online adhd quiz

As someone with ADHD, I can say this quiz is fair and accurate. I scored a 94. (remember, i’m the one who scored a 36 on the 50 question assessment in therapy two years ago)

wednesday was family doctor day

Yesterday morning I had to get up early to be on the 7am bus to get to Kentucky Clinic for an 8am appointment. It had originally been scheduled for about the same day in July but at 1pm, and the way our weather had been, I wasn’t going anywhere that time of day for anybody unless they were losing body parts at an alarming rate (or in case of zombie apocalypse). Neither happened, so that’s good. I just called and rescheduled the appointment, and a month later is what she had open.

One cool thing about UK Healthcare is they finally are moving to electronic records/charts/etc.  My family doctor and I got to pull up both my paper chart and my e-chart yesterday morning. Interesting read, even if we did know everything in it already. It’s neat because any department I travel to in the UK system can pull up the same chart and so have all of my information. She printed me off a summary report, and I”m going to go through it for changes/mistakes to update to take with me when I go back in December. (We both lol’d when we saw my OB/GYN team had listed “dysfunctional uterine bleeding”. I said, “Well, that’s not what I’d call it, but it fits.”)

She gave me an official diagnosis yesterday of “benign essential hypertension”, which we’d been leaning toward since I’d met her last December, anyway – and also what my therapist and OB/GYN thought. BES just means that it’s not causing symptoms or damage and that it’s more than likely come due to genetics and not because I have something that’s causing it. I asked her if I could be tested for asthma, and we ran down my symptoms – including my breathing sometimes sounding and feeling like my lungs are over-full with bendy-straws.. Right now, she’s not fiddling with my beta blocker or diuretic. Also, she said she didn’t want to fiddle around with asthma. Instead she gave me a list of OTC allergy medications to choose from, leaning toward Allegra, and said we’d work the “chronic allergies” angle for right now – after she listened to my lungs and said they were clear as a bell. She said with me having surgery (in eleven days!), she didn’t want to mess with anything just to see how I came out the other side and how I recovered. She didn’t want to add anything that might screw with that and didn’t want to increase or decrease anything for the same reason.

My blood pressure was high. It had been running lower all year. We both think that the stress of Preston being out of work, the anxiety of my surgery coming up, and genetics are at play here. She wants to see how I’m doingafter I have my hysterectomy.

I see her again around the first of December. She said, “I want you to be healed up as well as possible from your surgery before I see you again and we go any further with anything else.”

She’s wonderful. I’ve been so blessed with such a wonderful medical team at UK. I wish I could get them all together in a single room and give them all a huge, warm group huge! (and individual hugs, too!)

living with ADD / ADHD

I wrote a response to this post at ADDitude Magazine online, and thought I’d post that response here. Because it’s relevant.

What I do is set myself a schedule for every day of the week. Every single day. It varies but the gist is: have set routines.

I get up, take my medicine, make the bed, shower, and have breakfast. Always take your medicine and make the bed before anything else. Coming out of the bathroom into a clean bedroom always makes me feel better, or at least good that there’s one less thing I have to face in the day!

I have breakfast and allow myself to surf the ‘net while I’m eating. (i feed our cat on my own eating schedule, which works for her; others may vary) I clean up after myself then clean something around the apartment. Even if it’s just wiping the dust off the television or some such – it’s something, and it’s gotten done.

This is time to figure out what to fix for supper, if we didn’t the night before. I’m a big believer in my crockpot, so if it’s a crockpot meal, the meat comes down from the freezer to thaw in the fridge overnight – then the meal goes into the crockpot after breakfast to cook until 5pm.

I’m a writer and an editor, so after this is when I get to work, and I work my way through/with lunch (and take lunchtime medicine!). Then I get to take a ‘net and/or gaming break. Especially if I’ve been editing. It’s draining, so I either pop in a movie to watch, pick up a book to read, take a nap, or play a game (The Sims 3 is good; it keeps me busy).

