Ryley was diagnosed with asthma four years ago. He started daily maintenance meds when he was five years old….inhaler and nose spray in the morning, Singulair at night. Then when he has a cold or allergies, we add the rescue inhaler. It wasn’t fun in the beginning, but we soon adjusted and it was just part of life. Last year at his 8 year old well child check-up, things we’d been keeping an eye on for a few years could no longer wait to be addressed, and he was diagnosed with ADHD. We added two medications a day for the ADHD, and one other medication for another issue. Our counter looked like it did when he came home from the NICU. I had to post a schedule for myself so we wouldn’t forget anything. It didn’t become routine. It was overwhelming almost every day. It didn’t help that it took four months to work out the right doses and combination for the ADHD meds. Things kept changing. Ryley was going through a lot. I felt miserable for him, and for me. Ryley never fought his daily asthma meds. But all of the sudden, every morning and every night we had a battle on our hands to get him to take his medicines. We tried rewards, we tried conversations, we tried punishments. When I found he’d been hiding his ADHD meds all over the house instead of taking them, I knew some things had to change. We got rid of one and then another medication. We rolled into Spring and started weaning off the asthma medications for the summer. We were still fighting over the ADHD medicine, but finally worked that all out as well.
I think the past year has taken its toll on Ryley. He hates medicine. Well, he doesn’t really mind medicine so much as he minds taking any medicine. He hates it. He will avoid taking even his ADHD meds at all cost, forget about anything else. He had a cold with a cough a couple of months back. He absolutely refused to take anything for his headache or his cough. His ear was hurting him and he wouldn’t let us put the ear numbing drops in his ear. He had to have a tooth pulled by the oral surgeon and he didn’t want to take anything at all for the pain.
I let him decide anymore. He has to take his ADHD and asthma medicines. Those are not optional. Everything else is up to him for now. If he wants to live with the pain, that’s his decision. He does know though that if he won’t take anything when he has a cold, a headache, or is in pain, he is not allowed to whine or complain. I think I need to let him have some control over some things because there is so much he does not and has not had control over. If it helps with the necessary stuff to let him decide on the optional stuff, then so be it. He’s not a baby anymore. He can start making some decisions for himself as long as he is aware of the consequences and is willing to deal with them.
While it’s amazing to me he’s nine years old, and the time seems to have flown, it’s also been a very long journey. Could it have been longer? Yes, it certainly could have. Could we have dealt with so much more? Oh yes we could have. What we deal with are essentially speed bumps. I know that. But they’re *our* speed bumps, and they’re not fun. The past year has been physically, mentally, and emotionally draining. I’ve learned to seriously pick my battles. There are things that we could choose to work on with him. They would require so much time and effort, and possibly another medication, and I’m just not willing to put us all through that. Some things we will attack, some things we will just let go. He deserves that.