Saturday, October 15, 2011

The Plunge

Today, I gave Jack his first dose of Ritalin. We're going to watch him carefully to see if the dose is right, if any unwanted side effects, if his personality changes. I so pray that this works mainly to help him at school but also to feel more engaged with the world rather than just focused on his stimming.

Yesterday was unbelievably stressful. Our appointment with the developmental pediatrician was just 30 minutes (they are usually 1.5-2 hours), and it was presented upon scheduling as a "meet and greet" so the new doctor could get to know his patients. Instead, when Dr. S walked in, he introduced himself to Jack, had Jack introduce me to him, and then said, "Today's visit is mainly to discover if there are any urgent issues you need addressed right now because it's been so long since Jack had access to a pediatrician."

Why, yes. We do have an urgent issue.

I was so relieved that Dr. Z, Jack's previous doctor, had left detailed notes for Dr. S about Jack's attention issues, which have actually grown much worse since school started in August. I asked all Jack's teachers, aides and school therapists to write summaries of what they see in Jack right now, plus I gave him a copy of Jack's Multi-Factor Evaluation (or whatever they call them these days!), and Dr. S appreciated the data.

He presented himself as an evidence-based doctor and gave me the evidence for attention medication. I already knew most of it because Dr. Z had already told me, but Dr. S's confirmation absolutely put my mind at ease. He also didn't blink when I refused the flu vaccine for Jack and explained that I'd promised Jack he wouldn't get a shot this visit. Jack is completely current on all other vaccines, but he's never had a flu shot. He's not in any of the high-risk categories (other than his age), so I feel fairly comfortable about this. Hopefully, we can get him the mist in a month or so, but I won't subject him to his terror of needles until absolutely necessary.

Although it was a brief visit, I was impressed by Dr. S. He seems to have been minted in the same mold as Dr. Z, which is comforting. We'll stay in touch with him via phone as we shake down the medication dose and schedule another appointment in about two months.

The plunge is scary, but I so pray that this works to help Jack.