Waiting for the Effects of ADHD Medication
We did not go away for Spring Break. Get the tissues out, boo-hoo. This happens for us with my husband’s career. I’ve been really supportive to his work and demanding hours. I get it. It’s just that sometimes seeing everyone around us pack up their cars, hearing everyone’s plans for the week off, and feeling the need for something different to our routine, I feel sorry for myself when we stay home during any of the school year breaks. This year I changed that.
My solution has been to rent a cabin for a few days about an hour away. We take the dog, we bring food for all the meals, and for two nights he is able to put work on hold. The boys take a respite from their electronic devices. They flip a coin over who will sit next to the pooch; the loser sits near her. My husband attempts to delegate duties of packing the car. This never goes well. He does most of it, huffing and muttering up and down the driveway. I opt to stay inside programming the auto-feeder for the cats. Every time we go on this kind of trip, we manage to leave an hour later than planned, our bodies are crammed into the vehicle, trash bags for suitcases stuffed in every space and my hubby annoyed that his guitar never fits. The excitement increases over car ride games. I pop in an old Pearl Jam cd. We’re off!
When you parent a special needs child anything can happen, right? Anything. My daughter loves adventure and family togetherness and food kept in sight. She doesn’t act differently, she is totally herself during these get-aways. She is giddy the day before packing her little duffle bag. Her questioning is relentless about the number of days we’ll be gone, the meals, the activities planned and so forth. Just two nights, ok? As soon as we arrived, I snatched up the bags of food and carefully unpacked our precious groceries. I placed the bags of chips and the breakfast pastries in the highest cabinet. I pushed two heavy chairs to block the refrigerator. Sheesh, special needs parenting.
As soon as she walked inside, she started whining about needing an activity. She refused each suggestion. She whimpered in whinese, “Is the family gonna’ do something together?” Not now! elicited a loud groan from her. While the boys explored the property, my husband made a fire and I found a pair of thick wooly sox. She escalated into a crying fit. Ahhhhhh, cabin life!
My spouse said, “Hey maybe the medication will take effect and this stay will be better.” She has been on the dosage for three weeks, we are entering week four. He said, “Maybe we’ll notice some improvement!” That has become kind of a catch phrase this month, all those hopes and wishes wrapped around a teeny tiny white tablet that we break in two and give her twice a day.
I decided to post a question to a closed fb group of foster and adoptive parents. I got comments across the board on their experiences with a child on the same medication we are trying out. I’m made aware of the fine science of working with each person’s special biochemistry. Some meds work, some don’t, some need the dosages titrated, others need an additional medication.
She is my third, she’s adopted, and she has special needs. I don’t have any crafty solutions when dealing with her behaviors. I don’t have an easy fix for her delays. I try to follow the guidance of our therapist. I read articles and blogs and listen to others talk about special needs parenting. So often, I just yearn for her to change on her own. And now, I am wishing for therapeutic effects of a drug. The child psychiatrist told me we may need to try several medications until we find a therapeutic match.
Sometimes I question if I am a good fit for her. I’m thinking back on the pile of papers we filled out for the request to be matched with a young child. I’m thinking about the home study, my friends’ referrals, and the interviews with the adoption worker. I mean, now that she has been with us for three years and I am still fatigued and baffled over her behaviors, am I really the best match? Some days it’s hard for me to do a reality check.