This is a follow up to my previous post about medicating my son for his ADHD and Dyspraxia, How Its Going .
We did the Aderall thing. We played with the dosage, and once we started changing the dosage to find a good one, my kid got really emotional. Like, “My sister is being meeeeeeeaaaaan to meeeeeeeeee!” emotional. This was not in character for him. He would get feelings hurt and we’d have tears over things that were very very inconsequential.
One day while camping we decided to skip the meds just to see if it made any difference. All I can say about that is “Wow.” Wow wow whoa. It was like unleashing a tornado.
I’m 95% certain his behavior was worse than ever, my husband was not as convinced. Either way, he was right back on a lower dose the next day. That was just all kinds of crazy.
So now he’s on Vyvanse. It’s still in the amphetamine family but it’s a coated capsule, so swallowing it is MUCH easier than the chalky, cut Aderall tablet. This was something I hadn’t anticipated being an issue – swallowing the medicine. This capsule is just the dose. No changing, altering, raising, lessening, etc.
Sidenote: It’s one thing to get to a place where you’re willing to try medication. Once you get there, the technicality of your child actually taking it is another matter entirely. It’s probably fair to say all kids who take medication have an issue or four. Sensory stuff is a standard operating issue for a lot of diagnosis. We had to go through crushing, hiding, sprinkling, super cutting, all in an effort to get the drug into my kid. As if handing him a controlled substance isn’t hard enough, I then had to get tricky with forcing it into his body. This did a number on my psyche, let me tell you. And the days he freaked out about the dose being more or less just reinforced my feelins of being an evil non-mother.
After the day off of meds, though, I’m a-ok with giving him this medicine now!
So far the Vyvanse has been pretty good. No overly emotional issues. No flying off the handle temper like he started to display after a week on Aderall. Aderall was in his system for 6-8 hours and around bedtime would wear off. It wouldn’t just quietly leave his body, however. No, it went out like a lion. With 7 little words, the gates of hell were unlocked, “It’s time to get ready for bed.”
He would thrash his body around, flop down to the floor (which is not uncommon for him anyway) pull his face into a rage-look and just shout, “NooOOOOOO!” It wasn’t pretty.
Now with the new med, he isn’t at all pleasant and skipping off to brush his teeth, but it’s at least not a chapter out of The Exorcist. It’s more like Monster High.
What mortal kid likes bedtime, though? – besides our freakishly kind and sweet daughter.
I had to give up the expectation that the medicine would cause a magical transformation for my son. Managing all of these emotions is very complicated and difficult, and I wish I could say I have aced it. I haven’t. I am still figuring it out, and my assumption is that I will never feel like everything with my son is “handled”. I do feel like it’s helping him, and i’m just riding that out right now. Coupled with the fact that I see a therapist on a regular basis, we are dealing.
I’m hesitant to try anything else for him right now. The pediatrician told me that this was the last option for this family of medication. If this one doesn’t work effectively, then we switch to the Ritalin-type drugs.
School began yesterday, so this will be the dress rehearsal. I’ve opted not to let the teacher/team know just yet. As a very wise friend told me, “I’m not telling them because if they don’t see a difference from last year, obviously the meds aren’t working.”
If you tell them, you muck up the information. I know the responsible thing to do would be to update their school records, but the way this school has handled my kid, I feel I need to wait to let them know until we get some honest feedback and insight on how this year is starting with him.
All in all, we still don’t know. This is such a long tedious process to dial in the right dosage and medication. I can say that at least he’s a pleasant person to be around while we do it. … which is easy for me to say sitting here typing from my quiet house while he is safely ensconced in his fourth grade classroom three miles away!