I have made a fairly dramatic decision in Blake's treatment plan. I'm still unsure of the Bipolar Dx, (sometimes, I lean more towards Pdd-nos) but I know for sure that he had severe and dramatic reactions to both the ssri Zoloft and all stimulants. Excepting those reactions, Blake still has many areas that he needs to grow. His ADHD and ODD are still difficult, though the rages and irrational thinking (ie. "I'm going to run away because I'm sick of people telling me what to do" and then *actually* running away) is thankfully gone - those seemed to be more the side effects from the SSRI's and stimulants. So, while, Blake was improving, I felt that the improvement was more from taking the stimulants away in October than from adding these Antipsychotics and Mood stabilizers.
Additionally, as we were upping the dose of Risperdal from 1.5 to 2 mg., poor Blakey peed the bed. That night, he also told me that he had been peeing "just a little tiny bit" in his pants. I felt so sad for him and explained not to worry, that it was the medicine and that we would lower the dose.
That day, I began to read more about treatment of mood disorders with micro-nutrients. I have always been open to alternative treatments, but carry a healthy dose of skepticism. But I read lot about it and the research behind it. And more importantly, I read the stories of people that it had worked for, not just on the company's webpage, but on other unbiased message boards. These nutrients, along with diet, and therapy is really and truly helping a lot of children. It seemed like an easy decision. Try these supplements and phase out the medicines. The conventional treatment will always be there if this alternative treatment doesn't work.
So we started EMPower on Thursday. This is his third day on it, but he is still on his full dose of Lamactil (275 mg) and a slightly lowered dose of the Risperdal (1mg). The support staff at Truehope (The makers of EMpower) want us to give him the Empower daily (along with an amino acid and a probiotic) and then call them when Blake starts to show changes. Apparently, the micro-nutrients make is so that the medicines are better metabolized and cause the meds to have a greater effect. So in a sense, they become over-medicated. That is the point that we will back the meds down.
I want this to work so badly for him. It has an 80-86% success rate, which gives me a lot of hope. I am proud of him for taking all these pills. He takes 2 pills before each meal, plus 5 pills THREE times a day, plus his regular meds, which is a grand total of 25 pills. What a champ.