Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, May 4, 2013.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Can I just share how I'm feeling without getting messages about how I'm making a mistake or being foolish or whatever? :) Well, I can't stop you saying whatever you like but I'm just saying I'd prefer just to share how it is for me... And I don't mean to step on any toes or belittle anyone else's decisions by what I say. This is purely personal.

    We saw J's psychiatrist on Friday. I talked about wanting to try stimulants with J just to see and she has given me a prescricption for Quasym (a variation of the Ritalin molecule marketed in France), for 28 days, which I got from the pharmacy this morning.

    The thing is... when I think of giving him these things, I feel somewhat sick. I feel I cannot do it, I cannot justify putting that stuff into his little body! I know it is supposed to be just a trial but I feel terrified of it... of making him sick, nauseous, unable to sleep. I am sure if I told him what it was, he would object, say he doesn't want it. At what age does a patient have rights to decide their own treatment??

    Starting Wednesday, there is three days holiday in France and we are going to England for the long weekend on Thursday. I thought I might start it on the Wednesday so that I would be with him and he would have settled down a bit for next week at school.

    But it's as if I'm proposing to give him cocaine! I don't know that I'm going to be able to do it, and I suspect they may just get put away in a high cupboard.

    Call me ridiculous... but this is how it is...
  2. Ktllc

    Ktllc New Member

    Sweetie, it is ok to "feel" the way you do. Feelings are never wrong. on the other hand, that's why we have a brain. I'm not implying anything negative, so just bare with me for a second.
    The logic of our brain counter balances our emotional being.
    When you asked the doctor for a prescription, you were being rational and logic.
    Now that it is time to do it, your emotions are taking over.
    I feel you have been going back and forth for a very long time now.
    No one knows for sure how J will/would react to medications. And the only way to know if it would be a good solution for him is by trying.
    Only you can make the decision, but my advice: make a decision that is well balanced between heart and brain.
    medications have been suggested to V numerous times. I felt it was not time yet and wanted to try other ways (therapies). Now, I'm glad we took this route because thanks to accomodations, understanding and therapies, nobody would suggest medications anymore. I was warned that as he grew up, the anxiety might come back and medications would be discussed again (typical for spectrum kiddos to suffer from anxiety that can be crippeling).
    Right now, you seem to think that J's behavior is still symptomatic, not in accordance with what is considered "ok" by society.
    Is there other routes you would like to explore that have not been explored yet? If the answer is no, maybe give the medications a try. That would be my logic.
    Good luck in your decision making.
  3. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Hi Ktllc. Thanks for your views!
    It's not J's behaviour that has tipped me over the edge into thinking I could try medications and I don't think it ever would... I simply cannot justify giving him a strong medication (if I could count the number of times I have heard "ce n'est pas du Doliprane, quand meme :) ) because society finds his behaviour challenging at times.
    What has brought me to this point is the neuro-psy. evaluation that showed he is very bright and that his capacity to concentrate is really, really low. I wanted to help him at school. But when it comes to it... this is what happens!
    I do actually feel we haven't tried everything we could. What hasn't helped is that my communication with the rigid, closed-minded principal has virtually broken down. I would need to open it up again and start fighting to get more accommodations in school, etc.
    To be honest... I think I was very curious to see. But when it comes to it I just feel like I can't use J as a guinea pig to satisfy my curiosity.
  4. HaoZi

    HaoZi CD Hall of Fame

    I was the same about medications for my daughter. I'll admit, however, that mine is much harder to handle than J, though.
    What you have, even if you try it, might be the right medication for J. It might not, and if it's not, it's not the end of the world, either, as there are non-stimulant options out there, too. And you can choose not to try it, too. There are still other options out there that you haven't tried yet - gluten-free diets, magnesium supplements, allergy testing (as some allergies can contribute to ADHD behavior as well, and dealing with those allergies might help the behavior better than a stimulant medication).

    You're not out of options yet should you choose not to try it, and there's nothing wrong with feeling hesitant to try it. I tried EVERYTHING before I gave up and went with medications as a last resort. You're his mom and want what is best for him, not what is best for those around him.
  5. TeDo

    TeDo CD Hall of Fame

    Hon, I went through the same emotional struggle you have. What it boiled down to for me was the explanation I got from a doctor friend of mine. Here's what he said:

    "There are many chemicals in our brains that make it work the way it's supposed to. When there aren't the right chemicals or the right amounts of them, the brain can't work the way it is supposed to. It's similar to a diabetic not having enough insulin. Thank God there is a way to produce this chemical so it's very similar to what the human body produces. The problem with brain chemicals is that there are so many different ones working together, they haven't been able to isolate them and then manufacture those specific ones individually. For many of the illnesses caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, the best we can do is try to make up for it with ones that are available. Yes, there can be some side effects but if we can find the right one, difficult child 1's brain can get as close to "normal" as is possible and allow him to use it the way it was intended to be used."

