Thursday, April 9, 2009


This post was triggered by my 17 year old nephew's issue at school today. He is a good kid. Not malicious at all. Problem is, he is bigger than most kids his age and he gets picked on quite frequently by kids that for one reason or another, think they are better than him, cooler than him, etc. Today, he was being bullied, verbally, I assume, by these kids. Not the first time. It is a pretty regular occurrence with him. He had had enough and he snapped and lashed out, again, verbally, at the bullys. He threatened them and said they were the reason he had to be on medicine (he is also ADHD and I believe takes and antidepressant as well) and he was going to shoot them, or something to that effect.

OK, here is the thing. He was wrong. He should be punished. I am not saying anything to the contrary. The problem I have is that the kids who instigated it all NEVER get punished. These bullies are the reason kids go berserk and end up killing kids a la Columbine style, and all the other types of things that have happened in the schools. If there is zero tolerance for talk of guns and killing and shooting, then there should be ZERO TOLERANCE for the kids who run their mouths and do the bullying in the first place. They should be punished just as severely as my Nephew is going to be punished. PERIOD. No tolerance. NONE. Anyone else have an opinion on this?

A Good Day for Harrison

I have two posts today. First of all, while it was an overall crappy day for me, it dramatically improved this evening when I reached into Harrison's backpack for the dreaded journal where he records how his day was in school that day and where his puzzle piece moved to on the behavior chart. The teacher usually writes a little note too. The note from her today said that Harrison had his best day in a long time!! I was so excited and proud of him. I hope this trend continues or at least becomes the one we see the most. Way to go Harrison!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

New Med's for my 7 Year Old

Monday we had our monthly visit to Dr. Rooney at PPC. She wanted to know how the Strattera was working and to get a weight check on Harrison. He had gained some of his lost weight back, which is good. Overall the report was good. The Strattera seems to be working well enough for us to continue on it at a higher dose. She will gradually increase his dose until the max dose is reached for his size.

Still, the main concern for us is sleep. He seems to have developed this fear or anxiety over going to bed in his bed at night. The child who use to beg or bedtime at 7:30 is now up late most nights. Not only is his sleep being affected but his sister is also suffering. He refuses to stay out of her room and insists on sleeping with her even though we have tried everything we can think of to keep him out of her room. Sensory Hallucinations were mentioned to me following my original post on the subject two blogs ago. Perhaps. Scary stuff. Dr. Rooney prescribed Clonidine to help us with that one. She hopes that if we can break the habit and get him past his anxiety of sleeping in his own bed we can then discontinue use of the Clonidine. Last night, after giving him the Clonidine he did go fast asleep in his bed, but at some point, he still managed to end up in her room. Frustration!!!

I also had a visit yesterday with my therapist. A full day of shrinks! Fun times. He told me that Harrison is physically and mentally incapable of controlling himself until the meds are straight. His biochemistry is so whacked right now that it is not possible. His hope was that if we get the meds straight, the behavior will be easier to control and will all but correct itself in the most part. Until then, I have been advised to keep on keeping on and to try to remain calm and to psychologically distance myself from Harrison as to provide a relapse for me into depression. How do you do this? He told me you don't want H. to know or feel this distance. Any one have a clue about this?

Anyway. This morning was OK. I am hoping H. has a good day at school. Any mom's or dad's out there dealing with this, please contact me! There is little by way of support groups for parents dealing with this and as I am finding out, it is not an easy thing to live with. So little is said about it. No one wants to talk. I guess it is the stigma attached to it. The thought that they should be able to control themselves and that its bad parenting, lazy parenting, just an excuse for bad behavior, blah blah blah. WRONG. Let's talk people!

Sunday, April 5, 2009

A Good Day

Today was a good day for us. In particular my son. My sweet boy, my firstborn. I don't know if it is a coincidence, or if it is that magical two week mark I have been waiting for for the Strattera to start working at its max potential. Whatever it was, I'll take it, if only for a day. I am hoping it is the beginning of better days for Harrison and yes, Me, as well as the rest of the family.

