Wednesday, January 10, 2007
Another Kain update
Lately, having Kain around is rather like living with a little old man...we have been spending lots of time in doctors' offices, and it's not over yet. There's been a lot going on, so I thought I'd post an update for those of you that have been offering prayers for him.
First of all, we have been to the pulmonologist for a check up this week. His lung function has improved a good deal...the doc was impressed. So, no changes there, we are going to keep on keepin on with the same meds and treatments. We also found out that he has lost 4 pounds since his visit two months ago. This is great news. We have not been putting any emphasis on losing weight...just on improving his lifestyle...but it's still nice to see the results. His previous lifestyle of living on pizza and cheeseburgers/playing videos 24 hours a day has left him pretty chunky, and the extra weight isn't good for his lung condition. He gets much less junk food here, but his portion sizes are usually still way too big. He is much, much more active though, and I know that has made the difference. When he came here, he was so deconditioned that he would complain about his legs hurting from walking through the walmart parking lot. A short walk or bike ride would leave him huffing and puffing. Now he plays outside for a couple of hours a day, and I still love to see him come in sweaty and red-faced, knowing he is getting so much physical activity and *enjoying* it...and the physical activity does great things for his mood as well. We also see much less of the binging behavior that was a daily problem in the beginning. He still tends to go overboard on a few foods....so we just try to limit the availability of those foods as much as we can.
Our other big accomplishment has been finally getting him into the Schmeiding Center for evaluation. It was an all day appointment...lots of testing. They have diagnosed him with ADHD (no surprise) and tentatively with Mood Disorder NOS. We are hoping that the mood disorder part will be rectified in time...that it is a result of his terrible early childhood experiences that can be worked out with time and therapy and not an indicator of something like Bipolar Disorder (we have a very strong family history of this). He is too young and has too complicated a history to be diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder of course, but the concern is always in the back of my mind. He will be going to behavioral therapy once a week at Schmeiding for this. The doctor that did the testing is also recommending to the school to do an occupational therapy and speech therapy evaluation...he tested with some delays there. He also tested with some processing delays, such as being able to quickly name shapes and colors when they are held up on flashcards. This may just be from his ADHD and inability to stay focused, so they will look for this to improve with treatment. Otherwise, his congnitive skills all tested in normal range. As far as treatment for his ADHD, we have made the difficult decision to try medication. Yes, we have researched other options...anyone that knows me knows that I compulsively research my "options" for everything :). But for a lot of reasons that I won't go into in this post (because it's getting so long already!), we have decided that it is in his best interest to try medication, at least at this time. His symptoms are very severe and his quality of life is so impacted by them, especially when it comes to making friends with other children.
As far as the other issues surrounding Kain...we are hoping to hire a lawyer with our income tax return and get legal guardianship. We continue to have various conflicts with Kain's parents. I can't go into a lot of detail regarding our struggles with this on a public blog,,,any of those questions should really be discussed privately. We are anxious to get guardianship settled...my worst nightmare is always that he will be taken away from us. As far as our assorted discipline issues...it's getting better. No magic changes, but we are having more good days than bad ones. His overall attitude is generally much less confrontational and more cooperative. I feel much more of a bond with him now. He is very affectionate and loving with me, which makes it feel easier and more natural for me to be the same with him. John still has a harder time with him...maybe because he just isn't with him as much because of his work schedule, or maybe because it's easier for me to bond with a 6yo dropped unexpectedly into our lives because I'm a mom,,,or maybe Kain has an easier time bonding with *me* because I'm a mom. Much of his abuse has happened at the hands of men, so there is that issue too. There are small victories there though, and I hope to see their relationship continue to improve. We have come a long way, I have to keep remembering this...how bad things were when he first came here, how much he has learned. I watched him struggling to make his bed the other day and remembered how when he first came here he wouldn't even dress himself. We have all worked hard, and we are all proud of him. Here's a new picture of the little imp with his favorite sword and his new obsession, the guardian angel doll he received for Epiphany. He's trying his best not smile.