Monday, November 25, 2013

Parenting A Child With ADHD Is Challenging

Well, it's been almost two months since we found out our son has ADHD.  It's definitely been a roller coaster with many ups and downs.  We've discovered that parenting a child with ADHD is like trying to disarm a bomb blindfolded,  handcuffed, and with no idea when it will go off.  Do you have one minute, one hour, or an entire day?  You have to be very calm, structured, flexible, and always prepared for anything.

We have seen many wonderful changes.  He is totally focused, driven, and excited about school.  His grades are even better than they were before.  His love of books is back and he isn't sidetracked by little distractions anymore.  Things that used to set him off no longer bother him.

There have also been many challenges.  Trying to find a medication and dosage that works best is like trying to pick the winning lottery ticket.  You just never know if the numbers you have are going to be the big winner.  We are currently on our second medication and dosage change.

So far so good, though we've had side effects to battle as well.  The main issue is a total lack of appetite.  He is down almost 10 pounds in 2 months.  That complication alone isn't good, but he also has issues with low blood sugar.  Remember the time bomb I mentioned earlier?  Low blow sugar + ADHD child = Kaboom.

We've determined that his magic number is 3.  Every 3 hours he needs to eat a well balanced snack or there will be fallout.  The fallout ranges from mild irritation to take cover because he's about to blow.  Previously I was having trouble getting him to eat three meals a day, imagine the difficulty getting him to eat every 3 hours.  Yesterday was a particularly difficult day.   I had to pay him a quarter just to get him to eat a snack.  It's difficult watching his body change so quickly and knowing there is little that I can do to stop it.

Every day is a challenge.  Yet every day I think about someone else who has it worse off than me.  I think about the single parent who has no backup.  I think about the friend who has a diabetic child, and realize just how manageable low blood sugar is.  I envision the daily struggles of parents with severely autistic children.  I think about all of those things and realize that I'm one of the lucky ones.  The challenges aren't easy ones, but I can handle them, and I'm extremely grateful for that.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Life is a journey, not a destination

Life is a journey, not a destination.  Those words couldn't be more true.  With every passing year, I am made more aware of that truth.  Each big event, experience, hardship, and loss is just another leg of the journey.  Some parts of the journey are great and others are exhausting, frightening, and downright unbearable.  Yet with each new experience our family grows stronger, wiser, and becomes even better.

It's been well over a year since my last post.  Busy schedules, birthday parties, and life have gotten in the way once again.  It is only after another big event that I feel the keyboard beckoning me once again.  I don't know why I ever stopped, writing is so therapeutic.  It's a way to convey the simplest of messages, good or bad.  It's especially helpful when spoken words are hard to form, even with the best of friends.

A new leg of our journey is beginning.  Last week my youngest son was diagnosed with ADHD.  It's not like it was a big surprise, it's something that we've been watching for awhile.  We had hoped it was just a boy thing and that sooner or later maturity would kick in and some of the impulsive choices that he had been making would come to an end.  Instead we discovered that those poor choices were occurring more often than not and that he seemed to be in warp speed all of the time.  When he is in hyperdrive it's like watching a piece of flubber bouncing from one room or activity to the next.  He just can't stop.  

Our first step was having our family and the school fill out a Vanderbilt Assessment.  That way everyone involved kind of had a baseline of where we were starting, and where the problems seemed to be the worst.  It was also useful in determining our goals.  Shortly after, we met with our fabulous pediatrician who discussed all of our options (including massive amounts of exercise), and explained everything in detail to our very inquisitive 8 year old.  Collectively, we decided to place him on medication.  A decision that was thoroughly researched and not made lightly.  He started his first dose on Friday.

