Finally, a Formal ADHD Diagnosis

This has been a very interesting, trying, emotional, and exhausting week. For one thing, I’m sick. Too sick to do much of anything, which is always bad because our schedule and to-do lists are very lengthy and when I can’t accomplish things, I get really cranky.

I tried to spend as much time sleeping or resting as I could but some things were unavoidable. With tissues, DayQuil, and Ricola in hand, I ventured to my new neurologist to get formally diagnosed with ADHD. Although I was 99.99% sure that I do have ADHD, having spoken with the psychiatrist who diagnosed the Pumpkin, I was still anxious that perhaps everything is all in my head and I have no one to blame for my difficulties but my own laziness and lack of discipline.

I expected an interview along with filling out a questionnaire as we did for the Pumpkin. Instead, I was subjected to an odd video game sort of computer application that would have been mildly irritating had I been feeling well, but in my sick state was extremely annoying. I initially found that leaning all the way back in my chair sort of helped me accomplish the requested tasks but that was uncomfortable to do for long. Then I discovered holding my hands a certain way helped a bit. But all in all, not enough time to devise a tactic or muster up the will to exceed. And, in the background, so much anxiety.

Thankfully, the annoying little test proved that I do indeed have ADHD and along with the diagnosis I get to start on the odyssey that is finding the right medication that works with my particular brainmeats. In general, most ADHD medication is stimulant based because our brains need a helping hand somewhere in our frontal cortex, the area that helps with self control, focus, and filtering stimuli. Both the Pumpkin and I are on types of amphetamine that have a special delivery system. If a normal person takes this, they get all wired. For us, it calms us down and helps us process things. To start with, I am taking Vyvanse 20mg.

I told the neurologist that really I know what I need to do. I have devised all sorts of little tricks and techniques to help myself along. The irritating part is that all my little techniques work for everyone else and only work for a short time for me. It’s annoying. What I would like from medication are the following:

    1. A decrease in anxiety. I want to be able to calm myself down faster and be better at keeping myself from getting worked-up to begin with.
    2. An easier time listening to the little voice in my head that knows what the right thing to do is and being able to stick with my techniques and tools that are working.
    3. Quicker to engage in tasks, and if I’m interrupted, faster re-engagement.
    4. Improved memory.

1: Regarding the anxiety, I was totally relaxed in the car while Frank was driving and usually I hold on for dear life. He says his observation is that I am noticeably calmer. This is excellent because if I’m calmer, the entire family will be calmer. I wonder what driving will be like?

2: While on medication, I successfully didn’t eat the chocolate on the coffee table. I did however finish it later when the meds wore off. Will have to work on that a little bit and it’s probably better not to have it in the house. Related to discipline, I know sleep is an issue so to help, once I feel better, I downloaded a new app for my phone called “SleepBot” that tracks how long I sleep, along with movement and sounds I make while I sleep. The sound data is quite funny right now because I’m obviously snoring due to my cold and it detects the cats’ meows. It has a fun and pleasant alarm and produces charts. As I love charts and data, I find it fun to use and now I actually look forward to going to sleep. Previously, I have found lots of fun things to use and give them up even though they’re working. We shall see if I can keep this up. As soon as my cold passes, I can start going to the gym again.

3: So far, at work, I’ve been getting right into my tasks. This is 100% improvement. In general, I seem to want to engage in meaningful activities and not just distractions and I can figure out which is which better. It’s hard because I am sick and not quite myself. But preliminary observation is encouraging.

4: Well, so far not so good here. I forgot the details of a conversation I had only had 30 minutes prior. Whoops. But at least it’s not worse and I know I have to take notes for things to sink in. Will keep observing that. Will also make sure to schedule meetings in the middle of the day when the meds are working.

Overall, I am thankful that I don’t seem to be feeling any adverse side-effects. I’ve read that people experience everything from tics to hallucinations. So far, I feel present and not like I’m drifting in and out of someone’s movie. And, I feel physically heavy and less floaty. I managed to put this post together in about 10 minutes, which is a record really and with minimal spelling errors. It seems to be easier to think. And, I’m not having any problems sleeping. I will start melatonin at 5mg, so that I can ensure a super fitful sleep since it worked well before; one of those helpful things I stop doing just because that’s what I do and I am so looking forward to no more of that.

I’m aware that this is venturing into the TMI category but this is often a difficult journey for people, myself included, and it’s nice to have support and likewise share my experiences and offer support to others. Additionally, I can’t keep track of things without writing them down so this helps with that as well.

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