Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Untreated: Attention Dubious / Disastrous

This is only marginally poetic, even if only in the suffering. (Suffering is allegedly poetic) I started taking medication (Concerta) in the spring of 2008. I took it for two months before there was trouble between my employer's health insurance spending account and Kaiser, my insurance provider. And while that was sorting itself out, I neglected to schedule another appointment to get a checkup/refill. Afterall, Methylphenidate is a controlled substance, so I can't just "call it in." Out-of-pocket cost = $200 - $350 for a month's worth. Why did it take me so long before I considered going on meds? Parental Part: My mom thought that I was just "bad" and/or "lazy." So her natural idea was to punish me out of my fuzzy, forgetful world. Any wonder why I worked myself into a guilt-ridden people pleaser? An expected outcome, really. Perhaps I could have rebelled, and maybe I did by turning myself gay. *wink* And since I was diagnosed during my sophomore year in college, why no medication taking?: First, my principles: I'm all for challenging myself and developing my character to change my behavior and not big on popping pills. Second: I had accommodations within the controlled environment of my college: a seperate, quiet room for testing with additional time, and a special computer program that spoke the scanned text to me. And the most recent reason for finally breaking down and trying meds as a "last resort:" I stretched myself far beyond the borders of my ability- taking on so many (often intense) opportunities including coaching four people in the Introduction Leaders Program - and it didn't work. I was suspended / fired from a job for something totally silly that had nothing to do with my performance, but was a result of trying to juggle too much and being careless. When your workplace doesn't make accommodations for ADD, or you're too chicken to ask or talk about it, then you're faced with a daily struggle upon which your bills, health insurance, and credibility depends. Failure not only seems inevitable, it is inevitable. You know it will come sooner than later. This is such a boon for one's self esteem - as you can imagine! And ADD is not an acceptable excuse, because if you have ADD then that feeds the pile of reasons why you're on the shit list or the way out the door. Meanwhile, at home I lost both sets of car keys, missed the date to apply for benefits, spaced out on my friend's birthday, didn't realize the check hadn't cleared before paying another bill... I expect these blunders to happen on a weekly basis. Oh, and it also causes friends and family to give up relying on you for things that require a deadline or financial planning. At least now I'm better now at saying no to things I know understand I won't be able to do, even though people keep telling me to try. I am happy when I can go for several days without a serious snafu. People give advice, oh, boy do I have great advice in my life! I should open up a library. Hell, that's probably one of the reasons I like to do phone counseling so much. I know the right answer. I have articles galore about Latte Factors and how to best prioritize. I know that emotions come and go, to take cleansing breaths, get exercise, have friends and hobbies, practice awareness... Intellectually it's all here in my head and learned. It's putting it into practice. It's having the discipline -- as I hear my mother's voice (and countless others') ringing in my head. So here I sit in a self-fulfilling cycle of underemployment, little income, no health insurance, no medication, constant fuzziness in decision making and task accomplishing - resulting in a retarded process of applying and finding suitable jobs. I look at craigslist and think to myself "Wow! Look at all those jobs with great nonprofits that have benefits and salary and require 'the ability to multi-task'." I would love to be a secretary, but I would hate to fuck over the execs and their schedules. I might be able to wing it and do very well with the skills I have, but it only takes one small oversight to create a big embarassment. "Your conference was in Poughkeepsie and not Pawtucket?" So, I'm researching. I've had several good referrals for inexpensive medication resources... none of them so far seem to include Strattera or the Methyl-family of drugs. I take that back - I located a 25-40% discount for Dexedrine (old school meth drug). Thanks Pfizer! Insurance at my part-time job may not be financially feasible. I hear it's $90 every 2 weeks. I hear Maryland's state health insurance program may be about $200/month. Who knows if it would even cover ADD meds. But I forge ahead.

No comments: