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Your pharmacist: An underrated relationship

May 13, 2019

I always say that my most important relationships are:
  1. My wife
  2. My prescribing physician
  3. My pharmacist
I'm posting this now because I've had many clients and folks in my support groups lately tell me what a hard time they've been having with their pharmacies. What do they all have in common? They all go to CVS. I haven't gone to a CVS for my regular scripts for many years, and there is a reason. They suck. They are unwilling to get me what I need, aren't truthful about when things are going to come in and don't really want to provide any actual service.

Over the years, since leaving CVS, I've used several Walgreens, an Osco inside a Shaws, an Eckard, a Rite Aid, and currently go to the pharmacy at the Wegmans in Westwood. With the exception on one particularly surly pharmacist at one Walgreens, I've never had the problems that I've had at CVS. 

Check out this catch 22 from the last time I tried to use a CVS. They only get their Schedule II meds (stimulants, etc.) delivered once a week. They put their order in on Friday for Monday. I want to pick up on Saturday. I always coordinate drop off and pick up with my food shopping. So I drop off on Saturday and pick up on the next Saturday. But since I drop off on Saturday and they refuse to keep my meds in stock, they can't put in the order until the following Friday for the next Monday. 

Then when I tried another CVS, they ordered during the week so my Saturday to Saturday cycle would work. Except that their policy was that an Rx couldn't be dropped off more than five days in advance. And, of course, they were unwilling to be flexible with that policy. So I'd have to find time to make multiple mid-week trips to the pharmacy every month. 

Currently the closest pharmacy to me is a CVS. When we moved here I went in to ask if they would be so kind as to order a specific generic brand of Clonidine for me. Since you basically can't get the name brand anymore, I've found that a specific generic works better for me as the thing that counteracts my stimulant-based insomnia. They told me that I couldn't even make the request. As I recall, they pharmacist couldn't actually do any of the ordering manually. They just got what corporate sent. 

But they were really excited to sign me up for mail order scripts. Sure. You can't make it happen in the store. Let's add in the US Postal service and I'm sure my meds will be on time and accurate. And, I'd still have to go in for the Schedule II's anyway. 

Bottom line, avoid CVS and make sure that whomever you pharmacist is that they are a human being who is willing and able to help. It shouldn't be that hard to find. Good luck.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.



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Organizing Your Legos

Apr 19, 2019

Legos are possibly the most annoying thing in the world to organize. They defy categorization and are basically impossible to put away in any meaningful way. 

What to do with the completed sets? That depends on if your kids actually play with the sets once they are assembled. 

If your kids do play with them, what do you do with half assembled sets that have been semi-destroyed by said play?

And, if your kid has ADHD, what do you do with the 8 - 10 half assembled sets that he/she "is going to get back to and finish late?"

The first step is to consolidate the legos into one location. I've been slowly getting them all into my son's room for over the last few months. He used to put them together in the basement because if he did it anywhere else his little sister would destroy them. But he never wanted to go down there. It's not really finished... okay it's not finished at all. So, once we got them all into his room, the legos were everywhere. They were like sand on the beach.

I finally settled on a three part system that put together three previous systems for lego organization that were all semi-successful. 
  1. Shelves for the finished product. Adjustable track system-style shelves that are adjustable to accommodate the impossible different heights of completed legos with solid shelves, not wire ones. picture  #2
  2. Stacking bins for the in process sets. The key here is to have one bin per set and to try not to let the sets get mixed up. I would also suggest leaving the instructions right in the bin with the set.  picture #1
  3. One big-ass bin under his bed for all the miscellaneous pieces. Don't even try to sort those. It is not possible. I've tried a few times to sort by color or even to pull out all the wheels. You will either go blind or go insane.  not pictured
Happy building!



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.


Organizing Your Legos
Organizing Your Legos

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Today is the day

Apr 26, 2019

Every year sometime in the spring, my brain stops wanting to do work. All I want to do is get out in the garden and grow stuff. Even on a rainy day like today. It almost feels like my medication is not working right. It's kinda' like that feeling you'd get the last week of school when you knew it was almost over and the sun was shining and your body was just telling you to get out of that room and get out in the fresh air. 

