We are home, but things aren’t normal. We don’t have a diagnosis, all they’ve managed to do is rule some things out. All they can suggest for now is we see how he goes and see if it continues to get better or not.
And yes, he has gotten better. He’s no longer hysterical and thrashing around screaming that Crocodiles are biting him and the mozzies are biting him. But he’s still super paranoid of them, and thinks they are everywhere. It fluctuates. This morning when he got up, he was paranoid but when Sara, Eli and Alan arrived, we were able to encourage him to get down on to the floor and play, and before he wouldn’t let his feet touch the ground. He then proceeded to spend most of the morning playing in the play room, walking around, playing in the toy house and the Thomas train. But towards lunch time he had started avoiding the floor again, and looking at people suspiciously like they have things crawling over their shirts. But then this afternoon driving home we had to pull over because he was freaking out, and then at home he wouldn’t let his feet touch the ground and was asking what was on everything. Now Sara’s trying to put him to bed, I already tried, and he won’t lie on the bed, he has to lie on top of one of us so he doesn’t touch the bed.
It’s like Nathan is there, but he isn’t. He’s still bright and smart, with a great memory and able to think. He was asking a Why question in the car today, and we said he had to stop asking that question, he thought for a moment and then rephrased what he was saying so it wasn’t a question anymore. (He did that the other night before all this too, he kept asking for a drink at bed time after he’d already had a decent drink, we told him to stop asking for a drink, so instead he asked for his cup with some water in it.) He asked to go to the toilet, so we stopped at the Church office as it was the closest convenient toilets, we walked in and he said something like, “oh, I know this place, we came here 4 months ago”. All that brain is in there like normal, and working. But at the same time, he’s not there, he’s been replaced by a baby, who keeps asking a question, getting an answer, asking a few more questions and coming back to the first question again. His speech is almost baby like at times. And at other times is exactly like he used to be. This isn’t my boy that we had 2 days ago, this is a very different kid, who’s difficult in a totally bizarre way. The remote possibility that we won’t get our boy back scares us.
Talking to a friend of ours who is a psychologist, it was encouraging to think about it like a Trauma that’s occurred, and this is now the recover phase. That he probably will forget about it and return to normal, but that this is how he’s recovering from that trauma, needing a safe environment to recover. That later in life he’ll probably only remember it like a dream, and that he won’t remember the scariness of it, or the intense fear.
We are exhausted, physically and emotionally. We are physically in pain from Nathan clawing his way on to us and the strength he has and is using without realising how he’s hurting the people around him. Just trying to get him to sleep last night on me resulted in many knee in groin injuries for me, just because he’s trying to get his whole body on top of mine so that none of his body is touching the bed. He pushes his head hard into your chest or shoulder, it’s not just gently resting, it’s pushed in terror. He has no thoughts to the person he’s using to get away from things, because he’s in so much fear, and as a result he forgets that Sara is pregnant and he forgets to be gentle with her belly. He’s normally pretty good at being gentle and considerate of it.
Please keep praying for a speedy recovery, and strength and wisdom for us to best care for him. Pray that our interrupted sleep still gives us the energy and patience we need to deal with him. Pray that Elisha has some understanding as he’s currently struggling with the amount of attention Nathan is demanding, even though we try to give Elisha lots of attention too. Pray for those around us supporting us, that they get the rest they need, and the wisdom of how to best support us, and much blessing poured out on them as they have blessed us. Pray that this goes away totally, and never recurs, that it was a random once off thing with no lasting effects.
Thanks for all the prayers and support so far, we’ve needed them.