I’m sorry I haven’t posted in a while. I had some personal issues that I needed to deal with for a couple of weeks. I’m posting now because there is something that is on my mind, and I’m wondering if anyone out there has any thoughts or comments on it.
Due to an unfortunate assignment by Medi-Cal (California’s Medicaid), my son has been seeing a very crappy doctor. Every time we have gone there with questions or an illness, we have seen the same doctor, which would normally be a good thing. However, this doctor never shows true concern for our questions, and usually seems as if we are a bother to him. When I took my son in for burning when he urinates, they did a urinalysis and found out that it was not a bladder infection. I asked the doctor what else could cause that, and he just glared at me. He acts as if it’s all in our heads every time we go in, and we’ve only seen him twice. The doctor’s office also did not want to take my word for it when I told him that Zack has ADHD.
The clinic we go to was supposed to refer us to an ADHD “specialist,” which I’m guessing is a psychologist or psychiatrist. They told me I needed to have his report cards on hand, as well as statements from his teachers and me regarding his behavior. I explained to them that he was diagnosed at age 6 in November 2009, but they said that those things were a must before his prescription could be updated. Well, his report card is always fantastic because having ADHD does not impact his grades. (In fact, some of you may not know that many children who genuinely have ADHD are actually highly intelligent. Part of the reason they have so much energy, impulse issues, and are talkative is because there is so much going on in their minds at one time, which makes it difficult for them to filter their thoughts before they act on them.) And, up until this past week, his teacher had very positive things to say about his behavior. The reason for this is because he takes his medicine every morning and afternoon.
So what has changed this past week, you may ask? Put simply, we ran out of Zack’s medicine last week. I have called his doctor’s office more than once, but have yet to hear from the specialist. It has been weeks since they originally told me about this so-called specialist! So while they waste my time, my child has run out of his medicine. His teacher has told me that you can definitely tell the difference between Zack with his medicine and Zack without his medicine. He does not sit still well (and actually likes to stand often during instruction time, as opposed to sitting in his seat), he talks to his classmates constantly (disrupting his teacher’s lessons and distracting his peers), and he is much more impulsive (as evidenced by an actual physical altercation he got into with another student – one with whom he normally gets along with well!).
What shocked me in the midst of all of this frustration is a conversation I had with Zack one afternoon after school. I asked him how he felt about his behavior at school without his medicine. He told me he hasn’t gotten in trouble at all, and that he didn’t feel like he even needed his medicine. I reminded him of the many times he told me himself that he feels more “focused” (his word, not mine) on his medicine, and that he often feels out of control without it. He said that while it is true he feels more in control on his medicine, he thinks he will do just fine in school without it. I told his teacher what he said, and she explained that the reason he has not had many warnings is because she and the rest of the staff at school have been extra patient with him since we ran out of his medicine.
Not to worry, though…I refuse to let my child (or his teachers and classmates) suffer for long. I called Medi-Cal and switched doctor’s offices back to the office we originally went to when we first moved to California. I wasn’t going to do that at all, since we are moving in less than three months, but I want Zack to finish out the rest of the school year in peace. We went through enough drama with him on and off his medicine due to some complications with his father last year. I am not putting him through that again. The fact is, he is more successful in school – both academically and socially – when he is taking his medicine regularly. I still don’t believe in giving it to him on weekends or holidays, but I firmly believe he needs to take it to get through the school day.
My only real question is: if it is apparent to me, his teacher, and other adults that he is more successful ON his medicine, why does Zack feel like he would be just fine OFF of his medicine?