My Biggest Challenge of Motherhood

As a nurse, but most importantly, as a parent, I have never been so frustrated in my life. I have two kids with ADHD who NEED medication to be at their best for school and day to day activities. Managing their healthcare has been one of the most difficult tasks I have faced yet as their mother.  

It truly amazes me, how those responsible for managing their care, treat their condition like it’s a common cold. It has been challenging to say the least, finding a doctor who can just actually LISTEN to what I’m telling them. It’s like I’m speaking to a brick wall. Let me give you the scenario:

Over the summer, my daughter was taking Daytrana. Which worked PERFECTLY in the summer when I could give it to her mid-day.  When school started up, I noticed her becoming more oppositional, not listening, not following directions, and most importantly her grades sliding. After speaking with her teacher, speaking with her, and having a full two days to physically observe her, I realized it was no longer working (duh). Once school started, I had began putting it on at 6:30-45. Four days of the week, her day is over at 8:30pm. Sooooo, that little patch effectiveness was LOOOONG GONE. 

I get this “aha!” moment and send a message, requesting suggestions for managing her ADHD better. I learn her PNP (pediatric nurse practitioner) is away on vacation and they rerouted my messages to one of the pediatricians. She recommended 2 patches a day. After talking to my pharmacy, insurance company and my physical observations of my child, I immediately let her know. I did not agree with this for the following reasons.

1. The patch ISNT WORKING!!

2. My insurance said they won’t cover it. ūüôĄ

3. Even if they did after going through the prior authorization process, I would have to spend $180 a month on patches (her and my son are on it and having the same problem). ūüė≥

Well let me tell you, this doctor comes back and tell me, that it is too difficult to handle my daughter medications through the phone/email and I’m just going to have to wait (3+weeks) for her FNP to come back and resolve it. ūüė°

You talking about someone FURIOUS?! I felt like she just washed her hands of her and just left her to suffer for the next several weeks in the meantime!  All she had to say was, “Could you please schedule an appointment so I can better understand the problems, to better help her?”

So we had Vyvanse 20mg that my daughter did not want to try, but out of desperation, she took it anyway. She came home and said she had a great day in school! The only problem, by the time she got to gymnastics, it was ūüíĮ worn off! She was a mess in class, so much so, her coach put her out the gym because she could not focus!

Knowing her PNP is retiring in 2 months anyway, I go on and make the switch to a different office to get her a new provider and seen quicker. They bring us in the next day, everything seems to be cool. I had to explain everything to the medical student, who then relays it to the attending, and she comes back and offer her suggestions. She proposed we change her Vyvanse dose to 30mg. ūüė≥ūüôĄ. I kindly remind her the 20mg is perfect. No side effects with desired outcomes, and it’s the afternoon that is the concern and problem. She then suggest leaving Vyvanse at 20mg and adding Adderal 5mg in the evening. (Finally) is what I’m saying in my head. 

So I get the medicine that day to give it to her to se if it’s effective for her afternoon activities. It worked briefly, but would’ve been worn off 2 hours before she was done with gymnastics. I give it the weekend, to see if it improves, and it didn’t. Call the office on Monday to report it’s not working and we are back at square A ūüėĒ. After talking to the nurse, who talks to the doctor, who then talks to me, who then talks to the doctor, who then talks to me ūüôĄ, I’m told to wait a week to see if it works ūüė≥.  I asked the nurse to have to doctor call me because, she’s not understanding what I’m saying. My daughter is not safe in gymnastics if she is unable to focus and pay attention. 24 hours later, nothing. 

So I did what we are not supposed to due and gave her 7.5mg in the afternoon ANYWAY, and guess what, IT WORKED. I mean, last I checked, it does not take a week for a stimulant medication to work. While we are playing this “waiting game”, my child is SUFFERING. I wonder if I told her, my daughter’s albuterol isn’t working and she can’t breath, would she tell me to wait a week. Or, the blood pressure pill still had her blood pressure 180/90, would they say wait another week. I mean WHY IS IT OK, that her mental health has to WAIT IT OUT, when there is a FIX?! Especially since the type of medication she takes is not a waiting game type of medication. It’s either going to be effective or not effective IMMEDIATELY. It don’t take a WEEK to figure that out. 

