Friday Funny: Plunger on my Hip

cartoonmeYesterday was my last day for physical therapy. My PT showed me how to use a kitchen plunger to break up scar tissue on my left hip and told me to try it at home. That was not a good idea.
1. I’m ADD

2. Plungers leave hickeys

3. They also stick really well.

I’m a married woman covered in hickeys with a plunger stuck to my left hip. I am not long for this world.

The Jury is in, I am ADD

I started my ADD journey close to three months ago. The first month my doctor didn’t agree with me on my assessment, but gave me medication anyway. I received my first prescription for a very low dose (read why bother dose) of concerta. I didn’t see any results and went back feeling discouraged and at least willing to try a higher dose. She bumped up to 36 mg.

My 90 days are almost up. During that time I was to set goals, redistribute some chores, and set some boundaries.

We learned some things. By letting go of the need to be all things to all people, I have more time to do important things like balance my check book and get our finances all in one place. They get done more quickly as well because I stay focused on it. My front living room is painted (with a lot of help from my husband). I have permanently delegated the boys laundry to them. They are 16 and 18 – so this is no devastating burden trust me and well, they didn’t die. I might, but they haven’t.

My memory is returning, and actually I’m discovering that I might not have really lost it, I just have more certainty (clarity) during events (because I’m paying attention) that it’s easier to recall things. I don’t change what I remember based on someone else insisting it was some other way. Okay so that little tidbit drives my husband and youngest nuts, but that’s okay. I feel better knowing I have the clarity back.

My mother still thinks it’s just menopause. I think it could be that menopause has made my ADD worse and harder for me to manage on my own. I cheated during my 90 days – I tried going a week without the meds and everything went back to the way it was. No more cheating, I’m sticking with this. This works.

I’m accomplishing goals, thinking clearly, speaking and writing with clarity (most of the time – not counting hormone days), I’m setting goals and achieving them. I feel better about myself, and my happiness is returning because my self esteem is returning. I’m calming down and not so hyper and bouncing off the walls. I’m not perfectly organized, I’m just learning how to be perfectly me and I’m okay with that.

To be or not to be ADD, that is the question

I had my one month med check with my primary doctor today. She upped my dosage to 36mg, but she’s still not convinced that I’m ADD. And you know, neither am I at the moment.

I’m high energy – yes
I forget things – oh yeah
I get bored easily – yep

But ADD?

Edited on 3/3/09 – After being on Concert for 2 1/2 months, I do concede that I am indeed ADD. The change is astounding.

She thinks the pediatrician is wrong, but since I’m tolerating the meds so far we’ll go two months on the new dose. If that doesn’t help… then she thinks her original assessment is correct. I do not have ADD, I have WWS.

Wonder Woman Syndrome

She also thinks I’ve allowed someone to define my personality type as a defect of character.

I have two assignments – well three actually.
1. Get a composition notebook to keep my do lists and notes in
2. Start setting up a scheduled routine (Flylady is good)
3. Find TWO chores that I am no longer willing to do and PERMANENTLY delegate them.

I asked if she’d write a script for that third assignment.

“See honey, doctor’s orders. She said you have to do laundry from now on.”

This should be a fun month.

Keeping the Hopeful “Yet” in ADD.

(Awareness, Acceptance, Action)

When I saw my doctor the other day asking about ADD, her first reaction was one of disbelief and skepticism. That’s normal. Is ADD over diagnosed and over medicated? You bet. I see it in schools even – a high energy kid is labled a problem and teachers push parents to doctors offices all the time. When she asked if I had ADD as a kid, I told her they didn’t diagnose it then – I was just an avid talker and class clown.

I’m coming around to acceptance and have chosen to take right action and let my feelings follow later.

I want to thank everyone who has left comments or sent emails to me this week. I was truly afraid this was going to simply be a self indugent rant – and I found out, I’m in good company. I had no idea so many other adults deal with this. We joke about having ADD moments – but we hide the pain it can cause. So thank you for writing, and thank you for sharing. That was very encouraging.

– Day three and I am still alive, still not speeding, able to sleep, and I had a small impulse issue yesterday with another blogger – but it turned out well. We had a great converstation and I learned a lot about liturgical and high church worship.

I found an online survey very similar to the test Dillon’s doctor gave me. All of these questions were preceded with Do you have a lifetime struggle with (even if you can control it today) – issues.

