Parents of Kids with ADHD Pay Attention. If You Can.

Nerdguy and I are in the process of starting testing for ADHD.  We have joked about having it for quite awhile now.  Not really joking though.  More like that way you tell someone that you like to read on the toilet, and you pretend you are kidding in case they think you are a total freak, but when you get that sense that they do too, you can make direct eye contact…perhaps held a minute or seven too long…and assure them that you absolutely read…and do your taxes…on the toilet.  Okay, maybe not exactly like that, but you get the gist.

So I guess that was just the opening that the pediatrician was looking for to break us the news, because she had a questionnaire printed out and waiting for me at Molly’s last appointment.  Not even a veiled “Oh you never know, one can never be too careful, I’ll just go and get one from the other room, I’ll be awhile because it never occurred to me to have that out for you,” approach.  It was actually quite a bit like watching Alicia pull the smoking gun out of her files in court on The Good Wife.

The doctor assured us that we weren’t crazy in thinking that we might have it, and that she is realizing how many undiagnosed parents of kids with ADHD are actually running around out there.  Probably literally running around out there.  And very likely looking for their keys.

She told us that if one of us has it, then each of our kids has a 50% chance of having it.  But if we both have it – each kid has a 90% chance!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I think that is the point at which I began the hysterical laughter.  That is also the point at which the doctor likely wished that she had one of those alarm buttons like the bank tellers have.

It’s been a couple of weeks now since that appointment.  Since that time I have lost the questionnaire in my house for 3 days, then only partially filled it out, and now it’s somewhere else in the house.  Maybe in the bathroom with my taxes.  EYE CONTACT

I have had a few discussions with people about the possibility of me having ADHD and no one thinks I do.  They say that I am too organized and some other stuff that I stopped listening to when I saw a squirrel.  I tell Nerdguy the things they say, and I think he has really started to question the intelligence of my friends.  People think I am calm and organized.  He knows the truth.  I am a disorganized mess with a constant swarm of bees in my head.  The doctor said that the fact that I take so many notes in the appointments was a red flag.  She said she thinks I am a highly intelligent (you can see why I like this lady right?) person who has been very good at creating my own coping strategies – like note-taking.  And what no one knows is that I lose all the notes when I leave.  It’s actually all a giant waste of time, except that maybe it helps me focus on the facts in the moment.

I’ve been feeling a mixture of feelings since that appointment.  On the one hand, I feel relief that it may not be my fault that the house looks like this, and I can’t finish anything I start.  On the other hand I feel kind of overwhelmed and angry at the idea of all 5 of us having ADHD.  How screwed are we?  And if I am supposed to feel better knowing the reason why Nerdguy is so messy, hyper-focusses on projects, loses his keys, and never remembers what time things start and who is supposed to be there, then why do I feel even angrier about these things now?  I’ve never been more irritated.

Actually the irritation is interesting.  The doctor said that it is very common for moms of kids with ADHD to get treated for anxiety, when their ADHD is missed, and then the women wonder why they don’t feel better.  The doctor has ADHD herself, and she said that all the thoughts running through her head are not worries, but more agitations.  Her descriptions sounded very similar to the bees that I have been describing to Nerdguy for years.  Sometimes the bees are specific thoughts firing around inside my head, but other times it’s just a feeling – like superballs pinging around inside my skull.  Add all the noises that I am unable to tune out, and it all makes me feel quite ragey.  I would love to not feel this way anymore.  Finding those missing Christmas presents from 2 years ago would be pretty sweet too!


  1. says

    This sounds pretty cool. I mean, in an observer sort of way. I will be looking forward to following you through the potential diagnosis. I think, if I were in your shoes, my fear of really knowing for certain would overpower my desire to know and do something. I’d probably choose head-in-the-sand. At least at first. Damn, I take notes everywhere I go.

    (hmm… that wasn’t very helpful was it? I do offer a lot of support!!)

  2. says

    I think you are me. Or I am you. Or, I just really, really get what you’re saying. I’ve been toying with the idea of getting tested, myself. If I could just remember to make an appointment and find childcare. 🙂


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