So here it is 6 days later…I’m curious to see how long it takes the doctor to do what should’ve been done on Monday?! 

Please share your stories so I’m not in this boat alone! 

Flying to Orlando: Must Pack

I will admit, I have not flown to every city in the good ol’ USA. ¬†However, I have flown enough to know, one destination in particular is by far my least favorite.

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IF you are braving the air to this destination, you BETTER pack two essential items:

  1. Headphones
  2. Patience

Anything else you bring along is just extra.  Anything else you could ever want, need, or desire, you can buy when you get there.  However, if you want to make it there with your sanity intact, you better bring the two items above.

Why do I say Orlando is the worst flight? Here it is:

  1. There is a guarantee there will be kids…many kids on this flight, on their way to Disney World etc. ¬†These kids will vary with temperaments from the most docile child to the tantrum throwing brat that you pray doesn’t sit next to you.

 

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I get this face ALL THE TIME with The Duke

 

My family and I just visited Orlando this past week for a baseball tournament. ¬†I haven’t been here in 2 years, and forgot how dreadful this flight can be!

All other kids aside, I’d bet money my son was THE WORST ONE in the air. ¬†I swear I wanted to pretend I was an annoyed passenger in the seat with strangers. ¬†However he blew my cover with Mom. Mom. Mommy. Mom. Mommy….every chance he got!

This less than 2 hour flight feels like pure torture when you have a little one as ornery and active as mine. I genuinely would like to take the opportunity to apologize in advance to every and anyone who has to grace the air with my rambunctious son.  Again, if you see this face waiting to board a plane, check for your headphones, and patience before boarding (YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED).

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On another note, for parents with a child/ren like mine, here are things I pack to TRY and make the flight as smooth as possible

  • Ipad/Tablet with headphones- make sure you download their favorite shows BEFORE hand!
  • Snacks/Juice box
  • Blanket/Pillow
  • Portable Charger
  • Coloring Books/Crayons
  • The one toy your child simply can’t live without (my son’s is an etch-a-sketch)

In conclusion to my rant, I will leave all those flying with small children with this: ¬†If you can get a late flight…things will be so much smoother, I promise!

Competition Dance For Kids is a Money Leech

This past dance season, I was hoodwinked and bamboozled to allowing my daughter to participate on the competition team at her dance studio.

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I knew from a very brief dance experience that I wanted no parts in this whole ordeal.  So much so, I did not have her audition when the time came.  HOWEVER before the season got way, the team teacher sought my child out and convinced she and I to join.  My daughter was adamant she wanted to participate and I was adamant I did not.

I had 3 reason I did not want to join, and they are the same reasons I will not be joining unless she has this epiphany that dance if her calling.

  • Hair and Make-up…I don’t have time for that…I’m a ONE 2 pony-tail MAX kinda girl, and lip-gloss. I know nothing about faux mow-hawk and smoky eyes!

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  • The time-it is time consuming!!!! Between practice for the team, practice for the ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬† ¬†MANDATORY DANCE CLASSES, tumbling class, and extra rehearsals…I KNEW I would never have air to breath.
  • THE MONEY!!!! The amount of money I spent on the BRIEF TASTE was alarming and I ¬†knew it was only going to get worse…and it did.

 

You know this hobby is expensive when one mom say “Don’t do the math”. I was like, I do the math..I am math…and the math said, to JUMP SHIP!!!

Let me break it down for you on my expenses for a year to allow my child to dance for approximately 6 ¬†minutes 3 times….

From September to June Monthly expenses included:

  1. $182 for 4 dance classes- 2 team and 2 regular ballet, tap, and jazz (all mandatory)
  2. $58 for tumbling class…DESPITE THE FACT my child is by far the best tumbler in her age group and has 2 1/2 hours of gymnastics a week.
  3. $375 on costumes that were cheap as a dollar store costume..one came out the destroyed.
  4. Holiday Gift Exchange parties $50
  5. Accessories for costumes $150
  6. Makeup $35
  7. Bags and storage for costumes/make-up $150…some moms brought the Dream Duffle¬†min $200 which looks like an oversized suitcase
  8. Team Fee $150
  9. Prop Fee $50
  10. Warm Up Suit $150…As I’m typing this out…I’m getting annoyed….
  11. Gifts for graduation $20
  12. Barbecue $30
  13. Dance Attire/Shoes $150 (always need tights and outgrow a shoe or two)
  14. Team Banquet $66
  15. Team End of the Year Event $90
  16. Competition Fees $294…and our last competition ended in a pure DISASTER of being put out the building during awards (still don’t know who won), having the building condemned, and the rest of the competition cancelled.

