Speaking of med-free ...

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Speaking of med-free ...
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Tue, 07-15-2003 - 8:50pm
I'm sure I'm jinxing myself by discussing this, but I have to say it ... Kevin has been off meds now for 3 weeks (went cold turkey ... long story, just did it) and things have been as close to perfect as possible. WAAAAAAAAAAAY better than anything I'd imagined. To the point where I'm (almost) questioning the ADHD diagnosis in the first place. OK, he has ODD, and I 'get' that. The ADHD has not been the hyperactivity or even the attention, but the impulsivity. So, is it possible that after a year and a half on meds, he has 'learned' that controlling his impulses is do-able, or am I being lulled into a false sense of security? OK, we've dealt with this for YEARS (Kevin is 11 1/2) so I am not optimistic enough to really believe this is over ... but I'm enjoying the reprieve. He's been pleasant and cooperative and helpful. He's following instructions, and doing things asked of him the first (or at least the second) time without our having to get angry or upset. He's been 'pleasant.' Now, his days ARE structured as he's in day camp programs for the summer ... he was in a regular camp at a local church where they do sports and arts and crafts and go on field trips, and there's not been a problem. He's now doing baseball camp at the University and is loving it ... he comes home tired, but happy and enthusiastic and excited about his day (but not wired or wound up.) It's totally amazing ... I cannot even begin to explain it.

I'm just taking it one day at a time. I'm not ready to believe he's outgrown this or anything ... but I am very pleased with the results of this 'experiment' so far. And, although I didn't listen to the docs but instead my own instincts, I'm learning that I know (sometimes) what's best for my kid.

Nancy

Nancy 

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iVillage Member
Registered: 06-23-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 12:31pm
Nancy,

I am so glad to here how well things are going for you and your boy. I hope that one day I will have a few weeks like this with my DD. Maybe the best has happened for you and your son and he has bagain to out grow it. I have heard that some children do as puberty starts.

At any rate I wish ya'll all the good luck in the world.

Annie

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-03-2003
Wed, 07-16-2003 - 2:26pm
That is just wonderful - I've read and heard about kids who "mature" past this ADHD - maybe your son is one of them. I sure hope so.

Our son is much younger - just turned 7 - we had impulsive and hyperactivity problems in kinder - then went to counseling in the summer - the first semester of first grade was tough - but he could do it - we really didn't have the more serious problems again until after Spring Break - then we did the meds...which have really helped.

I hope my son turns out like yours - that maybe his is a milder case and won't need meds forever.

Please let us know how your son is doing - it gives us guidance and hope.

Thanks.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 8:38pm
Well i think too that summer is different. My son is off meds all summer long. He's in nature camp from 9-2, the past two weeks, swimming a lot and getting energy out. He's doing wonderfully. But i also know that when school starts and he has to sit still and focus on work, he'll need that medicine. Just see how school goes for your son. I think though it's hard to know based on summer. Summer is a whole other "ballgame" if you ask me.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 9:32pm
But, but , BUT ... I can see why a child who has a hyperactivity component to his ADD would have an easier time with the decreased demands on his focus/self-control that are inherent in those "lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer", BUT for those of us whose kids' have no such component and whose major difficulties are at *home* (like mine), the season of the year seems to be as irrelevant to their behavior as the number of grains of sand on the beach. Indeed, my ADD inattentive/ODD son LOVES everything about school, is in a gifted program, and had a *great* year socially, behaviorally, and cognitively at school last year (as did Nancy's, I believe). (At home, it is a different story, unfortunately.) We are working on developing and implementing coping and compensatory mechanisms that, when coupled with meds, help him with any minor issues he does have focusing and finishing his work in a timely manner. I have no reason to think he will have a different (i.e., less positive) experience at school this year.

My ds (who does take meds) goes to a full-day daycamp where there is a LOT of activity and structure. He, like yours, plays and runs and swims his little heart out all day. From all accounts, no one at camp would even DREAM that ds is either ADD or ODD. (I don't think they'd know it if he wasn't taking meds, either ... though things at home would probably be *very* different in that case!) But then again, no one at school who didn't already know would necessarily "guess" that he has ADD/ODD either!! DS' major issues have always been at *home*. (As I mentioned, like Nancy's son, mine is ADD inattentive and ODD ... no hyperactivity component to his ADD). Just as he burns up energy at camp and running around outside at home over the summer, during the school year, my ds is given similar outlets for his energy ... organized sports and weekend excursions with family and/or friends to the skating rink, bowling alley, indoor gyms, etc. Instead of spending his days at camp and his weekends at the pool, he is similarly occupied with school, sports, cub scouts, music, and religious school (and no, not all at once!), but the result is the same: The presence of a consistent structure and steady activity is a GOOD thing for his behavior.

