Prozac On My Mind.

My son has anxiety. I feel like I should emphasize that a bit more.

My son has ANXIETY. Bold, capitalized anxiety.

Like the proverbial monkey on his back, it’s always there.  Sometimes it hovers at the edges, just barely noticeable through my son’s laughter. But sometimes it sits front and center, causing big elephant tears that come from nowhere and tightly-clenched little fists.

“What’s wrong, buddy?”
With his body hunched forward, his eyes downcast and wet, he says, “I don’t know, mom. I’m just tense.”

If it builds up enough, my son “tics.” I don’t know what else to call these invasive physical manifestations of his stress.  His body jerks and jumps, he blinks hard, his right arm juts out of nowhere, to nowhere, like he’s throwing an imaginary ball.  This can go on for days, every few seconds, without a break.  There are nights that he twitches while asleep.  And there are days when the verbal tics make him impossible to understand. As if he is speaking a language we don’t know – the language of extreme, jarring, heartbreaking tension.

“Du du du mom du” jump blink blink blink jump  “Mom du na-na na-na mom” jerk jerk throw twitch  “MOM!”

It finally comes, but the amount of energy it takes for him to say my name leaves him with nothing else to give, and I don’t know what he’s trying to tell me.

In times of high anxiety, my son won’t answer a question directly.  He reverts back to safe topics, usually trucks. “Kiddo, what was the best part of your day?” Avoiding my eyes, he’ll reply with, “Mom, how much does a Peterbilt sleeper cab weigh?” On darker days, we stim on the scary. He thinks about getting hurt, hospitals and blood.  He thinks about what happens when you die.  His mind gets stuck in a place where I have to work really, really hard to reach him. Darker days are tough.

We talk. We do yoga. We have a Happy Thoughts Keychain. We eat clean. We go to counseling. We hike. We hug. We see doctors. We learn coping mechanisms. I watch him. I research. I love him with all my might. At night, when he is sleeping, I stand over him and will everything I have inside of me that is good to go into his little body and help him.

It isn’t enough.

Which brings us to Prozac.

I stared at the most recent doctor begging him with my eyes to suggest something we haven’t tried yet – acupuncture, chanting, green eggs on Tuesdays, anything except meds – and he met my gaze with his own that said you know what I’m going to say.

Prozac.

Trying to combat my son’s anxiety with yoga, whole foods, and yes, even love, is like trying to turn my eyes green by eating broccoli. Due to being abandoned, institutionalized and autistic, my son’s anxiety is now a trait, like my blue eyes, and not a phase. It is a part of him.  So said the doctor.

And I said I can’t. Not right now. Not yet. I can’t neurologically and permanently change my 7 year-old’s brain. Because what if he gets better?

The doctor nodded, he understood.  But to his credit, he said what needed to be said.  “What if he doesn’t?”

I hear you, doctor.  I hear you.

Sincerely,
Becca

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Rebecca Masterson is a writer, speaker, and an advocate for children. For more from Rebecca, follow her on Instagram.

44 Comments

  1. Mom

    I know it. It’s hard to medicate but a life of anxiety its hell. Buspar has worked well for me without the side effects of anti depressants.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Toughest decision we’ll make to date. Glad to hear it’s working for you.

      Reply
  2. Mom

    I know it. It’s hard to medicate but a life of anxiety its hell. Buspar has worked well for me without the side effects of anti depressants.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Toughest decision we’ll make to date. Glad to hear it’s working for you.

