Sunday, July 21, 2013

ADHD - A Devil in Disguise

This was a hard one for me to write. Everyone has their own opinions about ADHD. And here is mine and my husbands.

My precious, loving Landon, has always been quite the handful. He has always been my excited, full of energy, non stop talking for ever and ever. Seriously, this kid talks ALL THE TIME.

This past year we have seen a lot of not so good changes in him. He was bad, like a really bad kid. He was being mean to everyone, including: parents, siblings, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, teachers, bus drivers and on and on and on. He was always yelling, screaming, making nasty comments, saying inappropriate things, not sharing, stealing, etc. And he was incredibly disrespectful to just about everyone.

I found myself screaming, not just yelling, but honest to God screaming at him at least a few times a day. Even just for the simplest things like asking him to put on his shoes. It was a major fight practically everyday.

He was doing really bad in school. His grades were ok but his behavior was not. He was not listening to the teacher, not listening to the bus driver. He was getting in fights, saying not nice words and a few other things.

It was the few other things that had me on the phone to our pediatrician completely in tears just bawling. I remember saying things like "I just don't know what to do", "he is just so bad", "I just can't be around him anymore", "I don't like him". And to set the scene, I was in my bedroom, door shut, literally bawling all this to the poor nurse who answered the phone. I was border line hysterical.

They set me an appointment for the following morning. After I hung up the phone I just cried and cried and cried. I cried so hard. My brain was so full of questions. Why doesn't he love me enough to be good? Why is he so mean? I began to feel like a failure. I racked my brain for what I did to make him turn out like this. I started to blame myself. I felt like maybe if we hadn't had Chase so quickly I could of given Landon more attention, more love.

That next hour was a complete nightmare. I just sat there, phone in hand, wanting to call someone to tell me that it wasn't my fault. I wanted someone to tell me my kid was normal. I didn't call anyone. I didn't want anyone to know that my baby was actually this bad, this mean, this disrespectful. I just knew in my head they were all going to blame me somehow and I just couldn't deal with it. In hindsight I knew my friends would not have blamed me. I know they would of supported me and loved me (well most of them).

So let's just get through this already long post. After numerous appointments and forms and evaluations it was decided Landon has Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) and Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD).

For so long my baby heard nothing but negative feedback from pretty much everyone in his life.

"Common features of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) include excessive, often persistent anger, frequent temper tantrums or angry outbursts, as well as disregard for authority. Children and adolescents with ODD often purposely annoy others, blame others for their own mistakes, and are easily disrupted. Parents often observe more rigid and irritable behaviors than in siblings.[2] In addition, these young people may appear resentful of others, and when someone does something they don't like they prefer revenge over more sensitive solutions.[3]"

The above WAS my Landon. Still is at times right now while we work through this.

After we received his diagnosis the doctor gave us a prescription. We took it directly to the pharmacy to have it filled. However, we spent a few days debating whether or not to medicate him. We were so scared it was going to change him. I still wanted my Landon. My Landon was unique and has one of the biggest hearts I know. I didn't want MY Landon to disappear.

Within 2 days we decided to medicate. His prescription is a patch he wears on his hip called Daytrana. It goes on as soon as he wakes up and stays on until about 6pm. It takes about 2-3 hours for it to get out of his body and after that he is ready for bed. My son gets a constant stream of medicine all day long.

Pros:
He has not changed too much.
Teachers noticed a change even without me telling them he started medication.
He is more focused.
WE are more calm, so much less yelling and screaming.
He is still my baby boy.

Cons:
Appetite is pretty much gone. He has to go for weight checks every two months. We try to keep him off his meds  1 or 2 days week so he can pretty much eat everything is sight (that was the old Landon, he is a beast...LOL)
He is a little more emotional then before. He cries over the dumbest things sometimes.

With all that said, I really believe Matt and I made the right decision. Our fighting is less. We are showing him that we love him and that he is a good boy. He is getting more positive reactions from practically everyone. In the end we had a terrific doctor who listened to both us and Landon.

We feel really good about this. This is only a temporary situation. We are taking it day by day with him. Who knows, there may come a day where he does not need medication.

Things are by far from perfect. We have a lot of rebuilding relationships to do in our family. But we are, we are working on it day by day.

The greatest feeling is truly liking my son again. Landon and I have come a long way in a short time rebuilding our relationship. We are having a mother / son relationship. He cuddles with me. He sits by me when we are out. He holds my hand. My baby holds my hand.

I know it's hard to get the whole picture through a blog but this has been a huge thing for us the past 5 months (We started medication in late March).  I can honestly say that things are looking up. My kids are going to be just fine.

Our family is going to be just fine.