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Motherhood impending….

I’m 11w3 days today. Sitting in the passenger seat of Padda while TDH is driving us home from his parents. We had his sister’s bachelorette party and her fiancé’ bachelors party yesterday. 

Bachelorette parties that include cocktail workshops are a bit different without alcohol. After all, a virgin cocktail is essentially a fancy fruit juice. The irony being that the reason why I need a virgin cocktail has everything to do with not being a virgin. I should have had a Virgin Mary….

I’m really grateful that TDH is driving. Fatigue and being off meds make an hour and a half a long time to be focusing on driving. I’m slowly doing better in the fatigue department and I’m past the morning sickness. Apparently the placenta will take over in the next week or so and I can look forward to the next stage of pregnancy. 

I must say I was struggling over the past weeks. I tend to ‘forget’ that when I do manage to get stuff done. I was dead tired and my head was either exploding or very foggy. Doesn’t help with uni, doesn’t help with something TDH wanted me to do that cost some focus. Rather frustrating. I was too tired to get my limited focus ability to function. 

My mood is generally good despite the struggles, and I don’t think I am more emotional than normally but perhaps TDH is a better judge of that. 

I think I am starting to show a tiny bit. I had a tiny tummy! 

Sometimes I worry a bit that Baby may not be OK… At some point I remembered my grandma and realised: this is never going to end. Better learn to deal with it! 

It’s all part of impending motherhood. 

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Posted by on August 23, 2015 in ADHD, ADHD in women, adult ADHD, Busy Baby

 

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Busy baby due March 10!!

Busy baby due March 10!!

Yesterday marked week 10 of my pregnancy. I decided to blog about it because I couldn’t find much about ADHD and pregnancy so why not do something about it. 

Yes, I really am pregnant. It happened a little sooner than expected. Of course it did. My impulsive nature may or may not have something to do with it. Result: I won’t be going to my cousin’s wedding in South Africa. I will miss a chance to see my family again. 

So far I am doing well I think. Tired. Very tired. I have a cold now but the nausea has lessened. 

I went to the gynaecologist beforehand to talk about meds. Essentially I had to stop taking concerta by the end of the first trimester and I will be followed by a gyn (or rather a few different registrars) because of it. In the end I fell pregnant during my vacation off meds. I never really started back on them except for a few tablets for school. 

I’m definitely more ADHD although I am often too tired for the ‘H’. 

We found out a week after the engagement. 

Had a first sonogram last week. Really strange to see this tiny baby thing inside of me. He or she was moving! Or it’s my imagination. But I saw movement. And the heartbeat! 

TDH and I and the rest of the family are really happy. 

I’m going to talk again later as my eyelids are getting really heavy….

 

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“I don’t believe in labelling kids….”

Today I gave a presentation about ADHD for my group of GP registrars. Just this morning I joked that instead of giving a presentation I should have filmed myself trying to make the presentation and just show that. By this time I am permanently off my meds and I think the max focus time for this presentation was 5 minutes. 

Still impressive that I managed to make something coherent out of it. Suppose it’s one of the things I learned it 29 years of ADHD: the skill to make a rough draft for a project in less than 10 minutes.

Anyhow. 

So these are a bunch of doctors. 

I was just running through some basic stuff. 

And two of them didn’t really believe in helping these kids by ‘labelling’ them. After all, if pedagogic measures can help some? 

I tried to explain that if pedagogical measures solve the problem there is no ADHD. That these kids need more guidance. That you help them to understand themselves and to deal with their relative impairments. Yes but doesn’t everyone have their issues? We all have to learn to deal with our issues. Yes, but you all don’t end up screwing up your life because of it. Aren’t they just lazy? No. 

Honestly, from one of them it made sense. She was in my mentor group and I feel like I get it now.

She doesn’t want to get it. 

Makes sense why my trying to explain my ADHD issues in mentor group didn’t help much. She wanted to hear that I use it as an excuse. She didn’t care that I only offered as an explanation while I struggled on to make things right. 

There wasn’t time for much of a discussion. 

I’m not really sure if I really was going to put in the effort. If people don’t want to hear they don’t want to hear. 

TDH reminded me that it didn’t matter because I know the truth.

Because to be honest, it’s hard not to take it personally despite the fact that I didn’t mention my own ADHD to the general group.

Then I was thinking. 

Perhaps I’d rather have ADHD than a mind that works like that. 

 

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No longer tolerating meds?

No longer tolerating meds?

A brief history.

I started taking Ritalin and then Concerta about 3 years ago, maybe a bit more. I remember how calm I became the first time I took it. I then eventually ended up taking 72mg of Concerta each morning, and 54 in the afternoon.

