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Honey I've been poisoning the child!

The title is the phone call I got from my wife one evening recently and it turns out I was really happy. And so was she. 

I should explain.

The Lodger has not been the Lodger of late. His behaviours have changed, all for the worse. Lack of focus. Agitated. Oppositional. Aggressive. Anxious. Food-seeking. ..... Along with 50 million extra questions on top of the original 50 million questions, we can just about deal with.

Which in turn resulted in what we call "Normal Meltdowns" and "More than Average Meltdowns" and then there are the ABSOLUTE VOLCANIC ERUPTION EPIC PROPORTION MELTDOWNS. The meltdowns that make normal meltdowns almost funny. The meltdowns were people around stop smiling and feeling sorry for you and actually disappear. 

This all started just after the Lodgers midterm at the start of May. Firstly the school tour stress started as the Lodger didn't know/wasn't told that he would get his lunch on the tour. No amount of seeing animals would have made up for this. Obviously, he was getting his lunch but the stress, anxiety and questioning on the days leading up were in overdrive. But we got through it. 

Anyway tour over back to normal or so we thought. The following week the Lodgers school behaviour deteriorated. He complained of a sore tummy one day and got home early. He complained of a sore head another. And told me often that Nigel (not his real name to protect his annoying identity) was really annoying him in school. He said the other boys were too loud. He could not or would not focus on his work in school, throwing things across the table in high anxiety frustration. We didn't know what we do. We were at our wit's end. He would come home in the evenings and be great. Do his homework, play with his cousins and be normal until school again the next day.  We could not figure out why suddenly this oppositional behaviour to school had come from and like the Lodger asks so often: WHY? 

We reviewed all his routines, changes in his school life, changes in people around him, changes in home life, his diet, his sleeping, how he played, what we did at weekends, anything and everything and came up with nothing. Nothing worked.

We attended meetings in the school with his whole team, his teacher, his helper, his resource teacher, special needs coordinator and the principal. We contacted his health team, parents of other children, other teachers, other special needs teachers and even got his psychologist on board and reviewed every avenue and could not find an answer. 
His school workload was reduced. It didn't work. He took more movement breaks it didn't work. We had consequences at home due to his behaviour. It didn't work. It just got worse.

He crawled on the tables, told his teachers he hated them, kicked the walls, stubbornly sat on the floor and tried to bite his helper. He was disruptive and aggressive. 

This was not the Lodger we knew. We knew this was PWS. It had caught up on us. All the plans, the training, the effort and we were left here, hating life and hating PWS and what it was doing to our Lodger. We were convinced we had entered the next stage of PWS. Let's just say there were many more meltdowns other than just that of the Lodger. 

And then last Tuesday night I received the call of admission:

"Honey I've been poisoning the Lodger."

I immediately assumed she had him watching those weird musicals again poisoning his little mind with singing cats, Hello Dolly and La La Land.

But it wasn't the musicals. Not this time anyway. 

As it turns out the Lodger has been on an antihistamine for the last few weeks. On reflection from the day he started his behaviours changed. 
His hayfever was quite bad resulting in a quite systematic regular version of Cough Cough Cough Sneeze Sneeze. Always two sneezes. 
So onto an antihistamine he went and it worked. No more Cough Cough Cough Sneeze Sneeze. He was cured.

Apart from the side effects that changed his whole life and ours and everyone around him for  4 very very long weeks that you never really read or think actually happen. 

On the common side effects affecting 1 in 10...headaches (check) nausea (check) diarrhoea  (check)
On the uncommon effects 1 in 100 agitation (check) abdominal pain (check)
On the rare sure effects affecting 1 in 1000 aggression (check) confusion  (check) heightened anxiety (check) hallucinations  (who knows, probably) 

Yes, she definitely had been poisoning him. Drugging him up just before school for a dose that wore off after 4-6 hours just in time to come home and be good again.

The coincidences were just too much. Some further research showed another child with PWS with identical reactions over 3 weeks and also the fact that people with PWS can react differently to some medicines.

So we went cold turkey. We drove the Lodger out into the middle of the woods and locked him in an empty dark cabin for 3 weeks and waited. 

Well actually we decided to immediately stop drugging him and the transformation was instant. No need for actual cold turkey this time.
The next day school was good as was the next one and the next one.

Our Lodger is back, long may it continue. 

A celebratory walk to see the cows!


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