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Attention Improving, Anxious & Fidgety Still, Sleep Deprivation & an Annoyingly Slow Sandwich Maker

Posted Mar 18 2011 10:21pm
I feel a bit guilty not posting every single day to this blog. Perhaps I need to revise my expectations.

I've had an interesting last few days. Our little boy - 18 months old - had his regular vaccinations, but instead of a day of grumpiness and crying, he experienced 3 days of fever, a little bit of a rash, and a little bit of sleep, interspersed with a great deal of fussing. I haven't had a lot of sleep, and intend to go to bed early tonight. My wife and I are both in a bit of a funk - a combination of sleep deprivation and work stress, I think. Our little boy has recovered mostly - he's still rather fussy and quick to cry, and his appetite has not returned fully, but he does like to play. I've learned that if I dangle him by his ankles, he makes ridiculously cute giggling sounds.

This week I am on a management training course. Today was the first day, and I enjoyed it. I did note my impulsivity when trying to answer questions in the classroom. My concentration was pretty darned full on though, I didn't catch myself drifting off or daydreaming once. This is a major success for me - this concentration has crept up on me over the past few weeks, such that I kind of forget how inattentive I could be. But I know I have improved greatly and credit the Strattera for this. I credit my education about ADHD for other coping mechanisms, but my improved concentration I believe is due to the medication.

At lunch time, I was really irritated by the almost slow motion way that people lined up at lunch for the buffet, and at one point wanted to make a rude comment towards the woman who was one-by-one curling little slices of roast beef onto her sandwich bread (I wouldn't have, but really wanted to!), while 30 people shuffled & stalled behind her in line just watching her like sheep. I told myself to relax, and that I should breathe slowly and later on when she was not expecting it, to swiftly steal and eat her sandwich right in front of her.

I only ate my sandwich though. I took a 'time out' and sat in a remote area of the office building and read a novel that I had brought with me. Learning about ADHD is extraordinarily important - learning tendencies and coping mechanisms and reading about what other folks do. But boy, I get so irritated with people - it is like they are completely not situationally aware - maybe because I am especially watchful of other people, I pick up quickly on body language and looks, and expect everyone else to be as receptive.

In 4 days I am going back to my family physician to review my Strattera dosage. I am at 20 mg daily now. I have read that it is supposed to provide 24 hour coverage, and yet I feel toward the end of the afternoon impulsive and very fidgety and hyperactive. My leg shakes a lot, I tense my jaw muscles, I find myself staring intensely at whatever I'm doing. Intense is probably the best way to put it. Intense as in don't get in my way. Intense as in 'don't piss on my leg and tell me it is raining'. Not a terrible thing, and maybe in a way this intensity is a way of me reclaiming my agency which was so eroded by low self-esteem and uncertainty over the past decades. Sometimes anger can be very clarifying. I know it isn't the best interpersonal feeling, but sometimes feeling vastly pissed off can help me get stuff done. I'm very (overly) trusting and let people walk all over me sometimes, and this leads to me feeling resentful and taken advantage of. I think my anger comes from residue of this, and I don't think it is entirely unhealthy. At times - in fact, probably a fair percentage of times in my life, I need to replace my agreeable nature and submissive tendencies with assertiveness. Stealing a sandwich probably isn't ideal, but you know what I mean. Hopefully.

It may not be that my blood levels of Strattera have decreased significantly, but maybe that I'm simply tired or that some other environmental cue is affecting me. But I really want to go higher with my dosage. I hope he'll throw me onto 40 mg daily. I can take it, man. Just gimme the drugs, man.

Please bear with my rambling - I'm almost done.

At the same time, I am taking the anxiolytic Clonazepam less and less. I am becoming increasingly aware of how much it muddies my thinking. While I am on the lowest dosage available, it still makes me woozy. It works well to stop my hands shaking when I get really anxious - but perhaps I'll ask my doctor if I should cut the tablets in half - or if I have another option. Not a big deal, but worthwhile noting. Since I stopped drinking any alcohol over 9 months ago, I have relished my clarity of thought, and really get peeved when I'm not clear.

Hope everyone is having a great week, I'm off to bed with a book for now.



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