There’s a storm coming. A cold winter wind is already buffeting my neighborhood, with the promise of rain and snow to come later today.
That’s outside. Inside the house, the storm is already here. Our decision to stop Ryan’s stimulant ADHD med has led to dramatic changes in his behavior — both good and bad.
His hyperactivity and impulsivity are both WAY up. And yet, he has gone to sleep within a few minutes each of the last two nights. Most importantly, the incidence of his facial tic, the driving factor in the decision to stop the medication, has been dramatically reduced.
There has been one other significant change: Ryan’s appetite is back in a big way. While on the med, we had to monitor his weight and push him to eat. He skipped lunch at school for months on end, a combination result of diminished appetite and his sensory objection to the smells in the school cafeteria.
After he nearly cleaned out our fridge and pantry over the weekend, we talked to him about how concerned we were about him getting hungry at school. He agreed to take a peanut butter sandwich, but we were pessimistic after he refused to eat one at home on Sunday.
And yet, he returned home Monday and Tuesday with a empty lunchbox.
There’s been another interesting turn to his eating. Always an extremely selective eater, Ryan is suddenly willing to add a bit more variety to his diet. In addition to the peanut butter sandwich he ate an apple yesterday.
Then there are the bagels. We offered him one over the weekend, thinking it might do a better job of filling him up than some other options. He scarfed it down. Soon, Veronica was off to the bakery for another batch.
Yesterday morning, Ryan asked for a bagel for breakfast. This was life-altering. Other than a few times when we’ve been on the road and he ate McDonald’s hot cakes, Ryan has had waffles for breakfast every day of his life for as long as we could remember. They are his go-to food in all situations.
Put another way — if Eggo waffles participated in the “box tops for education” program, our local school would look like the Taj Mahal.
It happened again this morning. For all we know, waffles are a thing of the past — discarded suddenly and without warning like so many other routines.
I prefer to think Ryan is just enjoying a bit of variety, but I suspect otherwise. At the moment, I just try to appreciate any flexibility from my normally rigid son.
The other thing this medicine trial has shown us is that we almost certainly need to explore a different ADHD med. we had our doubts about the effectiveness of the one he was on, but the change in his behavior since taking him off has been striking. We’ve yet to receive a negative report from school — which used to be our measuring stick for whether we needed to consider meds — but we know one is probably coming any day.
I think this time, we both realize we’re going to have to start over with something new. We need to give Ryan his best chance at success and its hard to imagine we’re doing that right now.
Oh, and does anyone want a few dozen frozen waffles? I’m not sure we’ll be needing them.