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When your child is young, it’s hard to figure out if the medications they’re on are working properly, what the effects are and really what’s going on.  They have a hard time communicating back with you on how they feel because they don’t know the words.  Medication is just tricky to figure out, and the side effects may be happening and you don’t even realize it.

Medications & Their Side Effects

I’ve talked about my daughter’s medications from time to time on posts.  Most likely referring to Topamax and its side effect of preventing someone from producing sweat when hot.  Temperature regulation becomes an issue and 10 months out of the year are spent pretty much indoors here in South Florida.

What else are we not seeing, though?  Riley is on 3 different medications for epilepsy.  We haven’t found the right mix of medications to prevent the seizures from occurring, but we have found a decent mix to make the seizures she does get less pronounced.

Let’s take this from a different perspective.  Are you on any medication?  Our family has added quite a bit of prescription cost in 2018.  Some worked better than others, at least for me.

I’ve talked about in a previous post, Doctor’s Appointments for All, and go into some oversharing about medication, procedures and more.  You’ll see I chatted a bit about my time on Gabapentin.  I. Was. Miserable.  I hated me, my family didn’t particularly care for me, I was totally miserable.  The problem with this is that you don’t realize it’s happening until you’re really far down the road.

Then it’s just depression.  Do you change the medication?  You have to slowly wean yourself off.  Do the benefits of it outweigh the misery you’re going through? I can’t answer that for you.  I had a very long conversation on that specific topic with my doctor and we determined that was not the right medication for me.  We tried something else, and wouldn’t you know it, I was loving life again.

It’s totally amazing the way medications can interact with you.  Even generic vs name brand can make a difference.  In the epilepsy realm of medications, there’s a significant difference in the formula of Topamax.  For many, the generic doesn’t work, but insurance rarely covers the name brand Topamax.  Out of pocket costs can get ridiculous quickly.  Luckily for Riley, the generic works fairly well, in combination with other medications.

Take me, again, for instance.  I’ve been doing really well with the medications I’ve been on.  A couple weeks ago I get a refill, and the formula has changed slightly.  I don’t think anything of it until it’s getting harder and harder for me to wake up in the morning.  I’m groggier, off balance, and bumping into a lot of things.

This past Sunday I found myself sitting in urgent care because I somehow hurt my knee the previous week and my husband would be very upset if I didn’t agree to go.  I went, got my options of treatment, and went with Prednisone.  I know the side effects; it seems to be the go-to medication for just about everything these days.

7 days of misery, all so I can go up and down stairs again.  I’m currently halfway there, but am totally miserable, hating life and wanting to avoid people like the plague.  I’m on the verge of tears all the time, I’m angry all the time.  I want out of my own skin because it’s stretching in ways I didn’t know possible.  I’m uncomfortable, and my knee isn’t instantly better.

On top of all that I didn’t win mega-billions.

When people give advice on your child, “maybe they’re just acting out.”  “Aren’t you going to take care of your kid melting down in the middle of the restaurant?”  “Stop acting like a d-bag.”  No, that last one was what was said to me.  Just remember, sometimes these little humans can’t get it together because of a condition, mental health, or maybe, just maybe it’s the medication.

Don’t be afraid to talk to your pediatrician.  If you’ve got a good one, they’ll listen, ask questions, have a conversation about your child and help you, the parent, decide what the best course of action is through guidance.  If they start lecturing you and giving you reasons why they know best, run, don’t forget your child, but run.

I’ll stop acting like a d-bag and pull it together, because I’m an adult, and that’s what I’m expected to do.  I may also go into hiding until I can get it together.  Either way, I’ll be back to my normal chipper self, I do have an amazing doctor who listens to me, asks questions and helps guide me on this ongoing journey I’ve found myself on.

Take it easy, Mom and Dad’s.  You’ve got this.  You know when there’s something off about your child, press the doctor.  Sometimes it’s simply the “give it time” approach.  Other times, you know your baby isn’t who they normally are, and a different approach should be taken.  Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, push through.

I’m going into hiding now.  Check out the shop, if you haven’t, I have posted the IEP Organizer!  Yippee!  There’s also a new medical card you can fill out then print and keep in your wallet with you.  Much more to come soon.

Thanks for stopping by!  We’ll be back at it again soon.

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Sara is a mother of two, wife and full-time employee. She's also a parent of a child with special needs.