I primarily posted this for your benefit which means my benefit. This ADHD planning thing has been difficult for me to master. It works like crazy but I'm crazy and I forget what works like crazy unless I keep reminding myself. On the level my case, the meds weren't cutting it until I got the Rheanna Solution. On the other hand, the meds enabled me to get the Rheanna Solution. Read on:
I never expected to post this "conscious stream" you are hopefully about to read. See preamble for my reasons.
"Writing-it-out-problem-solving" is the singular most important non-med ADHD remediation trick I've learned. Rheanna is mostly responsible for this being in my ADHD fixit cache. After my Rheanna read, I read same in at least two books by licensed psychologists. I always figured they get their stuff off this board from us players. Where are our royalties and credits
I decided to post what was to be private because it is real life problem that I am trying to solve with a real life strategy. Works even if you are normal. Trouble is, I'm not normal and I find it difficult to understand abstractions and even harder to explain them without a concrete example.
And I really do need your help. I'm stuck. Not the least reason why this post.
My problem is "chronic fatigue" but not of the "syndrome" type. This type comes from burning the candle at both ends or like I was 25 years old. Better than double that now. Yikes.
I've noticed in the past ten years or so that I have less energy than what a 40-50 yo should have. Is it from onset geezerhood or from a virus? See point 2 and 4 below. Additional factor is that I've never had to work so hard just to make meat end. Too much unavoidable work, I think is primary cause with getting older running a close second.
Financial factors and shot at those loan sharks (point 2) follows.
1. I found out about 4 years back that I have Hepatitis C. The cure, "Interferon," damn near killed us financially. Ran up a $100,000 home equity loan and then ran up a credit card over limit. I had medical insurance but no loss of employment insurance. It's a lesson on how fast unemployment mounts bills. I went over my credit card limit by four thousand at which point Back of America finally pulled the plug. Shortly after the over-run I got employed (again) and we paid down the four thou overage. But now according to Bank of American I am a poor risk even though wife never paid any bills late much less in default. Bank of American set my interest rate at 25% and Bank of America refused to lower it in spite of my supplications. Did I mention they raised my credit limit after I paid the overage and the overage fees? Give a poor risk more credit? But not lower rates consistent with pay-on-time performance? Bums. For the past six months, I haven't put so much as one item on that card or any other CC. Now I got the dough to pay the bums off. They are history. Ok, we have a little less stress which can mean a little less fatigue.
2. Wife got home equity loan down to $98,000. It was $99,999.99. The equity loan rates dropped recently. The interest is about half now - but for the time being only. It is not a fixed rate but one of those variable rate loans. Ok, I'm an idiot. But I can refinance with a fixed rate. Hey, my chance to de-idiotise me. You should try getting a loan or loan increase when unemployed. You can't borrow money when you need it only when you don't need it. I heard that somewhere and it is true.
3. I'm getting to be a very old fart - pushing 57 yo. In my younger years a few bills didn't worry me. Since when bills bother the ADHD? Now they do. That's cause I don't have that many years left to pay them off and I'm "managed."
4. Retirement fund? I never could figure out if a 409K was a bank account or a cleanser. Our retirement fund is our properties. I figured real estate values would always go up. Wrong again. And now I got a $98,000 lean on our retirement fund to boot. Dang.
I am not editing out the above very personal figures because you (at least most of you) don't know the masked man behind ADDProgrammer and pulling the figs. would pull the real life feel and detract from an otherwise good example.
Back to the problem at hand:
I can't keep the pace. I got ADHD and I'm fatigued and that makes me more ADHD. Let's clear the board and confess that I tried a little extra Ritalin and Adderall. Both worked. Both kept me up all night. All my gains were lost the next day when I was more fatigued and less productive. I DID know enough not to up the ante. So I quit that naughtiness. Well, I got me a really bright idea a couple days back Ephedra. I was up all last night (literally). Ephedra is history. Caffeine? Doesn't work well enough. Lesson learned: ADHD meds are for ADHD not fatigue. And not for getting high either. The latter I knew. The former I just learned the hard way. Same way I learned the latter. Explains the hep C. Ephedra is similar to Adderall. Don't mix them. No good. Same effect as an ill-advised Adderall bump up.
