Another ADHDer Writes – LGF, My Part In His Victory

or – a small snippet from history which changed everything

In early 2002 I was off work for six months with a head injury and was bored rigid.

A rich friend (I’d taken him in when he was poor) gave me a PC and within a week I had broadband and had made my way onto the interwebs, causing mayhem.

I spent at least eight hours a day on a forum and had a solid core of both friends and enemies, due to my behaviour.

And then I got the PM that changed my life – a friend messaged me asking if I thought I had ADHD.

This was a shock – I’d always known that something was ‘up’ (I’d diagnosed myself with borderline personality disorder twenty years earlier – before ADHD existed. Yes, I’m that old) but the naughty child disorder? But my friend said they had it, and they were an adult and not noticeably affected. I hit the interwebs.

Within a week I was in my GP’s surgery* asking for a referral. And then the real struggle began, which shaped the person you know and loathe 😜

Anyway – thanks to Paul S, who gave me a cast off PC (retired from his software house) and to Mairie**, the ADHDer that headhunted me on an interweb forum. Obviously I don’t speak to them any more, because friendships are for wimps (or – ADHDers are rubbish at maintaining friendships).

Thanks to these two friends that changed the direction my life went.

LGF

*remember when you could get a GP appointment in three days? That was 2002.

**Mairie, the architect of my diagnosis, didn’t get to see me diagnosed (it took four years). I threw a ridiculous wobbly and that was that. It’s only taken me fifteen years to get round to an apology and thank you – you did good.

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An ADHDer Writes……

The following was posted to a private ADHD forum that I administer. The author wishes to remain anonymous. It is as it was posted – no editing.

Library picture – this is not Jack

Anyone else prone to overthinking and imagining the worst? Please Excuse the terrible Grammar ..I’ve forgotten nearly all I learned at a level and decorate my writing with semicolons in the same way I doodle, mainly for decoration, no actual purpose..

I’d say I’m quite accustomed to living on my own now with the children.

I now actually have to lock the doors rather than skipping off to bed when I’m tired to leave someone who cares more about the essential mundanity of basic house security to perform the dutiful tasks of getting the house ready for slumber. And every night as the solo adult, I have to prioritise which order of the lights I turn off downstairs because, when I blearily eyed scrape my face away from the illuminating light of the laptop, I have often turned off in any order usually the nearest to me, which often ending in the kitchen which means I’m then having to navigate in total Darkness from the very end of my house and it’s basically bruise city, the bashed shins and stumbles make it like a shit version of ninja warrior if they continued to film that series despite a local power cut.

Just the director, going, time is money, the game willContinue…

no actual winners just an array of damaged bodies scattered along the course like rose petals on a newly-wed honeymoon suite, but instead of the sweet, floral scent, it’s just the overwhelming stench of disappointment and tears…

Anyway, when your little one shouts down to you and says, ‘there’s something in my bed’, I don’t know about you but my fears are instantly met face on and my irrational mind jumps to:1. Murderer and rapist (dual threat obviously ) and I immediately wonder how long the doors have been unlocked and I wonder how loud the music or Netflix has been on, and I imagine being watched as the sneaky culprit makes his way upstairs (always a he in my nightmare, sorry guys, just is! – if I think the correct pronouns of them or they in this moment of panic, that’s worse because now I’m thinking of gang rape; now I’m really upset with myself that not only did I let one person sneak up because I was so busy laughing at a comedy or busy googling if you can use your regular conventional oven as a kiln or whether it will actual just dry out on its own eventually (in the same way left over porridge bits harden in a bowl if not instantly rinsed within moments of swigging the last mouthful of coffee) but that I foolishly and blatantly failed to acknowledge a herd of people sneaking upstairs.

Anyway, so I hear jacks cry of an imposter in his room,

I imagine the murder/rapist using my child as a decoy, like the way duck shooters use a fake whistle to pretend to be a duck, so I’ll usher upstairs and then he will have his real victim. As I start to ascend the stairs, part of me is already proud that I am sacrificing my body and life for my children and that the children will not be harmed, they want me, i’m their intended target and victim.

Then, as I get three steps up, I rationalise that it’s probably not a murderer, the laptop isn’t that loud, the speakers aren’t even plugged in and I’m somebody who notices when the freezer kicks in it cold humming, when the temp drops a few degrees and it’s fires up it’s coldness to make sure the cornetos stay a frozen as intended. It’s very loyal my freezer, annoyingly so, it works tirelessly and most of the time it’s extra enthusiasm and restart noise is met with my exasperated sigh and slight annoyance at the noise disturbance within my own thoughts.

