MEDICATION… At What Point Do We Surrender?
(by Joe Normal)
Gut instinct has served me well over the years. My gut is what I call my “primary brain,” and I have the evidence all around me that says I can truly trust my gut and let it lead me artistically and in my creativity, and fearlessly rely on it through making important decisions about people, places and things no matter how absurd or contrary to common sense…
I am always questioning “the word” and “the story” and ever seeking the deeper truth behind issues that on a gut level don’t sit right with me. Ultimately this leads to three places: To a higher understanding of said issues, to a glimpse at a hidden agenda behind “the word” and “the story,” or (if I’m lucky), to plain and simple peace-of-mind, knowing I’ve done my homework and everything checked out okay.
My wife and I have long been unorthodox people, growing up with parents that embraced and imparted Hippie Culture and mindset to us, then each of us discovering Punk Rock in our youth and embracing its attitude and ethics, somehow merging the two perspectives into a sort of hybrid “Peace & Love / I’m Against It” temperament that finds us frequently seeking alternatives to conventional approach and viewpoint.
So whenever the word “medication” comes up in a doctor’s office, we immediately cringe and begin the search for something that is better aligned with our family’s ideology, and preferably closer to nature than science.
Since the day he was born, Drayke has been an anomaly. He has endured countless medical and psychological tests, therapies, and interventions in hospitals, clinics and with specialists. Outside of our health insurance we have extensively pursued nutritional and holistic evaluations and treatments, and even psychic and energy healing work.
Suspicious that Drayke was having Absence Seizures, a respected Neurologist requested he complete a rigorous 72 hour in-hospital brainwave monitoring VEEG Study that entailed having acouple dozen electrodes literally glued to his scalp for three days, (I dubbed this “the astronaut test” to make it seem like fun for him). That was followed by a new research Brain SPECT Scan study that had him anaesthetized for a thorough MRI of his brain regions and active neurology. Both tests nullified the suspicion of seizures thus, eliminating the need for any regular medication. Whew… dodged that one!
Since then, we’ve incorporated a variety of alternative solutions to help with our child’s own gut (or leaky gut) and with his ability to “focus,” adopting the Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Diet, which is often more trouble adhering to than the effects of eating such foods. It seems to have some benefit when we are consistent. He takes Melatonin nightly for relaxation at bedtime and, during the day, a slew of enzymes, fish oils, B’s, D’s and god-knows-what-else.
Along with my son’s Autism and Learning and Processing Disorders, he experiences regular Anxiety and Worry throughout and about his day.
Everyday things and situations like the following easily set him off: Transitioning from one activity or from one classroom to another, the low-frequency sounds of trucks on our street, the sound of the garbage cans rolling down our neighbor’s driveway, going into a public restroom on his own, not knowing or understanding which day of the week it is and if there is school tomorrow, being left on his own at home or anywhere, to name a few.
Ever coping with Anxiety myself, I can easily commiserate with my child about his experience. However, as a result of the stress of his having to “keep it together” day after day, he frequently crosses the line and becomes angry and aggressive; mainly toward his younger brother, Myles.
As Drayke is entering puberty, add to the fact his hormonal and physical changes and the self-esteem issues he has due to his challenges, and you really have a situation that needs attention.
It’s hard for Autism parents like us to gauge what is typical 13 year old behavior when our 13 year olds are far from typical.
Which is why I am in so much pain over whether or not to medicate my child
It has been recommended that we put Drayke on medication(s), but we keep putting it off hoping for some shift in his demeanor and progress. Be it for his aggression, his ADD, or for his general anxiety, we are faced with accepting the fact that our child may not be perfect the way he came. We are confronted with the fact that perhaps he needs help that is beyond what we can and have done on our own… So, at what point do we surrender?
Some friends of ours really encouraged us to try giving him CBD oil (Cannabidiol), knowing our preference for natural medicine over psychoactive pharmaceuticals, and with the positive results they have seen with their own child. They said it would help with my own anxiety, too.
Our experience going to the Medical Marijuana clinic to get “diagnosed” was a complete farce and lacked the credibility I was so hoping to find there in making this big decision. When the receptionist sent us “around back” in the alley to pick up the medication, it felt more like we were “scoring” than waiting in line at a pharmacy’s pick-up window. The whole thing reeked of shadiness and you could sense how the people there were abusing this benefit which we voted for to help the truly sick. I was totally disillusioned and didn’t bother to participate in that scenario so we left without filling the order.
Meanwhile, in my gut I am beginning to doubt there is another option out there for my child’s condition. Perhaps I will go back to that green cross place and give the medicinal oil a trial. I dunno.
However, our quest continues as our faith is stretched further… and the jury remains out on whether or not to medicate our child.
Joe Normal www.JoeNormalUSA.com
Recording Artist, Songwriter, Author, Educator
(and, oh yeah… Autism Parent.)
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