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I can promise you I left something out. This is what I can remember…I try to push the memory of spending so much on a 6 year old to the lost footage files of my memory. ¬†Keep in mind, I have not included gas driving back and forth to these lovely places 3 times a week or food needing to be brought because we were always on the go. ¬†I think the art of dance is beautiful, breath taking, and worth EVERY PENNY for someone who has a child who has a passion for the art. ¬†My child did and does not. ¬†She’s a gymnast at heart, and I only believe the teacher wanted her on the team because she is the only one who could tumble. ¬†From here on out, we will be investing our money in her passion…gymnastics. ¬†She will continue ballet and tap, and nothing more or nothing less.

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What are your experiences with competitive dance?? I like to hear other experiences to know I’m not crazy!!

The Prince

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This is my second son, AKA Sonnie-Onie. This once little, now big fella is my everything.  He came into this world at 3 pounds 5 ounces on 3/5/05 and has been a determined individual from day one.

What I remember most about his first month in the NICU (neontal intensive care unit) was his temperament. ¬†The only time he cried was when he was circumcised. ¬†He was, and has always been, my most easy-going child. ¬†I like to refer to him as my saving grace, because I honestly don’t know what I would do without his presence.

My prince is the best big-brother a sibling could ever ask for. ¬†He’s a natural athlete, with baseball being his niche. Lastly, he’s the best helper a mom could get their hands on. ¬†Whenever I need help with ANYTHING, he is there to lend a helping hand without any question.

Having him for a son, really makes me envy the lucky young lady who gets to call him her husband. ¬†I just pray she is wise and mature enough to appreciate all he has to offer. ¬†Mom’s who have son’s like him, often fear, their kindness will be taken for a weakness.

Until the time comes for him to leave my nest and make his own, he’s all mine, and I plan to cherish him.

Meet my Baseball SuperStar “The Prince”

The King

Javon

This young fellow is the first of my off-spring.  I like to believe he is the reason I am where I am today.  Having him at the tender age of 16 changed my life in ways I never even knew.

Being a teen mom was hard, it was challenging, and it was the hardest test I ever had to take in life thus far. ¬†Everyone in my life told me my life was ruined, and that I wouldn’t amount to anything. ¬†The question was always asked, “What about school, or college? What are you gonna do now?!”

My answer was, “Survive, excel, and continue to be great.” ¬†All that doubt from those who were suppose to be in my corner, was diesel fuel for my stride to success. ¬†I became determined to finish school, go to college, and make something out ¬†of myself, because that little person was depending on me.

My son is my everything, without him I don’t know what path I might have taken. ¬†Without him, I wouldn’t have become an RN at the age of 22, or owned my house at the age of 23. ¬†Without him, I wouldn’t still be striving to be great, because he looks to me the most for guidance on what success entails.

This young man has challenged me in ways I could never explain.  We have been on a rocky roller coaster with his health, his self-esteem, his academics, his work ethic and so on.  There are ups and downs, but we are muddling through them all with grace and dignity.

It’s hard to believe in 1 1/2 years he will be considered an adult. ¬†My baby will be a man. ¬†Until then, he’s just my nerve plucking teenager, who has tempted me to write a book titled “What to expect during the teenage year”. ¬†I swear this is the most important book in parenting, that has yet to be published!

I introduce to you, my King!

 

The Duke

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I’m not sure how this little rascal made it here, but boy I am sure glad he did. This little dude (and little is an understatement) is like no child I have ever met in my life. ¬†He TRULY marches to his own beat.