So, four steps up now, I establish it’s not wanted escaped from prison, knife wielding criminal- (who goes to a house uninvited and unarmed- even I would want a weapon something mobile but not as noisy, expensive and deadly as gun, maybe something discreet I can hide in my pocket like a pointy nail file, I’ve jammed a few of those inside my nails a few times whilst trying to scrape the crap from under my nail, they are deceivingly sharp at the pointy bit, one lapse of concentration and I’ve embedded the bloody thing under my nail and I’m always slightly shocked and then impressed as I can see through the clarity of my nail which I can see how far it’s embedded thanks to cleaning the said dirt from under, how far it’s gone into my actual skin.

I always have to pretend to be a surgeon and slowly but surely remove the unwanted metal instrument from under my nail and skin. I pretend my eyes are actually seeing it through camera monitor that I’m removing it via the sight of camera rather than just the use of my plain old eyes. I’ve always admired surgeons who get to not only perform intricate surgery but then have to do it almost blind, and through what they have on what seems to be a shaky camera…I struggled to back stitch my embroidery cloth pieces at gcse sewing class yet these guys sew up all the ventricles of someone who has quadrupole heart bi-pass.

Hear me out on this little qaundry though, I know the heart has four chambers and I vaguely know they can all fail but I have no idea why they don’t just replace the entire heart with a new one, like they would a liver…I’m guessing it would be because on the last snip of the heart ventricle artery, the last one holding it connecting to the entire body, it would actually cease pumping, maybe? like removing batteries out a remote, but then when you start sewing the other four arteries onto the new, healthy happier heart, it would still remain dead? Because it wasn’t delivered from the donor heart box still beating…

Imagine if we could keep a heart beating outside the human body, how awesome would that be?

Fourth step in I’m beginning to be less kill bill and wondering about how I will fight the assailant and more, oh shit! What’s worse than a murder/rapist for someone living entirely on their own with two very small dependables?

A bloody ghost! Course, Casper is up there waiting to reveal himself (again sorry guys, it’s always a male ghost too- unless I’m thinking of a child ghost and that’s always a female ghost who can sing in a beautiful but creepy Victorian manner.)

So, now I’m panicking almost more, it’s so obviously a ploy to lure me up, and I’m wondering how to not cry and instantaneously piss my pants when confronted with Victorian singing girl or creepy old man figure that will be propped on the edge of my child’s bed, smiling wickedly to themselves at their cunning plan.

Meanwhile, anyone watching life unfold from the heavens above or even god himself, will be like, Fuck no, don’t do it! You will die, it’s a trap, get out of there, save yourself! Like I did in Blair witch and every other choppy-upto film.

Fifth step in and another glint of rationality shimmers through and I’m met with an even more realistic yet terrifying prospect, that the something is nor human or paranormal, but of the arachnid family. Yeah, course it’s a fucking fat, hairy eight legged variety for sure, wanting to haunt me tonight and forever in a monumentally terrifying incident and it would be my fault because as my child’s keeper and protector, I’m inclined and socially expected to seek out the potential tarantula, me approaching their territory and this making it my fault when it bites me with its fangs and then poisons me before running off with its girlfriend to make spider babies and cover my house from floor to ceiling in spider cocoon goo in prep for the inevitable mammouth spider hatching day.

So now, I’m really scared, like in terminator when John Connor accepts the future reality where ai rule the earth and take over and force humans to live below ground in hiding. I wonder if my kids will survive, they are pretty outdoor ish and jack will lick and taste almost anything inappropriately inedible from the ground despite protesting over the simple humble request of tasting an vegetable for example. He’d much rather stick his tongue on one wooden fence or lick some mud encrusted stone from a rivers edge than consider even trying to taste a thoughtfully prepared bowl of pasta made with hidden veggie blended sauce. His sensitive internal body radar can detect hidden vegetables almost easier than obvious nutrition such a floret of broccoli hidden on his plate in plain sight. I’ve come to the conclusion that he can smell my anticipation despite my pretend nonchalance as he sniffs the spoonful of delicious, heart warming food with suspicion.

Umpteen times, despite my constant protests, I’ve seen jack revel in licking raw egg from the baking bowl, that kid would rather eat and chance salmonella from his impatience to wait for the cookies to be made, than to actual eat more than a few kernels of sweet corn…raw egg vs the vegetable that the green giant eats to grow his huge muscles, would be a no brainier for me.

