Here we are at the end of Week 2: Better Living Through Chemistry. We increased the dose of Focalin to 10mg (half the suggested dose) and are seeing improvements all over the place.
Just to see, we did NOT give Jillian a dose last Sunday, since we didn’t have anything going on, and the difference was very noticeable in her. She was all over the place (back to “normal”) and a hot mess. Her doctor said that it’s perfectly fine to skip days on this drug, but we might not do that very often.
Mornings are still tough, but they would be, wouldn’t they? She takes her pills with breakfast and they don’t take effect for a little while, so mornings are as they’ve always been. Still, we should see some changes as we go forward, since it won’t take such a Herculean effort for her to get through her days and that energy savings (for lack of a better term) will spill over to mornings. I hope.
With the extended-release form of Focalin, we can expect to get a good 10-12 hours out of Jillian’s day. On Wednesday, it was very obvious when it started to wear off, since we were at softball. Jill was in the outfield and as I was watching her, I could see her revving up. In the span of 20 minutes or so, she went from standing still and paying attention to dance moves and the R2-D2 noises that characterize her need to make sounds.
Those are considered ‘tics’ but she definitely does not suffer from Tourette’s Syndrome. It’s just how her ADHD manifests. Some kids need to move around and destroy things, Jillian needs to dance and talk and make all the noises. And talk. With the talking. SO MUCH TALKING.
Overall, everyone is happier now. I think Jillian is doing better with her behavior at school, which was our #1 issue in the first place. I wish schools were a little more open to dealing with kids who can’t sit still, but public school is what it is, and that’s the framework in which we have to operate.
At the end of next week, we’ll re-assess and see if we need to jump the dose up a bit. I think we will, only because she’s a pretty extreme human and we need to reel her back in just a little more. For now. My hope is that she will start to make the connections between her behavior and the results she gets and that the good behavior will be more automatic in the future. Or, at the very least, she’ll have more control and be able to choose how to react to things instead of the full-tilt boogie freakouts we’re used to.