Medical

This is a non partisan rant on regulations within our healthcare and now, it is personable.

Today I went to get my son’s ADHD medication refilled, with no luck. I went to 4 different pharmacies and we are talking major chains and I was told the same thing at each stop. And with each trip, the more furious I became.  Each no was met with, we aren’t able to get his medication due to regulations.

What the hell? Regulations? Regulations on a medication that has proven in major medical studies. Regulations for what reason?

So now what? My son has done amazing on his medication, now do we start over? Do we have to start testing new things? I’m waiting on the Doctor to call me back, but in the several conversations that I had with the pharmacists today, it seems that we are going to have to change to a new medication.

To quote a co-worker, “why do things have to be so hard?”

More to come.

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Well and there you go, 4 little letters this weekend, ADHD and now we have a diagnosis.

The last year has not been the easiest for us. We have have Boy B in Occupational Therapy and also seeing a child psychologist. And through all of these things, which he has grown a lot, we got the results of his psychological assessment.

Was I shocked, not really? I was actually more shocked when I shared with some family members the results and they asked if I was ok with the results? The results are what they are. Heck, I really was expecting him to fall on the autism spectrum. And besides, I’m not so sure that I did not and probably still do have characteristics of ADHD. So, no, I am not shocked.

But, I am learning at the speed of light some things that we will be doing differently. We have an appointment to his pediatrician this week, but we will also be drastically changing his diet. And just by a very quick Google search for ADHD diet for Children yielded a large list of ideas. Overall, it is interesting to discover how much nutrition plays a direct role into ADHD into the balance of the medication.

And yes, we have decided that, assuming that the Pediatrician wants to go the route of medication, which I am assuming they will, we are open to it. Are there pros and cons to medicine yes. And if you don’t agree with our decision, do I care what your opinion is? No! It is an opinion for a reason and I respectfully ask that you keep yours to yourself. We are making the best decision that we can for our son and we have sought out the advice of multiple people, both in the education and medical fields and they all agreed that medication was appropriate.

I had struggled for a long time about if we were faced with this decision, what would we do? I have struggled with an unknown factor, i.e. will my son’s personality be different? I have struggled with the fact of knowing that my son CAN NOT control his hyperactivity! I have seen it too many times. I have watched him struggle to focus. I have talked with his teachers and they have shared the same things that we were seeing at home.

I love my son. I love both of them equally. But my wife and I have to make the best decision for them, as they can not make the decision for themselves. And our hope and prayer, is that we are able to get the right balance of medication, diet and continued therapies so assist him, so that he is not on medication long term, but will be on it as long as he needs it.

The decision to put him on medication was not an easy one nor was it one that we took lightly. But, we are doing what will help him going forward, especially in school, to make him successful.

This is our new life. This is my son’s new life. He has a diagnosis. We finally know what we are dealing with, so that we can better deal with it. My sons are the most important thing to me and I will do what I can to give them the best that I can, even when it is going to be something like medication.

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The date is finally coming up and no, I’m not referring to the ACC Basketball Tournament. Though, I did schedule out my vasectomy with that in mind. There is only 1 time a year that I can imagine laying on the sofa all weekend and this is it.

I was asked by a few friends if I was scared or was having second thoughts and I just couldn’t imagine answering the question in any other way. No, I’m not scared and no I’m not having any second thoughts. The reality is very simple, it is safer, easier and cheaper if I have this surgery than my wife having anything done. And besides, she carried not 1 but 2 babies around for over 8 months, so this is the least that I can do.

But at the same time, I’m not going to lie and say that I’m not looking to a few days off my feet. Though I will do some light cooking on Saturday or Sunday, I’ll be limited. Not so much because of pain or discomfort from what I’m told, but more just not over doing it. And when I had my consult with the Doctor, who was awesome by the way. Great sense of humor is a key thing for me in a physician, but when you work with enough of them like I do, you understand why it is important. It sounds like the time from start to finish is 15 minutes and the pain is the same as a bee sting.

Oh, the best part, “homework”. That’s right, sex with my wife 15 – 20 times or 2 months, whichever comes first (no jokes here kids). What a great reason to have a lot of sex! And as I shared with one of my best friends, it is going to cost me more out of pocket to not have anymore kids than it did for them to be born. Obviously I’m excluding IUI, IVF, etc. and all the other stuff. I’m only simply talking hospital time.

So, I’m a few days out now from having the procedure and in a sad and twisted way, I’m looking forward to it. More to come.

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We had our first parent teacher conference this year with the boys, to just get a status update for their first year of Kindergarten.  The conference was beyond eye opening and really beneficial, in hearing about the boys progress from both boys. But, the one glaring thing was that I see myself in Boy B. And it was really eye opening.

As a child and probably even more today, I needed/need structure in my day. I needed to know my schedule, as I do today. And when my schedule at home is changed today, it throws me off and sometimes, it throws me off big time. And as the teacher talked about Boy B and how he was having a hard time when the routine changed and when his schedule changed, it threw him. And all I kept thinking was, “I see myself in him.” And since that night, I’ve seen more things that I were subtle, but now appear to be not so subtle.