      Reply
  3. Stacey Rushing

    As a child that grew up with extreme anxiety I will tell you my mom is proud to this day that she did not medicate me. I lived in fear of the most ridiculous things and was always scared or stressed. My mom fed me right and we exercised, but it never went away. It kept me from joining social groups or trying out for sports. Looking back I was just as good as any of the other girls that played, not great but good enough. I was always afraid of doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing. I would sweat walking into the lunch room as a child. When I went to college I discovered something that helped, Alcohol. It numbed my brain enough that I could be the outgoing person i always wanted to be. So I started drinking a lot. As an adult I kept up that habit through my 20’s and then I met my husband. He dated the real me, but I was always slightly tipsy. He confronted me being the healthy freak that he is and I went to the doctor to work out my feelings. I was given anti-anxiety medicine and my life changed. I quit drinking and was able to be the person I always new was inside of me. To this day my mom is proud that she never medicated her children. I wish I would have felt more confident and done more in my younger years. I wish I had those memories of being a part of things. Playing sports and going to proms, being a girl scout. It would have been great memories to have. You only regret what you did not do when you get older. Just something for you to think about.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      I am staring at my laptop through tears. You really have no idea how much this comment means to me. Thank you for that – for opening up and posting a comment for a kid you’ve never met. oxox.

      Reply
  4. Stacey Rushing

    As a child that grew up with extreme anxiety I will tell you my mom is proud to this day that she did not medicate me. I lived in fear of the most ridiculous things and was always scared or stressed. My mom fed me right and we exercised, but it never went away. It kept me from joining social groups or trying out for sports. Looking back I was just as good as any of the other girls that played, not great but good enough. I was always afraid of doing the wrong thing or saying the wrong thing. I would sweat walking into the lunch room as a child. When I went to college I discovered something that helped, Alcohol. It numbed my brain enough that I could be the outgoing person i always wanted to be. So I started drinking a lot. As an adult I kept up that habit through my 20’s and then I met my husband. He dated the real me, but I was always slightly tipsy. He confronted me being the healthy freak that he is and I went to the doctor to work out my feelings. I was given anti-anxiety medicine and my life changed. I quit drinking and was able to be the person I always new was inside of me. To this day my mom is proud that she never medicated her children. I wish I would have felt more confident and done more in my younger years. I wish I had those memories of being a part of things. Playing sports and going to proms, being a girl scout. It would have been great memories to have. You only regret what you did not do when you get older. Just something for you to think about.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      I am staring at my laptop through tears. You really have no idea how much this comment means to me. Thank you for that – for opening up and posting a comment for a kid you’ve never met. oxox.

      Reply
  5. nataliecmine

    I hope I’m not overstepping bounds here, because I’m not a mom…but this post spoke to me. As a young kid I struggled for years with anxiety/OCD/depression, and I wish to hell someone had brought up meds (and therapy!) to my parents. I was 14 or 15 by the time I finally started on therapy/meds, and never knew how not-typical my feelings were until I wasn’t feeling them anymore. I hope this doesn’t come off as me saying “hey lady, you should definitely drug your kid up ASAP!” especially as 7 is a lot younger, but I just wanted to reach out and tell you, from a “kid’s” perspective, that you are in NO way a “bad mommy” for considering medication.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Tough to overstep on a blog I post for the world to see. Ha! You are not overstepping – perspective from a kid who dealt with this is spot on. And really, really helpful. Thank you.

      Reply
  6. nataliecmine

    I hope I’m not overstepping bounds here, because I’m not a mom…but this post spoke to me. As a young kid I struggled for years with anxiety/OCD/depression, and I wish to hell someone had brought up meds (and therapy!) to my parents. I was 14 or 15 by the time I finally started on therapy/meds, and never knew how not-typical my feelings were until I wasn’t feeling them anymore. I hope this doesn’t come off as me saying “hey lady, you should definitely drug your kid up ASAP!” especially as 7 is a lot younger, but I just wanted to reach out and tell you, from a “kid’s” perspective, that you are in NO way a “bad mommy” for considering medication.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Tough to overstep on a blog I post for the world to see. Ha! You are not overstepping – perspective from a kid who dealt with this is spot on. And really, really helpful. Thank you.

