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Friday, February 14, 2014

No Small Victory

    I've already devoted one blog to my oldest daughter. This one is for my middle one.
She has ADHD and needs medication. Because of the snow, we haven't been getting our mail. It wasn't a big deal (all we receive are bills, anyway) until it came time to call the pediatrician and get Brianna's prescription mailed to us. Then we were like "Oh, wow. We have to shovel out our mailbox." The doctor's office is about thirty-five miles away, so the office mails us the script every month. It would be a drag to have to drive all the way there. (ADHD meds are controlled, so the doctors can't simply call them in to the pharmacy.) The office is so accommodating because we've been going there since the kids were born. I love that there is at least one doctor still in the practice who gave my kids their very first checkup in the hospital. We didn't want to give that up when we moved to our new house. Anyway, we got the prescription today, which means Brianna had to go to school un-medicated for two days, Thursday and Friday. So I guess I'm thankful that she didn't clock anyone or wind up in the office. She didn't do anything super weird, like pulling up her shirt on a whim or posting something inappropriate on facebook. What's more, she pigged out at lunch and dinner without the medication killing her appetite, which is great, because she could stand to put on a few pounds. I'm thrilled also that her brother got an invite to spend the night over a friend's house, because she tends to pick on him more when she doesn't get her medicine. We should be safe for the rest of the weekend.

     The thing that breaks my heart is Brianna hoped that because she was so "good" without her medicine, it meant she could go off it indefinitely. Granted, when she stops taking the meds, her creative, impulsive, bubbly personality comes out. Unfortunately, so do the jitters, the utter inability to control her flailing limbs and the tendency to blurt out whatever fleeting thought goes through her mind. If you didn't know better, you'd think that she was drunk without her medicine. But she insists she had two good days, during which she didn't "cry in a corner:" I don't believe she really cries in a corner--her dramatic side also comes out during these lapses--but it does make her more sullen, a bit moody and totally anti-food. There is no doubt she's way more fun without it. But her fun side also leads to trouble. So I'm thankful for the option of the meds that help her navigate the labyrinth of the public school district in which she's enrolled. I'm thankful that there's hope for greater understanding of the ADHD child, in light of the media attention that parallel challenges like autism and Asperger's are getting. Most of all, I'm thankful that Brianna put forth the effort to get through these two days without incident and that we were able to talk about the pitfalls she might have and acknowledge how challenging it could be for her. The ADHD child has to work so much harder than a kid without the disorder. And she was so proud to be able to pull off "normal" if only for two days.
     As the daughter of a father who suffered from bipolar disorder, a man who never managed to follow his treatment or stay on his meds for any period of time, I marvel that my eleven-year-old daughter is coping so well with the reality of ADHD. I hope it's a trend that extends into adulthood. (Okay, deep down I hope hormonal changes might affect her brain chemistry in a positive way and make the disorder a thing of the past, but for now, we're celebrating small things!)


  1. I'm glad you celebrate the small things because every big celebration starts with a lot of small ones! great job, Brianna.

  2. Thanks so much for stopping by! *off to do some blog-hopping, since I kind of slacked last week*

  3. I think one of the greatest things your children have going for them is their mother. I read what you have written here (will check the other posts) and see a positive outlook (hard to maintain, I know, but so powerful), humor, acceptance and love. They are fortunate to have you (and I think you are fortunate to have them, as well...)

  4. Thanks for saying that, Diana! I have some family members still not on board with my daughter's diagnosis (even though it runs in the family), so I feel like I need constant validation that I'm doing the right thing as a mom. Supportive comments like this help so much! I am definitely lucky to have my kids and maybe they're a little lucky too. I guess it's good that I at least try to learn about whatever obstacles they face. (It's usually for the purposes of writing books, but the benefits tend to trickle down). One thing's for sure: they're stuck with me, because I'm in it for the long run, and so is my husband. (I should throw him a bone.) My kids have the nice, stable dad I never had. And of course they take him for granted! Ah, well...