I Must be OK

•October 27, 2010 • 2 Comments

It’s not hard to see my major blogging trend – if things are bad, I’m blogging. I haven’t blogged since August so things must be going well.

I think I’ve tweaked the beta-blocker dosage to the point it is working effectively. I’m now getting the benefit of Concerta I remember before without the heart palpitations. Of course, I am not superman and I continue to procrastinate, forget things, etc but at least I am getting more done than off meds.

I also decided to undergo neuropsychology testing to confirm the ADHD diagnosis and see what else might be messing with me. That’s less than 2 weeks away now. I’m looking forward to it. (I’m also curious as to why I’m allowed to take Concerta the day of. How can that not mess with the results??)

I should be back to report on the testing, unless my world falls apart before then.

Structure and ADHD

•August 16, 2010 • 3 Comments

When I first tried Ritalin and Concerta, I thought they were wonder-drugs and practically a cure for ADD. However, as time went on, it was clear that I was not cured. I still had trouble prioritizing my work, planning ahead, and still found myself drifting off task (although, much less than when unmedicated). At first I blamed my behavior on old habits I needed to change and, to some extent, that’s true but I think there’s more.

Concerta is excellent at helping me focus. I can apply myself to problem solving or working through drudge work with far fewer distractions than without the medication.

What I’ve had trouble figuring out is why my weekends were so different than my work days. At work, I feel like a horse chomping on the bit, eager to move onto the next task. At home, I float from thing to thing and wonder if I even took the Concerta.

Occasionally, I have a “bad” day at work and wonder if the medication is working. However, every weekend is the same.

Today, I realized that what’s missing from my weekends and some work days is structure. My medication-granted powers of concentration are wasted if I’m not sure how to apply them. I also have problems when the task I am focusing on is ill-defined.

I do much better if I have a list of well-defined tasks. The lesson is obvious – start the day by planning the day. Mungo recently wrote about Getting Things Done, which is a system I also try to use and can help in this area.

Plan the day. Now, that’s a well-defined task I can focus on.

I’m Back Baby!

•August 12, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After no ill effects from a full day on Propranolol, I accelerated my schedule and took Concerta again for the first time in many months.

I feel great! The fog has parted. I can think. Everything seems clearer, brighter. My heart rate is under control (73 bpm!!).

I can’t help but feel optimistic about my current path.

Now, on to getting shit done!

New Meds – Day 1

•August 11, 2010 • Leave a Comment

After speaking with my doctor, I have the go ahead to try the beta-blocker (Propranolol) combined with Concerta.

I’ve just started the beta-blocker only to make sure I have no undesirable side effects. My heart rate was fine (around 70) and I’ll check my blood pressure later tonight. I feel more relaxed today, to the point where I felt like a cup of coffee. I haven’t been drinking caffeine very much for a while now.

I’ll do one more day of the beta-blocker only and then add Concerta on Friday. I’m looking forward to some clear thinking!

Mix and Match Meds

•July 20, 2010 • Leave a Comment

Having been off my meds for almost 2 weeks, I’ve definitely noticed my blood pressure come down to a better level and my heart rate is much improved (I even measured an amazing – for me – 65 bpm yesterday).

The heart rate is variable, though, and its most likely due to anxiety. (Honestly, what is there to be anxious about with 3 kids, a single income, a mortgage, leaking oil wells, extreme weather… never mind.)

My psychiatrist suggests I try a beta-blocker, which will lower the BP and also decrease any anxiety. If this med works for me, we could experiment with Concerta again and that really excites me since Concerta is my miracle ADHD drug.

He suggests I run this plan by my doctor and, given my history, I am all behind that plan.

Now, I just need to survive Normal for a little while longer.

Go Away, ADD

•July 15, 2010 • Leave a Comment

The Normal Experiment continues.

Today was a bad day. My day was broken up by meetings and I never found traction on an important project (a problem to solve). Even an hour between meetings is not enough for me as I get distracted for the majority of it and as I settle down to work, poof, it’s time for the next meeting. It’s the story of my working life.

What really drives me crazy, though, is this almost palpable feeling that I can solve this particular problem if I could just think. That feeling comes up in all areas of my life but the reason for it didn’t become clear until 1.5 years ago (and I can’t believe I’ve been diagnosed for that long).

For many years, the feeling was even stronger. I knew I could do it (whatever it was) if only I could apply myself. It wasn’t until I actually hit some of my limitations that the self-delusion ended. That was a sad day and I wish I had known about Adult ADHD then.

I think there’s something more to this post, but I can’t think it through.

Go away, ADD. I have work to do.

Talk about addled

•July 13, 2010 • Leave a Comment

I attended a wedding this past weekend and this is what it took to ready myself to leave the hotel.

  1. Arrive at the hotel by car and head up to my room (on the 24th floor).
  2. Start emptying pockets and undressing for a shower. As I take my shirt off, I realize I forgot my suitcase in the car.
  3. (Put shirt back on and) go back to the parking garage to retrieve the bag and head back up to the room (did I mention it’s on the 24th floor?).
  4. Shower and dress. Check I have my car key and leave the room.
  5. 10 steps down the hallway, realize I forgot the gift in the room.
  6. Head back to the room to realize I locked the room key in the room.
  7. Nearly head down to the lobby but see a hotel phone near the elevators. Guest services sends security up – luckily I had my ID.
  8. Arrive barely on time to the wedding.

ADD. A life of excitement.