Thursday, June 4, 2009

Pill Popping

So we are a little over a month from a time I like to refer to as BZ. Before Zoloft. Not for me but for my child. I wanted to take a second to reflect on what this month-6 weeks has been like for me, for her and for us.

Before I begin though let me first say, I'm pretty much the Anti-Prescription Drug when it came to my child. My Pediatrician was impressed a year and a half ago when I took Lizzie in for a raging cold that had stagnated and wouldn't clear up. I had refused antibiotics twice in the prior 3 months for this issue insisting that if there was another way I was willing to do it. He had never SEEN a child who regularly saw a Pediatrician but hadn't had more than 3 rounds of antibiotics in her life. (It does happen, I'm not tooting my own health horn here. She had taken them, I just always tried a different approach first and use antibiotics as a last resort.)

I myself tend to avoid medication that my own personal research doesn't indicate as totally necessary for life. Well, and birth control. Which I considered totally necessary. My body just disagreed with me.

When it came to Kylie I fought for YEARS against any medicating of her. When teachers suggested she might have ADD or ADHD I had her tested. The therapist said "Maybe". I researched. She didn't fit enough criteria so I said tough cookies. I also decided that since she HAS the ability to complete her school work and pay attention then she did not need medication. I fought that for YEARS because Kylie can be, what some might call, strong willed. It can be hard for a teacher to reach her. She protests change, including in the classroom and was so used to being so brilliant that for many years she wasn't actually taught anything. When a teacher did actually try and teach her something she struggled. My ex and I used these opportunities to attempt to teach her focus and discipline. To learn social cues and what was acceptable and not acceptable. We worked hard. We fought to keep her off of any kind of medication since I did not believe she would benefit from anything.

Kylie's will just got progressively worse. From calling her 5th grade teacher a Bitch, to threatening suicide, to cutting herself. Once. 75 times. All over her body. From fights with her 6th grade Math Teacher to being suspended in 7th grade. Kicking a hole in my basement wall to throwing $350 remote controls, screaming and yelling until I was hoarse and throwing up. Crying for 3 hours and staring at her face in the bathroom. Wearing dirty clothes and sleeping on an un-sheeted mattress. That's where we were.

I finally consented to medication. I hated it. I cried when they recommended it to me. I emailed my ex and asked for guidance. I talked to Micah in depth about it. I prayed.

Zoloft has saved my life. (And hers I suspect. I might have killed her if it had continued.)

Sure, it makes her a little tired. It also made her take my pregnancy 1000 times better than I could have dreamed of. It makes summer something she's looking forward too and I get no argument about showering or washing clothes. I LIKE my child again. Honestly, for the first time in awhile. I know parenting is about work. It's harder than I ever imagined. There is a difference though between fighting and disagreeing. I can handle our fights. I can be the parent I need to be when she's the child SHE needs to be.

I know she still forgets her pills once in awhile. That's okay. She's taking them. She's doing better. It's good for her, it's good for me, it's good for her sister.

I'm lucky, we have a Pill Pusher aka Psychiatrist who also believes in the less is more approach. She's on the second lowest dose she can take and still be on the medication. She's doing well. No reason to up it if she's doing well. I love that man.

I still struggle with medicating children. I hate the idea of it. But I like to see her enjoying life. So I guess it's a trade off. My unease with medication versus her childhood. Not such a bad trade off I guess.


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