the decision.

{This post was written a few weeks ago and is the first in a line of “we choose meds” posts that I’ve been writing since.  We wanted to get through the initial stages of medication privately before we told anyone. Without spoiling the ending 😉 I can tell you our life is forever, fabulously changed.}

 

This time last  year, as we sat down with the professionals at Jordan’s school and learned their take on his “setbacks,” the first words out of my mouth were, “We will pursue all lines of help possible, but we will not be drugging our kid so don’t even bother going there.”

Last night, at 5:45 pm we sat in our pediatrician’s office and said, “Yes.  We feel like it’s time to look into the medications that could help him.”  It’s as simple as that.  It’s time.

I won’t be publishing this post for quite a while, if ever, but I do want to write it today.  It’s important I write it now both for me and so that eventually, if I do decide to share this, it will be the way I actually felt all the way through it.  Today, as he takes his first 18 mg dose and heads out the door for school, I feel like a nervous wreck.  He knows he’s taking special medicine that might help him slow his engine down and make it easier to listen to his teacher.  He also knows it might make him feel funny, which Mommy needs to know about right away.  He knows his heart might feel like it’s beating really fast and he needs to tell his teacher.

What he doesn’t know, is that Mommy is praying her face off that this special medicine only gives him all the benefits and none of the side effects.  Is that too much to ask?  I honestly don’t think so.  I don’t want him to get a nervous tic or to begin stuttering worse than he ever has.  And that’s just the beginning.  I don’t want him to have heart palpitations or fits of aggression.  I just want him to have a good day.

I just want him to be able to sit in his chair and complete a worksheet that kids half his age can do without a problem.  I want him to be able to sit on the floor with the rest of his friends during carpet time rather than in a chair next to the teacher to keep him from rolling around on the floor.  I want him to walk down the hallway rather than jump and fall and roll down the hallway.  I want him to learn to read and understand that numbers are more than just a symbol on the page but they mean the same thing as the blocks he has stacked up in front of him.  These may seem like silly things to care about.  But they aren’t.

They aren’t silly because that’s what’s important to the seven year old giant child that crawls up on my lap and tells me that today he wants to put the plastic bag on his head and stop breathing because he’s stupid.  There’s nothing silly about feeling so different and so stupid than everyone else around you that you just want to give up.

And that’s why, at 5:45 pm I sat across from our doctor and told him that yes, we are ready. We choose meds.  Not because I’m a lazy parent that just wants the meds to turn my kid into the perfect child without me doing any of the work.  Not because I want to appease the teachers that expect too much of little boys these days and don’t let them be “boys.” Because in 2013 society expects seven year old little boys to be able to read and count to 100.  And 85% of seven year old boys do know how to do that without any problem.  And trust me, seven year old boys know if they can’t do something that “everyone else” can do, and it makes them feel stupid and for some of them, it makes them depressed at times.

We aren’t telling anyone other than his teachers about our decision right now.  Someday we will, but he certainly doesn’t need the added pressure of being in a fishbowl as it gets figured out right now. It’s time he’s just allowed to be a seven year old little boy.

 

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21 thoughts on “the decision.

  1. I read this and felt it. Not because I’ve experienced anything like this, but I think I’m the same school of thought as you. Meds are a no no. Again, not because they’re always bad, but because we seem to jump right into them at the drop of a hat. It’s a fact…we have way too many overmedicated kids. But, does that mean NO kids should be medicated? Absolutely not. You were worried people would think you too the easy road? No way Jose (or should I say Josie). You took the really hard road. You actually put thought into medicating where so many don’t. Yes, you’ll suffer the stigma and be thought of as one of the others who jumped into it because you’re not necessarily sharing the journey publicly. But, in the end…fuck those people. You’re doing what’s right for your boy in the moment, with thought, consideration and purpose. Now…tell him to go climb a tree. Or kill rollie pollies with a magnifying glass. Or light paper airplanes on fire and throw them. Wait…can I be 7 with him?!

  2. Kel, I have been silently following you on this issue as we have struggled for 3 years with Camrynn (8) and this year, about a month ago decided that we alone could not, despite all our best efforts for a non-medicated solution, “fix” the issue. We were absolutely against all medication, but after three years of struggling in school, not being able to concentrate, retain, etc… we finally came to the realization that our refusal of medication was inhibiting her learning capabilities. Camrynn has been diagnosed with ADD, while I know our kids have different issues, the struggle to medicate is the same. I cry just thinking about it, thinking that we have failed her, but in the end, if the medication works and helps her to be successful that we would have failed by not at least trying. Hugs to you girl!

