One of the tools my therapist and I discussed about is to track my son Okra’s tantrums and my anxiety symptoms to see if there is a correlation between the two. I have these blank calendars I printed from the internet to meal plan. I took one and started writing down Okra’s moods and tantrums on a given day and how I was feeling on that particular day. I started middle of the month in December. That coincided with Okra stopping his appetite medication. He had a video follow up visit with his GI specialist on that day. He had been on this appetite medication since September to help increase his appetite and hence gain weight. His weight went from being on the 13th percentile to 41st percentile, so the medication did help tremendously. However, I noticed that he had some wild tantrums that seemingly came out of nowhere. The intensity and duration of them had increased since winter started. There was an epic tantrum that lasted one hour 45 minutes that really worried me, that something could be wrong with my precious little boy. I had read that this appetite medication can affect some kids’ moods. I brought it up with Okra’s GI specialist and she agreed that it was about time for Okra to recycle the meds, which means for him to be off of it for 5 to 7 days and restart it for the medication to have its maximum effectiveness again. At the same time we could watch Okra’s moods and see if being off of it makes a difference. At that time, Okra was having these huge tantrums that were recurring every few days. He was easily triggered by some very minor things and everything became a struggle. Even when I fulfilled his wishes and gave him what he wanted, he would immediate flip flop and say he didn’t want it. He would go yes/no yes/no many times for many different things while crying uncontrollably. I was desperate for these tantrums to go away. I am also quite sure that these extreme tantrums did not help with my anxiety symptoms. Okra stopped his medication on December 16th. He had one extreme tantrum on December 19th. He then became calm with some typical toddler whininess for the next few days. We restarted his appetite medicine on December 23rd. I gave him one dose at 7:45am. He woke up happy and ate his breakfast happily. At 9:35, he suddenly flipped and got upset for no reason and threw a huge tantrum seemingly out of nowhere. It was like a switch was flipped. I immediately thought of the appetite medication so in the chaos of a tantrum, I wrote the GI doctor a quick note. Fortunately she usually writes back quickly. She told me to stop the appetite medication and see how he does in the next few weeks. I am so thankful for a doctor who responds promptly. That morning Okra ate a huge snack despite having a huge breakfast earlier that day. I wonder if the medication had made him super hunger and if he couldn’t read his own hunger cue and got really upset/angry because of that. After we stopped the medication, Okra was calm except for some instances of whininess and small tantrums for nine whole days. Even when he had a tantrum, he showed the ability to recover very quickly. I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with my son on those very calm days. It was such a delight to hang out with him and we were able to do so many fun things together and have great bonding moments. He did have one day of extreme tantrum on January 2nd. When I was waiting for the tantrums to be over, I was reminding myself of what he is capable of and I knew that this would pass. And it did. He was back to being his normal happy self yesterday. It was such a delight to see. Okra may not be eating as much as when he was on meds, but I’d rather him be a happy child than suffering from side effects of the medication. I know his last extreme tantrum did not have anything to do with the medication because he wasn’t on it. I sometimes still worry about something being wrong with him. Our pediatrician did give us a referral to a developmental pediatrician in case I wanted to get a consultation. I am suppose to fill out these questionnaires before scheduling an appointment. Something is stopping me from filing out these forms. I guess I am waiting to see how things unfold before I subject him to any sort of testing. Anyways, back to my therapy homework. Marking on the calendar really helps me to see if there is a pattern of Okra’s tantrums and how I am doing emotionally and physically. I am happy to report that out of those nine calm days, I was symptom-free for six of them. Even when Okra had the big tantrums on Saturday, I wasn’t affected and haven’t felt any lightheadedness, heart palpitation, or general uneasiness. It is such a welcome change.