      Reply
  7. Maria Thoman

    I know it’s a difficult decision, but think of it as a physical condition, because it is. If your son had diabetes would you refuse medication if you had tried all other non medical treatments without successfully managing the condition? I am also a mom of a son with ASD and anxiety and I have had my son on Prozac and after years now on fluvoxamine for the anxiety. HE is happier when he’s not terrified of everything and cannot even explain or identify what is terrifying. I can tell you love your son, so put yourself in his shoes. If that were you, would you take medication? If the non prescription interventions aren’t working, then it’s not fair to your son to withhold medication that might alleviate his suffering and open him up to development. It doesn’t have to be forever. He may need to chemically reduce the anxiety while he learns how to self regulate and communicate, then fade the medication out. Just my thoughts, good luck with your son.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      I hear you. And that’s definitely weighing on my mind. Meds are an amazing technology that, admittedly, help a lot of people with actual neurological / chemical issues. But…(and just throwing out my thoughts here) my son’s anxiety is almost absolutely a result of his first few years in an orphanage, not autism. Environment vs Neurological. Does it make a difference? Maybe. Because we have seen amazing progress in the past few years addressing the attachment issues. Will the progress be quick enough for him to get maximum enjoyment out of being a little boy? Probably not. Which brings me back to the points in your post… Thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate them.

      Reply
  8. Maria Thoman

    I know it’s a difficult decision, but think of it as a physical condition, because it is. If your son had diabetes would you refuse medication if you had tried all other non medical treatments without successfully managing the condition? I am also a mom of a son with ASD and anxiety and I have had my son on Prozac and after years now on fluvoxamine for the anxiety. HE is happier when he’s not terrified of everything and cannot even explain or identify what is terrifying. I can tell you love your son, so put yourself in his shoes. If that were you, would you take medication? If the non prescription interventions aren’t working, then it’s not fair to your son to withhold medication that might alleviate his suffering and open him up to development. It doesn’t have to be forever. He may need to chemically reduce the anxiety while he learns how to self regulate and communicate, then fade the medication out. Just my thoughts, good luck with your son.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      I hear you. And that’s definitely weighing on my mind. Meds are an amazing technology that, admittedly, help a lot of people with actual neurological / chemical issues. But…(and just throwing out my thoughts here) my son’s anxiety is almost absolutely a result of his first few years in an orphanage, not autism. Environment vs Neurological. Does it make a difference? Maybe. Because we have seen amazing progress in the past few years addressing the attachment issues. Will the progress be quick enough for him to get maximum enjoyment out of being a little boy? Probably not. Which brings me back to the points in your post… Thanks for your thoughts. I really appreciate them.

      Reply
  9. Amy

    I’m so sorry for you, but so glad that your son has a Mom that understands his pain. I had anxiety when I was kid, and somehow no one knew. It stayed hidden until I was in my twenties and finally talked to a Dr. Within a week on Prozac, I was a new person. A better, happier person. I wish you nothing but the best!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      These stories are so good for me to hear. Thank you for reaching out!!

      Reply
  10. Amy

    I’m so sorry for you, but so glad that your son has a Mom that understands his pain. I had anxiety when I was kid, and somehow no one knew. It stayed hidden until I was in my twenties and finally talked to a Dr. Within a week on Prozac, I was a new person. A better, happier person. I wish you nothing but the best!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      These stories are so good for me to hear. Thank you for reaching out!!

      Reply
  11. lifeofacampcounselor

    I’ve lived with anxiety since I was 11 or 12. I’ve been medicated, by choice, and un-medicated by choice, as well. I am still an anxious person, but 15 years in, I now know when I can use coping skills, when Rescue Remedy (look it up, it’s a great herbal remedy!) will take the edge off, and when taking my (now) as-needed anti-anxiety med will be the only thing that does the trick. When I was medicated, I was seriously medicated, and when I stopped, I was young and naive enough to do so without any medical guidance.

    Perhaps Prozac will take the edge off just enough so that your son can learn what really works to help him cope. Remember–a decision to medicate now isn’t a decision to medicate forever. It’s a decision to help your kiddo in a way you haven’t tried yet–and if it doesn’t do the trick, or is more difficult than good, you’ll know that.