Our apartment has seven rooms (well, the living room and dining room are one room, but i count them as two!), including two full bathrooms and bedrooms. That gives me one full room to clean each day of the week. The bathrooms aren’t that big, and since I keep everything clean, they’re not that messy, so sometimes I do them both on the same day to give myself a “day off” here and there.

By then it’s time to get the mail and finish supper. After supper, the kitchen and dining room get cleaned, including loading and running the dishwasher, cleaning out the microwave, washing off the stove, and sweeping the floor.

Having a set schedule and keeping it has made a huge difference in how I feel, how my house is run, and how my life is lived.

mari’s so behind it’s … shameful, really

I know. I know. I said months ago (and then months before that) I was going to start blogging more regularly. We all see how well that turned out. Here’s the thing. There’s just not been that much going on, not anything that would make a blog post, anyway. I use Twitter now for the “this is what I’m doing right now” stuff – instead of using my blog for those one and two sentence updates I used to make throughout the day the first few years of my blog’s life. Also, I use check-ins at GetGlue for a lot of stuff, too. For example, I just checked-in to “pot pie” because that’s what I’ve got in the oven for our supper. I don’t want to let this blog go, though. It’s been part of my life since 2002, and there’s so much stored here (even if I did accidentally dump all the pictures a couple of years ago – whoops!). Yeah, I could archive it all on my hard drive, but that just doesn’t sound appealing.

So, here I sit. Trying to figure out where to start on catching up since … Christmas? New Year’s? My birthday? The funny part about all of this? Starting sometime in October, I created a tab in OneNote labeled “Blog Topics”. I have subtopics: brainstorming, love, memories, mental health, pagan, ‘women in fiction’, and writing. We won’t discuss the number of topics and ideas listed within each. I mean, I probably have enough material in there to work from for at least three months of intermittent blogging – like every third or fourth day kind of intermittent – especially with the memories stuffs. I probably should be shot for having all of these things and just sitting here and not doing one damned thing with them.

It’s a writing problem.

It’s a writer’s problem.

It’s so simple to create all these lists and jot down thoughts and ideas – and then just leave them and never once think about coming back to flesh them out. Especially with me. The whole ADHD (lately I’ve been joking and calling it ADDH – because CDO insists I keep everything orderly) thing makes me scattered. I have to keep telling myself over and over, “Focus on one thing at a time! One thing at a time! Easy now! Easy!” And that’s harder than it sounds. See, if something isn’t right in my face where I can’t see it or glance at it at least on occasion, I forget about it until I run into it again, be that a day or two or a decade or two later. This is the curse of having distractibility ADHD. (just look at this paragraph!)

Thing is, I don’t work at a desk; I work at our kitchen table. I’d have a garbage dump of a mess if I left everything out where I could see it all of the time – then I’d get cranky, irritable, and whiny because everything was a mess! What I end up with, then, is a pile of different notebooks containing this, that, and something else, pencils or ink pens clipped to each, and my cellphone stacked on top of that. I keep Outlook open all day because I need the reminder alarms, but I fail at keeping OneNote open all day – and that’s where my daily task list lives (but I tell myself I keep a duplicate in this one notebook …).

And see, I sat down here this morning with the intent of making one of those what I call “catchup posts”. I even pre-tagged it so I could look at the tags list and, with some hope and forethought, not leave anything out. But no. I’ve sat here doing everything but writing a blog post. I think I’m going to save the other half for tomorrow! If I don’t show back up tomorrow, just jab me and make me do it!

why ‘what i want to be’ is psychologically damaging

This is the comment I left with that pin @ Pinterest:

There’s one problem I see with stuff like that. And that is we’re not all meant to be anorexically model thin. It’s not in our genes to be that small. Our genes predetermine what we’re supposed to look like, how we’re supposed to be shaped. If we struggle against that, then we’re going to be fighting a losing battle for the rest of our lives. This isn’t something someone taught me; this is something I figured out on my own over the last year. And I’m glad I did. I may be a “big girl”, but I got a clean bill of health from my doctor last week, and I’m healthier now – physically and mentally – than I have been in my entire life. This, folks, is what’s important.

new year, new you

So I read about this via MG Ellington and thought I’d give it a whirl:

The New Year, New You Project is an experiment in Magical Radical Transformation. Please see here for how to participate!”

