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Old 03-17-03, 07:55 PM
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Post My life story and has anyone had a SPECT Brain scan study?

Hi everyone, I'm a 45 year old white male in northern california. I missed being diagnosed with ADD when I was a child due to my (unknown at the time) superior coping ability. At that time if you didn't exhibit certain behavior you were not diagnosed with ADD. I was always one the of the smartest people in my class. If you look at my school reports you can see my IQ dropping every year, yet in some areas I was still very smart. I, however, could not comprehend algebra. I changed schools to a private academy and ending up having to go to summer school to even graduate high school. I started college but dropped out after I found myself sitting in the wrong psych class, wondering where my friends were. I finally figured out I was there on the wrong day. Note, last time I went to see about going back to college, I was reading and comprehending at a post graduate level, but my math was about 8th grade.

I stole 3 cars when I was 13, my family put me into therapy and I was diagnosed as having "an adjustment reaction to adolescence" !!! Can you believe that?? NO meds were prescribed at that time, just talk therapy. One of the church counselors even tried to molest me, but I told him NO, but didn't tell anyone as we didn't discuss those things back then.

I went untreated until I was hospitalized for exhaustion in Lake Placid in 1980. The docs said I was bi-polar and put me on Lithium, yuck. Shortly thereafter, the meds weren't working, I was actually in a stupor most of the time. I stopped my meds altogether and in 1993 saw a 20/20 special about ADD. I immediately called Kaiser and they said that Adults didn't have it. Wrong. I insisted they treat me and was started on Ritalin, it was a miracle for a few months, but it stopped working. I am so sensitive to meds that I could tell the difference between generic and name brand, not kidding. Dr. Daniel Amen's work is demonstrating the different areas of the brain that aren't working properly and he has determined that some drugs help one type of ADD and hurt another. It all makes sense, I tried my very best to be compliant with the meds, but here I am up the creek. Now, 10 years later and after trying every drug known, except the new one Strattera. I find myself heading back to the hospital tomorrow 3-18 in hopes of getting Kaiser to pay for the brain scan at the Amen clinic in Fairfield, Ca. I am scared and all alone. I don't have family in California and it appears my friends are fair weather ones. I have had approx 40-50 jobs in 4 separate careers. I've lived in 16 states, had so many wonderful career opportunities, but I would do something stupid and quit over the smallest thing or get fired for making moronic comments. Sound familiar? I have been with the same company now for almost 4.5 years, yet, now I'm having to take a medical leave because I cannot get a single thing done. The latest dumb thing I did was meet a lady on Matchmaker last June, got engaged to her in November, bought a huge house, then she left right before Valentines day. One note, I had never done "crank" before and tried it with her. Yes, I stayed up all night several times and eventually went into a hypomanic phase. I finally told my therapist what I had done and he about fell out of his chair. He was convinced I was just in bi-polar. He's not too happy with me. Back in 93 I was doing almost pure cocaine and made a video tape, plus, my now ex-wife (who is a RN and has had specific training with drug abuse) did a clinical observation of me. I still have her notes, saying that I was nicer, more calm, better with my children and she liked me better. For the first time in my life I felt "awake" like the movie Awakenings and I wanted my ex to take notes. I could sleep normally, eat normally and I heard sounds I had never heard before from my favorite Todd Rundgren albums that I had listened to for 20 years. My cousin is a neurologist and advised me to stop the coke as the neurons would eventually stop firing. I havne't touched coke in over 3 years.

I took the online ADHD test from the Amen clinic last month and I was highly probable for all 5 types. That very same night, I told a co-worker of mine that I had all of them and was going to let the Amen clinic know. Lo and behold the next morning I went to the bookstore and bought the Healing ADD book and there I was as the Ring of Fire, #6. I have spent the last month educating my employee assistance insurance company and Kaiser as to what I have and I'm so GD frustrated that I'm getting ready to go the media. I called Jeremy Katz who was the editor of the Healing ADD book and thanked him for believing in Dr. Amen, this was before I found out I can't get it paid for. I'm at the point of calling him back to let him know that I'm out of luck. If I hadn't put all of my savings into buying this house and getting engaged, then money wouldn't be the problem. In fact, I could charge it, total cost is around $5000, BUT, it is thePRINCIPLE that I am stuck on. I have now progressed in to mild OCD and the anxiety has kept me stuck inside for about 3 weeks. All the docs want to do is give me Depakote, Zyprexa (olanzapine) and Trileptal(oxcarbazepine). I gain weight, lose my hair, get the shakes, become sluggish and just feel dead inside. Sure they calm me down, but do NOTHING about my ADHD behavior. I get stuck on the smallest task, then overwhelmed and I have about 5000 projects going on at the same time. When I look back at my behavior over the past 32 years it should be obvious to any professional who understands ADHD that I have the Ring of Fire,subtype #6. Finding one of these guys is not easy. Kaiser says the brain scans are experimental and won't pay and my employee assistance insurance won't pay because they call the scans "medical". Of course they will pay for me to go to a rehab clinic for 6 weeks if I want to claim drug abuse and bi-polar.Rehab just sucks, AA NA, gimme a break. We all now that most of us were doing drugs to get normal, without even knowing it. At this point in time, I am not doing any street drugs, hardly drink, don't even smoke pot (which has been my friend over the years).I cry over TV commercials, but cannot share my feelings with my family. Due to this latest crisis, my ex-wife went to family court to get sole custody of our girls,9 and 12, which makes me cry big-time, and there is nothing I can do but to admit she is the more stable parent, heck, most everyone is more stable than me. If I hadn't been hospitilized in late 2001 due to being on Valium (which Kaiser, in all it's wisdom gave me for my neck problems) I would have been number one in the northern california region for customer service, turns out I was #2 by only a couple of points. OH, I forgot to tell you I've had 19 knee operations, two elbow surgeries, two bulging discs in my neck (wrong part of me to be bulging), separated shoulder, broken thumb and surgery on my nose from football, so I can't do much in the way of exercise without aggravating my arthritis. I hate swimming since I almost drowned in St. Croix.

