paying attention part 9: liking him more

So where were we…ah, yes.  The medication wasn’t working.

It was summer break and with “break” being the operative word, we decided to do just that: take a break from medication.  We would be doing lots of traveling over the summer, and worrying about bad side effects during 4th of July fireworks just didn’t sound like fun.  Could the Cheese still benefit from taking it?  Sure.  But being on vacation with a sullen, droopy child who could care less wasn’t what we wanted.  So we traveled and enjoyed our summer, medication free.

But I also knew that the summer was probably a good time to test a new medication.  I could have him home with me all day to actually see what he was like on his meds.  You see, most of the day when the meds are at their best, the Cheese is at school.  By the time he came home from school, the meds had started to taper off.  Trying a new med during the summer was probably a good idea, so we did just that.

The doctor decided to have him try Adderall this time.  The Cheese has been on 5mg for the last month and life is lovely.  He can stay both focused and in a good mood at the same time.  His appetite lessens a little during lunchtime, but not enough for concern and the sleeplessness is nonexistent.  Lovely indeed!

This might sound terrible coming out of my mouth, but here it goes: I’m starting to like my child more.

Those of you who have gone through this process can shake your head in agreement because you’ve been through the darkness that comes with being so incredibly frustrated with your child that you slowly, over time, start to dislike your own child.  You love them–of course, you love them!  That never, ever, ever stops.  But liking your child is totally different than loving your child.  Ever had a spouse that drives you crazy, frustrates you to no end?  And you find yourself thinking, “I love you, honey.  But right now I just don’t like you.”  Yeah, that can happen with your children too.

I went for a very long time being frustrated with the Cheese without explanation.  We didn’t know that he had ADD.  All we knew was that we had a child who was suddenly not meeting his full potential at school, was forgetful, messy, and distracted, and all of these things were causing discipline problems, mostly because it caused us to butt heads with him every day, all day.  The fact that I was having to tell him at least 10 times every morning to go put on his socks was driving me insane.  I would drop him off at school after a crazy morning asking myself questions like, “What am I doing wrong?  Am I not communicating effectively?  Are we raising a defiant little jerk?”  No.  That simply couldn’t be.  This was my good citizen.  My sweet boy that everyone always loved.

What was happening?

ADD was happening.

And now that we know that; now that he is effectively being treated, I like my child again.

So with the medication working for now (because heaven knows that could change at any moment), it was time to focus on the other issues affectionately called co-morbids.

Doesn’t that sound like fun?  Stay tuned.  “Next time on the Real Housewives of Children with ADD…”

One Comment

  1. Rita

    I've been meaning to tell you how much I appreciate you writing this series. My boy also struggles with focus and concentration. I've spoken with the pediatrician about it and she seems mostly unconcerned. She said “all boys this age are flight-y”. But the way you describe the Cheese sounds EXACTLY like Will. He just CAN'T pay attention. So frustrating.

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