If this is a new thing, or recent, or seasonal, it’s not ADD. More than likely it is depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, or signs of an addiction of some kind. ADD is almost always diagnosed after ruling all of those out. Two years in counseling and three in group – pretty much ruled out everything else.

While I do have my addictions – praise junkie being one – I’m not chemically addicted to substances. Mine are more relationally based and I’m in treatment for those through a 12 step program.

ADD people aren’t lazy or stupid. True ADD’s have very high IQ’s. We think much more quickly than other people and more quickly than our mouths can keep up with. We are the right brained full blown technicolor 3 dimensional dreamers and thinkers of the world. We are the explorers, and inventors. We do a lot, we just seem to truly accomplish very little unless we find coping mechanisms.

I went to an E-Women’s Conference last year and scanned the book tables. Lisa Welchel has written more books than I have time to read – she’s home school mother of at least three high energy kids, a pastor’s wife and a national speaker – She even developed something called Mom Time Ministries and has her own business of sorts. I looked at that table, her skinny blonde body, and truly thought to myself – if that woman’s laundry is complete and her house clean, I may just hate her.

I don’t hate her by the way – she seems really nice – and gave a great talk about – over achieving and approval seeking. Okay – Lisa – you won me over. She’s multi-talented and very real.

I have dreams and for me, this ADD thing is really getting in the way. Multiple conversations overwhelm me and I cannot follow them. I would love nothing more than to speak and teach women about the Word of God. I get to in small groups and I love it. I love talking about God’s power and will in our lives. I love reaching out with the Gospel. I love watching thier eyes light up.

I even like the whole stand up comic thing – if I could remember my jokes, I’d like it even better.

I’m good at thosse things. I’ve rocked the mic enough times to know there is talent and potential there. And that’s my problem, I have a lifetime of “talent and potential” opportunites that I don’t seem to cross over into very well.

Until now.

My impulsive side is what caused me to join the Christian Comedy Association (CCA) three years ago at the insistance of a friend. I’m not actively rostered now as I’m not “sale ready” if you will. I don’t have a set long enough to open for anyone and I can’t travel. But I am on the boards, I’ve made new friends, and I am learning, writing humor and telling stories.My joining was impulsive and unplanned – and I’m glad I did it.

My impulsive side also led to – when CCA went Facebook – I was there – and yes I have truly conversed in one fashion or another with almost everyone on my facebook page. Where I found the courage to do that, I’ll never know. But I am learning to ask if I can learn from someone else. Sometimes they let me, sometimes they don’t – and I’m okay with that.

That’s where the social butterfly comes in. Some of them – I know on a deeper level. For some of them, I’m a hostess when they are in town, or I participate in classes with them (led by them). These are men and women I get to learn from – even if I don’t run with them. Yet.

Vikki Wells taught me how to add “yet” to my vocabulary last year. We were in the green room at E-Women talking about how I can teach a class of 30 or so, and really relate to those women and I love it, but cannot fathom speaking in front of 3,000 and being able to relate or keep my place, I just don’t know how. Vikki looked at me and said “yet”, you don’t know how “yet” but that will change.

She had no clue who I was – keep in mind this gal was speaking to her DRIVER! I was a runner for the weekend – a Chauffeur if you will – errand girl – gopher – water fetcher – a woman trying to discern between helpful and helicopter hovering (and over shot that runway a lot) – and Vikki spoke the word YET over me. So now I remember it – YET – is a word of hope and expectancy.

Keep “yet” in mind when it comes to ADD – there is hope even if the diagnosis comes late in life – Do not look back and wish for what was. It is a waste of time – look forward and be expectant of your own personal “yet.” For some people medication is not needed – some adults learn to surround themselves with super people who keep them organized – and they learn other mechinisms for getting by.

Maybe you are like me, I need the meds and denied having this even though I would joke about it to excuse impulsive behavior. Maybe you’ve thought or joked about it, but never really stepped out to do something about it – yet.

Maybe you are the mom who always runs late, loses field trip forms,etc, and get’s picked last for committees because people think you are a ditz. Maybe – like me – you try to get by being a cutsie, funny, social butterfly, but long to be taken seriously and get angry when you aren’t. I tend to hear a lot of “When I first met you , I thought you were a total flake, I had no idea there was so much depth.” adn stuff like that. It used to hurt me feelings, now I just say “yeah, I know.”

