Friday, March 02, 2007

We've entered the night terrors portion of our program.

Three of the last five nights, Huck has screamed in his sleep for up to two hours. It usually happens around 4 AM, one of the times he usually comes to check on us (Since there were times he was left alone for long stretches of time, or he woke up and no one was home, Huck does bedchecks on me and The Hub two or three times a night - sometimes goes back to his own bed, sometimes crawls in with us, sometimes lays on the floor on Hub's side of the bed). We've got calls in to the ped, to our SW, my mom and friend have been phoned. We think they're night terrors, but we aren't really sure, of course, cause the symptoms are uncontrolled screaming and sobbing, not being comforted, repetitive hand flapping, scratching of the face, and eyes rolling back in his head.

He's soooo Linda Blair. Sometimes, I expect projectile vomit and festering wounds.

So, yes, we add Linda Blair to his list of bad-mood impressions. We also have the "I'm going to cut you!" Foxy Brown, the phone-throwing Russel Crowe/Naomi Campbell schtick, and enough daredevil-mixed-with-disregard-for-his-own-safety for him to fill in for any of the Jackass boys.

As far as triggers go, they could be anything. School, Hub being out of town overnight, there's not enough of a pattern yet, I don't think. We'll figure it out, or they will pass, and in the meantime I've purchased earplugs for myself, as these three nights have shown me that NOTHING I do will quell them. With the earplugs, at least I'll be able to lay next to him and rub his back without the accompanying migraine.

I did want to tell y'all that we do have Huckle in play therapy, but it has been halted for a week or so due to a snafu in the paperwork extravaganza that comes with each treatment change. Right now, Huck is considered a None/None/None/None (if you know what that means), which is how all kids come into the system, so we've got some hoops to jump, gotta spend some time sitting up and begging, to get more than the basic services. Compared to what I've read from people in other states, we've actually got a (seemingly) easier job of gaining access to services, but it will take a little more time. One of the big problems we're having is that we took him to the therapist that his SW told us he'd been seeing for about a year. Well, he'd been there once for fifteen minutes - this therapist worked with his mom while she was trying to get him back, and once he was reunited, she brought him in once to introduce him, and then the therapist never saw either of them again. So, scratch that preexisting relationship. It took her ten minutes to even remember Huck when we tried to book the appointment as existing clients.

(Small disclaimer: For the most part, we are laid back regarding our expectations from CPS. We know that phone calls take a long time to be returned, we know people can't always be on time to appointments, we didn't even mind too much that we didn't know Huck's new (since December) caseworker's name until two weeks ago, despite thirteen messages left to the department over three months. When social workers visit, I cook food and pack bag lunches for them to stick in the office fridge in case they need em. Don't get me wrong, if there's an emergency, I'll expect attention Right Then, but usually, we're good enough as is. With all that said...)

I am so pissed at Huck's former caseworker. Remember that phone call the night before Huck moved in with us? The one where we got a long list of questions answered? Either she was looking at the wrong casefile or she lied. Now, as much as some of the things suck, they wouldn't have been dealbreakers, and if she'd told us, we would have been able to take care of things from the beginning, instead of muddling our way through and then having a lightbulb go off over our heads nearly four months in. I know I'm not sharing specifics, sorry, and the specifics aren't really that important. I'm mad mostly because we had a long list of questions, we wanted as much information about him as we could get, we made decisions based on her answers, and we may as well have been asking a Magic 8 Ball. Y'all already know that she told us he wasn't born with drugs in his system, that at first we thought he'd been out of his mother's custody for a year, when in fact it had been a week -- those aren't even the things I'm talking about now, just examples of things that changed on us after a week of visitation way back when.

Overall, Huck is truly freaking fantastic, when he's not hitting me or telling me I'm not the mommy he wants, or when he's hiding macaroni and cheese under his bed (have I even touched on the food issues ever? I can't recall. Suffice it to say, there was not a steady supply. Enough meth to leave out all over the house, though.). In a half hour of puzzle-play, he learned to recognize numbers 0-9. We're working on vowel sounds. He insists on calling a trapezoid a square just because I corrected him once, but whatever.

And sweet, he just fell asleep sitting up in his folding chair.

This parenting thing is pretty cool when it doesn't totally suck.


Angel said...

Hey there. We are just starting out in domestic adoption or foster to adopt in Texas. What state are you in? It is so awful to me that some people glaze over the truth about these children's needs. YIKES! I have felt confident about it so far because the kids on the waiting child list have very clear needs descriptions but I would love advice on how to navigate the waters. I am so sorry you are having a tough road with your sweety right now. I hope it smooths out very soon. My e-mail is I would love to hear any advice you have for me. Angel

CA Momma said...

DD used to have night terrors. Scary aren't they? Sounds like you're doing a great job.

Maggie said...

Sounds like night terrors to me. Peanut had a couple when he was here and they're terrifying. He was 8, quite strong, and beat me silly when I tried to comfort/wake him up. I'm sure it's entirely different with Huck, but with Peanut I found his milder nightmares and more serious night terrors were better if I went to the door of his room and started talking to him and trying to wake him up, then progressed closer, then finally touching him and rubbing his back until he woke. If I touched him right away, he'd completely flip out.

And None/None/None/None? Seriously? He at least would warrant a moderate for emotional. My agency has always told me not to put much stock in those ratings -- now I know why.

Gawdessness said...

night terrors are tough, my bio had them for like a long time and there was nothing I could seem to do for them. I should have done the earplugs route!
Parenting is tough and wonderful, you are right and it is way easier when you know what you might be dealing with going in.

Yondalla said...

I LOVE your last line. So true.

Esther said...

Hey, I really like your blog. I found it this last month ;o)

We started the adoption process in 1/05. We had two Russian adoptions which resulted in us having to leave our daughter in Russia forever (adoption #1), adoption #2 never happened because our agency is a bunch of criminals. Well, since they are criminals is why adoption #1 got messed up also. So we left said agency.

Now we are in a wonderful domestic adoption, and approved to adopt two children. I'm glad I found your blog and are on this journey as well.

Best wishes, Esther

Amanda said...

I am amazed at your ability to stay (relatively) positive through all of this. What a huge task, good job with Huckle and best of luck to all of you.

Mary said...

I love reading your blog, which I discovered last month. I can relate to the struggles, frustration, and moments of pure joy you feel on your journey with Huck. Hang in there! We'll all get through it together.

cloudscome said...

I am sorry Huck is having such a hard time. You are doing a wonderful job. You are so right about the parenting thing...

My new(ish) adoption blog is

Chris & Michelle Sapp said...

Our daughter has night terrors - they go in spurts with her. It is so sad and frustrating not to be able to comfort her in those times. We are currently looking into additional support and help for our son's emotional wellbeing. He is a wonderful kid. He has some control issues to work through that are a sure sign of attachment disorder. If I correct our son, he, too, remembers it and will make a point to be wrong in some cases. Stubborn little guys! Love reading your updates!