Wide Eyed with Fright


At the age of 32,  I was recently diagnosed with ADHD and Secondary anxiety.

ADHD medication attention

Concerta and ADHD treatment

For me, this specifically means I have trouble with executive functioning.  My mind has trouble choosing what to concentrate on.  I’m easily distracted by any thought that comes into my head.  Because of this, I have trouble carrying out plans or executing ideas.  This results in loosing lists, leaving car keys in the car, keeping my plans.   I also have trouble sitting still.  Going to the movies is a torturous experience.  I often find myself leaving in the second half of the movie and walking around the hallways of the theater until I can convince myself to go back and sit in the seat for another 30 min.

Secondary anxiety refers to the anxiety I create in myself related to actions/ events that are more controlled by my ADHD than by design.  An example of how my poor executive function can cause anxiety is the anxiety of experience when I park my car and put my keys in my purse.  I’ve locked myself out of my car many times because of my absentmindedness in ADHD, so I’ve built up anxiety that I will lock myself out again.  So, when I park and lock up my car I start to get anxious that maybe I forgot my keys in the ignition.  I’ll checking my purse three times to make sure I put my keys in it and didn’t lock myself out of my car.  An example of how my restlessness causes secondary anxiety is how I avoid being in a car for more than 30 minutes, because I worry I’ll be so restless that I won’t be able to stand being cooped up.

This month I was prescribed ADHD mediation for the first time.

The doctor started me out with 27mg of Concerta for 10 days- then after a follow up with her, 36 mg of Concerta for 5 days and 54mg of Concerta for 1 day.  Concerta was chosen because it’s known to help people with anxiety.

The first day: I felt so relaxed.  All I did all day was watch movies.  When the med wore off I felt nauseous and sleepy.  I fell asleep at my normal time, and woke up feeling terribly tired.

27 mg for Day 2-10: difficulty waking up.  Lots of ups and downs as far as energy level goes.  At times I was so sleepy I had trouble finishing sentences and eating.  This was probably one of the least productive 10 days of my life. Nauseous was on and off.  When the medication was worn off (about 7 -8 hours) I had some hot flashes/ sudden sweating.  I still had an appetite, which is unusually on this medication and is a sign that I needed a higher dose.  How exactly the side effects played out throughout the day differed from day to day, but the benefits (calmness, less restlessness) didn’t change.  As far as focus went- well that was untouched.

I felt calm. I wasn’t restless, but it didn’t help me focus.

36 mg for 5 days

I actually had less side effects.  The dr. said that the higher does, with less side effects meant that the previously smaller dose was too low to be maintained in my body and the side effects I felt with the 27mg was the constant withdrawal as the drug entered and left my system throughout the day.

54 mg for 1 day

It’s been 5 hours since I took the 54 mg.  My energy level is higher today than on the lower doses.  I’m not feeling tired or nauseous- yet.  I pooped more than usual, but that often happens when adding any stimulate (like morning coffee). I was hungry for lunch. I decided to try to type up a blog and have found it easier to concentrate on my writing today than usual. However, I suddenly have a headache.  Is that because I skipped my normal morning caffeinated beverage? 30 min after drinking my normal latte my headache started to subside.

Things I’ve done to test my concentration today:

Typed a blog: result, typed much faster than usual.  I’m finding myself a bit restless at the laptop though.

Read a new book for about an hour: Maybe I was more focused, but I’m not sure.

Major Side Effect

I realized my sleep was so poor because I was having bad dreams.  This is unusual for me.  When I’d wake up during the night (which was frequent with Concerta) I’d wake up worried and anxious.  Sometimes I’d wake up panicky about a perceived danger or threat.  Like one night I had a leg cramp and couldn’t go back to sleep for hours- not due to the pain of the leg cramp but because I was too scared that if I went to sleep I would die of a leg blood clot.

I guess a major side effect for me was nightly withdrawal, withdrawal that resulted in minor panic attacks.

I stopped taking Concerta.

Is soda Gluten Free

I saw this article from Gluten Free Living and thought you all might be interested.

Most sodas are gluten free. The ingredient that raises questions most often is the caramel color. Although caramel color can be made from barley, it is most often made from corn. The Pepsi- Cola Company said there is no gluten in any carbonated soft drink produced by the company in North America. The caramel color used in Pepsi beverages is not derived from wheat, oats, barley, rye, spelt or triticale, the company said. Diana Garza Ciarlante, a spokeswoman for the Coca- Cola Company, said the caramel color used in Coke products is derived from either corn or cane sugar. If an ingredient contains wheat, barley or rye it is labeled as such in the ingredient statement. Consumers can also check the gluten- free status of Coke products by calling the 1–800 number on the product’s package. A list provided by Ciarlante included, but is not limited to, the following sodas: Barq’s root beer (regular, diet, caffeine free, and diet red crème), Coke (regular, diet, diet plus, caffeine free diet, diet sweetened with Splenda, diet with lime, cherry, diet cherry, cherry zero, diet, vanilla, vanilla zero), CocaCola (regular, caffeine free classic and zero), and Sprite (regular, diet zero). Coke makes a number of fruit drinks, teas, bottled waters and other drinks that are also gluten free.

Placing too muc…

Placing too much emphasis on a yes/no diagnosis, meaning you either have a disease or you don’t, can lead even the most well-meaning physicians to miss underlying causes and early warning signs of illness.

Mark Hyman

The past two years I’ve had constant heartburn, frequent intestinal cramping and pain in my stomach.

The past three years I visited my general physician for frequent sinus infections, skin rashes and tiredness, weight gain.  My physicians all had good intentions.  My general physician was quick to diagnosis the symptoms: sinus infection, minor skin rash, low thyroid, GERD.

My gastroenterologist diagnosis mild chronic gastritis, lactose intolerance and put me on a strict diet: no tomatoes, citrus, broccoli, dairy, beans, tea, coffee, anything with a moderate to large fat content (including peanut butter), chocolate.  Though I was eating little, and weighed 133, I gained weight.

But these weren’t diagnosis, they were early warning signs of an illness.

It was my chiropractor and dermatologist who saw my diagnosis as symptoms of an underlying problem.  Both (with in a month of each other) diagnosed me as Gluten Sensitive.

I’ve been off Gluten for 2 weeks, and returned to eating most other foods.  Each day I was off the gluten my heartburn lessened.  After 2 weeks I’m off the heartburn medication completely and feel even less heartburn than when on the meds! I still have skin rashes, but I’m happy with the progress.

Sinus infections, my skin rashes, digestion difficulties and autoimmune thyroid are all items that can be caused when a gluten intolerant person eats gluten.

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