This week we went to two appointments for Kenz. The first one was on Tuesday, the new psychiatric nurse practitioner, Laura Jensen at Melmed Center and the second one was on Friday with Lisa, the new therapist. Both were very good and encouraging. From the psychiatric appointment, Laura wants to try an increase in her seroquel to see if that will help her mood issues. We have to get it up to 200 mg. and give it two-three week trial before we will really know if that will work. Then Laura is looking into the new medicine, Amantadine. It is an old Parkinson's drug that I learned about from my blogger friend, Megan. Her daughter takes it and it has helped her tremendously with irritability. But it is not a commonly used drug so Laura wants to research it first which I am very thankful for. Not that I do not believe my blogger friend but I am just glad that Laura did not just take my word and wants to investigate it on her own. She is the medical professional. She is so funny and down to earth. We really like her a lot. She has heard about amantadine but has not used it on any of her patients. If neither of these work then we might go back and try abilify again. It has been three years since Kenzie tried that drug and it made her very sick to her stomach. But who knows now, it might not. I really like that we have a plan of action in place. We go back to see her in May but I can call her if we need to change things before then.
Then we went to see the therapist yesterday. This was the first time that Kenz met her. She really liked Lisa a lot better than her other three therapists. I think that is a good first start. She helped Kenz understand how the brain works and what happens when she is angry or full of anxiety. She plans to give Kenzie coping skills to help get her brain to the frontal lobe instead of staying in the back part when she is upset because there she cannot reason or think logically. Have you ever been so angry that you cannot speak? Or how about when someone upsets you surprisingly and you can't think how to respond but later you have the perfect words. That is because your brain is only functioning in the back of your head. You have to do things to get back to the front part. For example, she told Kenz to count by fives on her fingers and then backwards until she is calm down. She also made sure that I knew not to remind her to do this. She said that it would only annoy her and then she would not want to do it. She said all of this to Kenzie not me but of course I was sitting right there. Very clever, lady! She also really encouraged her emotionally. Kenzie told her three things that she wants to improve and they were 1) conflict with her sister, 2) her relationship with her dad, and 3) her rages and anger to stop. From that the therapist told her that she could tell that Kenz loved and cared about her sister and her family, that she was very smart, and much more. This therapist really knows how to talk to kids. She was amazing. I like her a lot too. Well, that afternoon Kenzie really surprised me. I have been sick again! And with Spring Break I have tried to keep going and entertain the kids. Yesterday it really caught up with me. My house was a total disaster and I was exhausted. I made the comment that if only I had a magic wand to clean this messy kitchen and oh, how I wish she would help me, never thinking in a million years that she would. Because in the past she would just brush that comment right off her shoulders and continue to do want she wanted. But yesterday while I was resting she cleaned the whole kitchen: dishes, "stuff" put away, and even wiped down the counter. Then on top of that she heard the baby, got her up, and fed dinner to her. When I came out, the baby was playing happily and the whole kitchen was spotless. I cried and gave her a big hug! I told her again and again how happy and proud she made me. I also have told everybody else too. I guess when you build a person up from the inside they want to keep acting and feeling that way. I am amazed at how well this approach helps McKenzie. It just goes to show you how badly she wants to be a respectful, accepted, young lady. I feel like she is well on her way. I truly have hope again. Thanks Jesus!