Jacob and Elijah Shaddox are brothers. Jacob is 21 years old and just moved into an apartment with his girlfriend. He graduated from a technical college with an Associate's degree in Computer Maintenance. He works for a school district as a computer technician. Elijah is almost 18 years old. He is hearing impaired, has Tourette Syndrome, OCD and ADHD. He is a junior in high school. Elijah lives with his mom Mary and her wife, his stepmom. Mary has a bachelor's in deaf education and a masters in special education, and is an educational diagnostician. Life is always changing and this blog has chronicled many of these changes and will continue to do so!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Pills, Pills and more Pills

Elijah and I slept in this morning after staying up late to watch the Olympics. After eating breakfast, I got busy with one of my Saturday routines. Refillng his and Jacob's weekly pill box with all of their medicines. I have a whole tupperware container that I put all of their weekly pill bottles in, so all I have to do is grab it and their pill boxes.

Elijah started off with a fairly simple pill box years ago. It was the typical Sunday-Saturday pill box with just one small container for each day. He then graduated to a morning/evening pill box, when we added prevacid and singulair got moved to the evening. In the last year it moved to a morning/noon/evening/night pill box. There are four small containers for each day. The picture with this blog is of his actual pill box that we use now. Jacob then got Elijah's morning/evening pill box and I now use the Sunday-Saturday one container pill box for my meds.

I started thinking about Elijah and his pills. He came home from the hospital on meds. He was a preemie who had to come home with oxygen. He started off with liquid meds to help keep the water off of his lungs. All of his first meds revolved around his lungs....reactive airway later changed to asthma. He had inhalers by the time he was 9 months old and nebulizer medicines.

He started ADHD meds when he was 5 1/2 years old and that is when he got his first pill box. Later when things were just too confusing in his single pill box I went to the double pill box. We then added medicines for his OCD and anxiety. Well, I mistakenly gave him an evening med in the afternoon and that is when I bought the four a day container weekly med box.

Even though the meds do help, there are no easy answers with his tourette syndrome, OCD, ADHD and anxiety. at least with the asthma meds he can do a breathing test or the doctor can listen to his lungs and know if they are helping. With his meds for his other conditions it is all observation on if they are helping. We are in the middle of a med change right now for Elijah's tics. He is taking one new pill at night and IF tics did not improve within 3 days I could have added another pill in them morning. Have the tics totally disappeared? No, but they have improved so I have not added that second pill. It doesn't mean we won't add it at some point though. There are just no easy answers! He is also on one inhaler daily and if he gets sick we add other inhaler meds.

On top of taking care of all of Elijah's meds, there are Jacob's meds. He takes a lot of the same asthma meds that Elijah takes and he is on one ADHD med! His are not too difficult, but something I do have to keep up with.

I am thankful that there are medicines out there that do help with asthma and ALL OF THE OTHER conditions we deal with in this house. I just wish people would understand the stress it can put on a parent trying to make the decision to medicate or not and even if you decide YES to medicate the stress of keeping up with it all. Even if you decide to medicate, there is a trial and error time when you are just trying to find the right medicine or combination of meds that will work.

I am off to get Elijah and give him his inhaler for this morning....that is his last med for the morning!


  1. I continue in absolute awe of you, Mary. Your life can be absolutely consumed by these life or death issues, and the pressure must be incredible. I am saying an extra prayer for you three today!

  2. I completely understand the whole med thing. My Jacob took his morning meds twice in one day once meaning he got double the dosage of Zoloft that he was supposed to. He panicked once he had realized his mistake. I had to call Poison Control just to be sure he would be fine. There is nothing easy about the decision to medicate our kids. And there is nothing easy about the distribution of the meds on a daily basis. Nice post, Mary. Really hit home.

  3. OH man Michelle, that is scarey. One time my Jacob took his morning meds, but took the wrong day. It was a Saturday morning and he was still half asleep. I looked and saw he had not taken his Saturday meds and gave them to him again. OH my...he got double his vyvanse. He was fine but scared me.
    One day I forgot to even give Elijah his morning meds(this was back in 1st grade) and he had an awful day at school. The only reason I knew I had forgotten were the pills were still sitting in the pillbox.