I have had leadership positions at school, church and NPO’s – it is possible, though I survived some of those postions by hyphenating anal-retentive and by controlling everything myself, simply because it was too hard to juggle people and me or communicate schedules. I use the excuse “I do my best work at 2 am.” when really I’m overwhelmed and don’t want anyone to know.

The following questions are not a diagnosis tool – but rather a thought tool. They could also be attributed to other issues, so be sure to speak to a doctor and cover all the bases.

So… do you have a lifetime issue with:

1. Getting distracted easily?
2. Having difficulty concentrating on one thing at a time?
3. Being disorganized?
4. Having a hard time focusing or paying attention during conversations, listening to others, or while reading?
5. Forgetting things like appointments or obligations?
6. Having trouble following directions that have multiple steps?
7. Having difficulty starting and finishing projects?
8. Procrastinating
9.Trouble prioritizing information?
10. Getting impatient easily?
11. Feeling restless and antsy?
12. Losing track of time and have trouble with time management?
13. Misplacing or have difficulty finding things at home or at work?
14. Acting before thinking through consequences?
15. Speaking or blurting out before thinking about the impact your words will have on others?
16. Tending to have lots of racing thoughts?
17. Getting bored easily?
18. Tending to make careless mistakes when you have to work on a tedious or difficult project?
19 Taking frequent risks.

There were 20 questions on my original survey – and I answered yes to 17. The “magic number” was 10.

As I said this is simply a tool – and not a diagnostic. If you answered yes to most of these, talk to your doctor and check out CHADD and find out more.

Interesting thoughts today

Today is my second day taking concerta – my son relished the idea of waking up and asking ME if I remembered to take my medicine. Lovely. He thinks it’s hilarious. I’m still not so sure.

It hasn’t effected me like I feared. I’m not speeding, or overly energized in any way fashion or form. It did not keep me awake all night, and I’m afraid it has not burst forth a sudden gift of immense interest in house cleaning. So.. it’s isn’t a miracle drug.

And yet – this morning when my son asked where his school shoes were, I remembered them being at the foot of my bed.

When Charlie wanted the car keys – they were hanging up.

When a confusing confrontation took place I was able to discern the communication break down. The person in question is a literal thinker – I am more 3D in my thought process and take into account the spirit of communication and not just the one dimensional line. I could discern that and communicate that without much conflict, emotion or confusion.

I can clearly articulate thought structures again – something I thought was lost forever. My brain and my fingers (and mouth) are coming close to the same speed. I am no longer thinking so quickly that I lose the train for tripping on the tracks.

My husband is understandably iffy – and is distantly optimistic. With good reason – we’ve had a bumpy road while I try to figure out why I can’t “be like other people” – knowing something was not quite right, but not being able to find answers. I’m sad to admit that I had truly resigned myself to simply being a failure at life and that this (jumbled mess of a woman who can’t keep up with anything) is all I’d ever be.

It’s been an interesting road. I’ve known about being ADD for only five years. I’ve done everything my doctors (and therapists) have suggested. My tendancy to be larger than life and fast moving, can be a strong hold for others and gets in the way of my heart. I can learn how to work with this, instead of against it.

I have learned over the last five years that ADD can be confused with bi-polar disorder, but that it is not one and the same. ADD people are subject to depression and low self esteem. Point taken. And i’m not bi-polar – sadly that information saddened me. I thought if I was at least that, then I could understand. I’m just crazy. I would have been okay with that diagnosis. Crazy is better than failure. KWIM? – I’m not taking that nearly as flip and lightly as it sounds. I have a family member who is bi-polar – it’s painful to watch.

Knowing thyself is important, true. Trusting God enough to live in the room of grace – where he stands with me – looking at the real me, and working together to mature me into the woman he wants me to be – is a far better road than my simply toughing this out on my own and continuing to fall short. With Christ I am victorious. Alone – I drown.

Yes, my husband and my friends are correct. The less medicine the better. I’m trusting God with his provision and his care. If this is not the help he wants for me, he’ll show me that. But for right now, I’m enjoying the clarity, the lack of fog, and I am hopefully expectant in our future together.

A Simple Note Really, it seems I’m ADD

I’m always fascinated by the tucks and turns of life. Mine especially. I’ve struggled with a lot of things lately and written them off as “Well, you do have a lot on your plate, of course it’s hard.” but secretly, in some deep down quiet place, I really do think it’s harder for me that it should be.

Does that speak to anyone? Or just me.

