February 10, 2010

Medication Changes

It was several years ago when we decided to consider medication for David's ADHD. Most parents don't want their child on medication and we were no exception. However, something that his first grade teacher said during one of our conversations about his probable ADHD hit a nerve. She made reference to medication giving David relief. That comment brought it home that this was not about the frustration with the constant disruption that the disorder brings to the family and the classroom. It was about David. The word relief crystallized the realization that the disorder caused the most frustration and disruption to the life of the disordered person and all others were secondary. Dad and I relinquished our position and moved forward with medication. There is victory in surrender.

After a disastrous and near tragic first run with the absolutely wrong medication, we settled on Concerta. It's a 12 hour timed release medication that was very effective and very expensive. Even the insurance copay was expensive. We switched to the short acting generic Ritalin when our family finances took a down turn and it, too, has been very effective and dirt cheap. With a four hour life, we implemented what the doctor called "designer dosing", meaning that we had tremendous flexibility during the day as to when he would be medicated...or not. The down side of this is that the potential for "rebound effect" can be as many times as he medicates.

As of today we are switching to Methylin ER, a generic six to eight hour timed release form of Ritalin. I'm hoping for a level performance that will encompass the better part of our day. We can still use the short acting Ritalin for evening medicating. The rebound issue with the short acting Ritalin has been causing some pretty serious disruptions in its own right. Maintaining a consistent dosing schedule through out the day has been a challenge as well. Remember me, the ADD mom who would probably die if she had to take meds every day to stay alive??? We'll see how it goes.

I'm pleased to note that Dad and I are not afraid of medication anymore. We try to keep abreast of what's available and remain very alert to the performance of whatever medication is being used. We also encourage David to maintain a measure of alertness as to how the medication is working for him and to verbalize his perceptions. Ultimately, he will take responsibility for his treatment. Always in the back of my mind is the goal of training him for that responsibility. And, ultimately, the medication has provided relief - for everyone.

Best regards,


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