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Old 10-02-14, 12:12 AM
Cantero Cantero is offline
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Finally getting treatment (Long post)

Hi everyone, this post will kinda be my introduction here, as well as some questions and concerns I have since I am very new to all of this.

This post will not be short, so for anyone who takes the time to read through my brief life history, I want to thank you.

The beginning of my post will be a history on me, the symptoms I experience, and the effects they have on my life.
The last half of my post will be about my symptoms and the effects I have had since I started Adderall, and also my questions and concerns that I have right now.

I'm a 22 year old male, and for as long as I can remember I've been an un-organized mess. I have been through 7 jobs from the time I turned 16, I was kicked out of school twice, once in middle school, once in high school, in elementary school I was in a special education class for a while and I never had good grades...in-fact I wouldn't be surprised if I had the worst grades in my school considering the fact I NEVER did homework and most of the time I slept in class.
As a child I was extremely impulsive, always getting in fights, saying rude things to people because they did something I didn't like, punching people over nothing. One particular instance that has stuck with me for some reason is in elementary school I told a girl I would kill her because she wouldn't let me borrow her pencil, in my mind it was a joking type thing and I didn't even really think about what I said...I just blurted it, but a massive ordeal was made over it, which is understandable, but that was the type of impulsive I was.
Friendships and relationships with other people were always difficult for me, I always did something to upset someone, conversations where hard for me I could never explain what I thought in a way other people would understand, it always seemed like no matter how hard I tried people just couldn't get me. This lead to me becoming very introverted and anti-social.

My impulsiveness has diminished greatly especially when it comes to interacting with strangers, over time I began to realize it's not a socially acceptable thing, in-fact I tend to over-think how I deal with other people now...which has it's own problems.
I am still extremely impulsive in other ways though, I can't seem to save money, I get angry very quickly and when I get angry I get even more impulsive, it's a vicious cycle that has lead to easily thousands of dollars of broken objects, and many ruined relationships...the more comfortable I am with a person the more impulsive I become with them.
I find it hard to really do anything that I'm not extremely interested in which will require prolonged or strenuous thought, I get bored with it and literally cannot focus on it, typically if I start a project that I do have interest in I will spend more time looking for things I have lost than actually working on the project, and in the process of looking for something I will loose something else, it is extremely frustrating and leads to my anger cycle.
I often over-look details which leads to problems, while trying to figure out the problems it leads to even more over-looked details, and more problems...which leads to frustration...which leads to anger.

This is how life went for me, from elementary school, all the way up until recently.
I always knew I was different, I always felt like I was lacking something it seemed everyone else had, but I never attributed it to anything, and I never sought help for it.
For a few years I smoked marijuana daily, and it helped somewhat...it gave me more focus, calmed me down quite a bit and helped with my constant boredom, but it sapped my motivation...I couldn't bring myself to do things on my own.

I was diagnosed with ADHD as a young child by a psychiatrist, sometime around the beginning of elementary school, he prescribed me some medication that I don't remember but my mother told me that I said I didn't like how it made me feel, I told her it made me feel slow and like a zombie and she didn't like the fact I was on medication in the first place, so at most I only took it a few times.
I didn't remember this until recently, in-fact I didn't remember it at all...I knew I went to a psychiatrist about something when I was young but it wasn't until I asked my mother about it that I found out it was ADHD.
I was talking with a friend and at some point in the conversation he mentioned his ADHD, and described what it was like for him, I could relate to so many thing he talked about, it was almost as if he was describing me...maybe this is why I get along with him so well.
The conversation lead to me doing research and finally asking my mother about what I went to the psychiatrist about when I was a child.

Fast forward to today and I find myself in a relationship with a wonderful woman who tries her best to understand and work with my issues, I never have to wonder if she loves me because all I need to think about is the fact she is still by my side even after all I have done.
We recently (6 months ago) found out we are pregnant with a daughter, I am very excited about it but at the same time I am deathly terrified about being a father in my current state, my father was never around when I was growing up, I don't even know what he looks like, so I came to the decision at a very young age that I would never do that when I had children, because I know how much it hurt and bothered me once I got to an age where I realized what it truly meant to have no father.

