The day started off normal enough. Bear was wild, Stitch was into everything, and I was gritting my teeth as I sorted through our bottles of medicine so I could give Bear his meds.
Then I stopped dead.
"Shit!" I muttered under my breath. I don't normally swear in my blog and I definitely don't normally swear in front of my kids, but realizing that you've forgotten to refill your child's ADHD meds is one of those times that brings out the worst in you. And for the record, no one heard me over Bear. No one can hear anything over Bear in the morning. Hence the profanity.
OK, no problem, I thought to myself. Bear and I are on the exact same dosage of the exact same medication, and I wasn't out of mine. Surely I could spare one in order for my boy to be able to get through his day. Now, let me be clear -- I don't go around giving people my meds. And I'm not one of those parents who says "Oh, we're out of children's Advil so I'll just give him a regular one...should be the same, right?" Again...we are on the EXACT same dosage of the EXACT same medication. The only difference is that his doctor specified no substitutions and mine didn't, so he's on the brand name drug and I'm on the generic drug. Theoretically, these drugs are identical and fully interchangeable.
Did you catch the key word in that sentence? Theoretically…
Well, they might be theoretically identical, but I can tell you beyond a shadow of a doubt that there is a huge difference between the two. My understanding in researching it is that while the active drug is identical, the time release mechanism is different, and that’s where the problems lie. (Note: From what I’ve read, this is the situation in
What followed was one of the worst days that Bear has had in months…and months…and months. Here are a few highlights: punched someone in the stomach at school, spontaneous tears on and off all day for no reason (yes, there was a reason, but you know what I mean), total meltdown because there was no milk for his chocolate milk, aggression and defiance like I haven’t seen in ages. The chocolate milk was such an issue that despite the fact that The ODD Dad and I were both home, I had to call my dad and ask him to go buy us some milk. Bear was so upset over there not being any milk that he was violent, but he was violent enough that neither of us could leave to go get the milk – and no amount of explaining this was sinking in. By the end of the night I was fighting tears and emotionally exhausted, which is something that hasn’t happened in a long time.
So, what did we learn from this experience? Well, first off, I’ll be asking my doctor to switch me to the brand name drug, which was a valuable lesson. The unwelcome lesson was that Bear’s meds work so well that we’ve been lulled into a false sense of security about how well he’s doing. I sometimes feel as if a huge weight has been lifted off our shoulders and as if it’s going to be relatively smooth sailing from here on in. Then a day like this comes along, and I realize just how severe our poor little guy’s problems still are. Right now, rather than feeling good about how well his meds work (and yes, I’m very grateful for them), I feel as if I’m waiting for the proverbial “other shoe” to drop – the day his meds stop working.
Sometimes ignorance really is bliss.