Writer's Workshop: THE Meds

2.) Share one of your favorite things.


     I'm sure you think it's pretty strange that I would say that Tenex (Guanfacine is the generic) is one of my favorite things. It would probably be more precise to say that I'm thankful for Tenex. Unless you have a condition that is controlled by medication you might think it's a little far fetched that anyone would count medication as something to be thankful for, AND unless you or your child happens to suffer from ADHD, Tenex probably wouldn't make your short list of medications of which to be thankful.
     At this time, I should probably point out that before I had children I was rather vocal about my views on medicating them. I had "views" on antibiotics, mostly that they were over prescribed--most doctor's will agree with that one. But I was most vocal about the use of Ritlin (and all of the other ADHD meds) because I felt that there were a lot of people out there using these meds in place of parenting their children. Don't have the time to be an involved, plugged-in parent? Don't worry! Just give little Bobby this pill and he will be insta-well mannered! I will tell you that I'm no longer AS vocal because I have a child that is diagnosed with autism and ADHD. (But I still think that ADHD medications are over prescribed and I know a lot of people that think that these medications are as benign as vitamins. I guess they just choose to forget that vitamins can be deadly in large amounts.)
     Am I a hypocrite? I don't know. Maybe. I do know that my child has been seen by more medical personnel than the average kid who's packing a fistful of Ritalin. I know that it's pretty common to have the autism/ADHD double diagnosis, fun pack. And I know that without her prescription my child borders on completely-out-of-control-and-might-be-a-danger-to-herself-and-my-sanity.*
     Myriam's meds provide her with a little more self control. It gives her that split second to think before she acts. Without it she's working without a filter. How good are you without your filter engaged? Hmm? Am I concerned about her making her a zombie? No. The meds obviously don't do that to her. But I do worry about myriad of other side effects, weight gain and her blood pressure falling too low to name a few. I worry that there hasn't been enough research into the long term effects of these meds.
     But mostly I'm thankful. Thankful that the meds help her function in the "normal" world. Thankful that they ease her nerves. Thankful they calm her rages and smooth her rough patches. Thankful that they allow her to be the funny, intelligent, sweet and loving child we know she can be.

Peace Out!
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*You should know that I have done a lot of soul searching about the meds. I truly worry about whether the use of medication is appropriate for Myriam or whether we medicated her just to give us a little peace. At the time we made the decision we were at the end of our rope. We would have done anything to "make it better".

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