Incidentally, my current med as of a month ago is 40mg Adderall IR. I've been back and forth between the Rit and the Adderall. Frankly, the Adderall is a little too much for me. I did better (up till 4 or 5 PM) on 60 mg of methylin 10mg 6x/day. JaneWhite correctly stated that Ritalin burns fast. I couldn't make it to day's end with Rit. Adderall burns slower but has more of an upfront buzz. I take it 10mg 4x/day. I want no ADHD and no buzz. Fatigue? Lasts longer? I'll put up with the buzz. 40 mg I sleep. 50 iffy. 60 absolutely not. Don't do stupid stuff that I do. I'll tell you, though, honest and true, money problems make for stupid moves.
Work less? See point 4. Work less because I have no choice? Talk to my wife. I discussed the problem with her and she doesn't know what to do. She is a beautiful woman but is quickly turning into a fartett a female old fart. Doesn't have too many working years left either.
The good things: less debt now. The bad things: not good enough good things. Besides switching jobs ain't so easy any more. Current job pays good dough. Where can I find less work for same money? No, better yet, less work, more money I can't. Trust me. I can't. I am not opposed to retooling (new skills) but that cost money and time. Tell you what? That option needs further investigating. Don't trust me. Maybe I can find something computer related and avoid a complete skillset overhaul.
The medical factor: What can I do to increase stamina and/or increase focus when tired which is virtually always? Let me tell you what I've done for real and for fake:
Exercise: For real
Diet: Mostly for fake. Too many good tasting evil things out there. I do, however, focus on proteins and veggies. Another fess up: I consume tons of ice cream, chocolate and pasta and what's a hamburger without the roll? And not from McDonald's? And without fries? Forgetaboutit. Unless you got a no pain improvement plan you can share _ <- put it in that space. How about a just a little pain improvement? This space __________. Just kidding. Tell me about it.
Supplements: Wife gives me two or three hundred pills every AM. Don't ask what are they because I don't know other than "all natural pills." Actually, my Ephedra is (was) Ma Hung. That's natural. Come to think of it, so are cocoa leaves and opium poppies. But that is different "all natural." That's "evil all natural." "All natural" slays me.
Quit boozing: For real. I've had a love/hate relationship with booze all my ADHD life which is all my life. I decided to just hate it permanently. Yep, more energy. But not enough. Pizza and soda? Oh, man, small price I suppose for better health. Alcohol is from grain damn, "all natural." Why didn't someone tell me it's health food before I quit.
Let's summarize findings:
1. Less debt next month. Might experience less fatigue. Stress can fatigue me right proper.
2. Refinance home equity loan to fixed rate
3. Another job in related industry that pays mega bucks yet employer doesn't expect much from me. Something tells me it ain't happening. The more the pay, the more the damands, the more the bossman expects from me. I don't think that's changed sinced I got "managed." I'll look around just in case.
4. I do wonder if my copious quantities of sugary things are a factor. I should try less. Why not just shoot myself. Less work dead. Easier than giving up my goodies.
5. Don't shoot self in foot by ODing pills. Besides if the good doc found out, he'd freak. He is a good doctor. He told me "don't do that." I sez to self, "the bozo has no bills." Turns out, I'm the bozo. I wasn't trying to get high, just trying to stay awake. Waz wrong with tat? Plenty.
Lessons for you, if interested:
1. I didn't get my answer. But brain is primed. The answer will come. What if the answer is "continue working like a stinking dog?" I don't like that answer. I want an "all natural" answer.
2. The reason "conscious-flow-in-writing" works for us is because we can't keep conscious thought moving toward where we want to go. No one can get anywhere without keeping "where" in mind long enough to get there. I purposely did not edit out my ramblings because I can't write without rambling. Best I can do is edit later. The paper or monitor persists the meaningful thoughts. I think it important that "conscious flow" be just that. Otherwise, in my case at least, I end up with a jammed brain. Nothing to edit. Got no where. Worse than rambling. My boss begged me, "please, Bob, please, a binary answer." That's geek for yes or no. I said "zero." That's geek for NO. Actually, in a way I can do binary. Convert (edit) from multidirectional thought patterns into unidirectional. If no get that, worry not. It means we have scrambled brains.
