Tuesday, July 15, 2008

This ADHD Life

There are days this parenting gig feels like more than I can handle. Or at least more than I can handle without tears. Emily Rose is teething and fussy. We're on day five of that! It seems like whenever the neurologically normal two have reason to become temporarily high maintenance, the balance is tipped too far toward insanity and I can't come up with any humor or meaningful moments to help me regroup.

Don feels the same, so we are seriously thinking it is time to try medication for Daniel. I know what you're thinking....that I keep saying that, then don't follow through. We change our minds when smoother patches come, but they don't last long, and he seems to be worsening as he gets older. Either that, or we've yet to maintain the kind of strict routine he needs. I admit living without spontaneity is a huge leap for me. I almost have to behave like an obedient robot to maintain the routine I think he needs. Is it worth it, I wonder? Should it all depend on my ability to be robotic? Should I just dig deeper, thereby avoiding medication? I am convinced routine is the non-drug answer, but maintaining a strict one twelve months a year? Whew! I'm looking for a clear answer on this.

He is depleting too much of us as parents, and it isn't fair to the other children. We discussed trying meds for five months, to see if it significantly improves the quality of life for the family as a whole. If not, we would discontinue them and at least know we did our best to improve the odds for our other children. With another baby coming, Daniel's symptoms will only get more pronounced.

The symptom that is most trying is his inability to give adults adequate space. He plays on his own fairly well for small segments, and plays with Timmy very well for longer ones, but every other moment of the day he is in our faces. We can't even use the restroom without him barging in wanting to tell us something. It appears that waiting for anything or anyone is nearly impossible for him; small fits of frustration are commonplace when he is denied constant access to our time. Once he reaches frustration, he is less capable of occupying himself and in a downward spiral, goes after our time and space with more persistence. There is no use trying to describe how annoying and depleting it is. You would just have to live it. All the other symptoms are manageable, and that is why making this decision is so hard. ADHD children are best described as bottomless pits of need. I had at least one a year as a teacher. After several teaching years, the symptoms become easier to recognize, but not easier to cope with.

I like decisiveness in this sort of thing, but life seems too complicated to facilitate that. At least this parenting life.


DrJonesAnimalAgentzDotCom said...

Dear Pam
I saw you blog.

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Can I talk to by email?

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Danielle said...

I admittedly know nothing about ADD and ADHD, but I have heard a lot about this book and thought I might send you the link...