I have been at my current (7th) job for about a month now, it is a factory packaging position and involves keeping up with very fast paced lines and putting the product into boxes, different products require different counts and orientations, and I am already one point away from being fired (I have a total of three), one was for calling off, another for leaving early, and another for too many incorrect product count in the boxes (Meaning a customer has called and complained they got shorted too many times).
The first week of my job wasn't too bad, it's always like that though, then I get to the point where it becomes mundane.
I get excruciatingly bored to the point I feel like I might just break down, the only thing I can focus on is not being there and not doing the tasks I have been assigned, no matter the consequences.
This is how jobs have always went for me, it eventually leads to me either quitting, or calling off too much and being fired.
Even when I try to power through it and focus, I get distracted by EVERYTHING, sights, sounds, even my own mind...it leads to me making stupid mistakes and under-performing compared to people I started with, that is how I get when I am doing something I don't "like", and what I "like" changes more often than I change underwear.
All of this has caused me to get depressed on numerous occasions, nothing clinical...but more of a "fed up why even bother" type of depression.

A couple of weeks ago I decided enough is enough, it's not fair for my girlfriend, it's not fair for my child, and it's not fair for me.
I went to a doctor about it, I was told I would need to provide documentation of my diagnosis before anything can be done about it, any paper work from my childhood diagnosis has been lost, and my mother has no idea what psychiatrist it would have been.
I made an appointment with a psychologist, since I have no insurance until after my 90 days at my job, I had to pay out of pocket...and it wasn't cheap.
I talked with her for a few hours describing my childhood, my problems in school, at work, and at home...she was very nice and informed me her son actually has ADHD, I was a lot more comfortable with her and the process in general than I thought I would be.
At the end of the session she informed me that I am classic ADHD in her opinion, she touched briefly on medication and how she believed it would greatly benefit me, we also planned to have regular sessions once my insurance kicks in to supplement the medication.

Armed with my diagnosis I went back to a doctor, it is a different doctor than the one that referred me as my original referring doctor is only available to me for free on Mondays and Fridays, and I wanted immediate help because I could not afford to loose my job.
The original appointment was fairly awkward as the psychologist explained to me these medications are heavily regulated, and anyone seeking them is subject to intense scrutiny...to make matters worse the doctor works at a community clinic angled towards low income individuals.
When I got there I had just gotten off work, my clothes were fairly dirty and I had grease on my hands from inspecting a repair done on my vehicle just hours before.
I could tell he was extremely suspicious, and he even gave me a sobriety test for marijuana (Where they check sluggish eye tracking, and inspect your eyeballs for whatever it is they looked for), I am nearly 100% sure he thought I was a stoner (I quit smoking marijuana about a year ago, as I never got anything done while I smoked it and it severely limited my job options).

This portion of my post is the beginning of my more recent experiences and concerns.

He finally came to the decision to help me out, they gave me an EKG to ensure my heart was healthy and he informed me he would get back with me as soon as the paper work from my psychologist came through.
About 5 days later he finally contacted me, I had called in twice prior to this to check on the status, I not sure if this made me seem even more suspicious or not but I was desperate for help, every day at work I felt like my job was hanging by a thread.
While on the phone with him, he listed off several medications, Vyvanse, Concerta and lastly Adderall, the way he brought them up gave me the impression he was fishing for a reaction that would be his final deciding point, like if I would say "Oh yeah Adderall, that's the stuff!", my reply nearly word-for-word was...

"I don't know, I just want something that is going to work...I can't afford to loose my job, and I already have 3 points...I have a daughter due in December...I need help, I need to get myself in order, I can't do this anymore."

He decided on Adderall.

I had done research almost every day since I began seeking help for this, so I had heard of each of the medications, I was reluctant to let him know this as I know how some Doctors are about this stuff, especially with these medications in particular.
He informed me he was going to start me on 5mg Adderall 2x a day, I felt like the world just rolled off my shoulders, finally...this was all going to be over.
I picked up the prescription from the office that same day, around 2:30PM, I went to the pharmacy to get it filled and got out about 4PM, I work midnights and had to go in that night, I desperately needed sleep so I did not start my first dose until 12AM that night.
This was three days ago, the first day and the beginning of the second day I took it as prescribed, which was one at the beginning of my day and one 4 hours after that.

