Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Pill Box

We have put the Rooster on medications before, with great conflict in our hearts. We know the pros and cons, we weighed countless variables, we listened to doctors, we read, we cried, we gave them a try. We thought what we gave him seemed to help him in many positive ways, but as soon as we saw what we thought might be a side effect, we knew we didn't want to push our luck. Right now the Rooster does not take meds, but we have been considering trying again with a different prescription, and we've mentioned this to the school.

Friday our boy went on his first field trip without my husband or me to chaperone. I stared at the clock all day, concerned, waiting for the phone to ring. I took my cell with me to the bathroom. There I found myself preoccupied with wondering about the bathroom situation at the museum he was visiting. I reviewed in my head the other four field trips we went on this year, and how he seemed to do okay. I somehow managed not to chew on my nails.

Finally word came: Good trip! No problems. The teacher wanted to know: He was so good; had we medicated him?!

Ah, well. I try to remember that is good news. What it reminds me, though, is that my husband and I can't attribute every good day on meds to the meds. When we took him off the last prescription, I lived in fear he would regress. Instead, he seemed more present, his conversation more engaged. We really have no way of knowing how to tease apart all the variables to figure out what the meds did or didn't do for him.

I spend a little bit of every day analyzing why the boy did well or poorly at this or that. I analyze his meals, his sleep patterns, his health status, his routines, his sensory diet, and then usually I blame myself for any imperfections in any of the above. That is, when I'm not busy berating myself for what I did or didn't do or eat or take while pregnant, or loathing my own DNA.

Perhaps I have been spending time looking into meds for the wrong one of us.


kim mccafferty said...

I can completely relate to this post. We held off on medications until our son was six, not due to the stigma, but because we wanted to make certain we had tried every therapy possible prior to medicating him. These strategies worked to eliminate most of his aggression, but what remained was still troubling, and was a source of concern as he grew older, and bigger.

We do have him on meds now for anxiety and aggression, and it took the better part of a year to discern the correct dosage, and the correct label. He is now one of the happiest children I know, autistic or not. Ultimately, it was all worth it.

I was lucky in that as a former educator, there really was, for me, no stigma attached to the concept of medications, when appropriately dispensed. I saw many of my students thrive, some remarkably so, from different medications over the years. At least I didn't have the guilt factor plaguing me alongside the worries of what the side effects would be. I wish you luck no matter what you decide to do.

I enjoy your blog, am glad I found it. I also write about my sons

I've written a manuscript about my boys, and there is a literary agent who will sign me if my blog becomes "popular". If you have any free time (hah!) to check out mine, I would appreciate it, and will continue to do so with yours. Your outlook is positive and refreshing.

I'm Kim, by the way. This "blogosphere" meeting place is still strange for me...

redheadmomma said...

You have an excellent point! XO