They say, “Your Children will be your Greatest Teachers”.
If they mean that in having children, you will learn about things that you never wanted to know… they would be right.
For the 2nd time this calender year, I am faced with learning about something I never thought would cross my path. Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder.
Can I just say right now, I Do Not Like The Name.
I don’t like it one bit.
I don’t like the word “Disorder”. Or the word “Deficit”. They have such a negative connotation to me. I don’t like it. Not one bit.
Barry’s girlfriend, Rhonda, told Barry that Russell had this condition. Rhonda is not a doctor. Nor a nurse. Nor a therapist. She is substitute teacher, and she told Barry that she was sure that RJ had this. Now, as much as I am not too thrilled with another woman parenting my child. And I do have many issues with the way that Barry has brought another person into our children’s lives, without so much as a “How do you do.” And as reluctant as I was about our children being labeled in such a fashion…. I will be the bigger person here and say, “Rhonda was right.”
It started with me realizing that Russell needed to repeat the 3rd grade. Heck I wanted him to repeat the 2nd grade, after a few weeks in 3rd grade, to help him. I knew that he was struggling by Labor Day, just 3 weeks into the school year. But I had to wait it out. So I did.
Then I went round – after round – with the principle, Mrs. Billar, about him repeating this past 3rd grade year. Even going so far as to call the school board. I had him held back. Even though he officially passed, due to the FCAT test… which he told me, he simply guessed each answer on. He guessed and managed to get just the right number of points 198 to pass. If he had 197, there would have been no fight.
I did this – against Barry’s wanting – tough shit for him. But on the condition that I would have him tested for ADHD.
So I went do see Dr. Kelly – his pediatrician. She gave me the forms to fill out. Some for Barry. Some for my mom. Some for his therapist. Some for his last year’s teacher. She told me that this was mute point, as I would not be able to get his teacher to fill out forms, in the summer. She underestimated me.
When I turned in all the forms, in July, she called me to tell me that she was impressed. Surprised that it could be done. Yet, impressed that I was that tenacious.
She also tested him for every thing under the sun. 7 vials of blood work taken. 28 different tests. To rule out a biological cause for his difficulties. Like a thyroid problem. Which I would like to have had, so that I could blame Barry for it.
I did not get my wish.
On August 11th I got Russell’s diagnosis. Attention Deficit Hyper-activity Disorder. Or Disease.
We talked on the phone for nearly an hour. I had a BUNCH of questions as you can imagine. She gave me a prescription for a drug
and at my insistence, one for Behavior therapy.
I started researching. I bookmarked a bunch of websites. I started reading. I got books reserved for me at the library. I even bought books off of Amazon. I even got some information from the pharmacist, on the drug that she prescribed.
I wanted to blame all of this on Barry’s genetics. After all he is the one with a history of mental disorders in his family. He is the one with a history of depression, and bi-polar, and just plain crazy. Yet, As the Doctor described what its like in Russell’s brain… I realize that I would not get my wish for this either. Dr. Kelly described for me, what it has always been like in my brain.
Only she was talking about Russell’s.
It never occurred to me until that conversation, that there was anything different about my brain. That thinking things, all the time, and jumping from subject to subject, was what every body did. That everyone had moments where they zoned out and didn’t hear what another person was saying, unless looking directly at them, and focusing their attentions on that person. That all brains wandered around, and skipped to different subjects, if the person speaking was boring. That all people, thought thoughts, all the time. Even when just thinking “there’s nothing to think about” thoughts, when that was the case.
It used to drive Barry up the wall, and I can’t tell you how many arguments arose between us, because I would ask him a simple question: “Whatcha thinking?”
When he would reply, “Nothing.”
I never believed him.
I just assumed that all brains, thought things, all the time. You can’t have a person, who isn’t having a thought, 24/7. Its just not possible. I would get irritated by Barry’s answer. I accused him of hiding things from me, because there was no way that he wasn’t thinking some Thing. (*he usually was hiding something, but that is a different discussion of my marriage*)
So now we are here. We better understand what is happening for my son. Welcome to the world of A.D.H.D.