Adventures in ADHD Episode 71

I woke up this morning with the sudden urge to learn how to play the bongo drums.

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Friday randomosity

A Friday Haiku

Here’s William Shatner

Ch ch ch ah ah ah Stab!

Friday the Thirteenth

Take a letter, Maria, address it to the CEO

I’ve mentioned all my frustrations with US Cellular every since we left Verizon for them. Things like their “we’ll pay you to leave your cell phone carrier” scam to their “no activation fees” claim.

I’ve now had my service cut off twice, neither of which I feel were justified and when they reactivated service, they charged me $25 per line each time. Wait. That’s an activation fee, isn’t it?

I finally got so fed up I wrote a letter, not an email, a real sent through the Post Office with a stamp two-page letter, detailing all my grievances with their customer service, how I feel we’ve been misled, and how we are currently being charged as much as we were being charged by Verizon, despite the fact the rep said we’d be paying nearly $100 less and no one can explain why.

I doubt he’ll read it or even receive it (secretaries usually just trash crank letgers, right?), but even if he does, I doubt he’ll bother responding.

But writing complaints is the American Way. I remember back in 1993 or so, we had bought a stairstepper from Sears and it broke almost immediately. We called for service and someone came out to look at it and then said it needed a certain part that he didn’t have.

After not hearing back, I called customer service again to see what was going on. Had they ordered the part? When would it arrive? When will they fix it?

I kept getting the runaround. I kept asking to talk to their supervisor, but nothing came of it.

Finally, someone said, that product was no longer serviceable, either the company stopped making that model and it’s replacement parts or they simply went out of business. I don’t recall which it was, but I was mad.

So I wrote an angry letter to the President of Sears, complete with dates, times, what was said, and how poor their customer care was.

I didn’t expect anything to come of it, but a few days later I got a whiney phone call from the store manager.

“Why did you write the President? You should have contacted me first.” Waa waa. To be honest, it hadn’t occurred to me to contact him since my beef was with Sear’s service department and not that particular Sears store.

Anyway, he offered me a replacement piece of exercise equipment similar in cost and I picked out the CardioFit that I still have.

So yes, sometimes writing a letter does get a response.

Living la vida ADHD

One thing I’ve learned in dealing with my ADHD is, it doesn’t take much to knock me off-kilter. It’s why I need a reliable routine. Some might call it a rut, but it’s essential to preventing what I can only describe as a flare-up that can override my meds.

I have a set routine of things I do in the morning and any deviation throws me for a loop. At work it’s the same, I turn on my computer, log in, go get coffee, come back and set up my desk with notepads, reminders, and important info I’ll need throughout the day, each item has its own place.

Yesterday, I logged in and noticed all my icons were gone from the task bar. I always open Outlook first, but it’s icon was gone as well. *twitch*

Then I noticed new icons on my desktop. I only have a few icons on my desktop and they’re in a specific order. *twitch*

Overnight they had updated to Office 2016. Ok, no problem, I can just save the 2016 icons in my task bar, then I’ll start Outlook and … *TWITCH!*

Aside from Outlook nowhaving an even uglier interface, aside from it defaulting to having the emails opening in a Preview Pane, which I hate, and despite other changes that I’ve spent the last two days correcting, the *twitch* biggest problem is that all my email Archive folders are gone!

Gone.

I need my archive folders. Every project gets its own folder and I drag all the responses to it’s respective folder, so I can work on it as the deadline looms.

I have deadlines looming and all my response emails are gone! *twitch*

So yesterday, as well as today, it’s like I hadn’t even taken my Adderal. If I had foresight, I would have taken a double dose. Instead, I feel like a ball in a pinball machine bouncing this way and that waiting to Tilt!

Speaking of Fidget Spinners

In June, I was walking with my son around an outlet mall. We passed a kiosk where they were selling these weird little triangular things. My son said, “Look. They’re selling those stupid fidget spinners.” And I had no idea what he was talking about, even after he tried to explain it. “You do what? Hold it and spin it? Why?”

“Nevermind, dad.”

Fastforward to now. We both have fidget spinners. I’ve got four.

We both have ADHD and despite the fact they really don’t do anything except spin, they are oddly compelling and satisfying. Instead of constantly twitching and moving and as my grade school report cards all said, “Cannot sit still, always distrupts the class,” I’ll pull out the fidget spinner and give it a spin, then I can focus on other things a little bit better.

It’s funny though, because in researching them, I’ve seen a ton of articles declaring the fad is now dead. I find it interesting when people don’t understand the usefulness of an item, they label it a fad then try to say its dead.

If you don’t understand the point of fidget spinners, don’t get one. Problem solved. You’re welcome.

Weigh-In Friday

I lost a pound according to my scale’s app, but then I remembered I didn’t track last week, so I might have gained a few ounces.

I’m taking the pound.

