ADHD is exhausting!

First day of school did not start until 10:00, but “Kitty” and “Boo” decided to get up already at 5:45. They did stay quiet until 6:30 but then “Kitty” came in and asked me if I had overslept. Since I had been awake a lot of the night with a head ache, I was not happy. After all, I had set the alarm to go off at 7:40, so I had looked forward to one more late morning. I told him to leave the bedroom at once, which he did, but did not close the door behind him. So I had to get up and close it. 15 minutes later, “Boo” comes in to tattle tell, and I escorted him out of the door and went and got myself some aspirin. I headed one more time for bed, since my alarm was not going to go off for another 55 minutes and if I stay out of bed too long, “Gubby” wakes up and why should he have to wake up?

Ten minutes and then “Kitty” was in there and I told him “Out!”. In a wheezing voice in great resemblance of a snake (a creature which I detest). But he did not close the door after himself and I lay there and listened to their bickering in front of the TV for 20 minutes, till I dragged myself up to slam the door. Now I was really in a bad mood. My head ache was not lifting, quite the opposite. I could not keep “Gubby” sleeping finally, but did not join the boys until 7:40. They were in a pretty good mood, and I made them eat breakfast while I ironed clothes for “Boo” and chased “Cookie” out of bed. So far so good, I even managed to read some scriptures for them, to give them a good start and to kill the time it took “Cookie” to dress. Last minute, before they walked out the door at 8:40, I had to order “Kitty” to take off his beanie. For heaven’s sake, it is August and not winter! That said, I stand there and watch my 13-year-old sneaking out with a baggy beanie on her head, like she was part of a street gang in Detroit! I get so tired of this! Knitted beanie in summer??! To be cool! COOL? Hot I mean! And hot is the word, isn’t it??

When I am ready to get in to the shower, E. comes all panicked. She has had a summer job this summer, covering for someone on holiday, delivering “crap” mail. That mail has been delivered every Thursday, by the driver, who has rung the door bell and then deposited all the advertisements on our hallway floor. Then E. has had to sort it all, take this little blue trolley, they get to borrow, and go and deliver it to a set area of our village. For some reason she had told her “boss” that she could not do week 32 and 33. But yesterday, the “boss” phoned her and asked why she did not deliver week 33’s garbage mail? E. told her, that she was not supposed to work that week and that nothing had been delivered either. But the boss said, it had. So E. went searching for it and found all the advertisements in the trolley, outside, completely soaked, since we have had a regular down pour for over a week. The “boss” insisted that she deliver it and said the driver was new, that is why he did not know the routine! Only, the driver is supposed to deliver the crap where it will not run the risk of getting wet. Not run the risk of getting wet in a trolley outside?????

So, panicked, E. started to sort the wet papers. She had not dared to tell her “boss”” that it was all wet. I am sure some angry old lady or old gentleman will phone the boss and complain, since this is the elderly’s highlight of the week, looking for bargains, so it was bad that E. did not face up to the truth, right away like I told her to do. I guess she will just have to live with the consequences. No other way to learn here in life.

I turned on the water in the shower and called out to E., “did they walk out with the bus card?”. She answers me that no, she still had the bus card. So naked I run out and phone “Cookie” and ask her if she has some sort of card with her? And she starts her usual whining monologue. No, she did not. And I could do nothing about it. I just had to say a prayer that they would be let on the bus anyway, since I had to get ready and head off for town and BUP. (Child and Youth Psychiatry) I was to meet “Kitty’s” new counselor since his “old” one is on maternity leave.  A meeting which was planned two months ago, so it could not be changed. There was  not way to get “Gubby” ready to go to pre-school, so he had to take an extra day off and stay home with D. and E.

I got to BUP and paid for 70 minutes, just to make sure. But when I got inside, there was noone to be seen. Noone in the reception, noone came and asked for me. I stood there till 10:08, before I got hold of someone and told them that I had been there on time but now it looked like I was 8 minutes late. Thanks to this lateness, I sat on needles, since my parking went out 11:11. I am getting so sick and tired of this. Not being told how long meetings will be, them not keeping the times and me running the risk of a parking ticket. At some parking places in town, they have started with something called Parkster. You download an app for your iPhone and when you arrive and park your car, you start the app. When you are done and ready to go home, you stop it and you only pay for the time you have parked. Suits me great! But oh so few parking places use this system! Why the hospital and BUP don’t, is beyond me, since those are places that need this system. Thanks to the doctors letting you sit there and wait for them, way past the time of your appointment and then you never ever knowing how long things will take. It is impossible to pay the correct amount of for parking!!! It really is bad and it’s made me wonder if the health care system has a deal with the parking company, so the latter will earn a lot of money giving the patients tickets for being parked illegally. Then they share the profit or what?

