Medications?

“Are you going to medicate him?” “I would never medicate my child.” “No way will I give him medications for this, my son is not going to be a money maker for big pharma companies.” “ADHD meds are over-used and over-rated.” “You know there are other ways-natural ways- you can manage ADHD, right?

When Nicholas was diagnosed with ADHD both his pediatrician and his psychologist informed us of our options concerning medications. At the time, this was not the route I wanted to go. Never once did they push them on me or him.They simply presented me with some facts and said that if there ever came a time I’d want to explore this option to let them know.

Over the last few months we have tried to deal with this ADHD with a wide range of natural remedies- oils, changes in diet, changing the environment he does school in, giving him short breaks between lessons, etc. While we did see a little change we never really saw a significant one.

For about two or three months now I have watched my sweet boy try so hard to hold himself together in certain situation. I have watched as he’s grown more and more frustrated with himself for his lack of impulse control, his lack of being able to focus, and his emotional meltdowns. He would try so so hard but he would end up getting so frustrated it would get to the point, due to his lack of impulse control, that he would scream at me, hit and kick me or our walls, and even hurt himself. When he would reach this level, there was no calming him down. I would have to put him in a room by himself and just let him scream. Once he calmed down I would talk with him. Every single time I talked with him he would be incredibly upset with himself for his actions. I would see the hurt in his eyes knowing he did what he did.

I began talking to his doctors and even two family members who raised an ADHD child. They all told me this behavior was relatively normal for a kid with ADHD due to their lack of impulse control and frustration levels. I asked all four of them point blank, “Would meds help him?” They all replied, “Absolutely.”

Over the next few days, I watched my sweet little boy closely. I watched him struggle to focus in school, I watched him struggle to control himself, and I watched him act out in frustration when he could no longer contain himself.

Then one day, I made a call I never thought I’d make….I was ready to try meds. Wait?!? What?!? What on earth am I saying? Meds? I’ve listened to all the comments telling me not to do this. I’ve looked at the pros and cons. I’ve heard all the voices screaming loudly in my head pulling me this way and that. However, I began to wonder if they may just help my son. I had to wonder if they may help restore some peace to our home. I had to wonder if they could help my little boy feel like he’s not constantly failing.

It’s been over a week since I made that call and I’ve cried more times than I can count. I’ve been an emotional wreck. The night before we began this new path, I literally laid on my bedroom floor sobbing while my husband held me in his arms. I still struggle with wondering if this is the right choice. I know this isn’t the route I wanted to go but at this point, if there’s a chance they can help my buddy boo, I’ll take it.

I know many will not agree with my choice in this and, well, that’s okay. People are entitled to their opinions. However, until someone sits and watches their child hurt themselves out of frustration, I don’t think they will ever be able to understand why I have made this decision.

 

 

Advertisements

Acceptance

In August of 2009, the Lord blessed me with a little boy named Nicholas Patrick Rudy. This boy is bursting with life, full of joy, and always lives life abundantly.

Early in his life, I began to notice there was something different about Nicholas. He was very much different from Hailey and Joshua. This boy had an energy level I had never experienced before. He never stopped moving, had no fear, and outright exhausted me.

As he began school I noticed him struggling to pay attention to lessons. For two years he refused to learn to read because “it takes too long”. He began having trouble managing daily life and would often become very frustrated with himself. In late 2016, David and I made a decision to have him evaluated. The results came back that he has ADHD.

ADHD?!? Although it didn’t really surprise me, it was hard for me to digest. I have several family members who were diagnosed with this when they were kids, but if I’m being completely honest, I struggled to believe that ADHD was a real diagnosis. Part of me wanted to believe it was but part of me also thought that it was a behavioral problem that needed to be dealt with through discipline. However, I have always disciplined my kids. I was now in a position of having a child with ADHD and having to decide what I truly believe on the issue. Part of me thought if I just disciplined him better there would be no problem while I also saw his daily struggle to “be good” and “stay out of trouble”. For months, I have had an internal struggle with myself…one day believing that this is real, the next believing I need to be stricter on him. I even got to the point that I became much stricter with him, watched as it killed his spirit, and watched him cry in frustration. This has greatly impacted my life and my mood for quite awhile now.

I began praying for God to show me the truth on it and began to educate myself. We’ve been seeing a psychologist who, along with my own reading and research, has tremendously helped me see this is a real thing.

I hate the fact that he has this. I know one day it will be a huge asset to who he is but in the here and now, I hate it. However, I have come to the realization that I’ve spent enough time wallowing in the fact that he has this, enough time fighting it, enough time feeling guilty about it, and enough time worrying or caring about what people think about him (or me as a parent) when he has a moment/emotional meltdown. It’s time I educate myself, embrace it, and embrace him.

This morning I decided to take all that I’ve been learning and apply it. I decided to shadow him as he does his morning chores. You see, in the past, he would finish his breakfast and I would instruct him to go make his bed, brush his teeth, and get dressed. It never failed that after him being upstairs for 30-45 minutes nothing would be done except for him to be horsing around and wrestling his brother. Too many times it ended with me frustrated and yelling, “Why can’t you just do as you’re told? Why do you always disobey? This is ridiculous…you’ve been up here for 40 minutes and NOTHING is done! You’re seven years old, I should not have to follow you around and give you a step by step!” It always ended with him in tears not understanding why I was so mad at him.

As I walked with him up the stairs this morning I began asking him what he was going to do. He replied with, “Get dressed, brush my teeth, and make my bed.” Good, we were on the same page…this was great. No sooner did we get upstairs and into his bedroom when he remembered he lost his wallet and needed to find it. He began digging through his night stand drawer looking for his wallet that he loves so much. It makes him feel like Daddy when he carries it. I gently reminded him of what he was supposed to be doing (making his bed) and informed him we could find his wallet once his chores were done. He began making his bed. About halfway through he remembered he had to brush his teeth so he began to walk towards the bathroom. Again, I redirected him to finish his bed first. Once that was done, he went to the bathroom to brush. As soon as he got there, he saw his diffuser sitting on the counter, and remembered that he needed to dump it out. He proceeded to do that before brushing. Once he finally got his teeth brushed, he went back to his bedroom to get dressed. However, he then got distracted by the basket of folded laundry I put in his room last night for him to put away. Once the laundry was done, he finally began to get dressed when all of a sudden he heard the mowers outside. This led him to open his blinds and stand there for a few minutes in his underwear watching them mow the grass. So again, I gently reminded him he needed to get dressed. Halfway into putting his pants on he began to wonder when the start of summer is so he headed to his calendar hanging on the wall to check. Again, I redirected him to get dressed by telling him that once that is done he can check his calendar. Finally, thirty minutes later, the child was dressed. Hallelujah!

This morning ended with me in a puddle of tears as I left him alone to play. This morning I truly saw my son and his struggle. Today I watched him try to obey me and do what he was supposed to but get distracted by so many different things. He’s not a disobedient child, no amount of stricter punishments will help, in fact, that will do more harm to him than good. I felt so guilty for all the times I yelled, screamed, and got frustrated with him when he wasn’t just “doing what he’s been told”. This morning I accepted that this is my son and that he needs me to be patient with him. He needs the acceptance and love of his momma and going forward he will get that.

Yes, my son has ADHD and YES it is a real thing!