gratitude-a-thon day: adderall

In the category of, so, this is interesting, it’s never too late, funny how something bad can turn into something good. I took Adderall today. For the first time. Even though I have had ADD since I was finger painting in round-as-an-exercise-ball, Mrs. Stecker’s Kindergarten class at Center School. Today was the first time I ever took medicine that addressed attention issues. And the only reason I took it wasn’t to address my attention issues. It was to address the preposterous exhaustion which the Covid I had two and half months ago, left behind.

So, while I was very, very lucky to receive Monoclonal Antibodies for my extreme case of Covid, I was pretty fucking sick and sorry, that’s the nicest way to say it that I can think of, and besides you know me, I would marry the word “fuck,” but I’m already married. I literally wondered how I would get to the bathroom, a few feet from my bed for the first three days of my pandemic pandemonium. After my M..A infusion, which I actually had to lay down for, on account of I didn’t have the energy to sit up, I felt better, like I could actually get to the bathroom! Hot damn! But I was still tired. Really tired. And so I stayed almost entirely in bed for the next 12 days. I only left my bed to go to my daughter’s college graduation (delayed two years because of Covid), or I’d have played Sleeping Beauty for another week, or so.

After the graduation, I dove back into work and working out, but I found I was still pretty tired, draaaaaaaaaaaagging myself around the world. And then I began to socialize and return to normal, old life (although it’s hard to even know what normal old life even is after the two bizarro years of Covid quarantine, right)?). but I was still tired, like go to bed early, take a nap, and want to take another nap and still feel I’d been to seven frat parties and had run thirteen marathons on top of four triathlons. I was tired when I woke up after sleeping 9 hours, tired when I did pilates, tired while I was doing work (although I noticed my brain was doing just fine, none of that long Covid brain fog). Name a thing I did and I can tell you I was tired doing it. In fact, last week, I found myself so freaking tired, I started to cry and realize that the fatigue I found myself in was just not in any way normal. So, I finally contacted my doctor and she tested me for Lyme, the results of which I’m waiting for, but her assessment was that she thinks it’s likely just the remnants of Covid. She does think it will go away and she doesn’t think it’s long Covid, but she does think it’s the trash the damn virus left in its wake. So, she said to help me feel better, i.e. more awake, that she thought I should try a low dose of Adderall.

What?

Huh?

I hadn’t even considered taking something that would wake me up, I was just trying to find more hours in the day to sleep, which of course, wasn’t even working. But considering the fact that I have ADD and the fact that this epic exhaustion is, well, exhausting, I agreed to give it a try.

In case you are wondering at this point why I never addressed my ADD, this is for you. Fair question. There was no ADD when I was a kid. There was “TALKS TOO MUCH,” and “DOESNT WORK TO HER POTENTiAL,” but no ADD. And so to make a long story short, I learned to understand the way my brain worked and figured out how to make it work for me. It wasn’t always easy, and I would have learned more when I was a kid had there been the knowledge about ADD that there is today, but I never felt the need to seek medical intervention when suddenly ADD and meds appeared on the scene like an explosion later in my life. By then I’d lived with it a long time and even when both of my kids were diagnosed when they were young and took Adderall, I was never tempted to give it a try. I knew how to focus. Maybe not just like everybody else, but I had my tools and tricks and tips and it didn’t feel like an issue for me. Also, while some people think ADD is a horrible malady, and until you figure it out, it can be a challenge, I do not because it comes with lots and lots of cool characteristics that I really value, like mega creativity and empathy and curiosity. Also, many of the people I’ve met and known who have it are extremely smart and are super interesting thinkers.

But today, the 20th of August, 2022, I took Adderall. And I not only needed no nap today, I got a whole bunch of stuff done. And I was AWAKE while I was doing it. Sweet baby Jesus. What have I been missing all these years? I am hoping my doctor is right and this is just a side effect that’s sticking around like one of those nasty flies who buzz around your room at night sometimes in the dead of summer because you’ve left the windows open and there’s a damn hole in one of your screens, but in treating it, I may have just found a new and more effective way of doing my day! Can you teach an old dog new tricks? I’m not sure, but you can give an old dog a new drug and watch her do tricks she never dreamed of. Gratitude, once again goes to the miracle of modern medicine. I’d probably be president if I’d had this stuff when I was little.

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