To say that the past four days have been a roller coaster is an understatement.  Since our son is only medicated during the week, we get a really good idea of whether or not the medication is working.  It is!  We may need to adjust the dosage because sometimes he seems like a complete zombie, but that may have a way of working itself out over time.  His ravenous appetite is gone so now we have to remind him to eat, even when he doesn't want to.  The worst part so far is that our lovely sleeper is a sleeper no more.  Last night he went to bed around 9:30 and was up all bright eyed and bushy tailed around 5:30 this morning.  We are exhausted, but we are also hopeful.  We are hopeful because we have seen so many amazingly wonderful changes in just four short days, including a confident little boy who has a renewed zest for learning.  I am confident that we will have more good days than bad, and that gives me so much joy.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

The Avid Reader

So happy my kids are such avid readers. The only downside is when the bookshelves are too full and books start spilling out and multiplying all over the house. I think Alex hit an all time record when we removed "nearly 20 books" from his bed this afternoon. No wonder his back hurts in the morning. There's no room in there for him with all of those books.

As if we didn't already have enough books at home, we decided to borrow some from the library. It's always interesting when Alex approaches the librarian to ask about something in the juvenile non-fiction area. I always kind of hold my breath, a little nervous about what might peak his interest. There was the time he was hooked on anything and everything that started with the letter "A". Or this summer when he looked at books about the human body and puberty. Heck he's even picked out books that haven't been checked out in such a long time that they aren't even in the computer system, so we were told to keep them. This week's selection surprised me a bit though. I mean, what 9 year old doesn't want to learn about the Bermuda Triangle? He also picked out a couple more science books, a couple fiction books from a series he really likes and, oh yeah, Fart Powder. Yep, that was the title. I have to keep reminding myself that even though he is a brain, he's still a 9-year old boy.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Family First

Family First, that's the first line on our new set of House Rules. Today we spent the day as a family with the Patriarch of the Cochran Clan. We celebrated my grandfather's 90th Birthday. He is still sharp as a tack and has a wicked sense of humor.

So what do you give someone who is 90? The boys and I decided to make our first pillowcase for project 1 million pillowcases and give it to my grandfather as a present. Now he has something special every night when he goes to sleep to make it feel a little more like home. Happy Birthday Grandpa. We love you.

Family Style

It's December 31st, you and your spouse have been sick for days, but you still have to ring in the New Year somehow. So how do you do it? Family style. That's what we did. 12 Balloons to pop and give us inspiration.

So what did we do?
1. Created a new set of House Rules that are both funny and serious.
2. Wrote and illustrated a funny comic strip as a family. Let's just say it involved our dog, Spencer and some of the unmentionables he likes to eat. Yep, it's gross, but I'm surrounded by boys so what did you expect?
3. Rocked the night with some family-friendly Karoke.
4. Played an LCR card game.
5. Made donuts (gluten free of course). They were yummy.
6. Tried a craft from Pinterest as a family.
7. Played a game called Endango and saved a few animals along the way.
8. Got into our jammies for a relaxing evening.
9. Made some New Years Resolutions and reminisced over 2011. I used the flip to record a Q & A session with the boys. Their answers were hilarious.
10. Watched some funny cartoons. Who doesn't love Looney Tunes?
11. After many worthy suggestions, Max came up with our Family Motto for the year ahead. Keep on Truckin.
12. 12 grapes at midnight, a toast with some bubbly (a 2011 bottle of Welch's finest) and dancing to Party Rock by LMFAO. Oh yeah, and a Silly String fight. My kids think I'm the coolest mom ever.

I'm exhausted. What did you do to ring in the New Year?

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Gluten Free Goodies

Baby, it's cold outside. Not much to do on a cold Saturday in Ohio other than bake. Jules Gluten Free Flour is sponsoring a cookie swap on Facebook and I have my eyes on the prize, a shiny new Kitchenaid mixer. So today my family and I were testing out flavor combinations. Our favorite so far is a gluten free peppermint mocha cookie.

After a very long day of baking it's time to kick back and relax with a delicious homemade gluten free pizza and some Christmas specials with my favorite boys. Here's proof that gluten free cooking can be delicious.