At this point I will describe my experience on the first day.

I drove to work that night and right before I went in I took my first dose of 5mg, I was actually excited for work today, I had the thought and feeling that I was finally going to be able to have a normal day, this was going to work.
I clocked in at around 11:53PM, I went into the lunch room for the huddle that we have every day, basically the supervisor goes over things that need attention, problems from the previous night, etc.
No noticeable difference here, I was listening, but as always I felt like with every sentence that was said the previous one was lost to me, I was paying as much attention as I could muster...but it felt like I wasn't really there, I heard the words, but couldn't absorb them like I feel like I should.
I had only taken the medication about 10 minutes ago, so I didn't really expect a difference here.
The huddle was over and it was time to go to our designated spots...if you asked me questions about what we just went over, I would be surprised if I got half of them right.

We got out onto the floor at about 12:05AM, as always I had to walk back to the build-to (A sheet posted at the time clocks telling you what machine you will be on.) and check where I was going, even though I had already checked when I clocked in...I already forgot where I needed to be, this was normal.
I got to my machine and signed in, and began packaging the product...within 10 minutes the debilitating boredom and inability to focus kicked in, but I had hope that soon the medication would kick in and everything would be fine, focusing on that thought alone made it more bearable.
Over the course of the next I would say about 40 minutes, it was the same old same old...constantly getting distracted when someone walked by, causing me to loose count, randomly just loosing count for no apparent reason, randomly noticing that I was just repeating the same number over and over again...the lines are so fast that I don't have time to sit and count to see where I am, otherwise product will be all over the floor...so I have to just estimate, I was getting frustrated.
About 50 minutes to an hour into the day I noticed my boredom wasn't as bad as it had been since I started, I also felt a tiny bit tired but it could have been attributed to me getting a bit less sleep than usual, I still felt extremely bored...but it wasn't that same mind numbing, do anything to make it stop, boredom.
Over the course of the next 40 minutes or so I still had the inability to focus, my boredom was about 7/10 instead of the usual 10/10, but I was still loosing count, still loosing any train of thought I had when I noticed someone walk by, still had random thought bursting into my head causing me to loose count, or even not count at all...I began getting very frustrated, and extremely sad as I felt like I should be noticing more, I should be able to focus more.

It was now break time, about 1:35AM, I went to the lunch room to take my 12 minute breaks...I made sure to eat a portion of my lunch as the doctor said I may experience lack of appetite, leading to weight loss...my BMI is 21 so I'd prefer to not loose any weight.
As I sat in the break room all I could think about was "Why?", why isn't this working, why am I still making stupid mistakes, why can't I just focus.
At some point during my thoughts I realized I need to check the time, ****...I went over by 5 minutes, this might not seem like a big deal, but you get a point for habitually long breaks and for me it is habitually, and I can't afford a point...I felt like punching myself, I was loosing hope.
The rest of the time up until my lunch break around 4:30AM went pretty much exactly as described above, nothing new...just a minor reduction in boredom.

It's now 4:30AM, time for my lunch break and second dose, I had hope again that maybe the second dose would produce more of the focusing effect I was looking for.
I made extra sure to watch my time this time, I pretty much stared at the clock the entire break.
The only notable differences between this dose and the first was a slightly increased reduction in boredom compared to my first dose, and I think that I was able to keep count slightly better, I still lost count many times though, I would still get distracted by thoughts and things in my field of vision.
This lasted about 2-2.5 hours, by the time 7AM rolled around I was back to how it always was, bored to the point I just wanted to run out and inability to focus.

That is pretty much the end of my first day, I left thoroughly disappointed and felt a deep sense of sorrow, hopelessness.


This is the beginning of my second day.

