~Welcome to my personal story as a first time wife and stepmom. I use this space to share real life happenings in a blended family, funny stories, my personal frustrations, failures, and occasional victories as I journey through this life with two beautiful and challenging stepdaughters. Thanks for reading, and I hope you find something to help you have a better day!~

Thursday, July 24, 2014

ADHD and Forgetfulness

I'm admitting right up front that I have NOT researched this at all yet. I'm just putting my thoughts out there, and will research next! I know that's backwards, but I don't want all my reading on the subject to cloud my original thoughts. I had never noticed or thought of Jane as forgetful before. But this past week, there were three MAJOR incidents that honestly really worry me. My husband thinks it has something to do with different "levels of brain alertness" with ADHD, and that while in one level of alertness, she forgets what happened while in other levels.... if you follow! My question is why is this "symptom" just now manifesting itself? She's had ADHD forever, and has always been disorganized and forgets to finish things. But this seems different to me. She is now suddenly forgetting entire conversations and interactions. (For those of you who haven't read before, Jane is my 12-year-old daughter with moderate, but well-controlled ADHD). Here are the three incidents:

1. Wednesday morning: Jane decides (impulsively) to put her swim shorts over the dog's head. She cracks up and laughs hysterically until I come to see what she's up to. I have to tell her to take that off and remind her the dog is not a toy (for the umph-teenth time), and ask if she would like to have some tight, constricting clothes wrapped around her face. Move forward to Wednesday night as we're all playing a card game together. I make a joke about Jane doing crazy stuff to the dog. She has a confused look on her face and insists she has never done anything to the dog. I was like, "Uh, this morning? You wrapped your shorts around her head??" She was literally dumbfounded, jaw dropped and all, and says, "I did that??" She honestly had no recollection of any of it.

2. Thursday morning: We're driving to surf camp passing this one community of beautiful bright and pastel multi-colored houses. Jane goes on and on asking everyone which is their favorite color, which is their least favorite, which color would look best on our house, etc. The conversation lasted for at least 10 minutes. Friday morning: Passing by the same houses, and Jane says, "Kristi, which of those houses is your favorite color?" I thought she was just being funny trying to repeat the conversation. "Jane, we've already had this conversation." Jane again, completely incredulous, "We did? When? I don't remember that! We did not! Maybe I wasn't here. What was your favorite then?" I exchanged worried glances with my husband. He was like, how could she forget an entire 10 minute conversation?

3. Friday afternoon: We pass a sign for snow cones, and the girls start oo-ing and aah-ing in the back seat about how good they are. I announced that I really don't care for snow-cones because it's just sugar syrup over ice, and if I have a treat, I'd rather have chocolate or ice cream. They didn't agree with me and kept talking about their favorite flavors and the difference between snow cones and shaved ice. Saturday morning: Jane says to me, "Kristi, do you like snow cones?" as we pass the same sign from yesterday. At this point, I'm really worried and thinking she's just been bluffing this forgetting stuff all week. I decided to try to trap her. I said, "Yeah, I love snow cones. Key lime is my favorite." She just said, "Yeah, me too." She had no remembrance that I just said yesterday that I don't like them! It hadn't been just a passing comment that she didn't hear. Everyone heard and was stating whether or not they would rather have snow cones or ice cream. She was involved in the conversation, and a day later it's just Poof!--gone.

After all these things, my husband and I were talking it over, and that's when he had this "levels of alertness" theory. I had just told him the week before that I hoped when she's over puberty, we could start gradually decreasing her medication. Now, I'm not so sure. I would like her to see her doctor or a counselor, but she's very resistant towards doctor trips, and I (as stepmom) am not in a position to just set something up like that without consent from her other parents. So I guess I should stop typing and stop worrying and do my research, because I'll probably be able to find something to make me feel better and realize it IS normal.... I sure hope so anyways.

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