Saturday, September 22, 2012

Oops! I did it again...

I am clumsy.  
This is not a new thing for me.  I have always been clumsy.  (Funny word – say it several times and see how silly it sounds to you: clumsy clumsy clumsy clumsy clumsy)
Did that make me any less active or adventurous?  No.  I played tag with all the other kids.  I was just the one who tripped over her own feet a bit more often.  I climbed trees too, but was the one who had to do so more cautiously, more slowly, clinging to the branches just a little tighter.  I lost my grip once too often and fell far too many times.  Did I climb hills & mountains?  Yes, but I seemed to always come home with many bumps, bruises, and random scratches than all the others.  Combined.

Luckily I’m tough.  I would be in pain, but I would simply go on.  I was having too much fun to stop.

At school I found all sorts of things had it in for me.  Doors would move just in time to clip me as I went through.  If the door didn’t the knob or frame invariably reached out for me.  Lockers swayed toward me so that I would bump against them.  Stairs would change their height just as I stepped so that I often tripped.    

I’d like to think that clumsiness is something you outgrow, and for many I guess that is the case.  But for many people with ADHD we do not.  At the CHADD (Children and Adults with ADHD) conference I found so many others who were just like me.  
Last night I found once again that even at 35 I have not yet outgrown this.  I went to a play with 6 of my friends.  We were seated in the balcony, and our view of the front of the stage was partially obscured.  Two of my friends moved up another row and claimed that it did have a better view.  I watched another friend gracefully step up over the chairs to the next row up.  They beckoned to me to come up as well.  I looked to my left to see if I could exit the row and just go up the stairs.  Nope.  To my left my friend was holding a baby and it would have been inconvenient for her to have to move to let me past.  So I decided to try to step up like my other friends did.

It did NOT go well.  My foot slipped on the movie theater style chair, and it folded back up trapping my foot underneath.  I felt myself falling backwards, but just then my friend Julie grabbed my arms.  She held on tight while I disentangled my foot.  I managed to get up to the next row then, and she asked me if I was all right.  I chuckled and said yes, and then added, “Well, that was embarrassing!”  
Later I went down to the lobby to get a drink of water, and as I ascended the stairs to return to my seat one of the stair moved toward me just as I raised  my foot to set it upon it.  Down I went.  Again.  I couldn't do anything but laugh again and feel grateful that all my friends were still seated inside.  

Today I boast a couple of rather nasty scrapes on my shin, and few bruises too.  I have not outgrown my clumsiness, but my sense of humor to handle it has grown.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

First Essential Oils class in my house...

I am very excited for my essential oils class tomorrow - or well, today since it is 12:47 am now.  I know dōTERRA can be run as a business.  That’s cool, and it’s one of the very best MLM’s I have ever seen.  BUT what I’m most excited about is how it has changed my life.  My health is so much better.  Headaches?  All but gone.  And those that start are easily nipped in the bud now.  

I told my dear husband, Mike, that if these oils were merely having a placebo effect, they were the BEST placebos EVER.  I love them.  And they’ve helped many people I know so much too!  Michael even asks for them, and they’ve helped him too.  I can’t wait to use the vetiver & inTune oils on us.  If they help us concentrate even a little more it will be totally worth it.

I know I have to work hard to clean the house, but it will be worth it.  Yay!  If nothing else I’m excited to see my friends.  :D

ADHD strikes again

It's 2am and I can't sleep.  Could it be because I'm in a mildly manic phase?  Maybe.  I think it's more likely to do with having forgotten to take my prozac in the morning, so I took it at night.

Not good.

I know that it's not good.  Prozac has a tendency to make you more awake.  This can be good in the morning.  Like coffee (which I don't drink) but not nearly as strong (dangit!).

Why did I forget to take my meds if they are so important?  The same reason I forget to put my purse where it belongs.  The same reason I randomly put things down and am not aware that I even did put it down.  The same reason I am late for almost everything.  I have ADHD.  I forget things.

I know, everyone does this.  The simplest way I have of describing this goes something like this.  You know how sometimes you get to the top of the stairs and you forget why you came upstairs in the first place?  Of course you know what that's like!  Everyone does that at some point.

Now, imagine you forget every (or nearly every) time you go up the stairs.  And worse, when you come back downstairs you don't remember what you went up for you start something entirely new.

In the meantime the baby still doesn't have a clean diaper or shirt.  But he's playing happily with the cereal he pilfered out of the pantry and is blessedly quiet.  So much so that he is easily forgettable, and you can go start the laundry.  Which you meant to do, but forgot because you wanted to check your email.  Some point later the baby will come near you again.  He still smells bad, and now has mashed up cereal in his hair as well.

Yup.  That's what my life is like.  EVERY STINKIN' DAY.

