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A Vacation from ADHD Med Worries

Hello from sunny Sanibel Island! Don and I are on a four-day getaway. Grandma Helen (brave soul) is home with our kids.

I spent the week leading up to take-off worrying that, for one reason or another, this vacation wouldn’t be a go. Reason Number One: Natalie’s ADHD; specifically, the unsettled state of her ADHD meds.

Natalie recently starting taking Clonidine to help her sleep, and we are right smack in that critical evaluation stage, where I track an untried med’s effect, day and night. After week one, we had permission to increase the dose, but I wasn’t comfortable having Grandma do so when I wasn’t there to watch.

In addition to this nerve-wracking unknown, I’m still experimenting with whether or not Nat needs an evening dose of short acting Ritalin. I feel like I’m the only person in-tune enough with Nat’s history and present situation to guide these changes; to make med decisions day to day.

How could I leave?

I would have had a better handle on how the Clonindine is working, and whether or not Nat needs that happy-hour Ritalin cocktail, but, the night we started the Clonidine, Nat went to bed feeling sick.

Sure enough, she woke up at 1 a.m., burning up, and was home sick from school for two days. That ADHD-fever effect, which I wrote about just a few weeks ago, added an extra variable to our Clonidine trial.

Nat returned to school midweek. The bug hit me Friday night. Drat.

Don was at a basketball tournament with Aaron. I stretched out on the couch and moaned while Natalie played with jewelry-making beads at the kitchen table. I rolled off the couch as infrequently as possible: to lift Nat down from the kitchen counter when she climbed up to rummage in the stuff on top of the fridge — an assortment of things, like permanent markers, that are there specifically so they are out of her reach — and to intervene when she asked if she could color these cool pictures of our house, and I realized that the only pictures of our house she could mean were in the file that holds our mortgage information.

At one point in the evening, I heaved myself off the couch to do a quick visual check of Natalie in the kitchen.

“I mixed all my beads together,” Nat said. Her cousins gave her a starter-set of jewelry-making supplies for Christmas, along with thousands of tiny beads in various shapes and colors, and small plastic see-through vials in which to keep them sorted. Nat had dumped every vial into a plastic tray and was stirring them all together.

“Okay,” I replied, emotionless, and headed back to the couch.

“‘Okay’?” Nat said. “That’s all?”

I guess there’s a feelings-flattening fever-effect for moms of kids with ADHD, too!

Anyway, Grandma showed up, we packed up and left, and I’m here in Florida. My cold is getting better by the day, and by all reports, all is fine on the home front.

Time to hit the beach! Signing off for now from Sanibel.