Monday, August 01, 2011

ADHD Trials

Last year while in the States, both my husband and one of my sons were diagnosed with ADHD.  As a Christian, this has been a long road of prayer, changing diets, fasting, getting wise counsel, reading books and finally surrendering to professional counseling and medication.  For several years, my husband and I defaulted to the "If God wants to heal us, then let's allow Him to do it without medication."  Do I think that God heals?  Yes.  As a matter of fact, I know He does because I've seen it.  But in the words of my  husband, damage was being done to our family and there was no hope that things would get better any time soon.

After meeting with friends in the States and being painfully open about our struggles, they pushed us to get medical help.  He saw a Christian counselor, told the doctor that he hated psychologists and they've been friends ever since.  He took this diagnostic test and the Dr. told him that he was off the charts for ADHD.

Now, for those of you who know my husband, I'm sure you see this as a certain misdiagnosis.  As a matter of fact, when he came home from the appointment and told me what the dr. said, I laughed like Sarah did when God told her she would be pregnant at 90 years of age.  The thing was that I didn't understand the other side of ADHD.  The side that caused him to hyper focus and not recognize what was going on around him.  The side that had him thinking about the atonement of Christ while we were standing in the middle of the busy highway trying to get 5 kids into the taxi.

I saw all of this as selfish, inattentive to other's needs and consistently being patronizing to people who didn't think all day long.  What was really going on was that his brain was fixated.  It couldn't switch gears and as we have since found out, moved slower than the rest of our minds.  This seems counter intuitive because my husband is smart, responsible and capable.  But, it's like his brain is trying to barrel down the highway in first gear.  People, things, objects are flying past him at warp speed, so he would just turn inward because looking out was a blur and quickly became over stimulating.

As if you couldn't see the train wreck coming, this is not a great formula for marital bliss.  I think we had a great marriage, but between my stubborn independence and his overstimulation and fixation issues, we were quite the force to be reckoned with.

After we decided to go the medication route, the turnaround was nothing short of miraculous.  He noticed the gaggle of children dangling from me as I cooked.  He came over and helped instead of coming over and asking me what I thought about Romans 9.  Loud dinners and big get togethers with friends no longer tempted him to retreat to the other room.

Previously, we felt like he had no tools to be able to handle normal situations that arise daily.  As if you were to ask a paraplegic to get up and jump.  There is no way they could do it without being given a pair of legs.  Medicine became the legs that have helped him get up and jump.
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