Friday, July 12, 2013

The Diagnosis

His name was Dameon.  He was a 14 year old black boy with darling spring like curls.  But honestly, I thought this kid was going to be the death of me.  I had Dameon in my second year of teaching.  Having already taught at an alternative high school, a correctional facility, and a regular high school I thought I had seen it all.  (Ha. Ha.)  When Dameon's parents came to back to school two days before school started and warned me that their son had ADHD I just smiled and said, "Thanks for letting me know."  but really I was thinking, "What 14 year old boy doesn't?"  Oh boy was I in for a treat.  He was the sweetest kid and he tried so so hard but no matter what he couldn't sit still!  I tried everything!  The best solution to this kid's ADHD I could find was to have him walk circles around the classroom as we had lectures or discussions.  As long as he could be moving AND he took his meds, he did pretty well.  But you can imagine my concern when I was told he would be in my class when the whole school traveled up to Hale Theater to watch some random never heard of play.

I did everything I could think of to make sure this kid and everyone else would survive this play.  I brought snacks, I made him run around the building 3 times before we were seated, and I bribed him with a free homework pass if he sat still.  And of course I made him sit right next me.

The play was long.  The play was so so so boring.  But I'll never forget the comment Dameon said to me as we were FINALLY walking out of that building,

"Miss Parson, not to be rude, but I think you have ADHD worse than I do!"

It was then and there that I realized I have ADHD.

Now there is no questionable that I am completely functional.  I got through 19 years of education and have held down a full time job for 8.  I have found great techniques to help me cope with my ADHD. Working out every day, I chewed a pack of gum through every 3 hour class of grad school, and of course most importantly caffeine.  For ADHD caffeine actually slows down the brain so I found before I had to sit through anything  of length like church, school, or even sadly a movie if I drank a diet coke I'd usually survive.... but then if you remember 13 weeks ago... I gave up caffeine.   And I hate to say it, it makes my life miserable.  So I decided it was time to find a solution.

I visited my family practice doctor and he referred me to a specialist.  I filled out the questionnaire beforehand that was a lot like an ADHD test my mom made my dad and I take years ago that concluded we both had ADHD.

One question the I found very interesting is, "Do you find yourself finishing people's sentences for them."  (Sorry to everyone that I do that to) (How annoying)

When I met with the Dr. one question that she asked about that I thought was very interesting was about how I take test.  ADHD students I have had tend to be aloof and take a long time to take tests.  So when I told the Dr. that I am always the first one to be done with any test, and I have never ran out of time taking a test, even the ACT or GRE I excepted her to say that clearly I don't have ADHD.

She had follow up questions to this that led her to describe my ADHD is like my mind is a motor and it just keeps going.  I have to always be going.  I go crazy when I can't keep going.  When she said this it was like music to my ears.  I had never described it like that but it is exactly what I have always felt!

When she finally said, "Yes, you definitely have ADHD, now we need to figure out how to make your life a little less miserable."  It was such a relief.  It was like finally I could accept the fact that it's not normal to struggle like I have.  It's not normal to look at the clock in Sacrament Meeting every 30 seconds or have to go to the bathroom at least once in every movie in order to not get yelled at by the person in front of you for kicking their chair.  Later my friend Joanie said, "So how do you feel about the diagnosis?  Are you bummed it's now real?"  Of course my answer was no.

I'm in love with my diagnosis because now I feel like I understand myself better.  And what a relief.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

i'm so happy for you!