I did very, very well financially last year as a loan officer but not a dime so far this year. Now as I sit in bed, unkempt, in a messy house I can't even find the Healing ADD book, lol. Gee, what a rant!! Any suggestions????

P.S. My oldest brother died from alcohol in 92, my older brother was diagnosed as depressed, my younger sister has had panic attacks, ( me too). On both sides of my family there is a long history of alcohol and mental problems, yet in 2003 I cannot get the proper help. So there I'm done, I hope to hear from someone soon. I'm hanging on the best I can, but not a day goes by that I don't look at the old bottle of Valium and go hmmmm, but, I want to live and help my daughters. If, I can get myself reasonably funtional soon and keep my job, then my mission is to try and help just ONE PERSON in the world not go through the hell I've lived. Just in case someone asks, I was raised very religiously, Southern Baptist and Nazarene and my favorite line is my parents switched to Presbyterians so they could drink in public. I must have been one bad guy in a previous life. I've prayed on my knees to no avail. so please don't go there. Thank you so very much for letting me tell my story. Take care. Ok nap time. bye bye bye, Kel
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Old 03-17-03, 08:27 PM
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irish_lady4 irish_lady4 is offline

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Hi ring of fire
welcome, wow what a story im add myself and will have to read your whole story a few times before i get it all!!!!!!
nice to meet you
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Old 03-17-03, 08:31 PM
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Tara Tara is offline
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Welcome "ring_of_fire"!!!

I am so glad you found us here at ADD Forums!

Thank you so much sharing your story with us.

I really hope that you find ADD Forums a place that you can get support.

I haven't had a brain spect done but I really like Dr Amen's work with AD/HD and other brain issues.

I started a thread in the ADDults section about the Subtypes too.

You may want to check out the Peer Coaching Forum as another means of Support
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Old 03-17-03, 09:07 PM
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Andrew Andrew is offline
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Wow and welcome Ring_of_Fire! You certainly have experienced alot of ups & downs!! I can certainly relate with much of what you've experienced, and thank you for sharing your story with the forum. This is a great place, with lots of terrific, supportive members. Enjoy your new home!!!
The end is near...I don't have time to shoe shop for Andi!

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Old 03-17-03, 09:18 PM
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ring_of_fire ring_of_fire is offline

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Thanks Big, it appears you have spent a great deal of time with this site and I very much appreciate your efforts. I just discovered this site the other day. I was very nervous to write what I did, but what is even scarier is that I have had a whole lifetime of ups and downs and all arounds. Spent a great deal of time just looking for things, lol.
Most people won't believe my stories, but I have always been able to prove that I tell the truth.
My therapist keeps telling me to be proud that I'm still around and a free man who (most of the time can be productive). Maybe I can help my fellow man via this forum, my life has to have some meaning besides the "lifestyle" I get to enjoy.
I'll keep you posted about what happens, tommorow is my D-day, don't wanna go, but I will. If anyone can get the HMO's to pay attention to Brain scans, it will be me. The most stubborn guy is here and I'm very motivated. I promise to do everything I can so future ADD'ers can receive the proper diagnosis and treatment we deserve. Thanks for your input. Take care, Kel P.S. Funny, Bush just gave Iraq 48 hours to get rid of Saddam, last time I was in the hospital, 9-11 happened. OMG. Bye
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Old 03-22-03, 05:54 AM
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Hey Ring
I can relate to a lot of what you wrote, but by God's grace ( I mean that) I haven't had to radical up's & down's...if not for Him, I certainly would have.

I was very depressed today and can relate to the feeling of aloneness. I'm 40 and am out of work, need to get diagnosed, and am going nuts trying to select a Dr to do this--either a Psychiatrist or psychologist. I keep getting conflicting reports. I have deep trust issues, so am not comfortable putting myself in the hands of others. I hope your scan went OK. I live in So Calif and also have no insurance. So, I am really trying to be wise in my decision.
I don't want ADD or ADHD to be an excuse, but to understand my patterns and to develop better coping skills. The simple tips I've gained by researching thus far have proved to be helpful like understanding why I used to get so tired shopping for food in supermarkets or why I was always depressed after playing a gig as a drummer. I look forward to dealing with the depression and brian fogginess, the anxiety, the poor sleep issues. I also want to stop smoking. I start when I get all wound up inside and HATE it.
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Old 03-22-03, 06:53 PM
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Hi Pocketplayer: Welcome...I'm also in Southern California...just wanting to say welcome...I too am 40ish...I relate to just about everything you said...the depression, the fogginess, the anxiety, poor sleep. Trouble trusting people? Oh's why outpatient therapy has never worked for me...psychiatrist, yes. Therapist, no thank you. Not one on one. I know you will find a Dr. in time who will give you a proper diagnosis...perhaps go to one of the medical centers here in Southern California or one of the county hospitals where ability to pay may not be necessary in order to be seen?

No I don't believe ADD is an excuse but certainly people who don't understand it will make us THINK it is...And I agree grocery shopping is exhausting with or without a list...the overwhelming nature of it all is truly amazing....when did they develop ten different kinds of Corn Flakes? Good luck with the smoking. Incidentally I've been told that Wellbutrin, also known as Zyban has helped some people stop smoking...Well good luck and welcome.

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Old 03-26-03, 02:48 PM
Lafnalot Lafnalot is offline
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I never gave a proper hello due to getting confused over the sudden inflow of people and posts, forgive me. Welcome and I look forward to more posts from you.
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