My second day of my medication begins, the day starts off identical to the previous, taking my first dose of 5mg before I went in, my experience in the huddle was the same and so was my experience on my machine, I almost gave up, I almost left...I was so close.
Around 1:45AM I got my first break, as I was going to clock out for my break the supervisor asked me to come to her office...my heart sank and I was convinced I was about to loose my job, I felt like crying.
We got into her office and she informed me that I received more customer complaints about incorrect count from last weeks shipment, I was close to breaking down, at one point during the talk she told me I was the worst performing person from my group of new people...I know it wasn't to make me feel bad, and she made sure I knew that, but instead to let me know that things NEED to change.
I began explaining what I was going through, my recent diagnosis and the medication I was recently put on...I think it's the only reason I still have the job today, she informed me that since this wasn't listed on my application when I was hired I need to be aware that they won't make special accommodations for me, nor did I want them to.
She decided to take me off packing for a while, instead I was going to be the break person, basically I make sure everyone in my section gets their breaks during the break hours, and outside of that I am responsible for cleaning, making sure people in my section are stocked on boxes, doing audits on certain things.
I was extremely nervous, if I can't keep up with simply counting my bags, how am I going to manage time and keep track of all these things, I was feeling devastated, frustrated and angry at this point, which I knew was going to make my symptoms that much worse.

I went on my break around 2:10AM, roughly two hours after my first 5mg dose, I was at a loss for options...I was about to loose my job, which would lead to me being in debt and possibly push my girlfriend over the edge, I felt as though I was about to loose everything.
I decided I couldn't let this happen, it can't happen, I took my second dose early and this time I took 10mg, I am fully aware of the repercussions of altering my dose without the doctors approval, but If I didn't have this job I couldn't afford the medication anyway, it was a last ditch effort.
2:25AM, I made my way back out to the floor with my audit sheet and I was now the break person since I was deemed in-capable of packing at the time, I started cleaning the section and keeping lines stocked with boxes.
It wasn't going so well, I couldn't finish a task, I would sweep stuff into a pile then suddenly feel like I need to check the stock on boxes, then I would go to my audit sheet and see what I needed to check, on my way to check said thing I would notice the pile I swept but never picked up, I would pick it up then forget that I was going to check something and go back to cleaning.
I was hopping around all over the place...I felt like a chicken with it's head cut off, and I'm sure I looked like one too, I was so angry at myself, I was angry the medicine didn't work, I began to wonder if I got mis-diagnosed or if they gave me the wrong medication, I was a mess and was tossing around the thought of just quitting by the end of the day.

Roughly 3AM, I was just running around trying to figure out what to do and how to do it, when I should do it...and at some point I came to the realization that I was no longer "thinking", I wasn't trying to figure out anything...I was just doing it.
I don't really know how to explain it, it was just like at some point everything faded out and I realized I was just working, I wasn't bored, I wasn't frustrated...I was just checking my sheet, doing the task, and moving on to the next one, I was able to keep track of what I was doing.
At what point this happened I am unsure, I just kind of slipped into it without even noticing, Usually I watch the clock like a hawk wondering how much longer until I can leave...but I didn't know or care what time it was, I was solely focused on what I needed to do.
I felt kind of tired, not sleepy...slow I guess, but not slow physically, I didn't feel so dysfunctional and all over the place, I didn't get the constant random thought interfering with what I was trying to do, and I wasn't bored in the slightest...I got enjoyment out of doing my job, for the first time that I can ever remember I was happy to be focusing on working.

This lasted for pretty much the next 3 hours I would guess, I didn't take another dose though because I was now worried about adjusting my dosage myself and how my doctor would feel about it, I was also thinking about how I could loose the prescription over it and the thought terrified me.
At the end of the day my supervisor told me I did a good job, I knew she was keeping an eye on me, and usually that is a major distraction for me when someone is watching me and I know they are watching me, but I didn't even think about it.

I was so happy, I regained my faith in the medication and diagnosis.

Day three

Even though I was terrified of the repercussions I may face, I was even more scared of loosing my job, so I started the day off with 10mg, and just like before everything went extremely well...in-fact time has never went by so fast for me at work, not once did I wonder what time it is...I just...worked.
Around 4:20AM or so the effects where diminishing, I was still in much better shape than without the medication, but I noticed I got more scatterbrained around 4AM, I wasn't going to get another break until 6:30AM or so, so I took another 10mg with my lunch, the rest of the day went by smooth, I got my work done and before I knew it someone came to relive me.
I was actually surprised when my relief told me I could head out, as I didn't realize it was that close to the end of the day, and I even stayed because we where running low on boxes, so I went and got two more pallets of boxes before leaving.


