Lately I’ve been living with The Hulk.
His real name is Matthew.
Our insurance stopped covering his old asthma medication so we had to switch him to new stuff. *cue intense roid rage*
It’s been rough. He goes from 0-raging in about .5 seconds. Poor guy has no idea what’s happening to him which only makes him more upset. I keep trying my best to explain that it’s the meds and he’s not a bad kid. I have to stay perfectly calm and extremely quiet until it stops. It usually goes like this:
Something happens that upsets him. Yesterday it was his shirt. He couldn’t get it on quickly enough. I offered to help…
Thrashing and screaming and crying.
Me: Matthew, can I help? What can I do?
Matthew: NO!!!! NO NO NO NO!!!
Me: Okay buddy, it’s okay, I’m here. You’re gonna be okay. Remember buddy, it’s the medicine in your body mkaing you feel mad. Can you hold my hand?
Matthew: NO! I HATE THIS! I HATE YOU! YOU’RE MEAN!
Me: It’s okay buddy, you’re safe. Come sit with me and I’ll rub your back.
Matthew: DON’T TOUCH ME! LEAVE ME ALONE!
Me: Okay, I’m just going to sit here, will you please let me know how I can help you?
Me: Bud, come sit here on my lap, I just want to talk to you, that’s all.
Matthew: OKAY FINE! *comes over and plops down hard onto my lap, fists and jaw clenched*
Me: Shhh it’s okay buddy, you’re okay.
At this point, I try to rub his back and talk softly about something else to distract him. I can’t raise my voice above an almost whisper without triggering him again. Eventually, he takes a deep breath with me and lets it out slowly. At which point I suggest another activity. Yesterday, it was, “Let’s go lay down on my bed so I can rub your back.” Which is met with a grunt and huff. But we laid there yesterday, him with his back to me and me fighting back tears and rubbing his back and whispering “I love you”s to his sweet little head. Eventually, he rolled over, thumb in his mouth, tears in his eyes and mumbled, “I love you too, Mom. I’m sorry.” and threw his arm up over my neck where he left it in a long snuggly hug. I softly reassured him that I loved him no matter what and that he did a good job letting me help him to calm down, reminding him (again) that he would start to feel better in a few more days (we hope) and that the meds were what was making him so angry. There he lay, docile as could be with the sweetest expression on his face and it was hard to imagine that just minutes before that, he had nearly torn the curtains off the window and kicked a hole in his door. He stays super calm like this for about 10 minutes nearly asleep and then a switch goes off in his head. He sits up and as though nothing had happened, says something like, “I’m gonna go play legos now, Mom. Love you!” and bounces off in his usual way leaving me reeling and trying to collect myself emotionally. All I could think yesterday was that I was so thankful that I was still bigger than him and thankful that in all his rage, he’s never actually tried to hurt anyone. I remember when Jadon was that age going through similar things. He’s since learned to better control his outbursts and communicate when he needs to remove himself from the situation and calm himself down. I’m so proud of his progress, I often forget the long and hard road we took getting him to that point. Someday, it will get better. But for now, we live and function day to day, hour by hour and sometimes minute by minute. The next time Matthew started raging, it was in the middle of the hallway, so there we sat until he had calmed down. That time, I suggested again to go lay on my bed and was met with a growl. So I suggested a shower with his bath toys. He shook his head. Then I kept hugging him and kissing his head and once again, suggested that he take a shower and sit and play with his bath toys. He turned and gave me a little smile before nodding and jumping up to get his toys. It’s hard when mainstay solutions suddenly don’t work anymore.
But we are managing.
Tim has finals coming up in the next two weeks, so things get crazy from here till my birthday. But soon after, we are of to Disney World and so excited for a break in the madness. For now, I’m keeping my head above water (mostly) and trying to remember that I am Matthew’s mommy for a reason. Me. God chose me. So I can do it. And knowing that helps.
Till Next Time,