Crappy day with little Energizer today. *sigh* I'm just exhausted from all that we've dealt with from him today, and when days like this come, I start doubting again.....worrying about the future, doubting our decision about medication, wondering how in the hell he's going to make it in "real school" this fall, much less in "real life" for the next 75 years or so. *even bigger sigh*
We started trying meds early last fall, September or October, I think. The first one we tried, Tenex, did nothing for him but make him very VERY sleepy. He was in a gymnastics class and falling asleep while listening to instructions from the teacher. :( Oh, but the impulsiveness, aggression, violence, "wildness"? Still there just as much, or even more it seemed. In November, after he was unceremoniously kicked out of our preschool, I called the ped in desperation and she started us on Focalin. He's tried the 2.5 mg short-acting tablets, and the 5 mg XR capsules.
The thing is, Focalin REALLY works for him. Makes him a tiny bit sleepy at times, but other than that, all we get is good stuff......listening, sitting still when asked to, sweet disposition, no aggression, basically an angel. So what we've got in our house is a Jekyll and Hyde now---without Focalin, holy terror; with Focalin, a joy to have around.
Today, we were half unpacked from our quick trip to visit family for the 4th, and I couldn't find the XR capsules when I needed to give him one this morning. We usually do XR in the morning, and then follow up with a short-acting tablet around 3 or 4 pm if needed to get us through the evening. But we were in a hurry for church, and I'm dashing around looking for the flipping pill bottle......not a pretty picture. Eventually, I gave him one of the tablets instead, figuring that was better than nothing, and it was, for a while.
We'd planned a grocery store outing for the afternoon, and as the hour approached we saw the 2.5 mg wearing off. How could we tell? The maniacal laughter, the near-constant running, seeming inability to stop and/or listen, and the number of times I have to resort to "ONE.........TWO....." etc. I mixed up another 2.5 mg tablet into lemonade (our preferred method of consumption) and he drank it as we walked to the car and got loaded up. The store is only 1/2 mile away, and clearly the med did NOT kick in as quickly as I hoped it would. Can you say "shopping trip from hell?" Good job, boys and girls, I knew you could!
Standing up constantly in the stupid freaking "car" contraption that he insists on riding in, grabbing anything he can touch on the store shelves, nonstop chatter about wanting a cookie, wanting ice cream, etc. Eventually, getting out of said "car" but insisting on pushing the car instead.......pushing it WAY too fast, pushing it into the back of people's legs and feet, and just generally acting like a monster who apparently was never granted the gift of hearing. Or of parents, I guess, which is probably what the other shoppers thought.
So, in one of my finer parenting moments, I made an ass of myself in front of the store staff by jerking his hands off of the cart handle just milliseconds before it would have crashed into our bagboy's feet. I jerked him away from the handle, picked him up and carried him, baby style, out into the store lobby while K paid for the food. And we had a "word of prayer" in my (hopefully) softest yet scariest Mom voice about how he'd better NEVER do this again, when we say stop pushing the cart then he'd better stop, etc. Still, no med effectiveness yet, I could tell by the laughing, the thrashing to get out of my arms, etc. And boy, was I regretting that we hadn't put a bottle of wine or some Smirnoff Ice in the cart.......
But you know what? By the time I strapped him into the carseat to drive home, it was kicking in. He was very repentant, almost in tears, and I could see the "angel child" emerging again. At home, things were by no means perfect, but we've certainly been through worse. In the occasional moments of calm tonight, I started thinking though (back to where I started this rambling post).........Is this the way it will always be? People ask me "will he have to take these meds all of his life?" and I don't know what to say. If today is any indication, yes he will.
But what are we actually teaching him? He doesn't know (yet) that he even takes meds, because I didn't want him to use that as an excuse, or expect that the meds have to do the hard work but not him. Does that even make sense? Am I just deluded and/or stupid? It just feels like we're putting a band-aid (or 2) every day on a wound that never heals, never improves. And God forbid if we run out of band-aids, or miss a day........it's a nightmare. But we just keep on sticking the band-aids over the spot, hoping no one will notice and that people won't realize that my child has a festering open wound on his body and wonder why I'm not actually DOING something to make it better.
This has made no sense, and I'm sorry for that, but still appreciate you letting me say it. I'm just worrying, I guess, thinking that we're masking the problem but not improving it, solving it.......only, can it be solved at all? Does age, maturity help? Are there strategies we don't know about? I don't want my child to be 100% dependent on medication to even function in his life, in his world. Is that what he has to look forward to? Right now, my sanity and survival depends on those meds, I'll tell you that much. Will that ever change? Am I taking the easy and/or selfish way out?