ADHD and Concerta

I had an appointment with my psychiatrist about ADHD yesterday.  Since I’ve had the testing and it confirmed what I already knew I went in to talk to her about starting medication. 

She wanted to start me on Adderall, but I’ve tried that in the past.  Adderall gives me a nasty taste in my mouth.  My psychiatrist found that side effect interesting and said she hadn’t heard of that before.  Regardless I couldn’t be on that medication. 

I’m not sure how many different ADHD medications there are or for what uses they are for, but growing up I was on Ritalin and didn’t seem to have any side effects from that.  My psychiatrist decided to give me Ritalin in a different form. 

I was given a medication called Concerta.  My psychiatrist told me it’s the same medication as Ritalin, but in an extended –release tablet.  So hopefully no side effects.  I was given a 27mg pill to start with for a week.  After that I am supposed to double that up and see how it goes. 

Today was the first day I took Concerta.  Just the 27mg pill, but I didn’t have any side effects.  Crossing my fingers that is the case.  I’d like to find one medication that doesn’t give me any side effects.  That seems to be rare when dealing with medications for depression, anxiety, and ADHD though. 

I will see how the next week goes.  I’m not expecting much until I double the dose the following week.  That’s when I should start to see some real results. 

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Curiosity Stream TV

I’ve recently discovered a new TV service.  The service is called Curiosity Stream.  I’ve been seeing commercials for Curiosity Stream for some time now, but just recently decided to give it a try.  You get I believe the first 7 days free to try it out.  Then the plans start at just 2.99 a month.  Not a bad price point in my opinion. 

Curiosity Stream is the Netflix of documentaries.  I’m in heaven.  Nothing but documentaries as far as the eye can see!  Documentaries from all kinds of different genres.  Anything from history, to earth, science, technology, etc.  Everything you need to expand your mind with useful, yet useless, information. 

Curiosity Stream is very much like Netflix.  The interface is similar and so is how you add to a watchlist to queue up things you want to see.  They separate by catagories like science, technology, history, etc.  Very easy to use and stream on. 

You can stream Curiosity Stream on just about any device.  Android, iOS, Roku, Amazon Fire Stick, or PC are all available options.  I run it through Roku Express and have no problems at all. 

If you like educational videos or documentaries this is definitely something you should check out.  Plus, how can you beat 2.99 a month for the bare bones package. 

Stretching My Writing Muscle

So, I am working my way back into the blogosphere.  I am trying to scare up a few topics to start with as I get my writing muscle back into shape.  I have a couple ideas it is just a matter of sitting down and writing them. 

Writing is very much like muscle.  If you don’t use the muscle the muscle goes away.  My muscle is very weak at the moment.  I need to flex (which is what I’m doing here) and stretch and get to the writing gym if you will. 

A couple of months ago I went to my psychiatrist looking to get some meds for ADHD.  I am having trouble at work focusing on task and completing assignments and wanted to address the issue.  I have already been diagnosed with ADHD as a child, but it carried into my adulthood.  My psychiatrist I guess didn’t believe me, and with the recent rise of ADHD meds abuse, wanted to get me tested before prescribing me meds. 

So, I went and did the testing.  It is basically a couple of computer tests and long questionnaires.  Then they read through it all and compile it into a program probably and write a report up on their findings.  That all happened about 1 ½ months ago. 

Just today I received the results of that testing.  Their findings were I do indeed have ADHD, along with generalized anxiety disorder and major depressive disorder.  All things I already knew, but glad to have them confirmed for the doctor.  Now there won’t be any question when it comes to prescribing me medication. 

I am hoping I can now get some meds to help me with my attention and focus.  I have an appointment tomorrow afternoon with my psychiatrist.  I will know more about everything after that appointment. 

 

I hope to have some more posts written up in the next day or two in order to get back on track with my blog.  It feels good to be writing again

Update 6-1-18

Haven’t posted in a while.  Just thought I’d share that I’m still around.  Still above ground and alive and kickin’.  Things just have been a little hectic. 

My depression has been in full force the last few weeks and really draining me.  Haven’t felt like doing a lot.  Add work on top of that and I’m shot by the time I get home in the evening.  My meds don’t seem to be working as well as I hoped they would be.  Maybe it’s time to try something else. 

The puppy is doing well.  There is a whole other post I will do about that when I get some time and energy.  The puppy is a terror right now.  Non-stop energy.  If I couldn’t only borrow some of that energy for an hour or two I could get so much stuff done! 

In an attempt to drag myself out of my depression I have started a new hobby.  I’m going to try to learn how to code.  I’m starting with Python as my first language and see how it goes.  I picked up a few books and a Udemy course.  I’ll be working my way through those in an attempt to just get something done and learn something new at the same time. 

More posts are to come. 