Growing up, when I would get frustrated, I would have to run. I would run around the house or wherever we were. But, I also got in trouble a lot too because of my frustration. I made a decision the day that the boys were put into my arms, that I wouldn’t discipline the boys, the way that I was. I wouldn’t react, but instead I would listen and try to reason, whenever possible.  And one thing that I was able to figure out, is that when I reason with Boy B and I get down to his level and point to my nose, he can snap out of his frustrations.

So as the teacher and I were talking about my childhood and the similarities became really clear, it became really oblivious that we were going to need some additional help.  The fact is, from an academic stand point, he is off the charts. He understands, remembers, comprehends, etc at or above expectations, but his outburst due to changes is holding him back. Funny, my mom said the same thing about me when I was his age, the difference was that I wasn’t a twin and they didn’t have names for disorders like they do today. And understand, I am not a Doctor nor do I pretend to be one, but I think that we know what we are dealing with and no, it isn’t Autism or anything like that. But whatever it is that we are dealing with, it is a mild case.

So, if all goes well, we will be seeing the Pediatrician next week in hopes to get some more answers, so that we can get him the tools that he needs. Because as I laid in bed the night after the conference, I kept saying how much I see myself in him and how I don’t want him to struggle with some of the things that I have, because of my inability to transition with changes to my schedule.

 

 

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Not something that I have had in probably 35 years, but this week I was fortunate to end up with Pink Eye. None of my kids had it, but apparently with sinus infections this year, pink eye has been part of it.

Being sick is really hard, but being sick as a parent, in my opinion is even harder. Because, it isn’t just having to take care of yourself to get better, it is also having to take care of kids and making sure that they are ok.  I’m beyond grateful for our medical system that was able to help the process to get me better, not only from the pink eye, but also the sinus infection.

Here’s to hopefully having a restful weekend and getting better.

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Looks like, after a solid week of sick kids, one having surgery and just an all out crazy week of life, it looks like things are finally on the mends.

Life is crazy enough without the outside factors. Our lives are all busy and we are all trying to juggle, but part of the juggling requires downtime too. We can only go but so hard and so fast before we fail too.

I’m really grateful that we live in an area and have access to great medical care and that the medical professionals were able to help both of my sons this past week. And as the boys and I talk about our day and at least one, if not two bike rides today, I’m just really glad that both of them are on the mends.

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What a week this has been. Ups and Downs. Frustration and gratitude. This has truly been a week.

Both boys have been out of school and completely off their schedules. Boy A had a dental procedure yesterday, which required a trip to the hospital and to be placed under anesthia. As a parent, there is nothing more concerning or more frightening than seeing your child carted off by strangers and hoping and praying that everything goes well.

But it did. The Dr and nurses took great care of him and once he was awake, he was a happy little boy, sleepy, but happy. And for the first time that day, I was able to breathe easily.

Now, for Boy B. He was taken to the local urgent care on Saturday because of a high fever and white spots on his tonsils. He was diagnosed and treated for Strep Throat, which he has had several times already. But, a few days later of moderate fevers and fatigue, we took him into his pediatrician and they decided to run blood work for Mono. That’s right, Mono.

And, based on the call from his Dr yesterday, even though they were waiting on one more test to come back, he was 99% sure that he did in fact have Mono. Who knew that kids could get it? Well, apparently a lot of kids under the age of 5 do.

So, what a week. We have been dealing with the impending surgery for one and fighting fevers in the other. We are grateful for the Dr’s and nurses that have taken care of both of our kids and today, it seems that everyone is on the mends and making recoveries. Though, Boy B is taking a nap after being up for only an hour, but that is part of Mono.

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Traditions are made to be broken, started, altered and passed down. And this Christmas was definitely hit on all of those this year. And all of my best plans for Christmas Eve, failed quickly, but taught me a really valuable life lesson.

Growing up, Christmas Eve was my favorite day of the year. It represented a time of anticipation and innocence. Normally, I give my staff at work the day off and I man the office, but this year, I took the day off and planned on grabbing wings and a cold beverage, grabbing a few last minute things for my wife’s stocking and as a family, going to church and then getting baking cookies and putting out luminaries and watching It’s A Wonderful Life. Each of these things, minus going for wings and beer, were things that I did as a kid growing up and something that have and still mean the most to me about Christmas. But this year, things didn’t really work out like I had expected or even thought that it would.

On Christmas Eve eve, my wife was at work and called to say that she was going to the local urgent care and that she was pretty sure that she had strep throat. Great! Two years in a row of her being sick, last year was pink eye. BUT, that wasn’t the real concern, the real concern was the boys and it was quickly appearing that they too were sick with strep and that this was becoming a tradition of them being sick at Christmas.

