Saturday, July 31, 2010

On the ADHD Radar

Playing catch up here, trying to get to the present point in my adventures.

I was tested for ADHD on June 16th, and Dr. L told me I did indeed have ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type, on the first of July.  I was giddy about the news and had to keep myself from jumping up and hugging her!

She referred me to a psychiatrist in Franklin whom I lovingly refer to as Dr. Nyquil.  I had a great session with him and left that visit feeling more optimistic than ever.

First it was Tina at the allergy clinic.  Then Drs. L and Nyquil.  Just having a few medical professionals listen to you and actually hear you is amazing.  Feeling validated.  It's incredible.  Yes, my problems are all in my head, but not the way my primary care physician implies.  I had a wicked sinus infection and a brain chemistry issue. So there!  Neener, neener, neener!

Dr. Nyquil.  He's very professorial, glasses riding low on his nose.  He uses a bean bag desk on his lap behind his massive wooden desk.  He's got your folder on one side, your current list of medications on the other.

He'd tell me this patient vignettes, peering at me over his glasses, speaking low and methodically.  "I had a patient, 37 years of age.  Male.  Did well on medications."  or "I had a patient, 33 years of age.  Female.  Was fine until she had a child.  The stress of dealing with a newborn was more than she could cope with having ADHD.  Responded well to medicine and is thriving."

This is what he told me:  basically smart people with ADHD come up with a lot of coping mechanisms on their own.  They usually end up in a mental health professional's office because some stressful life event has elevated their stress and anxiety to a level where they've simply run out of effecting coping skills.


Last year, when I begged the doctor at work for testing, I was dealing with an aggressive puppy that was picking fights with my other dogs.  I was incredibly stressed and couldn't get anything done in life.  Even getting to work was a struggle, until I finally took her back to the breeder and the stressor was eliminated.

This year, I was dealing with the whole weight loss frustration.  Yeah, I had surgery.  Not that you can tell.  What do I do?  Revision?  Suck it up?  Diet? Scream?

Also, I'm really bored at work.  Though I love where I am, it's not challenging in a way that I like, and it doesn't use my skills and talents very well.  I like to work with people!  Now I spend most of my time holed up in my office.  That had been eating at me subconsciously.

The push it over the edge thing was the chick with flip flops.  Well, actually they're high heeled plastic, plexiglass and silver lamé sandals, but her frantic scampering around the office might as well be Ricky Ricardo playing a ham with a couple of ping pong paddles!


I'm really sensitive to sounds (the psych testing confirmed it), and her frenetic scurrying was driving me nuts!  I couldn't block out the annoying sound and she wouldn't sit the hell down!  I spent a lot of time with my office door shut, eye twitching.

And that's how I ended up sitting in Dr. Nyquil's office, on the ADHD radar.

He said that about 85% of his patients respond well to medication, and I was gung ho to try.  Looking closely at my current medications, he decided we'd start with a low dose of Adderall and titrate up until I had a robust, therapeutic response to it.

The next day, when I took that first pill, my life changed forever.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Yikes! Where have I been lately?

I'll try not to make this post horrendously long, but I will preface it by saying a lot has happened since November of last year.

Where to begin?  I got ridiculously frustrated by my aftercare at the hospital where I had my Lap-Band surgery.  I ended up following in the footsteps of several of my other friend-patients and transferred to Centennial Medical Center, which I love.

I had another fill and my new doc is really good!  Even though my port has nearly flipped completely, he was able to get in and out faster than anyone that's ever tried to give me a fill to date.

Since the fill, I've been struggling.  I go from starving to stuck and sliming, which is not the ideal way to live.  What gives?  Why is this band such a beast for me?

Spring was quite fun for me, with travels to Texas and Boston, where I met up with many of my SWL friends.  But after the floods of May 2010, and getting back to reality, I realized I was sick of dealing with my band.  I want a revision to sleeve!

But . . . there's always a big butt.  I mean but.  I told myself that there would be no talk of revision until I made sure that I left no stone unturned when it came to my band.  Yeah, I know I'm having issues--is there anything I can do to fix them?  Give it the old college try and if nothing changes, THEN revision, here we come.

I went to a psychologist led group at Centennial, where I really liked the doc.  I signed up for private counseling sessions with her and within 20 minutes into the first session, she cocked her head and said, "Have you ever been tested for ADHD?"

(Brief pause where I smacked myself in the head and said I went to the psych clinic where I worked and BEGGED to be tested for ADHD, but was ignored and told I probably had some kind of underlying medical condition.  I hate doctors sometimes.)

One meeting with Dr. L and I was getting psych tests scheduled the next week, and two weeks later I was told some important things:

1.  I have Very Superior Intelligence™
2.  I have ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive Type
3.  Did I mention I was really smart?

Okay, I'm just goofing on the inflated ego from my IQ testing!  And the VSI is not really trademarked. It just looks more profound that way!

Long story short, the Lap-Band (or Realize Band) is NOT the ideal surgery choice for ADHD patients.  Who knew???  I found this out the hard way, after 15 months of struggling with essentially no significant weight loss after my surgery.  And a lot of sliming and puking.

Now that I know this and am getting my ADHD treated, things are changing.  And so will the direction of my blog . . . not just about surgical weight loss, but dealing with obesity and the ADHD brain.

Dealing with this has been a pain in the ass, but yet it's also fascinating.  I am more enthusiastic about life and my future now than I have ever been!

More stories to come . . .