I so appreciate the prayers that were prayed for Noah and for our family when he had the reaction to ADHD medicine. It was such a frightening experience not to mention the guilt I felt as a mother for being the one to give him something that ended up causing him harm. It is hard to bear when we face the reality that even doing the best we know doesn’t always shield us from doing harm. I’m so relieved that he is now seeming more and more like his old self, sleeping longer and more peacefully each night that comes, and giggling and playing like a 7 year old child should.
We recognize as our children grow, from one stage to the next, the particular struggles they face and each time the heart aches a little more as we watch. Guiding as best we can, offering love and encouragement, we all must realize each life has struggles and those struggles, though painful, are often the very stepping stones that lead our children to the path that is best for them.
I often look back to my own painful childhood and recognize so perfectly how the difficulties I endured softened my heart toward others who suffer, created a sensitivity and tenderness particularly toward those who suffer emotionally. It is by no accident that I studied psychology, worked with the suicidally depressed, and now teach young adults who are at a critical time in their development. My heart draws me to them by God’s design.
As I’ve watched Noah struggle, I’ve asked the Lord to use all of Noah’s difficulties as training in righteousness, believing Romans 8:28 that tells us “all things work together for good for them that love the Lord and are called according to His purposes.” As these past few weeks have presented rough days and nights, I’ve looked on in intense awareness of just how limited I am when it comes to the big things, and even the little ones. So many hard things I cannot fix, yet I’m challenged to believe there is purpose in all things and that God’s plans are for our good and not for harm, plans to give us hope and a future, regardless of the struggles we encounter along the way.
I’ve used many opportunities that presented to share with Noah the sicknesses and hardships so many children face and how they adjust to medications and medical procedures that are necessary for them because we all, at some time or another, find ourselves in need of help, help that is not always easy or pleasant to endure.
We’ve also spent time talking about how we are all made differently and how we must offer patience and understanding of others because we never know what they may be battling on the inside. He has listened and questioned as we’ve made our own little journey into a new experience together. We’ve done as the doctors recommended. A Child Neurologist at Scottish Rite initially diagnosed and prescribed for Noah and then advised a Family Doctor in Rome on the last med trial we did. Most children do not have the reactions Noah has had though some do. As with any medication, some people cannot tolerate while others gain substantial benefit. The bad thing is, you can’t know until you try.
Though Noah’s grades were fine all last year, he was regularly in trouble for talking, wiggling, making noises, etc. It was difficult for his teacher and in turn difficult for him. He repeatedly felt and shared with me that he wasn’t liked and by the end of the year he regularly asked me to homeschool him. The only trouble there is that Noah adores other children, thrives on daily interaction with lots of folks, and honestly my two ears are simply not enough for my bright-eyed, precocious little fella. I also didn’t want to give him the message that one tough year should result in giving up. He is bright. He is capable. He is precious, and he deserves the opportunity to learn and to grow with other little boys and girls his own age; children he loves and who love him back.
So we decided to try him on ADHD medication over Summer break. One try led to another try and then to the third medication. Each one changed Noah too much and in the wrong way. Though some of the side-effects were physical, others were emotional, and still yet, some were of a nature that many folks might not recognize but that were all too apparent to a Mom. With Noah’s decreased energy and wiggles went much of Noah’s joyful exuberance for life. With calmness came sleepiness and also sadness and tears. Restless legs and disrupted sleep brought on agitation and on and on and on we go…tummy aches, decreased appetite, etc.
So now we find ourselves at the end of a long trial, welcoming our rambunctious little boy back with all of his antics, laughter, and words. With exuberance back to full-measure and the accompanying songs and hums and other sound effects in which he delights, the sounds of home with Noah has returned. And though it would have been nice to have him struggle less to complete daily tasks, to be freed from forever having to remind him to quieten down, quit wiggling and come down from the rafters, it is so nice to know we can expect what has become normal for us as parents to our dear boy.
I’ve shared this for all of you who have called, written, texted to ask about our sweet Noah. I thank you again for all of the prayers you have prayed for him and for us. There was one day I was so exhausted and yet felt such an overwhelming need for prayer. I trusted in the scripture that tells us the Spirit intercedes for us and also the prayers of you all who I knew were praying when my mind and heart were overwhelmed. There is great comfort in knowing someone is praying on your behalf.
Love to all,