3. Something I had to understand to make goal planning work for me is that the plan never works. No plan is possible without constants. A plan is about the future. The future has no constants other than death and taxes. I don't like either.
3a. A very simple example from my recent past. I wrote out how I was going to replace the alternator in my car. I read relevant chapter in repair book. Listed tools needed. Searched basement for tools and put in out box. I was ready to go. It rained on the set-aside day. I haven't done much mechanical work past few years. I had to take half the car apart to get at the alternator. (I didn't believe book). An hour long job (what it took ~1970) took parts of three days. It's done. I know me. If no written alternator replace plan, the car would have been towed to a brain surgeon. (no typo). Brain surgeons get the mega bucks. I want to earn mega bucks not spend them.
4. Before I got "managed" I use to think all this writing a big waste of time. I could have the job done in less time than it takes writing about it. True, if not ADHD. But am what I am. ADHD as hell.
Incidently, I do have a garage but nothing can fit in it at least nothing the size of an car. And I do have a place for my tools but they aren't in that place yet. Isn't it funny how our environment reflects brain state? Two more goal plans in the making.
The following user gives a hug of support to addprogrammer: tweetyfeety (05-26-2011)
The Following User Says Thank You to addprogrammer For This Useful Post: LessStress38 (02-06-2012)
It sounds to me that you are asking for a critique of your programming plan.
What I hear from you:
The program isn't running as efficiently as it "should" -- you're running out of energy before all the functions can be performed.
Solution: analyse and alter the program.
Spread out the modules on that wonderful expanse of walls in your home (I'm so envious!) to get a good look at how the modules function with each other.
Possible listing of (some of) the modules:
Sleep (down time) is vital to regenerating daytime energy. Worry and anxiety interfere with down time. Lingering drugs (inapropriate distribution of meds over the course of the day) in the system interfere with down time. Too much or too little exercise interferes with down time.
Diet affects long-term energy levels as well as short-term energy levels suitable for running the module of the moment. Sugar and white flour in large quantities provide short-term (very short-term) energy, but nothing to sustain long-term energy levels, thus crashing the energy system on a regular basis.
Regular exercise discharges excess energy overload as well as provides a way for the body to sustain efficient energy levels over a longer period of time. And it discharges energy that might interfere with sleep (down time).
Money needs to be available on a consistent enough basis to take care of our physical energy needs -- a place to function in (home), food, healthcare (for taking care of unexpected health crashes as well as smooth running of program during "normal" operation, playthings. What else is money needed for?
Lay out modules on wall. Add to module list as you think of other things that are necessary to the smooth running of program. Analyse: what is interfering with the smooth running of program? Tweak accordingly.
At the moment I see a couple of things:
Sugar and white flour are not food. They make our taste buds and our whatever-thingy brain chemicals happy. Short term patch for program. Make for inefficient code. Rewrite diet program to emphasise long-term energy foods. Nutrition lesson in another lecture.
Anxiety regarding money problems is not so easy to fix. But you've already made an incredible (applause and confetti and pats on the back!!!) change in the employment module in an attempt to stabilize the money module after the unexpected health module developed a glitch. What other ways are there to stabilize the money module? Bring in more money by writing articles for geeky programming publications? Sell your sexy geeky body to geeky ladies looking for a thrill? Hide from rumbling wife when she finds out about such a solution?
The anxiety module -- uses up energy that could be used for running other modules. Throws confusion into the program as a whole. You have (rightly) congratulated Thunor for his zen approach to his anxiety about being able to handle his job. I will add my own praise to his thread shortly. Anxiety is an unnecessary module. Adds complexity to the program. Hahahaha says Rheanna. She hasn't eliminated this module from her own program. But she's talking about your program. Analysing your program doesn't engage her own anxiety module. Put your modules up on your walls. Leave out the anxiety module. Or put it in and see how it throws off the zen of the other modules.
You can't burn the candle at both ends for a long time. You can't be 25 again. But you can use some of your OCD perfectionist programming skills to make a more efficient program.
Thank you for being an important part of this group of ADDers -- you've added so much to the folks on this Board by sharing your experiences and feedback and humor. And you make me think. And organize my thoughts. Time to analyse my own modules.
