Saturday, August 6, 2011

Out of the heap (or something like that)

Right now I am sitting down by the lake, watching my three sweet children swim.  My poor dog is going crazy, tied to a tree, leaving him just out of reach of the water.  The cool breeze and the shade from the large trees mask the heat and humidity of another hot summer day.  The laughs and cheers from my children as they play and imagine together bring a smile to a quiet place inside of me.  Life, at this moment, is good.  It is a moment for which all the hard work seems infinitely worth it.

Yet, only an hour ago, I was a heap of tears and salty stained cheeks, sitting on the couch unmotivated to move.   It was a weighty moment of realization that my life is not quite the way I want or expected it to be.
Before I continue, I must write a “disclaimer” of sorts.  First off, this is one of those writings that I am not sure will ever make it to my blog.  It may be just a moment of pouring out / writing therapy for me…as a way to walk through the things I feel.   Secondly, no matter where this ends up – left on my computer, posted on my blog, or simply deleted – I need to say LOUDLY that I love so much of my life and those within it!  I truly have much to be thankful for.  So much so, that even as I write, I think “really…in the scheme of the world, do you really think you have it rough?”  And then I start to feel silly for even putting these words to the page.  (See it’s therapeutic already.)  Thirdly, the feelings that I have – that left me in a heap – are not a result of someone but of something.  These are two very different things and I must continually keep this in perspective.  Finally, I cannot imagine – though sometimes I’m sure I talk myself into thinking I can – a family that is more amazing, fun, unique, special, and just right for me than mine.  This too, I must remember.
Okay, so what’s all the blubbering about?  Simply put…it’s about the dark side of ADHD.
Okay – wait – one more disclaimer…I say the “dark side of ADHD” because there are many lovely-light sided-good-Jedi-like moments that are a part of ADHD.  For example – because of super strength and some super spontaneity (inherent in ADHD), my child skied doubles with his cousin the second time that he ever water skied.  He thought it looked cool and, without hesitation or much forethought, decided he would “go for it.”  Not too many other just turned 9 year olds would ever even think that was possible.  I also use this term because, as stated before, it is about the thing (ADHD)...not the person.
So back to the “dark side”.  I was struck once again – rightly or wrongly – by the fact that my life will never be quite like what I dreamed of long long ago.  Why did this hit me today when so many moments are “just life” or “c'est-la-vie”?
It started with the office visit…the appointment we have every few months to monitor medications and make adjustments if necessary.    I value these appointments as they provide us with a tool that optimizes learning and successful living.  But at the same time, they are an annoying reminder of life as it is.  At one point in the past few years, we were attending appointments related to our needs approximately three times a month.   Unfortunately, we were also slightly late for today's meeting – a combination of bad traffic and impulsive distractibility – which meant a bit of rushing.   However, this was, I believe, the first of these appointments for which we arrived late.  Quite a feat and no small victory.  Perhaps the lateness, therefore, added more to the sting of the appointment  today.
In spite of the need for the appointment,  it went relatively well.  Things are generally going nicely with the introduction of a "new" drug in June.  Given observations of a typical day, however, it was determined that a slight "tweak" in dosing would likely be helpful, especially with school just around the corner.  All in all, it was a pretty quick and painless meeting which was followed by a quick lunch at McDonald’s and good bye hugs to Ken.   (Ken is off for a great getaway weekend with his brother, Dave.  It should be a fabulous time of brotherly bonding and cheering for the Cubbies!) 
The real impetus for the teary mess that ensued, however, was yet another hunt for medication.  Yes…hunt.   Over the past year, I would estimate that 50% of my drug runs (which occur at least monthly), ended up with me running between (or at least calling between) two, sometimes three, different stores.   Not enough meds.  One drug, but not the other(s).  Wrong date on the script.  Pharmacy closing soon and can’t possibly fill them.   The dog ate my homework (no wait, that is a different kind of excuse).
This is how the hunt went today:
·    Stop at Target pharmacy and ask if they have what is needed before leaving the counter. (* note: this is something I learned I must do anytime I go fill a script –  I can not assume they will have what I need filled)
·     When tech says they do not have either prescription, ask them to call the other Target pharmacy to see if they have it (prior to driving over – another lesson learned).
·    When tech says the other Target does not have the drugs, continue shopping for the remaining items on our list.  Kids behaved well.  Elly got her birthday party present.  Grocery items bought.
·    While waiting for the kids to check out some video games at Target, I call ahead to Walgreens to make sure they have the drugs prior to going over to the store.  YES!  They have the drugs…well, all but 4 capsules of one.  I can deal with that.  “Please put them aside for me…I’ll be right over.”
·    Go through drive thru at Walgreens.  Pass prescriptions through indicating that I just called and the one set of meds have been put aside.
·    Different tech comes to the window and says she doesn’t have the meds.  I explain again that they have been put aside.  Phew.  She finds them and says both will be filled within 20 minutes.
·    Kids and I drive around and look at a couple of garage sales to kill time...much to Elly’s joy and Ben’s dread.  Zac is indifferent, as long as he doesn’t have to get out of the car, he doesn’t care.
·    20 minutes later, I return to the drive thru window.  A faceless voice comes over the speaker and asks if the medications are an increase in dosage over the last time they were filled.  “Yes they are, “ I answer.  The mystery woman then explains to me that the insurance has denied the prescription because they say that the increase in medication is not medically necessary.  This is actually an overstatement, I determine, as they are not saying it is not necessary, but that they want the MD to prove it is necessary before they will pay for it.  “They should come live at my house,” I say only half joking, “and then they will know whether or not it is necessary.”
The woman continues to explain that a prior authorization is required, but I could buy the medication on my own.  The two prescriptions would cost somewhere around $260 for the month, as opposed to roughly $20 with my coverage.   I could just buy a few days’ worth, but it could take up to two weeks to have the prescription authorization taken care of.  And, due to the nature of the drug, once any of the meds from the script have been filled, the rest of the pills are void and cannot be filled.  A new script would have to be written and an original must be provided (did I mention this office is about 35 minutes from home?).   And, I only have 2 days’ worth of his current meds left.   
·    I tell the tech I need to call my MD and think about my options.  As I pull away, the heat and salt of the tears drench my face, which is already wet with sweat born out of frustration and disappointment.  I pull over and put my face in my hands, trying not to cry too loudly, but unable to hide my sorrow filled frustration.  My children tend to me with gentleness and concern, wondering what has made me so sad.  Zachary tries to explain it to the other two, though he doesn’t understand that the sobs are not just about unfilled prescriptions, but the weight of it all coming up again.

