I havent written on the blog lately. The last time I wrote it was about Toms appointment at the doctor, his current medical position and the decision about cutting back on the meds. Toms doctor wants to get him off the Paxil (anti depressant) and then increase the Lamictin. She says Tom is no longer depressed, but his Eeg is still abnormal which can be treated with an increased dose of Lamictin,
I have followed the doctors advice in cutting back on the anti depressant meds. This hasn’t been easy. On 22 Feb we started the weaning off process. He was taking 40 mg and is now down to 20. The doctor did warn me of the serious side effects, and I can confirm that these havent been pleasant. When we decrease the medication Tom has spent days in bed unable to get up. Sometimes I dont see him at all for most of the next week, as he says all he can do is sleep. At the end of this month he hopefully be able to cut down to 5mg. From there on I hope it will improve.
Frequently Reported Symptoms of Paxil:
extraordinarily vivid dreams
extreme confusion during waking hours
intense fear of losing your sanity
steady feeling of existing outside of reality as you know it (referred to as depersonalization at times)
memory and concentration problems
Panic Attacks (even if you never had one before)
severe mood swings, esp. heightened irritability / anger
suicidal thoughts (in extreme cases)
an unconventional dizziness/ vertigo
the feeling of shocks, similar to mild electric one, running the length of your body
an unsteady gait
profuse sweating, esp. at night
breaking out in tears.
hypersensitivity to motion, sounds, smells.
abdominal cramping, diarrhea
loss of appetite
chills/ hot flashes
Its difficult to track Toms progress and how the cut back in medication seems to be effecting him. There are some days that I think he is worse and some days when he is better. I notice his various tics, and stims (see You Tube video for explanation) and wonder if he is better. I think we will know when he is finally off this medication. What is scary for me is how long this might take. In all likely-hood this could take 4 to 6 months. During this period Tom hasnt been fully functional. Sometimes Tom helps me with shopping. Last month I sent him in to a shop to get a few groceries. I think the list contained 5 or 6 items and it took him half an hour. I started to get concerned and when he returned he said he couldnt find the items on the shelves and everything was a blur. He was quite upset about this, but we read up on the side effects and now he doesnt attempt to do anything if he doesnt feel up to it.
The good news though, is that a student doing her doctoral studies in Aspergers is looking for 6 young adults and has developed an intervention program to assist in helping them to find their social niche and also employment. She is offering the program free of charge and hopes to be able to find employment and training for at least one of the participants. The company will also be exposed to aspergers and will be able to see how it affects people which will be great too. I immediately contacted her and she has placed Tom in the group. I will find out this coming week more of the details. I am so please about this. What’s even better is that Tom is very keen to be included. Although he is happy at home he does need to have something to look forward to in life. Its been an ongoing, underlying concern for us. I wish I could do more, sometimes I feel I have failed him, but I also realise its harsh criticism in the situation. I dont know how the program will work out, I am sure she doesnt work miracles, but anything positive that comes from this is just going to be fantastic for all of us.