“How do you feel about medication?”
Our pediatrician’s question reverberated through my mind. I felt the same way as any other kind of pharmaceutical intervention – positively delightful if it makes a difference. Better living through chemistry as we align all elements and chemicals that comprise the human body and the mysterious mind that runs this whole system.
All that was left was to come to terms with the fact I was voluntarily giving my son speed. Because how could plying uppers upon a child with no off switch possibly backfire? Annd… we’re right back to that chemistry question again. That always was my worst subject in school.
Have you had a head cold recently? In our modern day Breaking Bad world, they now keep the Sudafed behind lock and key – requiring photographic identification, blood tests, background check, psychological exam, pants-off dance-off, and waiting period before the worthy are deemed eligible to get their sniffly paws on the magical decongestant.
This is because the drug is one component in making meth. And meth bad.
So you can imagine how delightfully simplistic it was to fill a medically prescribed recommendation for the legal pill form of slow-release amphetamines.
For starters, only hand-written scripts are acceptable for pharmacy fulfillment. Our Silicon Valley doctor, who likely last illegibly handwrote on his pad sometime in pre-med college classes, scribbled something out for me.
Destroy and I traipsed down to the pharmacy. Trust me when I tell you this pharmacy relies wholly on information provided by their technological overlords. So we all stared at one another for a bit trying to think of how to deal with this governmental oversight in Luddite distraction disguise.
I was in the middle of signing my life away and promising my first born daughter to the Terms and Agreement gods, while the pharmacist scanned, copied, and possibly commissioned a police rendering of my photo ID, when it was brought to my attention that the script had the wrong medical number listed next to the patient’s name. (Because again, handwritten, who does that anymore?)
“This is for Gregory?” the cashier asked.
“No, Destroy,” I replied, pointing to the 47-pounds of muscle attempting to scale the magazine stand in a futile attempt to verify that I was not lying to him about the cough drops on the top shelf being candy.
“CANNON BALL!” he screamed as he launched himself toward me with an impressive confidence that I’d be able to catch him.
“I’ll see if we can manually change that number…” the pharmacist trilled from behind his counter, surreptitiously drawing all sharp objects closer to his person.
I sent Destroy off to school the next day for his first medicated Friday. I alerted my team I’d be working from home for the day.
In case of side effects.
I’d done my research. I knew there was a chance his behavior might get worse before showing signs of improvement.
I wanted to be relatively close by in case the principal or school nurse was forced to place a call calling to tell me a Destroyzilla had taken to the playground and was swatting airplanes from atop the big kid’s slide.
But my real worry was that there would be no effects. Instead I distracted myself daydreaming about the kid someday returning to his collaborative learning table.
Finally the hour of reckoning arrived.
What would the behavior report of the day be after the introduction to ADHD medication?
A Green report means perfect behavior. Yellow means you got in trouble. Orange and you are in big trouble and lose recess. Red is a date with the principal.
Yellow. He got in trouble for not following the rules.
He climbed to the top of the monkey bars and walked across them.
Apparently that’s dangerous. So I asked the kid about his misdeeds.
Completely indignant about this perceived injustice, Destroy gawked at me as I read his behavior report.
“Yeah, I walked across them. BUT I DIDN’T EVEN FALL!”
Guess what kid, I’m not even mad.