Saturday, January 16, 2010

A Life with ADHD

ADHD...Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a chronic condition that affects millions of children and often persists into adulthood. Problems associated with ADHD include inattention and hyperactive, impulsive behavior. Children with ADHD may struggle with low self-esteem, troubled relationships and poor performance in school.

Signs and symptoms of inattention may include:

Often fails to pay close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork or other activities
Often has trouble sustaining attention during tasks or play
Seems not to listen even when spoken to directly
Has difficulty following through on instructions and often fails to finish schoolwork, chores or other tasks
Often has problems organizing tasks or activities
Avoids or dislikes tasks that require sustained mental effort, such as schoolwork or homework
Frequently loses needed items, such as books, pencils, toys or tools
Can be easily distracted
Often forgetful

The above list describes Emily to a tee! 

My oldest, Emily, has been diagnosed with adhd since she was 5 and has been on numerous medications, diets and nutritional supplements to try to get a handle on it.  She is the most loving, kind-hearted, sweet girl you will meet but when she loses it, it is not fun.  And when she loses it, I usually lose it as well.  Your patience can only get you so far even when you know it is not her "fault".  At times I think I struggle with it almost as much as she does.  I have read so many books to try to find ways to "work" with her to help her through her emotions and anger (yes she is mad she can't always control herself)  but it is such an individual disorder that there is no cut and dry way to help which when you feel you are at the end of your rope you want a cut and dry answer, darn it! 

We are hitting some hard times mostly due to all these new and fascinating hormones that are running through her teenage body!  Middle school has been a difficult adjustment with switching classrooms and multiple teachers, the drama of boys and the meanness of preteen and teenage girls, it is alot for her to take in and deal with.  Teenage girls can be so me flashbacks to my middle school years (shudder).  We went back to the doctor this week to see if we can get her meds readjusted.  We had stopped them per her request since she was not happy with the way they made her feel.  Fortunately we have found a wonderful doctor here who has taken the time to really talk to her to find out what her feelings are about the meds and how exactly she feels on them.  Most docs just refill or up doses without finding out how the child feels, just asking the parents how things are going.  So we are back on concerta and hoping this will help her, for now.  As with any meds, doses have to be adjusted numerous times to find that "magic" amount that does what it is suppose to do.  Luckily we like our doc so the numerous trips to the doc are ok...well at least I get to ask questions about all the kids making it a 3 for 1 deal!   

Emily gets so distracted by things around hr and can't stay focused unless she is on meds.  Even her sister talking in the background while she is speaking on the phone distracts her from her conversation.  In the one day since she is back on meds, she is almost caught up on missing math assignments she has been working on all week and is almost done readng her book for her book report.  It is amazing how much of  difference it is!  It also helps her in her friendships.  She actually wants to sit and listen instead of always talking about what she wants, stays out of other's "personal space" and isn't as touchy feely as teens don't like that. 

I love my daughter more than anything and if I could, would wave my magic wand and make this disorder disappear.  Unfortunately I can't do that but will do whatever I can in my power to make her life and our family life the best it can be.  I love you Emily no matter what, baby! 


Monique-aka-Surferwife23 said...

You have certainly been through your fair share of ups and downs with Emily. I'm so happy that you have found the right meds for her. You're a good mommy, Wendy!!

MisAdventuresofMomof3 said...

Oh boy, this came at the right time for me. My eldest was recently diagnosed - we had our first day with meds yesterday....the evening was awful. I have a very similar post on my blog from earlier this week (great minds!)

I would love to know more about your medication quest! I sense a rocky road ahead. Any advice you share would be great!

Laura Darnell said...

I am new to the Mom's Club, Wendy and came across your Blog. My name is Laura, and my son Justin is six and was recently diagnosed with ADHD. Reading what you wrote about your daughter was like reading about Justin. It can be SO frustrating at times. I get mad at myself for getting mad at him, but then I need to remind myself that it is not his fault. I am sure we will meet up at one of the Mom's Club events soon. I look forward to meeting you :)