Perhaps you’ve noticed that I’m looking sort of bony these days.
I’m usually a pretty slender person. Solid, but slender.
I started dropping weight and didn’t even notice. Of course, there were signs: The funeral back in December. My black dress that normally looks stunning on me just hung there, a sad sack of cloth on a frame. The fact that my pants weren’t fitting – I thought it was just cheap detergent. It really hit me when I went to buy new pants. I grabbed my usual size and put them on. Nope, no way. The pants were hanging off me. Grabbed a smaller size. Put those on. Nope. So here I am, ten pounds lighter than my normal, wearing tiny pants that are way smaller than anything I’ve ever worn and rocking a fiercely sharp clavicle, while mourning the loss of my South Africa boobs. (I ate so much custard to grow them!)
Now before you cry “eating disorder!”, let me explain.
I’m still within what the CDC considers a healthy weight range. [That is totally stretching the truth. My body mass index (BMI) is hovering at around 18.5, the very bottom edge of “healthy.” But it still counts!] I went in last week and my doctor told me not to lose any more weight. (As I type this, there is a quarter pounder in my hand. Gross, but effective.)
So why all of this weight loss?
In September, I had my yearly performance review at work. My only negative was “focus,” but in our meeting, my boss jokingly told me that he was sure that the only thing that would ever fix that was medication. But a larger raise was out of the question based on the lack of focus affecting my work. This really hit home for me, obviously. (My boss in high school used to tell me that I had the attention span of a golden retriever, so this “focus” issue is not a new thing.)
I decided to talk to my doctor about it. It was an oddly confrontational meeting. I underwent two horrible days of testing with a psychologist who looks exactly like Tobias Funke from Arrested Development. When I see him, it’s seriously very hard for me not to throw out Tobias quotes.
The testing was lame, but the psychologist is hilarious and amazing. As it turns out, I have zero learning disabilities (they include that in testing to rule everything out), am at or slightly above average at math (this is the scariest part of that – if I’m average, how bad can it get?), have insanely awesome phonemic awareness, and am a classic case of combined-type ADHD.
The ADHD diagnosis did not come as a shock, although I’m now wondering how I ever managed to get anything accomplished before.
So we began the time-honored tradition of messing around with medication. Let me tell you a few things: Ritalin is the scariest thing ever. Probably worse than meth. Actually, no. I just did a quick search for meth billboards and they’re very clear that meth is so much scarier than Ritalin. Sort of. Anyway, I took it for like three weeks, I think. Horrid. My resting heart rate was 120 beats per minute. I was super cracked out and jumpy. All very attractive qualities, I assure you.
So we switched. I’m very happy with my new meds, but I am learning that I seriously hate dealing with UnitedHealthcare more than anything. They’re a bunch of dicks who sit in a room laughing about the problems of the people who pay them insane amounts of money only to have nothing covered. They’ve denied my coverage for my meds because I’m over 18, because they don’t want me to get generic, and so on down their list of excuses. So I’m paying out of pocket. And silently cursing them while I wait to re-file my claim.
The side effects of the new meds are relatively few, except for the pesky eating problem. It hurts me to eat. I have little to no interest in food. So I’ve been trying to creative about getting calories. I’m working on it. I spoke to a friend who was also late-in-life (ha) diagnosed with ADHD and she said that after a little while, it’ll be easier. It’s starting to be a little bit better. Last night, I was starving. All I wanted was Indian food. So I went and got some and it was perfect. (The leftovers are languishing in the backseat of my car. Gross. I should probably do something about that.)
The benefits far outweigh the negatives. I am so much more productive and focused at work. It feels good. I’m working harder and accomplishing tasks. Also, I’m making lists. Legitimate, color-coded, categorized lists. It’s crazy and awesome. I keep a calender now. I’m still disorganized as all hell, but we’re working on that. Baby steps
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