    Good luck, and many blessings.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Thank you thank you for your comment. There is that hope – that he can learn new coping skills while on Prozac – give his brain a break from anxiety and see what happens. I love that you learned what works for you. Makes me hopeful.

      Reply
  12. lifeofacampcounselor

    I’ve lived with anxiety since I was 11 or 12. I’ve been medicated, by choice, and un-medicated by choice, as well. I am still an anxious person, but 15 years in, I now know when I can use coping skills, when Rescue Remedy (look it up, it’s a great herbal remedy!) will take the edge off, and when taking my (now) as-needed anti-anxiety med will be the only thing that does the trick. When I was medicated, I was seriously medicated, and when I stopped, I was young and naive enough to do so without any medical guidance.

    Perhaps Prozac will take the edge off just enough so that your son can learn what really works to help him cope. Remember–a decision to medicate now isn’t a decision to medicate forever. It’s a decision to help your kiddo in a way you haven’t tried yet–and if it doesn’t do the trick, or is more difficult than good, you’ll know that.

    Good luck, and many blessings.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Thank you thank you for your comment. There is that hope – that he can learn new coping skills while on Prozac – give his brain a break from anxiety and see what happens. I love that you learned what works for you. Makes me hopeful.

      Reply
  13. Leanne

    I am the mother of a 15 year old with ASD and anxiety. We just put him on Prozac 7 months ago. It has helped him but does not completely take the anxiety away. I have “joked” for years that one of was going to end up medicated…either him or me. We went the therapy route, anxiety groups, one on one sessions….you know the drill. Thankfully his transition back to public school was fairly uneventful due to meds. I know how heartbreaking it is for your child to say they want to die. I have lived it. In the end you are the parent and you make decisions for your child that you feel is best at the time. That is all you can do, don’t beat yourself up over any decision made with love, for your child.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      I love that one of you would end up medicated. Why is no one offering me prozac?!

      Reply
  14. Leanne

    I am the mother of a 15 year old with ASD and anxiety. We just put him on Prozac 7 months ago. It has helped him but does not completely take the anxiety away. I have “joked” for years that one of was going to end up medicated…either him or me. We went the therapy route, anxiety groups, one on one sessions….you know the drill. Thankfully his transition back to public school was fairly uneventful due to meds. I know how heartbreaking it is for your child to say they want to die. I have lived it. In the end you are the parent and you make decisions for your child that you feel is best at the time. That is all you can do, don’t beat yourself up over any decision made with love, for your child.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      I love that one of you would end up medicated. Why is no one offering me prozac?!

      Reply
  15. Kristi

    We struggled with making the decision to medicate our nine year old son. At the time he was barely eight. From an early age his fears and worries were greater in depth and scope than most grown ups I know. He worried about floods at the first sign of thunder. Once at two as we passed a cemetary, He worried about what would happen to him if we (his parents) were to die. Even if fears and axieties seemed to pass, weeks later the same topic would creep back up. Then last year happened. We realized, we just couldn’t go on letting him feel this out of control. We tried social stories, yoga, herbal remedies…the. Our developmental pedi suggested a very low dose of Paxil. I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t not try. As she stated, we aren’t trying to medicate the anxiety out of him, we want to get the anxiety to a level that a then eight year old could handle. He is a different child. Because he isn’t so anxious, his whole life has improved. He can handle situations that would have otherwise sent him into a meltdown of epic proportions. Our goal is to give him time to develop and then wean him off.

    Whatever you decide, you are doing the right thing. You care. You research. There is no wrong answer. There is no answer that can not be changed!

    Xoxoxo
    Kristi
    From deep in the heart of Texas!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Ah Kristi. Thanks for the comment. Helpful, optimistic, and best of all, non-judgmental. thank you.

