Fridays with Ritalin. Like with Morrie but just takes less time.


Dr Google is never the answer.

If you are googling symptoms for anything, then I suggest you give Clientele a call as they have a Funeral Plan for you.

I am sitting on my couch feeling fine, sipping a very nice glass of wine, if I started to google any of the “feelings” I have – then odds are I will have something that is a cross between the Ebola Virus and Anal Leakage.

With that in mind, I am always amazed that people take their advice from Dr Google, granted it could be worse, but Dr Bing pretty much never gets asked anything.

Ritalin is the swear words of mothers everywhere.

I am almost sure when I say the word “Ritalin” to you, you are thinking “cocaine for kids….”  – well you might be, most people do.  I did.

If you are ever at a mommy and baby group, and mention you are thinking about putting your child on Ritalin – there will be a fair amount of lecturing going on, and more than likely you will be lynched and not be invited back to the mommy and baby group.

We have been through a very long and very thorough process with Georgia and she is presently on Ritalin.

The idea of putting her on Ritalin was on my list way after home schooling and changing her diet to include more lentils.

It was pretty far down.  It was clear to me that I did not want my child taking medication and more importantly there were so many scary and horrific stories on Dr Google, that clearly I wanted to be a better mom than that.

Short story is that Ritalin was the solution to the problem.  Maybe I am being a bit flippant.  It may or may not be the solution, but it is an option right now.

In the process of sitting in the evaluations, the feedback sessions, the testing, the re-testing, the having her see various specialists – it became clear to me, that as my depression and general anxiety disorder can be treated by taking the “right” medication, so could Georgia’s issue.

Giving her tofu twice a week, and organic strawberries on a Tuesday was not going to have much in the way of results.  No matter how much I wanted to sing  Kum ba yah My Lord.

We are on a four month trial, and will re-evaluate in January 2014, and may decide to make an entirely different decision then.

As I sat through all the questions, monkey puzzles and evaluation, I started to realise that much of Georgia’s “characteristics” are similiar to mine.  I have worked out a different set of coping mechanisms, and time and experience has taught me to mask it under a variety of guises.

Clever me.

The last doctor we met with – who was really going to be the guy who wrote the script – looked at me at one stage and asked whether I realised that I had the same “symptoms” as Georgia.

I smiled and explained I was medicated enough for the both of us.  Once I left his somewhat erratic office – I had an overwhelming need to pack his books so they lined up, and just tidy his desk up a bit – I gave it some thought, and I realised he was not as delusion as I had initially thought.

I have specifically avoided Dr Google on the subject of Ritalin.

The last appointment with Dr Psychiatrist (I have been with him for several years, and I trust him implicitly)  – I have a check in every 3 – 6 months – I asked what the risks were to him prescribing Ritalin for me.

I mentioned a few of the things we had realised with Georgia, and how  many of those things had resonated with me.

To cut a long blog post short, I requested we add Ritalin to my script and I see how it goes.

It took four or five weeks to find the right dosage.

I don’t want to lie to you, two weeks ago I thought I was having a fkn heart attack.

I think we have the dosage about sorted or I am on a placebo dose.  Feeling much better.  Heart rate well within the “normal” range now.

I am not sure what Ritalin does.  I know it is a stimulant, and it is usually prescribed for ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder).

I do not have ADHD.  And I will keep telling myself that.

I used to have to mentally keep telling myself to “listen to what this person is saying” – and I would concentrate on their lips moving, or focus on a freckle just to the right of their nose as my theory was, if I kept a firm eye on them, then they would not realise that the “voices” in my head were screaming or my eye really wanted to focus on the tiny little bird I can see in the distance.

Light.  Sound.  Huge distractions.  If I saw a spelling error on something then I struggled to “hear” what someone was saying as I could not get over the “thing” that I saw or heard.

I had to will myself to stay on point when someone was talking .  Not because I was disinterested, but because my brain was usually a bit enamored by the way the light hit the glass.

Or I realised I could hear the sound of a grass mower about 300 meters down the road.

Ritalin.  For me.  Has been like a light going on.  Suddenly I can hear what people are saying without (as much) mental distraction.

My brain runs smoother and I can accomplish much more in a day.

I can read with a focus that I have lacked for several years.

I have not read the warnings on Ritalin.  I am not sure if involuntary quivering, muscle fatigue or an overwhelming need to really understand Miley Cyrus is in anyway mentioned.

But.  So far so good.

Do I think Ritalin is the answer?  Not sure.

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