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, December 4, 2010

Wake Up Call

My kids complain every time they go to the psychiatrist.  Not about the psychiatrist - they love him.  They complain because there is an eyelash on the white matte around a picture in his office.

They obsess over it.  They bring it up every time we go for a visit, which is fairly frequently.  They are baffled that he has not had that picture re-framed. He said, no one has ever brought it up but my children.

That is why it is amazing to me that I went most of the day with a hospital bracelet on with out one question. Maybe they are so used to me dealing with doctors for my health issues that it  just didn't register.

I had a health scare this week...one of those, "life flashing before your eye - considering the worst possibilities" health scares.

Everything has turned out okay.  But, I am still reeling from the experience of of wondering and considering the future of my household without me in it.

I joke about being the "executive function" of my household.  I joke about it, but one of my first concerns was - how will they function?  Who will make sure they make appointments, pay bills, get prescriptions, drive everyone everywhere -- all the day to day stuff I manage for everybody?

Truthfully, even though they don't manage those things now - they would probably figure out how to manage them. Survival instincts would kick in; not one of them really wants to go with out their medication or electricity.

In many respects my husband, Mark, is more obsessively organized than I am.  In fact, some things in the house would probably run more smoothly.   When our youngest was born I was in the hospital for a month.  Everyone laid their clothes out the night before, lunches made, and the table was ready to sit down to breakfast the night before.  I can not lay claim to ever getting all those things going at once. 

My mind raced to bigger concerns.  What about my home schooled kids? How would they adjust?  What about their struggles with anxiety and depression - clearly this wouldn't help that at all?  Who would keep them all balanced?  Who would keep them anchored and reel them back into the atmosphere when their ideas or plans were too far out in space? 

What about Hannah, the only other non-ADHD member of the family besides me?  How could I leave her...alone...in the ADHD house?  It was settled - I couldn't go anywhere.

If only it were that simple, right?  I have known more than one great woman, who was really needed by her family, friends and community, that didn't get to stay. My sister-in-law fought cancer for years - right up to the last moment she fought to stay.  I am grateful that is not a battle I need to fight right now. 

I am grateful for the wake up call.   

I have been so wrapped up in surviving day to day.  My focus has been on today's lessons, trials, needs, and emergencies.  As hard as this week was, and trust me it was really hard, I am glad that I got out of thick of the trees so I could see the forest for a moment.