The Emotional Toll

“What sounds good for food?” Simple question, right? Over the weekend, it was the springboard for an unexpected meltdown.

You don’t tip the scales at a quarter-ton without a serious (and unhealthy) relationship with food, but the bottom line is, I love food. I love discovering new dishes, new restaurants. I love discovering them with my wife. You have to eat to survive, but eating can also be  satisfying, pleasurable, social,  communal. In fact, the eating I do with my wife tends to be my healthiest.

Enter Vyvanse.

It’s effective in treating binges. I can’t say I’ve had a pre-prescription binge since I started; I may have eaten my BMR once or twice, but I’m usually 500-800 calories below that. Sometimes I have to work up the gumption to eat; at restaurants I’m leaving food on the plate, not snarfing three rounds of bread or chips, and dessert is not a must.

This is good, right?

Well, picking the last few restaurants has been an exercise in “meh.” I hear “where do you want to eat?” and my first thought is, “I really don’t care. No. REALLY.”  Father’s day? Not my choice; I went along. The dinner when family came to town? Meh, whatever. The festive fundraising dinner the next night? The food was good, but I wasn’t excited about it. And earlier in the day, after waking to a decent attitude, I took my drugs as usual…and by 1pm, when my wife was “hangry” and impatient to find something and even more impatient for me to pick whatever I wanted, my brain was grumbling, “screw food.” I finally got dressed, we hit the car, and she was so hungry she couldn’t pick a place.

“What sounds good?”  Nothing.  “What sounds bad?” Everything. “Why won’t you pick?” Because the idea of food disgusts me right now, and I want nothing to do with it, and the thought of spending a crap-ton of cash to sit down some place, any place, for something I resent in advance and am not even hungry for in the first place —

This is not good. Continue reading “The Emotional Toll”

Ooh, shiny!

I haven’t yet returned to the gym, and my eating has been imperfect. But I’m still holding in the mid-460s, which is an improvement over the mid-480s. Goal for next week is three workout days.

Concentration is still better than before the Vyvanse, but still a struggle.  I’ve been listening to a variety of “living with ADHD” podcasts for tips. One recurring tip is to declutter your digital life, so I’ve been gradually unsubscribing from email mailing lists, podcast feeds, and RSS news feeds. I’m still overwhelmed with input, but my TV watching has diminished a lot the past month.

The meds are not a cure-all, but I do sense an improvement in my ability to resist. The choice remains mine.  I’ve done a pretty good job resisting the candy jars at work, and I haven’t been to the downstairs cafe much at all. But my breakfast this morning was a drive-thru grease bomb that exceeded my daily calorie target.  it was less than an hour after I’d taken the meds, though; my appetite has been much better the rest of the day.

Anyway. It’s a process. I do hope to one day out grow the meds, like I did with OCD, so I’m trying to learn the behaviors I need. It’s still early.

Pass the Caffeine

Had an interesting conversation with my wife this morning as she took me to work. One of the many things I love about her is that we can talk about literally anything, and often do, hopping from topic to topic. As random and scattered as my trains of thought can be, she can generally keep up and stay engaged. Even when she chuckles at the frequent topical shifts.

We’d had a rushed morning. A 9:15 chiropractor appointment that we were late for; a late breakfast afterward. I’d taken my medicine before we left for the appointment, so this was a good 90 minutes later. She noticed my agitation and said, “drink your caffeine.” I’d ordered a cola with my breakfast, but where before the new drugs I’d drink quickly, I had barely touched it on the trip up (too busy talking?)

The 60mg of Vyvanse makes a difference, but it’s only a partial bridge. I’ve noticed it takes an additional jolt of caffeine – 1-2 energy drinks, say – during the day to fully focus. I didn’t have one yesterday, and I could tell the difference.

Will make note of this for when I next meet with my psychiatrist.

I’m glad for the improvement the Vyvanse is making. But it’s only a start.

Appetite Deficit

Second day on the 60mg Vyvanse. Biggest downside seems to be sleep disruption, but when I wake I feel decent. It’s not a cure-all for my attention, but I do feel more “myself” – less brain-fogged, less paralyzed. The distractions still come but it’s easier to time-slice with the more important tasks.  I haven’t felt as drawn to my phone or other devices – at lunch on Saturday, I used my phone less than my wife did for a change. Where I’ve previously felt anxious about acting, or acting faster, now I’m able to get going with less fear. I’ve made great progress on digitizing our DVD collection this weekend for Plex streaming; though there are edits I want to make, for the moment I’m satisfied to get them up there and watchable. Continue reading “Appetite Deficit”

Workaround

Still 467.4. Happy to see the dip below the 470s wasn’t a fluke.

My doctor had given me a “free month” packet for Vyvanse, as a backup in case there was trouble with my insurance. So we gave it a try this morning, and it was accepted. So I have a month’s worth of 60mg, with two 20s to spare.

I’d been using with 40mg plus a Monster energy, which has worked okay. I hope to not need the caffeine boost with 60mg.

Appetite still feeling manageable; focus acceptable but room for improvement. Still can take a bit of work to pull away from the computer.

Feeling slowly better from my ear/sinus infections. My voice is growing stronger, but still catches at times.

Hiccup?

My psychiatrist is on vacation, and the insurance company is balking at filling my new prescription. It will need to be worked out between the insurance and my doctor.

I’ve got a few days left if I take 40mg at a time.

I have a “one month free” packet that I’ll try to use to fill the prescription.

Frustrating, but not debilitating.

I’ve been on top of food today. Went into the gas station to grab an energy drink to supplement the vyvanse, and though the other food available was interesting (mostly junk) I left with the energy drink and a pack of gum.  Marie noticed, and was happy. It’s a great new experience to be able to enter Candyland and not come out with a bag of goodies.

Surprise on the Scale

The scale surprised me this morning.  My goal had been to be under 470 by the end of this month. After a full week on Vyvanse, I was down to 467.4 pounds.

I’m not going out of my way to eat less, but the binge-suppression properties of Vyvanse is as advertised. Most days I’ve been in the 1800-2200 calorie range. I’ve been varying the dose the first week to find the sweet spot, so some days I was more appetite-suppressed than others. But even when I was overindulging, I could sense the binge impulse being short-circuited, and I ate less than I otherwise would.  I haven’t eaten downstairs in over a week, and I have been leaving food behind at the end of each day, because i wasn’t tempted to eat it all. I’ve passed up free cake, I’ve passed up seconds. Some days, the challenge is eating enough.

My focus has been improved, though some days are better than others.  All in all, I’m glad for the change; the ability to focus is what sent me back to the psychiatrist, but the binge suppression is a big deal as well.

Slowing down, Speeding up

I’ve been hitting some low points physically this year. Weight’s back up, I’ve been sick more often. I’ve had laryngitis for almost two weeks; I don’t talk much during the day, but what little talking I do has been impaired.

In my last meeting with her, she asked if I was going to work afterward, and strongly urged me not to. I had planned to, but she was right – I was wiped out. It was Memorial Day weekend; I ended up sleeping through most of it. By Tuesday I was healthy enough to return to work, but still voiceless. Continue reading “Slowing down, Speeding up”