      Reply
  16. Kristi

    We struggled with making the decision to medicate our nine year old son. At the time he was barely eight. From an early age his fears and worries were greater in depth and scope than most grown ups I know. He worried about floods at the first sign of thunder. Once at two as we passed a cemetary, He worried about what would happen to him if we (his parents) were to die. Even if fears and axieties seemed to pass, weeks later the same topic would creep back up. Then last year happened. We realized, we just couldn’t go on letting him feel this out of control. We tried social stories, yoga, herbal remedies…the. Our developmental pedi suggested a very low dose of Paxil. I didn’t want to do it, but I couldn’t not try. As she stated, we aren’t trying to medicate the anxiety out of him, we want to get the anxiety to a level that a then eight year old could handle. He is a different child. Because he isn’t so anxious, his whole life has improved. He can handle situations that would have otherwise sent him into a meltdown of epic proportions. Our goal is to give him time to develop and then wean him off.

    Whatever you decide, you are doing the right thing. You care. You research. There is no wrong answer. There is no answer that can not be changed!

    Xoxoxo
    Kristi
    From deep in the heart of Texas!

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      Ah Kristi. Thanks for the comment. Helpful, optimistic, and best of all, non-judgmental. thank you.

      Reply
  17. kerry martin

    My son took it for 6 months for anticipatory anxiety and an overwhelming sense of worry and fear that could not be pinpointed to specific events and persons. We would arrive at school and he was not ale to exit the car. It broke my heart. He had outbursts of rage behind closed doors of our home….damaging furniture, slamming doors, pouniding on walls, climing on the roof. When he threatened his older brother with a knife, we brought him to the crisis intervention center (AMAZING). They provided an assortment of references and referrals. He ended up spending time in a partial day program for 2 wks at the local hospital. He was hesitant, but after day 1, he said “mom, it was great! everyone there was just like me!. The prozac he started created severe negative thinking for our son who was 12 at the time. We immediately switched meds to celexa….that “worked” (?) . . . as he entered puberty and grew in height and weight, we questioned the dosage. Last summer he spent a week w/o taking his meds (negligence on his behalf and my aunt and uncle who took him in). We determined to take a break from the meds and revisit our care and med plan. To date, he has found his little place in the world as a freshman in high school, playing in the marching band. He feels a tremendous sense of connectedniveness (sp?) – and is beginning to discover his true self. Middle school is hell – and we live in the city. The behavior on behalf of the undesirables impacted our son more than one can imagine. High School has proven otherwise. However, we have made tremendous headway w/o meds. I am certainly open to them, but be aware that the side effects are REAL – and to be in tune to them. It was quite frightening for quite a bit for all of us, especially Sam. He has since been diagnosed with a mood disorder that encompasses anger, anxiety and self regulation/lack thereof.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      You are one of the first to tell me that middle school is Hell – and I sort of knew this would be true. SO glad your son has found his way in high school. That’s the goal right? To help our kids find their place. oxox.

      Reply
  18. kerry martin

    My son took it for 6 months for anticipatory anxiety and an overwhelming sense of worry and fear that could not be pinpointed to specific events and persons. We would arrive at school and he was not ale to exit the car. It broke my heart. He had outbursts of rage behind closed doors of our home….damaging furniture, slamming doors, pouniding on walls, climing on the roof. When he threatened his older brother with a knife, we brought him to the crisis intervention center (AMAZING). They provided an assortment of references and referrals. He ended up spending time in a partial day program for 2 wks at the local hospital. He was hesitant, but after day 1, he said “mom, it was great! everyone there was just like me!. The prozac he started created severe negative thinking for our son who was 12 at the time. We immediately switched meds to celexa….that “worked” (?) . . . as he entered puberty and grew in height and weight, we questioned the dosage. Last summer he spent a week w/o taking his meds (negligence on his behalf and my aunt and uncle who took him in). We determined to take a break from the meds and revisit our care and med plan. To date, he has found his little place in the world as a freshman in high school, playing in the marching band. He feels a tremendous sense of connectedniveness (sp?) – and is beginning to discover his true self. Middle school is hell – and we live in the city. The behavior on behalf of the undesirables impacted our son more than one can imagine. High School has proven otherwise. However, we have made tremendous headway w/o meds. I am certainly open to them, but be aware that the side effects are REAL – and to be in tune to them. It was quite frightening for quite a bit for all of us, especially Sam. He has since been diagnosed with a mood disorder that encompasses anger, anxiety and self regulation/lack thereof.