That’s a wrap

Have a great weekend. I’ll spare you the political rants again. There’s just far too much stupidity and assholery to discuss.

Just keep resisting.

And here’s a song to lead into the weekend:

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Adventures in ADHD episode 162

After work, I had to stop at the pediatrician’s to pick up my son’s prescription for ADHD, then I ran it over to Walgreen’s. All that extra running around and gas is thanks to the U.S. government and their pain-in-the-ass laws about ADHD meds, which they classify as a controlled substance.

By this time, my own ADHD meds had worn off, which means unlike what amphetamines would do to normal people when they wear off — and that is crash and zonk out — when ADHD meds wear off all that pent-up and suppressed hyperactivity comes out full force like a rocket. In other words, I’m like Taz.

I dropped the prescription off and they said it be 15 minutes to fill. In reality, it turned out to be almost half an hour. I wandered around, looking at merchandise, picking things up, playing with them, turning on Halloween decorations and a few early Christmas decorations.

Finally, they paged me. I went up and that’s when the fun started. I had to hand over my driver’s license to prove who I was. My distractability was at an all time high. I’m looking everywhere except at the pharmacist. I think I was looking at a advertising display for something, it probably had interesting colors, or I was reading the text, whatever. He was trying to hand back my license and I didn’t notice until he finally waved it in my face.

Then he started ringing everything up and I got to play with the debit card reader thingie, whatever they’re called, and I had to put in my pin several times because I kept making errors. When I finished, I started drifting again, and didn’t notice the process was complete or that it was beeping for me to remove my card. He again had to tell me to do that.

And all this time, I never made eye contact, I’d just sort of pass over him as I talked as if I couldn’t focus on him.

I left embarrassed and worried he thought my erratic behavior came from abusing my own son’s ADHD meds, maybe even alerting authorities, when the reality was, I was off my own meds.

Nevertheless, I was very proud of myself. Why?

Because this:

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They had a display of toy cars and it was the first time I’ve ever saw a Fiat 500, however, I exercised a fantabulous amount of self-control and did not buy the car even though it was only $5.99 and even though I walked around the store with it in my hand until they called my name.

And that’s the truth.

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Adventures in ADHD – Impulsivity

One characteristic people suffering with ADHD have is impulsivity. We are impulsive! We do things first, then think about it. We don’t consider the consequences of our actions beforehand. In other words, we leap before we look.

We don’t need no stinking beer. We have ADHD!

Long before the phrase, “Dude, hold my beer” came into the vernacular, those of us with ADHD said, “Watch this.” We don’t need alcohol to deaden our self-preservation center. We were born this way.

My childhood was rife with examples of impulsivity, of “Watch this.”

Friend: Bet you can’t jump off the garage roof.

Me: Watch this. *screams*

Friend: Dude! I’ve never seen anyone do a lawn belly flop before.

Friend: Bet you can’t climb to the top of that tree.

Me: Watch this. *screams*

Friend: Dude! Good thing that big branch stopped you.

Friend: Look at this minibike I made. Wanna try it?

Me: Watch this. *screams*

Friend: Dude! I forgot to mention it has a high center of gravity and you can’t turn at high speeds.

Friend: Go kick that cat off of our baseball field.

Me: Watch this. *screams*

Friend: Dude! I’ve never seen a cat that mad, clinging to a person’s leg before. That’s a lot of blood.

Friend: Our dogs are fighting! We’ve got to stop them. Go grab yours.

Me: Watch this. *screams*

Friend: Dude! That’s a pretty deep hole in your wrist.

Anyway, I could go on.

And on.

And on.

But you get the point, impulsivity sucks.

It is also expensive. I become suddenly interested in something, a hobby, or what have you. I read everything there is about it. Join tons of forums so I can talk about my interest with others. And I spend money.

Then I lose interest. And again, impulsivity kicks in and I purge my life of that interest because, of course, “I’ll never be interested in this again.”

My most famous and regretable “I’ll never” was when I threw out all my Silver and Bronze Age comic books when we were moving. I had Captain America #100 through 150. I had Conan the Barbarian #1 through 35. And others. All in the trash. “I’m in my 40s. I don’t need these. I’m not interested in comics any more.”

Me: *screams*

Yeah. You guessed it. Over the last decade or so I’ve been buying them back on eBay.

A more recent example, but not nearly as costly, was an interest in drawing. I went out and bought some drawing books and several types of drawing pencils. I worked for several months learning how to draw. I could draw a realistic human eye like nobody’s business. I’d like to show some samples, but I purged all my drawings from that period. (Somewhere I have a blog post featuring drawings from high school, if you care to look. Found it.)

Then I lost interest (or found a shiney new interest). After a few years of not drawing, I finally got rid of the books several months ago. I mean, it had been years, right? “I’ll never want to learn how to draw again.”

