About 3 hours ago we had a consultation with Stella’s pediatrician, confirming what we already kind of knew: she has ADHD along with a sprinkling of sensory issues, social problems (largely linked to poor impulse control a la ADHD), and a budding case of ODD. If anything, this is only complicated by the fact that she is so bloody smart. (Side note: I was also vindicated by the doctor who thought the Harpy’s assessment of poor reading comprehension was bullshit.)
The last 24 hours were tough. The nurse had all but given us the diagnosis when she called to set up the consultation; it was time to get really honest about where we are and where we’re heading. For the past year and a half, I’ve gnashed my teeth and pounded my chest about meds. No one was going to even suggest medicating my 5 year old child. I would figure something out. I don’t know how many different behavior charts we’ve gone through, along with visual schedules, cartoon characters I invented to persuade her to behave, and notes written on her wrist. Shit, I even tried aromatherapy. Some stuff worked for a while. But lately there’s been a shift. Her behavior has deteriorated. She has been beyond inattentive. She’s getting into trouble at school. She’s become oppositional. I’ve reached a limit.
True confession time: it’s become so hard to be around that I don’t want to be around her – my precious girl, my firstborn child. Do you know how awful that makes me feel? The guilt? And then to think that she’s got me constantly correcting her, not to mention the shenanigans at school, and I have to believe that most of her interpersonal interactions are of a negative nature.
I try to talk to her, to ask about the appalling behavior charts. I can’t get answers. Yesterday I took a deep breath and asked her if there was some medicine that would make it easier for her to listen, to be a big girl, to earn green dots, would she want to take it? She asked, “Will it help me to stop screaming?” I told her probably, to which she answered calmly and emphatically, “yes, please.” The fact that she asked that question, that she recognizes she can’t control certain things, shattered my heart. It also gave me resolve.
I’ve seen the way other kids look at her, obviously grossed out and embarrassed by her outbursts, tantrums, and screaming. I want to wrap my arms around her every time I see it. But I also understand. It’s difficult to be around. And this will only get worse. I’m hoping the meds will help that to a degree.
I still feel like a hypocrite asshole. Am I medicating her for her or myself? I suppose it almost doesn’t matter. I just want her to be OK. Meds seem like they’ll give her the best shot for now.
So as of Saturday, my daughter will become the third member of this household taking something to try to make life more manageable. Poor Felix. An unmedicated army of one.
Cross your fingers for us. I’m hopeful/terrified.