    I'm not going to criticize anyone for their feelings or beliefs. We've had some nightmares with medications while trying to find the right one. Now that we have, I wouldn't change a thing. difficult child 1's intelligence shows now and he is able to think clearly and learn better and his behavior is more socially acceptable. He's able to live up to his potential now. Yes, we still have some spectrum stuff to deal with but without the hyperactivity and attention issues, he's able to learn. When difficult child 1 asks about the medications, I simply explain that his brain works way too fast and the medications are to help his mind slow down enough to think and learn. He's almost 15 and totally understands the difference. HE notices the difference now when he forgets to take it. We've had NO side effects with the medications he's on now. He's happy with his life and so am I.

    You do what you feel is appropriate for J. Only you can decide what will help J be the most he can be. If accommodations alone will work, then it's worth the fight to get them in place. In our case, that wasn't enough. It is a very scary prospect. In our case, I looked at his overall quality of life and future life. We had to have a combination of both to make it better for him.
  6. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Please understand that most of us have been there done that. No parent wants their child to even take an OTC medication for a headache. I was able to opt for ADHD medications by thinking "what if she was having seizures? would I give her medications?" I did it. I was a nervous wreck but made sure that I presented the pill as simply "something your Dr. X prescribed" and then I watched to see what would happen. These medications are QUICK IN-QUICK out". Personally I have never know in fifty years anyone who had a negative side effect but if it happens you just don't keep giving the pill. It is not uncommon for one type of medication to not work but a different one to be effective (refer again to the Barclay video that you shared a couple of weeks ago). In answer to your question "how old before a child can decide?" Goodness Gracious. A child is dependent on adults who love him/her. The answer is a minimum of 16 or so!

    Use your very bright brain and don't be ruled by your heart. Whatever choice you make is yours and J should not be involved in any way other than taking it when his Mother hands it over. If its' hard for you to analyze it would be impossible for a six year old to input. Hugs. DDD
  7. ksm

    ksm Well-Known Member

    I completely understand your hesitancy to give a medication to a child. But if you do it, why wait until you are on a trip and away from home? I think I would want to give it at home and early in the week when the doctor's office would be available to take your phone calls in case you have any questions. Good luck - it is a tough decision. KSM
  8. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Good point, ksm. DDD
  9. whatamess

    whatamess New Member

    Totally been there. But if you are going to do it, unless there are fairly serious side effects, you have to stick with it for a little bit to really give it a fair shot. I accepted many a samply of rx medications and up on the shelf they sat. My main problem with some of these medications is that unlike certain medications for other health conditions, lots of times the people who developed the medications don't know the reasons the medications work or by what manner to begin with- it's all just an experiment with my child as the guinea pig!
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I had the advantage of having the same diagnosis as my kids... and needing the same medication... and I got mine first (a couple years before...) I really don't know if I would have felt the same about them going on these medications, if I hadn't experienced it for myself. Really, NOT an easy decision.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Malika I think you should you feel some sense of comfort that you are starting with a medication that has been around for many many years. Ritalin is one of the oldest and best known medications known for the treatment of these kids. It is extremely safe. Like DDD said, it is fast in and fast out. You will know fast how it works for him. You are not giving him poison or some illegal drugs. In fact, the literature has shown that children who have adhd and are treated adequately with medication as children are less likely to turn to illegal drugs as teens and adults.

    With this medication you can just give it at school if that is the place he is having the most problems. When Jamie was in the very early grades, that is the only place he took it and most years he took the summers off unless we had something major he had to be involved in. Of course Cory was a different story.

    It is your choice of course but you might want to at least give it a try for a week or two since you did ask the doctor and the doctor felt it was okay to give you the medication.
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Well, it's good to know I'm not alone in my emotional turmoil :)

    The doctor said I should start it on a day when I am with him all day, and I would not want to start giving it when he has school days right away before I could see how he is reacting. As for alternative stuff, well, I've tried quite a lot. He is currently on a long-term homeopathic course of treatment for ADHD, has taken magnesium, zinc, iron and omega 3 for a long time. We are certainly not at "last resort" stage - he's only six, after all.