That brings me to right now, I don't work tonight so I decided to seek some advice.

As it stands right now, I am 3 days worth of doses ahead of what my prescription calls for, taking it as prescribed didn't do anything for me.
I don't know how to bring this up to my doctor, and I'm scared that he will revoke my prescription or distrust me even more than I think he already does.
I also signed a paper saying they can have me bring my prescription in at any time to be counted so I am terrified he will use that in the beginning to make sure I'm not immediately being stupid with it.

I don't know what to do.

I have an appointment with him in 11 days, but I don't know if I should try and talk to him now or wait, I don't want him to think I'm just wanting more.
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  #2  
Old 10-02-14, 03:53 AM
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Re: Finally getting treatment (Long post)

I don't know about making an early appointment, I think I'd try to avoid that; however, don't hesitate to say you think you need a higher dose at your next scheduled appointment. Be ready to explain why. Though, if you feel like you really need it, go ahead. It kind of depends on how strict your state is in monitoring controlled substances, but a doctor can adjust your prescription halfway through it. If you just started, it would not be that unusual.

Plus, you should be seeing a psychiatrist not both a psychologist and a regular doctor. That way, the psychiatrist can write you the prescriptions himself and is more familiar with pharmaceutical therapy rather than just psychotherapy babble.

Hope that helps.

Oh, btw, congrats on the baby!
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Last edited by Laserbeak; 10-02-14 at 04:08 AM..
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Old 10-02-14, 04:28 AM
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Re: Finally getting treatment (Long post)

I agree with laser break about seeing a psyche instead of a regular doctor. A psyche doctor is much more likely to work with you on dosage and timing. If you need to get on a waiting list or something for a psyche then make an appt and stick it out with the current doctor for now. Now normally when I hear of someone adjusting their own dosage I bristle at the thought because a lot of people do not have patience to give the medication a chance but your post is so thorough and honest and well explained so I feel like you are at a point of desperation and you need immediate help.

What if you called the doctor and made an appt because you were having "issues" with the medication. Once you were in with him you could explain that the medication was only helping a little and you were wondering what the next step would be. Now again, normally I would never advocate being a little dishonest with any doctor but I believe in your case its a matter of health and welfare. Ask him if a different dose would work but DO not tell him you took more then prescribed. It will make a suspicious doctor shut you down. Tell him that you won't take it on weekends if thats what it takes to get him a to work with you. Ideally meds should be taken everyday because adhd is a 24/7 thing but in this case, getting you proper treatment is more important.
Try and make an appt ahead of time with a new doctor as a back up plan because you don't know how this guy will react. Its clear to me that you are trying your best and suffering greatly because of your adhd. You deserve a doctor that will support you, not some suspicious as+hole but you have to work with what you got for now.
Good luck and keep your chin up.
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Old 10-03-14, 08:50 AM
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Re: Finally getting treatment (Long post)

I've decided to make the appointment early after another crappy day at work. I go in at noon today, I don't care what he thinks...it's not working and I shouldn't have to waste my time with things hanging on such a fine line for me. I'm hoping for the best.
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Old 10-04-14, 12:01 PM
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Re: Finally getting treatment (Long post)

Sorry for the double post, but I don't think I can edit my post.

I'm posting a follow up on my experience at the early appointment.

I went in and talked to him, informing him the medication wasn't working...I did it very carefully though, making sure to not sound like I want to take more. The way I posed my issue was telling him that I only noticed minimal effects taking my dose, mainly slight boredom reduction for a couple of hours after the dose, but no noticeable change on focus, all true. After explaining that I didn't feel like it was working, and explaining why I felt that way, I stated "I know the appointment was for two weeks from now, but I really don't want to waste my time on this stuff if it isn't going to work for me. Is their anything else we can try?" I tried to be as honest as I possibly could without telling him about my outside of prescribed use, I also wanted to make it clear that I am completely open to any ideas he has as well. The entire time I felt like telling him I took 10mg and it worked, but my gut just screamed "bad idea". At some point during the appointment he did ask me if I tried taking more, but I said no...I'm not a good liar, I always feel like when I lie people know and I can't look them in the eye comfortably as I say the lie.

