Thursday, March 1, 2012

Doctor, Doctor, give me the news

So we went to Children's National Medical Center yesterday, which kind of rocked. Except for the horrifically long wait, but I always pack for bear when going to a doctor's office, so that didn't really bother me. I really liked the developmental ped we saw. She was personable, had great rapport with Sam, and told me exactly what I wanted to hear in terms of her reliance on meds--that they can be incredibly helpful, but tend to be a short term fix, and behavior modification is at least as important. Also that it would be inappropriate to drug my preshus baybee at this point on the game.

As expected, we did not come away with an official diagnosis. Other than her official diagnosis of "a delightful child, and clearly extremely bright." That's right. It has finally been declared by a disinterested third party. He is delightful. But in terms of his Very Unique Qualities, she said he was showing characteristics of both ADHD and some sensory issues. She suggested occupational therapy, and we'll come back for a follow-up in about six months, after the school year starts next year. We're on the road to getting Sam an official diagnosis by the time he's in kindergarten.

The good news is that we are fully on track in terms of getting him the services he needs. The doctor said she actually didn't have much she could tell me, because I was already doing so well with him. She was impressed at how well I understood Sam and his issues and how well I manage them. Which is the significant upside of being a mother-child ADD pair. I get him. I never look at him and think what the hell is going on in your brain? At least not more than most mothers do. I mean, I ask that when he tells me that my new! precious! exquisite! candle smells like Angry Birds. (It does NOT. It smells like Tuscan Blood Orange! And spring! and cleanliness! And LUXURY!) But when he's doing his Funky Stuff, I know what he is going through. I'm able to do a lot of the things he needs because they are the same things that I needed when I was a child--and often the same things I still need today.

Which is hardly to say I am a perfect mom. Just because I know ADHD intimately does not mean I don't also get overwhelmed with what it means to parent a child who is so much more intense than his peers. I lose patience, and I yell, and I let him get away with things he shouldn't sometimes because I am just so damn tired and I don't have the energy to deal with it. I try to let that happen as infrequently as possible, but I think the vast majority of parents have times when they pretend they don't see something because they just cannot deal with it. Not don't want to deal with it, but can not.

In other news, we are getting Sam the Man his new twin bed this weekend. I earned the money for it all by myself with hours and hours of painstaking editing. I am a mother who slaves away for my child's benefit. You know, in my pajamas, but still.

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