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.

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