We sat down to a 1 1/2 hour discussion. Mind you, I had only paid for an hour! M. had unfortunately not really read his records, so I first had to start with a summary. The reason why I once again is in heavy contact with BUP concerning “Kitty” is the fact that we contemplate medicating him. I have written a post about it but it is not published since it is not very pleasant and I am not sure how it would be accepted out there. So I am sitting on it, not knowing what to do and the same goes for the decision, whether to succumb or not.

When I went in to talk to her, I had a couple of issues I wanted to bring up. First of all the fact, that even if he gets medicated, I still can’t have “Cookie” bully him and press on all the buttons she can, to make him blow up. I already asked BUP to sit down and have an information meeting with his siblings, about what it means to have ADHD, what behaviour is connected with it and so forth. What not to do and what to do. That was a year ago and  so far nothing has happened, but things have got worse. “Cookie” calls him ADHD-kid and DAMP-kid, even though he does not have the latter, and refuses to listen to me when I say that this is not tolerable, that what he has is a handicap and that one does not “kick on” handicapped people. That one tries to help them and not tear them down. It has become more and more obvious during  this year that her teenage rebellion makes it impossible for me to “reach her”. I am just her stupid mum, the always nagging mother who one must not listen to. So, once again, I have asked for them to sit down with both her and D. and E., since it can not hurt for them eithere to see that this is serious. It’s not just their brother being annoying and that some of their behaviour, brings out the worse in him, which is totally unnecessary. My view is that if the three of them get to go to this official building for children with neurological handicaps, sit down in an office and talk to a counselor who is trained and an expert, they will finally understand that this is not something I have come up with to make their life complicated. It seems like this is the only way to make them understand and to perhaps finally start to listen. It also seemed like she understood that I really need help with this. It’s not enough that I sit and read all the books, when noone else in the family does and I am not up to educating people who are not interested. Or who are in an ego-centric phase in their lives, themselves.

I also had to bring up the school situation. How his teacher has not really been up to making a whole lot of adjustments for him. How the school psychologist takes the school’s view on things, instead of being “Kitty’s” and my ally. How she seems to be stuck in old views and against the help tools that are available out there. And how the special ed teacher is not up to speed either, even if she has an interest in learning more and is starting to read more about explosive children. She was at the meeting where the teacher told me that “he needs to learn strategies. He needs to stop throwing himself on the floor when he gets excited and walk out in anger when things don’t suit him or tell us ‘I can’t do this because I have ADHD” and she agreed with the teacher, believe it or not. A child of ten years can’t learn strategies, like how to feel excited about boring school work, how to finish school work. It is all up to the school to adjust things so he can get everything done. I brought up the example that when he is bored or feel overwhelmed, then he goes to the loo and stays there for 20 minutes! Or he arrives at the school but doesn’t go to the classroom at 8:30 with the others. He walks in at 9:00. And the teacher has reproached me for this, like I can use my “Inspector Gadget”  arms from our village, to escort him up to his classroom, in town, about 15 kilometers away!

At a meeting at BUP last year, the headmaster declared that he is against an assistant but an assistant would have done what “Boo’s” assistant does. He/she would have been able to fetch him up to the classroom at 8:31, if he was not there. And he would have been able to see, when “Kitty” can’t handle things anymore and need a short break. Also, he would have been able to intercept him on the way to the loo and could have talked him out of leaving, out of being angry and so on. Now, the school has built its own problems and they need to sort them and sort them soon. Because “Kitty” now has some not acceptable habits going. Like refusing to do things because he has ADHD. Walking off when it pleases him.

His self-image is not a good one. I heard how his teacher tore in to him because in the end, I truly believe that she could not stand him. She was fed up and just could not keep back her vexation. And then she reported to me that he was aggressive towards her! Telling her to go away when she sat down by his side to help him. But who wants help from someone who always cracks down on you and make you feel bad about yourself? We talked a lot about, how the school needs to educate themselves. The headmaster promised that they would hire in help and have an education day for the personnel, but that never came about. It has to now! Or I was advised to report the school to higher authorities. That the law says that schools have to create a learning environment that suits the handicapped child. Adjust the school plan for the child. The special ed teacher told me that he can’t do less than the others, that if they get a sheet of 30 sums to do in math, he HAS to do all of them, just like all the others. BUP says no. You can’t make a child with ADHD sit and do 30 sums or the child will flip out. And that is what “Kitty” does when he first sees the paper. Then he will hide it. Loose it. Whine and complain and it all creates a hell for me at home. In some cases I have just counted out the sums, because I just could not fight him anymore. I can only take so much.

