Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Little Girl and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Medicine (Part 2)

Read Part One here, where Little Girl is given Vyvanse for ADHD and has horrible side effects of depression and perfectionism.

So. My mother and I begged my sister not to ever give that horrid pill to Little Girl again.

Her response? "Oh, she probably just needs a bigger dose."

A BIGGER dose!?!? What on EARTH is she thinking!?

She gave her the pill anyway the next day, and the next, and Little Girl is still taking it.

On Tuesday, so the third day she was taking the pill, I had to go pick her up from cheerleading. She was a perfectly normal Little Girl that evening... but I think it's because the meds wear off by night. She doesn't eat all day but in the evening she does.

Saturday evening we all took the kids to the park. Ditto. She was fine. But again, it was evening. However, my sister reported that she had done well in school all week, and that she's been just fine. Well... but my sister doesn't see her till about 6 pm... and it's worn off by then. That's my theory. More on that later.

Last Sunday wasn't bad. She wasn't crying all day or being a perfectionist, at least. But she still wasn't Little Girl. She was quiet and played off by herself all afternoon. "See how good she is," my sister praised the pill.

Yes, I saw how good she was. The trouble is, Little Girl was lost inside of that "good" child. Her personality wasn't there. Little Girl is the sunniest little thing you ever saw, and that was missing. She was calm and well-behaved sure, but where was her spirit that I love so much!? I still wanted my Little Girl back.

This Sunday was at least as bad, if not worse, than the first Sunday was. She was so touchy. Everything had to be exactly so-so or there was a meltdown. First, she was busy lining up things in her bedroom at my parents' house and wouldn't leave them, even when I said, "Little Girl, we're taking Baby Boy outside to play... do you want to come?"

Her two favorite things in the whole world: playing outside, and playing with Baby Boy. And her response? "I have to finish this first."

"Okay... well... I'm going outside to play with Baby Boy then..." We played outside for awhile, and she never came. Then we headed to my grandmother's house to visit with family. I called down to my parents' house and told the others to come and bring Little Girl. "Um, we're trying..." responds my sister. "She insists she has to clean her room first."

Clean her room? Who on earth IS this child!?!?

She never came. A little while later, my aunt and I took Baby Boy on a walk and when we passed by my parents' house, I said, "I'm just going to get her." It constantly frustrates me that my sister takes eons to get Little Girl to go places. I tell her all the time, just pick her up and go! She sits and cajoles and bargains and begs and Little Girl ignores her completely.

So I walked in the house, into Little Girl's bedroom, scooped her up and she screamed and wailed that she wasn't finished cleaning up her room. She had a million stuffed animals lined up in a row on the floor and was neatly arranging them on her bed. Again... who IS this child?

She settled down and curled up against me as I carried her (and whew, is that child ever getting big!) to my grandmother's. Up there she sat in the middle of the couch and insisted that my sister sit next to her, to her right. However, my aunt was already sitting to her right. She insisted that my sister sit there anyway, but would not scoot over, so my sister tried to squeeze in between them, and she screamed that she was crowded. But she still wouldn't scoot over. Then she demanded that my aunt get up. We sat and discussed the issue for quite some time while she kept insisting and crying and finally my aunt said, "Well, I'm sitting on the other side of you then." Little Girl agreed that this was okay.

Then a few minutes later when she got up to do something and someone else sat there, Little Girl screamed again. "NO NO, YOU SIT HERE" to my aunt. She's turned into an absolute tyrant, and there's no dealing with her because she just screams and cries and is inconsolable. If this were her typical behavior, obviously some major disciplinary strategies would need to be in place, but this is NOT her. I don't think you can discipline out the side effects of a drug...

So she sat and drew her picture, and then she snatched my mom's laptop and sat at the table playing games online and getting SO upset that it kept lagging because the wireless internet connection is actually at my mom's house, and the distance was so great that the connection was pretty thin... and slow.

She kept screaming at me to come help her, and I kept trying to explain that there's nothing I can do to make it work any faster. I stand there with her trying and trying to explain this and calm her down and then she yells at me to "JUST STOP TALKING." Well fine. I walked off, and she screamed, "NO COME BACK HERE AND HELP ME!"

You cannot even imagine what a frustrating afternoon this was.

But the worst came when my brother and sister-in-law got up to leave. After five hours, mind you. Five hours that she has barely acknowledged Baby Boy's presence.

"NOOOOOOO!" she wails. "I want to play with Baby Boy!! I didn't get to play with him!!!"

There was no reasoning with her. If you think explaining that she has had five hours to play with him and has chosen not to was going to work, then you think wrong.

She just sobbed and sobbed brokenheartedly. Baby Boy went around the room for his hug-everybody-goodbye ritual and stood back from Little Girl because she was crying so hard and he didn't know what to make of it. We urged him to give her a hug, and he did, but then just as he pulled away from her to head toward the door, she let out a piercing heartbreaking SHRIEK like her entire world had just collapsed on her.

Scared Baby Boy to death and HE started crying, she was again inconsolable and cried and cried and cried. It was a positively dreadful experience.

CLEARLY this is not a medicine this child needs to be on. But how to convince my sister of this?? Because even observing this behavior, she simply replies, "But she's so good at school now, her teacher said she never has to say a word to her to keep her on track, she doesn't hum and sing, etc."

I don't care. Little Girl is now suffering from depression and anxiety, produced by this drug. I know she is, because I recognize it. I thought that was what was going on two weeks ago, but the scream at Baby Boy's departure... I knew it beyond the shadow of a doubt. The absolute heartbreak of someone you love leaving you -- it's beyond understanding. It's truly not anything I think you can understand or imagine unless you've been there. I know now what it's like to be normal, and to say "Hey, had a great time, see you next time" and that's the end of it, and you're fine. But years ago... that tearing away was like ripping out a piece of your heart. It was as if you'd never see the person again, like they were dying. And that's what I saw on Little Girl's face as Baby Boy walked out that door. And it's unbearable to think that she's suffering that kind of pain -- and needlessly!! It's drug-induced!!!

And as for why she doesn't behave like this at school but does for us, I've figured that out too. She still feels that way at school, but she can't trust them with these feelings. When I suffered from depression/anxiety, most of the world had no idea. None whatsoever. I was just quiet, kept to myself a lot. Hmm. Isn't that what Little Girl is now doing at school? The only people who I ever let see the ugly side of depression/anxiety were the people I trusted not to hate me for its ugliness, the people I hoped beyond hope could help me out of the ugliness. That's what she's doing. She's showing us what she feels inside because she trusts us to help her out of it.

And as long as my sister keeps giving her that pill, there's not a thing in the world we can do to help her out. It's the most helpless and heartbreaking feeling in the world.

I HATE that pill.

There will be a part three. And I hope it contains a solution. If you have a kid on Vyvance who acts like Little Girl, come back again...!!


Dawn said...

childhood depression and adhd often exhibit similar characteristics and gen ed teachers often come to me assuming what they are seeing is adhd...I can't stand pediatricians diagnosing adhd because they should really leave it up to psychs...they would recognize they difference...clearly this medication is hurting her...and the teacher has no idea that the magic pill is poison to this child...UGH!!! I'm praying Little Girl will be taken off this med ASAP...

Prairie Rose said...

Oh, she doesn't REALLY have childhood depression... this is merely her drug-induced state. Before she started the drug, she was the happiest sunniest cheeriest little thing you could ever meet.

Dawn said...

That's good...I'm praying that the meds are removed soon...I see so many children on meds, both the good and the bad sides. I can't believe that her teacher hasn't seen some of the compulsiveness in her at school, unless she doesn't care =-(