The medicine struggle wages on.
My kid has been coughing since October. This is no exaggeration, sadly. He had a cold, after the cold he got a cough. Common enough, right? Only it never stopped.
We’ve been on an expedition to find the reason. Allergies, post nasal drip, developing a tick. I’ve medicated it all.. sometimes twice. His lungs have never been clearer.
I’ve whittled it down to grasping at straws and now we are trying a different ADHD medication. He was on Vyvanse. The docs assured me the only side effects were appetite loss. For my skin and bones son, this could have been a problem, but it never really altered his eating much, though.
I looked into it online and found adults reporting an irritating dry cough that seemed to never go away. The trick was this shows up as a side effect after you’ve been on the medication for a few months.
Long story short, now we are trying yet another one. The real ass-kicker was that the last one was actually working really well. Great, even. Aside from the near-constant dry hacking gag-inducing cough, of course… no biggie, really.
Here’s my convo with his doc:
“We have to try something else.”
“Well, we do have a medication that will stop the tick (cough) but you give it at night because it will make him tired.”
(side note: the doctors could not agree on what his cough was, so the main pediatrician just started insisting this was a tick. This infuriates me and I couldn’t disagree more, but I can only bang my head on that wall for so long. Choose your battles, people.)
“I don’t want to give him a medication to fix what the first medication is causing him to do. I’d rather just change the medication.”
“Hmmm … ok… well there is another time released Rx he can try. There is a side effect of making him drowsy so start it at night, and then gradually work him up to the morning.”
“Drowsy is not ideal for him since his teachers have clearly stated getting him going is his main issue at school.”
“Right.. but it shouldn’t be a long-standing problem. Just in the beginning.”
I am meeting with an ADHD specialist at the end of the month. She will be able to look at all of his issues – not just the one single problem – and give me a more well-rounded outcome… i hope!
Today was my kid’s first day on the new script. (Intuniv aka guanfacine) Holy rabies infected hell hound, batman! It was bad. He got his dose last night, didn’t actually go to sleep until nearly 10, but woke up today fairly human. The closer it got to the afternoon, the fangs began to grow… the hair and claws sprouted.
He was playing with his sister right in front of me this afternoon. They were getting along fine. She accidentally whacked his hand with a wooden spoon. In all honesty, it was an accident. He, understandably, lost his shit. That crap hurts!
The problem with my child is how he reacts to an event. He obviously didn’t get in trouble for something she did, but he did begin spewing terrible things to her because of it. Reigning in a viper after it begins spitting is a very dangerous task.
I gently reminded him accidents happen. It hurts. It sucks, but blame doesn’t help, and taking a minute in anger can prove very helpful in the long run. There are plenty of times he’s accidentally kicked his sister in the stomach, hit her, injured her. He turns his anger on me and it all escalates. I kept my cool until he acted like he was going to hurl the brick of an ice pack at me. We used the type that you put in a lunch box. (because little sister has hidden the 2 I’ve already bought) Solid blue weapon of destruction when icy and held by a menacing 9 year old whose fingertips have just been smacked by a wooden spoon.
The second time he wound up with it as if to throw it at me he was sent to his room.
For all you spankers out there, keep your panties on. My kid does not respond to spanking. I know because we’ve done it. All it does is exacerbate the situation and make him a now demoralized, humiliated, angry and frustrated beast. Not a contrite one. I believe spanking can work in the right context and depending completely on the child.
My kid has some really complicated issues. Depression. ADHD. anxiety. Sensory processing issues. overly emotional.
You take a kid who is often run by his sensory input, someone who at a basic developmental level cannot respond other than with a life or death response to a surprising loud noise, light, or touch, and you spank him. What the hell does that gain for you as his parent?
It’s not fear. It’s not understanding. It’s not apologies or clarity.
So with this little darling my tools are communication, patience, logic, lots of deep breaths, and fighting every urge in me to scream back, fight back, yell, slam doors right back.
He’s taught me to grow up, not to take everything my child says personally, which is a very surprisingly hard lesson, and look at the long game. There is no instant anything with him ever. Anger is no different.
Couple that with more than one adult in the house. More than one child. It’s pandemonium. It’s managing everyone’s reaction to him. Making sure despite everyone’s personal beliefs, he is given the best chance at learning from the experience. Why? Because it’s an experience he’s going to have for the rest of his life. That’s our job as parents, right? To teach your kid how to succeed at life the best way they can.
My daughter will succeed much differently than my son if i’ve done my job. I don’t need to teach her sympathy and regret and apology. She’s got it. I do need to teach her how not to trust everyone who smiles at her, though.
For him, the big one is to teach him how to manage that lava flow of anger that erupts when he is on the shit end of the stick.
Does it require medication to take him down this road of understanding? Unfortunately yes. By all accounts of just one day, I can tell you that medicating your child is not the easy route. It does have the potential for being a fair route, though.
You cannot teach a logical response if a logical reaction is uncontrollable.
So we are still on our road to glory. I sure hope we find it soon because sometimes I feel like i’m on a dirt road heading for a cliff.