It's been a rough day

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by tiredm0m, Oct 4, 2007.

  1. tiredm0m

    tiredm0m New Member

    Hi all, I am new here, this is my 1st post.

    First of all, after doing a little reading on the boards, I know I don't have it that bad. My sweet difficult child could have a lot more on his plate than just ADHD. But right now, I am busy having a little pity party and I know SOMEONE out there will understand.

    I'm having a bad case of the bad mommy blues. difficult child, DS, 6 diagnosed in March ADHD. husband only recently agreed to try medications. 4 wks ago we started Aderall. Worked great at school for a few days. Then slowly seemed to return to pre-medication. stage. Dr. suggested 2nd dose @ lunch. Again, helped @ school, but evening/night still insane. Bedtime in particular a major issue daily. Put to bed around 8, up over and over until 10:30 not unusual. Even if he stays in his room, he's playing/reading/"inventing" (don't ask - but usually involves paint, paper, glue, scissors, etc!). Plus of course there is all the usual wiggly, noisy, constant tapping/kicking/banging stuff he does in the car, at the table, and everywhere else stuff. By bedtime I would really like him to GO TO BED so I can catch my breath.

    I love him like crazy but I feel like I am about to lose it. Tonight I actually yelled at him to "Go back to bed and STAY in bed!!" (3rd time out of bed after lights out) and spanked him. I am not a believer in spanking, I just snapped. Granted, this was a little swat to the behind with my hand, not a horrible beating, but this is just not something I do! At which point I end up in my laundry room crying and feeling really out of control. After wiping today's makep on my clean towels, I :censored2: it up, calm down and go apologize to my little difficult child. He tells me it's OK and gives me a big hug. But you and I both know it's NOT OK.

    The medication thing has given me a glimpse of the child he can be, which is wonderful. The hard part is, how to get that kid here all the time. The Concerta seems to not be working at all, but he is on the lowest dose. How do we know if we need to up the dose or switch? This all feels like big stabs in the dark to me. How long does this process take?

    Any tips to a Mom who's new to all this?

    TIA for any sympathizers...

  2. AllStressedOut

    AllStressedOut New Member

    Hi Jules~

    Welcome to the board.

    I totally sympathize with you and bedtime. My youngest difficult child prior to the most recent medications can stay up until 2 am some nights, get up at 5 am and be ready to go.

    Who diagnosed your difficult child? Have you talked about sleep patterns with them? I never realized how important this was, but it can change a diagnosis, as well as medication possibilities. I mean, I knew sleep was important, I just didn't realize the lack of sleep information was important to the doctor.

    We now have to put my youngest difficult child to bed an hour earlier than everyone else. He needs time to calm down in his room and get quiet time, in order for him to fall asleep best. He still wasn't sleeping well without the new medications, but at least it helped some.

    Adderall made my oldest difficult child cry uncontrollably. My other two have never tried it.

    I'm sorry I don't have much advice. I hope it helps to know you aren't alone. Again, welcome! More will be along shortly to offer up some better advice.
  3. tiredm0m

    tiredm0m New Member


    Thanks for the reply. I was beginning to think no one was out there - then I realized those who identify are still trying to get their little non-sleepers to bed like me.

    He actually went to sleep after my meltdown..before 10 pm (a record for the week).

    Diagnosis made by child psycologist (not MD) and is being medicated by our wonderful, very experienced, family pract. Willing to refer us to P.Dr., but warned us we won't get in soon since not a "critical" case. I think we may go ahead and put in the referral and go when we can, but in the meantime we will work with family Dr. I will bring up sleep issues with Dr. next time we talk -probably Monday, since things are not going so well.

