Sunday, September 27, 2009

i think we can, i think we can, i think we can...

so here we are on Day 2 of the meds. after having some difficulty swallowing a pill earlier in the week, we're going with Biphentin. she has no problems taking these, since i open the capsule and pour the pellet-y thingies onto a spoonful of whipped cream, and it goes down pretty easily that way. which is nice. no more early morning fights over meds.

yesterday, within half an hour of taking the med, blithe was much calmer. she was capable of carrying on a real, coherent conversation, staying on topic, and speaking in a lovely indoor voice. i don't remember when this happened before, so needless to say, it was a welcomed change.

there was even an incident in the afternoon, when my mother and i both told blithe that she couldn't do something (i forget what it was). normally, she would have flipped right out, screaming and throwing a real fit, saying that we didn't love her and nobody cares about her and she's gonna do it anyway and on and on and on. i'm sure you've heard her before. lol this time, she did get upset, but didn't yell at us, and she did go up to her room, but she didn't slam her door, and she didn't throw anything. a few minutes later, she came back downstairs, apologized for disrespecting nana and gave her a hug. mom and i were shocked! so we praised her for her self-control during the whole situation, and told her how proud of her we were. and blithe said, and i'm quoting here, "and i didn't even say any bad things to myself when i was upstairs!" she was so proud of herself, too. it was a wonderful change, and just with the first dose!

today has been a little different. not as bad as what i'm used to, mind you, but still. i think some of these behaviours may now be habit, and the only way she knows to respond. for example, just now i asked the boys to pick up the toys in the playroom, and she flipped out, because i made the kids turn off their movie so they'd get off their butts to do their work. even when i tried to reason with her, she wouldn't listen. but i managed to get her to listen, and she's occupying herself until the boys are done.

i don't know. maybe my expectations of the meds have been somewhat unrealistic. maybe i was expecting some sort of miracle drug, that would magically transform her into that "ideal" child who never argues, never disobeys, speaks only when spoken to, that sort of thing. which is odd, because that's not the kind of child i've ever wanted. i've tried to raise my children in such a way that they can be free to express themselves, so long as they do it respectfully. but maybe my expectations were unrealistic. so i think i need to adjust my own way of thinking on this. i just didn't know what to expect, and i guess that, as much as she has to learn about life with ADHD, so do i. a change of perspective, that's what i need.

we can do this, i know we can. and i'm looking forward to the next little while, while she and i adjust to this new way of life. we'll get the hang of this. it's early, we're both noobs. and just like it took me a while to figure out all of asher's heart stuff, it's gonna take some times for us to adjust and learn about this.

that being said, we went for a little trip to michaels today, and i picked up a little something that we're going to try. because she (and i, if i'm honest) tends to forget things, i bought her a weekly "to do" list, with one space per day. i figure, if we keep her assignments and chores listed where we're going to see them, we'll remember, and she can stay on top of things without becoming overwhelmed. as she gets older, i'll increase the number of things she needs to do, but for now, i'm trying to keep her to one obligation a day. we'll see how this goes.

i also plan to make sure we go for a walk every day. i remember when i was having some difficulties last year, that getting out in the sunshine, getting some exercise, soaking up the vitamin D, it all really helped to clear my head and keep me focussed on what i needed to do. so i think it will help her, as well. i think a lot of the tools i had will help her, too. at least that's my theory. lol i'll post again later in the week with an update.

so cross your crossables for us. this is a stressful time for all of us right now, as we adjust to this new life. but we can do this, i'm sure of it. :)

and so it begins...

my daughter blithe was diagnosed this week with ADHD. i admit, i didn't really see it coming, although i did know something was going on. her self-esteem has been plummeting recently, and i couldn't figure out why she was behaving the way she was. a friend mentioned that her own daughter, a close friend of blithe's, was recently diagnosed with ADHD, and she suggested that i, at least, discuss it with our paediatrician, since the two girls are almost exactly alike. so i did, and blithe is, in doc's words, "classic adhd."

i still don't quite know how i feel about it all, although i'm certain i don't want her on meds her whole life. i, myself, have been diagnosed with Rapid-Cycling Bipolar Disorder (manic depression), and have managed to remain stable without medication, so i'm quite certain that we can find ways for blithe (and me) to live with her condition med-free. for now, however, she is on meds, until we figure out some strategies and find non-medicinal tools to help her succeed in life without becoming frustrated and overwhelmed and succumbing to low self-esteem.

this blog is my way of figuring out all this stuff, my own little outlet where i can think through all the information, discuss how everything (meds and otherwise) is working (or not working), and review and point out resources for other people dealing with this condition.

and a word about my own bias: i believe that adhd is a gift, not a "disorder" or "mental illness." i believe that my daughter, and anyone with adhd, can thrive and succeed in life, personally, academically, and professionally, not despite adhd, but because of it. we just have to figure out how...