My mother tells me that I never met a stranger. I was very smart but always lived below expectations. An underachiever – who worked very very hard to stay afloat mind you. Grade school was a nightmare. Sometime in high school, I was able to pull myself up enough to get A’s and B’s. But it was hard work. And you can forget about college. I was lucky to get my associates degree in computers. I had a 2.89 gpa as I recall.

Pastor calls me his “social butterfly” and always points me in the direction of new comers in the church.

I love to teach.
I’m great at making people laugh.
I lose – everything I touch.
My house? I prefer not to discuss it. 😉

I’m not dealing with rocket science here. Just life. I’m a stay at home mom with two boys. My husband travels. I lose papers, car keys, glasses, I forget to pay bills, my finances are a jumbled mess most of the time – we have the money, I just forget to click “PAY”.

My youngest is ADHD, but I missed the signs for the hyperactivity. I’m not hyper, much, more impulsive than anything else.

An impulsive mess, actually.

When Dillon was first diagnosed with being ADHD, his ped offered to work with me as well. I wrote that off as a money hungry sales pitch and found a new doctor. His second ped said the same, as did his neurologist. ADHD is heriditary Mom, he got it from someone, are you sure it’s not you?

No. It isn’t me. Yes, I’m scattered, but that’s only because I was never taught how to take care of a home. There can’t be anything wrong with me a little hard work and better organizational skills won’t fix.

I asked my doctor about it, and we thought “maybe I’m just depressed. Maybe that’s why I’m so overwhelmed by the simplicity of my life.” and so we tried Prozac. All that did was make me fall in love with the color yellow and I painted my oldest son’s room a bright mustard color.

My career in telecom was a great success when I knew what my job was. Some positions were great, I had a worksheet of orders to follow and my day was totally scheduled and I did well. Other positions like finance? Well, not so well. Those were opened ended planning positions and numbers just weren’t my thing, so they put me back on the floor as a trainer. I did great at that. I taught new engineers about telephony. I walked them through a long distance phone call. Teaching them every piece of equipment calls traveled through and the cost per piece. I got scattered in my presentations some times, and was usually told, “You’ve obviously worked very hard at this Deana, let’s just focus it in a little bit.”

Then there were the part time office jobs. Those were fun most of the time. Until I took one that I was over qualified for. I was bored to tears, and picked up admin stuff for the Senior Pastor. Even then? I started losing things. Things like his outlines, or his re-imbursement requests for the new Vicar. And when the food pantry needs went from eight a week, to eight a day? I just couldn’t keep track or stay focused.

I finally really DID get depressed. In 12 months I lost ten friends (death), the only school my kids had ever known, was bad at my $8/hr cake job, Dillon’s seizures got worse and other life issues aroze.

My husbands always says “Deana hates surprises as much as she hates change.” Too many surprises and too much change. Everything overwhelmed me to the point of my becoming almost comotose. Sitting wrapped in a blanket on my back porch for hours at a time was all I could handle then. This time the meds did more than change my likes in color. This time they were necessary. I stayed on them and in therapy, for two and a half years.

I haven’t needed depression meds for over a year now. I’m no longer depressed. I’ve eliminated EVERYTHING from my calender except my house and my boys. And I’m still behind, I’m still overwhelmed and it’s still harder than I think it should be.

Last month we had Dillon re-evaluated for his ADHD, and this time the doctor gave us a survey to fill out for ourselves. Jeff answered yes to four, I answered yes to 17 out of 20. He strongly suggested I see my Dr. and just try ADD meds and see if they don’t help.

So today, I went to see Dr Laura. The women who has seen me through my ups and downs over the past five years. The women – who it turns out – is also ADD. It took some walking through conversations and explaining exactly which survey I’d filled out, and Dillon’s doctors requests over the years.

No it wasn’t some internet survey by Eli Lilly.
No, I’m not here to get drugs to lose weight.
No, I’m not depressed – just still unable to keep up with life.
Yes, I’ve emptied my day runner – I do nothing but be a mom.
No, my laundry is not caught up, my house is not clean, I have unfinished projects from two years back at least and I cannot balance a checkbook.
Is life supposed to be this hard?
Why can other women do all that? And more. I don’t get it.
I can’t even work outside the home anymore. It’s all too hard to juggle.

So, starting today, I am on Concerta 27 mg. I’m curious to see how it works. Or if it works.

My ADHD son thinks this is hilarious. My husband is, well, “Staying out of it.” 😉
My other son – the only sane person in the house some days is expectantly hopefull.