The last part of this year has been rough. Moe had a period of intense aggression and self-injury. It was an awful cycle that we couldn't break for almost 2 months. We had to get a helmet so he couldn't bang his head as much. One weekend we took Moe to the emergency room because we couldn't get him to stop attacking us. The shot of Ativan helped for a couple of hours. Then right back to it.
The doctor ordered an MRI, something we've put off for a while because it never seemed really necessary. It showed nothing unusual. Which was good. But it was also kind of disappointing. I wanted to point to a black and white picture and say "There. See that? That's what causing Moe to not be able to speak. That's what causing him pain. That's why he hurts himself. That."
And then we could fix it.
Eventually Moe felt better and for the most part stopped hurting us and himself. We aren't sure exactly why. But Berkeley, our dog, started having trouble walking. It was spinal, maybe a tumor. Pretty quickly she couldn't stand without falling over. Her last day was December 3. She was a big presence in this house, never an easy dog, but she was ours for more than 12 years. And we miss her terribly. I still feel the weight of her head in my lap, and the soft ears she loved to have rubbed.
Moe isn't as violent anymore, though he still has a moment or two. Sometimes I still flinch when he comes close. And my heart skips a beat whenever he slams a door. He gets really whiny in a way that will grate on your every last nerve. He can be impulsive and bouncing off the walls hyper. Moe needs to be watched every single waking moment. And while we have done our best to make the house safe for him, we find ourselves saying the same things over and over and over.
"Come out of the kitchen."
"You already had a bath today."
"No ice cream for breakfast." (Though I can't really blame him for trying.)
And he's been waking up in the middle of the night almost every night.
We are all exhausted and emotionally spent in a way that's hard to describe. Jeff and I both long for the escape of work, thankful for challenging jobs we enjoy and that allow us to have help at home. Moe's nanny is a true angel.
We really need something to change, and fortunately, something is going to. After 3 years of homeschooling, Moe is going back to school. It's a scary and very exciting step for him. We think it is the right time. We have no idea how the transition will go and it will be logistically challenging having both kids at different schools. But we hope adding this new level of structure and activity to the day will be beneficial to his learning, sleep and regulation.
2016 is going to start off in a big way. We're ready.