    Reply
    • Rebecca Masterson

      You are one of the first to tell me that middle school is Hell – and I sort of knew this would be true. SO glad your son has found his way in high school. That’s the goal right? To help our kids find their place. oxox.

      Reply
  19. Mom

    We opted recently to add Klonopin (a short acting benzo) to our son’s medications. This is taken as needed for severe meltdowns. Recently, the only time we have needed it has been when the therapist has left. I thought therapy was supposed to make things better, not worse.

    Reply
  20. Mom

    We opted recently to add Klonopin (a short acting benzo) to our son’s medications. This is taken as needed for severe meltdowns. Recently, the only time we have needed it has been when the therapist has left. I thought therapy was supposed to make things better, not worse.

    Reply
  21. spectrumwarrior

    Your son sounds EXACTLY like my child. My Monkey is EXTREMELY anxious and we have also struggled with the should you shouldn’t you side of medication. For now since life for us is fairly scheduled we started teaching him coping strategies and recognizing where he was at on a 5 point scale. It took a few months for him to actually learn how he was felling and when / which coping strategies to use but he’s doing better. This however only works when he is mildly anxious or just starting to get anxious. When he surpasses that threshold of pacing, repeating, mumbling into screaming crying fits of OMG the world is going to end then no coping strategy works. He’ll start school in September and I battle with should we or shouldn’t we medicate just enough to let him have an easier transition into the school system. Ugh should we shouldn’t we??? Nobody knows.

    P.S. Love your blog.

    Reply
  22. spectrumwarrior

    Your son sounds EXACTLY like my child. My Monkey is EXTREMELY anxious and we have also struggled with the should you shouldn’t you side of medication. For now since life for us is fairly scheduled we started teaching him coping strategies and recognizing where he was at on a 5 point scale. It took a few months for him to actually learn how he was felling and when / which coping strategies to use but he’s doing better. This however only works when he is mildly anxious or just starting to get anxious. When he surpasses that threshold of pacing, repeating, mumbling into screaming crying fits of OMG the world is going to end then no coping strategy works. He’ll start school in September and I battle with should we or shouldn’t we medicate just enough to let him have an easier transition into the school system. Ugh should we shouldn’t we??? Nobody knows.

    P.S. Love your blog.

    Reply
  23. jojo

    awww… Miss Becca – you know how I feel… At least try it, at least to give him a fighting chance to be at the same place all the other kids start from….

    Reply
  24. jojo

    awww… Miss Becca – you know how I feel… At least try it, at least to give him a fighting chance to be at the same place all the other kids start from….

    Reply
  25. Mary C. Duggan

    Becca, I don’t know if this will help at all. First I so love how you never go for the easy answers. Never stop that. I have a Traumatic Brain Injury. Many times I am astounded by how similar it is to autism. When I see autism on TV, or read about it, I am kind of freaked out by the similarities. I even kind of stim. Just being in a car – I can no longer drive – so we are talking passenger here – is so hard that when I finally get home, even in the depths of Chicago winter, I rock on my front porch in my rocking chair.

    I suffer terribly from anxiety. I exhaust my sisters with how often they have to talk me off the anxiety ledge. They know it just comes with the territory; but I still hate the attacks and hate the wear and tear on them. I want you to know 2 things that I have learned about my brain and anxiety and anti-depressants. There are 3 pathways to a healthy brain. Chemical anti-depressants only address 2 of the pathways. But the natural product Sam-e, which I have taken every morning of my life for years, opens and heals all three pathways. That is why it is the anti-depressant of choice in most European countries and why they are horrified by what Americans accept with their chemical options.