    Interestingly, it is apparently a complete misconception that stimulants work differently for non-ADHD people. They don't. In both cases, they sharpen focus and attention. Also, if you read some of the mass of literature available on the net, the jury is definitely, definitely out about the safety and even the long-term efficacity of stimulants. Serious studies have shown that apparently it has little impact on academic performance in the longer term. That is interesting. No doubt the child becomes easier to handle in most cases... but at what cost to the child?

    Well, you might find it strange but I do think a child who voices a strong objection to taking these medications has a right to be heard. Mostly, from what I hear, ADHD children feel themselves different and excluded, have a low opinion of themselves and welcome the improvement to their lives that stimulants bring. J has never said he feels different or worse than other kids and has always said he doesn't want to be any different than he is... Since I do have the habit of being honest with him, it would be hard to lie about what these medications are and what they're for.

    I have a few more days to reflect. I may go ahead with the experiment, but I know I will feel guilty and hate myself for giving them. That is to do with me, not J. If I can get myself into a place where I honestly feel he may benefit and I want to give them a trial because of that, I may go ahead.

    Thanks for your supportiveness.
  13. SuZir

    SuZir Well-Known Member

    Malika: I don't know if I would had been willing to give medications to my difficult child to alter his behaviour when he was six. And he certainly was more in trouble than J (but mostly in a way they don't have medications for.) But remember that you are the one who have to make a decision. J is just too young to have informed decision at least before trying medications. How stimulants work and what they are for is just too abstract for a 6-year-old to grasp. If you decide to give it a try and after trying stimulants J has a strong opinion, that I would at least listen carefully. But even then it would had to be your decision.
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    We tried everything I could think of with Miss KT, and then went with medications when she was in the fourth grade. Looking back, I wish I'd had that option earlier, because of her social difficulties in those early years. Life wasn't perfect - I didn't expect it to be - but she was able to focus in class and got along better with her peers.
  15. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's where things aren't really clear for me. I don't know whether J has social difficulties or whether, if he could be said to have them, they would be improved by medications. He is a character, sweet and funny, maddening and obstinate but really a nice boy despite his impulsive outbursts. People see that about him. Nonetheless there are certainly episodes where he will do things that other kids find difficult or incomprehensible, and probably he would be more like everyone else if he was on medications. But he has such fizz and sparkle and personality that it's just so hard to imagine giving him drugs to make him easier. It's so hard to explain but if you could see him it'd probably make sense.

    At the same time, the only way we can know is by trying them.
  16. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I would not give him the medications just yet. Obviously, his life is not terrible enough or you would not have any doubts about giving them. What I mean is when you are watching your child fall apart emotionally because they are struggling with every aspect of their life (friends, academics, relationships, cleaning, etc....everything) you get to the point where you are willing to try the things you were against.

    I just don't think you are there yet. I just don't get that from your posts yet.

    Please do not assume we went to the drug choice without serious motherly pain. We all struggled emotionally, mentally and sometimes physically when making this decision. Maybe you feeling like we all went into this without pain is the misconception that is causing you to look to medications too early.
  17. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sorry if my post is against the wishes you stated in your first sentence....but I think it is an important aspect for you to consider. If you have been thinking we all went to medications without hesitation, that is incorrect.
  18. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Thank you, busywend, that is helpful. No, I don't think I imagined that people give medications easily. I do think there is partly a cultural factor at play because you are more used to them in the States than we are here, certainly in France. But I am glad and relieved to know, as I said, that my feelings are just how it is for all of us.
  19. recoveringenabler

    recoveringenabler Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Malika, I have no experience with what you're going through, I just wanted you to know that I read your post. Mothering our kids has so many challenges and struggles and choices......your deep love for your little tyke shows through in every word...........your worry about doing the right thing is born out of that love, (as we all know so well) ..........whatever your choice is, he is so fortunate that in the great mystery of life, you chose him. (((HUGS))))
  20. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Malika, I have an idea what studies you are reading but the mainstream studies have tested the stimulant medications for many years and found them safe. Especially ritalin. There have been other studies done by groups who have an agenda of their own. You can find a study that will show that spit if ingested in small amounts over a long period of time will cause death.

    It is not true that stimulants work the same way in the brains of ADHD people and those of non ADHD people. I worked in a pharmacy for almost a year and I have studied neuropsychopharmocology for years. My boys went on ritalin back in 1989 and I have been researching it since then. I spent over a year in consultation with a neuropsychopharmocologist from the University of NC at Chapel Hill School of Medicine with Cory. Of course I have been researching much more than just ritilan. Many medications that are used for psychiatric issues have also been given to kids for other things for far longer than when they started trying them for the psychiatric issues. Take the mood stabilizers. Most of them were used for epilepsy in children for years.