Top of the stairs, I debate turning the light on as to whether or not to wake his sister, she is quite a deep sleeper, but I decide that’s cruel and I should be brave, it’s prob not a murder- unless he’s under the bed and I’m not looking, that’s when they grab you…

It’s prob not a ghost, it’s prob a regular real life spider that awoke him from his sleep by crawling across his face….oh my poor baby!

His duvet is dark tonight , it’s the cartoon monster one so the monsters are on a totally black background – making ideal camouflage for the sneaky spider.

I vividly, remember all the hallucination dreams I used to have half asleep where I would see all the creepy crawlies run over my pillow and I would be so sleep deprived off this repetitive nightmare hallucination that In the end I would sob quietly whilst brushing them off and turn my pillow round and pray they give me five more mins of sleep before they come back to crawl on my pillow again. When I turned teenager, one of the rights of passage in our family home was it was accepted that now a few years older, your body has already begun to fail and you need two pillows like the adults to prop up your extra heavy teenage head.

Still plagued with this vivid hallucination nightmare, where I can poke my eyes and still feel the individual lashes and know I’m awake and still see the cemetery horrors before me moving all over, I would sacrifice a pillow and throw it in the corner of the room and command them to use and have that one instead.

This made total sense at the time. Babies aren’t allowed any pillows and therefore not needed, then as child you were granted one and then two as a teenager was the norm and if you make it to adult and still living at home, you can buy as many pillows as your own money can afford…

I suppose that’s why middle age women tend to litter the marital bed in a million scatter cushions. Maybe each one represents a emotional adult milestone, first break up, first marriage, first child etc. They are tokens of achievement. Forget looking on linked in for someone cv, maybe the universal identifying feature of success is how many pillows adorn your bed.

Jack has one pillow, (he’s three, plenty of time for milestone pillows when he’s older) and I chose to keep the light off but I hold his bedroom door open in a lunge position with my foot, so that I can prop it open using my pointed toe, as temp door wedge, allowing the upstairs landing light to seep through, so I had a fighting chance of seeing and killing spider before it harms me and my children and completes it’s plan for world spider domination.

He sits up to allow me to take over on this what feels like animalistic hunt for an intimidating threat to our existence. Mummy bear pawing at his bedding, half hoping not to find anything and also half hoping to find it and kill it so I don’t go toSleep knowing it’s eluded me with its sneaky spider stealth and is celebrating its victory by mummifying my child in its spider cocoon while I, selfish mummy, sleep blissfully in the next room too tired to get up and check again on spider watch. Bad mummy. As I was about to give up, I’d done the old, there’s nothing here jack, i’ve checked, give me a kiss, see you in the morning speech, he suddenly said ‘it’s there’. I froze, he pointed near my fingers and I was too scared to move in case I swished the said spider even closer to us or worse, shoed it away so it can hide and return later for it’s evil web cocooning. I took sharp intake of breath and realised I had to brave for his sake, and I looked at the edges of my fingers as they were fanned out in mid- brushing mode of sweeping invisible insect threats off pillow. There was definitely something there, something hard and dark coloured but small, size of my small finger nail…

I reached for it as at this point my eyes are too scared to zoom in and focus anymore and I couldn’t risk any vivid hallucinations, not now as the only bloody adult in the bloody house clearly on adult duty and clocked in from now until both kids actually returned to school next week at some point.

It was a bloody piece of bark.

This innocuous small piece of woodland had probably come from him dragging his bedding out of the pop up tent outside our garden earlier on, as we had slept in there overnight the previous night and due to the days adventures meant I hadn’t got round to washing or changing our duvets. Which I definitely intended on doing as I also realised the bedding also had tiny grains of sand that had been dragged upstairs from the tent which had previously been dragged and pulled up and down on Formby beach earlier yesterday too. I’m all for a nature vibe in the kids room, but actual wood bark and sand maybe too much at bedtime.

I welcome the philosophy of a first school but i shudder to think of the judgement of other mums by the thought of a forest bed. Bit too much of a jungle book vibe maybe.

I picked up the offending piece and placed it on the side of the drawer unit laughing at instant relief it had brought me. And I laughed as I realised, it was not any of my first immediate thoughts, a murderer, ghost or spider, not tonight anyway, tomorrow is another night.

Some days I miss tag teaming another adult into the adulting ring so I can clock off and skip to bed with the innocence and freedom of a child, blissfully not locking doors, not turning lights off in a sequential order that doesn’t lead to nocturnal injury and not having to set alarms on phone for the foreseeable morning and worry and stress at how little many hours remain between now and the inevitable chance jack will wake up before the alarm anyway.

