Thursday 2 July 2015

So aye, another ADHD update

Aye, so my sleep pattern is still *ahem* interesting, to say the least.  For those with an interest in such things, I came off the original ADHD medication, atomoxetine, due to a variety of side effects being a bit too much, and have now started another, Concerta, which is a delayed release, long lasting form of methylphenidate - ritalin in old money.

The atomoxetene side effects I experienced were not untenable, but inconvenient - Cold fingers, nose and feet (Reynaud's); dehydration; slightly reduced bladder awareness (I'd be fine, and then suddenly it would dawn on me that I really needed to pee) and some relating to *ahem* reproductive function that if you are curious about I will happily discuss, but not publicly on the internet.

None of them were really severe or stopped me doing anything I wanted to, although the Reynaud's did make playing the guitar more difficult.

Moving from a non-stimulant to a stimulant treatment has been interesting - probably most of interest to casual readers is that I haven't felt discernibly high at all, although I probably do feel a bit more alert in general.

Today is my first day on the full dose of the Methylphenidate (3x18mg), having stepped up the dosage over the past fortnight.  Week one, in which I only took one tablet a day, was definitely a regression in terms of ADHD symptoms - I was far antsier than I would have been on the Atomoxetine, and that probably showed to anyone who was watching me - we had a meeting of our Group Executive Committee and I was probably closer to old Hamish in terms of concentration gaps and fidgeting than I have been for a long time.

That was unfortunate, given that my fully medicated self had been hugely productive - I had six papers with my name on them on the agenda and another one that I had contributed to significantly was taken, and to be honest I wasn't on form - for those not used to Trade Union bureaucracy, reports are produced on paper and at the end of each decision paper, recommendations set out the course of action to follow, which can be amended, agreed or rejected by the Committee.  I was definitely struggling to remember what I had written in a way that I would not have a week before, but people were kind nonetheless.

Week two saw me taking two 18mg pills in the morning, and there was a definite increase in efficacy - still antsier than on the atomoxetine, but more focused when work was required, and I am broadly on top of everything I need to do right at this moment, which is no bad thing.

I am going to try and keep a note of my sleep over the next wee while - last night I was probably asleep for half eight, and up before 4, which isn't usual for me (this may be an understatement), while yesterday I was dozily awake from quarter past seven and on duty before 9.

Anyway, it seems quite good, and none of the possible side effects are definitely showing up yet - the sleep thing may or may not be one!

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