Opioid Series – Part 2

This part of the opioid series I’m writing will be specifically about me.  Why I use opioids, sometimes overuse them, and how they affect my life.  Also, how living without them would affect my life and the dichotomy of using opioids vs. not using them.  I hope to present a picture of the common patient in need of opioids and some of the trials and tribulations I go through.  I hope to present an honest and truthful account of myself in this particular area.

I have been using opioids for many years now.  I’ve lost count of the years.  I am prescribed opioids for chronic leg and knee pain.  I am not sure if something didn’t go right during a surgery to repair a broken knee/leg injury, or if nerves were damaged.  I’m not sure if the pain comes from the post-traumatic arthritis I have in my knee and radiates out to my leg.  I’m not even sure if the pain comes from the plate and seven screws in my leg.  In short, I’m not sure what causes the pain I’m having.

I have been to orthopedists to try to discover the cause of my pain.  After tests and x-rays the doctors are baffled by why I have pain.  I am told I shouldn’t have pain.  As the doctors tell me I shouldn’t have pain, after I tell them I have excruciating pain at times, I get the look from them that tells me they don’t believe me.  They give me the look like I’m just telling them a story to get pain pills.  Due to the fact that they can’t figure out why I’m complaining of pain, they have doubts about me.  That’s the way it goes with doctors.  I suppose they believed me enough because they started me on Norco for the pain.

Back in the day, years ago, I was a heavy drinker.  I drank enough for 2-3 people almost on a nightly basis.  Well, even though I drank I was still a somewhat responsible drunk.  I didn’t drive after drinking.  I did walk a lot though.  I would walk to the store or where ever I would want to go around the neighborhood.

One night after drinking particularly heavy I decided I wanted a hamburger.  I start my trek to the Burger King a few blocks away.  About 2/3 of the way there I stepped off of a curb and landed hard on my leg.  Down I went.  I couldn’t get back up.  I was down for the count.

I ended up breaking my leg/knee.  The break was called a tibial plateau fracture.  I called my wife to come and get me and she almost couldn’t get me in the car.  I couldn’t put any weight on my leg and I wasn’t sure what was wrong.

I went to the emergency room that night.  After I was admitted they did x-rays and told me to wait until they came back before they did anything else.  I was so drunk I couldn’t feel any pain.  They couldn’t even give me pain meds because I had too high of a blood alcohol content.  Eventually the doctor came back and told me I had broken my leg.  I was shocked.  I hadn’t imagined that I could of broken my leg.  The facts were in though and they all pointed to broken leg.  Next I had to wait for an orthopedist to come in and look at the x-rays to figure out if I needed surgery or not.  Again I was shocked.  Now I was in need of possible surgery.  Things weren’t going well for me that night.

The orthopedist came in and looked over the x-rays.  He talked to me for a while and then broke  the news to me.  I was going to need surgery to repair my leg.  It was a bad break.  The break was right were my shin bone connects to my knee and it was broken.  They would have to put a plate and screws into help it heal correctly.  The orthopedist then admitted me to the hospital and told me he would come for me when an O.R. opened up.

The short of this part is I sat in the hospital for 3 days with a broken leg swelled up to 3 times its normal size.  The pain was excruciating.  I was on some of the strongest pain killers they had via IV drip and tablets.  Barely touched the pain.  Every time an OR opened up for my doctor to do the surgery an emergency surgery would come in and usurp his room from him.  That made me wait until another room opened up.  Three days later it the surgery was done.

I was in the hospital for another week recuperating   from the surgery.  I was released from the hospital after I could prove I could climb stairs with crutches.  Once I did that I was released to go home.  Once at home, I spent another month out of work recuperating.  The whole thing was quite the ordeal.

I glossed over quite a bit of the whole thing, but this was the gist of what happened.  After I recuperated and everything was back to normal, the pain in my leg never went away.  I still had chronic pain.  So, I went back to the orthopedist to find out why I had pain.

They did x-rays, but couldn’t find anything wrong.  They told me to go home with ibuprofen and that should take care of the pain.  The ibuprofen did little to ease the pain.  Back to the doctor I went.  Still they couldn’t find anything wrong, so I asked if I could have a stronger pain killer.  They hesitated, but gave me Norco to take home.   That did the trick.

I no longer had pain in my leg with the Norco.  It solved a lot of my issues with pain and my ability to move around.   I felt like it was a miracle.  I never realized how much pain I had, or how much it immobilized me, until it was gone.  I was pain free for the first time in months and it felt wonderful.

In the beginning of my Norco therapy I was on low doses and it worked just fine.  I was still drinking at that time, so there were days where I didn’t take the Norco, instead choosing booze to kill the pain.  There were no withdrawals at that time because I only took it every now and then and drank the other times.

As time went on I stopped drinking.  It was in my best interest if I wanted to salvage my marriage and friendships.  I was on a downward spiral and it wasn’t looking pretty.  I just made the conscious choice to stop and did it with no problems.  This led to the next issue for me.