I have the privilege of being a Stay-At-Home-Mom (SAHM), to him Monday-Friday, and it is like parenting for the first time with him. ¬†With him, NONE of the rules apply. All of my previous experience in parenting is useless. ¬†EVERYTHING in the world of parenting tips is a joke as far as he is concerned. He challenges me to levels I never even knew existed! Although, I absolutely love it and wouldn’t trade a moment of his persistent, OCD, stubborn ways in for the world!

This face is sincerely, my sunshine on a rainy day, puts a smile on my face when I didn’t think I had anything to smile about, makes me laugh when I need it most, and amazes me with how intelligent he is on a daily basis.

Despite putting me over the edge being my fourth child, I wouldn’t trade him in for all the riches around…I mean, who else is going to sing an “ABC”, “I Love You” duet with me?!

I promise you this section will be full of laughs, surprises and amazement! I introduce to you, The Duke aka The Bud!

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The Princess

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After having 2 brothers and 2 sons, God felt I was special enough to have a female in my life to share my everything with. ¬†In 2009, I was blessed to have a daughter. ¬†Ironically, before she came along, it was my mom and I against the world. ¬†God knew I needed someone to keep me company, because the following year my mother passed away. ¬†Ever since, it’s been my daughter and I against the world. ¬†Thankfully, my mother was able to spend a year with her granddaughter, because all she ever wanted was a granddaughter.

Raising a little girl, is by far the most challenging and rewarding experience at the same time. ¬†One minute I’m in love, and the next, I’m ready to pull her hair out.

I remember having a conversation with my husband, at the time, about what I wanted in a girl child. ¬†I recall saying, “She will be smart, giving, well-rounded, curly hair…basically a mini replica of me only better”. ¬†I wanted a girl so bad, and then when her existence came about, I remember being overtaking with fear! I worried about her safety, her heart, her future, if I was a good enough role-model, and the list goes on.

When she finally arrived, it was like everything just fell into place. ¬†Having a female counterpart in my life after being surrounded by boys for a great deal of my life, was like a breath of fresh air. ¬†She was everything I envisioned her to be, and so much more. ¬†It also made me realize how different it would be raising a daughter versus two sons…EASIER.

This section is all about the diva, the good, the bad, and the ugly. ¬†She’s a gymnast, a dancer, and a gifted student. ¬†She is wise beyond her years, and apparently inherited all the common sense her brothers left behind in my womb. It’s all or nothing with her, she either brings me pure joy, or pure chaos at random!

Ladies and gentleman, I introduce you to my princes, Zizah-The-Diva

How Do You Deal With UGLY BABIES?

Let’s face it, ALL BABIES ARE NOT CUTE. There I said it. ¬†I mean it too. ¬†I even felt this way about a couple kids of my own. ¬†I think all babies go through an ugly phase. ¬†I KNOW mine did.

My Daughter @ 2 Weeks

I wasn’t in denial, but I had hope. ¬†Hope that I couldn’t produce such an ugly human being, and this too shall pass.

What is even funnier is when people would tell me my baby was cute, I would say, “No she’s not, she’s going through a phase right now. No need for lies.” ¬†With a straight face. ¬†They would look at me like I was pure crazy!

What I was, was pure honest.

I always wondered if people with ugly babies REALIZED their baby was UGLY? ¬†Can a mother’s/father’s love really be so deep, they’re blinded by the obvious?!

Now don’t take this the wrong way. ¬†Just the other day I was teaching my now 5 year old daughter about how beauty is within and not what the eye can see. ¬†However, to myself, I know that sometimes people with beautiful personalities and souls still can be a little hard on the eyes.

When I see an ugly baby, I won’t lie to the parent and say, “Awwwww, he/she is so cute” or “Awww how adorable!” ¬†I hit them with a pure, “Awwwwwww.” That’s it. ¬†My honest Abe self won’t allow me to lead people along with false pretenses.

On a brighter note, like I said, my daughter went through a phase, because now she is just as beautiful on the outside as she is on the inside!

 

She recovered!
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When Your Teenager Meets FICA and Co.!

Last summer, my then 14 year old King, obtained his first job.  To say he was excited was an understatement.

