Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Just Say Yes

Eion and I paid a return visit to his pediatrician on Friday. It was ADD evaluation time. Again.

In spite of having completed all the work for 1st grade last year, he is routinely the last kid done. He is still somewhat of a loner. And then there is the getting in trouble. A lot. So with mixed emotions and a great deal of anxiety, we walked out of our visit with a prescription for ADD meds.

As with any drug, there are a laundry list of potential side effects and possible bad outcomes. The drug has  only a 70-80% rate of success. But with the good outcome, you might get headaches or insomnia or that itty bitty chance of Eion's heart freaking out and leading to instant death. On the flip side, rather than calm some kids down, there is about 1% chance that they go the complete opposite direction and become uber-hyper until it wears off.

With all those looming possibilities, it is easy to see why they thought the first dose should be administered at home on a weekend. And to see why I was absolutely freaking the f*ck out when I gave it to him.

So we don't have any cliff-hangers, I'm happy to report directly that he is still very much alive. Whew. He also was not in the 1% supersonic crowd. Also very encouraging. Best yet, he fell in the 70-80% for whom the drug works.

And work it does. Like a charm.

The particular variety E is taking is Vyvanse. It doesn't need to build up in the system and only works on the days you take it. Eion took his first dose Saturday morning and about twenty minutes later, it was like someone had flipped a switch. All (well most) of the spaz was gone. He was delightful.

He did have a little headache and was up pretty late that first night, a problem that does not seem to be an ongoing issue, but overall, it went great. When I asked him about it, he said that it made it easier for him to form sentences. While I had heard reports of drugged children, moving zombie-like through their days, E was very alert and creative. He spent hours building a lego castle of his own creation. As opposed to the normal things he builds, which a symmetrical down to the very last block, this was like a wild, fantasy land concoction but with each and every piece having a purpose and raison d'etre. I should know - his added focus gave him the patience to spend at least a half hour explaining it to me in excruciating detail.

Monday, his teacher described him as a different child, in all the best ways. He finished his work quickly and without prodding. He didn't complain of the classroom noise. He colored in his journal, something he previously staunchly refused to do. My very favorite though was that he played with the other kids on the playground.

We're at day five and all is well. The headaches seem to be fading and the insomnia was a one night occurrence. The doctor said he didn't need to take it on weekends or holidays. When I told E that he wouldn't take it Saturday, he seemed unhappy about it. He told be he feels better when he takes it.

It is hard for me because I have long, long been VERY anti-meds. Probably, well definitely knowing me, vocally and annoyingly so. But the evidence so far is that I was wrong to be and it is helping my little guy.

1 comment:

  1. I am a big believer in pharma. I have seen the difference add medicine makes in kids and even though there are side effects, it is worth trying. Glad to hear the good response. I always dread the days I work with add/ADHD kids who are off their meds. There are some parents who can not seem to keep up with the responsibility.

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