    The sleep problems are NOT new for him, but are worse than usual. Normally, he's in bed by 8 and asleep by 9-9:30. Lately it's more like 10-10:30. Considering he's 6 and gets up at 5:45 for school, that's not much sleep. He's HARD to wake in the am and grumpy and uncooperative 'cause he's overtired. Sometimes crashes in car on way home from school. I never know if I should let him take a brief nap or not. If I do, he's up later, but more tolerable. If not, he's a bear from lack of sleep and MIGHT sleep earlier.
  4. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Is he on Adderall or Concerta (you mention both in your post)? What doses and at what times?
  5. tiredm0m

    tiredm0m New Member

    He just started 18 mg of Concerta @ 6:00 am. Honestly I don't feel like it's helping at all, but it's only been a couple days. He had been taking Adderall previously - smallest dose (5mg?), at first taking am only (about 6:00 am), Noticed a difference immediately, although effects faded by early afternoon. After first week was losing effectiveness, teacher started asking if he was even taking it. On the weekends I could see what she was talking about. Dr. adjusted by adding a noon dose. Improved somewhat, but not much help after school. Evenings are rough and bedtimes worse.
  6. tired Cheryl

    tired Cheryl New Member

    Hi, Jules:

    Have you tried Melatonin? My difficult child is very hyper around bedtime as well. he is the last one to sleep many nights and always the first one up in the morning. He is very restless and does not fal asleep easily. He will get out of bed dozens of times before falling asleep. He has always been a sleepwalker (I was as a child too-so didn't make much of it) but back in May he was up all night and sometimes having night terrors.

    We had 24hr VEEG done to be sure that behavior was not seizures and then his neurologist suggested Melatonin. He takes 1.5 mg and within 30 minutes is fast asleep. I do not use it every night because I find that he wakes up even earlier than usual when he takes it. Also, I noticed that if I use it for several days in a row he has real trouble falling asleep without it.

    BUT, I do use it on nights when he is very hyper or when I am just so tired that I cannot stand one more minute of him getting out of bed.

    They have not started my son on ADHD medications yet. We want to see what effect the Risperdal has on him first so, I cannot give advice in that regard.

    I feel your pain! Don't you wish that we could harvest just a fraction of their energy?

  7. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    I second that recommendation! Melatonin!

    It is natural, you can pick it up at any pharmacy. My daughter is 6 and I give her a 3mg tablet at about 7:45 every evening.

    She is out by 8:30.

    It is not addictive. It is not expensive. She does not get weird if I miss a day.

    I wish I knew about it when she was 3.
  8. eandk02

    eandk02 New Member

    I can completely relate to what you are going through. My son was diagnosed with ADD this past February (he is 15) and have had many nights in the past years just as you described. He started on Adderall and then the dr. had us switch to Vyvanse as she said that it helped control ADHD symptoms for 12 hours. It seems to work better and we try to give him his medication as early as we can in the morning (around 6:30), but he is up until 11:30-12:00 at night. We also were told to try Melatonin and when he wants to take it, it does work. So that may be an option for you.
  9. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member


    If the Adderall was working, why take him off it? Was it Adderall XR - this is a slow release form of adderall that lasts until after school. If it was not Adderall XR, then try that.

    Concerta made my difficult child angry and emotinal - her words were 'it makes me hate you mom'. But, she is fine on Adderall. I am surprised he switched the medications to easily. They are different. I also would ask him why he did not try Straterra first. That is a non-stimulant ADD medication. My difficult child raged on that one, too. But, it makes the most sense to try it first, in my humble opinion.

    The sleep issue comes with the stimulant medications. My difficult child could not get to sleep before 1am sometimes. She has tried Melatonin, and it works. She claims she does not like taking 2 pills

    DO you get yourself a break now and then? You need it. You must stay in top form to parent a difficult child. It is tiring and stressful. Even with the right medications. Be good to you!!
  10. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Welcome Jules!

    I agree with trying melatonin. My difficult child has taken it over the years from time to time. Her diagnosis tends to wax and wane so when she's having trouble sleeping, we reach for the melatonin. It does help quite a bit!

    Again, welcome~
  11. bby31288

    bby31288 Active Member

    Hello and welcome. My difficult child is on Concerta, works well for her, usually the Doctor starts out low. If you see a little change with the Concerta, call the dr. and talk to him about an increase. 18 is the starting dose. My difficult child is 15 and on 54 mg. has been for a number of years. I also agree with the Melatonin (sp). Works wonders for difficult child as she is up and about at night also, this too was common for her, not a reaction to the medications. But most of all you will hear many opinions on what has or has not worked with all of our difficult children. But please always check with your dr. call them with your questions or concerns. Move up your follow-up if you have to.