We started off at Soccer. The first game. He was a model child and played a great game, even scoring a goal. Then he spent the day with his Grammie Toler, until he was returned to me for a birthday party. That is a long day for a child and he managed it so incredibly well! I am so proud of him. After the party, we headed to my moms house to spend some time with her and my Dog-in-law to be Jose. He's a chihuahua and the cutest you will ever see! Harrison and Maia ran around the yard with the dog and got plenty of play time in. Dinner was eaten, and then we headed downtown to the Riverfront Skatepark where Chris works part-time. We hung out there for a bit before heading home around 8:20 to get baths and ready for bed. Bedtime was NO Drama at all. Went to sleep without any excessive chatter between my two angels.

Still trying to conquer the sleep issues he has developed. He is refusing to sleep in his bed. He wants to sleep in my bed or with his sister in the twin bed in her room. They both have twin beds. I don't know how they sleep that way. I can't get out of him why he is afraid of his room so much. He rarely sets foot in there these days. I have my concerns and questions about it and will address them on Monday when we revisit the psychiatrist for a med check.

So, today, I got a glimpse of my son. The boy I know he is under all the funky stuff going on inside of him. I hope that he will stay with us for a while.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Life's Trials

My hubby didn't really want me to post about our trials with ADHD, but I feel I must. My 7 year old son, Harrison, was diagnosed in early December. It has been a rough road. Since then, we have tried 4 different medicines and are still looking for the right one. I know, some people out there don't believe in medicating children for this and think it is over diagnosed. I used to be one of those people. BUT, when you watch your child struggle it is hard to not do all you can to help them. This question was asked of me... "would you deny a hearing impaired child a hearing aid? A crippled child a wheelchair?" The answer is no. That question ended my fear of medicating my son.

We started on Vyvanse 30mg and immediately got tremendous results. He went from below 1st grade level in school to right on track in a matter of weeks. He had struggled with reading, and he is now reading chapter books, in a mere months. The improvements were almost too good to be true. I remember crying tears of joy when I spoke with the teacher that first day, hearing how well he had done and how proud he was of himself. She said it was as if a light had been turned on for him. The good news didn't last for long.

He began having MAJOR sleep issues and lost a huge amount of weight the first month. Both side effects of the medicine. The sleep issue was my main concern, because after a month of so so sleep we had an entire different set of problems to deal with, all due to lack of sleep. I know how I get when I miss a few hours, so I could only imagine how he must be feeling after a month of struggles. So, we decided to switch medications, to Adderall XR. Whoa! What a mistake that proved to be. After two weeks, I didn't recognize my son. He was mean, aggressive and very hostile. Hard to handle. Ugly faces, actions, words. Too much for me to deal with, AND, he still wasn't sleeping. We decided to try the Vyvanse at a lower dose, 20mg, the lowest they make. Since we had initially had great results with that, we figured it was worth a shot.

We stuck with that for another month or so but still did not see the results we were hoping to see. In the meantime, Mommy was having a breakdown. It is very very hard to watch your child struggle like I had been doing for the past few months. The medicine was now working against us. He had bigger issues now than when we started. We decided to seek counsel from a Psychiatrist.

After our meeting with Dr. Rooney, I felt confident that we would find a solution and the right medicine for Harrison. We tried the Daytrana patch at a 10mg dose. What a pain the the butt they ended up being. Hard to use and, again, we did not get the desired results. It was suggested to me that stimulant medications may not be the way to go for Harrison. That brings us up to date. We are now on Strattera 10mg. He is calm. He is close to being the little boy I know again. BUT, still some struggles in school.

It is hard being the parent of a child with ADHD. There are no support groups that I can find in the area and for the longest time I have felt so alone in this struggle. I have since found some friends who are also dealing with this and that has helped. That is why I have decided to go against the wishes of my husband and post this blog. I know there are tons of Moms out there dealing with this. If this reaches even one person that it can help or connect me too, then it was not in vain.

As for us, we are still struggling. It is a daily battle, but one we hope to win soon. I don't regret my decision to start the med's for Harrison, we just have to find the one that works best for him. In the meantime, I will keep on keeping on.