So Friday morning, Leah woke up with a pounding headache. Given the emotional breakdown of the day before, I thought there was a pretty good chance she was coming down with something, so I kept her home. I figured even if she wasn’t getting sick, a day home for just the two of us would be a good thing. And it was, mostly. The only drawback was she didn’t have her binder with all of her homework, because it got left in her classroom. (Which kind of annoyed me because they said they would make sure she had everything she needed when I picked her up. And I so didn’t have time to go running all over the school collecting stuff.) Whatever. We were able to get some of her work from online and the teacher of the emotional breakdown sent me a couple things on email, so it was do-able. Actually, in some ways it felt like we were homeschooling again, which was kind of fun. I think it struck Leah the same way because she said over the weekend, “I want to homeschool again.” I totally don’t know where to go with that.
Two of her friends who live in the neighborhood stopped by here after they got off the bus on Friday to check on her, which I thought was really sweet. (Though I also wondered what kind of gossip about her might have been going around school that day. I am SO paranoid!) And Friday evening she went to her friend’s house for a pumpkin carving party and had a great time. Two points in favor of public schooling. (not that homeschoolers can’t have friends and go to pumpkin carving parties. But she wouldn’t know those girls, were it not for public school)
The doctor appointment went well. He immediately dismissed the idea of asthma, because it was a one time thing in a situation where she was upset. Also, I brought along part of the report we had from the Educational Psychologist (done when Leah was in the 2nd grade) where she was diagnosed with ADHD and so he concluded pretty quickly this was an emotional reaction to her ADHD being handled poorly at school. In fact, he was visibly ticked at her teacher and said he was going to write a letter to her school (to be passed along by me) telling them they need to do a better job abiding by her 504 plan. That made me feel better – validated, I guess. So we talked some, he observed the way Leah can not sit still for even a minute (she wasn’t bouncing off the walls, just squirming) and said he thought ADHD medication would be helpful. He also listened to all my concerns and took the time to explain to Leah in terms she could understand just exactly what the ADHD medicine is supposed to do. And then he gave us a prescription for Concerta. We’re starting with a very low dose, and he gave me a second prescription for the next level up, if I think the first level isn’t doing anything.
Here we go.
We started the medicine over the weekend and I really didn’t notice much. Her appetite stayed pretty good, she was able to sleep okay, and behavior-wise she didn’t seem all that different. We’ll probably have to up it. But I want to give her a week on this dose to let her body get used to it and make sure there’s no side effects to worry about.
So everything felt pretty okay this weekend. Like we were getting control of things. Turning the corner even.
And then there was this morning. Leah is not a morning person. And that last sentence back there is the biggest understatement ever. It takes FOREVER to get her up in the morning. Her alarm goes off, five minutes later I come in and turn on the light by her bed and start gently rousing her, and then maybe 5-10 minutes later I can get her to sit up. And then I have to talk her through the dressing process, sometimes with a lot of actual help with the dressing. That’s an average day. Today? As soon as I broke through the sound asleep stage, she started crying. Not tears, more like moaning-whining. Which, I have to confess, totally grates on my nerves. I was afraid this was going to dissolve into a full on fit, so I was trying to keep things calm and firm. Lots of “Calm down, stop crying, take a breath, I can’t understand you, what’s wrong? Can you at least sit up? Shh, you’re going to wake your brother. Seriously, can you stop crying?” I probably didn’t handle it well. Maybe I should have been more gentle. But she really needed to get up and dressed and I really didn’t know how else to prod her along. She was a MESS. And when I finally got her to the point where she could talk she kept saying, “You hate me. Everyone is yelling at me.” I swear, I was not yelling. Talking sternly, yes. Yelling? No.
The worst part is, I had absolutely no idea WHY she was crying. Was it because she was worried about going back to school after the panic attack? Was she just really tired? Is it a puberty thing? An adoption thing? All of the above?? I really need to figure this out because we can not have more mornings like that. It was awful. AW-FUL.
Come to think of it, she used to have mornings like that (well, maybe not that bad, but close) last year, before I pulled her out to homeschool. In fact, that was one (of many) reasons we decided to homeschool. But sleeping in just doesn’t seem like enough of a reason to pull her out of public school. You know?
Last night I turned out her light at 8:30. I’m pretty sure she was asleep by 9. Unless she had middle of the night insomnia, the girl got 9 hours of sleep. Nine hours! Shouldn’t that be enough?
I’m completely baffled.
Also, I just want to say, for the record, to all you parents of younger girls, BEWARE. Eleven SUCKS. It is without a doubt the absolutely worst age for girls. I am basing this on my completely scientific sample of two daughters; I suppose it’s possible there may be outliers. But if your daughter hits eleven and suddenly loses her ever-lovin’ mind, do not say I didn’t warn you!