    • It’s such a tough choice, Christy. I know we are similar mothers in a lot of ways and the ADD/ADHD road is not an easy one for moms like us! I love Jordan and all his personality and the idea of him becoming a zombie child without all that good stuff was unacceptable. I don’t know how you feel with Camrynn, but that has not been the case with us at all. If anything, more of his personality shines because I’m not so consumed with the other crap.
      Good for you and Camrynn for making the tough choices. Cheers to us for being the best moms out there! 🙂

      • So funny that our thoughts/reasoning for not wanting to medicate are the same. I told the doctor the exact same thing, “I don’t want her walking around like a zombie”! I also didn’t want the medication to change her, to alter her personality or change her character. Her teacher this year also said that she didn’t want her to change and that it’s children like Camrynn that end up being our future leaders! I couldn’t have asked for a better teacher this year. I also didn’t go with their first choice of medication, I researched, talked to other parents, talked to pharmacists, people must have thought I was nuts but, it’s MY child and I needed to do what was best for her. We ended up finding a great one and so far, no bad side effects, no heart racing, no weight loss, no headaches. Best wishes to you guys, that everything stays positive. We are monitoring Camrynn closely, as I am sure you are with Jordan, to make sure it remains to be in her best interest, the medication, the dosage, etc…

  3. We chose the ‘no meds’ route with my son, ONLY at the encouragement of his teachers, his counselors and our doctor. Some children DESPERATELY need those meds to help them. Some kids don’t need them– they just need a tweak in how we parent. For MY kid, I’m glad we chose the road we did– but I taught pre-school for a lot of years, babe– and one thing I can say is that in a lot of cases, those meds can be LIFE CHANGING — for the better. As always I’m going to be my normal, rude self– but honestly babe, fuck people. You did all the research you could do, and made a choice based on what is best for YOUR kid and YOUR family. Screw anyone who has shit to say otherwise. They aren’t living in your shoes, and that isn’t THEIR kid. I’m glad you did this and I’m hoping against hope that it improves ya’lls shiz!

    • Thanks! 🙂
      We have been pleasantly surprised by the support we’ve felt as we have let the important people in on our decision. I think knowing how much we’ve researched and how hard we’ve tried every other avenue has made people realize that, for us, there wasn’t any other option at this time.

      And to hear Jordan talk about how much he loves how he feels now is amazing. I’m glad we did what we did.
      Thanks for the support- as always!

  4. Awesome post! My 8 yo son has ADHD and we went through the same steps as you for the same reasons. It’s frustrating to get “the look” from people when they find out your kid is on meds.

    And while I still wish he didn’t have to take them, I know he’s better off (went from failing everything to gifted and talented in the blink of an eye).

    As with your son, mine likes to take his meds. He feels more in control of himself when he’s taking them.

    Hang in there – there will always be naysayers and critics. But you are the mom. You’ve done the research and want what’s best for him! I challenge anyone who says meds are the easy route – they most certainly are NOT! The easy route would be to give up on him – which is absolutely not an option!

    Lots of luck and I’ll be watching your journey! We’ve been through several med changes and have developed some coping strategies at home, so feel free to holler if you have questions or just need to vent!

  5. You are honoring Jordan and the life God has planned for him by trying everything possible to help him. This is just the next step. You know your child and what his spirit needs to soar. I’m so proud of you. I know the journey is a hard one…

  6. you’re such an awesome mom and jim is an awesome dad. thanks for sharing everything you go through. you inspire me on many levels. xo

  7. I know my reply won’t be the only one like this….I am the parent of a six (almost seven) year old daughter diagnosed with ADHD in Kindergarten. What a struggle it has been! From not even believing in that diagnosis as even possible (think “Not my child”), to not only embracing the diagnosis but agreeing, finally, to medicate her and then watching that very same child excel and get sparkle back in her eye after beginning the meds. So, I’ve been there done that, and from my experience with the meds so far, I would have been doing her a great injustice by not giving them to her to allow her the chance to just be a girl! My prayers are with you as you traverse this difficult trail with him.

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