I'm looking for the fast path to wealth and riches NOT poverty. So, no, I will not attempt to ... "Sell [my] sexy geeky body to geeky ladies looking for a thrill?" Market analysis doesn't look good.
Lot's of goodies + geezerhood = "mid life" bulge. The glory days of being able to eat like a pig without looking like one are gone. Let's see, 57x2=114. Who's the idiot that applied "mid life" to 50 and 60 year olds?
I'm stuck in the rut. I was "done sleeping" at 4 AM. The thought thread in my head when I went to bed never stopped running. It's still running. It's got me wide awake yet I feel exhausted. It's going to be a stare at the monitor and the monitor stares back at me day. Took no pills yesterday and none today either. I'll do the best I can without them because I need real sleep sometime real soon.
How can an ADHD brain (can't focus) be an OCD brain (can't stop focusing)?
Monday of this week I bought a humongous dark chocolate candy bar. Then I ate it - all of it. Maybe it had something to do with current OCD cycle.
Oh, just remembered, the ice cream cone on Tuesday. The stacked ice cream's tilt and warm weather called for an expeditious devour. I did it. Am I good or what
Wait a minute. I had veggies for din din. Veggies neutralize the fat and sugar, don't they? Are more dietary changes really necessary?
You already told me. Thanks for the reply. Thanks for taking the time. I appreciate it.
When I "use" chocolate I can't sleep. Especially the dark choco. The good stuff. The only stuff that actually counts as chocolate. Can't sleep. Or when I do for short bits I toss and turn and have wierd dreams in techno-color -- lots of activity, sometimes violent, shady characters that I swear I don't know in my waking life. Then I wake up again. Repeat all night long. I'm a mess the next day. Bad stuff this choco drug.
I give you permission to get your sugar high from non-choco sources.
Wow, now that you've made me think about it, dark chocolate just might be responsible for many of my OCD cycles.
There is something very narcotic about dark chocolate. It spawns an addictive cycle in me that begins with can't stop once I start eating it. The fix cycle is pretty long, though. One HUGE bar a day manages my cravings a full 24 hours. So it's a "good" narcotic.
If "it" is really that simple, I am not surprised. One of my programming icons said, "the Unix system is really very simple. But you need to be a genius to see the simplicity."
I almost always need someone to point out the obvious because I'm not a genius. And the obvious is NEVER obvious. And Unix is NOT simple. Rheanna, they play with my head. They're out to get me.
I'll let you know how it goes. I have an exclusive on chocolate. Vanilla is non-narcotic. Maybe if I paint it brown it'll trick my brain into thinking a jolt is coming and then placebo effect produces the jolt and brain is happy.
So-called white chocolate (which is improperly named, IMNSHO, because it doesn't deserve that name of chocolate) doesn't have the narco qualities that dark chocolate has. It could satisfy the fat-and-sugar addiction without the drug component. Sigh. Well, we gotta sleep. You say "One HUGE bar a day manages my cravings a full 24 hours." Hmmm. It also prevents sleep for a full 24 hours.
For the last few weeks I've been indulging in hot chocolate drinks when I go out -- the good places make it with a lot of real cocoa. Mmmmm. And I can't sleep. See my description in my post above. I'm having to slap my hand and move it to another part of the menu when I go out -- "may I have some peppermint tea, please?" Sigh. I've slept much better the last few days.
Hey, don't berate yourself -- you're a bazillion times smarter than you give yourself credit for. Knowing when to ask someone to look at your code when you get stuck is the sign of a genius. You give them a chance to view it with fresh eyes (they probably haven't been as deep into the choco stash as you have), they point out some bit that you didn't notice because you were too close to it all, and then you go forth with new insight and get to take the credit for the project that you can now complete with ease! Or at least it's a missing piece of the puzzle or something. Hey, this ADD Board, as well as real life, is a collaborative effort.
I'm sorry if it turns out that choco is the culprit for your lack of energy. But if it turns out to be such a simple "fix", then you don't have to do all that life-analysis stuff that I blathered on about in my first post.
Last edited by rheanna; 05-16-2008 at 05:58 AM.
Reason: can't spell genius because I aren't one
People don't drink booze just for the taste. I suspect my chocolate craving is similar. Buzzes always have a price tag. I had a big bowl of chocolate ice cream just before bed last night. I had weird dreams. I woke up too early. Hmn. Even more circumstantial figure pointing.
