Sunday, December 26, 2010

Starting ADHD Medication

To medicate or not to medicate? That is the question we've been wrestling with. We've had a prescription for ADHD medication for our son for a few weeks now, but we decided to wait until the Christmas break to start it. There's a ton of information out there about ADHD medications, and as many opinions as there are people to ask. We've been working closely with our pediatrician and our son's school. We've done our homework. In concert with a plethora of other strategies we are implementing, we've decided that this is an avenue we want to try, to give our son his best chance for success.

Don't kid yourself. This is not a one-and-done solution and it's not a one-and-done decision either. We still struggle with it and I expect we will continue to. We could have started him on the meds as soon as we got the prescription. We could have started the day after the last day of school. Ultimately, we decided to wait until after the Christmas celebrations. The day after Boxing Day. Tomorrow.

Why, if we are so confident in this decision, did we hesitate? Why not start right away if it's the right thing to do? There's a few answers to that, but number one is this Calvin and Hobbes cartoon. There's some debate on the internet as to it's authenticity but, for a number of reasons, it's been stuck in my mind.

I headed to the pharmacy on Christmas Eve to fill the script. As I answered the pharmacist's questions, I could feel the the other customers judging me, probably thinking "What kind of mom makes her kid go on ADD meds at Christmas?!"  I just kept thinking to myself "They're strangers. What do they know? Brush it off, Jacqui. Brush it off. WE'VE made the best decision for OUR son!"  I walked out of there with my head held high, confident in our decision, ready to start the meds. I headed back to the safe harbour of our home and loved ones, eager for their support as we start this new journey.

Most of our nearest and dearest have either been extremely supportive, or have reserved comment. Even if they don't understand all the ins and outs of what we're dealing with, they're shown us that they are on our side, as they always have been. I have to admit though, that I've been stunned at the reaction of certain people. Contrary to feelings of love and goodwill, I felt anger, resentment and sadness welling up inside me as we talked about this with these loved ones over the holidays. People that we expected to find support in, people who usually have Jonas' best interests at heart, are adamantly opposed to this. "It's all a crock of hooey!" pretty much sums up their response. It's a waste of time or a waste of money. They must think there's no hope for him or us. In their minds we must be lazy, stupid, cruel or all of the above.

Well, I say that's a crock of hooey!! We've got a new set of rules around here now. Anyone who would rather see him struggle in school or flounder socially, than admit that his brain isn't perfectly wired, doesn't get a vote! Anyone that punishes him for being who he is, or stops him from becoming the amazing man he can become, doesn't get a vote!


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