For me this has been going on for about 5 years, since my business really took off and I worked my tail off all winter. Once the spring really came, I'd get this feeling. The first  year I noticed it and freaked out. I thought that my meds had actually stopped working. But the following year, I remembered that something similar happened the previous year. And, it went away eventually. But it was still a bit scary. Every year I've recognized it better and freaked out less. And this year, I realize that it happened today. I would have guessed it happened a little later, but it is what it is. It's nice to know that it's nothing to panic about. 

The next step is to monitor my attention for the next few months and see when it comes back. Not to say that it is completely gone. I have had a very productive day. I'm just having trouble sitting still and doing office work. I definitely missed posting last week and put doing this off until 3:15. But it is what it is. No sense in fighting it. I've already exercised today. After this I think I'll meditate and see if that gets me chill enough to write another post to back date for last week. 

My point is that for me, at least in this realm, self knowledge and acceptance is the victory. I have a presentation to do by May 1st and a conference proposal to do soon, and I'm (in theory) working on my first book... but if I can't still those things will have to not get done today and I will have to be okay with that. 

...And I have been super productive in the garden. Check out my new grow lights! 



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.


Today is the day

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The toll of parenting kids with issues

Apr 12, 2019

I don't know if I"ll end up finishing this post or leaving it up. It is somewhat personal. If you read my stuff, you know that I'm not one to shy away from personal stuff, but this has to do with my kids and I'm not sure how I'll feel about what I'm about to write once it's down on "paper." But I think it is important for us, as parents, to share our pain and vulnerability so we don't have to suffer alone. So, here goes:

I just don't think the average person/parent has any idea what it is like to parent kids with real issues. It takes a toll on your mood, your sleep, your attention, your weight, your social life, your pocketbook, and your family unit. I'm not even sure where I'm going with this. It is more stream of consciousness than anything. But I am a life coach. I am good at that, because there are many, many things that I've figured out about life. But that doesn't mean I have it all figured out... or that it is even possible to figure it all out. So I want to admit to y'all that I'm struggling right now with my parenting. 

There is a delicate line to tread. Really the issues are my kids, particularly my daughter, who just turned 5. She's bipolar. She is like a little terrorist in our house. It is just so hard to work all day, run a household and that that entails and "come home" to a child who is a constant tantrum, won't eat dinner, and won't go to the bathroom by herself. She wakes up and comes into our bed nine out of ten nights. And we never know when she's going to completely lose it. In a lot of ways it's like being in an abusive relationship... that you can't get out of.

I'm ashamed to admit that there are many days in the last few weeks that I've sincerely felt that I would rather not be a parent anymore. I love my kids fiercely, but they have ground me down. Now, nobody get worried. This is not a desperate cry for help. I'm not going anywhere and am not going to do anything crazy. But that's just an illustration of how difficult it is now. 

My neighbor and I were catching up the other day. He has three kids around 7, 5, and 1. And he was lamenting how little time he gets to spend with then in the evenings. Meanwhile I was thinking that he was lucky that he wants that time. I'm often praying for bedtime to come. And, I know that if you don't have kids with real issues and you are reading this, you probably think I'm the worst person in the world. I guess I'll have to own that. I promise you there are other good/great parents out there who have the same thoughts. I want them to know that they are not alone. 

I have friends who take their kids on vacation and have a great time. That is my idea of hell. They are a monumental challenge at home. Why would I take them anywhere else where I can't control the environment? (By the way, I'm sure I'm now on some NSA watch list because I mentioned on the internet that my daughter is like a terrorist. So I guess we can't travel with her anyway.)

I remember one time at a baseball game my son was playing in several years ago I watched a mom walk over to the game to watch her son with her 4 other kids walking behind her may way for ducklings-style tallest to smallest. They were maybe 11 - 2 years old. They all had clean white shirts or dresses on and the all sat on a blanket and watched the game while they amused themselves. Honestly, my reaction was, "Fuck you!" I only have two kids and they are nearly killing me. This woman has 4 or 5 and looks super zen like she just walked out of a yoga class. 

