Thursday, March 9, 2000

I Should Have Been a Pharmacist

Tonight was the weekly "fill up the pill boxes" night.

If I had any idea what the future held, I would've minored in something useful like "Pharmacology" while in college. That BA in English and Master's in Teaching isn't doing me a heck of a lot of good right now.

Of my seven children, I only have one that is not on some sort of medication. Between six kids, there are 19 prescriptions that we have to keep filled on a regular basis, and two over the counter regulars (fish oil and melatonin). Some of these meds are once a day. Some are twice a day. Some are three times a day. And we even have one that is two and a half pills a day. That number doesn't even count the prescription inhalers, creams, etc... That is pills only.

Apparently, it is my children's goal to keep Walgreen's in business.

When we started down this road, the only thing I knew about medicine was that if you have a headache, you take ibuprofen or acetominophen. And that you shouldn't give aspirin to young kids with flu symptoms. Other than that, I knew squat about medication.

Now, I know the difference between antidepressants, mood stabalizers, antipsychotics, etc... I know what a typical dose is for a child, and what it is for an adult. And I know that sometimes doctors give children adult dosages if the circumstances are right. Why do I know these things? Experience. Being the mother of a group of "special needs" children gives you an education that you never thought was necessary.

Some of these medications have made a huge difference in the lives of my children. With some of the kids, we are still searching for the right "cocktail" to address some of the issues they have. Unfortunately, there is no magic pill that will cure Reactive Attachment Disorder. I wish there were.

I was taking one of my kids to a psychiatrist that I will not name on here. Suffice it to say that when she looked at me and said, "So, Mom...what meds would you like me to prescribe?" I was a little shocked. Uh...I'm not the are. How am I supposed to know what they need?

Since then, I have educated myself about medications, possible side-effects, reliability, history of effectiveness, etc... However, I still prefer to have a psychiatrist that doesn't let me choose what meds my kids need. I'm just not that comfortable with my unofficial pharmaceutical education.

Though, in a pinch, I wouldn't mind making suggestions for medications they could prescribe for me......