Adulting is tough.

Can I book a day off?

Anyone up for shift change, can I swap shifts with anyone?

I’ll work a double next week to make up for it?

Like most jobs it should be time and half on Sunday’s anyway…

(written on a phone!)

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Buying Atomoxetine (Strattera) For Private Patients (UK)

A blog post written by Justin Hellings

# You can buy atomoxetine more cheaply than you think

## What is Atomoxetine?

Atomoxetine is a non-stimulant medication that is used to treat ADHD. It is less common than stimulant medication (like elvanse and concerta) because stimulants work well for the majority of people who have ADHD.

## I get atomoxetine through the NHS. Will this blog post help me?

No.

This blog post is probably only useful for people who have private prescriptions for atomoxetine.

## Why would anyone get ADHD medication on private prescription?

Waiting lists for free ADHD assessment on the NHS are huge. A freedom of information request about Manchester's ADHD service showed an average waiting time of 3 years. (If I can find that again then I’ll add a link.) If you have enough time and energy (or an advocate who does) then you can use the <a href=”/?p=520”>Right to Choose</a> system to get assessed and treated on the NHS much more quickly. If you hadn't heard of Right to Choose, or if your GP wouldn’t cooperate, then you might have decided that it was a good idea to pay the high cost of private treatment. Private treatment means paying for private prescriptions (at least until your medication regime is stable and your GP can take over.)

## I get atomoxetine on private prescription. How can I pay less?

I contacted a lot of pharmacies to find out how much they would charge me for my atomoxetine prescription. Most of them charge between £60.00 and £72.50 for a box of 28 capsules. The sixth pharmacy I contacted (see below) said they would charge me £6.25 and that's what they did. I am paying less than 10% of what I was paying before.

## Why the hell would there be a 10 times difference in price between pharmacies?

Until recently, atomoxetine was under patent and only sold under the brand name Strattera. Since then, the patent has expired and atomoxetine is now made by many companies.

The NHS is by far the biggest purchaser of medicines in the UK. They use this powerful position to negotiate the lowest prices they can for medicines. The current NHS price for atomoxetine (about £50 for 28 capsules) is far higher than the real cost. I assume the NHS price was negotiated a while ago and that they could easily renegotiate for a lower price now. This will only be cost-effective for the NHS if they are buying enough atomoxetine to justify spending money on renegotiating prices.

The price that most pharmacies are charging private customers for atomoxetine looks like it is based on the NHS price (plus some profit.) The computer systems that the pharmacies use seem to do this automatically. Even the pharmacy that I pay £6.25 to, shows a price of £60.30 on the label they print out.

## Who should I buy atomoxetine from then?

I've been told that supermarket pharmacies (including Morrisons and maybe others) charge much less for atomoxetine than other pharmacies.

If you live in Manchester or Trafford then you might be able to buy atomoxetine from the same pharmacy as me:

C&T Pharmacy, Great Stone Road, Stretford, Manchester, M32 8GR
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MEETS ARE BACK!

but outside for anything advertised openly – if you want to be indoors then numbers are restricted and those meets are invitation only – you’d need to ‘join up’.

Link To Meetings Page

LGF

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We Never Left!

A quick update since some people think we’ve collapsed. Not quite!

I do most of the updating/posting and…I’ve had a bit of a time. It’s been rubbish!

The email went missing (got a new address now) and then my health went west – I won’t give you the details, it’d be tiresomely long. But I’ve been quite sick, and poorly too.

Anyway – it looks like we’ll be able to start group meetings soon so watch the meetings page – hope to see you at one.

LGF

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UK – Problems Getting A N.H.S. Diagnosis?

Some Clinical Commissioning Groups (you might know them as your health authority) are not referring adults to ADHD services and others have horrific waiting times.

Neither of these is acceptable.

One solution is to use Patient Choice (this is in England – other U.K. countries should have similar)

https://www.nhs.uk/using-the-nhs/about-the-nhs/your-choices-in-the-nhs/

If you know your area has issues with ADHD provision ask your GP to use Patient Choice immediately – they will find a list of available services that you can use and you get to choose.

Sadly the C.C.Gs hate this – they lose the money it costs (all NHS services are charged for – it’s just that you never see a bill) if it isn’t in their area. Some C.C.Gs will deny Patient Choice exists (or tell other porky pies to try to wriggle out of it) or just try putting you off with obfuscation. Persist.