So, my plans for Christmas Eve went from going out and having some downtime, to taking the boys to the urgent care center, only to have it confirmed that they too had strep throat. The problem, Boy B HATES medicine and oh right, he didn’t just have strep, he also had Scarlet Fever. After getting home and trying for a few hours to get medicine into Boy B, it was quickly apparent that he wasn’t going to take it. After a quick call with a friend of mine that is a Doctor, he advised us to take him to the ER and that Scarlet Fever wasn’t something to mess around with.

So, there goes my lunch of wings and a beer, shopping, and now Christmas Eve service, because my wife and son headed straight to the ER for our first ever visit. The medical staff was awesome! They not only took care of him immediately, got a dose of medicine, they were able to break his fever. And not only did they take care of him, the ER Doctor, took his hand and lead him down the hall to a toy closet, were he could pick out any toy that he wanted! How awesome is that (this will be a future blog story about the toy closet)! So what toy did he pick out? A Star Wars Storm Trooper helmet, not because he loves Star Wars, but because his brother does and he knew that his brother would want to help him color it.

RELIEF! He was on the mends.  Peace and a deep sigh of relief for a moment.

After a few hours in the ER, my wife and son arrive back home and within 30 minutes of being back he ate more in just those few minutes than he had in the previous 24 hours. He was back to being a little boy, that was smiling and excited at the arrival of Santa coming in a few hours. So, in a few hours before their bed, we still had time to bake and decorate cookies, we watched the Charlie Brown and then we put out cookies and Reindeer food. And as we were putting out the food for the reindeer, I remembered the luminaries.

Luminaries for me growing up, were the start of Christmas. I didn’t always have the best Christmas mornings, often time there was uncertainty if this was my families last Christmas together or if there was going to be a lot of arguing? But luminaries represented calm and peace in a sometimes difficult time in my life. And as I got the luminaries together to put out in front of the house, I had the boys to come over and I told them how this was one of the many traditions that I wanted to pass down to them and they really seemed to love the way that the luminaries lite up the walk way out front as a way to give Santa a landing strip for their house.

After the boys settled down for the night and Santa had come and gone, I realized that I was still able to keep some of my traditions and even pass some down to the boys. I was able to run out for a few minutes and get candy for my wife’s stocking and found her a few other little gifts. I was able to watch our Christmas Eve church service online (Love technology and that our church really leverages it and a cool way to stream church services) and I was able to have a glass of wine while wrapping gifts and watching It’s A Wonderful Life. But most importantly, my kids were feeling better and they got to for the first time, help me put out luminaries and got to see their expressions as I talked about the candles and how peaceful it was before Santa came.

Traditions are important. Traditions are made to be broken, expanded upon, altered, started and most importantly, passed down.  I most certainly hope that the tradition of being sick at Christmas is broken, but I really look forward to seeing how next years traditions grow and stick with the boys.

 

 

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As a child, I just wanted to be older. As I get older, I just wish that I were younger. Growing older has it’s perks, being able to do more things, but it has it’s downfalls, like responsibilities.

Growing older also shows how life really is and how we once viewed things, maybe not really be real. But it also shows up the important things in life. Possessions are not as important today as they were when I was 5.  So as I type this, I’m exchanging text messages with my God Father, who is going in for a major knee replacement surgery tomorrow. Normally, that big of a concern, however with his history of heart issues, he is going to be required to stay a few extra days in the hospital. But I realized as we were texting, that he was feeling the same as I was, concern, worried, hell, scared.

Growing older, these are the worries and concerns that our parents dealt with, not us. They shielded us from these worries, because we needed to play, not think about someone that I have known and loved for 35 years might not make it tomorrow through this surgery. The surgery is at a top medical facility in the US and has a team of Dr’s that are some of the brightest in the world, so even though I am nervous, I am confident that he will come out ok.

Growing older isn’t as fun as it seemed as a child.

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We don’t hit, we don’t PUSH, we don’t kick and we don’t bite. I feel like I am repeating this all the time lately.

The boys have been, well boys lately. They are pushing each other around and hitting. Luckily, no one has gotten hurt, but we are really trying to get this under control. Tonight, we are staying in a hotel, as we are traveling to visit family and the boys Godfather and wouldn’t’ you know, the boys were pushing and Baby B was pushed into the corner of a table. He wasn’t hurt, thank goodness and it happened right in front of me and there was nothing that I could.

After a gasp for breath, Baby B let out a LOUD scream. I couldn’t do anything but hold him. And make sure that he wasn’t bleeding.  After a minute, he was ok and ready to start playing again. But, I had to talk with Baby A. I had to make him understand what he did was wrong. We talked, he repeated the we don’t hit, we don’t push, we don’t kick and we don’t bite.

We have to walk a fine line with discipline. This would have been the perfect situation for spanking, but would Baby A understand what he did was wrong? I don’t know? But, I do know that pushing can/is dangerous. I’m just lucky that with being out of town at the ER.

 

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