I am the mom of a 10 year old son with Cystic Fibrosis (Ty) and an 11 year old son without CF (Bran). This is my journey as I balance Ty's needs while giving Bran the love and attention he deserves.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Fighting the Meds

And so it begins...

Tyler has made it perfectly clear to me that there are going to be times when he fights taking his medicine and he fights his treatments. I have found medicine on the floor, hidden in pockets, and even sitting out in full view on the kitchen table. We've moved beyond the normal not wanting to do his treatments and have stepped into a new phase of hiding meds and filling up nebulizer cups, only to dump them out when he gets into his room because he doesn't want to do his treatments.

I was warned this would happen. Last year's CF Family Day had an array of parents telling jaw-dropping stories of their teens vehemently refusing to do their treatments, having them say with great anger and attitude that "I'll DIE before I ever let them cut me open and put new lungs in me, STOP talking about it!". One mom said she and her daughter fought constantly over treatments. She would tell the daughter to do them and her daughter would fly into a rage over them never getting off her back, not trusting her and never giving her a chance. The mom said a simple, "Do your medicine" would turn into an all out scream fest. She said she would back off of her daughter and give her the opportunity to take responsibility for her medicine and then the daughter would again NOT do her medicine. A few thoughts that came to mind were:

I'd whoop her tale!
Not my child! He better pray he never does that!
I would ground him! Let's see how long he can go without his video games, cell phone or iPod.
The parents must have never disciplined that child and now look at them having to deal with a monster.
I wouldn't let my child talk to me like that.

Isn't it funny how we jump to conclusions and make judgments when we've never walked in the other person's shoes?? Isn't it heartbreaking when you think you're exempt from a particular problem and then one day that problem happens to you?

Tyler's recent behavior has made me realize that there are more deep-seated issues to this problem than first thought. The easy way out is to assume that Tyler is just being lazy. The effortless excuse is that he doesn't want to stop playing his video game long enough to do his treatments. While these may be true at times, it is so vitally important that we dig deeper and objectively ask ourselves, "WHY is he REALLY refusing?". Could there be another reason? Is it time to help Tyler soul-search and identify his feelings?

Tyler and I have had "us" time where we casually talk about how he feels. It is important that he is comfortable talking to me about his feelings and it is important that I give him the space and opportunity to express those feelings without being judged or ridiculed. Sometimes when I ask Tyler a question he gets really quiet and I can tell that (1) he feels embarrassed to admit the answer or (2) he hasn't thought about it and needs time to gather his thoughts.

It's okay to give our kids time to think!!!

The greatest resource that I have as a CF mom are fellow CFers! If I ever have a doubt or need a heads-up on what's to come, all I have to do is send an e-mail or type a message on Facebook. Tyler not taking his meds has soared to the top of my 'concern' list. A fellow CFer had this to say about it:

I hid stuff ALL THE TIME! Unless the pills make Tyler sick, you can pretty much assume that he is in a phase where he is tired of taking meds and is testing his limits. Can you blame him? I'm 31 and I get tired of doing my stuff everyday. It's a drag. :-)

The best thing to do is to ask him (in a respectful voice, not just a mom voice ;-) why he is doing that and let him answer without interruption. Once he has finished it's really important to validate his feelings for a moment. Then explain to him why it's important to take his meds. It may not totally fix the problem, but it will help you find out the best way to deal with the situation. Contacting your pediatric CF social worker is your best bet because they will have tricks and tips to wade through this common struggle.
Wow! Can you hear that sigh of relief? Maybe I'm doing something right after all!! ☺ Isn't it nice to know that your child isn't the ONLY one to go through this?

In closing I will leave you with 3 guys (CFers) who have held my hand and walked me through issues that have really concerned me with Tyler:  Ronnie at RunSickBoyRun, Josh at Joshland and Kevin in my hometown. I can't thank these guys enough. You've always been there and have gone above and beyond the call of a concerned CF mom. You're the best! I love you!

1 comment:

  1. Don't feel alone there are many times when it comes time for Courtney to do her nebs I will put the med in them and once she is done I still find the med in there.. I struggle with this at times but she will tell me she doesn't like them. Lets just say this she has red hair and the temper to go with it.


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