Took Elvanse 30mg with breakfast (scrambled eggs on toast) at 8.22am. Still lazing around in bed at 10.17. It is Saturday, so fairly normal behaviour, but I expected to be bouncing about by now doing stuff. Not sure if I'm disappointed or relieved as I do like my Saturday morning laze around. Dr told me to take medication with muesli not a fatty breakfast, but we had run out of milk, so scrambled eggs with a tiny bit of oil and scrape of lurpak lighter on toast. Couldn't bring myself to use no fat at all, I am an ex chef for god sake! Anyway, apparently the fat stops it being absorbed as well, so maybe why I'm not feeling anything. Will have to stock up on milk. I'm glad I'm not feeling speedy, I already have a problem with clenching my teeth from taking Sertraline (anxiety), I was wearing out the back of my front teeth from clenching and have just got this under control. Anyway, blah blah, it is raining out, so even less motivation to get out of bed, could do a million and one indoor things, but cba!
Haha, thank you for reminding how these meds work, even though the doc cleary explained it, there was so much info that I had totally forgotten. I still have the association of amphetamine = speed = jumping around like a loon! Anyway, so far, I haven't felt much different. I'm really hungry at the moment, just waiting for a pizza to cook, and I do feel slightly strange, but I quite often feel odd when I'm hungry (low blood sugar, hangry was invented for me) so probably just that! Doc also said it is likely that I will need to up the dose, so I'm basically just being impatient, what a surprise!!! :-)
So, yesterday was a massive anticlimax, I was even more slothful than usual, I normally plan to do stuff and don't do it and give myself a hard time, yesterday was just complete CBA even looking at my to do list. I also felt a bit groggy/hazy. I spent far too long reading this site and people's accounts of Elvanse not working or having weird unwanted personality side effects, and then started feeling really anxious/restless.
I decided to take the dogs for an early walk, started feeling sick while getting ready, but went anyway, and by the time I got back I felt much better/back to normal. I have to keep reminding myself how bad the first week or so of sertraline was and how much better that has made me feel.
Ended up making quite a complicated dinner and finishing the socks that I'm knitting and watching the tennis, I noticed that I did not feel as stressed out as I usually do when watching Andy Murray play haha, I wonder if he has some from of ADHA, he certainly suffers from lack of focus at times. Anyway, I had a beer, after having eaten loads and carried on drinking lots of water, probably not a very good start, but it was Saturday and I hadn't felt anything from the meds since about 2pm, went to bed at 1am, but that is fairly normal and was watching the tennis which was on late due to the time difference.
Woke up early-ish and didn't want to go back to bed, got up and sorted out muesli, I ummed and ahhed about taking the elvanse as yesterday was a bit of a wash out and I am taking Belle (dog number 2) to Flyball today and I don't want to feel weird, but reasoned that the sooner I get into the swing of this, the sooner I will find out if it works etc.
Faffed about a bit on the internet, I have found a website called CorePysch which is a massive information resource on ADHD, medication and nutrition, written/owned by a Dr Charles Parker. It is american, and there is so much on it that I can't get my head round it, but one of his main thrusts is that meds working or not working can be as much to do with digestion and nutrition as anything else (I am paraphrasing badly, but to be honest, I am still trying to get my head round it). Anyway, it is very interesting to me as I have IBS, and lactose intolerance and also a high metabolism. I don't really understand how it is all linked, but I am going to spend some fun internet/procrastination time finding out.
I then went for a run, this is a mini achievement, I have been running since the beginning of the year, but keep getting injuries and my latest lay off as been over 6 weeks. I'm now recovered from the injury, but have been putting off getting out there again, partly because I feel like I will be so unfit and partly because I'm scared of injuring myself again. I went to see a running coach while injured and he analysised (spelling?) my technique and where I was going wrong. Anyway, I digress, the important thing is that I went out this morning and did it. I ran for 4 kms at a really slow pace and tried to think about my form, posture and breathing.
While I was doing this, it occurred to me that my approach to running was/is so coloured by my condition. I was so bothered with running faster and for longer that I didn't think about how I was doing it, ie posture and breathing. I have always been so focused on the end result and not how I get there. By making small improvements in my posture and breathing, I can be a better runner with less injuries and build up the pace and distance more solidly. Definitely feels like an analogy for life at the moment, always being so impatient to get there and not giving a dam about how I get there or what I f*ck up in the process, hmmm, on that note, I'm going to wrap this up and see how the rest of the day goes.
Yesterday was good, going running felt like a real achievement, it was good to be doing it again and for the rest of the morning I felt really good, almost like hyper focus mode, but not focusing on anything in particular, just generally feeling good about life and having that feeling like I could do anything. Flyball was also much fun, however I did have a few odd moments where I felt a bit dizzy, luckily I remember to bring a bottle of water and kept chugging on that, it seemed to help.
