When our daughter Sarah* was diagnosed with ADHD when she was six-years- old, the only help that was offered to us was medication. I asked if there was anything else, and I was told that stimulant medication was the only thing that was proven to manage ADHD. It took 18 months of trailing different drugs, experimenting with various types of parenting methods and seeing numerous medical and natural experts - to learn that ADHD doesn't always need to be managed with pharmaceutical drugs.
I have written a book about the journey which shares what worked and didn't work for us as a family. Everyone's story is unique; this is only our journey. But, after 18 months of hell, we are now in a great place as a family and our 8-year-old ADHD daughter is thriving!
For us ADHD isn't a disability, a disorder or an illness; for us, ADHD is a positive thing and through trial and error (and lots of them) - we are finally learning to Live, Love & Laugh with ADHD.
One of the things that surprised me the most about 'Natural ADHD Management' is the power of some little bottles of joy which go by the name of 'essential oils'. I have used these for over a decade, using them throughout my pregnancies and childbirths. But, I never imagined how fantastic they could be at helping manage both ADHD and some of the symptoms that walk alongside ADHD; such as anxiety.
They are not 'fix everything' tool; many other things need to accompany the essential oils, which is why I have written a book on the subject. You can read more about the book on the Saving Sarah section on this website, but until its release in January 2017, I intend to share as much as I can to help other parents.
I had an operation a few days ago which all went fine, but it meant that when I woke I was on very strong painkillers. I have been using essential oils consistently for the last 18 months, so instead of turning to medication, I now always turn to my oils (I know that sounds very 'hippie-ish' but bear with me).
The strong medication they gave me hit me like a steam train; I was sick, dizzy and completely out of it! I had taken a selection of my favourite oils to the hospital with me, so I told the nurses that I didn't want any more medication. They were great but said that as the drugs wore off, I would need something stronger. I had an array of medicinal products at my disposal; Oxycontin, Tramadol, Morphine, you name it, it was there!
Throughout the next 14 hours at the hospital, I managed on just panadol, meditation and my amazing essential oils! The nurses kept coming in to check on me and were all trying out the oils and smelling them! I was the only patient walking around the ward, attached to my drip wearing some crazy bright orange socks and looking rather deranged, but never the less, I was the only one.
I used HypnoBirthing, essential oils and a birth pool to birth two of my three babies, but every time I would give birth I would then stop using essential oils and meditation. After we had started using the oils to manage Sarah's ADHD 18 months ago, gradually they became a way of life for the whole family.
My doctor came in to see me at 6 am the following day and instead of seeing my whacked out on drugs, I was inhaling my essential oils and listening to my 'headspace' meditation. He was amazed to see that I wasn't taking any strong pain medication.
I am very grateful for the medication and anaesthesia which I had throughout the operation, and there is a need for medication at the right times. However, it did shock me how much the nurses were trying to push the strong drugs onto me; I guess nowadays pharmaceutical drugs appear to be the answer for everything.
This was a real test for me to use the essential oils (and meditation) during a time when I honestly thought I would need something much stronger!
I am always posting information about the essential oils on my Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages, so be sure to connect with me there too!
*names have been changed to protect identities