Queen of the Distracted

Imagine life in a house with 6 kids - now imagine if 5 of those kids and their father have ADD/ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - that is our house! Welcome to an inside view of my life and our home dominated by ADHD... THERE IS NEVER A DULL MOMENT!

Ladies and Gentlemen! Boys and Girls!

"Ladies and Gentlemen, Boys and Girls!"

Those were our oldest daughter Rachel's first words, from the time she was a toddler she would belt them out proudly standing on the arm of the couch. At the time we had no idea what ADHD was or that it would play such a central roll in our lives.

Since then we have learned a lot, not the least of which is how many individuals and families suffer in silence. We have experienced first hand how misunderstood and misrepresented a disorder can be.

As a family we decided to take action - to risk embarrassment and labeling to get this important message out to the world. Come join our family, share in our lives, and see ADD/ADHD as we see it...
A gift with a heavy price tag.

WELCOME to life in the ADD/ADHD House!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Life Used to be SO Simple

I was driving the other day and came up behind a truck with this saying plastered to the back window, “Life used to be so simple.”  WOW!  This was very profound and especially hit home this week which seemed to be the explosive culmination of several crazy weeks in which life seemed to go completely sideways. 

So here is why I have not posted in such an intolerably L O N G time.  It started with Hannah’s anemia.  It has been a while now - Hannah has lived a tortured existence of iron pills, multi-vitamins and gross iron rich food.  I can not see a difference.  She is still exhausted, weak, and in pain.  She stays home at least one day a week to try and catch up.

Enter stage right Mark who has decided that now is a great time to abandon good health and be sicker than I have seen him in nearly 19 years of marriage.  A sinus infection and Bronchitis?  Really?  Bronchitis is my game not his.  He has been saying for three weeks now, “Man it stinks to be you!”  I appreciate the empathy but I wish that he would have kept it at imagining life in my shoes rather than living life in them.  He is now on a second round of antibiotics, prednisone, and inhalers.

One week ago Mariah injured her ankle; it has been hard to take it too seriously because she did it while sitting on her bed.  Surely, you can’t do that much damage just changing positions on the bed.  Wrong, she hasn’t been able to put pressure on it for a week, she has a date with the doctor on Monday to try and figure out what is wrong.

So we start the week with three members of the team benched for injury.  We are strong, we plug on, moving forward as best we can, faced with a crazy busy week of writing tests and Blue and Gold Cub Scout Dinners.  We are plate spinning at our best juggling school, church, film, life just to mention a few.

We get to Wednesday.  It is looking like Rachel is getting a little congested but I am hopeful because Rachel, like Mark has a stellar immune system.

We are baking cakes for the Blue and Gold Cake Auction, making casseroles for the potluck, racing to the church, decorating.  I think we have arrived when we sit down to eat.  Ha Ha Ha - silly me.

As we finish dinner and are getting ready to hand out awards when there is a huge collision in the doorway.  Hunter was running to get one of the boys and the boy was running to get into the room for awards. 

You can see where this is going, but here is what I didn’t expect.  The other boy is taller than Hunter and apparently had his mouth open.  His teeth went right into Hunter leaving about an 1 ½ inch gash right below his eyebrow.  

Hunter is realizing he is bleeding and starting to freak a little.  Hunter is a little OCD about such things, often telling people, “I have safety issues.” 

The other boy is walking around clearly astounded telling people, “I have blood on my teeth, but it isn’t mine.”

I grab napkins and slap them on Hunter’s eye.  Rachel announces that we hate to eat and run but that is exactly what we are going to be doing.

I say stitches, the other parents are trying to console me, maybe a butterfly bandage.  Until one grandpa opens it a little and the adults, who are all gathered around looking intently at the wound, step back in unison and announce, “Stitches.”

Off we roll; I drop off kids at home, and take a couple of the teenagers with me, Rachel and Fernando (faithful family friend).  We are on the road for an hour long journey to the hospital emergency room.  Fernando is dedicated about keeping Hunter calm and distracted by talking about various weapons and video games the entire ride.

It does not look good when we get there and of course you can’t help but over hear the horror stories of people there for 6 to 12 hours. 

I call Mark along the way and he wants to meet us at the ER, he has been working on the film after a full work day at the news station and the doctor’s appointment that lead to the prednisone.  Problem he is dizzy sitting down and dizzier standing up.  Not looking like driving is a good idea.

Hunter is sad, Mark is sad….I am SAD but life keeps going and I have to also.  Wait, wait, wait, stitch, stitch, stitch, and we are out of there.  I am thinking this going to be okay.  We get a snack and hit the freeway when Rachel announces she has a bloody nose.

Rachel gets bloody noses pretty frequently so I am not too alarmed…at first.  This bloody nose just goes crazy, the craziest thing I have ever seen.  Blood is pouring out her nose and she is gagging on it going down her throat.  I am trying to find every absorbable material in the car - I am running out.

I am thinking I am headed back to the ER.

But first I have to get some more paper towels or something, so I get off the freeway and think mini-mart.  There are NONE open!  I finally find one BUT they don’t sell paper towels or any towel like item!  After my frantic description the attendant hands me a whole package of there bathroom paper towels and a plastic bag of ice.  Thankfully the bloody nose stops.  We go home.

Wednesday transcended into Thursday - pharmacies, flat tires, more sickness and so it goes, right?

Friday, as I drove Mary to speech therapy in one town and occupational therapy in another town calling home intermittently to check on ankles, noses, and eyebrows I saw that truck, the truck of truth.

Life used to be so simple!

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