Saturday, March 23, 2013

The AD/HD Medicate Debate

A few weeks ago I took Trevor to the doctor to get the results of his AD/HD evaluation. The biggest question going into that appointment was if we were going to medicate or not. There are lots of different opinions and ideas when it comes to medication and AD/HD. I read a lot, I talked to a lot of people, Dave and I discussed it, we prayed about it, we thought about it over and over again. I was scared and nervous: would he get side effects? Would he lose his appetite and lose weight and not grow? Would he be like a zombie all day? Would his personality change? I didn't know what to do. I was lost and confused. And my doctor helped me feel better. I know a lot of people are weary of doctors prescribing medication for AD/HD, but I trust my doctor. He's been treating my kids for 10 years. I've had lots of experience with him. He makes his AD/HD appointments on Fridays at the end of the day so he can spend as much time as needed listening and talking. He answered all of my questions and helped put Trevor and me at ease. He explained things to me and gave me a lot to consider. And I know the last thing he wants  to do is something that is going to hurt or harm my kids. I honestly feel that way about him. So I got a prescription and Dave and I talked and we decided we would try it for a month. If it worked, then great! If we didn't like what we saw then we would talk to the doctor and try something different. So here is our medication experience so far:

  • Trevor does not have so much of the hyperactivity as he does attention issues so we started at a very low dose of medication, one that is an extended release medication so it lasts all day
  • Side effects we have noticed were headaches, upset stomach, loss of appetite, and a hard time falling asleep at night.
  • Positives we have noticed: an easier time controlling his emotions/anger; he gets along better with his brothers; does not argue as much as he used to; has been able to complete school assignments all on his own without getting super distracted; wrote a clear, organized 5 paragraph rough draft all on his own (usually he'd do about 3-5 sentences and stop or it would be very disorganized); follows through with directions better; was able to sit QUIETLY thought church on Sunday; is more patient in situations where he would usually freak out or lose his cool
  • His personality has not changed. He's happy, still playful, still the same interesting, fun boy.
  • Most of the side effects he experienced the first week have gone away
He's not been on medication for very long so I know things can change, but so far we are very happy with the results. One thing my doctor said that really struck me was that Trevor's ADD is not just a school issue. It's something that effects him at home, at church, at scouts, with his friends and family members. We give him a pill every single day because it's helping him in all situations. So far things are going well. We've had a lot of struggles with Trevor and for a very long time and it's been very frustrating. It's such a blessing that we  have been able to have so many positive experiences as a family these past few weeks.

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