Here is what you’ll do. You’ll write prompts. You’ll explore. You’ll fall down. Sometimes you’ll lay there awhile, finding things under rocks that you never wanted to know. They’ll pull you back, using yarn, glue, cajoling and stern words. You’ll keep sewing yourself into who you’ll want to be and you’ll tell them, sometimes too much, because that’s your way and what’s needed. You’ll find how far you can really fly when you’ve made wings to carry you and be breathless from your accomplishments. Besides your words, you’ll give something made from your hands.

I don’t do ‘resolutions’ as a rule – I think they’re just a system for setting yourself up to fail. But this looks like a good project, and there’s no better time like the present.

I like this part:

You can’t start putting all this awesome new crap into your life and body until you get rid of the old crap. Old crap here is defined as many things such as relationships that are no longer working, old crutches, clutter of the mind and of the house.

and

Just because someone hands you a big rock doesn’t mean you have to carry it. We all have baggage to deal with (such as forgiveness issues and toxicity). What’s weighing you down? Light a candle to your deity(ies) of choice and really do some journaling about it. Explore the issue(s) with a very close friend. Do your best to let go of it, even if you do need to sometimes need to occasionally revisit it.

therapy on monday

Days like today, I really dislike Lextran. The thing is, I have to take two buses to get to CKBH for my therapy sessions. That’s usually no big deal. But the second bus runs only every hour (then every 70 minutes, 80 minutes; it gets kinda ridiculous). So to get to my 1pm appointment today, I had to be on the bus at 11:30am so I could be dropped off at Palomar at 12:30pm.Too, we’ve been under flood advisories and watches since yesterday. It’s been miserable wet out there. I was happy walking to the bus, though. Even though the creeks are flooded, I counted at least twenty ducks down there, some in the water braving the rapids. (Which brings to mind something I was told when I was about thirteen: Beware a duck in a raincoat. Duly noted!)

I got to Palomar in one piece and walked over to the clinic. I was early, for a change, so I got to dawdle in the rain and then take my time signing in and stuff. My blood pressure is still up, but that’s no surprise; the good news is that I’ve not gained any weight since the end of October (doing off that Elavil has been a good thing!). I sat down in my therapist’s office, and she said, “So. You’re here. How’s it going?” I burst out laughing and said, “You got an hour?” We busted out laughing. I told Preston earlier I’m sure the rest of the clinic thought she and I were having a weird party or something for as much as we laughed and carried on while I was back there. We laughed and cackled and carried on – you’d have thought we’d known each other our entire lives. That’s why I like seeing her, for as much as the trip and the clinic itself aggravate the piss out of me; we get on like a house on fire. It’s fantastic.

Then she asked, “How’s the boy?” And I dug all three of my notebooks out of my bag. She said, “Really?” lol I said, “They’re all for different things.” I opened the one I was taking notes in when Thomas was in the hospital this last time, and we talked about that. Then I filled her in on Jane’s behavior, and she asked, “Does Jane always act like this?” And I burst out laughing again, and we talked some more. I thought the poor woman was going to need therapy herself by the time I got finished with all that. Then we talked about NaNoWriMo – and ftr, I’ve not written anything since Saturday. I have brain burn out and have been busy with other things. I’m afraid my word count for this month is going to be 26k, which really, given the trouble I’ve had writing the last two years, isn’t shabby at all, so there’s that.

I told her that it finally struck me yesterday about Thomas’ fistula surgery in the morning. I’ve been spastic about it since I woke up yesterday. OMG, they’re slicing open my child’s artery and slicing open a vein and connecting it to the artery!” :cue spastic flailing and screaming: She said, “But you’re handling every thing really well.” I had to agree. She said she’d have been more worried had I not been spastic.

Then she said, “Well, you seem like you’re doing well. That’s a good thing!” I said, “Yeah, I’m happy.” We talked about my writing some more.