    Also, I now understand that my brain works in direct proportion to my liver health! Yep, depression, anxiety and so many other neurological mis-fires can come from a liver worn out and overworked and toxic. Mine gets that way a lot and so I have to cleanse and take Milk Thistle and do hydro-colon therapy and all sorts of things that I imagine would be next to impossible with your sweet son. But, thank God, Sam-e works overtime keeping the liver detoxified. And there are no Sam-e side effects. You just have to be patient with it getting into your bloodstream before you feel the results. It is expensive – kind of – and when money got really tight around here I did not buy it. But my life got so much harder that the girls got me back on it ASAP.

    And here is my number 2 anxiety reliever. And one that I stumbled upon. And one that I never imagined would help so much. For 2 years I traveled with a therapy dog. Chester, the sweetest little Pomeranian mix in the world. His previous owner died and he was left abandoned in a veterinary hospital. When he came into my life he brought tremendous healing – though working with a therapy dog in a culture that still only connects them with assistance for the blind is hard work at times. He would come with me to my appointments for cranial-sacral adjustments and he was transformational. I had gotten to where I hated these appointments. I so resented the time and expense. Even though they are absolutely pain less and wonderful and essential to my brain and emotional well-being. Well once Chester started coming with they were so much easier. And here is the REALLY amazing thing. The doctor’s secretary told me that they started getting calls from patients with children with autism who wanted to know when the lady with the Chester dog was coming in to see the doctor. They wanted to coordinate their appointment with mine so that their kids could overlap with Chester!!! Parents noticed their children being able to express themselves differently in his presence. The stories from the doctor and his staff about Chester’s effect on others blew my mind.

    He would also accompany me to hydro-colony therapy – poor Chester. But I need the colonics to keep my liver and hence my brain healthy. They loved him there, as well, where he would sleep through my appointments.

    In a tragic and ironic twist of the worst sort, Chester got very sick during our second Spring together from so many of our neighbors spraying their lawns with chemicals. His liver just could not take it. One day he began to seize and the seizures continued for many months, many times a day. We worked hard to restore his health and got his liver values much better. He was too sick to help me. He slept almost around the clock as his brain tried to heal from the seizures. My brain doctor even gave him cranial sacral adjustments free of charge – he was so saddened to see how badly Chester was hurt by the lawn chemicals. But despite our best efforts, one Sunday evening we went to take Chester for his dinner time stroll and he was gone. He’d had one final seizure and had slipped away. We were devastated.

    I know there will never be another Chester; though we talk often about training Boomer, once he has matured a bit and calmed down a bit to take on the job. To have him trained professionally for me can cost upwards of $40,000. I am blessed that by being meticulous about being gluten free I am doing okay-ish as a passenger in the car. But still there are those days of the high anxiety.

    Okay, I have run on too long. I hope this has some value for you. I don’t know if you have ever had a doc talk Sam-e or service dog. But I see all these soldiers coming home and having some much assistance with their TBIs and PSTD from their service dogs. It seems to me that your little warrior deserves one too.

    Much love,
    Mary

    PS: I even wrote some blogs about Chester! And they actually got read, a bit. At the end of the one where he goes to the American Club with me, you can see some video footage. I can’t bear to look at it any more; but you might get a kick out of it. XOXOXOX

    Reply
  26. Mary C. Duggan

    Becca, I don’t know if this will help at all. First I so love how you never go for the easy answers. Never stop that. I have a Traumatic Brain Injury. Many times I am astounded by how similar it is to autism. When I see autism on TV, or read about it, I am kind of freaked out by the similarities. I even kind of stim. Just being in a car – I can no longer drive – so we are talking passenger here – is so hard that when I finally get home, even in the depths of Chicago winter, I rock on my front porch in my rocking chair.

