Tuesday, February 24, 2009

The Appointment

It was hard to settle into sleep last night, after the painful ordeal with the stitches. I went to bed at 1:30 am, but didn't actually sleep until 5 am, only to be awakened for a nursing at 6:30, and then by the boys at 7 am. We've kept it low key today, since all of the children went to bed very late.

Rosey woke once during the night, apparently when her local anesthetic wore off. I was instructed to give her Motrin every six hours as needed. She is such a trooper. Such a sunny personality. The gentlemen who worked on her last night tried to get her to smile after the ordeal was over and she was settled back in my arms. I was amazed at the beautiful smile she managed, after all that! My knees were weak, and I felt like crying, and there she was smiling and laughing and enjoying the juice box they gave her.

You know that paranoid feeling you get after a fender bender in the car? The next time you take the wheel, you grip the steering wheel tightly, as though that will somehow help you avoid another mishap. I dealt with that same feeling this morning, in terms of letting Rosey be her active, full-of-life self. Not letting her out of my sight, I kept encouraging her to curl up for books on the playroom couch. It was nice while it lasted, but it was clear I couldn't keep her down. Maybe a helmet is what we need? lol She doesn't run through the house exactly, but she has this way of scurrying around that isn't calming to the nerves. Dancing, twirling and jumping are her favorite activities, so all I could do was reevaluate furniture and toy placement, to minimize mayhem. I have to do my part, and then give her over to the Lord, and trust Him.

Don generally leaves all medical decisions and appointments to me. It just isn't an area he feels comfortable with. But today I asked him to take Daniel to his ADHD appointment. I was too wiped out with this cold and with fatigue. They came back, after an hour-long appointment, with a prescription for a mild stimulant, in the lowest available dose. The doctor has had little to no success with the non-stimulant medication, which has been on the market for five years, with apparently poor reviews.

I was very surprised, since this wasn't what I had briefly discussed with the doctor. It's hard for me to be completely negative in describing any child, especially my own. It's ingrained in me to look for each child's strengths. Don, however, isn't a man of praise. His love language is quality time, and words mean little to him. Therefore, he didn't mince words with the doctor in describing Daniel's daily behavior and personality. He apparently told the doctor it has been like dealing with a seven-year-old teenager, with constant negative interaction and turmoil. He also told him about our ordeal last night, and that it wasn't clear whether Daniel pushed Emily, or whether he was carrying her and dropped her.

Folks, suffice it to say that Daniel has us all grinding our teeth quite a bit. It is hard. He isn't very likable, to tell you the truth. That is true of most ADHD kids, although they can be lively and fun to be around for short times. They shine most when they are in one-on-one situations. During those segments, one is hard pressed to find anything wrong with them. They are quite charming when there's no one to compete with.

I went to pick up the medication, and as I feared, it is an amphetamine, which is habit forming. The doctor has the most success with it, and it's the simplest and cheapest form of ADHD medication, and often the first line of defense. He isn't making any money off of it, so at least I don't have to worry about a conflict of interest in prescribing it. Nevertheless, I am just sick about it. I was prepared to walk out without a prescription, if that is what I was offered. Don feels we need to give it a try, as last night revealed, and I do agree. Studies show that kids who aren't medicated for their ADHD grow up to abuse drugs and alcohol at significantly higher rates than those who are treated.

We are to give it to him at breakfast, and it lasts until 2 or 3 in the afternoon. Basically, it only helps for half a day. Giving it later in the day doesn't work, as it would interfere too much with sleeping and eating. We go back once a month to monitor Daniel's blood pressure, weight, and his habits and behaviors.

Anna Grace is calling. That's it for now.

Good Tuesday to you!

1 comment:

Liz said...

Pam -- I wish you well with your med trial for your son. It's such a hard decision. Really hard. I also want to encourage you to push for the non-stimulant meds if that's what you feel strongly about. Strattera has been a life changing decision for our family. Our developmental pediatrician said that it works in about 70% of cases. He said people either love it or hate it. We love it. Our daughter still has LOTS of energy and we need to work hard to give her outlets for that, but she has the ability to focus and is learning more self-control. Her teacher, who doesn't know we made a med change recently (from stimulant to non-stimulant) has sent me a couple of emails detailing how well Grace is doing in school and how she "seems to be blossoming". People at church have noticed the change in her too. Nobody thought this was the right med for her, but I kept asking for it. By the way, the absolute worst side effect of the stimulant meds was her large increase in anxiety and emotional instability. It took me detailing Grace's behavior to the doctor to help him understand that while she may be prone to anxiety already, the first medications she was on were making it way worse. I wish you well in this, you're in my prayers. Are you able to see my email address when I leave a comment? If you are and you want to email me personally that's fine with me. If you can't, I'm okay with posting it on a comment. Let me know.