So Much More

When you hear the term ADHD, what do you think?

You think hyper, right?

Me too, but I am learning it is sooo much more than that. I didn't understand the stress and worry that parents have to deal with, the other symptoms the child with ADHD has to deal with, all of the information from 80 different places all flooding you at once.

I admit to being naive about ADHD, classifying it as a "easy" thing to deal with, to thinking medicine was the answer everytime.

But I'm learning fast. I'm also losing sleep from worry.

There isn't a moment that my thoughts aren't with Logan, that I'm not thinking about the next step. What is the plan? Is there a way I can make this easier for him? What do I do about his teacher that doesn't seem to care? How do I explain to my boss I need more hours, but I need flexible time so I can take my son to all of his appointments? How can I get Logan to eat more when he doesn't want to eat because of his medicine? Am I imaging the renewal of his symptoms when he's been on meds for a while? What are the long term effects of all of these chemicals in his body?

I had no idea that ADHD had other symptoms other than hyperactivity. Impulsiveness, anger, lack of focus, complete focus (yes, they are two completely different things, and its amazing that a child can have both, but they are on opposite ends of the spectrum), lack of sleep, lack of appetite, lashing out, headaches, the list goes on and on, and I haven't even touched upon most of them.

Then comes in the medicine. I did understand that with ADHD, a lot of kids had to be switched from one medicine to another because it wasn't working, but I never realized the amount of medicine switching, or the playing with the dosage, and then the changes in a child's body changes how they react to the medicine as they grow up.

I trust Logan's pediatrician, but Logan has other issues other than the ADHD. He's having a hard time with the divorce, and so I took him to a psychologist, who was great, but thought there might be other issues on top of the ADHD, so he referred us to a psychiatrist. We were there for almost 4 hours talking to the nurse, and then doctor came in, handed me two prescriptions and escorted us out. He wanted to change Logan's ADHD medicine and put him on anti-depressants for depression and anxiety.

This shook me up and scared me. Logan is 6. I called my mother, I called my father, I called my ex-husband, trying to get someone to talk me down, to help me understand. They all agreed, call Logan's pediatrician. I did that, and his doctor flat out refused to put Logan on anti-depressants without first trying other therapy. His office made me feel better, made me understand, and said that down the road, if there is no improvement, anti-depressants might be necessary, but not without trying something else first.

I feel calmer now, ready to grab ahold of a plan and stick with it. I don't regret going to the psychologist, but I do regret allowing the psychiatrist to scare me, to allow him to diagnose Logan without looking at him or talking to him, for allowing him to create doubt in myself as a mother and in his doctor who has known him since he was born.

So my lesson has been learned, trust your instincts as a mother, trust you are doing your best. As a child, I never imagined myself as a mom, I couldn't see past my selfish nature. But once I found out I was pregnant, my entire universe shifted, focused on the tiny bundle of dynamite that was inside of me.

God knew what he was doing, giving me Logan at such a young age. I had no path, no direction. But with Logan came insight, and dedication, and faith that everything would work out.
The information about ADHD is still being processed in my brain, but I'm not going to stop. Logan needs me, and whether Logan knows it or not, I need him.


maria garner said...

As I think you may remember my youngest son is autistic and so I relate so well to your story. You are so right when you say we should trust our mothering instincts; we know our children so much better than anyone else. I wish you well with your life and your son - Logan already has his best advantage, because he has YOU!! Best and warmest

Anonymous said...

I too think you are right about trusting your instincts. Psycho's are way to ready to diagnose ADHD and ADD. I had ADHD before it existed, so was never diagnosed. It changes when you get older, and becomes more just ADD. The "unfocused" even more unfocused and it is really hard to concentrate. Before, I could zero in on something no matter what was around me. I'm all into, just let a kid be a kid... medicate the adult kid.

Kerry said...

I am with you all the way!!! I have a 12 yr old with ADHD & a 10 yr old with Asperger's syndrome and keeping the info, meds, & school stuff, appointments and all else straight can be overwhelming to say the least. All that plus just finding a way to live as "normally" as you can makes me feel like I am the one who needs the meds at time. A small piece of advice in regards to school, do not deal with just the teacher alone, go to the school dept (in my town they have what is called parent/pupil services) and request an appointment so you can bring all your "outside" testing results to the school and ask for the schools version of the testing that needs to be done to have your child put on an IEP (Individual Education Plan)This will save lots of heartache dealing with teachers in the future. It will take time but well worth it. Hang in there and thank you for sharing