It’s official. Mama has ADD, predominantly inattentive type. No surprise, really. Over the past year or so, Life had been getting a little more complicated and I was having a tough time managing–not just the details, but the big stuff, too. I figured if I knew that this was, in fact, ADD, I’d have a handle to hold on to and possibly a path forward. If it wasn’t ADD, I probably needed to know that, too.
It took me a while to chase down an official diagnosis. My initial contacts for an appropriate diagnosis were, um, shall we say costly? I then tried to go through my insurance, but that was NO HELP. I repeat, NO HELP, even when I called and rolled it up to a manager and tried to get a gap exception for coverage out-of-network. They kept giving me lists of people to call, none of whom tested or diagnosed adults with ADD/ADHD. Ahem. And, having the aforementioned ADD, I kept getting distracted with other things…like kids who needed to be fed…and lost my lists of people to call and forgot to follow up with the insurance people…
Eventually, I called Dr Klear, the psychologist who did the boys’ neuro-feedback a year or two ago, and she said she’d do it for me. She sent me a pile of questionnaires, I made an appointment and headed in. Long story short: ADD, inattentive type, and dysthymia. Long-term, low-grade depression, plus living in the middle of piles and disorganization.
Here’s what I’m going to do about it:
1. Neurofeedback — I’d taken my 2 older boys in for therapy, and had tried it once myself in an effort to alleviate my fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue symptoms. I kept falling asleep and losing focus. Dr Klear said back then she’d have to run me through the ADD program before I had the attention for the fibro progam. Ooopsie. I’ve had 3 sessions targeted at the ADD and dysthymia in the past two weeks and walk out much calmer, happier, and more focused. That, my friends, is WINNING. And I’m now a little hyperfocused on learning more about it. It’s sooooo cooooool!
2. Continue with Naturopath — My naturopath hit upon the idea of tweaking my neurotransmitters just a week or two before I went in for the ADD diagnosis. We’ve been gradually chipping away everything else (“You’re such an interesting case!” she says with glee.) My mood and attention improved noticeably that week. A poor night’s sleep and too much sugar will still whack me out again, but it’s nice to have had 5 good days this month. And as someone who looks back fondly on the 5 good days she had in 2009, that’s a good thing.
3. Exercise — My brain works better when I move my body. This hasn’t been the easiest thing to follow through with– see: fibro/chronic fatigue. Trying to maximize benefit while minimizing pain. Not discomfort, pain. Using the CrossFit for babies workout at the back of Sarah Fragoso’s “Everyday Paleo” as a starting point.
4. Eat paleo — My new virtual guru is Nora Gedgaudas “Primal Body, Primal Mind.” She cured herself of a 30-year dysthymia with paleo and neuro-feedback. Her book was a library find, and it’s so good I bought my own copy so I could use a highlighter on the pages. The chapter on why anyone with mood, behavior, or any brain-based issue should avoid gluten is the most complete and easiest to read explanation I’ve ever come across. Also using “Deep Nutrition” and the “GAPS diet” as guides. As I have completely lost my kitchen mojo, my cooking gurus are shaping up to be Nom Nom Paleo, Sarah Fragoso, and PaleoParents. (Stacey’s transformation is inspiring!!)
My middle kiddo’s favorite video: