A couple of weeks ago, we made the very tough decision to put Jillian on some kind of medication for her ADHD. I have a feeling this will be one of those things that we wish we’d done years ago, but oh well – we’re here now.
It was a tough decision, but I’m happy with it. I did a lot of research and we tried lots of other non-medication interventions with her (indeed, we’ve been doing these things for years already with no results). But it was still hard to say “yes, let’s do this.” There is SUCH a stigma surrounding anything related to mental health, and ADHD is no different.
I’m not immune – I barely even believed that ADHD was even a “real” thing until Jillian and I were both diagnosed with it. Once we went through all the testing, it seemed obvious to me that this is what Jillian has been battling for years. Me, too. But… drugs! In my wee child’s body! I had a lot of trouble coming to terms with that.
But! But. Lots and lots of people I talked to who are taking or have taken medication for ADHD have said that it literally changed their entire life. They described a life that was a lot like Jillian’s has been: full of frustration and exasperation and sheer exhaustion from just getting through the day. Lots of these people said “if she were physically ill and medication could treat it, you wouldn’t blink an eye, right?”
Well, right. After all, her eyes don’t work correctly and she wears glasses. This is really no different.
Today was Day 1 of our Brave New World. We have Jillian taking a tiny dose of Focalin, and in a week we will assess her and chat with the doctor and he will probably up her dose. Lather, rinse, repeat until she’s at the full dose recommended for her height and weight. During that time, we’ll be watching her like nervous hawks to see if any side-effects make themselves known. Fingers crossed that everything goes all right. Today was a fairly successful day for Jillian after what has apparently been a rather difficult week.
Her doctor said that ADHD is one of the very few things that has a “magic bullet.” The response rate and success rate of kids on ADHD drugs is SO high, that he’s confident Jillian will be all right. Personally, I’m terrified – her IQ is higher than mine and if we can get her to focus and get her shit together, we’ll all be working for her sooner rather than later.
You’ve been warned, everyone.