Now, I had pain every day.  No booze to soothe the pain away.  Now I was reliant upon the Norco for my pain relief.  I was now using Norco every day for pain.  After a few months, maybe a year, the amount of Norco I was using wasn’t cutting it anymore.  I needed a higher dose to get the same pain relief I was getting from the lower dose.  My doctor upped it telling me that it is common for the dosage to be increased over time because my body is developing a tolerance for the medication.

Fast forward, a few more years and my dosages were increased a few more time until I came to my current dosage of 60mg per day.  Or 6 tablets for the day, 10mg each.  This has actually been a good dosage for me and I have yet to really feel the need to up the dosage on a daily basis.  I have been using this dosage for the last few years.  Yet, on occasion I do use an extra tablet or two if my pain is really bad that day.

This brings me to the point of why I use more than I am prescribed.  I don’t do it every day, but sometimes an extra tablet would be needed for pain management.  6 pills takes care of 99% of my pain, but that 1% is what I’m talking about.  This leads to days of either lower doses for the day, or going a day or so without the pills, which is hell.

Why would I do that if I have to go a day or two with no pills?  Well, I have no good reason other than the day I had pain it seemed like a good idea.  I have actually been working on this lately and doing a good job of better managing the pills given to me each month so I don’t go through withdrawal days.  I have decided a little bit of pain on one day is better than excruciating pain for a couple days.  It took me a while to come to this conclusion, but I’m there none the less.

So I’ve been on my current dosage for the last few years with no reason to really up the dose.  I’m also not sure if my doctor would up my dosage at this point anyways.  With all the media hype going on he seems a bit skittish.

I feel like something was messed up during my surgery which is why I have all this pain in my leg.  Either that or the hardware in my leg is causing the pain, but to take it out would be so invasive I’m not sure if it would be worthwhile to do it without knowing for sure that was the cause.

So overall I’m happy with where I’m at with my Norco therapy.  I’m even happier now that I’m better managing my pills so I don’t go through withdrawals from the medication.  The Norco has given me my life back.  No more pain and the ability to move around.

For some pain medication is the only option.  Especially for chronic pain.  The pain meds are a lifesaver for some people.  Some people abuse them, or become addicted to them, but used properly they have less of these negative qualities.  Overall, it has been a life saver for myself.

 

Puppy Tails: First Few Days

Oh my!  I had forgotten how much work having a puppy can be.  It is fun, but a lot of work.  I haven’t had a puppy in over a decade and everything is flooding back to me now.  All the cleaning up and constantly having to watch what the pup is doing.  Pulling things out of her mouth and trying to make sure she doesn’t hurt herself.  It is a constant demand of time and energy.

She is only 8 weeks old right now and so she is teething.  She is constantly wanting to nibble or bite my fingers, toes, or nose.  Trying to teach her not to bite, but knowing it isn’t just a biting issue, it’s a teething issue as well.  Whenever she wants to bite or nibble I have to divert her attention to a toy instead of one of my body parts.  Nothing smarts like little needles piercing your nose when you least expect it.

We are also working on the potty training.  The potty training it going ok so far.  She is still young and accidents are happening.  The accidents are getting fewer in just the first few days we’ve had her.  I’m not expecting miracles, but it’s coming along.  Taking her out whenever she wakes up has helped a lot.  My sleep is getting less each night because she wakes up and I need to take her out a couple times during the night.  Midnight, or 1:30am isn’t uncommon unfortunately.  I can’t wait for her to grow up and get house broken.  Get back to normal sleep.

Other than that, she is just a ball of energy.  I went to the backyard today and she chased me all over.  I was trying to tire her out, but instead I was the one huffing and puffing and ready for a nap when we were done.  She was just getting started.  She was ready for round 2 in the house.  Toys and chasing the cats all over the place.  I wish I had that much energy.  I forgot how much energy puppies have.

Soon I’ll be able to take her on walks and hopefully tire her out a little bit easier than running myself ragged through the yard or the house.  She is still getting used to having a collar on and doesn’t quite know what to do with a leash on.  We’ll get there though.  Just have to give it some time.

New Puppy

Well, I’m a proud papa again! 

My wife and I went and picked up our new puppy today.  It’s a cocker spaniel and chihuahua mix.  A smaller dog than we had, a boston terrier, but she is so damn cute we couldn’t not take her home. 

We have been looking at puppies these last couple weeks, but when we find a puppy we liked they were all sold.  This time we were browsing craigslist and saw a cute little puppy and tried again to see if they were all sold.  Lo’ and behold there were still two for sale and one of them was the one we wanted. 

We arranged to look at the puppies and met at a place down the street from our home.  We held the puppies and pet them and decided we could not part with the little darling.  We went ahead and paid for her and brought her home.  Now we have our sweet little girl home with us. 

We are going to be going through the puppy trials and tribulations all over again.  I haven’t had to deal with a puppy in the last 12 years.  I forgot what it’s like to have a puppy and it’s only been 1 day!  The teething, potty training, and training are going to be a lot of work. 

We couldn’t be happier to do it.