Last year, when I went off the Pill and we opted for non-hormonal contraception instead… or after I settled into a more natural rhythm? I suddenly found myself not tolerating the higher doses as well. I went down to 54mg and 36mg and sometimes used Ritalin when I didn’t want to use another dose of Concerta. I ended up using 36mg and 18mg for a few months.

And now I’m having some trouble staying focused on my work but I’m too scared to take half a tablet of Ritalin (which I eventually just did) because it feels too strong now. I don’t know why that is.

A few weeks ago I started swimming on Saturday mornings, in order to get fitter. Because I wanted to see how it goes without… and because I exercise better without meds, I didn’t take anything on Saturdays. I also started taking vitamin supplements.

About a week and a half ago I felt really awful on Friday, figured it must be the allergies. I felt better in the evening and on my med-free Saturday. I skipped Sunday too. I only took the 18mg on Monday because I had this idea that I want to see how it goes. I had some trouble with it on Monday, my mind being too busy.

Took my normal dose on Tuesday and it felt horrible.

Took 18mg on Wednesday and it felt half as horrible, but still found myself waiting for it to wear off so I can feel normal again.

And that was the last time I took it, until now.

I was hyper, but pretty focused and such, for my doing at least.

I don’t know why.

Perhaps I’m just in a good spot ‘naturally’. I mean, I’m having trouble studying but that’s about the hardest thing for me to do!!

 
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Posted by on June 14, 2015 in ADHD, ADHD in women, adult ADHD

 

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Dear next person who accuses me of not respecting or not caring…

You know how normal people respond if you’re late?
They see it as a sign of disrespect, and take offense (quite often). They get annoyed with you. 

You know how normal people respond if you failed to get things together?
They assume you just don’t care, and respond accordingly. 

You know what normal people think when you try to explain it’s ADHD?
If it’s important enough, you’d manage. It’s an excuse. Why don’t you just try harder? Why don’t you just do it?….. you need more discipline. You need more willpower.

And before I get accused of overgeneralising again: stating it like that does not mean there are no exceptions. I am simply trying to explain what I run into more often than not, in situations where I am already desperately disappointed in myself and frustrated. If you’re not close to me, I suck it up and sometimes break down as soon as I’m somewhere you’re not around to witness it. Your reaction makes my problem worse. Not only do I have my ADHD, I now also have you to deal with, and I really just want to make most of life. This I have to do in the midst of normal people.

The thing is, and I’m talking about ‘getting things done’ and ‘being on time’ because essentially they’re part of the same problem….

I understand that you have no clue what it’s like to have no concept of time, a chaotic and perpetually overloaded mind, and very limited planning ability mixed with being easily distractable, impulsive and sometimes just not being able to find that info in the jungle you call your mind. I get that. Normal people are weird like that, unable to imagine what it’s like to be different.

Because I DO care and because I DO respect you, I go to great lengths to meet you somewhere nearer to you than halfway, because I understand that halfway is just too much to ask of you.

I learned ‘time’. Or, at least, I do my best to understand what you mean by it. I put great effort into trying to grasp what time it is (instead of just ‘it’s dusk, day, midday, dawn, evening, night’. That’s useless in Northern Europe, mind you, so I’m double handicapped. And then for some moronic reason there’s daylight savings time…). It takes all the willpower I can master sometimes, but I force my mind to do it. I then have to concentrate really hard to remember more or less what ‘number’ is linked to certain activities. The number is minutes, but it’s like having to understand a second language if you’re really bad at languages. You’ll never quite master it, but have to keep trying. Add them up only to discover I’ve already lost at least ten trying to figure out time. And in all that concentration, the info ‘where are my keys’ are lost, because for some then pretty intelligent reason I put them somewhere else last time I had them.

