Tuesday, October 2, 2012

What a week... wait, it's only Tuesday

Photographer: Jill Greenburg

Yesterday morning, I was reading my son's facebook status and out of nowhere I burst out crying. Not a small cry, but one of those full-on crys that makes you think "thank goodness I'm alone" when it's all over.

What was the status you ask? That's the problem. I couldn't read it.

I have ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder). The correct term is actually ADHD (the DSM-IV combined the terms years ago) and now ADD is listed as a subtype. Why do I call it by the sub-type name? ADHD is a controversial topic, thus the last thing I want is for people to say to me "that's baloney - you aren't even hyper", which means I have already lost the argument before I even have begun to explain the difference.

It's an argument I've grown weary of. Fortunately I've known doctors and people that know the reality of how hard it can be to deal with this problem; it can be soul-crushing to be honest with you. In addition to dealing with the multitude of issues it causes, I'll often run into people that will make a snarky comment or worse, self-diagnose it. Do I think it's possible that it's over-diagnosed or over-medicated? Yes, but not nearly as much as you see in the media. For every lame brain, non-researched excuse of why it's not real I can give you solid facts of why it is. It's as maddening as someone telling you that infertility is "all in your head". My absolute favorite is when a doctor (who has never studied it) jumps on the fashionable bandwagon. Thank GOD those are few and far between. Anyone that goes through the torture of not being able to process a conversation IN THE MIDDLE OF a conversation, knows the personal hell that can be ADD.

In addition to using the technically incorrect term "ADD", I also avoid calling it "Adult ADD". I've had it since I was a kid, they just didn't even know what it was back then. Mostly I was called scatterbrained, day-dreamer, or my personal favorite "not reaching her potential". I had no idea what was wrong with me and often just thought I was somehow broken. As a child it was depressing to constantly think I was crazy, lazy, you-name-it, and as an adult it is exhausting. Especially on days/weeks that I am particularly bad. I haven't taken medicine for years as the side effects far outweighed the slight benefits that it gave me, and so I have learned coping mechanisms that effectively make help me make it as a normal, bright, individual. Most of the time (unless I'm in a reading block), I manage quite well. You will never see me use it as an excuse, except on the rare occasion I have a private meltdown in a rush of frustration and insecurity.

If you are a regular reader of my blogs, you will see that I occasionally veer off topic, like I seem to be doing right here and apparently right now. Sigh. That's part of the problem.

Back to my story. 

I couldn't read my son's status. There are times I can't read. I try and it's just jumbled up and my brain won't process what I have read. Even if I read it 5x. Even if I read it 10x. It really sucks. Conversations can be the same. At work I write everything down, record meetings, and make sure anything that is important gets sent to email and immediately put on my calendar.

Having taken time off from work (after getting fired in February when asking about infertility benefits), I've gotten behind and now need to majorly study to get back in the job market. My job is one that I have to constantly stay updated. Not being able to read anything more than 3 sentences long is a MAJOR PROBLEM. Thus the realization of this yesterday morning made me have a meltdown.

This happened just when I have resolved to NOT let the EEOC decision to not pursue my case get me down (they issued me a "right to sue" document if I ever want to deal with that nightmare.) Friday I received that lovely letter, but after I read the letter more closely, I realized that my old company denied that I ever told them about infertility. Point blank said I never came to them. Stated that they had no idea I was going through infertility and denied that they had asked me directly if I had had a miscarriage when I made a statement about stress of some bullying that was causing me medical issues. (Note: I actually have proof that my boss gave me her infertility doctor's information to contact, but again, I don't know if sueing will cause me more grief than it's worth.)

In the back of my head, I think I half wondered if something had happened with my ADD that I just didn't realize. The letter let me know that it really wasn't me. My company stated it was for performance reasons, yet had not ever said there was any problem with my performance. I've won awards for stellar performances at companies before. The very week I was  fired (4 days after our 2 guys returned from paternity leave no-less), our toughest client had given me huge praises - something they never did. It wasn't me. I could be furious at my company, but it at least I receive confirmation that it wasn't me.

But that didn't help yesterday morning. I still had my meltdown. Then I noticed my period had started. Well that figures (and explains the meltdowns better). The day saw me have 2 more meltdowns. The second one  with a doctors office when I was late for an appointment, got lost (ended up being a tornado warning weather), and they cancelled me. Afterwards I had to rush to the DOL and wait hours to reschedule a missed appointment from when I was in India. (They scheduled it for me a few days prior and sent an email when I was halfway across the world.)

The third meltdown came from explaining the whole day to my husband and then simultaneously thinking about how I could be passing off this ADD to our child. I guess I'm carrying a larger load than I wanted to admit to myself. We get our 2ww results either Saturday or Monday and everything hit like a ton of bricks at once.

Today was a better day. My period makes me CRAZY and unable to handle stress for usually around 24 hours. Today seem to pass the 24 hour mark and I went to my volunteer place and was unexpectedly asked to manage 25+ volunteers. That not only helped me feel better about myself, but gave me a warm and fuzzy about helping others. I was profusely thanked by the top people at the end of the day.

2ww. Yea, I thought I was totally beating you this time. Not so much.

On a brighter note: my boobies no longer hurt. 


  1. Thankyou so much for writing of your experience of sufferering from ADD or ADHD. It sounds so difficult. I work with children who also suffer from it so it was even more insightful for me to read this. I had not even considered the multitude of ways in which it could affect someone's life. Sr x

    1. Thanks. I didn't even mean for it to be a post about ADD, but that's what ended up coming out. LOL.

      I think the biggest problem (and there are lots) is the tremendous insecurity it causes. Especially in children. When I was young I tested very high on IQ tests but because I had such problems I always thought there was some mass mistake. Most of the time I had to teach things to myself because I just couldn't process what the teacher was saying. It was like the Charlie Brown teacher to me.


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