Why do it?
Chocolate soothes my ragged nerves at night. Picks me up during the day. Darn good drug. Price too high? If it truely is the culprit (I suspect as much now) YES.
I'm now officially on the chocolate wagon.
I'll tell all when I get my test results back.
PS Time to do real work. Or my worse fears will be realized. Broke and unemployed. Not just broke
Me, I do fine with chocolate unless I eat so much that the sugar or fat makes me sick. Coffee, now, that I can't have more than a few ounces before seriously unfun stuff happens. Not quite the same caffeine molecule, as I understand it.
Good luck with your new endeavors.
We're ADD'ers. As children, we need a new plan every 3.5 minutes. Now we're much more mature, surely we can manage a few months.
"But if it turns out to be such a simple "fix", then you don't have to do all that life-analysis stuff that I blathered on about in my first post."
I wish that were the case.
Let's geektize and throw in a bucket for Jane's 3.5 minutes per plan when young and 5.6 minutes per plan when old. Sorry, Jane, for the edit.
I know you know but for the sake of the non-nerds, let's define "algorithm." Synonyms are equation, decision tree, cook book and anything we use with an "if ... then" format.
If I want to make pizza then I need pizza dough else if I want to make tacos I need taco shells ...
Some algorithms may have a single output. All algorithms have multiple "innys."
Guess what happens when just one little itty bitty inny is missed or has a bogus in-value?
The whole thing stalls, spins, hits ground nose first and burst into flames. All I wanted, though, was a quick ride to the west coast. I'll leave "going out in a blaze of glory" to the hero types.
You'd think that bad enough. It ain't. When the NTSB team shows, where in the charred mess is the little itty bitty bolt that lost its little itty bitty nut that caused the huge catastrophic failure that ended in an inferno that make Dante blush?
Sounds similar to mental disorder diagnostics, does it not?
ALL THE INNYS MUST BE ACCOUNTED FOR if you want a smooth ride.
THERE IS NO SIMPLE SOLUTION TO ADHD. Anyone, anywhere, tells you otherwise tell them they are full of bull manure.
Let's Jane_tize the geektoid ...
I got CURRENTLY a stable platform to work on. My experience has taught me that the Devil likes to pull the rug out from under me. Worse yet, I just love to make the Devil's job easy by doing my own rug pulling.
I live in fear of the next "episode." That is why I am trying to fix the money problem while the fixing is good. Besides, my game doesn't have many redos left. That "besides" is really a new variable for me. New variables are the rug pullers.
This trip I got to get correctly all the innys with good inny values. The ADHD management algorithm has been written for me. My job is to check member variable type and value before passing the struct off to the function that actually does something ... the ADHD management algorithm.
Here it is: Good diet, exercise, relatively stress free lifestyle, a good balance between work, play and sleep, ADHD specialized management strategies and the FREAKING meds.
Each variable must be processed with non bogus value, otherwise I go up in smoke.
That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
I'm rechecking other data members in my work, play, sleep balance class for other bogus inny values too. Not just chocoNarco.
You guys rule. Us guys call girls guys so don't take offense. A girl just told me that all guys are pigs. Hmn. Cool. I'm not alone.
"Writing-it-out-problem-solving" is the singular most important non-med ADHD remediation trick I've learned. Rheanna is mostly responsible for this being in my ADHD fixit cache.
Glad to be of help. Next up, Rheanna needs to start doing this herself.
Now, dear, tell me about this ephedra. You're not bipolar. It sounds more like you're on a roller-coaster ride from various substances.
Dark chocolate is a strong drug for some of us. It sounds like your reaction to it is similar to mine. Stopping the use of chocolate in drug quantities should allow you to sleep and be rested. You say that isn't helping.
Now you mention ephedra. Not good stuff. It was taken off the market for a reason.
The original title of this thread is "Please help with ADHD goal planning". What you highlight in big bold oversized letters in your original post is:
What can I do to increase stamina and/or increase focus when tired which is virtually always?
It sounds like you've been trying various substances in an attempt to self-medicate. Normal response for us ADDers. But we walk a tightrope. The right drugs in the right dosages help us to function in some semblance of "normal" (ie. function in the everyday world). The wrong drugs and/or the wrong dosage are either ineffective or have unwanted results.