Not that I really, truly resent people with neurotypical families. But it is hard not to feel comfortable in confiding in some of our better friend. I don't think they really understand how hard it is when your kids are garden variety wild, crazy, or weird. Clinically wild, crazy, or weird is different. And, they don't always see it. But we do... every morning, every night, often in the middle of the night and all weekend long. 

Thus ends my shameful confession. 




Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.





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Why ADHDers are late, pt. 4: Fear of being early

Mar 29, 2019

Most people with ADHD have a borderline pathological fear of being early. If you are always trying to walk in exactly on time, erring on the side of not being early… you’re going to be late a lot! So, why are we so afraid of being early? Easy. We are afraid of being bored and of “wasting time.”


To truly understand this, you need to understand how we as ADHDers experience boredom. Granted there is always an exception. Some ADHDers are so involved in their own rich inner life that they can get lost in their own heads anytime, any place. (From this point on, assume that I'm speaking for the majority, but not all ADHDers.) And for most of us, boredom is our Kryptonite. We experience boredom as almost physically painful. We need stimulation in a way that neurotypical people don’t. When we don’t have that stimulation, it’s super uncomfortable.


Being early requires us to wait in one place, observe generally accepted societal norms of behavior like leaving our shoes on, not be optimally stimulated, and not get anything productive done… or at least that’s how it feels. And that was more likely the case in the past. But, these days, we can play on our phone, get work done on wifi, step out of the waiting room and take a call, read on or phone or kindle, or any number of things that I’m not even thinking about right now. Yes, there is still an element of forced structure. And, we probably still can’t take our shoes off. But, being 10 minutes early is hardly the cruel and unusual punishment it was before.


But sometimes the reality takes a while to catch up with us. We often have such a strong aversion to being early, and it’s been so long since we were early, that we don’t notice that it’s not so bad. In my opinion, it is certainly better than that horrible feeling of always being late, rushing, and feeling incompetent. Over time I’ve learned to enjoy being a bit early. All I can do is read, which gives me an excuse to do so and not worry about what I’m not getting done.


Just try being on early once in a while. You might actually like it.



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much… if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.



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Why ADHDers are late, pt. 3: When we know we are late and do 'it' anyway.

Mar 22, 2019

But there are also many times that ADHD folks are late and are 100% aware that they are late or at least, if they took the time to slow down and be honest with themselves they'd know they were late. I think this behavior comes down to two causes.


The first thing to know is that we run on adrenaline when our brain chemistry is not managed optimally. Adrenaline produces dopamine which is the primary neurotransmitter responsible for attention. So, anytime there is a deadline, we are more capable of attending. A typical ADHDer who may not have gotten anything done all morning, may feel a rush of adrenaline as the time that she needs to leave for an appointment approaches. That deadline indirectly produces dopamine, making her more productive in that moment than she has been all morning.


That attention, regardless of its reason for being is intoxicating. It can also feel terrifyingly fleeting. It feels like an opportunity that needs to be taken advantage of. "I didn't get anything done all morning. I can't walk away now that I'm finally productive." And when we are in that place, we feel like we have to "get one last thing done before we leave." Too bad that the reality is that that one last thing never fits neatly in the time we actually have before we need to leave.

But the pull is powerful, so we go with it until the last possible moment. which is actually well past the last possible moment. That's when the mental gymnastics begin. Any of this sound familiar?


...I got there in 15 minutes that one time...

...I might get all green lights...

...There was that one time I got a parking space right in front...

...The doctor will probably be running behind anyway...

...I can just drive a little faster....

...Google Maps always estimates longer that I need...


Yet, more often than not, you will be late. And you will be anxious and flustered. And, of course that affects your cognitive abilities and drains you, setting it up to be more difficult to focus for the rest of the day and to engage in compensation strategies like planning ahead.




Part 4 coming soon!



Standard Disclaimer:  In an effort to foil my own perfectionist tendencies, I do not edit my posts much. if at all. Please excuse and typos, mistakes, grammatical errors, or awkward phrasing. I focus on getting my content down. In my humble opinion, an imperfect post posted is infinitely better than a perfect post that goes unfinished.



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