Friday, March 4, 2011

Even Comedy Can't Cure ADHD

Let's talk comedy:

Let's talk inability to sit still. Let's talk about those times when stillness only allows a sense of sandpaper on the inner side of the skin to take hold.

Standing in the back, in the dark, in a theater of 900 people...the show is fantastic. World-renowned and funny as hell. I cannot stand still in the pauses between jokes. I cannot stand still in the middle of them. I can't stop thinking about the feeling of the wooden banister under my chin, and it's cold, and then my legs fele uncomfortable, and then I shift from foot to foot. I try and it incites mild dread and almost-panic. Then I just want to detach from the room, and the people in it. I think about my dog. I think about crying.

I think I'll go up to my office and sit in the dark and listen to music.

Sit in the sadness in a place where I don't have to judge it.

Where I don't have to hide it.

Where I can sit still because my mind can be occupied.

This is why people with ADHD become workaholics. Because we cannot find peace in moments that make other people laugh. I've moved away from that -ism quite a bit but I cannot totally control it. It's an interesting experiment to try to make yourself just "be" when you literally can't.

I understand my restlessness and my anxiety and my sadness so much better now. Now I identify it more quickly, just accept it and give it space to be. No wasted energy of that mills itself quickly into a roiling anxiety and near panic...and flight. Now, the flight is conscious, controlled as it can be when the urgency of thought and movement are belligerent and rough, disregarding my humanity and relentless in their expectations.

900 people laugh just a few rooms away. I'm alone in the dark and it soothes me more than any comedy can.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

But wait, I thought I left those on Jupiter...

As I'm sure is the case for many women with ADHD, I seem to have times when the effect of my stimulant meds is more or less potent. At times like these, I have parameters that I know I can work within to self-adjust my meds a bit.

So this morning I realized this was one of those days and I was going to take a little extra Concerta and thought to myself "damn, I left the bottle next to my bed"...without looking in my purse.

You TOTALLY know where this is going.

My husband just called me a few minutes ago to make sure I had my house keys with me before he left for an evening gig (and isn't it nice that because he also has ADHD he knows that it's not a bad idea to check these things and also doesn't resent it?). I looked for them in my purse. They were there next to my bottle of Concerta.

So yes, I could have had a much easier time focusing my mind today...oh well...!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Annoying To The General Population

There are things that drive ADHDers bonkers, and then there are things that would drive any sane human being bonkers.

Just now, I hold one of those things in my hands.

I'm doing manual data entry to update a list that my database can't seem to "sort out" on its own. Sometimes these evils are necessary. However, I have entered this particular list of numbers FOUR TIMES now. Each time I have entered the list, I have then hit "execute" and...I'd like to say some kind of intriguing "Kaboom!" occurred but it's actually a silent, empty blue screen. The kind of sickening silence you can only earn after your hard work has come to a repeated, impotent fizzle due to factors beyond your control.

Another category is worth noting here: it's things that would drive any same person crazy but drive someone with ADHD COMPLETELY FUCKING NUTS.

Our admin is resetting the database. (Pause)

I'm going to try it again now...

Just one phone call was all it took... I wrote about being depressed. Then the screaming anxiety came back. Then I lived a circling pattern while my message to my prescriber got lost...then the VERTIGO CAME BACK!

MOTHER F*****!

New readers: I have a migraine disorder that involves no headache pain, and instead flares up as VERTIGO. Last year it was an ordeal, and it took ages to figure out what it was...they thought "maybe a brain tumor"..."maybe something else equally terrifying!"...nope, just migraine phenomena. As a result, I take a tri-cyclic antidepressant that just happens to treat/prevent migraine issues AND assuages anxiety as well.

I guess it makes a whole hell of a lot of sense that if I'm feeling depressed and anxious again...AND start to have vertigo medication must not be sufficient at its current dosage anymore!

Called the prescriber again and was able to get a call back (and an apology for the lost message) almost immediately. And...a prescription for 10 more mg, 'cause I'm a wicked lightweight.

Voila, the vertigo is gone and I feel much better. I dare say that I FEEL LIKE ME! The me that I've come to expect now that I no longer tolerate a ridiculous level of ambient anxiety running the show.

The lessons here:

1) sometimes it's good to re-visit dosages if they're not doing what you need them to do
2) sometimes office staff make mistakes and lose phone messages (or put them in your chart without telling your provider) persistent if you need help