Well-Meaning, But Wrong

My Sweet Girl

My Sweet Girl

I blogged about my older daughter’s struggle with ADD (and mine, let’s face it!), as well as our decision to give medication a try. It was an agonizing decision, and something I thought about and prayed about and struggled with for about two years before finally acting and taking her in to see about starting some kind of medication.

I went to fill it at the pharmacy, and the pharmacist (who is newer and is still getting to know us) expressed his concern that we were going this route. And while I do understand that it’s his job as a pharmacist – and that this kind of caring is one thing I love about our pharmacy – I was really put off by the nearly 10 minute lecture he was giving me about ways  to get around medication. Even after I explained that we homeschool, that I’ve been dealing with this with natural means since Kindergarten, and that this was something I’ve given a lot of thought to.

I wish he had listened to me as much as he wanted me to listen to him that afternoon, because I explained this to him, and that we made this decision together as a family, and that this was something we were hoping would help us to find some joy in our daily life (and especially in homeschooling) that was getting lost amongst what I have come to feel like is constant nagging about every least thing.

What wound up happening was that I was thrown back into that doubt that plagued me for months before I finally decided to have her evaluated for ADD and look into the medication. I started wondering if I really had tried everything possible, if I was pushing her too hard, if we just needed more time. I still went back to pick up the medicine the next day, but I had knots in my stomach as I pulled up to the pharmacy.

I thank God for my friends, though, who saw my complaint about the incident on Facebook and offered support both there and in person. Not a single person said I wasn’t trying to do what was right for my kids. Every one of them said that I know my girls better than anyone; while the pharmacist meant well, he’s not in charge of my kids: I am. And every person said that I was right to do what we’d given so much prayer and contemplation to.

I’m still hoping that I can get her to write a bit about her experiences and how she’s feeling before and after starting this medication. We’re only a few days in, and I haven’t tried to do a lot of school work yet, especially since last week was Vacation Bible School week, and she was one of the aides. Maybe we can write a tandem piece on it after a full week of school to see how things are going.

In the meantime, please pray for us as we move into this new territory.

4 thoughts on “Well-Meaning, But Wrong

  1. Dear friend,be at peace with yourself.If you tried natural ways axnd feel you need to do more than that then try it.I am an elementary school teacher ,I didnt use to believe in this ADD and ADHD .I thought it was an excuse for childrens behavior until I witnessed myself the impact and bendfit it can have on a student.One day one of my smart,very well mannered and educated students was all wacko .After tolerating him for a while ,I made the comment”what wrong with you today,its like someone changed you,your a different person” he said “today I didnt take my
    medication.Then I became a believer in the meds for.ADD
    and ADHD. Now I understood why in the previous school I worked there was a student who had ADHD and when he didnt take it he was impossible to deal with.He would get sent to the office till the mom brought the meds.I do have to say its a process.The dr has to fine tune the meds and see which one and what dosis works for you.Ive had student who on meds were ok and Ive had student that were sleepy in the classroom.Good luck


    • Thanks. This is our first week of trying to do some bigger school projects with the medication. We went over side effects together so she can monitor herself. Praying we’ll find the right solution for her so she can be all she can be!

      (Um, that sounded like an Army ad.)


  2. I am such a believer in natural methods over medication that many of my friends were astonished nearly to speechlessness (NEARLY, but not quite) when they learned that I was giving my 12 y.o. daughter Ritalin. When people would say something like “the teachers at school just want it to make the boys behave better, when what they really need is more physical activity” I would give them the short answer (the long answer is really long). My daughter is a girl, she is home-schooled so no teachers have asked me to do this, and she wants the medication most when she is about to have her horseback riding lesson. She found that the medication helped her to concentrate better DURING a planned, intentional physical activity.

    I will warn you about one thing that I think the pharmacist probably won’t: sometimes the medication seemed to work and other times it didn’t. I finally realized that the pharmacist was substituting generics as he was required to do unless the Dr. specified “dispense as written” with the name brand Ritalin. The generics are not all the same no matter what they say. Some work, some don’t. I could not stand the roulette wheel of wondering whether this one would work, or not, so I begged the Dr. to write the prescription always for Ritalin, and I would check the medicine bottle every time to make sure.


    • Thanks, Rebecca! I’m very into letting as much get done naturally as possible, too. Heck, I hardly take them to the doctor unless they’re really horribly sick. The pharmacist hasn’t filled a prescription on this kid for so long, the current insurance provider didn’t even have her in the system for prescriptions.

      I’ve been asking her “How’s your brain today?”, which makes my husband laugh, even if he knows what I mean. She says she definitely can concentrate better, but she misses the crazy all-over feeling in her head. (“I used to have such interesting things happening in there,” was her comment the other day.) But at the same time, she accomplished more in 2 hours this morning before lunch than she used to do in 2 days while researching and re-writing her final draft of her research paper. What she did today used to take her probably four times longer.

      Again, we’re really early into this, but holy cow! There wasn’t even any tooth-pulling or dragging through the process. We just have to watch for the side effects and make sure they’re under control.

      I appreciate the information on generics; I know the insurance company prefers it if it’s available, so I’ll watch for it once things settle in and we have done all the tweaking we need to. Also, I appreciate the stories on your daughter. I’ve been sharing stories with my daughter as we go on this journey, and any stories she can hear about similar situations helps her, especially as a homeschooler who really doesn’t know anyone else who’s going this route.


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