Monday, July 12, 2010

10 mg of Methylphenidate...

...OMG, I just took 10mg of Methylphenidate! OMG! OMG! OMG!
I read on the internet that Methylphenidate...more commonly known as Ritalin to the "sky is falling" crowd...will murder or maim me somehow. Strangely, my limbs are still attached, there's no blood or guts, I haven't yet had heart failure...wait, have I? Hold on, I'll check...okay, still have a pulse, all good.
But here's some actual, reality-based observations from the inside:
Because I haven't filled my new prescription yet for an XR Methylphenidate, I took my old ones...and because I haven't taken any stimulants since the beginning of May because of the migraine issue I was trying to clear up (the stimulants were NOT causing the migraines but it was best not to tinker with my brain while unravelling that mystery) this is like starting back at zero.
These are the booster tablets that my NP had given me for the afternoons after the Concerta might wear off. Not taking Concerta anymore, wanting to try to generic...anyway, these little booster tabs are not extended release and you sure can feel the difference. You feel your brain "go" and then, I'm sure later, I will feel the drug just "stop" working.
I can report, beyond all reasonable doubt, that I cannot multi-task right now, at all. That's one of the things about stimulants that makes me giggle. My usual mode of operation is such that I am all about the multi-task, for better or being in a state that prevents that from happening at all is hilarious.
This all confirms what I already knew...that there are certain days when I am doing certain things where it may benefit me to not take my stimulants. There are other types of days, where I am engaging in activities that benefit from me being more focused on single tasks. Today, because I'm going to the office, I took the magic pills. This weekend, when I am running an event and need to be able to adjust my thinking on the fly to get the job done? I will not take them.
I actually do think that too many kids get "the drugs" and their meds probably aren't managed so subtlely. That's a problem, but that's one of the advantages of being a grownup, and one with a fair amount of insight. I'm learning to be able to manage my meds in a way that works best for me, based on how my life and my brain work. I am GLAD that I have stimulants as just one tool that I use for ADHD management.
One thing I notice that is interesting, is that I am not always the best judge of how well the medication is working. Most of the time I'm pretty perceptive about it, but sometimes, when I get really used to it working, I start to think it's NOT working, because everything seems so normal. Then I ask for a higher dosage...we try the higher dosage...and I go "OH SHIT, THIS IS TOO HIGH OF A DOSAGE" and then I don't want to take them, then I end up making an appointment with my prescriber, and then I'm not taking it while I'm waiting for my appointment, and everything gets all thrown off, and I start noticing that my life is getting messy
Having put my finger on this cycle, I'm going to share it with my prescriber and I think it will help him, and me, make better collective decisions going forward about my dosing. Before changing dosages in the future, if I feel like the meds "aren't working", I'm going to take a poll of those close to me, to see what they think, or if they notice anything. It's a funny thing to have to admit that your own perceptions might not be perfect on something like this, but it's important to be able to see when you do and don't need an extra pair of eyeballs.
Alrighty then...I've had my "meth" fix for the day and I'm ready to roll :)