In order to be in time for work in the morning, this is the sequence:
– a few days beforehand, start worrying about how to get to bed in time in order to wake up well. Waking up well is absolutely crucial because I need max concentration
– In general, now that I’m not in such irregular shifts any more, I am practising a morning routine. It’s not routine yet, so it takes a lot of focus still. I’m also not sure what’s worse: getting up well early and being late because I thought I had a lot of time, or getting up at the last moment and rushing, risking being late because I’m simply late. Or had my keys already in my handbag but forgot about that.
– the evening before, I prepare lunches as far as I can without it becoming icky through being prepared too long beforehand. This in itself is complicated because meal planning is planning just as well and food isn’t my favourite thing. Another bit of forced concentration, will power.
– I get things ready, and this procedure has to be planned before med rebound… (Another bit of planning…) I check my planner, I pack my bag, because it’s nothern Europe I also have to check the weather in detail, somehow remember that not-too-interesting info, plan an outfit and actually think about things such as umbrellas, getting up earlier if it rains…. (I’ve been told I should have left earlier when I was late due to storms and the like, so now it’s at least 15 mins stress a day about that). Not only do I have to have my basic ‘plan’ in mind, it also has to be adjustable, and then I’m thrown off again. If I’m lucky, the getting-ready-for-tomorrow procedure takes about 15-20 mins. On a bad day (such as when I just had to finish the last paragraph of that assignment, or someone left just too late and I’m in rebound)… this can take an hour.
– I spend the entire evening trying to get everything done and not get distracted, often depriving myself of the small things I enjoy, just to get to bed in time. This often fails, because I get distracted, because I can’t keep up that level of stress always, because someone actually needed my attention.
– I put a lot of effort into calming down so I can sleep well so I wake up well so I at least have a shot. On physical days I read/look at pictures in some magazine. On wordy days I do yoga, shower, sometimes do some exercise before the yoga, listen to music and/or sing. Wordy days are the worst.
– In the morning first thing I do is take my meds. I need varying doses of willpower/self discipline to get out of bed, because I’m apprehensive of the procedure to be on time. Since I haven’t yet mastered my routine, it’s hard. And then, because of this horrid climate, I also have to ‘adjust my planning’ to match the weather. And I keep forgetting: does a west wind come from the west or go towards the west?
– I spend as much time checking the clock as I do getting ready I think! And setting an alarm to leave won’t help, I don’t have enough concept of time to know how long that half hour is. I’ve tried ‘training’ myself, but that same half hour feels different depending on my energy, meds, whatnot.
– And then, if I manage to make it on time, I feel like the ‘dumb’ student who FINALLY has a C- in a class they’re just not good at…  YES YES YES A C-!!! PARTY come celebrate with me! And all the other ‘students’ look at me like I’m nuts, they all have A’s.

I respect you, my job, whatever, enough to put myself through that. If I fail, I can’t promise it will never happen again. It will. But rest assure, I will try to figure out if there’s anything I can do to prevent it from happening.

If you say ‘you’re on time for work, but not for meeting up with me, I must not be important’: You are important to me. I feel horrible about making you wait because I’ve managed to step in my own chaos again. The difference between you and work is that I simply don’t have days to precisely try to figure out how to get to you in time. Trust me, I’ve put a lot of will power, frustration, stress and whatnot in it to get to you in time. A few minutes from your side to try to understand that would be nice, but I’m not asking for it because I’ve had my share of negative responses. If you’re going to keep on giving me a hard time, I will reconsider doing all that for you though.

The same applies to reading a few chapters to prep for class. It’s not that class is not important for me. It’s just that I simply failed to go through all the steps to get it read. These steps include:
– Forcing myself to sit and read, sometimes using a timer.
– Forcing myself back to that position
– Sometimes basically re-writing the book
– Spending I don’t know how long getting frustrated because I simply can’t learn from long texts, and since you won’t allow me to adjust my learning to what works, the result is that I will fail to get it done the way you can.

So please understand why your assumptions offend me greatly, hurt me, and sometimes make me raging mad. And I don’t understand why respecting you means basically torturing myself, while you do nothing to meet me say at 95% your side. I’ve been told that normal people are far better at thinking, so maybe you can master a tiny bit of cognition about why I fail to meet your expectations. I’ve been told that normal people are better listeners, so listen when I say it’s not about you or about respect if I fail to meet your expectations. You’d offer a one-legged person a hand or walk slower if they can’t keep up, but you get mad at me if I fail to match your pace. And if I do fail to arrive on time, sorry, but why don’t you check your facebook instead of winding yourself up about how disrespectful I am for being born this way. That’s what I do if I have to wait, and trust me, waiting is torture to me. (And yes, I feel really bad about doing it to you. But you don’t feel bad about guilt tripping me, so maybe I should not respect you, actually.)

 
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Posted by on March 23, 2014 in ADHD, adult ADHD, Rant

 

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A rainy Sunday afternoon…

Sundays at work always seem a bit weird. Given that we’re doing business 24/7, that means that EVERY Sunday is weird. That would make weird ordinary, but that’s not the point. Came in this morning with a lot to do, but now there’s nothing and I’m thinking we might as well have done the case we turfed to others, but then again, when we turfed it, we did it because we had too much to do. Or so it seems. And now we’re being phone jockeys.

Autumn weather is crazy weather, and you need to pack an umbrella and your sunglasses. Looking at the rain gives you time to think. Somehow, rain calms me down as long as I’m somewhere not getting wet. If I’m getting wet, it makes me angry.

