First off, I am thankful to those of you who have stuck around. It has been a crazy time in our house. Between doc visits and out of town guests, we all haven't slowed down since school let out at the end of May. I am going to be around much more now that our chaotic life is calming down a bit.
Now on to my good news...
For those of who need to be brought up to speed: Our daughter has very severe OCD. Her compulsions have ranged anywhere from counting objects, harming her brother, breaking things, all the way up to harming herself. Her most recent battle has been skin picking, which has been going on for over a year. Her psychologist worked with her and finally suggested that we see a pyschiatrist for meds. It took quite some time to find the right mix. She ended up on Zoloft and Resperdal. Her psychiatrist only wanted her on the Resperdal for a short time but she has been on it for almost a year because the skin picking was out of control.
At the worst part of her ordeal she had over 100 open sores. We really thought that she would never be able to stop. Medicine wasn't helping, cognitive behavior therapy wasn't helping, rewards weren't helping... nothing. Then she was getting ready to go on an overnight trip with Girl Scouts and we were afraid they may not let her in the pool because of the sores. She fought her OCD very hard and was able to stop picking long enough that they open sores turned to scabs. She went on the trip and had a blast.
Well, her psychiatrist was now convinced that there had to be some sort of congitive behavior therapy that would work. He had us go back to her previous psychologist and ask her to work with Paige.
The psychologist gave Paige a rubber band to wear around her wrist and told her to snap it whenever she felt the urge to pick. I was very leary because Paige likes pain. I was worried that she would snap the rubber band excessively, causing welts. The psychologist said that it was ok if she caused pain. She said that Paige has to replace the pain felt during skin picking with another pain, in order to surpress the compulsion.
At the start of the program Paige had over 40 open sores (and over 100 scabs).
It's been about 3 months now and I am thrilled to report that she only has 4 scabs! They aren't any open sores!! Only 4 scabs!!! We are so proud of her. We are seeing her compulsions come out in other ways but they are not harmful and they are quite manageable for her. They best part is that she is proud of herself too. We are headed to the psychiatrist this week. He will be so proud of her too. The next step will be weaning her off the Resperdal. Please wish us luck! We've heard some horror stories about the weaning process.
Now on to my thin skin...
I have been jumping out of my skin with excitement over Paige's amazing accomplishment with her skin picking. Since I hadn't had a chance to post the good news on to my blog, I had quickly mentioned it on one of the on line groups I am on. I had planned on posting a quick update on my blog the next day but then I got suckerpunched. I received an email from someone telling me to read the post of a fellow blogger. A fellow preemie parent blogger no less. My jaw dropped when I read the post. This blogger was basically saying that OCD was the fault of the parent. I felt it was clearly directed toward me since it was me who was just talking about Paige's success.
My skin has thickened over the years. Between my strong feelings about comfort care and my lack of belief in a supernatural being, I have been called lots of names and been in the middle of a ton of controversy.
But, for some reason, hearing people say that Paige's OCD was my fault knocked me on my butt for a bit. I never saw it coming. I shouldn't have let it get to me, but it did. I remember walking away from the computer, head about to explode and there was Paige, right outside of my door crying. She was devastated because of the permanent scars her skin picking had left on her arms and legs. I was devasted too. Her skin used to be so beautiful, like a porcelin doll. Now her skin has hundreds of scars. As I hugged her on the floor I thought to myself, "how could someone be so hurtful and accuse me of being the cause of this?"
A few days went by and I was still devasted. A few more days... still upset about it. A week went by and I was still thinking about it. I was beginning to think that I would be stuck in that funk forever. In that dark time I received a few emails from people who saw what happened. I will be forever grateful for those people because it was their notes that pulled me out of the funk.
I always knew it wasn't my fault but it still hurt. Foolish me! I actually chose not to update my blog with the good news because it would look like I was retaliating against my fellow blogger. Boy was I being childish! Never again will someone rattle my cage that way again!