I pretty much crashed when I got home at about 3.30, really tired and didn't move from the sofa till I had to cook dinner. I really didn't want to but my dad kept looking at me as if to say when are you going to get dinner on, and it was my turn. Once I got up and about, I seemed to get some energy back and started to feel back to normal. Went to bed too late watching tennis again, but was asleep as soon as head hit the pillow. did not drink.
Woke up early today (Monday), tried to get back to sleep, but remembered reading about Elvanse being better taken early in the morning and also had to walk the dogs as dad was leaving early. Breakfast muesli and tea, took pill, then went out with dogs, then to work. Feeling quite good and quite chatty, but not really noticed anything else going on, not feeling motivated to do any real work and procrastinated by looking at links to diet and adhd, went down a wormhole about some crazy diet which is supposed to cure everything, feeling a bit fazed at all the info out there. Went for a walk at lunch time, felt good, then took a bit too long to actually eat my lunch and now I feel a bit odd, trying to organise to actually get my lunch on a plate seemed very hard and complicated.
Body feels quite heavy at the moment, bit like when I crashed yesterday. Timings probably match up as well, took pill at 8.30am ish yesterday and crashed about 3.30pm ish. Took pill at 7ish this morning and crashing a bit now at 1.30 = 6/7 hours (by the way, it took me bloody ages to work that out, feeling really really slow).
So far, no mega side effects, have noticed dry mouth and occasionally feeling sick, occasional spacy feeling. But no massive feeling of improvement either, ho hum!
Feeling really rubbish and irritated now, crashing at home is one thing, crashing at work is a whole different story. Rang mental health unit to book follow up appoint and to pass on message via them to the doc re the meds and got told that my coordinator is on holiday and no one else can help, and she was really patronising about it. Not so bothered about the appointment, but got stroppy about the meds, not waiting till next monday for a message to be passed on, and then who knows how long a wait after that.
She tried to tell me that I should wait a few weeks, as that is how long they take to start working. I informed her that was not the case with these meds, she has passed on a message, but I was annoyed by then and didn't say what I really wanted to. Am now annoyed as over reacted, but I know that he said that i would probably need to increase the dose fairly rapidly, but to start on the lowest to see how I respond to it. Anyway, its done now, will see what happens, should have just emailed in the first place rather than ringing when I was already feeling strange.
Also feeling like I'm over analyzing everything even more than normal, arrggg.
I am very pleased to report that the message got passed on to the dr and he replied that I could take another pill. I decided to space them out over the day, one first thing and the second one after lunch. I must have left it a bit late as I had nearly an hour of feeling like I was going to fall asleep at my desk, and then I perked up and felt a bit more normal.
I do feel a bit jittery, both in the morning and this afternoon once the meds have kicked in. But have felt pretty chilled this evening since dinner. I don't really feel like I'm noticing any particular improvement in not being distracting etc and I feel like I'm being slower at taking things in, like having to really concentrate on reading or typing.
On the other hand, I haven't had a drink since Saturday (I honestly can't remember the last time that I had an alcohol free day), I've been running again, and I'm not struggling to get up like I normally do, so maybe something is subtlety shifting.
I had my first medication review on Friday and learn some interesting info, first of all, the fact that I was getting crashes about 6/7 hours after taking the Elvance indicates that I'm a fast metaboliser. This means my liver is doing an excellent job, but also that I 'burn' through the meds really quickly. I had moved up to 60mg a day and my pulse was completely normal, so I've been prescribed 70mg, plus up to 2 x 5mg dex that I can take first thing and in the afternoon to boost me up and get through the whole day. I'm going to try the 70mg for a bit to see how I get on with that, then add in the dex if needed. Secondly, even though I don't feel like I've had a dramatic improvement, some areas have improved, such as feeling less techy and irritated by everything, also not wanting to drive really fast all the time. Apparently that indicates that it is having some impact on my frontal lobe which reduces impulsive. The other stuff, such as motivation, distraction etc can take a few months on medication to improve. I imagine that some of it is habit as much as anything, 40 years of procrastinating is not going to be shaken off that easily. Anyway, it all sounds good, and I think I have my expectations slightly more in check :-)
After a week of feeling great on 70mg elvance (also no drinking during the week), I didn't take it yesterday as I was going out and planning to drink. I didn't have loads, but didn't want to overload my poor old liver. Anyway, took meds this morning and have felt gross all morning, feeling like I'm going to be sick, a bit speedy, like I should be doing something, but can't think what I want to do, typing/spelling had been a real challenge as well. I have also realised over the weekend that I'm going to Barcelona on Tuesday and I just occurred to me that I may not be able to take my meds with them being controlled. Hmmmm!
