Instead of treating my daughter's ADHD with Ritalin, I added a dose of stupidity.
by Kay Marner
As if it isn’t hard enough to feel okay about medicating my ADHD child, yesterday I gave her an added dose of my own stupidity.
Natalie was playing outside (thank God for a break from winter!) with several neighborhood friends when med time rolled around. I went into the house, grabbed her medicine and a glass of milk, and took them across the street to her.
“These are green,” Natalie said, as she tossed them in her mouth. “Dad gave me orange ones yesterday.”
What have I done?
I ran in the house, and checked the bottle that I’d taken the capsules from. Oh my god, I just gave my daughter an overdose of Prozac instead of her Ritalin LA.
I called First Nurse, our clinic’s after hours emergency service, and confessed.
“Call Poison Control,” the nurse said, giving me the number…but not before taking my name, Natalie’s name and date of birth, and the name of our pediatrician. Now I’ll be on the bad-mother watch list, I thought, as I gave her the information.
I called poison control. “She’ll be absolutely fine,” said the voice on the other end. “That’s not a toxic dose. If anything, she may seem a little tired.” She advised me to hold off on giving Natalie the Ritalin LA for a couple of hours.
Don walked in the door as I hung up the phone. He’d returned from buying groceries to find Natalie doing something she shouldn’t. The cat was outside, having made the great escape as I ran inside in a panic. I could tell he was wondering, “What the hell’s going on?”
I burst into tears as I confessed my latest mothering failure.
Thankfully, Nat seemed just fine for the rest of the day, although she wondered why I kept asking her how she felt. And she was extra sleepy this morning.
“That’s because you woke up so early yesterday,” I said.
“No, it’s because YOU gave me the wrong medicine,” she responded.
“You’re right. I’ll be so, so, careful to never do that again.” I said. Better confess my bad-mom behavior to her teachers, I thought, because I know they’ll hear about it from her.
Stupid, stupid, stupid me.