March 18, 2009

In touch with my inner banshee

I saw my ADHD doctor yesterday to discuss how the Adderall, a minimal dose of which I started taking three weeks ago, is working. One huge benefit: I feel like myself again. From the time I started taking ADHD drugs until now, I've felt as though I'm living with somebody else's brain. Not a bad brain, you understand. Just different. It wasn't horrible so much as perennially disconcerting. A side debit was that when I forgot to take the drugs (which hardly ever happened more than 4 times a week), I would decide I didn't actually need them. Why? Because I felt great -- which is not the same as feeling/being fully functional.

Feeling like myself again is a big upside with the Adderall. The only downside -- minor in the great scheme of things -- is that the drug puts me in touch with my inner banshee. My compadre has not had an easy time of it in recent weeks.

"Is the drug wearing off during the day?" I was asked.

Maybe. I only got mad at my compadre at night, but, then, he doesn't get home from work until after nine, so that's hardly confirmation. But I feel a darned sight perkier with the Adderall, so increasing it feels like it will leave me dancing on the roof, naked -- hardly a solution.

Instead, I'm now taking, in addition to the Wellbutrin and Adderall a very low dose of generic Prozac. Three hormones/brain chemicals dance around in my (and also your) head. The levels of two of mine are raised to about equal levels. The third one lags behind.

"Serotonin," said the doctor.

"Ooo, that's the happy hormone," I said. (My memory is like fly paper; it doesn't catch everything, and some things are only hanging by a toe or two; but other bits are solidly wedged in there. Serotonin seems to be filed under Sex; which I think is an association rather than an accident of the alphabet.)

"Yes, it is," he agreed. Prozac adds the serotonin I've got a shortage of.

And so I left with another prescription clutched in my hand. Oh, wait, no; two more prescriptions. The second is a Wellbutrin refill. We thought he gave it to me last time, but I couldn't find it when I got home. I thus became a new category of patient: the only one who ever lost a prescription for a non-narcotic drug.

If you want to learn more about ADHD, check out my friend Linda's site for ADD divas. It's a friendly and welcoming; you can sign up and take part in real time discussions with experts; and on top of all that she wears cute hats. Not Derby-level cute, but cute enough.

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