Friday, January 18, 2013

ADHD: Perfectly Imperfect

I was diagnosed with ADHD in the spring of 2012.

It was a diagnosis that was a long time coming and it brought much relief to finally have a valid explanation for my symptoms I've had all my life. In second grade I was tested for ADHD but the school's results came back stating I didn't have it. That mistake contributed to costing me a lot academically.

Last spring I started Vyvanse, a stimulant medication used to help manage the symptoms of ADHD. And did it help! What a difference it made! I was beyond excited to finally feel on top of things. I soon found myself much more organized and decided whoever invented the label maker was practically genius. I was able to remember things better because I listened better to begin with. Before medication I'd become distracted during the prompts on an automated call and then have to start all over! On Vyvanse I was on time to appointments which let me tell you is a major accomplishment. If I was ever going to be fired from a past job it would have been because it was like pulling nails for me to be on time. My entire adult life had held the same theme: "Hurry, hurry hurry...Oh, and by the way...Hurry!"

So with Vyvanse for the first time everything seemed to fall into place. I enjoyed this new way of life where I actually remembered what I needed to and could stay focused to do it. Miraculously I was on time. My new way of life continued for months and was filled with organization. The frenzied moments of me running around with my head cut off were in the past. But then in December I had to have surgery. The surgery went off without a hitch thank goodness. But during the surgery my resting heart rate soared to 130. The doctors, nurses and anesthesiologist took note and blood was taken for testing. My blood work came back fine but doctor appointments ensued. I wore an electrocardiogram for 24 hours to monitor my heart rate. As I sat in my doctors office while he went over the results with me, he spoke.

"Your results came back fine. We can't figure out what happened. But... you have no business being on a stimulant. I'm afraid you are going to have to go off the Vyvanse. It's too risky."


Ultimately I knew he was right. He's a great doctor and I trust him. He was looking out for me and pointed out that putting my overall health at risk just to manage my ADHD symptoms was ludicrous. I agreed.

So now I'm back to managing without medication. Yet it's different this time. I've noticed the striking difference with my ADHD not being managed with meds... there is more laughter, more humor, more moments that leave me shaking my head with amusement. We can all benefit from being able to laugh at ourselves and not take everything so seriously. Yes, my kitchen is covered in sticky notes now, my calendar is filled with things to do and my iPhone constantly dings to remind me of appointments. I'm usually on time but I'm back to searching for my glasses only to find them on my head...

But then I laugh and realize life is much more interesting this way.

I'm reminded once again that not everything has to be perfect.

Even if on medication.

It never will be.

We don't have to be perfect. It's not possible. Because with the quirks and the funny moments we can laugh at ourselves. These moments remind us that every day we need God by our side. We all slip up, forget things and run late occasionally. There are times we will lapse. But we don't have to worry that God will fire us. He sees our intent and our heart. He undoubtedly even appreciates our ability to laugh at ourselves. God made each and every one of us with love.

We are all perfectly imperfect...

and that is perfectly okay.

© ~ 2013 

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