The doctor's appointment went well, sort of. Dr. A. was friendly and polite. The thing is, this was the second physician we've seen in this practice, but I still had to go over EVERYTHING...AGAIN! She has access to all of the test results, all of the forms and questionnaires we've already filled out, yet the first thing she says to us was, "So, what brings you into my office today"? Really? So, for the umpteenth time, I started from the very beginning and filled her in. About half way through my dissertation, she figured out she had a bunch of documents already on line about Amelia and began to read them...WHILE I WAS TALKING TO HER! Errrgggh! One of these days.....to the moon, Alice!!
She asked lots of questions....really good questions that no one else had asked before. I felt like she really "got" Amelia. For the first time, I felt like someone understood what we were going through. She could tell that I wasn't too keen on the idea of medication, but she didn't push. She explained that in order to help Amelia be successful, we would need a multi faceted approach. First and foremost, we would need a home management plan. This will be addressed when we start therapy with a LFMC on July 19th. We will need to work on such things as behavioral management, schedules, organization, consistent and appropriate consequences for bad behavior and reasonable rewards for good behavior. The second part will be getting the school involved and making sure that we have clear expectations on how each situation will be handled and what kind of accommodations will be put in place. Lastly, medication.
We talked at length about Amelia's specific needs for school. First and foremost is impulse control. Secondly, confidence building. She has been so torn down over the last several months that her self esteem is almost non existent. She feels as though no one likes her or wants to be around her and while some of that is true (because of her behavior), she is still a child of God...worthy of love and friendship.
If she can slow down enough to be able to think things through (in the limited way that a 9 year old can) she can begin to see that she has a place in the world, that she is capable of doing 3rd grade work, of having friends and play dates...of being normal. This is where the medication comes into play.
I've agreed to a trial run of a "traditional" ADHD medication. Beginning today, she will take 18mg per day of Concerta. This medication has been around for close to 40 years. Concerta is basically just an extended release form of the first ADHD med called Ritalin. I'm not excited about this, but I'm resolved.
I know what you all are thinking. Yes. Yes, I've spent the better part of the last 6 hours researching this med. I've read about every single side effect that anyone has ever encountered. Some are quite serious and dangerous. I know. But Amelia needs some relief. She needs to feel like her old self. If this med will help us achieve that goal, then I think it's worth a try.
I had a friend tell me the other day, "Nancy...so what? You're going to give her ADHD medication??? Big deal! You're doing what thousands of other parents have done in the past and will do in the future. You're helping your daughter get a grip on a very trying time in her life! Don't be so dramatic"! Maybe this friend was right. Maybe it isn't such a big deal after all. Maybe it's just what needs to be done.
Either way, I will keep you informed on how things are going. Thanks for your prayers and support.