For two years I’ve kept my head shoved in the sand when it comes to my son’s ADHD. The energy it takes to keep up with his moods and attitude is so astronomical that everything else suffers, so sometimes it’s just easier to accept a status quo when it comes to getting us all through the day without major meltdowns and outbursts.
We all know that a blog only gives the tiniest of pinholes to look through at any one’s personal lives. Notable events and interesting observations happen every day but I only have so much energy to give at any one time. Right now, that level is incredibly low, but it’s time to move in a new direction and reach out to other parents who are raising children with ADHD and in the same vein, hope that I can provide some kind of insight to others.
To do that, I feel I should backtrack just a bit. Doodicus hadn’t always been high maintenance. He truly was an easy baby…god, I miss those days. As he moved from toddler-stage to preschool, there was a constant battle of wills, especially between him and his dad. In Sparring Partner’s defense, I dealt with my fair share of outbursts. Within only a few weeks of Aitch being born, he entered first grade. His kindergarten teacher had noted that he seemed overly emotional; teary at the drop of a hat; fidgety and unable to keep his hands to himself.
These are fairly common in boys of five or six, according to what I had been told and what I could find to read. But when he started to lash out physically at the teacher and other children? And that’s not all. What I haven’t told you is that he was still wetting himself. Daily. That lead to even more fights at home as we were utterly frustrated with his immaturity. He didn’t act six going on seven. He acted three going on three.
The rest you pretty much know. We sought counseling, figuring it was having a new baby in the house. It wasn’t Aitch. There’s some “stuff” between Sparring Partner and Doodicus, but it was one of those circular issues: Doodicus wetting his pants which led to Dad (or Mom) yelling at him which led to him wetting his pants which let to us yelling some more. If we shut off the TV while he was watching, the meltdown was enough to rival Chernobyl. Breakfast was the worst: the toast was too dark/light; the eggs too runny/firm; too much/not enough salt; the milk levels were too low/high…seriously. It was awful.
After six months filled with counseling, and the school district’s psychologist meetings and observations, and the pediatric appointments, it was suggested that we should try medication for ADHD.
A year later, he was in second grade with a teacher as patient as death (I mean that as a compliment). He had adjusted to the meds, and while he was still wetting his pants, it wasn’t as frequent. He lost weight and I had lost my job, the sole source of medical insurance for our family. Parts of our life were better, and yet others were not. I still don’t have a job and we still don’t have health insurance. My marriage is “blurry” (more on that another time) (but no, we are not splitting up), and I’m really worried about my son’s future.
The pinpoint of my life you had been seeing is about to get ripped into a shredded and gaping wound, but I think it’s going to hurt me much more than it’s going to hurt you.