  12. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    What you have to realize is that medications for ADHD are a trial and error process. What works for one child doesn't always work for another. My difficult child 1 does very well on the methylphenidate stimulants (Concerta, Focalin, etc), but doesn't do well on Adderall (the opposite from Busywend's difficult child). So you do have to try and see what works for your difficult child.

    My difficult child 1 started on 18 mg Concerta at age 9. When he would come home from school, he would be weepy and irritable. The doctor increased him to 27 mg Concerta, and bingo, new child. He stayed at that dose for two years and did very, very well. You might want to ask your doctor about increasing the Concerta to see if it makes a difference. Kids frequently metabolize medications quickly and need higher doses, even at young ages.

    I personally would not recommend starting with Strattera. Our docs are underwhelmed with its efficacy (they say it only works in 40 percent of kids with ADHD), and it frequently makes kids moody and irritable. But this is JMHO.

    Good luck. This is not an easy process.

  13. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Hi Jules,
    so sorry about what you're going through. I can understand about the spanking. It's not the end of the world. You apologized. Now let it go.
    I'd tweak the medications. 5 mg isn't much. (Although I don't know how much he weighs.) And I agree with-the XR. It can make a diff.
    You'll get there!
    Can your husband put him to bed every other night so you take turns?
    You're going to have to take all the fun stuff out of his room, by the way. Crayons, paper, books, even lightbulbs if need be.
    Good luck!
  14. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I respecfully disagree with the above advice. What has helped my kids settle down at night is ALLOWING them quiet activities to self-soothe. I tell them they don't need to fall asleep, but they do need to stay in their rooms. My son likes to read until he gets sleepy. My youngest daughter likes to listen to quiet music on her Ipod. By giving them permission to do quiet activities in their rooms, it takes the fight out of bedtime.
  15. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Totally agree with smallworld.

    If your situation is such that those things are not in her room, then the child should be allowed to choose a quiet activity to bring in the room.

    My daugher "writes" in her diary, reads, sings, listens to music.
  16. Debdeb1031

    Debdeb1031 New Member

    I do so know those "just please fall asleep" feelings....i have found that putting the tv on for bedtime in their rooms worked for me...they also know that if they get out of bed or fool around, then the cable card which makes the tv work is taken out for the night....when difficult child 2 was on the adhd medications, they had prescribed tenex and/or clonindine(sp?) to help with the falling asleep easy child would become jealous, and i would pretend to give her a pill to go to sleep...i would touch her tongue and she would take a sip of water, and think that she took the same pill as her bros...(they were small, so she didn't know better)
  17. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Originally Posted By: Debdeb - my easy child would become jealous, and i would pretend to give her a pill to go to sleep...i would touch her tongue and she would take a sip of water, and think that she took the same pill as her bros...

    Aw! How cute.
  18. tiredm0m

    tiredm0m New Member


    You guys are great! Thanks for all the support and the tips. We see the doctor Friday and I will have lots of stuff to talk with him about.

    We took a break from the Concerta over the weekend. That was a HUGE relief to me. I really felt like his behavior was worse on this than without, he seemed more emotional and "intense" plus not able to focus very well. Not to mention the sleep thing. Without the medications, he crashed at 9 pm instead of ??? Over the weekend we went camping and played outside and just enjoyed each other. Sunday we had a relaxing day around the house. Even though he has trouble sitting still and focusing/following directions, at least he seemed more like himself.

    Now that it's a school day I did go ahead and try the Concerta again. I am having his teacher fill in an hourly behavior/attitude chart this week to see if we can figure out his challenging times of day.

    We may try the melatonin tonight. Perhaps the Concerta will show greater benefit if he's not massively overtired like he has been.

    Well have to run - thanks again everyone.