Saturday, February 9, 2013

better living through chemicals

originally posted on the posterous site. september 25, 2010 at 10:20:00am

first off, i know that it has been about a month since i have blogged…for all my loyal fans, i apologize (to all 3 of you), now to move on. i have a list of things i want to blog about – i.e. more postings will be coming soon, but today, looking around my desk i thought as my eyes locked on my medication, that would be a good topic…

most of my friends and co-workers know that i was diagnosed with adhd earlier this year. of course those individuals are the same people that tell you after the diagnosis, “i could have told you that”…gee thanks! other people who find out are always a little taken-a-back, which surprises me… anyway, what prompted me to go to the doctor and have this discussion? i was on a virgin flight across country to san francisco for work, and watched a documentary about adult adhd, and how these individuals struggle with daily life; not just work and home; but the amount of time people with adhd spend looking for keys, trying to remember why they walked into the kitchen, where they put the list that was supposed to tell them the things they needed to do that day, money lost from not paying attention to monthly finances and so forth. dude, can i tell you how many hours over the course of my lifetime that i have spent looking for my keys? my sister pointed out that i should just hang them on a hook by the door, great solution…i would still though spend hours thinking where did I put my keys? that show was a snapshot into my life, one that i hadn’t shared with anyone ever before, because i just thought that was who i am – and i even had/have friends with adhd!

while in my san francisco hotel-room, i took an online assessment, i want to say (not because i didn’t pay attention, but because it was so long ago) that it was a test that basically scored you daily activities and so forth to a possible score of 100, being the “wanna go ride bikes, oh look shiny object” pinnacle. my score, 87. i started to read more and then when i got home a week later, i went to my doc. the nurse brought me the same assessment, but in print, to take and I told her my score from the online version. She was like wow, that’s higher than my kid, i’ll go ahead and put in the script for you because the doc is going to put you on a drug to help you control it for a month and see how things go. my doc comes in and we have quick discussion, and he says yeah you have it…no question.

he put me on vyvanse to help control adhd. that was a friday. I came home that afternoon, took the drug and boom, the “static in my head cut off” and, the drug after all is a stimulant and i was up for probably the next twenty-four hours, lol. if i take the drug after noon, you can pretty much promise me a sleepless night, so i take the pill first thing in the moring, right after i walk the dogs and i’m fine. one thing I like to do, but don’t do enough of it is, is read (between work and school there isn’t a lot of time), and when i do have time, it takes me on average 3-6 months to finish a normal book (there are exceptions to this, the trueblood series took me about a month each and the final harry potter book took me a week, but those are exceptions) – that weekend, i read ‘abraham lincoln vampire hunter’ in just two days. something i have never done.

in addition to being able to read a lot faster and not be distracted, the quality of my work increased; the amount of time it takes to complete most tasks decreased; and i began to enjoy certain aspects of my life and job that i hadn’t before. another thing that happened is that I realized that things that take longer to do are for the most part things that bore me or that I don’t want to do in the first place, before the management of adhd, I just thought it was just something that took longer – so I procrastinate the things i loathe, lol. but we all do…but to finally realize that was a break through! for the most part i am more productive – there are still things that slip by; like taking that real estate salesperson exam which is related to test anxiety and not much else. about three months, the contributions i make at work were rewarded with a promotion, which is always a good thing and allows one to enjoy the other aspects of their life.

so what’s the lesson? this posting is no way meant to be one of those toot-your-own-horn posts that many bloggers do, but hopefully if someone reads this and are prompted to think about adhd and their experiences, then that’s great. if not and some reads this and says kirk we’ve known for years about this, then i’ll answer, you know you could have told me sooner so that so much of my life wasn’t mis-used while i stumbled on this discovery and started to chart a better course. we all get there one way or another, its just that the gps software we use is different.

for more information on adhd check out adda: the attention deficit disorder assocation

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