Roller coaster ride. Choco is intense. Ephedra is powerful stuff. Stopping either of them brings rebound lows. Don't know about Adderall. Let us consider a more sedate, tame, (perhaps even boring???) amusement park ride. The merry-go-round? I'll even let you sit on one of the little horsies that bob up and down. But just a little up-and-downing.
You've been on a roller coaster. And you're asking for help. Don't have specific solutions, as drugs have generally not been my method of coping. Except for choco of course. But it may be that with the journaling in this thread, we're at least narrowing in on what the cause is. Knowledge is power.
Self-medication has its drawbacks. You've mentioned this in earlier posts. If necessary, a peek or a post in the Addiction Recovery Board might help.
Hang in there. And keep posting. You are an imprtant part of this Board for me.
Right now, I've been in the same place for 3 years, which is a long time for me. I'm having to develop new and better coping techniques yet again. It's also important just to remember that we do have a difference that needs to be worked around one way or another.
Although I've really dropped the ball of late as far as providing support for you all, I've really come to count on you too. You've all made a real difference in my life in the short time that I've been here. I even told my doctor that I've joined an online support group and that it's done wonders.
Bob, thanks for the mention, and I did give your post a good read on Saturday, I just didn't have the chance to respond between all the errands and such I had to run and setting up my brother's new computer (we'll get into my incredible jealousy later. ).
I'm not going to be much help as a contributor to this thread though, I'm afraid, because my body doesn't respond the same as those of others to stimulants, etc. As far as stimulants, I've tried things that I'm afraid to admit sometimes, normally bodybuilding inspired weight loss solutions, from Ephedrine, ASA and Caffeine to Clenbuterol to others I won't mention.
My body generally seems to respond backwards to stimulants. I remember taking the Ephedrine, ASA and Caffeine stack that was supposed to keep you wired for hours and the first thing I'd do is lie down and take a nap.
For energy, I find the best thing is good old fashioned 'clean living.' When I actually do things properly, keep my fat intake under control, use lots of protein and fibre and complex carbs (oatmeal is an amazing food) and get enough, but not too much sleep (7 hours seems perfect for me when I'm active), then I have energy to spare. Oh, and I take a lot of vitamins. I subscribe to the point of view of a certain doctor that I've come to greatly respect and take the vitamins, etc that he recommends (I won't mention names lest I be smitten by the all powerful mods. ).
As far as lack of energy, nothing kills my energy more than eating too much (which I do far too often, I've self medicated with food for decades and it's pretty obvious) or sleeping too much. If I get more than 8 hours sleep, it's all I can do to wake up and then I'm dragging my butt all day.
I've found that the Dexedrine hasn't so much improved my energy level as it's improved my will to do something constructive with what energy I have.
Anyway, there it all is, for what it's worth. I hope things work out for you.
PS: My breakfast in the last couple of months has been Oatmeal with Soy Milk, 2 egg whites with Cayenne Pepper and Coffee with (real) cream, sugar and Cocoa. I find that really gets my day off to a solid start. Then I eat every 2-4 hours, either spinach salad with fruit and protein (chicken breast or home made chili or lentil soup), or just a protein shake. Staying light at each meal keeps my digestive system from bogging me down too much, but eating often keeps a good supply of fuel in the tank at all times. Break it down, small meals six times a day and see how things go.
Actually, Thunor, falling asleep from caffeine is pretty common among ADD-ers. It stops the hyperactivity in the brain, and then your body realizes it hasn't slept enough lately, and then grabs a nap.
Oatmeal is good. (I say as I spoon up the last few bites). I don't get hungry again for a while after that breakfast, just nice steady blood sugar and happy insides for hours. I cut up a few dried apricots in mine, so I don't have to add sugar to make it tasty.
One more thing: Sometimes you really do just need some external structure. The other night, I said, "you know, given that I've misplaced my backpack twice today, (in a fairly small living room/dining room) it's probably time I cleaned up." But, of course, I didn't do anything.
So a little later, I said to my husband, "What should I be doing right now?"
"Cleaning." He immediately replied. (It was mostly my stuff tossed around, his was at least piled out of the way.)