Perhaps that is the difference WRT how to project whether or not a child on a "good" med break over the summer will continue to be "successful" without meds during the school year -- the lack of a hyperactivity component and/or the presence of ODD that places the crux of most issues at home? Actually, if the child is not in a structured summer program, I would think that this time of year (alllll that free time!) might be *tougher* without meds!!

I am a very frequent lurker and very occasional poster here who has followed Nancy's "saga" with her ds for awhile, and I know that she has been to h*ll and back with him. I just hate to see their accomplishments minimized or trivialized in any way (I am not saying that you are doing this *intentionally*, that's just the sense I got from your post) -- it is a BIG deal for him to be "med-less", and I vigorously applaud Kevin and Nancy and her dh for achieving this huge step!! And, given their particular circumstances, there is no reason, IMHO, to *assume* that he will need them again when school starts. I'm sure that she is aware that things *might* change when he goes back to school; then again, they may NOT. Here's hoping that the worst of the journey is behind you guys, Nancy, and that the days ahead are wonderful and exciting in a good way! That kid's future's so bright, he's gotta wear shades!! (Sorry, had an 80s moment there for a second! ) ~ ruth

edited to fix a typo


Edited 7/17/2003 9:37:22 PM ET by meshuggenamom

Avatar for ashdenson
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 07-17-2003 - 9:43pm
Nancy,

I know how you feel. When my son started 2nd grade he had been off meds since summer. It was absolutely amazing. I had him in bio-feedback, hair testing for whatever minerals & stuff he was either lacking or needed. He was calm, nice, not impulsive - it was just great - and I also monitered his food (he was in private school so his lunch was carefully watched. About March of the following year - every thing just stopped. The school called me and said"you might want to send him to public school because he is not learning and we hate to see you spend money", Well, that's all it took, he was on meds the next day.

Nancy, I can't tell you how excited I was during that 1 year - and it broke my heart that it didn't last.

I hope it lasts for you.

Denise

PS - the concerta and strattera are "working".

Denise

Avatar for keke0116
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 6:53am
Thanks Ruth ... and all ... for your replies. As I've said, I'm guardedly optimistic. I have struggled with this kid for YEARS with his issues, and this is the first time since he was 3-4 that we've have any semblance of normalcy in our home lives med-free. Do I think it will last? I have no idea. I'd love it. I would love to believe that all the turmoil is behind us, all the difficulty is over, and he's outgrown it. Do I believe that's the case? Well, since there is also a Board called "ADD/ADHD Teens and Adults" I am sort of in the mind-set that this will continue ... but, I can have my hopes without being delusional. I've also gone for years having a child who was completely out of control, who had to be physically restrained, who was on the verge of hospitalization because of his rages and meltdowns ... so I know how to appreciate a good day for what it is ... a GOOD day. And, so far, the good days turned into good weeks, and now nearly a good month. I almost don't even CARE if it lasts or not ... I am enjoying the moment.

For Kevin, his 'issues' are less prevalent in school ... he NEVER had a single ODD episode in a school environment; his teachers don't complain about his inattention or focus; he doesn't disrupt the class or cause problems there. Will he hold it together and explode the second he gets in the car? Oh, absolutely! Is it possible that this will happen in the fall, especially since he's not only going back to school but starting middle school? Most definitely a possibility. But, I think part of that comes from his frustrations resulting from his auditory processing issues more than ADHD/ADD stuff ... and that's an area we are exploring further at this time via a Reading Program he starts next week (1 day a week for 5-6 weeks) as well as a metronome program at a hearing/language institute that we are 'considering.' He is also signed up for a course at school that deals with peer relations and such. Hopefully we are giving him the tools to use in order to keep the behaviors and impulses under control without meds. But, would I put him back on meds if/when he needs them? Probably. I'm not anti-meds. And, I know that meds helped Kevin for awhile (15-16 months.) But, I also know that from Jan-June of this year, the docs kept altering his meds to try to get the same effect/results that he had previously, without any success. On meds for those 6 months, he was angry all the time, very unhappy, and not doing well. Off meds, he's better. It's as simple as that. He used to be angry and miserable ... then went on meds and was happy. So, I do know that this can go both ways.

But, for now, for this moment in time (which may be short lived) Kevin is happy, is functioning quite well (dare I say, normal?) and he is pleasant. I am not asking for any more than that ... my antenna is up, my guard is on, and I realize that this is not necessarily eternal bliss. But, it's nice, and I'm going to enjoy it the only way I can ... one day at a time.

