In Tim’s view, he hasn’t had a working brain since we moved to Phoenix.
That’s because he hadn’t been able to find a doctor willing to prescribe Adderall. They were all concerned about the interaction between stimulants and his other medication.
So for five years he’s been living with almost no memory. To give you an idea, he’ll get out his iPod and have already forgotten what he was looking up.
There were other issues, like having to hyperfocus. That is, block everything else out. I’d tell him things and, several minutes later, he’d ask if I had been saying something. He only dimly recalled the fact that I was talking. Not fun for either of us.
He could also get easily overwhelmed in public. Imagine not being able to filter noise, so that every sound you heard registered equally. On good days, he could focus on me specifically. Bad days would mean minor anxiety attacks and the need to get home immediately.
All of this, though, was completely unrelated to our Thursday appointment with a psychiatric nurse.
In his initial disability review, one psychiatrist diagnosed him as bipolar. We figured it was just a misdiagnosis of severe ADD symptoms and disregarded it.
Now that we’re mounting the appeal, a bipolar diagnosis would help.
Fortunately/unfortunately, the nurse agreed it was a misdiagnosis. But we ended up getting more help.
She listened sympathetically as Tim ranted about the Adderall issue. She asked a few questions, then told him that she was willing to prescribe it. It had worked for him in the past, so she didn’t see a reason for worry.
Tim practically skipped to the pharmacy and insisted on waiting there for the half hour it took to fill the prescription. Thirty minutes at CVS is boring even without ADD, so that gives you an idea of just how much this meant to him.
He had a couple of initial side effects, mainly his jaw clenching and grinding. But they seem to be gone today.
Now he gets to enjoy the ability to remember things/organize his thoughts. For the first time in five years.
It’s benefited him in other areas too. Most impressively, he’s not fidgeting. I can’t remember the last time he didn’t fidget in some way, shape or form. But an educated guess would say, oh, about five years.
And an unexpected effect: It seems to be decreasing his intake of the meds for his skin.
Lately — especially thanks to the stress of the appeal — he’s needed large, frequent doses to keep his skin feeling like it was itching and/or crawling. Since beginning the Adderall, he’s taken smaller amounts and appears to need them a teeny bit less often.
We have no idea why this is happening. Maybe being less fidgety/antsy makes him less aware of the sensations. Frankly, we don’t care. I hope it’s not a temporary effect, but even if it is, we’ll take it.
Have you ever had problems getting a doctor to prescribe a necessary medicine? Have you ever felt the bliss of finally getting a medication that helped your symptoms?