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Owen developed Pica in 2012. He was constantly on the lookout for things to destroy and eat. He tore through pillows, ripped tags off of clothing, and eaten books. For the past four years, we’ve dealt with emergency surgeries to remove stuck objects, worried about bowel ruptures, and dealt with chronic constipation and pain from everything this little boy would eat.
I felt helpless–every time I thought I had Owen’s room safe, he’d change his tactics and eat something else. He even disassembled a pull on a dresser and ate part of it. Life has been crazy!
The doctors never had any solutions. They just said to keep things picked up as much as possible, and agreed that his strange behavior would likely lead to more serious injury or even death.
We hated it. I think Owen even hated it, as his behavior started to take a turn for the worse. He started pinching and pulling hair. He’d come up behind one of the other kids and grab their necks. He pulled the little ones to the ground and would sit on them.
It wasn’t at all like how Owen typically acts.
The Doctor’s Recommendation
I brought this behavior up at our last appointment with the neurologist in early July. He suggested we try an anti-psychotic medication (Risperidone) to see if that’d curb the aggression. He also lowered Owen’s dose of Keppra (a seizure med known to cause agression) and added vitamin B6 to his med routine.
He also agreed to refer Owen to the behavior specialist in town.
I was hesitant about the new medication. The list of side effects was pretty heavy. But, my gut told me to say yes. And I’m glad I did.
You see, ever since we gave Owen his first half dose over a week ago, he’s eaten very little that wasn’t food. He’s even left some papers alone.
He’s still eaten a few things, and destroyed a newspaper, but the Pica has definitely been curbed. We are so thankful!
Pica and the Med
We’re hopeful that as we continue to get Owen used to this new med, and increase the dose, that the remaining Pica effects will disappear.
But, even if they don’t we’re rejoicing over how much progress he’s shown already.
And as an even bigger bonus, his aggression stopped instantly as well.
We’ve noticed a couple of side effects related to sleep:
-He’s sleeping more during the day
-He’s waking up at night more(but since he’s done this since birth it’s hard to blame this drug)
We haven’t noticed any facial movements, ticks, or increased seizures (which are all possible side effects.)
Balancing Owen’s care is hard. We always wonder if we’re making the right decision. And we don’t ever want to medicate just for the sake of medicating.
Since it takes a while for the body to adjust to a new med, we still aren’t sure of long-term effects. But we’re taking it one day at a time.
And enjoying the way the Pica slowed down. It’s a definite answer to prayer!