Always, Katie: February 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Seriously ADHD Post... about ADHD

Yesterday, I had the opportunity to speak with a group of special education teacher candidates at the college where Ethan works.  As part of my M.Ed, I've done a bit of research on girls with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) - a topic that is near and dear to my heart, as I WAS a girl with (undiagnosed) ADHD.  My research and my personal experience afforded me the opportunity to share with these students the challenges in identifying and helping these girls.  

When we think of ADHD, we tend to think of little rambunctious boys who are disruptive and uncontrollable.  These students exhibit signs of the predominantly hyperactive/impulsive subtype of ADHD.  The other subtype is predominantly inattentive, and its symptoms can be more subtle.  Girls with ADHD almost always have this subtype, and so are considered spacey, disorganized or even just lazy... instead of being identified and helped.  

I wasn't diagnosed until I was 21, and even then, various doctors have gone back and forth about whether I truly have ADHD or if the symptoms are due to my depression.  (ADHD often leads to depression.  Depression leads to attention problems.  Which came first, the chicken or the egg?)  I was lucky to have a knack for test-taking and the ability to process information quickly, so the fact that I rarely completed homework did not hinder my academic success like it does for most undiagnosed girls.  But, I know the frustration and self-esteem issues that come from not being able to focus and not knowing why.  I'm burdened to teach future teachers to recognize the more subtle signs of predominantly inattentive ADHD so that they may notice what their colleagues may miss... and work with the students to develop strategies for coping. Girls with ADHD are significantly more likely to suffer from depression, anxiety and eating disorders, and more prone to substance abuse, promiscuity and teen pregnancy. It's a big deal!   

(That's my soapbox, I'm climbing down now.)

Anyway, I prepared a powerpoint presentation (at 1AM the morning it was "due" - have I mentioned I have ADHD?)... I rehearsed transitions in my head, associated anecdotes and additional facts with certain slides... put the flash drive containing the powerpoint presentation in my purse... baked snickerdoodles to leave in the faculty lounge... double-checked that I had my flash drive... got dressed, aiming for casual professional... triple-checked my purse for the flash drive... took a few deep breaths and headed out the door, determined to show that a girl with super-late diagnosed ADHD could be put-together, confident, competent... started the car, put on some "you can do this" music... pulled out of the apartment complex (jubilant that I hadn't forgotten anything)... got stuck at a red light... sighed... 

SMACKED self in head for forgetting the husband's Tylenol, turned around went back.  

Grabbed the Tylenol (took one, that head smack HURT!), checked my purse for my flash drive, and drove to the university.

Received a very nice introduction from the professor, and a warm welcome from the students... popped my flash drive into the computer (take THAT, ADHD!  I did NOT forget my flash drive!)...

The presentation refused to open with that particular version of powerpoint.  DANGIT!!

So instead of an example of coping strategies working for a successful young woman with ADHD, these poor kids got to listen to, and even help me through, a fairly rambling narrative that included some facts from my research, some personal experiences and a pretty good-sized dose of "umm... where was I?"  Which is totally consistent with how a person with ADHD reacts to stress - the symptoms kick into HIGH gear! At least the kids (and by kids, I mean people like 3 years younger than I am, eek!) were gracious and encouraging!  And I did manage to cover the high points... just not as polished-ly as I would have liked :-)

And, they got to watch adult ADHD in action!  Hopefully, it was a valuable learning experience for them, even if it wasn't the experience I had planned :-)  

For making it through that ridiculously long blog post, I leave you with this:


Friday, February 17, 2012

Valentine Fun

Hey y'all!  How was your Valentine's Day?  We celebrated early, on Saturday.  Ethan planned a really cool date for us, and after an admissions event at the university, he was all mine :-)

We're both big Star Wars nerds, so we went to see Episode I in 3D. When we first saw the announcement that they'd be re-releasing all of the movies in 3D, there was actually a discussion about whether or not we'd see them.  I mean, really.  They're totally just trying to get more money out of die-hard fans.  Like us. And it works. ** Sigh. **

Anyway, check out the photo-op ads they have in theaters!

Yeah, this ad destroyed any attempt of mine to deny my nerdiness.  'Cause it rocked.
And, our sexy 3D glasses...

