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.