Life can sometimes get in the way of writing or having the time to have five minutes in which to think and just breathe.
I have spent the last couple of weeks as a mother of a child with an ADD diagnosis second guessing my role as a mum and the decisions that we have made as a family to help her since she was diagnosed. It's hard thinking that:
* You may have made a mistake
* Maybe she's not got anything wrong
* Maybe she's not that different
* Was she misdiagnosed?
When our daughter was diagnosed aged seven it was a shock. It's not something that we were expecting. What could be the source of our daughters symptoms was never really discussed and so I never looked into it. She had the sensorineural hearing loss and was seeing a consultant because of the hearing and for a long time we were told it was to do with the hearing.
ADD came as a completely alien and unknown word but I trusted in the system and as a result aged seven our daughter was diagnosed and put on medication. I remember going for a drink in the hospital cafe after and looking at my husband but not hearing what he was saying. I felt lost and even now that feeling of failure, indecision and emptiness comes back to haunt me.
At that moment I remember I felt like the biggest failure...
As with certain medications our daughter's eating habits have been drastically altered. Bottom line she won't or can't eat enough. So while waiting for a paediatric appointment we have taken the decision to not medicate at weekends. As the drugs she has leave her system after seven hours we felt that she would benefit from time out to help with her weight and food. Oh my god she does not stop eating she grazes all day on a Saturday and Sunday. She won't eat large meals as she gets anxious about it but she will snack from when she wakes up at four am until bedtime at eight pm.
It makes you realise just how much of an effect the medication has though. I have found it tough and that she is a lot like Jekyll and Hyde. Without medication:
* She's touchy feely to the point of annoying and it's very inappropriate
* She can't control her impulses and will do things out of the ordinary, picking up knives, throwing things, attacking her sisters and me, running outside
* She walks around swearing, screaming
* She can't sit still long enough for a story, watch a film or play
* She's even worse coping with change, authority and general family life.
But she eats!!!!
It's hell... my other children are not like this at all. Maybe she is just making it up but the wild look in her eyes can be scary. It's like she does not see me or hear me. She looks right through me with her eyes rolled up into her head and the noise levels... I have never heard a child get so high pitched. Her behaviour can be so irrational that unmedicated we stay in the house. Unpredictability coupled with bad behaviour and the hearing loss would mean the chances are higher than normal that something bad would happen and so I feel for my sanity it's safer to stay at home but at least she is eating!
But I feel so run down and emotional it's all I can do some days to get up. Having no respite at the weekends really does a number on my mood for the rest of the week. Am I a bad mum for eagerly wanting my daughter at school Monday morning? Is it some kind of failing in my part, I should be able to look after her, protect her, care for her? Shouldn't I? I can't afford good and bad days I have to keep it together. People who see me must think I am just a moody mum especially at school pick up at the end of the day but it's that knowing that the shouting, screaming will all start again once she is home and that I will be counting down the hours, minutes until she can go to bed and that's not a routine or a state of mind that any parent should be subjected to. We should enjoy the time we spend with our children shouldn't we?
All that said and done as I climb out of the black hole I have sunk into the last few weeks I have to tell myself I am not super women, I do the best I can with help from friends and family.
The days were my daughter snuggles up and tells me she loves me are the moments that I cherish and hang on to.
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x Leanne x