies. Dispite Aidan's autism and schizoaffective disorder, he has a firm grasp on what is right and wrong. His behavior at school has been perfect. Now we're working on acting 15, not 3, when it's time to get out of bed.

Korbin has had a rough year. The last time I posted he and Aidan were fresh out of 4 month trips to the behavior hospital. I registered them to attend the day treatment school where they could get an education along with daily behavior therapy. Aidan went. Korbin refused. Well, he went for a couple of months on and off, but was so misunderstood (thanks autism) that he feared being at day treatment. He missed so many days of school due to his aggressive refusal that we were turned in for truancy. Yep, we get to go to court. Now refusing school and trying to hurt people means Korbin has to take a trip back to the behavior hospital. While waiting for an open bed Korbin became so psychotic that he attacked me... like big time... and said that the voice he was hearing told him to kill me. Yep, we're outta here!

He spent another 4 months inpatient and was released this May. Over the summer he deteriorated quickly. We made several changes to his medication and started with a new therapist, but it wasn't enough. By the time school started I was hoping the schedule change would be enough to help him avoid another breakdown. When the first day came he put on his little uniform and had a great day in his new class. That night he was tired, but still wanted to go to dinner with my parents. While in the restraunt he got upset because the macaroni had been moved on the buffet. I was trying to calm him, but he grabbed a fork and tried to stab the poor woman behind us. I grabbed his hand and got between them. While I was apologizing to the woman, Korbin took off running through the crowd. Why do I leave the house?!? He finally chilled out and ate, but decided to attack me once we got home. At this point I don't have any choice but to take him back to the hospital.

He spent 5 days in acute care and was able to come back home, but still refused to go back to school. Now at this point he's back to teetering the fine line of medication. He's on several medications, but we've found that with 3 doses a day he is psychotically over the edge. With 4 doses a day he's calm and can be home, but is to tired to keep up with a public school schedule. So do we lower the meds so he's not as sedated, but violent OR keep the meds one dose higher and give up on trying to get him in a classroom? First of all I hate giving my children medicine, but have come to accept this part of our lives. Secondly, I know that if he's not medicated and calm he'll end up back inpatient. Third, when he's calm he's happy. Problem solved... Korbin is now registered as a homeschooler. I just filed the paperwork this Friday. Monday, when he wakes up from his nightly medication coma, we'll begin our first day of learning on Korbin's schedule.

It's been a harsh year, but we're surviving. In fact we're doing fairly well. The boys are happy and healthy (pysically), Jason is almost finished with the diesel mechanic's program, we have a safe home with food in the cabinets, and people who we love and love us. There's not much more any of us can ask for.