I told her how I’d been riding my bicycle and taking walks, and we talked about the distances I’d been covering. I told her I’d covered some real distance when Thomas was in the hospital both times. I showed her the picture of the very long hallway that runs along Nicholasville Road in the new hospital and told her I’d measured it with GoogleMaps and that it’s somewhere around 330 feet long. We agreed that’s one impressive hallway! But then we discussed how the weather would impact my getting out and about, I joked, “I could just bus to the hospital.” She said, “No doubt!” I told her about the renovations they’re doing on the clubhouse and the fitness center. She said, “Remind me again where you live?” And I said, “Cheddar’s.” We lost it. Totally. Of course I meant across the street from Cheddar’s. But she has ADHD, too, and knows what an ADHD brain does. The new clubhouse and fitness center are supposed to open Wednesday, if they ever get the keycard reader working right. What’s nice about this is that there are going to be televisions all over the fitness center. I’ll have something to keep my brain occupied, even if it’s just The Weather Channel; I won’t have the excuse to tell Preston, “I don’t like going because I get bored,” any more!

She said she’s very proud of how I’ve handled Jane and Thomas’ being in the hospital and all the stress; she said I’ve developed excellent coping skills over the last two years. I said, “I can’t imagine handling it without medication, and I made it through without the Elavil and had very few migraines. I had some severe headaches, but I killed those with Pepsi and Tylenol.” She said, “But Mari, you’re stable.” I burst out laughing again. I said, “Can you write that down for me? I need that written down so I can take it home and show it to Preston. Then I’m going to hang it on my wall and carry a copy in my bag to show to people.” We died laughing.

After this, we went down my medications list, and I told her I have an appointment to see an internist about my blood pressure at Kentucky Clinic on December 19. She agrees this is a very good plan. She wrote out my prescriptions and told me not to come back until the end of January unless I need her. I thanked her profusely. I always do. I don’t know where or what I’d be without her. I really don’t.

So, I got all signed out and made my appointment for the end of January, told everyone Merry Christmas, and went back outside into the rain. Coming up to the top of the hill on Wellington, I saw the 1:30pm bus go through the light and head toward Man O’War. Now, I can’t run for shit; never have been able to – not enough air, short legs, not enough strength, not enough eyesight. Anyway. I told myself if I walked really fast, I could make it to Arby’s and catch that bus, in my rush forgetting that the bus has a ten minute break there. Regardless I did make it and didn’t have to wait for the next one to trundle around at 2:50pm. At 3pm, I’d already transferred buses and gone to Wal-Mart and had my in at the pharmacy to be filled. I was back out at the bus stop for the next bus I needed at 3:30pm, and I got home a long time before I thought I was going to when I set out this morning. This morning, I was thinking somewhere between 5pm and 6pm. What a relief to get home earlier than expected! And that worked out, too. Preston left work early and was home about the time I got supper ready. We don’t get to eat together on days he works, so this was most excellent!

Passed a tree lot on the way down Harrodsburg on the way home and burst out laughing because I thought of Tayler. When the boys were four and two and a half, I drove to Liberty to pick them up for Christmas, and we stopped at the Danville Wal-Mart to pick up some stuff and do a small bit of extra Christmas shopping. Like I always had, I dumped them into a shopping cart out in the parking lot and pushed them up toward the store. I wanted the general merchandise side, so instead of going in through grocery, we just trundled down the sidewalk. About halfway down, Tayler asked a question, and I said, “What?” Tayler asked, “Are those great big alligators going to eat us, Mommy?” I said, “What alligators, Tayler? We’re at Wal-Mart.” He pointed toward the wall. There were a scad of live Christmas trees bundled up and propped against the wall. I said, “Tayler! Those are Christmas trees!” He said, “Oh.” A few beats later, he said, “So those great big alligators aren’t going to eat us?” lmao

