The Best Laid Plans

#adhd #productivity adhdcoach anxiety planning timemanagement Jun 17, 2023

The best laid plans of mice and men...

My plan was to take you through a daily journey of my new ADHD medication and how it was working for me.

TLDR: it didn't.

The plan failed before it even began.

I took my first Adderall early Thursday morning.

And had to go off of it immediately.



You're probably wondering what took me so long to get diagnosed and then to get medicated.

So let's start with my diagnosis.

I was diagnosed over two years ago, even though I suspected since I was about 50 years old when I had massive chemo brain that wouldn't go away. All of my life I felt different, lazy, stupid, crazy, broken.

I understood enough about ADHD to know that I had it (no I'm not a doctor and I don't play one on tv). But I do know myself really well. And I have a slew of friends who have ADHD too.

Most importantly, I was watching the executive function struggles of my then middle school daughter. Those struggles looked surprisingly familiar.

A look at my middle school report card would prove this point.

  • Lack of preparation
  • Loses notes
  • Interrupts a lot
  • Easily distracted
  • Needs to improve quality of concentration (who me? focus? lol)
  • Lack of confidence is academic abilities (I have an anxiety diagnosis too)
  • Capable student but own worst enemy

That last one cut me to the bone.
I know I was smart, but I couldn't figure out how to get dang brain to work. I dreamed of being a National Honor Society student but I just couldn't make the grade.

We would call me 2E today - gifted with ADHD.

And a big ole dose of anxiety because why the hell not have allthethings?

I'm technically ADHD combined type (so both inattentive and hyperactive).

Side note before I forget (squirrel!) - we got my daughter an executive function coach and she went on to do and be the things I dreamed of - National Honor Society, Spanish Honor Society, several awards and scholarships. One very proud mama here! She's heading to her first choice Penn State in just a few months. We are!


Ok back to the story -

If/when my ADHD and anxiety go untreated (this doesn't have to be medication but it can be) then I can spiral down into depression.

When I had that vicious chemo brain at age 50, I was also dealing with chemical depression.

Some of the delay in diagnosis was dealing with the depression first.

Then I figured I had managed to do ok with my differently wired brain so why bother with a diagnosis?

After all, I had set up a LOT of systems to help me manage my "broken" brain and now I teach those to my clients.

But my potential clients were confused.

  • How did I KNOW I have ADHD?
  • Where was the proof?
  • Could I be trusted to really understand the challenges they were dealing with?
  • And even just saying I have undiagnosed ADHD was getting old.

So I asked a top person in my field what she would suggest. I wanted fast, easy and not too expensive.

She suggested, where you fill out a very thorough history and your assessment is reviewed by a psychologist.

For me, this made sense.

I have solid self knowledge - many years in therapy.

I was ok with answering a lengthy questionnaire - it took me an hour here and there over the course of about a week. I reviewed my answers and gathered information.

Having elementary/middle school report cards is key, because they want to know if you had the symptoms prior to age 12.

I would contend that symptoms can show up in the early teen years in girls but that's a discussion for another day.

If you think you might have ADHD, a diagnosis is well worth the process. I strongly recommend seeing a professional, because they can observe your behaviors while you answer their questions.



For several years, I opted to not take medication.

I'm not against it. And many of my clients take meds. I'm a judgment free zone.

I just take a few other meds for things like post cancer (those meds are done - hallelujah) and allergies/asthma. I wanted a thorough medical history before I added anything to the mix. There's family history and I wanted to be sure at the later age of 57 that I was in good health. I am.

I found a fantastic general practitioner (GP), Dr C, who has been working with me for nearly a year now.

And at long last, I was prescribed the tiniest, lowest dose of Adderall.
I knew we were taking a long weekend, so I opted to start it on Thursday.

About an hour into the car ride, I noticed a strange rash on my arms.

I thought it might be the new sunscreen I had used the day before and then remembered I had only put that on my face and neck. And once I checked the calendar, I discovered that was actually several days earlier.

Hey, we ADHDers are not so great with remembering or with the passing of time. LOL! Cross sunscreen off the culprit list.

Much later that day, I would discover this rash all over my torso, up my neck, and down my legs.

It kind of looked and was itchy like hives but not exactly.

I popped a Benadryl, but on Friday morning it was worse.

I was baffled so I called the doctor's office, left a message, and Bob took me straight to the pharmacist. She was amazing - offering several solutions for curing "hives". And of course I didn't take any more Adderall!

Except it wasn't hives. And it wasn't getting better.

So I spoke to the nurse late Friday afternoon and she told me the things to watch out for like anaphylaxis and warned me to stay out of the sun. Boo. At the beach - our happy place.

My best non-medical guess (thanks Dr Google) is it's Morbilliform, which is a different kind of rash. That lasts much longer. And yes I still have it and it still itches. And going out in the sun does make it worse. Ask me how I know - lol!

God bless my hubby who graciously agreed to do really fun things in shady places like having lunch at the awesome garden a bit inland and of course, some beachy shopping. I've spent hours contentedly reading books our covered back deck, where I can watch the birds flying over the bay. I can see the sun but not be in it.

I'll be talking to my doctor this morning to discover which medication I might take instead.

I'm guessing I won't be on anything new until this rash goes away. Please please go away itchy rash.

And if you know me well, you'll know I think the whole thing is hilarious.

Because the irony is rich!

I was so adamant about not taking meds and when I finally decided I was willing to give it a try, rash happened.

Not quite the beginning of the ADHD medication journey I expected!

But all will be well and work out for the highest good.

If you're considering taking ADHD medication, please know that this is just my story. Your story could be completely different. It's important to be under the care of a medical professional when you're on medication.


Ready to harness the power of your ADHD brain?

Let's have a Productivity Breakthrough session to see if we're a match.

I have 2 one to one coaching spots open on my calendar this month. One of them could be yours!


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