Tuesday, March 20, 2007

A Great Review

Did I mention that my annual review at work was one of the best I've ever had? I'm not sure that I can credit ADHD medication with all of it, as I have been more diligent with my work by intentional effort, but it certainly has at least something to do with it.

ADHD medication doesn't make a person work harder or smarter or better or faster. It simply allows me to focus in on the task at hand. Often that task is troubleshooting an issue. This is hard to explain, but I'm able to do so without being distracted or having racing thoughts while attempting to do so.

I'm in a position which involves numerous interruptions. To someone with ADHD, these interruptions can kill productivity. Nowadays, after an interruption, I find that I am able to turn back to what I was working on and focus. In the past an interruption, however small, could easily ruin my productivity the the rest of the day.

And here's another interesting thing: I find that I am able to turn off various obsessions. When I lay down at night, I don't find my mind racing and thinking about work or bills or how I need to get the car in for an oil change. I'm able to just relax. It's interesting that a stimulant (Concerta is a stimulant) can allow one to actually relax. My Psychiatrist explained it all to me, and he wasn't surprised one bit when I told him that I had been sleeping better at night.

So what's the catch? Well, I suppose there are a few. Concerta, even with insurance coverage, isn't cheap. I have excellent insurance and I still pay $30 a month for my prescription. Also, it is a stimulant. I sometimes wonder how often or for how long I want to take a stimulant. Daily? For how many years?

I've settled into taking Concerta on days that I am at work. The benefits of Concerta (with regard to adult ADHD) certainly go beyond the workplace, but I still struggle with the idea of popping this pill each and every day of my life.

Here's a funny sidenote: I never really think twice about drinking caffeine every day. Talking to my Psychiatrist about the massive amounts of caffeine I used to drink (I've cut back dramatically), he talked to me about how sometimes people with ADHD, especially those who don't know they have it, self-medicate with caffeine. I have a feeling this is what I was doing.

The single most important thing that I've been able to do as a result of being diagnosed and given the proper treatment is listen. I can actually sit and hold a conversation with someone, appreciating what that person has to say. This is much better than how I used to "hold a conversation", looking around the room and not really paying all that much attention.


A while back I wrote about how a couple of people complained about my distracted behavior at church. That was over 4 weeks ago. This past Sunday I returned to my church for the first time since that happened. I still feel strange about the whole thing. I sat in the very back, behind the soudnboard, where nobody would see me. It still bothers me, for a number of reasons.

Why are people watching me during service? Am I really a distraction? Can I do something about it? Is this a problem of mine or a problem with those who complained?

Monday, March 12, 2007

pill popping

Unlike Matt I do take my meds 7 days a week.
I also take a B vitamin, a multiple, Fish oil, ginseng and other supplements.
This is the only way I can be sure to take two doses per day. Even then I forget some days.
i am kind of down today, too much confusion and multiple demands on myself in different cities.
I hate driving the freeways, because of the idiots all around me.
On the plus side I have met some really nice people, attended a new church, and contacted several new clients locally.
Now I just need to focus on the stuff that comes AFTER the dentist tomorrow morning.