Then, we went to a pizza place that tons of people have told us we HAD to try - The Mellow Mushroom.  It was pretty good, but it sure can't touch Marion's (in Dayton, OH)!!  But we had fun ;-)

Afterwards, we went to a paint your own pottery place for their date night.  It was fantastic - the shop was open only to couples with reservations, and they had candles lit and romantic music playing.  Pottery painting has featured heavily in our story... so it was nice to find a place down here.  A little something familiar. :-)

We can pick up Ethan's tank and my vase tomorrow!  Can't wait!
I spent most of Monday AND Tuesday making Valentine cookies.  I had every intention of trying out some fancy icing piping techniques, but by the time I got all of the sugar cookies made, I decided to do runny icing.  So much easier, right?  Welllll... I forgot about setting time.  Oopsie-daisy!  But, I think they turned out pretty cute.  On Wednesday, I took a whole bunch of them to the University for Ethan's coworkers... after all, I do NOT need dozens of cookies in this apartment! 

On the fertility front, I have an appointment with my new endocrinologist next week.  Hopefully, he'll go along with the Metformin idea and we can whip this a1c into submission.  Because I'm on a very angry and bitter swing lately... and seeing some progress in that area would probably help a little.  :-)   


Thursday, February 9, 2012

Lab Work Blahs

After 3 hours of dealing with the DMV, we finally got SC license plates and SC drivers' licenses... so that was nice.  Then I took Ethan straight to work for his office hours, and headed to a doctor's appointment with my RE.

Overall, there were no major surprises with my labs... my testosterone is high, nothing he can do about it.  My DHEA (I think, and honestly, I'm too pooped to look for the paperwork to make sure that's the right thing) is a little bit high, so he plans to prescribe a tiny dose of steroids (those cause weight gain, right? yay!)  My A1C is high (8.8).  The good news is, my new RE seems pretty aggressive, and also seems to be a really good communicator.  He has already talked to a new endocrinologist about my diabetes and how it relates to my infertility, and is going to talk to him again and ask him to prescribe Metformin.  He believes that we will be able to reign my A1C back in with it, and I really, really hope he's right.  He said that, while I obviously have Type 1 diabetes, I am probably also insulin-resistant enough to qualify as Type 2. 

Even though all of this information is fairly predictable, I'm feeling a little discouraged.  I guess it's just hard to hear it all again. And again.  Annnnddd... again.  The nugget of encouragement today is that my doctor did not blow us off, tell us to come back when my A1C was impossibly low... he came up with a plan, and helped us implement it.  He wants to stay in contact with my other doctor and with us.  His desire to remain in the loop makes me feel like he is invested in us, and in helping our dreams of parenthood come true. 


Thursday, February 2, 2012

The Cure for Homesickness

Just a quick entry today, to brag that I have the best best friend in the world.  There's this bakery in my hometown that makes LEGENDARY doughnuts, and I got a doozy of a craving for them last week... the day after my ruptured cyst.  Alas, this bakery is 8 hours away now, and my poor ovary would probably have mutinied if I'd tried to drive up there.  But I was soooo tempted!

And then, I get a notification that a package is waiting for me at the apartment offices... we picked it up right after my doctor's appointment on Tuesday, and... look what I found!!!!

My best friend got my two favorite flavors... boxed 'em up, and sent them to SC.  And they got here at JUST the right time to remind me that even though I'm lonely here (having not met anyone)... I'm loved.  

It's a good feeling.  I'll have a doughnut to that!


Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Merry Christmas!

So this is a little late, but I thought I'd share a little bit about our Christmas celebrations.  

Today, I took down our Christmas tree.  And I really don't feel all that bad that it's February 1!  Since we were in the middle of our move, we didn't decorate our Ohio house at all.  As a MAJOR Christmas person, it was a little sad for me, but we got to spend lots of time celebrating at our families' homes.  So, the season wasn't completely empty of twinkly lights and plastic pines.  

The first order of decorating business for me when we got into our apartment was to put up our tree.  Yes, it was December 31, but I didn't care!  We had an intimate, modestvChristmas - just the three of us -  and it was completely romantic.  It felt like a first married Christmas, in a "tiny" apartment, an old Walmart tree, no ornaments (since I accidentally left them on our stove in Ohio)... giving each other small (and in my case, some homemade) gifts, and snuggling.  I LOVE snuggling!  It was the most perfect Christmas ever, and totally worth waiting a week to have! And New Year's Day had so much significance for us this year - as it was really more like "New Life Day." 

Here is our tree... It's the one I had in my dorm room my last year of college, and it only cost me $35 back then.  It is a little worn out and wimpy - but hey! - the price was right and it's pre-lit!  

And this was one of my favorite gifts for Ethan this year - I commissioned custom-made ornaments by Cute-n-Clay (aka, my friend Rachel). 

Perfect for my adorably nerdy husband - "old school" Nintendo controllers, and the newer WiiMotes!  Rachel just started blogging, so go visit!  Besides ornaments, she makes figurines and cake toppers... with super-cute attention to detail. Check out her Etsy shop, too! 

I hope you all had a lovely Christmas season, and a great start to 2012!


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