Antibiotical Setback

My son, the ADHD/Asperger’s WonderKid we affectionately call Clark Kent, recently switched out his Concerta for a natural health and wellness approach to ADHD symptom management. We had a rocky start, but after a few months, we patted each other’s backs and called it a success. Clark started his senior year in high school with his usual high expectations and with pride that he had made it off the meds, a goal of his. After four weeks of school, he printed off his progress reports: zero missed assignments. And he and his partner won his first cross-examination debate tournament of the year. Holy cow! Was it possible that he could post senior year grades worthy of attention from his “A” list schools, the ones that loved his SAT scores but not his class rank? We allowed ourselves to hope, just a tiny bit.

Ah, hope. You fickle beast.

One day he came home from school with some troubling pain in an unmentionable area (or, at least, unmentionable if I want to remain in the good graces of my son) that spurred a trip to the emergency room. It was probably nothing more than a garden-variety infetion, the doc said, but we had to make sure, because the alternatives could be serious. We left with a prescription for mandatory antibiotics.

Side note: Clark had to drag me out of bed to take him to the ER. I had run out of migraine meds and was in bed with the lights out, preferring to suffer there than to brave daylight and driving to go get more Immitrex.

After the ER, Clark went to the pharmacy to get his prescription filled so I could get back in bed. Have I mentioned how awesome it is to have a kid that drives? It’s almost worth the terror of worrying about a vehicle driven by an ADHD teenage boy. So the pharmacist told Clark not to take any vitamins while on the antibiotics, because they could render the antibiotic ineffective.

“Which ones?” I asked, when Clark got home.

“Um, all of them,” he said.

I called. I told the pharmacist about each one.

“To be on the safe side, I’d recommend you just stop them all for the two weeks he’s on the antibiotics,” he said.

“Some help you are,” I thought, but kept my mouth shut. He was helpful, and he didn’t cause this situation. I thanked him and hung up. To Clark, I said, “How about two weeks of the Concerta?”

He shook his head, dark blonde hair windmilling around his crown.

My heart sank. I knew how he felt about this. I knew what going Concerta-free meant to him. I just didn’t have the heart to force him. Thus, I knew where this was headed, with an absolute certainty.

Two weeks later, he had finished the antibiotics, and tanked his grades with missed assignment after missed assignment. Not only that, but getting him re-engaged on the health program wasn’t a gimme. It took another two weeks before he finally resumed it with any regularity. By then, it was too late for the first grading period.

On balance, I’d rather keep Clark healthy. But if I had my druthers, he’d have his health without having to sacrifice his grades. Darn you, ill-timed infection of the you-know-where. Next time, come in the summer. Or not at all.

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother’s Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger’s Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

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adhd and alternative treatments, ADHD teenagers, Asperger's, Clark Kent Chronicles, Pamela Hutchins, teenagers ·

About the author

Pamela Fagan Hutchins writes the Clark Kent Chronicles on parenting ADHD wonder kids, thanks to the crash course given to her by her ADHD son and his ADHD father. Pamela is the author of the book The Clark Kent Chronicles: A Mother's Tale of Life With Her ADHD & Asperger's Son, and many others, like How To Screw Up Your Kids and her bestselling, award-winning Katie & Annalise mystery series, led off by Saving Grace. Visit her blog, Road to Joy, where you can buy her books in any form, anywhere. Pamela is passionate about great writing and smart authorpreneurship, as well as her husband and kids. Like Clark Kent, she also leaps medium-tall buildings in a single bound, if she gets a good running start.

16 Comments

  1. adhdmomma says:

    Oh geez! Poor Clark! Poor Clark’s family! I hope he gets back on track in a jiffy. 

    Reply
    • We’ve been through it twice now, but the second time we pushed back on the “no multivitamins” and finally got the answer we needed. Plus, CK had agred to go back on Concerta temporarily if the doctor and pharmacist insisted no vitamins. His grades couldn’t have taken another hit!

      Reply
  2. Burnsy B. says:

    I’m so sorry! That just plain stinks. What amazes me though is really how well he is doing with the supplements! That is a true testament to their efficacy! That is SO awesome!! Where can I find your regimen again? Hope things settle back down again for you!

    Reply
  3. Nan Loyd says:

    The thing to look at is how wonderfully he was doing before the pesky infection. It is a true miracle and he will prevail. It’s just interesting about the vitamins because my doc didn’t say anything about them when I had a low-grade infection recently. Did you ask your dad?

    Reply
  4. Stasha says:

    I am so sorry. I know this is so far off the subject, maybe, but my husband is doing extra collage in his 40 and he was talking to someone at the party the other day. They were comparing grades and time and effort they put into their adult education. Then his coworker said: I finished my masters same as you. I had passing grades, not As and Bs like you. I outrank you and spend weekends with my family not behind a book. 
    Kinda made me think that years later it is the diploma not how it was graded that really maters. 
    Clark will rock this year. It is only month two!!!

    Reply
  5. Vidya Sury says:

    I vote for “not at all” on the infection. Ugh! how aggravating for him!  Yes, I also vote for a healthy Clark, first. Hugs! I am thrilled to hear the natural approach is effective! 

    Reply
  6. Ally Wilson says:

    Ugh. I have many reasons not to like antibiotics, but his one stinks! Poor Clark. Especially when he had achieved so much personal success!

    Reply
  7. Eric says:

    I worry/wonder a lot about the validity of this, take-no-vitamins approach. It seems a bit like a cop out reaction on the part of the medical community. While on one hand I can understand it because of the liability and trying to protect themselves against lawsuits. I also feel like sometimes it is just the easiest thing for them to say. A blanket answer to keep them safe that does not require any effort and research.
    To take the point to the extreme, there are vitamins within all the good foods we eat. Does that mean that he needs to stop eating while on the antibiotioc?
    UGH
    Frustrating

    Reply

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