Less dizziness and brain fog every day. I'm feeling pretty good. I'm sleeping and I only got emotional twice yesterday, but I'm pretty sure that both times I was justified. The first was after a complete Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde performance by Lola that all started because her evil, evil big sister had the gall to use Lola's pencil without asking (!). We had 15 minutes before getting Eve to the bus stop and I still had to finish packing lunches and make my coffee to go. Despite multiple attempts to stop the situation before it escalated, Lola insisted on unleashing her inner demon and was entirely undaunted by each and every one of my threatened consequences. She has now lost all screen time (computer, Xbox, TV, movies, etc.) every single day for the last 10 days in a row. Apparently, that's not enough of a carrot. She has lost playdates, been sent to her room countless times to "chill out," and seen me dissolve into tears at least twice in the same time period. The tears are the only thing that seem to sway her even slightly.
So I lost it. I dropped what I was doing and silently made my way to my bedroom so that I could breathe and center myself before leaving the house. She followed me. I shut my bedroom door and quietly asked her to leave me alone until I was ready to talk to her. I sat on the floor in my room and sobbed. She pounded on my locked door and screamed hysterically, "I don't like it when you cry, Mommy! Stop crying and let me in. NOW!"
Oh, yeah. That's gonna help. Somehow I managed to convince her to be quiet until I came out and I closed my eyes and concentrated on breathing. I reminded myself that she is a loving child who is having difficulty moderating her emotions right now. I reminded myself that I cannot control her behavior no matter what I do. I reminded myself that this, too, shall pass. I tried to push away the voice that reminded me it couldn't pass quickly enough. Somehow I got Eve to the bus on time and steeled myself for the inevitable apologies that come from Lola but never seem to help change her behavior. I dropped her off in her classroom and headed to work.
It was the second day of school. One little boy who had cried for 2 and a half hours on the first day was terrified to come back. He didn't want his mother to leave him at school again. He is just three and hasn't been away from his mother before now and he didn't want to come back. Together, they walked up to the glass doors of the school and once he realized where they were he dug his feet into the ground and his eyes widened in terror. Abject terror. He began screaming hysterically, "I don't want to go to school. Don't leave me, Mommy! I don't like school!"
I remembered sitting with him as he cried on the first day of school, teasing him about the classroom fish.
"What is that silly fish's name? Peter Pan? Peter Peanut Butter and Jelly? Peter Pepperoni Pizza?"
At each silly suggestion he would slow his crying and shake his head. At one point he stopped and quietly said, "Nemo."
"Oh, you're right. Nemo is his name," I slapped my forehead in recollection. "And he is purple with pink spots, right? No? Green with yellow stripes? Black and white?"
"He is orange."
I finally got him calm enough to join his class and sit with the fish for a while. He did great. Until the second day of school.
My co-worker noticed how much trouble his mother was having getting him to come inside and she went out to help. She picked him up, had him wave good-bye to his mom, told him what time she would be back, and they came inside. The screams escalated. His eyes widened and I can only describe the look on his face as terrified. He was certain he was being abandoned. As my co-worker continued on down the hall to his classroom, I reassured his mother that he would be fine. She should go and we would call her if we needed her, but I was sure he would calm down again and join his classmates. It was the look on her face that broke me.
Even though she knew she was doing the right thing. Even though she knew we would take care of him. Even though she knew he wasn't the only kid in the school who was frightened. Even though she had done this same thing at this same school with her daughter just three years before, she felt as though she was terrorizing him. She felt guilty and mean and didn't want her little boy to feel alone.
I had to go sit in the break room and catch my breath.
So I think my tears were justified. I don't think it's the fact that I don't have the full dose of meds in my system anymore that caused me to feel that way and I'm pretty sure I wasn't over-reacting. That's what I'm telling myself.
And while the brain buzz and fingertip electricity continue to abate, my newest symptom has shown up. Muscle itch. I can't find it described online anywhere, but it's definitely something I've never experienced before. It's not an itch on the surface of my skin and it's not a twitch in my muscles. it is a muscle itch. It comes either in my quads or the bottoms of my feet and it is an itch that I can't scratch. Fortunately, it doesn't last for long and I find it more interesting than disturbing, but it certainly makes me glad to be gradually ridding my body of this drug.
Thank you to everyone who continues to be so supportive. I don't know that I am courageous (although I appreciate you saying so). I just knew it was time. Thanks.