Friday, October 25, 2013

Catch up on the past 4 months

Wow, it's been 4 months exactly since I posted anything here. Things that have happened since I last posted:

-Participated in a sleep study, they said there's nothing wrong, just get enough of it regularly (I need 9-10 hours usually)

-Tried 4 different stimulant-class adhd meds, none of them worked and had bad side effects

-Saw a nutritionist for a few weeks in July at the recommendation of a doctor for my diverticulitis

-Lost my job at the end of July and was depressed for a while

-Let my sleep schedule fall into night owl mode, more time to see Carlo since he works evenings 3-11!

-Applied for a few jobs

-Got a part-time job at a new fried chicken restaurant that only lasted 3 weeks in September cause they hired too much staff when they opened

-Decided that I should go back to school

-Found a free six month career counselling program to help me decide what to go to school in

-Discovered that I have to be approved by Emploi Quebec (provincial government employment agency) before I can take part in free career counselling services, but there are advantages in the form of refunds for travel and other stuff

-Took an appointment with an Emploi Quebec agent for the 29th for them to evaluate me

-Started attending group cognitive behavioral therapy for adhd on the 2nd of this month (it's helping)

-Started trying to work out and bike regularly and restart my food journal with the help of My Fitness Pal

-Decided that I want to try a ketogenic diet eventually if I can manage to reduce my carbs to 60g/day and maintain that for a while like the nutritionist advised me

-Didn't sleep one day and decided to take the opportunity to flip my sleep schedule back to normal since I missed the sun, haven't been to church in too long and it's just easier to get daytime-only stuff done this way. Although I will miss seeing Carlo as much, but it still isn't as bad as when I was working full time day shift.

-Saw the doctor again finally for the first time in 4 months to get a prescription for a new adhd med to try (Strattera, will try it starting next week cause this week I'm still stabilizing my sleep schedule)

-Made a daily schedule to follow in an attempt to get things done, so far it's working somewhat

And... um that's about all I can think of. Yesterday was my first day of trying to stick to a daily schedule using my agenda, I was mostly successful. So far today I'm not really on track, I got my morning routine done but I procrastinated and did it really late so it went into my pre-lunch "work" period, and then I procrastinated some more and decided to write a blog post :P

I was initially resistant to the idea of having such a tighly regimented schedule but the psychologist supervising the CBT group said that although it might be overwhelming to contemplate and difficult to get used to, people with adhd thrive on rigid schedules once they actually get the hang of it and create a new routine. So I figured I'd try and see, I have nothing to lose.

Although every hour of my day is accounted for, half of that is for sleep, and another quarter is set aside for meals, snacks, break times, morning and evening routines, etc., and I decided to leave myself a lot of free time on weekends also, so I'm definitely not driving myself to exhaustion. Especially after this week, they talked about the concept of concentration "batteries", that we have to find out how long our attention span is for unpleasant tasks and then stick to doing it for periods of that amount of time with breaks to do other things to recharge our "attention batteries" in between.

So in my schedule I set aside two blocks of two hours each per day, Mon-Fri, to do "work" in 10-minute intervals with little breaks in between so I don't get too fed up and stop working altogether. "Work" consists of anything important on my to-do list, like looking for a job, or housework, or other necessary things to do that aren't fun.

I'm really hoping that I'll find a medication that can help me soon so that I can be even more productive when it's combined with the tools learned in CBT. It's been 8 months since I got my diagnosis and I STILL haven't found a medication that works, although 2 months of that was not seeing the doctor due to procrastination on my part, and another month of waiting to find a doctor who was somewhat familiar with the meds and could prescribe them for me. I have over 50 things on my to do list, only 14 or so of which need to be done soon though, and maybe 5 of those today. So it's still doable. If I start. *sigh* I'm gonna go make lunch...

Here is a picture of some blooming cabbages I saw on my walk this morning, click to full view:

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