Guest Blogs

Return of the ADHD Symptoms

When we arrived home from vacation, Natalie morphed into Miss No-Impulse-Control.

I jinxed myself! I wrote in my ADHD Parenting Blog that Natalie was doing exceptionally well in regards to ADHD symptoms and her resulting behavior this summer. Then, I double-jinxed myself. At Natalie’s med-check appointment with our pediatrician last week, I said the same thing, right out loud. Her meds are working very well, I reported. I should have known better!

We had a too-short but fun, relaxing, memory-making family vacation last week with our good friends Mark and Debbie Flannery, their 16-year-old daughter Julie, and her friend Emily. Natalie’s behavior was as near as she gets to perfect. Even the car rides–three hours each way, to and from Iowa’s Lake Okoboji, went smoothly. So, I couldn’t figure out what was going on when we arrived home, and for the first two days back, Natalie morphed into Miss No-Impulse-Control. She drove me absolutely nuts. More so, I think, because I’ve become accustomed to a more controlled Natalie.

No changes have been made to her medication regime, and we didn’t miss a single dose while on vacation. We took along her gummy fish Omega-3 supplements, so a lack thereof isn’t to blame. Was she having trouble with re-entry into everyday life? Did the end of vacation signal that it’s nearly time for the anxiety-inducing transition back to school? Did she have an overnight growth spurt or pre-pre-puberty hormone-squirt? Or, did I really jinx myself with my oh-so-confident exclamations that Nat’s symptoms were being controlled beautifully? Whatever happened, I don’t like it.

Here’s Natalie at the drugstore: “I’m going to touch everything! Touch! Touch! Touch! Touch!” And, Natalie in the kitchen, grabbing a container full of fruit and vegetable scraps meant for the compost pile, “Can I dump this?” she asks. “Sure, in the compost pile, not in the…” she dumps the whole mess in the sink. She skips around inside the house with a big slice of watermelon, juice dripping down her arms and out of her mouth to the floor, then tracks the sticky juice all over with her dirty bare feet. The examples go on, and on, and on. By the time Don arrived home from work both evenings, I was compelled to run away–to leave the house for a loooong break. I even fantasized about re-entering the work world–of finding a job that would require Natalie to attend daycare as many waking hours as I could possibly squeeze in. Working was soooo much easier than this!

Luckily, a respite weekend rolled around, allowing me break, and next week Natalie begins counseling with a new (to us) psychologist. I’m making my list of questions (desperate pleas for help!) for him, but I hope that I won’t need it. I hope that this post describing Nat’s sudden reversion to negative behaviors will undo the jinx. Don’t worry, I’m not holding my breath. (But it can’t hurt to cross my fingers, can it?)