And ADD’s been chasing me all day, wait what did you just say?

(With you—Jamie Grace)

Yeah…although a lot of people have asked me if I have ADHD, or otherwise hinted at it, I still either don’t have it or am living in blissful ignorance. As far as I know, I do not have it…but I do admit that I have attention issues…attention issues does not equal ADHD in a 1:1 ratio in my opinion…but I did watch a video on ADHD and laughed super hard on Saturday…”if you interrupt people, give yourself a point, if you interrupt yourself, give yourself 3 points, if you don’t interrupt people but you don’t wait until they finish talking to say what you are thinking before you forget, give yourself 10 points” “If you have over 100 points and are still watching this video, give yourself 500 points”…I also watched a video on why fidgeting is good…and I was obvi fidgeting while watching the video…and over the course of a 3-minute video, I fell off of my chair twice…and therefore determined that actually fidgeting is bad…on the positive side, I didn’t knock the desk over on top of myself, so there is that…yeah…I did decide that after the last student left my tutoring session I could watch videos until the time was up because I was too tired to study…

Oh my…I have had issues with numbers for as long as I can remember, but I have always been able to hide it because I worked hard enough that I got enough right answers that my issues weren’t obvious based on sheer numbers of wrong answers. My parents often checked my work, which meant that the teachers never had to know that 256 became 526 halfway through my problem on the first attempt because I did all the work in my head and didn’t stop to check what number was supposed to be there instead relying on my memory and making my best guess if I didn’t remember with certainty. That is also how I almost ended up in special ed math in middle school because I did so poorly on the math part of fifth grade standardized testing. See, there was a choice for none of these, and I picked that one too much…hand-scoring picked up on that and proved I needed to slow down when I was working, not slow down the material…I was also the girl who refused to sit down and read until my parents found me with a book a few levels ahead of the one I was supposed to be reading…I wasn’t disinterested, I was just bored out of my mind and didn’t yet have the discipline to sit still and do what I was asked when I was so bored.

Until the past few years, however, I cannot remember ever having any issues with letters. Now, it seems that if I am not concentrating, letters end up backwards and/or upside down…it is super frustrating with d, b, p, q, and g, which when going fast, can all look identical if they face the wrong way…it is also super frustrating when you are trying to doodle out a word art and realize that the nice bold black letter you just finished coloring in is backwards. I know it is an attention issue and not an intelligence issue, because I definitely know what direction the letters go, and I definitely can write my letters the right direction. They only end up wrong when I am tired or stressed out or otherwise just not paying enough attention to what my hands are doing.

I kind of wonder if it has to do with my infancy…I know, that sounds super weird…but I was reading an article yesterday about how there is a material in medical tubing that allows the tubing to be flexible. That material is found in very high concentration in children in the hospital, particularly those children with indwelling devices. The levels quickly fall back to normal once all devices are removed, but this study found that when those children grew up they at some point had more attention problems as compared to their peers who had not spent time in the hospital even after attempts at correcting for any attention issues that may have been caused by the illness. I am fairly certain I had some hospital time as an infant…

Yesterday, over the course of more hours than I would like to admit, I got about two slides of like 10 words each read…see, I would decide I was going to read over the powerpoint, so I would get it open and find my place. Right about that time, I would decide I really should be studying EBM so I would close out of powerpoint and spend too much time deciding which part of EBM to study. About the time I chose and opened up my selection I would decide I really should be studying econ and open that up…only to realize that therapeutics is probably more important because my grade is so low in that class, but maybe I should check my email first, and then there was this one thing I wanted to read…and then it cycles over and over again and nothing gets done…well, except for the hour I spent reading about when children with spina bifida should be taught to self-cath rather than having mom or dad do it…yeah, super productive, but really random research topics like that draw me in and I can easily be lost in the web for hours without realizing the passage of time (see…I can pay attention…just not to anything of value)…the only reason I was pulled out sooner this time was because it was getting to be dinner time and my stomach was reminding me to stop what I was doing and eat…and I just happened to only have one tab open at that point so it wasn’t SO hard to tell myself ONE more thing then you are done, because by the time I finished eating I wasn’t hooked anymore because there were once again a million other things competing for my attention.

Also, last night I almost drove off the road, because I notice that my school had lit it up blue like that one building in new york and I was looking at it and really excited and forgot I was driving. Yep…attention is a little bit important when in the drivers seat of a big iron thing…and Saturday night I almost ran into another car because I put the car in reverse instead of drive…oops…

And sometimes I annoy even myself with all the sound effects that I add to my life…which probably has very little to do with attention but a lot to do with that there are a lot of things besides my goldfish-like attention span that annoy me…like how people will stand in front of a no-smoking sign sucking on a cancer stick. Gross. Don’t pollute my breathing air. If you wanna suck butt then go to your car or residence and close the doors and windows so you are only polluting the air that you have to continue to smell and don’t pollute the entire world…also, I hate when there are assigned seats for a test and the person next to me smells so strongly of smoke and BO that I can’t breathe…word to the wise, please shower and put on clean clothing before showing up to school, particularly on exam days…Kthxbai…

All that to say, sometimes I wonder if my friends are right about this whole ADHD thing and meds could fix my problems…but mostly I don’t want to know if that is the case, because I feel like I have enough things to worry about without adding a disorder on top. That might just be the last straw that broke Wiggle Worm’s back. …but anyway, computers solve most of my problems in the real world (Except for driving) so it doesn’t really matter…and I believe someday technology will produce self-driving cars so all I have to do is be physically present…and showing up is one of my strengths. 🙂 There aren’t a lot of things I am good at, but showing up is one of them.


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