Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Where Am I? How'd I Get Here?

I realized while walking across campus this morning that I had forgotten to take my brain meds today. How did I know? Because I couldn't see. What do ADD meds have to do with my sight? Nothing. Technically. But it does have an effect on how my brain processes what I see.

I can't read signs. Literally. If it's a small sign, I never see it. If it's colorful, I may see it, but it'll look more like a modern art image than words. If it's got a big word (like NOTICE!) then I may see the big one, but not the smaller letters under it. If they're all big, chances are it'll come out looking more like a jumble puzzle than words. Or I'll pick up maybe two words before my eyes are averted to something shinny. This can be a problem when you work in a maze where reading signs is the only thing between you and a biohazard research lab.

After I got back to my desk (and took my meds) I got to thinking that this probably had a lot to do with why I used to get lost all the time. I couldn't make out road signs very well. And heaven forbid you give me a road map with all those lines and words on it. Even when I was looking for landmarks, half the time I'd never see them. I also got to thinking that I seemed to have started about 6 different tasks on my desk this morning, but hadn't finsihed anything, leaving me a bit bummed about where to start this afternoon!

Having said that, I still wonder if medication is the right way to go. It's a whole lot harder without it, that's for sure, but now that I've gotten to a point where I recongize it, could I do more to compensate? For example, when I was walking earlier I started making a concious effort to read signs around campus as I went, testing my theory. If I made a serious effort, I could do it, but I would also almost run into people because I couldn't read and watch where I was walking at the same time. I dunno. Could make driving dangerous. But if I buy that Hummer, then it wouldn't matter so much. I wouldn't risk running into other cars so much as flattening them along the way.


mayberry said...

Take your meds girl.

Stacey said...

Good post. It's hard to explain to people why I can't read certain things, no matter how short they are. If they don't have my attention from the get-go, I'm done. I have mild ADD, but it's still severely frustrating.

Once, I gave my husband my subdivision's by-laws (BORING) and put my mp3 player's headphones in his ears and danced around him and yelled really loud. After I was done, I asked him what he'd read. He had no clue. I think I illustrated the point pretty well.

Susan said...

It's weird because I'm passionately against the chronic over-medicating for ADD, especially in young kids. Some need it, yes, but not nearly as many as are currently being treated! Makes me feel like a hypocrite. Every now and then I start to wonder how much the meds really help, think that I could do just as well without them. Then I stop taking them and after a day or two it's like, "Oh yeah... Now I remember!"

I never seem to be able to explain the difference, since I don't really know what it's like to have a brain that thinks in a straight line. Even with the meds, thinking is a circular trip, just at a somewhat slower pace!

Stacey said...

I think those of us WITH ADD are much more qualified to be against over-medication than those without, or without experience with the disorder.

It ticks me off to know that so many non-ADD kids are lumped into the ADD category and now, ADD is not taken seriously. Parents who put their kids on meds for ADD are judged. ADD has become disorder-non-grata everywhere, and has become the cultural punchline.

If Ace is ever preliminarily diagnosed (he does have a higher chance of having it due to being a preemie) I will consult doctor after doctor to ensure that he has the best care. I KNOW how much it sucks. I want things to be better for him.

Susan said...

When it was first suggested that I might want to talk to a doc about being diagnosed somebody recommended a book to me called "Women With Attention Deficit Disorder" by Sari Solden. It talked about how the disorder shows itself differently in girls/women and how we cope differently. Honestly, I think 90% of the population COULD be diagnosed, but the vast majority cope fine without meds. I hate taking the meds. HATE it. But without them, it's a struggle to just function.

Stacey said...

I'd pick the book up, but without meds, I can't read stuff like that.

DAMN that feels good to say in public.

Susan said...

Ha. I never did get through Driven to Distraction, the supposed authoritative textbook on the subject, but this one was good at keeping it simple. Almost as though it knew it's audience well. Something else I've learned - I write a lot of my blog posts at night, but save them in draft until the next morning. Then, after the meds kick in, I can read over them, make them somewhat more coherent, and post them. If I tried to post most things I wrote post-meds, they'd make no sense at all.

Super Mom said...

Ahh. You opted to delete controversial post. :)


Susan said...

Yes I did. I decided not to spread any more negative energy over things that really don't matter today. And attempt to get out of my funk I've been in all day.