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.

1 comment:

Karen Butler Ogle said...

I'm so excited for you about finding the problem and getting it treated. I will never forget the first few weeks after my psychs finally stumbled on the right meds for me. It changed my life completely and I could look back at past behavior and see how incredibly messed up I was. It was a turning point for sure.