Wednesday, August 12, 2015

9th Grade Was Not Our Favorite

That one time I blogged last year (ha!) I mentioned that I had taken Sweetheart to a doctor to be evaluated for ADD. I had done my homework and was sure this was the diagnosis. They agreed and in 20 minutes of meeting this doctor I had a prescription for hard core drugs for my kid. Easy peasy!

Sweetheart at the symphony this last year.
I went home and looked up the side effects and S and I chickened out. But her year was still limping along in a wounded sort of way. She wasn't making it. In spite of all the effort we were putting in, she wasn't making it--in school or other areas. Everything was lost all the time, she was beyond frustrated. She truly couldn't complete a school day in day. No way. And try setting up a "distraction free environment" when one sister is 2 and the other one has tics. Go ahead and try. Oh...but do it in 1500 sq. feet. 

In the spring an old friend came to visit with us and my parents up at my mom and dad's little country home. She mentioned that both she and her daughter were on medication for ADHD. She gave me a lot of insight into how her own brain worked and why she finally decided as an adult she needed medication. S and I talked about it some more and decided we needed to try medication. We needed to know we had tried everything to help our daughter. 

So we visited another clinic. The doctor agreed easily with the ADD consensus. He also listened to my concerns about stimulants. Sweetheart doesn't have an extra pound on her body and she eats all day long (I donated my metabolism to her at birth--wasn't that nice of me?). We really didn't want her on a medication that would take away her appetite. He agreed. Also, she's already pretty "picky"--picking at her lips, her face, her nails, all day long AND has a sister with Tourette Syndrome, so--he agreed stimulants would not be a good idea. 

But there is one medicine for ADD that is not a stimulant. Problem? Sweetheart couldn't swallow pills. So after a few weeks learning to do that, we began the medicine, which increases in strength gradually over the month. 

It did nothing. She might as well have kept swallowing those Tic Tacs we practiced on. 

Another visit to the clinic. Maybe they can increase the dosage? Maybe there is another one to try?
No and no. The next dosage up is for someone who weighs 150 pounds. And you can't split the pills. The other option is actually a medicine that lowers your blood pressure. Yikes. No thanks. 

So we closed the door on the medicine option. We tried. 

Now I have a huge list of ideas I pinned and looked up of things we can try to help her. As George Harrison said

Yes George. It's gonna take time and money. 

Sweetheart having a battle with Bee. She's such an awesome big sister. 
The list includes essential oils (which we've already tried topically)
a diffuser
a timer (got it already)
some supplements (need more research)
diet changes
full spectrum lighting
music (got one--want to add to the collection)
and exercise (got an exercise bike)

Anything you would add? Anyone else dealing with ADD/ADHD? I'm determined that ADD will not ruin 10th grade for us!

One last thing about Sweetheart: the year before last, she was diagnosed with Scheuermann's Kyphosis. She completed 6 months of physical therapy to help with that. It did help, but we have to keep having her do stretches and exercises to keep her back from getting worse. Probably her spine is set in place and she's nearly through growing, so they won't help forever, but will keep her muscles from getting tight again. She hasn't had any pain since starting PT so that's good. 
Before and after x-rays of Sweetheart's back. She said she thought she was standing up straight in the first one.
These are 6 months apart.

Well, that pretty much catches you up on the challenges Sweetheart has faced lately. She's a happy kid. She does a lot of things well. She's a great sister. I don't mean for this post to encompass who she is at all. Just sharing some parenting challenges we're facing with her. Just like anyone else. 

1 comment:

  1. Brenda! I'm so glad to see you blogging again! I have wondered how you were doing. In fact, I came over to your blog just a few weeks ago to see if you'd done any updates. It sounds like you've had quite the year! I completely understand your being scarce! I am not blogging nearly as much as I would like to either - the homeschooling life is just so, so busy.

    I wondered if you'd read a book called "Brain Maker"? It's a book that talks about treating neurological disorders (like ADD, autism, etc.) with probiotic protocols. I thought of you because one of the case studies described at the end of the book dealt specifically with Tourette's.

    I look forward to reading whenever you have time to update!


I don't get to talk to a lot of actual grown-ups during the day, so your comments make me really happy! :)