I wake up every morning ready for battle. The battle is with Dylan, my four year old narcoleptic son, who refuses to take his meds. He is a worthy opponent. His army is strong, equipped with heavy artillery. His weapon of choice is an ear piercing “NO!” and a strategically timed boneless maneuver. Both work surprisingly well at delaying my inevitable victory. The gruesome battle comes to an end when he either surrenders to my threats of electronic prohibition or is captured and tortured. Though always the victor, I rarely take pride in my win. With posthaste my attention turns to the casualties of war – too many precious morning minutes are MIA, tardiness now reigns supreme, emotional wounds dehisce, the imaginary fiction that is scream free parenting is bloodied and battered and all hope for a smooth start to the day is dead.
War, what is it good for?
In a perfect world where eating sushi makes you smarter and the Olympics recognizes the athleticism of klutziness, Dylan should be taking five medications:
- A stimulant to help keep him awake
- An antidepressant to suppress his cataplexy
- Iron for his anemia
- A multi-vitamin with DHA and omega to supplement his poor diet
- A probiotic to help manage the severe constipation his other meds cause
In the real world, where Two and a Half Men gets better ratings than Arrested Development, I have to pick my battles. The stimulant and the antidepressant are nonnegotiable but the rest, admittedly, are debatable.
His current stimulant of choice is Biphentin. It comes in capsule form which we open and mix with apple sauce. He always gags after swallowing the spoonful of medicine. We have offered to give him chocolate sauce, pudding, jello, yogurt, vodka and cocaine in place of the apple sauce but the medium is clearly not the message in this case. Force feeding the apple sauce is challenging because it requires the precision of a sniper to administer successfully. As a defense mechanism, Dylan turns into the wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man scattering the apple sauce and/or beads of medicine everywhere. Fun times. Up until recently, his antidepressant of choice was Effexor which also came in capsule form that we mixed with the Biphentin and apple sauce. Two birds, one stone. But recently he has switched to Prozac which comes in a liquid form requiring administration via syringe, further complicating my morning battle mission. Its taste is inoffensive yet Dylan stays true to his principle of refusing all medication.
The iron is an awful bitter tasting liquid that is so pungent it cannot be hidden in food or drink. We have tried flavouring it and adding sweetener but the strong iron taste is always detectable. The multi-vitamin is a tasty gummy that also makes Dylan gag. I’ve tried hiding the vitamin in a packet of regular gummies but like a food taster sniffing out poison, Dylan always identifies the noxious gummy with rancor. The probiotic is either a powder that we can sometimes sneak into his milk or a sour pill that he occasionally tolerates.
In a few years, Dylan may have to start a third nonnegotiable medication called Xyrem. Xyrem is administered twice nightly – once at bedtime and then again three to four hours later. Xyrem is known for two things: 1) its similarity to GHB, the date rape drug, and 2) its overpowering salty taste that can linger throughout the day and often causes vomiting. For now, our civil war rages on and our soldiers are training for the possibility of future nightly battles.
My favourite version of War