Me: *screams*

Yeah… Who’d have guessed? I mean, really? I went searching my bookshelves for the drawing books, then realized, oh, yeah. I got rid of them.

Today, I wisely went to the library to check out a couple beginner books on drawing. At least I’m not spending money.

Yes, impulsivity is the reason I’m a jack of all trades, master of none. I learn as much as I can, as quickly as I can, about an interest, but I lose in it before I can master it.

By the way, if you play guitar, I’m thinking of selling my 2008 Gretsch Duo Jet in silver flake. I mean, I haven’t touched it in two years, right? “I’ll never play guitar again.”

Future Me: *screams*

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Adventures in ADHD – the lost phone

First thing: I seldom misplace things (my wife might disagree) despite my ADHD, like my car keys. Generally, I remember where I put things, but that’s a function of deliberately putting things in the same place so I don’t forget where they are. That’s a tactic I’ve learned because of my ADHD.

And I might add, misplacing something is different from losing it. Losing something means its gone for good or until I stumble across it in a box in the basement where I stuffed said item when we were blitzkrieg cleaning before company arrived.

That said, today at work I misplaced my phone. This, of course, sent me into a blind panic. OMG! Where’s my phone? It wasn’t in my holster. It wasn’t on my desk. It wasn’t on a cabinet. It wasn’t on the floor.

So I retraced all my steps since arriving at work. The restroom? No. The breakroom? No. OK, what if someone found it? Luckily, we’re on a floor inaccessible to the public or I’d really be in a panic that someone found it and kept it (which still briefly entered my mind, but knowing most of the people on my floor, I dismissed it).

Maybe someone turned it in to the Lost and Found, which we don’t actually have. They would have emailed the facilities manager, who in turn would send out a building-wide email.

Email! So I went and checked to see if someone had indeed found it.

No such luck.

So I’m standing in my cube, my mind racing a mile a minute (which, by the way, is only 60 mph. Not very fast, so why do people use that expression?), and well, that brings up the second thing I should mention.

Second thing: I’ve had my phone holster for as long as I’ve had my phone, but I only use it when I’m wearing a shirt with no front pocket. The last week, however, I’ve been wearing the holster because the fitness step tracker app registers my steps better while on my hip.

So, yes, you’re probably ahead of me at this point, nodding your head and thinking, “What an idiot.” OK, I deserve that.

Where was I? Oh, right, standing in my cube after having searched every inch of it for my phone, as well as the rest of the 5th floor, wondering what the hell do I do next and did I take out insurance for it from Verizon, when I happened to glance down and there it was…

In my shirt pocket…

Where I had absentmindedly placed it instead of the holster.

Am I red-faced or what?

Which brings me to the final thing.

Third, and last, thing: my smartphone is one of the larger ones and sticks out of my pocket by a good half inch.

I’m very glad I didn’t go up to anyone and asked, “Have you seen my phone?” And all the whole its there, visible, in my shirt pocket. They’d have probably thought it was an April Fool’s prank.

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Adventures in ADHD

In our previous episode of “Adventures in ADHD,” I mentioned how important routine is to a sufferer of Attention Deficit.

Today, I bring another good example from personal experience.

Routinely, when I get home, I put my phone by my computer to charge overnight.

Routinely, when I get out of my work clothes and into that evening’s comfy clothes, I put my wallet on my dresser.

Routinely, in the morning when I dress, I put my wallet in my pocket, go downstairs and put the phone in my pocket.

Yesterday, for some reason, When I changes out of my work clothes, my phone was still in my pocket and I set it on my dresser, as well as my wallet.

This morning I got dressed, saw my phone and put it in my pocket. Do you see the problem? The action of taking the phone and putting it on my pocket was an unanticipated step in my routine that took the place of a normal step.

I continued to get ready, and left for work. I parked my car, got out, and felt something wasn’t quite right.

I reached into my pocket and…

…no wallet!

This meant, not only could I not buy anything, my morning coffee because our Keurig is down, but I also can’t get into work or use the elevator because my keypass is in my wallet!

Its going to be a great day. Thank god its Friday.

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Adventure in ADHD

To some people, routine means stuck in a rut, but to someone with ADHD, routine is one of the few orderly things in a chaotic world.

For instance, every morning I would make myself a mug of coffee with breakfast. I’d hardly drink it and as I got ready to leave for work, part of my routine for the last several years was to pour that mug into my travel cup then take my Adderall before screwing on the lid and leaving for work.

The last two mornings, however, I changed things up. I thought, why do I dirty a mug when I could just brew the coffee into my travel mug, cutting out all those extra steps?

So that’s what I did yesterday and today. And guess what I forgot to do as a consequence?

That’s right. I forgot to take my Adderall.

You may call it living in a rut, or doing things by rote, or even being unimaginative and boring, but the fact remains, for many of us suffering with ADHD, routine is our lifeline keeping us from being swept away in a river of chaos.

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