Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Well a alot has gone on but I havent felt like blogging...thank you for reading this and not forgetting me!

I bypassed the system and took Casey to the pediatrician and got him on Concerta. It is a stimulant medication for ADHD. It seemed to be helping tremendously for a couple of days but now I dont know. He is on a microscopic dose and can go up 2 more levels if needed. If you are freaked out or shaking your head at me thinking I am doping my kid, all I can say is that I understand and I felt like that too before ?I was a parent of a child with this disorder.

The ahndouts they gave me about what can happen to your kid of they do NOT get treatment were what really hit home for us to decide to try it. Besides the ominous and somewhat...to me...not the number one issue...claims of poor school "performance", there was alot about car crashes and drugs and prison and I tell you what it was all the stuff I thought in my bed as I tried to picture someone so impulsive and hyper growing up--what kind of life will he have, etc.

The two days we had that were super, he was a five year old boy. Not sluggish not doped not boring or "sitting still", just a nice boy who chatted my head off all day and did NOT hit me with branches, break dishes, run across the street and not tell anyone, not kick the cat, not pour juice on the floor in the bathroom on purpose, not squeeze glue into the heater vents. He talked and talked and talked to me and was really fun and rational and thoughtful. He asked permission to do stuff, he apologized when he spilled or knocked something over, we read books, we started a little sticker chart, it was amazing. But the past three days he has been mean and hyper and impulsive again. This will be an ongoing thing with the doctor ?I am sure but that glimpse of how it could be was really heartwarming.

Eska had a mysterious fever for 6 days that had her at the doctor 3 times. They ended up giving her 3 shots of a broad-spectrum antibiotic which immediatrly ended the fever. But we still dont know what her deal was.

Mickey and Greta are fighting alot, the first time in their lives. Greta is playing the role of exasperated older person and he is playing the role of non communicative pouty spaz. Sigh.

I dont know what we are doing in the fall but we are NOT all five kids gonna be home with Mama. i am looking at a Waldorf day school for ages 3 to 6 on Friday. For Casey and Charlie to go a couple days a week. The lady was SO cool on the phone but avoided my questions about pricing so I am already worried it will be unaffordable.

There is also public kindergarten for Casey, or Mickey, and Gretas best friend goes to a charter junior high about 15 miles from here that sounds really open minded (you can have purple hair and listen to ipods! woo woo).

I also am considering just having lots of activities, and being some car mom who is always driving the kids somewhere. but something has to give. This blows right now-- all of them floundering and bickering and loafing and complaining.

I wish with all my heart that there was 2 or three days a week school. Ive said it a million times. maybe 9 to 3, no homework.

Love to all,


Peggy said...

My husband has a lot of ADD/ADHD in his family. Some have it worse than others. There are a few with really messed-up lives, serial car crashes and all. But some of them are very successful: "I just like to keep busy", and they channel all that energy into productivity.

Good luck figuring everything out!

Rixa said...

ITA with you about wishing there were a half-time/part-time public school option out there. I wish it didn't have to be such a huge either/or with home or public schooling.

I hope you figure everything out with the meds.

Crista said...

Hi Joy,
I've been reading you for a little while now (8 months or so) and I don't know if I've ever commented. I just wanted to tell you that I'm so glad you are finally feeling better. I noticed a difference in your writing almost right away. I don't want this to sound condescending or demeaning...typing can be so impersonal. It's just that having seen the depths you were in and then to just come right out of them made me really happy for you.
I don't know if this is really weird to be saying to you. You can write me off as a kook :), but this comes from my heart.

Morag said...

Good for you for dipping your toe in to the medication for the kidlet. We're a medicating household too (my husband currently, and probably middle kidlet sooner rather than later). It can take some time to find the right drug, the right dose, and for the pieces of their lives to fall into place around the meds. That, and we all have bad days (even when you are on meds!).
Hang in there!
If you haven't read Driven to Distraction by Edward Hallowell, you should have a looksee. It's a good one. Helped me understand what was going on inside my men-folk and boy-folk's heads. And gave me some great staregies for managing an ADHD household so I don't loose *my* mind.

Mie said...

Hey! I've followed your blog for a while and you don't know me and I know I really don't know you. This comment really has no basis in knowing you or your son but only with my experience in life, both with a psychology degree and just knowing a lot of people. I've found that kids who are diagnosed ADHD/ADD at a young age are somewhat frequently misdiagnosed with ADD/ADHD, particularly those who started to show severe symptoms earlier than 8-10. I know of several folks who received this diagnosis who eventually agreed to try the meds and treat that condition only to find that even though it sometimes worked or seemed to work a little bit things went back to normal or got worse fairly quickly. I've watched these kids struggle profusely (one friend's daughter got expelled from kindergarten...TWICE!) only to later learn they were treating the wrong condition. Bipolar disorder is commonly misdiagnosed in young kids because the manic phases look just like ADD/ADHD and with the increase in diagnosis doctors sometimes leap quickly to that. On the other hand the depressed moods are more minor and/or less noticeable, almost appearing as a "good day" here and there interspersed with the manic crazy days. Additionally, depressed moods in children can cause them to be irritable and grumpy anyway, making them behave the same as in a manic phase. It's not until they're older that the depressed moods actually look "depressed", by which time the medication is causing an adverse reaction, everyone is frustrated, and the depressed moods seem more of a natural reaction to the way society treats them. This is obviously the complete opposite of an adult who never gets diagnosed bipolar...in those situations it's usually that they go in to get help when depressed and don't notice the manic phases because their "happier", stop treatment, and the cycle continues. Anyway. I'm not trying to diagnose your son, but didn't know if you were aware that this happens sometimes and thought I'd share in case it made sense to you in your situation. Sorry to intrude. Marie

Kelley said...

I'm glad you got a glimpse of how life can be when casey is more calm. It sounds like it was wonderful. I sincerely hope you can figure what meds/what dose and all that will work best for him. I'm considering finding out if meds would help Josh, but I'm leery about them too (for the same reasons you are). Good luck!

Matthew Tripp said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Elizabeth said...

Hi Joy,

We, too, are a Concerta family. (well, one of my daughters takes it!) I do think that it may take a while to get the dosage figured out. Hang in there, and try to trust that at some point you'll find a perfect dosage for him.

Right now our daughter is 11 years old, but extremely petite, and is on 36 mg. daily. Some days I think this dosage is fine, and other days I think it's time to up it again. It's been a while since we took her up to 36 mg.

Feel free to e-mail me personally if you have any more questions:

Kelley said...

I'm starting to suspect that Josh has ADHD, and if medication can help him calm down I'm all for it. I hope you've been figuring out a better dosage for him since you wrote this post. I really do.

Hmm, have you noticed all the similarities between our lives, Joy? Crazy, huh! They seem to be increasing, too.

kris said...

Good luck w/ the meds. We've been struggling for 2 years trying dietary changes and any other sort of thing we could try on our add kid, he's 9. we homeschool also so i have fashioned his curriculum around him, but by the end of the year last year i knew it was time. and i am finally at the point of being ok w/ it. we have our 1st appt thursday. good luck w/ getting your dosage worked out:)