Saturday, December 3, 2016

Where We Go From Here

In addition to the beginning of the Christmas season, we had a few other things going on this week with Jacob in particular.  It was parent-teacher conference week, so his conference was on Wednesday, then he had a half day Thursday and a full day off on Friday. 

The conference was probably the hardest since Kindergarten, as he's having a tough time right now.  His report card had a few more than the usual two "I"s, and his Math grade wasn't quite up to par.  That's the first we've seen of any academic struggles, and knowing how smart he actually is, it's clear something is up.  Whether it's just not wanting to make the effort, or a complete inability to focus, I'm not completely sure, but the focus is a significant issue right now.  It was disheartening to talk with his teacher, even though there was nothing I was unaware of.  At least I didn't cry! 

Thursday I was off with him.  We had a really nice lunch at Chipotle, just the two of us.
We went to Barnes and Noble near my work because I was trying to buy something for a work project, and he was picking out Under Armour gear with the University's logo on it!  He also enjoyed looking at books while I shopped for a couple toddler books to donate at my work Christmas party.  We then stopped in my office so I could visit a holiday bazaar they were putting on (both years it's been on the day I was off with Jacob!).  We stopped in at my desk so he could meet some co-workers, and he loved raiding my candy bowl.  We had a pretty good day, at least until we picked up Carter and the usual ridiculousness started up again.
At the end of that day we had a follow-up appointment with one of his behavioral doctors, and after years of angst and discussion, we finally walked out with a prescription for ADHD medication.  It's not a decision we made easily, but it seems that the time has come.  Now that it's impacting his progress in school, I feel like we don't have a choice but to give it a try.  It might take time to find the right medication and dose, so our journey is far from over.  And the toughest part is that this probably won't fix our issues at home, as his dose will be winding down by then and his issues are more directly with Carter anyway.  He's not thrilled at the thought of taking a pill, though his issues appear to be as much with the action of having to swallow it as it is with how it might affect him.  He doesn't think he needs help, which makes this so much harder.
We still haven't figured out the timing for starting it, and we still need to work out the details with school, as he will need to take a dose there for now.  It's scary, but it's something that needs to be tried.  I had someone tell me once that they would not be where they were without their Adderall, so I'm hopeful medicine can help him, too.  We don't want to change him completely.  We just want enough of a dose that he can be functional.  I liked how the doctor put it--he basically said it gives him a level playing field.  Some kids don't need a lot of effort to showcase their intelligence, but for a kid like Jacob, his is hidden behind his inattention and impulsivity.  The medicine will get him to that same point as his peers.  It just makes it fair for him. 
So, we move forward.  We have no way of knowing where we go from here, but we just have to take a giant step of faith and hope this is the right move--for all of us.  I am simultaneously scared and hopeful.  More than anything I'm sad we're in this spot in the first place, and wish beyond words that I could fix this myself.  But I guess we just have to be thankful we don't have to do it ourselves and that God gave doctors the intelligence to create medicine that can help him.  We just have to have faith we can find the right fix for him and see how it goes.  The next few weeks are crucial.  And of course it's these few weeks leading up to Christmas.  Please pray for us, now more than ever.

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