So, her plan is to call the school psychologist, headmaster, special ed teacher and the new teacher to a meeting. I know one thing that I will bring up already. Yesterday, I saw his schedule for this year and on Tuesdays, he doesn’t even have a single break between 12:00 and 15:00. How can they make a schedule like that? He is supposed to sit and keep his attention for three hours straight when he has Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder? Someone at that school needs a brain exam! This after the counselor drew up on a white board that he will hear what they are supposed to do, then the teacher has to explain to him, then the teacher needs to make sure he starts and then the teacher has to check up on him with intervals, to make sure he is making progress with the task. After about 20 minutes, he is going to need a break. And then someone needs to jump-start him again and so forth. I don’t think anyone at that school understands how much work this is and that an assistant would be the perfect solution, since I am not sure a teacher has the time to do this, when she has a bunch of other students who need her help too. The psychologist also needs to be told that she and the special ed teacher are supposed to be the ones educating the rest of the personnel in how to deal with ADHD. And one thing for her to learn, is to not fight tools like the time log, which he needs, to see that the time is ticking away and that everything has a time limit.

We also talked about medicine and why I am considering medicating him. She was surprised he had never been medicated before. I told her, that I am not doing this for school, but to get some peace at home. That his aggressive behaviour is becoming too much. And I told her about the walking to the bus situation and “Cookie” phoning home, every day almost, at times, saying that she refuses to take him anymore. I said that my plan is to see if he can not take the bus himself, when he is ready in the morning and then after school, since his schedule no longer follows “Boo’s”. Some days he ends later than “Boo”, since he is now in middle school. The counselor said that he has to be trained. He has gone on the bus for four years now, so I am not sure that he does not know where to go and what to do. I think he would grow with the task, like he has done when it comes to posting letters for me and going to the library on his own. He can do those things. I must let go of him, little by little, otherwise he will never learn, will he? The goal is for him to be able to look after himself in the end. I believe that he can go on the bus himself if noone picks a fight with him. And IF he is medicated and IF the medicine works, he should be able to not explode and get aggressive. The counselor means that someone has to go with him and tell him what to do, in case he has not paid attention before. I have to see how we can do this. “Cookie” ought to be able to take a step back and observe him and report back to me. After all, she does turn 14 years old at the end of the year!!!

When I got out of the meeting, I had such a bad migraine that I thought I was going to be sick outside her office. I managed to get home and take medicine, but soon I had to be off and fetch the children. I had to bring unemployed D. with me to babysit “Gubby”, “Boo”, “Kitty” and “Cookie” at BUS. The children’s part of the hospital, where I also had an appointment first day of school. Fetching them was not easy. “Boo’s” assistant came out happy and told me that he had behaved sooooo well. He had been happy all day except when he had fallen off a swing and had scratched his stomach. So another “wound” added to the finger that he cut badly Sunday. We had the missionaries here and when they were leaving and we, as hosts walked them to the door, “Boo” played with a metal measuring tape behind our backs and cut himself badly. While me and the assistant talked, “Boo” realized he was wearing his indoor shoes and needed to get his outdoor shoes. I didn’t see him taking off but D. did and he said that “Boo” just fell over, tripped on himself, and he stood up and just screamed afterwards. I had to jump out of the car and we brought him inside but their first aid kit was lacking everything essential. We couldn’t clean his new “wounds” properly. His assistant had to take recycled loo paper, which is not clean paper, and put hand disinfectant on it, and then I had to try to clean this big bleeding scrape right by his eye, the one on his forehead and both his bleeding knees.

And “Kitty’s” so-called best friend had to walk by laughing at him. So “Boo” screamed excessively since that boy is so mean and I had to try to comfort him together with his assistant saying that this boy is just meaner than mean. I wish he had stayed at S:t Helena for good. An excellent place for mean people. Did Napoleon a lot of good!