    I suffer terribly from anxiety. I exhaust my sisters with how often they have to talk me off the anxiety ledge. They know it just comes with the territory; but I still hate the attacks and hate the wear and tear on them. I want you to know 2 things that I have learned about my brain and anxiety and anti-depressants. There are 3 pathways to a healthy brain. Chemical anti-depressants only address 2 of the pathways. But the natural product Sam-e, which I have taken every morning of my life for years, opens and heals all three pathways. That is why it is the anti-depressant of choice in most European countries and why they are horrified by what Americans accept with their chemical options.

    Also, I now understand that my brain works in direct proportion to my liver health! Yep, depression, anxiety and so many other neurological mis-fires can come from a liver worn out and overworked and toxic. Mine gets that way a lot and so I have to cleanse and take Milk Thistle and do hydro-colon therapy and all sorts of things that I imagine would be next to impossible with your sweet son. But, thank God, Sam-e works overtime keeping the liver detoxified. And there are no Sam-e side effects. You just have to be patient with it getting into your bloodstream before you feel the results. It is expensive – kind of – and when money got really tight around here I did not buy it. But my life got so much harder that the girls got me back on it ASAP.

    And here is my number 2 anxiety reliever. And one that I stumbled upon. And one that I never imagined would help so much. For 2 years I traveled with a therapy dog. Chester, the sweetest little Pomeranian mix in the world. His previous owner died and he was left abandoned in a veterinary hospital. When he came into my life he brought tremendous healing – though working with a therapy dog in a culture that still only connects them with assistance for the blind is hard work at times. He would come with me to my appointments for cranial-sacral adjustments and he was transformational. I had gotten to where I hated these appointments. I so resented the time and expense. Even though they are absolutely pain less and wonderful and essential to my brain and emotional well-being. Well once Chester started coming with they were so much easier. And here is the REALLY amazing thing. The doctor’s secretary told me that they started getting calls from patients with children with autism who wanted to know when the lady with the Chester dog was coming in to see the doctor. They wanted to coordinate their appointment with mine so that their kids could overlap with Chester!!! Parents noticed their children being able to express themselves differently in his presence. The stories from the doctor and his staff about Chester’s effect on others blew my mind.

    He would also accompany me to hydro-colony therapy – poor Chester. But I need the colonics to keep my liver and hence my brain healthy. They loved him there, as well, where he would sleep through my appointments.

    In a tragic and ironic twist of the worst sort, Chester got very sick during our second Spring together from so many of our neighbors spraying their lawns with chemicals. His liver just could not take it. One day he began to seize and the seizures continued for many months, many times a day. We worked hard to restore his health and got his liver values much better. He was too sick to help me. He slept almost around the clock as his brain tried to heal from the seizures. My brain doctor even gave him cranial sacral adjustments free of charge – he was so saddened to see how badly Chester was hurt by the lawn chemicals. But despite our best efforts, one Sunday evening we went to take Chester for his dinner time stroll and he was gone. He’d had one final seizure and had slipped away. We were devastated.

    I know there will never be another Chester; though we talk often about training Boomer, once he has matured a bit and calmed down a bit to take on the job. To have him trained professionally for me can cost upwards of $40,000. I am blessed that by being meticulous about being gluten free I am doing okay-ish as a passenger in the car. But still there are those days of the high anxiety.

    Okay, I have run on too long. I hope this has some value for you. I don’t know if you have ever had a doc talk Sam-e or service dog. But I see all these soldiers coming home and having some much assistance with their TBIs and PSTD from their service dogs. It seems to me that your little warrior deserves one too.

    Much love,
    Mary

    PS: I even wrote some blogs about Chester! And they actually got read, a bit. At the end of the one where he goes to the American Club with me, you can see some video footage. I can’t bear to look at it any more; but you might get a kick out of it. XOXOXOX

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