A New Drug!

You may remember me talking about brain fog and memory problems in other posts. I attributed them to the medications I take for my Bipolar as well as having had Covid last spring.

Last month I got so frustrated with my inability to retain new information and to focus that I booked an appointment with my doctor, which I had on Monday. I explained that my short-term memory is the worst it has ever been. I’m losing track of what people are saying as they say it and it’s making learning nearly impossible. I have never struggled like this in my life.

My doctor ran through some questions to gauge my neurological functions and seemed satisfied that I didn’t have early onset dementia or any injury to my brain. That’s when she mentioned ADHD. She pulled out a screening questionnaire and I proceeded to fill it out, surprised at the results. I landed in the 90% range.

I had never considered ADHD and admittedly know little about it. She noted that it presents differently in girls and that more often than not women aren’t diagnosed until they are older. One study found that 1 in 6 adults diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder also has ADHD. Both conditions involve impulsivity (check), irritability (another check), emotional dysregulation (check, check), sleep problems (oh yes) and problems maintaining attention (good grief).

So, we’ve decided to try out Vyvanse, an ADHD medication, at a low dose to see if it makes a difference with my focus. At this point I’ll try anything to regain some semblance of normal memory function and focus. It would make my life so much easier. I could concentrate and be present in conversations. I wouldn’t feel like I couldn’t keep up with learning new things at work. I’d be able to regurgitate information and not have to worry about not being able to answer questions when called upon.

The side effects of Vyvanse are pretty normal – dizziness, upset stomach, diarrhea. The usual suspects. BUT there is a silver lining! Appetite suppression and weight loss! Finally, a side effect that works in my favor. Hopefully, coupled with eating better, more water and some exercise, I can get my weight under control.

My doctor did mention that the appetite suppression lasts as long as the medication lasts, about 10-12 hours. One thing I will have to be careful of is binging in the evenings when I do finally get hungry. Yeeks! Unless I binge on broccoli, then the worst that can happen is gas…am I right??

So, here’s a new little adventure in my journey and possibly the Bear’s as well. If we find that the medication works, it’s likely that I do have ADHD. That could mean that the Bear has it as well. A child with ADHD has a 1 in 4 chance of having a parent with it and with me being diagnosed, we will likely start examining the Bear…

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