I once again have been absent from blogging for awhile. I almost have found that when I have a lot on my mind, I end up blogging less as my brain is on overload, or something. I just came from the kitchen where I am cutting up veggies to make the Chicken Dumpling soup that Kari has listed on her blog (thanks Kari, I like recipes with pictures). As I was chopping, I was praying and I felt inspired to write.
Many of you know that Michael and I have been apprehensive to say the least about trying medications for Akila. I once worked in the schools and saw too many kids medicated who just didn't fit into the box that society wanted them to fit into and we immediately jumped into medication instead of trying other things. We know of a family who has 4 kids whom we know well, and all 4 kids are on meds, and probably one should be.
Anyway, this brings me to prayer. We have obviously been praying for all of our children since before we met them, before they were even born. And we have been praying specifically for assistance with Akila and her many needs. We pray daily in thanksgiving that the Lord brought Akila into our family as He is brilliant at showing us our weaknesses and shortcomings through our dealings with her. As well, He shows us our strengths and makes our marriage stronger through the challenges we face daily. We pray for healing in Akila's brain, for her to make better choices, for her to be slower to anger, for her to accept Jesus as her savior, and many other things. But mainly, we pray for guidance and direction in helping us to better deal with her. The Lord made her and she is a beautiful little girl full of love. When my mom was dying 3 years ago of cancer, I came to a point of acceptance for the direction God had planned for the end of her life and the focus of my prayers changed from healing her body, to healing her soul (which I had been praying for all along as well). I prayed for her soul, and for her comfort during pain. I do believe in miracles, and I know that if the Lord so wanted, he could completely heal Akila. But this is usually not His plan in situations like this. Doesn't mean I'm not going to pray for it as I do not know what His plan is. It does mean that my prayers will focus on giving us the tools we need to deal the best with Akila to help make her a successful, healthy person.
The major tool is prayer. Some of the other tools we have used are behavior charts, time-outs, loss of privileges, PATIENCE, love, understanding, respite, date nights, routine, comfort items, gum, and many others. After much prayer and research, we are also trying medication. A little over a week ago, we started a month long trial and it has been amazing. We first tried it on a Saturday and it is suppose to work for about 6 hours. During this 6 hour period, the children had chore time. Normally, this is a huge struggle with Akila, even if I do her 3 chores along side of her. This day, it was not a problem. She finished her chores in record time and wanted additional chores to earn extra money. She did 3 additional chores and asked for more. I couldn't even think of any more so she suggested she clean up my room. I said OK, and how about we work on your homework when you're done. Side note- the word homework usually triggers an enormous tantrum of humongous proportions. She said, "OK," with glee in her voice. She finished picking up our room, we sat down and did her entire packet of homework (due the next Friday). Then we worked on her spelling words and finished the homework from the previous week which she had not completed.
The entire time the meds were working, she did not call one name or try to hit or hurt anybody. She did not act tired or zombieish. She was like herself when she is in a good mood, which we seriously have not seen much of lately. It definitely is true about the 6 hours, because at the 6 hour point, she started name calling and raging the rest of the night. We go back in a few weeks and I think they will add a 2nd dosage after lunch. After one week, it has been going very well. The school has reported a huge difference in her behavior and her learning. When I did her homework with her, we were doing some worksheets on comma placement. We had been doing these for several weeks and she was not understanding the concept. This time, she was understanding the concept and applying it by herself. At this point, I believe that this medication is an answer to prayer. By no way has it "cured" Akila, but it has made her more successful at a whole bunch of little things throughout the day. She is very proud of herself and her behavior. And so are we.