ADHD: A Year Later

It was a year ago next month that I was diagnosed with ADHD, and my doctor prescribed Adderall. I wasn’t surprised by the diagnosis. I’d done enough research to know for myself that the fit was perfect, but I wanted to be sure, so I went to the doctor, who confirmed my suspicions.

I didn’t fill my prescription. I guess I wanted to try to treat it myself first. I thought that if I did all the right things–proper exercise, diet, fish oil, etc, that I’d be able to manage it on my own. After all, I was 35 years old, and I’d made it this far on my own, right? Even if those things didn’t help, what would it hurt to just continue dealing with it.

And I was right. I could go like this the rest of my life.

But I ran into a friend at church who has ADHD, and he told me his experience. Basically, he’s been on Adderall for the past ten years and it’s been life-changing for the better. His wife was there, too. She not only confirmed what he said, but she was the one who had suggested he go to the doctor to see if his childhood ADHD hadn’t actually worn off like he’d thought. Ten years later–ten medicated years later, their family is in a much better situation.

That conversation re-opened the case for me.

I could share my whole internal dialogue–my concerns and worries about using an amphetamine/psychotropic drug (and if you’re interested in hearing those concerns, I’d be glad to share in future entries), but I’ll just say after much thought, prayer, and conversations with Jenni, I’ve decided I’d like to give it a try.

There’s not one specific thing or incident that makes me think I should do it, but the thing that keeps coming back to me is that these kinds of medication, when they work properly, make life a lot easier on the spouse and children of the adult with ADHD. Things have been stressful lately–really stressful. I’m a ridiculous optimist, with a tendency toward grumpiness when things don’t go as I’d hoped (which is pretty much most of the time), but I think it’s been especially hard on Jenni. No doubt my ADHD issues have exasperated that stress. It wouldn’t be fair to BLAME myself for it, any more than it would be fair to blame an invalid for all the extra stress and work required of his/her caregivers, but that doesn’t mean I don’t add considerable stress to her life. It’s not my fault, but my ADHD is a source of great challenge.

If my taking medication can reduce that pressure, it’s probably worth it. I would happily go blissfully absent-minded through life, forgetting stuff, avoiding tough paperwork (such as medicaid papers and taxes–ugh…), and only seeing what I want to see in life, but it’s not just about me anymore. I’m willing to tough it out, but I don’t like the idea of her suffering because of my stubbornness.

Jenni hasn’t said anything about this, except that she will support me in whatever decision I make. I so love her for that. No pressure, just love and support.

Maybe it’s time for me to try giving something back… at least attempting it. I still don’t know what medication will do to me. So I’ll give it a month trial to see what happens.

Now if I can just get the self-discipline to fill out the paperwork to get me back on PCN so I can go back to the doctor to renew that prescription…

ugh…

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