Nancy

Nancy 

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 9:30am
I sincerely was only doing what we all do on this board. "Give our two cents" based on our situations etc. I sometimes don't even post much about medfree months because I've been told how awful it is to not give the meds all the time (Something that i think is a crock). So I am in no way diminishing anyone's anything! My small paragraph was just a few words based on what i was dealing with. MY son doesn't need meds for school based on hyperactivity-- now. He needs it for focus. I love having him med free and have been told how he has improved and seems so much better each year. I am happy for Nancy who is seeing something this year.. But surely did not need someone to think I am trivializing ANYTHING. I will not come here in the future.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 9:34am
Well Denise, i hope you are not posted to because you told of your situation and it not lasting--because I was telling of mine and was told I was diminishing someone else's situation. Honestly I am really surprised at that. As an educator and parent I try to come here and share as best I can. I've never been told I was "diminishing" or trivializing someone's post.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 11:06am
I'm sorry that my post seems to have stirred up such negative feelings. I was not trying to make anyone feel badly, or imply that anyone here had any intent of hurting anyone else. I guess I am just of the mindset that there are times when it is appropriate to offer one's unequivocal opinion (mainly when it is asked for) and times when it is more appropriate to just smile and say, "Hey, way to go! Congratuations!" (Anyone else ever see that John Candy movie in which he plays a Chicago police officer and Maureen O'Hara plays his mother? She makes very offensive remarks to just about everyone she encounters -- including her son -- always defending her candor with the phrase, "I'm just telling it like it is." I'm not saying that any of you is by any stretch of the imagination such an equal-opportunity offender, that line just flashed into my mind as this has all unfolded.) Anyhow, it's only my opinion, of course, but I felt that Nancy's post fell into the second category. Heck, she KNOWS all-too-well that all of this might just be a temporary respite. But, for right now, she is *reveling* in it (albeit cautiously)!!

In her post, she even states:

<>

So, it's not like she is running around with her head in the clouds, needing a big ol' reality check. She KNOWS what her situation is, and she was merely trying to celebrate a good patch with some friends.

I have already e-mailed Nancy to apologize for coming in like the cavalry with my post. (BTW, Nancy and I are also e-mail friends, and have been for some time, so I do know her and her "situation" fairly well.) I know that it is not my place to defend or come to the "rescue" of anyone else ... even if my sense of fair play is sending me huge "hey, get involved!!" messages.

I also want to apologize to the posters here, particularly those who I seem to have offended. Perhaps you are correct in that I don't know how this board "works", though I have been a regular poster on other ivillage support boards; although I have been lurking here for awhile, maybe one has to be a regular poster to get her "sea legs" up and running on this particular board. I have posted here a other few times but never received much of a response to my posts, so maybe I haven't taken enough of an opportunity to become active. I would just like to (gently) remind you that there are legions (okay, probably at least quite a few!) frequent lurkers out there who might want to jump in and post. Probably most feel welcome; possibly, there are some like me who are put off by the tone of posts such as the one to which I originally responded. There are ways for all of you to share your considerable wealth of education and experience (and I have learned a LOT from all of you from my months and months of lurking here!) that might be a little more ... encouraging (*not* to be confused with "giving a false or unrealistic sense of hope"). As I said before, I am SURE that you were only trying to be helpful - but I was a little put off by your candor in this case.

Lealavender and others, I hope that you will not allow my isolated post (one which you don't even agree with, to boot!!) to drive you from your own board. That would be so foolish and such a waste!! You all have so much to contribute, and have established such a great sense of ... community and support here. Believe me, I will not bother you guys again. I will return to lurkdom, if that.

I wish you all a happy life and a smooth journey.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 07-18-2003 - 12:02pm
Your apology, still includes the idea that my post had a specific "tone" to it that you apparently did not like. I keep rereading my post..because all I did was offer my two cents in a very short manner just referring to my own situation and how I felt that sometimes summer vacation can be different etc. In no way did I ever intend to downplay Nancy's situation or happiness. Please drop this issue. I think you've said plenty and your apology did nothing more than tell me that you STILL think i had a tone to my post that was not my intention. Someone else posted about their situation, and how they found their child still needed meds. Did that person also put down Nancy's situation? I don't think so> I think it was just another person speaking of her own personal situation. I am more hurt than anything that someone would think I was raining on someone's parade..or that someone would come here and tell me how i SHOULD have responded. I am just going to be more of a lurker at this point.

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