Even better – get help. There are many help groups in the UK and most of them can either help out or can point out someone who can. Facebook is rammed with ADHD groups – join a couple and ask away.

But don’t sit back and just do the ‘woe-is-me’ routine – nobody notices you behind a locked door. Ask for help.

LGF

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Insurance Companies Are Scamming Us (UK)

Not This Bad

Recently part of my neighbour’s roof decided to break into my house. It wasn’t subtle about it, just smashed its way in.

OK – let’s claim against the neighbour.

Insurance company says no. Theirs, mine – they’re all in on this.

The insurance companies have decreed that special conditions were met, in this case a wind speed in excess of n at the nearest recording station.

They then close ranks and pay out only their own customers (what if I was uninsured?).

At first glance this sounds like a winner – claims get processed more quickly, there’s no fighting between companies as they jostle to establish liability, less working hours are consumed…

Hang onna minute!

Less working hours. That’s £££!

And I’m forced to claim against MY insurance. Neighbour is insured. But if I claim on mine that’s £200 excess. Who doesn’t have an excess in their policy?

Hang onna minute!

They’ve just pocketed £200 of MY money for a claim that I was FORCED to make against my insurance, not my neighbour’s. Because they say so.

They also ‘say so’ for the weather condition exception that they granted themselves.

Then, come renewal time, I’ll be a higher risk because I made a claim. More £££.

This wasn’t MY building that went into self destruct mode, it was someone else’s.

Yet, somehow, the insurance fraternity has just trousered £millions by screwing us over with a bullshit excuse, which they can invoke whenever they feel they can get away with it.

There’s collusion here. You can call it a cabal and I’m sure there are other terms that describe how the insurance companies are stealing OUR money.

Theft.

Plain and simple.

LGF

P.S. In my case a car, a restoration project, was damaged in the incident.

My house insurance doesn’t cover cars – ‘claim against your car insurance’ they say. It’s not insured. Especially not against next door’s ridge tiles blasting through a double glazed window into my, otherwise, extremely secure internal garage. It might as well have been in my living room!

If those ridge tiles had hit a lamp, or my couch, then I’d be fine. But because my property was not lamp shaped it isn’t covered. For an assault by an insured neighbour’s roof.

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ADHD Medications

There is more than one

Let’s not beat about the bush here – I’ve been round the block a bit. If I haven’t tried a particular medication myself then I’ve known people that have, some for years at a time.

I thought I’d run through some of them, in particular those available on the NHS in the UK.

The purpose – to give you a grounding in what to expect and what you can say to your practitioner.

And if you’ve got any questions about medications then ask away (if it’s not covered below); send emails to

contact@maddchester.com

Stimulant or non stimulant?

The majority of ADHD medications are stimulants – not to worry, so are coffee and tea…and sugar and a blast of cold air!

The stimulants

Essentially there are two families of stimulants – those with the active ingredient of methylphenidate hydrochloride…and the others.

The methylphenidate medications include a lot of the household names in ADHD meds – here are a few of them

Ritalin

Concerta

Equasym

Medikinet

Delmosart

Matoride

and there are quite a few names of generics of these eg Ritalina, Rilatine, Attenta, Medikinet, Metadate, Methylin, Penid, Tranquilyn, and Rubifen.

Concerta is only available as an extended release medication – it has an effective ‘life’ of up to 12 hours.

Many of the other have both instant release (last only a few hours) and extended release variants – the extended ones will have something like XL or XR or ER at the end of their names.

The difference is that the instant release ones tend to last less than six hours, the extended ones more than six hours.

If it’s a tablet then you know it’s an immediate release type, if a capsule it’s probably an extended release.

The amount off the active ingredient is given in milligrams (mg) – 5mg is usually the smallest available and, in the UK, you can get a dose up to 54mg (at the moment).

TO BE CONTINUED (what it does, the other types etc)

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Driving With ADHD 2019 Update

where the car = the DVLA

Some may have noticed that the wording on the GOV.UK website, regarding driving with ADHD (also ASDs) changed, obliging us to declare to the DVLA.

This has changed back to the original wording – you have to declare if you, or your doctor, thinks your driving is not up to standard.

My comment – if you passed your test with ADHD then the DVLA has given you their blessing i.e. said you drive OK with ADHD.

If you think your driving has got worse since then you need to declare your condition to the DVLA.


Link to GOV.UK

LGF

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Emotional Health Toolbox

1st in a series of videos

This might be helpful for someone feeling emotional distress such as PTSD.

Click this LINK for an article exploring it further.

For more videos from this series click this

 

LGF

 

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