Sedition: incitement of resistance to or insurrection against lawful authority.
Sedation: the inducing of a relaxed easy state especially by the use of medication used to calm, moderate, or tranquilize nervousness or excitement.
Sedition was the most searched word of the week after the horrifying events of Wednesday. I follow the news closely while dealing with V’s blessedly sleep filled nights and restless days, thanks to the mixed results of new medication we are trying in our ongoing efforts to address his hyperactivity and insomnia. Sedation is the word of the week in our house.
As with many medications, side effects abound. Most notably his usual big appetite is even more voracious and his amazing metabolism that has always allowed him to eat a lot while not gaining an extra pound to the point that every year at his annual physical I ask if anything is wrong that he’s so thin, with the doctor’s reassurance that he’s well nourished and perfectly healthy, he just burns up calories from all his energy. And now in a matter of weeks we can see the slow thickening of his body. Amazing and concerning how quickly the change is apparent. Is the benefit worth the cost?
Pharmaceuticals are often judged as an easy way out for parents of kids and teens yet for many it’s a necessary last resort after we have tried every alternative treatment. With autism and other neurological conditions, as with mental and cognitive disorders, medication is often essential to function. And it’s rarely as straightforward as treating many medical conditions: if you have high blood pressure or cholesterol or diabetes there’s a limited universe of appropriate medication. Instead there is a lot of detective work and research, a lot of disappointment at ineffective options and weighing (no pun intended) the positive outcomes with negative side effects. Everyone is unique and reacts differently to medication so it can take a long time to find the right treatment, and as kids grow and reach adolescence the changes in the body and mind can impact medicine’s effectiveness and require a tweak or in some cases a complete revision.
With V it is a quest to tame his growing restlessness in the pandemic and allow his body a good night’s sleep in this last teenage year, to find that elusive sweet spot of calm without being dopey or over-sedated. It is an ongoing journey of accepting what cannot be changed and working to improve what can. Medicine helps but it cannot completely rewire him.
And so the nights have been better – we’re all sleeping well – while the daytime is still challenging; by the earlier time sleep comes I have a couple of awake hours left, enough for a news update followed by an episode of something (right now: The Flight Attendant, Bridgerton) to take the sting away of the awful events of the week. Impeachment seems unlikely but so warranted; prison is the best ending for this prolonged chapter of When Good Things Happen to Bad People that allowed this deranged man to be our President. Justice, like rest, can be elusive. I’m hoping this will be the year for both.