The other day while we were eating lunch, out of the blue, Spuds said, “My morning pill used to make my hands shaky.”
“No,” I reminded him, “your morning pill was to stop your hands from shaking. The shaking was caused by one of the pills you took before bed.”
“My hands used to shake. And those pills made me sick.”
“Yeah, I remember you said they made your stomach hurt.”
“Yeah. They made me feel sick. Why did I have to take them?”
“They thought the pills helped you behave better. Do you feel better now that you don’t take them?”
“Yeah, I don’t feel sick.”
“You also don’t shake anymore.”
“I didn’t want to take them, but they made me. Am I different now that I don’t take them?”
“I haven’t noticed any real difference in your behavior. Do you feel like you behave differently.”
“No, but my stomach doesn’t hurt.”
He’s been off of all of his meds for just over a month now. If anything, his behavior is better, but that has nothing to do with the medications as far as I can tell. I mean, maybe it has a little to do with his brain not being in the fog of big pharma, but mostly? I think it has to do with a healthy dose of childhood freedom mixed with a heaping dose of daily life that doesn’t include (what was to him) the over-stimulating environment of public schools. Basically, he’s settling in nicely. Seeing this happen makes me want to scream even more about the pharmaceuticals he was on.
You know those shaking hands and aching stomach side effects? I’ve found more than one reputable website that says a person who experiences those side effects from that drug should seek medical help immediately. Yeah, they took him to a doctor about the shaking, all right, and that doctor put him on a Parkinson’s medication. Did I mention I want to scream?
I have no idea what the long-term side effects of the years he spent medicated might have on him. I hope there are none.
In the meantime, we’ve started our homeschool year back up, and? He’s doing great. I was worried that this might be some kind of trigger, some kind of RAD power struggle. RAD my arse. Bonding issues? Sure. But RAD? Good lord. I just want to text his previous parents and say, “He’s academically behind in a few areas, but he’s doing GREAT! He does his work without argument, even when he’s frustrated and spent. Easily distracted? Hell yeah, but also easily re-directed back to the task at hand without argument. Sure, I may have to redirect him ten times in ten minutes (or more) (what is so interesting about the ceiling, anyway?), but he does it. He gets it done. It takes him longer, but he gets it done. Actually, he gets it done to the point that he spent about a week and a half memorizing a fairly long poem — MEMORIZING IT — and he did it. I have video I could text you.” But I don’t text them this because I know they don’t want to hear this right now. They were pretty specific about when they wanted to hear from us, and early October isn’t one of those times.
Ha! He just came into my room and started to ask me if he could watch and episo . . .
Then he remembered.
Last night, when the movie the kids had been watching ended, I told him to turn off the TV and then I disappeared into my bathroom (ok, maybe I was already in the bathroom, and he came knocking at the door to ask to watch something else, and I told him no, it was time to turn off the TV, but it sounds much less uncouth to say our conversation didn’t happen on two sides of a bathroom door). After emerging from that room to which mothers disappear in a vain attempt to gain a little peace and quiet and . . . umm . . . do other stuff, I found Spuds lounging on the sofa watching . . . I don’t know what, because I immediately turned the TV off. I told him he wasn’t allowed to watch anything tomorrow (which is now today), and if he even asked to watch anything he would have to sit on the stool (this is what happens when he gets in trouble — sitting upon The Stool).
So he just wandered in here ands said, “Can I watch an episo . . . oh, wait. No. Never mind.” It was awesome and hilarious to see the realization of what he was doing click in his brain.
So I think we have a list now that looks something like this:
ADD/ADHD (the jury is still out on this one) (yes, he’s easily distracted, but I’m not convinced he can’t overcome that)
Bipolar Disorder / Schizophrenia
Oppositional Defiance Disorder
So glad we took Goethe’s advice in our approach to this kid (though I think in this case it would be more like, “Treat a child like his hyped-up diagnosis and you’ll create the behavior to confirm it. Treat him like a kid, and he’ll be one).
I can’t begin to express how happy I am that this kid is part of our family. And? Yes. The family still consists of more than just this one kid. You wouldn’t know it based on this post, but we are all still here, and everyone else is doing fine as well (and A~ is LOVING college). The adjustment for everyone has existed but been pretty minimal. My kids rock that way. The homeschool effort is a little bit more labor intensive for me right now what with all the re-directing going on, so that leaves little time for blogging. But we’re all here, and life is good.
Tewt the Newt couldn’t agree more.