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Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hey Mr. Sandman...



Nate has usually been a good sleeper. At 6 weeks, he slept through the night, much to my chagrin and surprise. After my body had become accustomed to waking up at 2 AM, the first time he didn't make those tell tale cries, I was CONVINCED he was dead. Accustomed being me NOT sleeping. At All. For 6 weeks. In my half awake stupor,  I ran into his room and saw him blissfully asleep, snoring like a sawmill.

Speaking of dying, and sleeping, and not sleeping...

Nate has been going through this phase where I put him to bed, and not even 10 minutes later, he's in my lap crying. I ask him what's wrong and he says, "Mom, I'm going to die. I don't want to die. I don't want you to die. I want to live forever." His face scrunches up and the tears fill up his eyes...

We've had this discussion before. We've talked about that he's here now, he is safe, I am safe. Nothing is happening to either one of us right now. He can't focus on the right now. He's seeing lightyears into the future and it makes him very sad. Tonight he said my life was half over. I did my best to distract him with his stuffed panda bear to take his mind away from these very intense feelings. 

This is very normal behavior for kids his age. They will have these moments where they realize that yes, life is not infinite. Its pretty darn scary for them. I have tried to allay his fears in the moment. The "dreams" (aka anxiety) have repeated enough that a trip to the psychologist/psychiatrist was already scheduled, and was very needed. 

His psychiatrist asked him some questions and he admitted he's having these "dreams" more often than he used to. He was afraid to tell me, as to not worry me. She listened to him intently and we spoke for a while about his sleep habits, what's happening at school, etc. I honestly thought he was starting to process the divorce. He laughed at me when I asked him, "Mom, no, that's silly!" 

We've upped his Risperidone to 1.o mcg instead of .5 at night to help him sleep and deal with what appears to be overwhelming anxiety. I hooked up the sound machine again, which seemed to really help his mind calm down and focus on just the sound in his room instead of the sounds in his head.

 I feel so bad for him, I truly do. I KNOW what that feels like. I had similar thoughts and fears at exactly his age and I got no support, no understanding. At night, I also need a white noise machine. It would sometimes take me over an hour to fall asleep, with my thoughts buzzing in my brain like a hive of nervous bees.  I know he doesn't have the coping skills yet to handle those kind of anxiety inducing thoughts. My ultimate hope is that he will be able to do it, on his own and with out medication. 

For now...he's sleeping very soundly, with a symphony of artificial crickets lulling him into (hopefully) REM sleep tonight...

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