I once read a cute thing going around facebook saying that moms have child activated ADD.
That may be true.  But it may be more true that the mom in the story has ADD/ADHD and is trying to keep up with demands of caring for little ones, but is distracted in EVERY attempt.   It describes my day very, very well. 
Despite that I still think it very funny, so I'm posting a link with the cool story.  Enjoy.

It's now 3am.  I've been through 3 dozen websites to find that story, and I'm finally tired.  Good night.  :D

Friday, September 7, 2012

About the title

Hi.  I am a fat 35 year old woman.  I have ADHD.  I am also bipolar.  And I have four little boys.  That's right, FOUR BOYS.  And I am therefore, also a mom.  Thus the title: ADHDbipolarmom
I have anxiety too, but adding that would have made the title too long.  I have other quirks, but I really couldn't put them all or no one would ever be able to remember the name of my blog. 

Before I get into how I know I have these things, I want to preface it with this:  I am happy NOW.  It has been a long hard journey, but as of right now (September 2012) I am balanced and happy.  No, I'm not giddy all the time.  But I feel - "normal".  Everyone has their own place that feels that way, but it basically comes down to that I can handle the stressors and happinesses I am handed right now.  (I know, happinesses is not a word.  So sue me.)

It is hard for me to share these things because of the continuing archaic prejudice against anyone who has any sort of mental disorder.  I am afraid people will think less of me.  But for those I’ve already shared this with they have found help and hope in finding they (or a loved one) are not alone in struggling with something like this.  So I write this not just for me, but for them.  To those that will think less of me for it, well, I will just have to let that be your problem.  I already have too many on my plate. 

I didn't get diagnosed with bipolar disorder until I was 32.  I'd just had my 4th baby boy and I'd sunk into yet another deep depression.  This one was different though; I couldn't get my head above water ever.  I was drowning.  The suicidal thoughts were so pervasive that fighting them off was taking every last ounce of strength I had, and with four little boys I didn't have much strength left for me to start with. 

When I finally decided to try to explain to my husband just how bad it really was I had a panic attack.  I'm sure you've heard of those, and how some people mistake them for heart attacks.  They do feel like a heart attack.  My chest constricted, I couldn't breathe, and I was in pain!  Then my vision began going black around the edges and then closed into complete blackness as I fell to the floor.  I struggled to breathe while I felt like someone had just put a 10 ton weight on my chest.  Eventually I passed out.  I came back to in a few minutes, explained more to my husband how the suicidal thoughts were pressing on me nearly every 5 minutes now, and then had another (smaller) panic attack.  My husband finally got how serious it was and got me to a doctor: my OB/GYN.  That doctor started me on a prescription and insisted that I see a psychiatrist as soon as possible.

A few weeks later I saw my psychiatrist for the first time.  I went in sobbing and shaking.  I was wringing and clenching my hands repeatedly.  In short, I looked like I felt: a total mess.  
He diagnosed me with mood disorder (bipolar) and anxiety.  I'll go into details in another post about the conversation (as much as I remember) in another post.  

A few months later he diagnosed me with ADHD as well.  
Did I suddenly develop these?  No.  I've had them my whole life.  Did anyone know that?  I don't know that they knew the proper terms, but I'm sure people saw the traits and thought, "Oh, that's just Elona.  That's just how she is..."

I wasn't really surprised with the diagnoses.  I was disappointed.  I was hoping it was just postpartum depression.  Guess not.   Now the doc wanted me to take some serious medications.  But I was nursing a newborn!  Could I take the medicines and keep nursing?  I was seriously worried.  So I researched.  I talked to doctors.  And I decided to nurse the baby AND give him a bottle every so often too.  And it worked.  And he is fine.  Really.  I promise.  (so far…)

And my life is different, but still the same.  I’m still me, but now I’m more self-aware.  The medicine does not change who I am anymore than insulin changes who a diabetic is. 
Does it fix my conditions?  No. 
Does it help?  Yes.  Very, very much. 

I am in awe of my former self who worked 10-100 times harder at everything to accomplish anything at all.  I get more done now, but it is easier to do so most of the time.  Easier, but not easy.  And not even always easier.

Do I still get depressed even though I am on meds?
Unfortunately, yes.

Do I still get manic even though I am on meds?
Yes.  (woohoo!  ummm…. Wait…. No… not woohoo.  I think….)

Do I still do stupid ADHD things that mess up my life (and others’ lives too)?
Yes.  *facepalm* <hangs head in shame>

I’ll be writing about my journey through this stuff, and aow I found out I had these conditions.  I will write my reflections on the past with a different outlook knowing more about me now (i.e. why I was clinically depressed at age 7).  And I will write about all the strange, silly, awesome, stupid, clever things I do now.

Feel free to ask questions.  I’ll try to answer them.  But bear in mind that I am my own little snowflake, and even with the same diagnosed conditions anyone else is unlikely to have all the same symptoms, problems, and strengths that I do.