A blog experiment by Brad Mills.


I want a new drug

(with apologies to Huey Lewis)

Some setbacks in the ongoing struggle of battling ADHD. With spring now fully underway (despite the threat of a huge out-of-season mountain snowstorm this weekend), the insect population has become active again. And having a house with a wood exterior means we usually have a squadron of wasps buzzing around picking at it. Occasionally they'll build a nest under the gutters or in the overhang of a window or something, but I usually notice these quickly and take care of the problem before it becomes... interesting.

A few weeks ago Andrew decided he did not like bees. Not only did he not like them, he was convinced they were out to get him. To be even more clear, the bees were very actively searching for him when they knew he was near, and in their spare time (when not building nests on my house and buzzing around aimlessly) they were plotting his doom. They apparently also developed the ability to shrink small enough to pass through the holes in a screen, and then grow back to normal size when they got into the house. He reached a point where he would sit and scan the room, eyes darting madly for hours, convinced there was a bee in the room somewhere, jumping at every dust bunny.

After a consultation with his pediatrician, he's off the Focalin. Sure enough, the paranoia about bees went away too. And, sure enough, his behavior started backsliding, so now it's on to something else — Strattera — starting today. I thought it was odd that we hadn't heard anything from school while he was off the Focalin — well, I bumped into his teacher yesterday and she all but begged me to get him back on something. "I'd much rather deal with his fear of bugs," she said. That's a lot easier to say when you're working in a brick school building versus living in a house with a wood exterior. Most of all, though, I wish she'd said something sooner.

For the record, ADHD meds come in two flavors — stimulant and sedative. It's hard to establish which is the right medication to use, and the one which can keep him on an even keel both at home and at school, and which dosage of that medication is most effective without turning him into either a zombie or a spastic lunatic. There aren't any tests which can help make that determination either — it is completely a trial and error process. I guess that's where we are.

I know there's not an instant effect with any of it, but with that said, it's been a fairly pleasant evening. Hopefully this new stuff will do the trick.

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