Wednesday, October 17, 2012

What's Best for Them

As parents, we are faced with choices every single day. More often than not, they are not life-altering choices, but sometimes we are faced with big, bad, ugly ones.

It has been just over a year since my family lost health insurance benefits. We shopped around for a private plan, but with my daughter's pre-existing conditions, affordable health care was impossible to find. 

With a premium slightly higher than a monthly mortgage payment, a $5000 per person deductible, and then only having 80/20 coverage, we made a decision as a family to self-insure.

When you have a child who is dependent on meds to function in her daily life, a decision like this is life-altering. Even if we did buy private health insurance, we still would not have been able to afford her nearly $800 per month prescription drug regimen.

Having tried seemingly every med available to treat my daughter's diagnoses, I knew that every medication came with its side effects. Her current regimen was not excluded. I had always struggled with raising my daughter to be dependent on prescriptions to function. While I know that many mental health conditions require prescriptions for relief, my daughter's doctors always seemed to be playing a guessing game when it came to treating her. 

The decision to quit her meds was painstaking. I had so many questions. What if affects her academically? Socially? Emotionally? What if her symptoms or behaviors worsen?

I spent countless hours scouring books and the internet for alternative treatments for her disorders. I talked to everyone I knew with experience in holistic health care, mood disorders, and ADHD. And finally I felt like I had heard enough.

My daughter is no stranger to in-patient mental health care. As I reflected back to the episodes that put her in the hospital, I could track each hospitalization back to a med change. I was done playing pharmaceutical roulette.

For the last year we have been treating my daughter's disorders with diet, supplements, and chiropractic care. 

Sure, we've run into road blocks along the way.

She likes to complain about the size of her fish oil pills; many days she flat out refuses to take them. 

I'm told with regularity that I'm torturing her because I "make her eat gluten-free", and in case you didn't know - it's in humane to not allow my kids highly processed foods.

Reading labels can be a raging pain in the arse, and definitely adds time to the grocery trip. Fortunately my husband and I do most of the shopping together. And being able to look ingredients up on my phone as needed helps, too!

There have been so many changes in my home over the last year. All of them good. I feel really good about the changes in the way I feed and nourish my family.

My daughter is thriving socially, and she gaining ground academically. Over all, I feel really good about the choice to cut out her meds. Granted, this is not the best option for all families living with behavioral and mental health issues, but it has been a great move for our family.

Have you ever made a radical decision that brought on significant changes in your family?

I'm linking up today with my old friend Shell for Pour Your Heart Out.


Anonymous said...

Good for you Kristin! My kids are older and like you I was once a single mom making decisions on my own...and with a special needs daughter (cerebral palsy). It can be hard but so worth it.

Today, the kids who complained and moaned are now awesome young adults who have thanked me for "making" them do things as kids.

Hang in there mama!

Mindy @ New Equus

Unknown said...

My oldest also did the pharmacy roulette. Now at 20 he is medication free and pretty much beyond my control no what he eats. I do know that when he was where I could make him do things that Reliv was a life changer for him and for myself. I still swear by it, and truth is I need to get back on it, the changes it made in me were amazing.

Anonymous said...

I am so happy to hear she is doing well. I know you struggled with this decision but I'm so glad you trusted your instincts.

Shell said...

So glad to hear that she is doing well!

Our most recent decision like this was actually to start meds. And they've really helped.

Babes Mami said...

I was unaware that you had made such a change, way to go on me being out of the loop! This is so great and good to hear!!

Ducky said...

Even more of a push for me to go GF as well. I've seen it change SO MANY lives and improve medical conditions. I detest taking medicine or having to give them to Lil Duck. SO HAPPY to hear that it is having a positive effect!

Anti-Supermom said...

Hugs! I have a little taste of what you are going through right now...

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