Rain

Rain

Things are going on, I’m still leaning towards my Godzilla with PMS side and I hate that side of me. It’s the downside of an ADHD brain combined with a very insecure life so far. Something goes wrong and I’m immediately flooded by thoughts in all their ADHD glory: impressions, images, feelings. Cognitive behavioural therapy has been tried with me thrice, but that’s based on people who think with words and one thing at a time. Or so I think. It does NOTHING to curb the flood, much less if there are strong emotions involved. So, we pick up the pieces later, embarrassed and all.

I’m perfectly capable of handling the cognitive part, once I’ve resurfaced. It’s really very much like being rolled by the waves when swimming in the ocean. I’m a good swimmer, but sometimes it still happens. Just like in the actual ocean, you’re much more likely to get into trouble if you struggle. My best tactic has been to simply roll with it, hold my breath (well, obviously, underwater) and figure out what’s up and down ASAP when I feel the worst blow is over. Remember to always check the coming waves as you emerge! Tip: your chest is filled with air and will move upwards. (Skinny girls don’t float….)

beachwaves

I’ve always been alone in these waves, nobody but one of my therapists has witnessed it ever. That has been fairly recently, I took some time to defrost. And now, TDH has witnessed it. I didn’t really want him to, but I’m here, and he’s close to me… and sometimes he’s been the one triggering it. And it’s weird, because I have no idea how to deal with this. I mean, I always saved the drama for somewhere nobody else could see it.

I am scared of my own past, scared of it happening. I’m not really a fear-type, but I’m terrified. I suppose I can only be terrified because I fully understand how bleak and cold and painful it was. And while I may be doing ‘better’ I think the emotional wounds need more time to heal. My schemes? Trauma response? My ongoing ‘battle’ with my worth as a person doesn’t really help: I feel like I don’t really fit into society because it’s custom made for the same-mass; being different doesn’t float well. I am still being told, sometimes less subtle than other times, that I need to change to ‘adjust’ to a world made to fit someone else. I am being made ‘less’ because of how I am wired, for the greatest part how I am biologically wired. I don’t understand why I can’t be accepted for who I am, simply because I love people for who they are. It’s kind of like bra shopping: I wear a 28F, a size hardly ever sold in stores. Instead of helping me find a fitting bra, the message is: ‘why don’t you just wear the available sizes? We have ALL sizes! 32A-38D!’. Because, quite frankly, they are uncomfortable and don’t fit and offer no support.

bras…

I feel like I’m untangling the hurts, trying to figure out how to get my life healthy. Yesterday we had a look at my crappy financial status. I completely flipped; completely overwhelmed. It was worse than I thought, and I may have to find another solution to my living situation even. Having ADHD is expensive; it’s the main change. Of course, I always had ADHD, but given that our government doesn’t believe in ADHD and thinks short acting methylphenidate is the shit and everyone should be fine with the cheapest contraceptive pill (I think that one made me sick…), I’m stuck with some pretty high medical expenses. If I get into the training programme, I’m going to need my Concerta more than ever, and having to deal with the 3-hourly waves that come with short-acting methylphenidate, (nevermind the rebound when forgetting it) probably won’t be the best thing for me.

I also realised just how much I have to give up. For example: fashion. I really enjoy my style time, but I can’t afford it. My gym membership. I have absolutely no idea how I’m going to manage my fitness without it, because I can’t go running any more due to my allergic asthma… grass pollen allergy. My head immediately gets flooded, the prospect reminds me of my desolate past. I got into debt trying to escape from the hell that was my life. I tried to comfort myself with stuff and whatever because I couldn’t have love, safety, friendship, someone to care for me when needed. It didn’t work, but it was a distraction. And then there’s the thing about the Marshmallow test: turns out that kids who have experienced broken promises will eat the marshmallow: you can’t count on getting another one if adults can’t be trusted. As a kid, I lost things quite a lot. ADHD. The idea was to teach me responsibility by letting me replace lost items with my pocket money, because that’s how it works in the real world. The lesson I learned was that months and months worth of pocket money gets taken away for something I truly could not help. Nobody helped me find ways to remember my stuff.  This has been disastrous for my personal finances throughout life: I had learned to spend my money so I could at least get SOMETHING out if it, as soon as I got it, because I never knew when it would be taken away, leaving me with nothing. (Of course, this is just one of many ‘issues’). Of course, life’s a bitch and this thing comes back to bite me.  Is it fair? No. My dad was right about one thing: life isn’t fair. Of course, that’s something I figured out long before he told me that.

