View Full Version : Am I just sleep deprived and overworked? Or do I need to up my dose?

01-06-16, 06:28 PM
I've been doing pretty good at work lately. Perhaps some of you remember me from an earlier thread back in September... where I brought up the issue of a really crappy partner I had.

Well I was re-assigned partners twice since then. The first time was because me and that partner did not get along. The 2nd time, it was just a general shift bid that everyone partook in... so pretty much everyone got a new partner and new schedule based on seniority (A bunch of employees moved on to cover a new contracted municipal area)

The partner I had for a short time before shift-bid was pretty cool... all though he had a lot of things to say about what to do to improve my driving. He definitely told management that I improved my driving under his tutelage... and felt that I was very receptive to his training.

He had to go away on military deployment for national guard duties... so for a few weeks I would be assigned to random partners who signed up for overtime shifts to work with me until the new shift bid went into effect

My current full time permanent partner is pretty cool. Very much willing to teach. However, lately I got called into the office about my driving again... was told

1. That I have to work on slowing down over dips, and bumps in the road.
2. Erratic driving and hard stops
3. Lack of area familiarization.
4. Making safe lane changes.

The complaints did not primarily come from my main partner... just overtime partners I was working with. They asked my main partner who hemmed and hawed and admitted that there may be an ounce of truth to some of the complaints.

I have also noticed myself making really stupid mistakes. Like today, I forgot how to exit a parking lot that I had been to numerous times.

I was assured by my supervisor this wasn't going into my personel file... and that this was just to ensure that I take advantage of company training to improve my driving performance. He insisted that if he felt my driving was unsafe, he would have pulled me off the trucks by now.... and to not overthink this. That this is just a "Coaching notice".

Problem is... I HAVE been overthinking this and it's making me a nervous wreck. I am so worried about losing my job. Ever since I stopped working with my first partner (who was a bit of a tyrant, with a well known reputation and being given much worse names), my job has been 100% enjoyable. I have been the happiest I've been in years. I haven't felt depressed at all since I stopped working with that ... other partner.

In fact... I've actually taken on *A LOT* of overtime since just before Thanksgiving. Pretty much have been working 6 days a week on average since then... 12 hour shifts. Perhaps I'm over-doing this? Admittedly, my sleep debt is really racking up.

Do these problems sound like a case of maybe needing to up my dose for Adderall? Or is this likely just a case of me needing to just ease off the overtime... and catch up on sleep? I have been feeling increasingly irritable lately. I haven't had time to prepare my own meals... forcing me to eat junk food as well. I do work nights... so sleeping in the day is actually... really hard for me.

01-06-16, 07:05 PM
Any time anyone asks this question, the answer is easy to give but hard to take.

If you think you may be low on sleep, then you are. Nothing fixes lack of sleep (or bad sleep) except good sleep. Nothing.

Oh, you can drink coffee for one day, and you'll get by. But after your one day of successfully forcing yourself to cover for the sleep you missed, you're basically out of luck after that. You have to sleep well. Nothing will ever replace that. (Sorry.)

Increasing medication won't help - except for the one day thing as mentioned above. Second day is a write-off. Third day is a disaster.

P.S. ... that "one day" thing - it's a maximum of about one day per week in my experience. Some people might say more than a week, or a little less. But basically it's the fact that you can't successfully do it two days in a row, and you need several days' recovery (with good sleep on every one of those) after it happens.

DJ Bill
01-06-16, 07:10 PM
Sounds like you are violating DOT hours of service regs, maybe not intentionally, but enough to get you out of balance. Do you do better after a few days off?

I ended up leaving my driving job after I was away from it a while and discovered what life off the road was like. I was doing oversize escorting work and the stress was way too much for healthy living.

Now get off your computer and get some sleep!:lol::p:D

01-07-16, 10:06 AM
If you're looking to improve your sleep as best you can, look at materials on sleep hygeine and do everything you can to improve it. For me, a strict sleep routine is the number one thing for my mental health.

As far as the driving performance goes, ask your boss who brought those complaints to you what resources you can access to improve your driving (e.g. additional teaching) Stress that you've been aware of the areas you need to improve and while things have improved, they haven't progressed as much as you'd like. The message is you acknowledge what needs to change and are enthusiastic and motivated to make those changes.

There are some guides for drivers with ADD out there, and if I recall one of the big differences from non-ADD driving is the need for what I call a "chosen distraction". Music, conversation, or some other stimulation that is engaging enough that your brain doesn't seek other distractions, so the majority of your focus can stay on your driving. I can't remember the other suggestions.

Just remember that while it's your life, you don't need to struggle through these things solo. You're already accepting support from your partner, and I'm sure there are other supports out there as well.

Finally, remember that your job is a small part of your life. Attend to yourself and the other parts of your life as well, and the job may be less overwhelming.

01-07-16, 04:45 PM
Just my 2 cents. I think you were an ambulance driver if memory serves me correct.

I do a driving job and I find if anything if someone's next to me don't worry. Make sure you live with order and health.

Sounds like in a way you have to be right on every time with how you drive. I would plan this out a bit, and any advice or directions follow closely.

I will say medication helps a lot ,makes it more fun, I think mindfulness helps more; 100% confidence , zero anxiety.

01-08-16, 08:19 PM
I am of the opinion that depending whats going on in your life at any given moment will determine how much of med you need at the time.You have to live your life to the dose your taking.If something changes like you go to many nights without a good nights sleep or if you are over stressed the dose that normally works for you will seem like it's not working anymore.Sometimes you can get by with less sleep and sometimes even if you get enough sleep you still get days your not gonna feel like the med is working as well or at all.The med does not make us not ADD anymore.It just reduces the symptoms. Some days better then others.