Thursday, July 28, 2016

Hoo Boy

I started an ADHD medication today (that supplement helps, but I still want more help). I was a little irritated with my doctor.

Me: I'd like to be evaluated for ADD.
Him: Why is that?
Me: *Abandons mentally itemized list of textbook symptoms* I can't pay attention. And. Uh. Insomnia. My mind doesn't shut off at night. I feel constantly overwhelmed.
Him: How did you do in high school?
Me: *Abandons mentally itemized list of ways that life and school have felt like a constant string of--at best--Stooge-like pratfalls* Well, I'm smart. Ish. And, uh, high school wasn't terrible because I could learn enough just by being present to get OK grades. And then college was terrible. I was lost most of the time. It was hard.
Him: OK, what type of treatment are you looking for?
Me: *Abandons mentally itemized list of coping mechanisms that I have developed that are now failing me* I don't even know. I don't think I need anything super strong. I just couldn't even handle my first grader's projects last year, and I'm dreading this school year with two of them doing real school. Things.
Him: Well, I don't prescribe Adderall or Ritalin [which, despite the fantastic weight loss appeal, I'm not really interested in anyway], but you can try out this sample of Strattera.
Me: OK


I mean, if he's not qualified to give that evaluation, that's great, but if I have it, I want to have a doctor tell me, "You definitely have ADD," so I can start using it as an excuse for everything normal that I can't seem to do. Just kidding. Kind of. And if I don't have it, I clearly need a life coach. So, I don't know. I don't even know how insurance works with these kinds of things. If I want a formal evaluation, can I just make an appointment with someone? Or do I have to get a referral from my doctor? Does that mean I have to go back? Does that mean I have to pick up the phone and make another appointment?

I just don't even know. I don't mind (some of) the flightiness and the slight craziness. I kind of like a lot of those aspects of my personality. They're fun. But I don't want to feel like vomiting every time my kid brings home a project. I don't want to forget appointments and small but important tasks. I don't want to lie awake at night wondering about the phases of the moon and why locusts eat so much and how do skunks stand to be around each other?

So I started this sample. It's a big sample. Like 45 days worth, starting at 25 mg and working up to 80. It's supposed to take 2 weeks to see any benefits, and then 2 weeks after the full dose starts is when you can really assess its efficacy. Yesterday I took my first sample, and I basically napped all day. It was wonderful, yet also frustrating. It felt so good to slip into sleep so easily, but, you know, child neglect and needing clean clothes and things like that. I slept like a rock last night, which might have been simple exhaustion. I haven't slept well in a couple of weeks.

Today, I took it with some apprehension. It was the girls' first day both in school. I wanted to use all that time as much as possible. No napping! I went for my first swim in a long time. No amount of weightlifting or running makes swimming easy the first time. There was a lot of gasping for air by the wall between sets. Then I lifted. It was leg day. I really hate leg day. You'd think with all that running, I'd have strong legs, but they're surprisingly weak. The squat rack is my own personal cage of humiliation.

Then work at the church. And here is where I swear the Strattera is already kicking in. I sat down, did my job, never lost focus, and got it done in three hours. I didn't even realize it until I was almost finished. I had at least half an hour of extra work this week, and I finished half an hour faster than I normally do. Huh.

I got the kids from school, made dinner, cleaned the kitchen, and went to back to school night. At no point did I feel overwhelmed today. It was weird. I have good and bad days, but there is usually at least one point during the day when I feel overwhelmed. On a good day, it's because my house actually is a mess, and there really are a lot of things to do. On a bad day, it's because I have to buy deodorant for Jeremy, and there are too many choices (this is a real example, and I seem to remember reaching out and grabbing the nearest one, then running away). Today was ripe to be a bad day. Back to school night alone is its own mountain of details and obligations and too many people talking. But I was fine.

So, I don't know. It still could have just been a good day, but maybe this will work out. And I didn't nap at all today!


  1. Gosh. I think whatever it is, I want some. Continued success and clarity and sound sleep to you. And may you become master of leg day.

    1. It's incredible. My whole week has been like this. It might be that the kids started full time school, so with eliminating one interruption to my day (picking up Emmy from kindergarten), it would be easier to focus anyway. But I really feel different. I feel energetic and cheerful again--lighter--, in a way I haven't since before I had kids. And this is a non-stimulant medication.

      And leg day will always be my nemesis.

    2. Oh, and I was asleep by 12:30 last night. This hasn't happened in months.