Adult ADHD Meds: Week 1

Just starting taking meds as a 38 yo for my recently diagnosed ADHD. Thought I’d share the effects…

This is only going to be a quick post. I’ll follow it up at a later date.

I was diagnosed with severe ADHD in November. After a bunch of medical checks I’ve just started medication. I’m on day 3 today.

Day 1 was interesting. I had a big drive (3.5 hours) to a customer, a 2 hour meeting there, then a dash to a local hotel followed by a few zooms/calls.

Given the early start and not knowing what my reaction to the meds would be, I got up early, had breakfast, and took meds so that I’d have 40 minutes at home before I had to drive. With the meds I’m on it’s one tablet per day. The first 20% of the dose is in the outer coating – it dissolves and starts to take effect quickly. The remaining 80% dissolves more slowly during the day, giving you 12 hours coverage.

After taking my tablets I sorted the dogs food out (oh how they whine… 8o) ), got packed for my trip and moved things between cars so I had everything.

First immediate thing I noticed – managed to take the minimum trips from house to car rather than forgetting things 6 times and going back and forth, back and forth. Too soon for the meds to take effect surely… Thought it was just a coincidence or because I was concentrating on concentrating.

The drive was interesting. Down a big motorway in the UK during rush hour. This was about 2 hours after having my meds. Normally I see everything traffic wise by my eyes darting everytime there’s a new light or momentum change in a vehicle.

Weirdly, this time my mind had a full picture of everything moving together, and my eyes seemed to move where I was thinking of looking rather than feel ‘pulled’ to what’s changing around me. In other words I could concentrate on what I wanted to concentrate on.

It was a strange and unfamiliar but not unpleasant sensation. It didn’t feel any more or less safe, just different. I’ve never had an accident and I haven’t over the last 3 days either. It was just a different way of experiencing the same activity.

Wondering how this would effect me at the meeting, I arrived at the customer site and checked in and walked over to where the meeting was happening. I remembered everything I needed to get through security (special dance, secret handshake, car registration – you know, the usual…).

I felt somehow more decisive and less anxious about what was coming up next. I knew I was early, knew where I was going, and knew what was expected as usual, but somehow I felt more part of the scene rather than having the scene inflicted upon me. It’s an odd sensation to try and explain.

Almost like I felt in control of my body and my experience rather than having an ‘out of body’ experience where things was over me rather than happen by my choosing.

During the meeting my mind didn’t wander off to a different topic. Normally I miss 20 seconds of speech even if directed straight at me in response to a question I’d asked! No such problems that day.

I also managed to park customer and colleague points until later so I could finish what I was discussing with the customer rather than being pulled by this new thread of conversation. This ensured we didn’t miss any topics of discussion.

I also managed to keep a list of action items (albeit on a totally disorganised page in my notebook… clearly still some work to do…) rather than forget to write some down or think “I’ll remember that, no need to write it down”.

After the meeting I realised I didn’t fidget or feel the need to stand and walkabout once. Normally after 20 minutes I need to get up and do something.

So the meeting went very well. We agreed next steps. I went for a coffee with a colleague (I didn’t drink coffee – I don’t do coffee), had a good and natural conversation (rather than me jumping all over the place), then went to the hotel.

At about 1400 that day (so 8 hours in to my 12 hours of meds) I noticed getting tired. Once I’d checked in and got to the room it felt like I’d ran a marathon. Absolutely shattered when I got to the room. Came over me like a wave. Had to have an old man nap before dinner and everything.

That afternoon I had to get some work done, managed to get through all of that in quick time, no distractions. Had a beer whilst doing it (oops… I must remember not to do that in future – meds last 12 hours, not 10, so can’t just assume a beer after work is safe).

All in all a good day, if massively tiring post 1400. I normally do get tired by 1400 if I’ve had a full one “try to concentrate” day, but this was massively tiring. Like hitting a wall. Was hoping I’d get used to it.

Day 2 – yet another customer meeting

Had a shorter drive in the morning – only 1.5 hours. Had another tablet after breakfast in the morning before setting out. Again good concentration on the motorway and in to town. Got to site, usual security dance, and to the customer. Remembered I had a call so didn’t managed to get distracted by the interesting customer sidebar conversation before the call. Normally I’d forget.

Did the call, switched context to fixing a customer problem, then switched context to the meeting with some developers. All without getting distracted by other things popping in to my head.

Started to suffer concentration wise around 14:00 again, but didn’t have the crippling lethargy that day. In fact didn’t feel tired at all.

Drive back was hell. What should have been 3.5 hours took over 7. Did start to feel tired around 20:00 so stopped for a break and food. I think this is fair enough enough – slow driving in tailbacks for hours takes it out of everyone, and my meds will have stopped working 2 hours before.

Drove the last section fine, didn’t really start to feel like concentration was waning until 10 minutes before I got home.

Sorted the dogs out (much whining again! 8o) ), played with them for a bit, and went to bed. Slept amazingly well!

Now it’s day three and I’ve finished this blog in record time, and it’s time to start the working day!

I’ll follow up with more as time goes on.

PS the dogs weren’t left alone for 2 days – I had someone that takes them to theirs where there are horses and other dogs. So like a mini puppy holiday! The boys love it.

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