Nobody taught me how to prevent this mess either, and I’m pretty much left to my own devices when it comes to getting out if it. Nothing new: if I had 5 cents for every time someone told me I should be able to do something which I failed at (most often due to ADHD, sometimes due to not having learned something, sometimes due to having glasses making it impossible to bat the ball because you’ve got a massive blind spot right where the bat is, sometimes due to hypermobility and also sometimes because I actually SHOULD be able to do this but simply failed)… well… I’d have enough money to solve this problem and a few more, perhaps even start a scholarship. I’ve gotten plenty tips that go right back to the obvious. It’s like telling a bulimic they’ve got a strict food budget. Yes, I know about budgeting, I’ve tried about 20 times to keep track of it, I understand that this is not helping…. But guess what: somewhere between intention and outcome I massively fail. I’ve even set up several master plans to live on a tight budget…. it lasted a week.

But, that’s not the point. My overwhelming emotional reaction had little to do with failure or the previous intents. It’s simple: the prospect of a really tight budget triggers rather traumatic memories. My struggle with debt started about three months into university, when I needed shoes but had no way in hell to afford them. I walked those shoes through. It became evil after that. It was the incident where I handed my father a minimum budget, and him cutting it back even further. I felt so desperate! It left me with too little to eat from, never mind actually doing something other than study. ‘But your sisters work’. My sisters weren’t in med school, living in student housing. It’s from a lifetime of barely being ‘allowed’ anything I enjoy, and knowing better what it’s like to be deprived than what it’s like to have my needs met. It’s from being reminded of painful loneliness, and the rats I never really could afford but who healed me in so many ways. And it’s about being scared to have to deal with that again, scared to be facing a bleak, dull, lonely life again. I won’t be able to afford doing fun stuff more than a few times a year, and there’s nothing I enjoy more than doing fun things with friends.  Just a few things. It’s completely irrational, and yet, I am having a hard time convincing myself that this can be different.

Regret is a complicated thing if you know you would have done things differently had you known how. And it’s not about the fucking money, yet, it is.

Poor piggy

 

 
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Posted by on November 4, 2013 in ADHD, Dear Diary, Money, Work

 

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4:44 AM

Night shift time.

Shift work and ADHD don’t really mix well. In my case at least. The irregular work hours sabotage any effort I do to manage things, and I am in an almost perpetual jet lag. (And then they wonder why it’s so hard for me to be on time!) That was without night shift.

I’m yet to see (again) how nights will influence this. I’m not doing several in a row. It was different when working in hospital, because there I had 2 weeks of irregular shifts with 6 weeks of normalcy.

I’m doing a single night and so far I’m holding up. I’m already jet lagged from evening shifts and some issues involving the ventilation system in my flat and the middle of the night obviously being the PERFECT time to touch up the markings on the street outside my home.  I’ve kept myself awake till 3AM last night, slept in until just past noon and then spent the day feeling like a zombie and off meds. It started out great: my 2:30PM breakfast of oats was overcooked because I accidentally put in far too much water/milk when cooking it and then kept it on the stove long enough to evapourate some of the excess. Then I noticed I had left the milk out. It started raining just as I was supposed to leave… so I read my medical mag and sorted out some old recipes at the same time before figuring out I’d have to go sort out some things for my sisters anyway. Went there with the bus, sort of walked in the wrong direction because I failed to notice that the streets were in a circular pattern… finally got there. Afterwards I did some grocery shopping for dinner (Lunner? What do you call meals when your day is night?) and noticed I had bought the only pasta sauce I don’t like.  I forgot that my second choice had a green lid, not a red one.  By that time I was feeling less zombie like and that was just me with my ADHD doing groceries.

Managed a nap between 7:30PM and 9PM. Brilliant! All went fine since, and I’m actually feeling OK. On my psychiatrist’s advice I’ve taken a lower dose of meds. I’ll be taking a second 54mg Concerta at around 6:30 because I have to go see said psychiatrist early in the afternoon. I can fall asleep on 54mg Concerta, so I might have a nap in the morning and then just stay awake until about 9 or 10 in the evening to reset. I hope I won’t feel like a zombie for three days to come.

I’m just so tired of constantly having to figure out how my day is going to work. It’s costing me so much time and energy just to get my day sorted around shift work, and there is no ‘med tracker’ app that will help me. (Oh. Meds. Atrovent. Late.) And no, setting a whole bunch of reminders every morning won’t be a realistic option, given that I’m already late.  Regardless of meds; my current 36h/week average job is tougher on me than the 48h weeks + study time I had as a student, simply because if the irregularity.

 
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Posted by on September 10, 2013 in ADHD, Work

 

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