I'm not sure if he is just very busy and forgetful, or if he is very suspicious and testing, but he did a few things that made me feel like he may have been testing my memory or attentiveness. The first strange thing he did was he said "5mg twice a day, that can't be right, are you sure that is what I said?" now, he may very well be very busy and have many patients, and my over-thinking of human interaction could be coming into play here, he openly admitted to me that it was a baby dose, and seemed to show genuine surprise when he seemed to confirm his prescription on his laptop. The second thing that he did that I found strange was towards the end of the conversation he said he wanted me to call him Monday to let him know how the new advice was working for me, I proceeded to pull out my phone and add that into my calendar (I do this with important things, as well as use a note-taking app as it greatly helps my memory with this stuff), he then switched the subject to something I don't remember and afterwords said "So call me Tuesday and let me know." for whatever reason I got an immediate gut feeling it was a test, but still proceeded to correct him. In the end he did want it to be Tuesday and not Monday, so I don't know.

Am I just an over thinking this?

If he is testing me, he is trying to test my memory and attentiveness, if this is true then he may feel as though ADHD is simply just that, and no matter what the situation if someone has ADHD they never remember or pay attention, when in reality it is quite the opposite. I feel as though people with ADHD remember better and pay more attention than an average person, but selectively, only on topics which interest them or which are very important to them...hyper-focusing, and this is very important to me. In-fact, lately, I have been hyper-focusing heavily on the subject, and methods of treatment...since I found out I was going to be a father it has become very important to me to get this fixed.

Perhaps when I get my insurance, I will find a proper psychiatrist that I don't feel this way with, and that I feel will understand me and ADHD in general better.

Regardless of any of this, the results were good, he bumped me up to 15mg a day, 10mg on the first dose and 5mg on the second, last night at work was my first day on the new instructions and it worked well. I was very focused for about 3 hours after my first dose, those 3 hours went by very quickly and I didn't notice myself getting distracted from packing at all (Yay! they put me back on packing tonight!). Their is an alarm on one of the machines that goes off every 10 minutes or so to signify to the processors that new product was coming out so that they can inspect it before it goes into bags and off to customers. Typically I hear it EVERY SINGLE TIME, it got to the point where I even knew exactly what time it was every time the damn thing went off, it practically reverberated inside my skull and became a very annoying thing for me. It wasn't until 2 hours after my second dose (Around 6am) of 5mg that I heard it, and in that same instant that I heard it I realized it was the first time I had heard it that night, It was a great feeling to have that realization that I was truly focused. So yes, 10mg works good for me, the 5mg booster does much better along-side the 10mg inital dose, but it doesn't last as long as 10mg it seems, after about 2 hours I begin feeling more scatter-brained and distract-able and notice myself "day-dreaming" again, compared to about 3 hours before I notice symptoms coming back with 10mg. Even after 3 hours with 10mg, the symptoms don't come back as strong as they do 2 hours after the 5mg.

Further more, and to my suprise...he gave me permission to play with my dosage within some limitations, he said I may increase my total dosage for the day by 5mg a week (Example a week at 15mg a day, if I feel I need more Increase to 20mg a day the next week) and he said I can take this in any combination I feel the need to, up to a maximum of 20mg in a single dose if it comes to that. (Like if im at 20mg a day I can to 10 for first, 10 for second, or 15 for first, 5 for second. Or even 10 for first, 5 for second, and another 5 for a third if I need, though he warned I may experience insomnia if I add a third dose too late.)

So all in all the appointment went very well, much better than I expected. I am very relieved and happy about the results, besides the follow up call on Tuesday, I will see him again in two weeks. He informed me to call and let him know when I am out of my current prescription and he will write a new one based on the results of tweaking the doses.

I am still unsure of what to do about behind slightly behind due to the doses I took, I may just have to tough it out a couple of days or something before calling him.
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Old 10-04-14, 07:14 PM
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Re: Finally getting treatment (Long post)

Good, I'm happy you are pleased with the results. He probably wasn't trying to play with your mind because you were on a small dose.
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