We still managed to get to the hospital on time and all the way in, poor “Gubby” was petrified that someone was going to put a needle in his arm. I had to assure him over and over again that noone was going to get a shot or have a needle put in to their arm. But it got worse when he saw the doctor I had come to see. A dietician, who was completely dressed in white! Strange place, they are at. Down in the underground so to speak. Everyone in Sweden and Denmark, who watched the TV-series “Riket” imageabout the hospital in Copenhagen, will cross themselves down there! Creepy series, where ghosts hung out down in  the underground tunnels, that transport dirty linen etc. under the hospital, from one part to another. And this is where the dietitians have  their offices! As if that was not scary, I turned around and there stood a ghoul! E. had put make up on her sister for the first school day, which “Cookie” did not show me when  she zoomed by me in the morning. Now I stared at something from a Tim Burton film and I instructed her that she can forget about wearing make up till she is 16 and starts gymnasium.

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(Oh, Ernst-Hugo! You were the best! Why did you have to die? Just had to put in his photo here. He played the frustrated Swedish doctor, Stig Helmer, who did not appreciate his Danish colleagues in “Riket”! :))

While “Kitty” and I sat down with the dietician, D. had to entertain the others. Teenage boys! E. had sent her school  lap top with him and told him that he should show them a film. Instead he sat and drew  silly things for her! And made his siblings watch! They were not amused! Why were we there? Well, “Kitty” is a very finicky eater. We can’t ever try anything new and all meals have to be child safe! Which means a very limited menu, which drives me crazy, since I can hardly eat any of it. My gall system would go on strike. He will not eat creamy, smeary things. So no butter on toast, since it melts! No soft cheese. No yoghurt. No “”filmjölk”, a thick youghurt-like milk that has a sour taste to it, depending on the fat content of course. When we serve fish and potatoes, he will not have sour cream with it, but eat it dry. No sauces. No soups. No pies. If he could, he would live off sandwiches and milk!

But to my amazement, he weighs average and is of average height! Even though you can see his ribs and joints sticking out all over. BUT if we put him on ADHD medication, this will change. The appetite goes. After all, American soldiers were given amphetamine in Vietnam to not get hungry, since food supplies were not reliable. And photo models use ADHD medication to stay slim.  On medication, you don’t have any appetite and will at the most eat half a portion of what you ate before. The child has to be closely monitored, so the weight loss don’t become dangerous and the growth stops height wise. 9 out of 10 children have to get a supplement drink prescribed for them, a drink that contains the calories they do not get in to them via the food.

I also brought up the topic of gluten and milk, which some people say causes Autism and ADHD, and that one should cut them out from one’s diet. He told me  to stay away from those ideas, since there is no scientific proof that they are damaging at all and that you can cure Autism and ADHD by excluding them. He said that every time you exclude something from your diet, you run the risk of cutting out things that you need, which are vital for your body. Especially for children, this is a dangerous thing. The only thing he could say about the people who go for those fad-diets, which exclude gluten, milk and other things, is that they are people who are very emotional and desperately are looking for cures. That they are becoming way too militant and that society is starting to get very warped when it comes to the view on these matters. He did not recommend it for kids like “Kitty”. Kids who are finicky eaters before they go on medication, will be even more so on the medication and are the ones who lose the most weight. Not the time to experiment in other words.

I told him how I had felt upset about it all and guilty that I am not willing to try to cut out gluten. But he agreed with me, it becomes a full-time occupation and that it is just a hobby for the rich. So I guess in that respect, I felt better going out of there. Having someone confirm my suspicions. But he told “Kitty” that he must give food a chance, that he must learn to try new things and try them more than once. That things might grow on him. “Kitty” promised but a promise from a child with ADHD means zero, so…

When I got home last night, I was just terrible exhausted. It had been such a long day. Being woken so early, having to be so focused on everything concerning “Kitty, making sure I forgot nothing, my thoughts moving at a very fast speed during and after the meetings, and still feeling completely undecided about medication or not. It all wore me out. I went to bed as early as I could, but was exhausted this morning when I was woken by the alarm. I had had terrible nightmares, one after the next, about ISIS. And lo and behold, on the day when they needed to be up at 6:30, all the children were dead to the world. I was able to get “Boo” up no problem but “Cookie” didn’t stir a fin until I ordered her to get out of bed. Then I had told her to get up at 6:30, her alarm had been heard by half the village at 6:45 and at 7:00 I had  lost my patience. And of course I had to go upstairs and try to re-vive “Kitty” from the dead. When I finally had contact with him, he did not know which planet he was on. I just gave up a big sigh. This is my next ten months! Sometimes I don’t feel cut-out to be a mother!

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