For the next hour or so, I played phone tag with the nurse and try to hatch a plan…a plan I have not yet decided on…there are few options, really, but I do not know just how many days’ worth of meds to purchase given the heafty price.  And, for the hour or so after that, I tried to distract myself by catching up with others on facebook and e-mail.  But somehow, when interrupted by little voices asking for something to eat or to go swimming, the weight just feels heavier and I sink further underneath it.  One particular voice gets louder and more persistent, even as I ask for time to pull myself together and figure out the evening agenda.  And, the tears just flow.

Doctor appointments.  Medication hunts.  $$$ for appointments and medications.   IEP meetings.    Fewer freedoms.  More demands.  Words that sting (from various sources, sometimes well intended).  Altered dreams.   The "what ifs", "why nots" and "how comes". 

And, usual, it was a relatively short lived moment - this ugly heap I was in.  My pity party didn't last long.  It couldn't last long...nor should it last long.  I have far too much to be thankful for...and far too much life to live.   I have, after all, an awesome family, an incredible husband, and three fabulous kids.  I have a beautiful place to live and big trees in my back yard.  I have food to fill my plate and a roof over my head.  I have clothes on my back and shoes on my feet.  My husband and I are both employed.  My children are healthy.  We have extended family and friends who love us and care for us.  And, most importantly, I have El Roi.

So, here I sit, by the lake...soaking in the moment that was meant to be,  my children enjoying the stuff that summer is made of, and my thoughts moving in the right direction.  I anticipate an evening of pizza, Whale Wars, and walking the dog.  I feel lighter and brighter and less tear stained.  Yep, this is a good moment.  And, oh so much better than being in the heap.

(* I have decided I would post this.  My primary purpose in sharing, I think, is to be real and "transparent" because I know there are other mom's and dad's who share in the challenges of parenting - whether it is because of a specific area of need or just because this parenting stuff is not always easy.  My hope is that if there are others in a heap right now, that it too would be short lived, and that they would know they are not alone by any stretch.  Sleepless nights, emotional drains, and moments of "what was I thinking?" are not yours alone...and things get better...and you are not alone....ever.  Thanks for reading!)



  1. Thanks for being so open! We all have these moments and I think it helps to remember that we are alone. No matter how wonderful life is and how thankful we are for our families there are those moments that we crumble. Those are the moments that I find myself most desperate for Father God- which I guess isn't a bad thing.

  2. thank you, amy, for your thoughts (and for reading). i sure wish we lived nearer to one another so we could have a visit.


Share your thoughts, feelings, or your own related experiences. I love that! And, as always, thanks for stopping by!