Fun with ADHD

“Hey mom? What’s ADHD?”

“Attention Hyperactivity Disorder.”

5…4…3…

Wait for it…

2…1…

“Mom? What’s ADHD?”

Ah, yes, life with an ADHD kid. Can be crazy, can be frustrating, can be funny as hell. I have no idea if A was being funny last night or if it was just a primo example of what living with him can be like.

A had his last dose of Focalin XR on Friday. We’ve pulled him off his meds until school starts, because the kid desperately needs to gain some weight. He starting dropping on his growth chart, freaking the hell out of his ADHD doctor and giving me no small satisfaction that hey doc! I was right!

But…is he truly ADHD? Before he went on meds in 2006, we investigated every other possibility. Sleep apnea, sensory issues, food allergies, you name it (and honestly, he has issues in every single one of those areas). I refused to jump onto the medication bandwagon, even though he showed signs as early as 3 years old. But…still…is he truly ADHD? In my research I learned that if a kid isn’t really ADHD he/she won’t really respond to any medication. A responded to both the medications he was on, and responded well.

But…

He’s been meds-less for several days now and…

I don’t want to leave him by the side of the road or duct tape him to the wall or drink an entire bottle of wine by breakfast or pray to every deity in history to please.make.it.stop or anything like that.

I’m scared to death to say it, but…things are good. He’s eating. Breakfast, lunch (hasn’t had lunch in years), snack, dinner, bedtime snack. He’s behaving. It’s church camp week, and I checked with his counselors yesterday…he wasn’t hyper, and just as bored and easily distracted as the other boys during bible study (and frankly, I would be too…). And…and oh holy hell, this scares me to admit…tonight is a full moon. I know this because my full moon tracker tells me so (yes, I really have one, and if your kids reacted to the full moon like mine do, you’d want to be prepared as well!). He is…fine. I mean, I know I’m not with him all day right now, but his afternoons when his meds have worn off are familiar to me (since that’s when I tend to see him after school), and his afternoons now with no meds are no different. In fact, they’re (knockwoodmylipstoGod’searspinaroundthreetimesandspit) better. There is less anxiety, which is a big thing with him. Huge. Monstrous. No anxiety=calm kid=calmer household=mom’s liver can live to see another day! Huzzah!

Can kids outgrow ADHD? A was on the lowest possible dose for his age and size, and it may even have been too low. Is it possible that he was only getting minimal support from the medication, and instead was getting all the anxiety? Is it possible that we (deep breath…prayers to all deities of the past, present, and future) inadvertently weaned him off the meds successfully? Right before school starts? Holy hell. I know only time will tell, but I do not want to throw him into third grade (2 weeks and counting! Woot!) without a safety net if he needs one.

On top of all this, I’m still mentally processing all the information we received from his giftedness testing. Processing=looking at the inch-thick folder and playing Scrabble on Facebook. If I open the folder, I’ll have to deal with all the info in there and do something with it all and I’m not sure I’m ready yet.

So, fun times with ADHD. Never a Dull Moment and all that. But if it turns out that he no longer needs the ADHD meds, the first thing I’m going to do, with a big-ass smile on my face, is shred the prescriptions into oblivion, set them on fire, and roast marshmallows over the flames. Happy Day.

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5 Responses

  1. WOW! That is the BEST news I’ve heard all day!

    It sounds like as he’s gotten older he’s figured out some ways to keep himself under control without needing the meds, which is sometimes the point of using the meds: to slow the kids down enough so that they can figure out how to slow down themselves when they need to.

    YAY, A!! This is great!

  2. Kids can definitely outgrow it. Mine isn’t quite to that point yet. In fact, if he misses a day for any reason, he’ll tell us he doesn’t like how he feels. He can’t concentrate. And he’ll tell us that he has thoughts of doing things (impulse control) and it’s really hard to not act on them. Unfortunately, these conversations often happen AFTER he’s acted on them.

    Since ADD kids (mine isn’t ADHD) are at higher risk for alcohol abuse, caving to peer pressure, auto accidents, and just general injuries, we’re going to keep him on it a bit longer. Maybe he’ll outgrow it, maybe not. But until he’s old enough to self medicate with coffee (like his mom and dad) we’ll keep getting the medication. 🙂

    Great news for A though!! Hopefully this is the end of that problem.

  3. Sounds like good news to me.
    We only give meds on school days or big homework days – but teaching the ADHD kid to drive —— yeah I’d like to have him pop SOMETHING before we get in the car. I finally had to make a rule that there is no radio, no lane changing, and we are not stopping anywhere on the way to our final destination.

  4. That is good news 🙂 One of the reasons we decided to try meds with my son was because we are hoping it will help him with adapting to living with ADHD – how to cope when you feel restless or are bouncing around. I know I am excited and petrified school is starting in a few weeks – I’m looking forward to the break while he’ll be there but am wondering what it’s going to be like to get back into that routine.

    As the saying goes, only time will tell. 🙂

  5. Great news. I hope thing are still going well and hope the test results off the insight you’re hoping for.

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