Also, Miss Kitty has taken to stuffing toys beneath the Christmas tree skirt. It’s cracking me up. Well, at least she doesn’t lunge at the tree and jack-rabbit it like Grey Lady did, although Kitty did try to climb the last big tree I had that one time …

Tuesday November 29: eta: Kathy called last night while I was in the process of writing this post, and then I got so involved in the post, I forgot to add what she told me. Anyway. Jane had apparently called her yesterday to rip her another new asshole. She wanted to know why the transplant clinic calls Kathy first before they call anybody else about anything. Kathy said she carefully explained that that’s how Thomas asked for it to be set up on the call sheet. Kathy, him, me. And then after they had called Thomas once first by mistake and he never got back in touch with them, and they called Kathy, we double-checked to make sure that they mark to call Kathy first in the future. Jane asked why they couldn’t just call Thomas. Kathy said, “Because Thomas will admit to anybody that he doesn’t understand half what he’s being told, especially over the telephone, and he never remembers to write that stuff down or to record his appointments.” Well, you know that didn’t sit well with Jane. Kathy said, “Well, if you want them to call you first, then you need to have the clinic change it at Thomas’ next appointment Thursday morning. You have to tell them to change it or they won’t know they’re supposed to call a different number.” I was afraid to ask whether Jane ripped Kathy a new asshole over Kathy and Ralph leaving for Florida this morning instead of coming up here to be with Thomas during surgery.

schedule: week: november 27

  • Monday:
  • Preston starts sixty hour work weeks
    call Molly and have her fax a note about Thomas’ housing
    therapy appointment at 1:30pm on Wellington Way
    text Thomas to see if he got the time for his surgery

  • Tuesday:
  • Thomas’ fistula surgery at UK Hospital

  • Wednesday:
  • laundry (laundry room)
    writing (laundry room and dining room)
    not one damned other thing (it’s required!)

  • Thursday:
  • Thomas’ appointment with transplant clinic
    Thomas’ appointment with UK Internal Medicine

  • Friday:
  • taking today off! (it’s required!)

  • Saturday:
  • laundry (laundry room)
    writing (laundry room and dining room)

    my meditation fountain

    I’m quite happy with it. I went down to the creek to collect pebbles that wanted to come home and live in the fountain. The frog was a must-have. The fountain requested the bamboo, but we’re both thinking the nylon flowers need to go. As for the angel, she requested she come home with me so I can pass her along to Preston’s mom when we see her again.

    So now I’m surrounded by trickling water, which is great for the blood pressure and the thought process. I have the fountain and two aquariums gurgling along. (and to boot, right now, it’s raining outside – for the win!)

    eta: for the record, my dining room wall isn’t purple. not sure why my camera caught it that way.

    mari's fountain

    thomas went to clinic today

    Thomas went to the transplant clinic at UK Hospital today, and the news wasn’t good. None of us expected it to be, either. But it’s still depressing.

    He looks bad. He’s lost more weight. His skin is dry and patchy. He shakes like an old man. And where he’s off his Celexa and Abilify, he’s moody as all hell and talks on and on like someone’s wound up a windup key in his back. His blood pressure was 173/73. His creatinine level was back up to 4.3.

    The medical team wanted to keep him, admit him to the hospital. He flat out refused. The doctor even offered for him to come back in the morning or Wednesday morning. But he still refused. So he goes back on the 7th for another checkup. He walked out of the clinic at one point but came back later when he realized I hadn’t gone after him.

    What the medical team want to do is try another anti-rejection drug and then do another biopsy on the transplant. They’ve made it abundantly clear that this may or may not do anything. But I said it’s worth a shot. If it were me, I’d do it. Thomas said it’s not anybody but him, and he doesn’t want to do it. He said, “I’m done. I’m just done.”

    We all talked about dialysis, again, but he said he didn’t want that either. The medical team explained that’s exactly where he’s headed – if he makes it that far. He said he didn’t care.

    They had him sign the “leaving the clinic against advice” form before we left. They also said that if he changes his mind between now and Monday that he can always come pick me up and go to the emergency room – he can be admitted straight from there.

    So this is where we are right now.