Tuesday, September 20, 2016

The Day We Never Thought We'd See

God continues to do amazing things in our family.  He continues to bring healing in areas we never thought possible!  We are forever grateful for His amazing handiwork in our lives and for the incredible answers to prayer we continue to see that are above and beyond all we could ask or think.

Three weeks ago on August 29, 2016, we saw the day that we never thought we would see.  I still feel as if I am living in a dream and that soon, I am going to wake up and discover it was just a dream!

As you know, Joshua, our oldest son who just turned 12 this past Sunday, has Autism along with Bipolar, Generalized Anxiety Disorder, and ADHD.  The gloomy future predicted by the many doctors and specialists Josh has seen throughout the years was daunting and frightening.  They had warned us about the scary years of puberty where Josh would be in and out of the psychiatric hospital and needing constant medication adjustments due to the raging hormones.  We were told we would see a reprieve once Josh reached his 20's, and his hormones stabilized.  Being under the care of a psychiatrist would be a lifelong necessity as medications would always need to be monitored and tweaked as time went on.

As I wrote in my annual Autism Awareness blog post in April, things have drastically changed for Josh due to our journey in natural solutions over the past now 2.5 years.  In addition, the healing diet we as a family have been doing since the Spring with the intent to help Josh has also been instrumental.  Beneath the surface of these solutions, God was orchestrating all of the events - giving me the drive to fight for my son, leading me to the right people and the right information, giving us the means to put the natural solutions to the test and finding success with them, etc.  This was God's capable hands at work in an incredible way in Josh's life as well as in our family's lives.

Before making the wellness journey into the wonderful world of natural solutions, Josh was taking 10 pills a day (7 different drugs) to manage all of his medical and psychiatric needs.  With the help of natural solutions, Josh experienced increased remarkable medical and psychiatric stability which led to a 2+ year journey of weaning off of medications.  It has been an exciting journey watching him transform before our eyes as drugs left his system revealing wonderful personality traits we didn't know existed.  On June 8, 2016, Josh took his last dose of Risperdal, a drug crucial for managing his moods of bipolar and the last drug of which he weaned.  We were told by several doctors that he would never be able to go without a mood stabilizer.  In the midst of puberty and raging hormones, at the time predicted to be the worst time of Josh's life and craziest emotional roller coaster ride, he stopped taking his most crucial drug and since has been THRIVING and has been more stable than he ever has been since developing Bipolar!  How is that for a miracle?  We are still praising God for that incredible answer to prayer!

Josh saw his psychiatrist for a follow-up to being off of Risperdal on August 29, 2016.  She was amazed at how well he was doing and thrilled for his success.  She looked at him and said, "Well, Josh, you don't have to come back and see me again."  I almost fell out of my seat, and Josh was just as shocked as he said, "What did you just say?" She repeated herself, and Josh clarified, "You mean for a long time?"  She answered, "No, never unless you need me again sometime later down the road.  You are doing so well that you don't need my services anymore.  There is nothing that I can do for you that you aren't already doing for yourself."  I thought I was going to need to be pulled down from the ceiling because I was flying so high.  I never dreamed I would see the day when Josh would not need to see a psychiatrist regularly.  She and the psychologist have also been mentioning dropping some of Josh's diagnoses because of the lack of symptoms.  More time still needs to transpire before the diagnoses can officially be dropped, but we are getting close.  It's been over a year since Josh experienced a cycle with his bipolar.  His anxiety completely disappeared after he weaned off of his anxiety drug in December 2015.  His Autism has become so highly functional that if he were to be diagnosed today, according to his psychiatrist, he would not qualify for an Autism diagnosis but would instead receive a social delay disorder diagnosis.

My heart continues to soar as I see my son happy, thriving, and better than I had ever dreamed.  We have lived to see the day we never thought we'd see, and it only keeps getting better.  Josh moved into the Middle School in August as a big 7th grader.  Knowing the changes of middle school from elementary school and given the fact that he would have a whole new team of teachers and support staff, I was really anxious about his transition.  This kid continues to amaze me and transitioned so well, you wouldn't have thought it was a new experience or a new team.

God is the Great Physician, and we have certainly experienced His healing hands in Josh's life.  We are forever grateful for His great mercy and grace to Josh and our family, and we eagerly look forward to the future plans God has in store for our precious son.

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