Mikey is a full week now into taking his “good choices medicine,” as he calls it. In short, we’ve noticed remarkable, astounding results. The first day he took it, he really didn’t swallow too much of the pill–chewed it up despite our protests and nullified the extended release features–and he still had the best day he’s had in months.
If I recall, I took the kids to the museum solo that day, and he was utterly peaceful and agreeable. Very cooperative. This was the very museum I once vowed I’d never revisit after he escaped from me many times, climbed some of the dinosaur skeletons, and was so generally unmanageable that I locked us in one of the bathrooms so I could cry for a long time.
The whole weekend, we were pretty much trapped indoors at our house because we got a whole bunch of snow, and thanks to the good-choices-medicine, Mikey was able to be peaceful with our family, and even enjoy a nice play date with some neighbors.
Sure, he was his usual self. He has been spirited and quirky and very protective over specific cars and toys. He’s had a lot of interesting things to say about potential scenarios that could shake out with the family of foxes living in the woods behind our house. But he hasn’t felt like a lightning bolt about to strike.
We haven’t felt his energy simmering, about to explode. He’s been level.
At school Monday, I got a great report from his teacher and I broke down crying. She hadn’t realized how immediately the medication would begin to affect him. This specific medication doesn’t need to “build up” in his system and wears off after 6-8 hours.
In fact, we can watch and observe the moment it wears off. Today, for instance, when I picked Mikey up at school, I was watching from afar while helping the carpool kiddo get his things. Mikey was sitting on the rug with his classmates, eating snack. Then, out of nowhere, he sprang up and began running circles around the room. It’s just that fast, that dramatic a difference.
Mikey has been complaining of some stomach pain this week, which is a side effect. He and Cody had a nice little moment discussing this stomach pain, since Cody experienced it when he began taking ADHD medication. “That goes away so soon, Mikey,” he assured him. “Your body just has to get used to it.”
And getting him to take the pill each morning has been, well it’s been really fucking terrible. We’ve tried a very long list of suggestions from other parents whose young kids have had to take medication. Usually, we’ll try for about a half hour and then either Mikey will get frustrated and chew the darn pill or else Cody will ram a popsicle stick from the craft bin down Mikey’s gullet and drop in the pill.
Today, the whole pill-taking process only took 18 minutes!
While our pediatrician says we can choose to take medication vacations on weekends, we’re not going to do this until Mikey is more used to taking his pills. We want him to practice swallowing it and we want him to see and feel what it’s like to be able to concentrate and actively CHOOSE his behaviors.
In sum, we’re beyond thrilled with the results and it would appear (so far) that reality is meeting my expectations for this intervention.