It was hard for him to smile after seeing he was ROBBED!
He had PLANS with his first check.
1. New sneakers
2. Gucci shirt (SERIOUSLY)
3. Couple pair of Abercrombie jeans
4.Take mom out to dinner (Such a mamas boy)
5. Per mom’s request save 20% (gave me the WHAT? face).
If I haven’t mentioned it, my son is a math wizard! As soon as he learned his hourly rate and his hours worked per week, like a calculator, he had his paycheck amount CALCULATED TO THE CENT!
Now let me give a little background. ¬†In 7th grade, my son had an awesome Social Studies teacher who unfortunately had a bunch of kids not willing to learn what he was trying to teach. ¬†I know this because one day I went to school with my son (Here’s the post).
In that class he was attempting to teach them about taxes in the real world.  They had to develop a product, budget, sell it, pay bills, and taxes and see if they made a profit or loss.
No one was really paying attention, and I don’t even believe he went through with the project being a graded assignment. ¬†My son was one of the ones who CLEARLY did not PAY ATTENTION TO THAT LESSON.
Fast forward to working season..the summer.
My King was under the impression he would get paid the Friday in which he started working.
I tried to explain to him that you always work a week in “the whole” and you will end up with a check a week after you’re done working, but you WILL NOT GET PAID YOUR FIRST WEEK.
Needless to say, such and such said he will get paid this week…blah blah…moms wrong…such and such is right.
Friday came, and so did the SAD, ANGRY, DISBELIEF FACE! Yup NO PAYCHECK.
Despite the conversation I HAD WITH HIM…he still couldn’t understand why he didn’t have a check!
“WHATEVER, but I’m not gonna say….TOLD YOU SO!”
Now his actual payday DOES COME, he gets his check, opens it, sees the amount, and is INFURIATED!!!!
MOM!!!! MY CHECK IS WRONG! THEY GAVE MY MONEY TO FICA, MEDICARE AND OTHER PEOPLE!!!! WHO IS FICA AND THESE OTHER PEOPLE GETTING MY MONEY?!?!
I swear I laughed for a whole half an hour!  The funniest part was they took about $25 in taxes from his check.  I told my hubby to tell him how much FICA and Co. takes out of his check a month and his face was priceless.
He now is a firm believer the government is a get over, and people need to get a job and work for their own money so they can stop taking his!
TEENAGERS GOTTA LOVE THEM!!!

ADHD: Living With The Invisible Disability

I have been dealing with ADHD for 10 years or so. ¬†What I have come to realize is like most mental health illnesses, I feel since it is not “seen” by the naked eye, people have a hard time understanding and believing it exist.

When I recall the endless amount of phone calls, conferences, and emails sent back and forth with my son’s educators and myself, I seem to always feel like they just don’t get what it is he goes through.
The suggestions I get as to what my son needs to do to be successful are:
“he needs to pay attention”
“he needs to focus”
“he’s needs better organization”
“he needs to follow directions”
“he needs to put in more effort and stop being lazy”
I literally just boil over inside because ummmmm that’s called having ADHD….DUH!
Once in a heated disagreement about my son’s capabilities with one of his teachers, I simply asked her, “Would you tell a blind child’s mom if he took notes off the board like everyone else he would’t fail.” OR a deaf child’s parent, “If she was listening to me during class she would understand what is going on.”
NO….why is that, because you can visually see and put a finger on the fact they need accommodations to learn. ¬†However since my son’s disability is inside the brain, it has to be made up.
ADHD is INVISIBLE but it is REAL.  It is devastating, and soul crushing for those who have to live with it and for those who live with them.
No one wants to struggle or fail in life. ¬†No child want to be a disappointment to themselves or their parents. ¬†No child aspires to be labeled lazy and they don’t care, because they are totally the opposite. ¬†They DO CARE, and they WANT TO BE SUCCESSFUL. ¬†It’s just difficult for them and beyond their control. They need supportive, understanding, nurturing environments and educators who comprehend this.
Imagine how you would feel if everything you touch you lost, everything you attempt with your best effort, you fall short, no matter how hard you try you just can’t stay focused to learn. ¬†All while everyone around you is excelling. ¬†Imagine being an extremely bright and intelligent human being, but not being able to show case it, and being labeled the total opposite.
That is life for a child with ADHD.