Not in my house or at my desk at work or in my car. Those are places only the very brave dare to go.
But definitely in my head.
My brain is orderly. My ideas take a logical route from beginning to fruition. I can start -- and finish -- a thought. Most of the time, I can even finish a project!
But I am surrounded by those who can't.
My husband, my oldest son, the Roo-girl and my BFF -- all of them have varying degrees of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.
My BFF describes my world like this:
"Your mind is like a flock of geese -- all the thoughts fly in formation."
And hers like this:
"Mine is like a beehive. Everything is buzzing around, and if I think of something, I have to grab that bee because if I don't, it will fly away and be gone."
The other day I saw yet another story about ADD and ADHD on the news. I don't even remember what the gist of the story was, but I know what caught my attention.
The thing that always always, always comes up in a discussion of this topic:
We're overmedicating our kids.
This is a topic that aggravates me in a major league way because it downplays the role that medication can play in creating normalcy for a kid who really is ADHD.
Yeah, yeah, I know. I've heard it all -- about how teachers want malleable, compliant kids in their classrooms and want parents to medicate unnecessarily, blah blah blah.
But the "overmedicating our kids" bandwagon hurts those who really need it.
My personal experience with medication runs the gamut from "ok" to "wow." But would I withhold medication from an ADD child? No more than I would withhold an inhaler from the asthmatic Drama King.
My oldest son, the Drummer, is a fairly mild case. We attempted to medicate him when he was in school, but side effects ultimately were worse than the disease. He is doing well without it now, though sometimes he says he still thinks about trying it again.
The Roo-girl was diagnosed at the end of third grade, a crushingly difficult year that left us both panting with frustration. Enter Adderall, and fourth grade became her best school experience ever -- until sixth grade, when she made straight A's for the entire year. And has made the honor roll for three semesters.
The Wonderhubby is a pretty severe case, but he is a different generation. Back in the olden days in small-town middle America, they didn't know what to do with kids who couldn't sit still.
So in the first grade, they taped him to his desk.
When he told me this story -- which he, frankly, doesn't remember and only knows because he was told later -- I was aghast, appalled, astonished, angry. You name the word starting with "a" and I was that.
His mother went to school to stop this atrocity, and much testing at big universities ensued. But did they give him medication? No. Should they have? He wonders to this day. In fact, wouldn't that have been kinder than the desk incident?
Medication isn't for everyone. It bothered more than helped the Drummer. But the difference in the Roo-girl is quantifiable.
And what kind of parent would I be if I had subscribed to the "anti-medication" theory?
When I look at her accomplishments -- and I remember Wonderhubby's struggles -- I shudder to think.