I haven't updated in a while, what with going away and then my birthday at the end of October, I was involved in a lot of activities that involved drinking and so I didn't take my medication very consistently. I also had a really horrible argument with my sister while drunk and ended up feeling depressed for about a week. When I started back on my meds, I went straight back on to 70mg and it made me feel really rubbish, upset stomach and jittery, so I dropped back down to 30 as I still had some left and worked back up slowly. I also didn't add the IR dex as I wasn't sure how that would go down. Anyway, what will one thing and another, this will be my first week taking 70mg and 5mg dex in the morning, and I'm going to add in a 5mg dex this afternoon.
I still feel like I'm getting the same effects as mentioned before, ie calmer, less irritable and I also feel more like being social. I had been in a big funk for the last 12 months for various reasons, and as I live in a very isolated place it became very easy to isolate myself further by not accepting invites to stuff and not reaching out to my friends. My best friends all live some distance away, I used to live in London and then Sydney, and it is really hard to make friends when you are older and live in the middle of no where. But having long distance friends is about the worst combo for me as remembering to get in touch and not enjoying being on the phone don't make keeping in touch that easy. Luckily my very best friend has suffered with depression on and off (well that is not lucky for her!) so she gets that I'm quite flaky as she can be that way as well.
Anyway, back to my point, I had effectively cut myself off, but since taking the meds I feel much more like reaching out. I got in touch with a friend who's birthday I have forgotten a million times, and she never forgets mine. I convinced myself that she would be so cross, but I got an email back from her fairly quickly and we might even be meeting up in the new year. I've also done a few more social things locally, and I'm seriously thinking about moving, at least to the nearest town, but then I have the dilemma about leaving my dad on his own and also the dogs, as I wouldn't be able to have them with working full time, and it would be unfair to leave them with my dad as he is 77 and does find them a bit too much at times. I've gone off on a tangent again, but the meds do seem to be having a beneficial effect in this area, which I hadn't anticipated.
On the other hand, the bit that I was really hoping it would be effective on is my ability to focus/concentrate/not get distracted. I do think that there has been a slight improvement in this area, but it has not been in the way I had hoped. I am still finding most of my job really boring, and very easy to get distracted from. The difference is that I tend to find a slightly more productive way to get distracted, ie focusing on and getting very involved in things that are only slightly important to the main role of my job. Or even doing something that is completely un-work-related but important to me, ie writing this post. It would not be seen as productive at all to some people, but it is better than wasting hours on internet shopping sites or whatever that I was doing previously. I'm also really struggling to move forward with some personal projects, I think I just have too many things that I want to do, but I don't want to give up on any of them either.
Anyway, the upshot is that I'm still not sure if the meds are being effective, or if I'm just expecting too much from them. I'm also wondering if I should try one of the other types, as some people seem to mention mph is better for concentration, but that it has made them feel worse in other ways, ie anxiety, and as I'm already prone that, I do not want to risk anything that would increase that. If someone told me that the effect that I'm getting now is the best that I'm going to get and that I need to do coaching or whatever to make progress on the other areas, then I think I would be fine with that, it is the thought that I could be missing out on something that would have more effect that is unsettling me.
How much more frustrating can ADHD be? It appears in lots of different ways, there is no specific test, everyone reacts differently to the meds, even what you eat with the meds affects how it works. It couldn't just be simple could it???
Something of huge significance happened at the weekend...
I finally tackled the dreaded task of sorting out my clothes! I have been talking about doing this for over a year, no joke. I thought I was a hoarder before I was diagnosed as I never seem to be able to throw anything away, even if it is damaged, and so I've managed to build up the most enormous amount of junk and clothes and all kinds of cr*p. I've since realised that it has more to do with the fact that the task is so boring, and it also involves decision making about what to chuck, which stresses me out.
Anyway, I woke up on Saturday, feeling fairly normal, planning to have a relaxing day, and I went to get something out of my wardrobe, and boom, next thing I'm pulling out the contents of all of my draws and shelves and all the crap in the spare room that I pretend doesn't exist because it is behind a closed door, and I get to work sorting it out. I did a couple of hours on Sat, and a little bit more on Sunday, and it is nearly done. I feel marvellous!!! I admit, that the task is not finished, there is still a tiny bit of stuff to review and there is a medium sized pile of stuff that I can't decide about, but there is a huge pile to get rid off and all the keep stuff has been put away properly.
I know that actually getting rid of the get rid stuff is going to be a bit hard, there is some nice stuff in there, and I feel like I should at least attempt to sell it, but I also think that could just be adding in a task that will really stress me out, and therefore should be avoided to make sure that I actually finish the process.
I'm guessing this will not win the award for the most exciting post today, but I can't say how pleased I am about it!!!