My *two* ADD kids

Can’t remember if I mentioned this before or not, so here goes… Meagan is now taking ADD meds. This is something I knew she had difficulties with years ago, but honestly had given up hope of getting meds to help. Our previous pediatrician was basically useless. She managed to make me feel like the worst mother in the world every time we went in for something, and she did keep our asthma and allergy meds refilled for us, but that was about it. They were SEVERAL things over the years that I asked her about or expressed concern over that she… well, she dismissed completely and never even tried to figure out or help with. The ADD she flat out refused. Said we had to see a pyschiatrist. Never mind the fact that absolutely ZERO of the pyschs on our insurance plan would accept new patients. Never mind the fact that I even offered to pay out of pocket for a seperate ADD visit. Flat out refused. Actually she even went so far as to LIE to me about the situation. She told me our insurance would not allow her to diagnose and medicate ADD/ADHD, and that if I paid out of pocket for her to do so, the insurance would cancel us.

So yeah, I’d given up all hope of pharmaceutical help. We quit seeing the behavior modification counselor too, because she said she really couldn’t do anything else to help Meagan until she was on meds. I just tweaked my teaching tactics, curriculum, and ‘school setting’, and continued the homeschooling unaided.

Now? We have a WONDERFUL pediatrician. I truly cannot say enough good about her. I love her to pieces. And so when Meagan caught wind that this doc might be willing to help her concentrate at school, SHE asked if I would make an appointment. So I did. We went and now she’s on meds.

Unfortunately they don’t seem to be doing much good… yet. Since I’m not teaching her anymore, I’m having to rely on her opinion completely. I mean I can’t SEE if she is focusing better or making better use of her time or comprehending what she’s reading better. She’s only taken the meds for a few days, and each time I’ve asked if they’re helping or not she replies with a shrug and a grimace and says “a little?”

I’m not overly worried, though. I feel pretty sure the doc will keep tweaking meds and doses till we find something that works more than a questionable “little”.

Matthew had a not-so-hot week last week. It seems the antibiotic switch provoked another Herxheimer reaction. At least, that’s my best guess. His behavior and moods last week got progressively worse from the Sat before last until the night before last (another Sat since this is Mon…lol). Since he was still taking the antidepressant, and there was VERY definitely something going on… I’m guessing it was a Herx. I think it was last Monday night that he made the comment that his temper control was “flashing on and off”. I suppose it is a good thing that he recognized that things were different and he felt ‘off’?

It’s weird to even say that… he felt ‘not right’. Weird because for years that was his NORMAL. It was his normal until he started the antidepressant. On meds, his PRIOR normal is the ‘not right’. That’s still taking time to sink in. It’s so very cool and such a ginormous blessing in oh-so-many ways, but definitely taking some getting used too. It’s strange… last week he was ‘not right’ and yet it seemed like he was “back to normal”. I don’t think my brain has really processed that his “normal”… his “old self” was NOT normal and is just that… his OLD self.

I’m talking about his Herx reaction in the past tense… last week… because if I refer to it that way it’ll make it true, right? LOL I honestly don’t know if we’ve seen the last of it or not. I think it’s at least on the way out, though. He seemed much more like his NEW self today. He did have a couple of minor outbursts, but definitely better than last week, so I’m really hoping the Herx is dwindling and he’ll be back to the new normal again.

It’s amazing how sweet and responsible and thoughtful and just plain HAPPY the new normal Matt is! SUCH a blessing! I can’t even begin to describe it.

It lets his ADHD show up more, though. That’s not so good. It hasn’t interfered with his schoolwork yet, so no meds, which is nice, but then again maybe not so. See it’s like Meagan got all the AD and D and Matthew got the H. She is far from hyper (now… when she was younger she was very hyper), but has major distractability and attention issues in all areas of life, particularly schoolwork. He, on the other hand, loves the bookwork and reading and so focuses with no problems there, but once he gets home? Oy vey! This new and improved HAPPY Matthew does. not. quit. talking. or moving. EVER. At least it’s a happy, cheerful chatterbox with a motor that never runs down! He has a little of the D for distractibility… ok, a lot really… at home too. As in it takes an hour and a half of me re-directing him to get his pills actually swallowed. Same for shower, chores, etc.

When I took Meagan in for her intitial consult for the ADD, doc mentioned that it looked likely we were going to need to add an antidepressant for her, and we may yet add ADD meds for him. It seems Meagan has been suffering from chronic depression, too. She’s withdrawn a lot, kinda glum, “I don’t care” attitude, very NON-animated (except in certain situations with friends), and has tons of the low self-esteem. Matt has the self-esteem issues, also, but his depression has mostly manifested with irritability, anger, opposition, major behavior problems, etc.

So basically? My kids are more alike than I thought. A lot. They are so very different, and yet… same underlying problems. It’s just that they exhibit the problems in such totally different ways. The depression and ADHD are there in both kids, but manifested very, VERY differently.

In both cases, the depression at least, and maybe even the ADHD, is caused by the borrelia (and probably others) infection having set up shop in their brains and nervous system.

These infections have kept my children and me in the dark as to what ‘normal’ is for many, many years. We’ve been living with a very poor quality of life, that at times we might have been aware wasn’t great, but really we had no idea it was so poor, because we simply didn’t know it COULD be better. It’s all we’ve ever known.

BUT…

by the grace of God… we are slowly, but surely learning that life can be and will be so very much sweeter. I give thanks to God for that. I thank Him for every little step closer to good health and functioning and stand in utter amazement at how BIG of a difference He’s making in our lives… for the better. Oh for the better!! He’s blessed us so far above and beyond my imaginings! When I commented to my doc that I had 2 days where my knees didn’t hurt until late in the evening, he said that eventually… in time… that’s the way it will be all the time. He said that gradually all my symptoms will decrease until every single day is pain free, balance problems free, confusion free, and I’ll have energy and strength to do stuff. I have a hard time imagining that. Go for weeks, months maybe, without my knees aching or my head hurting or my neck being stiff or getting worn out from chewing?! I said something like “I’m not sure that’s possible”, but my doc was quick to disagree. He was adamant that it WAS possible, and that it would happen.

I’m think I’m beginning to believe him. After all, the Lord led me to him. God is so very, very good!

Another good thing… apparently Matt is not the only one having a Herx reaction lately… my doc said that the reason I’ve been so very exhausted this last month is because I was herxing from the addition of one of my antibiotics. So that one I’m supposed to now ‘pulse’… take for a couple of weeks, then off a couple of weeks. He said that should give me more energy back. And THAT means that maybe I can get some projects done. YIPPEE!! Ok, ok, and some housework. blech!

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