Guest Blogs

From Snuggle to Struggle

The effect of Ritalin on our 7-year-old ADHD daughter is immediately noticeable — your ADHD symptoms are also noticeable when she skips a dose.

When I got out of the shower this morning, Nat had just woken up, and was coming up the stairs to find me, dragging her latest favorite blanket. “Let’s snuggle,” she said, “the first one to the bed gets your pillows!” She won, of course, and I climbed in bed next to her. She was just telling me about her dream, where Kallie, and Casey, and Adrianna, and Lindzey were all her girlfriends, and Ty and Harry were her boyfriends, when the phone rang.

It was Jacquie, the young woman who babysat Nat last summer. She’s a newlywed now and just moved to Virginia, where her new husband, Luke, an engineer (Iowa State University is known for them), got a job doing something for NASA. Jacquie is preparing to look for a teaching job, and asked for a letter of recommendation.

I talked to Jacquie for a minute, and then Nat demanded the phone. Then I got the phone back, and then Nat demanded it again. You get the picture. What’s missing in this picture? RITALIN!

Nat hadn’t taken her morning dose yet, and God help me, now she was wide awake! By the time I hung up the phone, Jacquie and I were yelling to be heard, and Nat was on top of my extra-high chest of drawers, with a highlighter, turning everything in sight sunny-yellow.

By this time, getting her to focus enough to put pills in her mouth and swallow was a major undertaking. I grabbed the highlighter out of her hand; she grabbed a handful of stickers before I could put the pills in it. I shook the stickers loose, replaced them with the pills. Meanwhile, she grabs more stickers with her other hand, before I could hand her a glass of water.

“Put those down. Take your medicine. Stop! Take your medicine before you do anything else. If you take your medicine I’ll give you ice cream!”

That got her attention! Whew!

It was great to catch up with Jacquie. Now, if the Ritalin would only catch up with Natalie!