A Day Without ADHD Medicine, and Learning is Hard

Ah, the yummy smell of fish in the background is a bit distracting.  Imminent dinner or not, though, it is time for blogging!

For class this week, I learned that I can leave work at about 9:30 and still get to class at about 9:45 AM.  If there is any kind of construction on Alma Road, though, there will be some serious problems in need of solving…I have some alternate routes in mind, but they involve more gasoline burning than I already do now.  Speaking of, my car is currently at the Evil Car Shop, the auto shop that has for years ripped me and my naive mother and sister (and other people, too, obviously) for various and sundry car services.  I do need them for a lifetime alignment, so I am willing to patronize their business, so long as I do not receive urgent phone calls in the morning regarding the timing belt, the hoses, or anything else that is suddenly “totally broken and needs to be fixed for sure.”

In class, the concept of things as an extension of a person was brought up by discussion over the Bateson reading.  Someone suggested, for example, how a cane allows the blind to function, and the cane is inherently part of the person (i.e. the cane is an extension of the person, sort of how a prosthetic is part of the person…).   Simultaneously, the cane is a form of technology.  So is this person a “cyborg,” a man-machine hybrid, like on the readings for next week suggests?     NO.  In this case, the cane is a flex-tool which affords the person more ways to function in society, and it is a part of the person.    Look at this scene from “House, M.D.” on FOX.  Not having full control of his cane doesn’t let him move into the elevator (and avoid a medical case, too, but that has more to do with the show and his character…) and continue to function.  He says, “Would you grab someone’s leg?”  No, a normal person would not.

This situation reminds me of how ignorant people react to service dogs.  I have seen service dogs come into my workplaces before, and some of my co-workers have reached out to pet the dog (aack!) and treat it like a pet.  These service animals help their disabled owner overcome adversity in everyday life and keep their human safe.  The creatures do all sorts of things: lick their owner when the owner is experiencing seizures, guiding the blind owner through the world, preventing the owner from entering oncoming traffic when it is unsafe to proceed, etc… This is usually where I stared at my co-workers and secretly downgraded them on my mental list of “Intelligent People I Know.”

The class discussion on learning styles was extensive, and I was surprised at how many people thought it was/is acceptable to use Google as a tool to not look stupid in class.  It is called preparation.  It is called work.  It is called doing your reading BEFORE you come to class.  It is also called college. Rest assured, I understand the “I didn’t have time for this-and-this portion of the readings, I had a needy family/screaming baby/fire/crisis to attend to” issue.  I am employed full-time and must meet the expectations of both institutions.   I simply have no sympathy for the chronically unprepared.  I resent lazy types for whom learning is easy, so these people don’t do anything for class because they oftentimes don’t have to.  I also resent lazy types who simply don’t care about learning and are here to waste time because “college is what you do after high school.”

But that’s enough rants about that.  What I wanted to discuss is this concept in Cascio’s “Get Smarter” of future Americans/Earthlings taking medication to increase productivity.  For example, it is mentioned how modafinil is this wonder-drug which can keep you bouncing and alert for over 32 hours (continuously), and all you have to do to get back to “normal” is get a full night’s sleep.

Sorry, but I love sleep.  The thought of 32 hours of alertness makes me physically ill.  I made the mistake this week of taking some “girl pills” that reduce PMS and have caffeine in them.  I am tiny-size, so I usually don’t take adult doses listed on OTC bottles, but I had only 4 hours of sleep Thursday night, and Friday was going to be a busy day at the Bank.  So, I took two pills; that’s the adult dose.  Each pill has 60 mg of caffeine, so I got 120 mg of caffeine.

Here is where Google helps.  I found a nice chart that shows caffeine content.   On a normal basis, my caffeine consumption is as follows: one 8 oz can of Diet Coke every two days (4 oz one day, 4 oz the next day) about once a month, if that.  The chart says that a 12 ounce can has 3.8 milligrams per ounce.

Quickie math class:  3.8 mg x 4 oz = 15.2 mg.  So I usually handle about 15.2 milligrams of caffeine in one sitting.  Taking those pills put 120 milligrams into my body all at once.  Oh, and I didn’t take my ADHD medication, either.  I forgot to take it.

Is it any wonder my co-workers were driven crazy by me all day?  I had the jitters, the shakes, and I was burning-up-hot all day.  (The drive-thru bank is kept ice-box cold by my Lead Tellers, so there was no reason for me to be hot all day.)

But oh my gosh, I was awake.  My brain was running 2000 miles an hour, and I HATED it.  I tried to do five things at once, my speech was so rapid fire that it sounded slurred, customers asked me to repeat things because I was talking so fast, I crashed into my co-workers when I flitted around the drive-thru like a bird to complete tasks…let’s just summarize Friday as a train wreck.

Increased productivity through drugs?  Pffft.  I speak for myself when I say, “I know how that game works, and it is not for me.”

Taking drugs to get ahead in life is not the future, and it should never be acceptable.  I take medication to try and keep up with other normal people because my brain functions differently, and not in a good way.  When not on medicine, I cannot complete tasks, I cannot remember what tasks I am actively completing, and I cannot focus on the tasks I am doing.  If my work does not get done, my job is in jeopardy, and the customers will suffer because I am working with their money.  Some people like to take medicine to get ahead; I choose to take medicine to keep myself from falling behind.  If you are an average, intelligent person, make the right choice and do not drug yourself up to get ahead in life.  Excessive achievement in the corporate world simply encourages outrageous expectations for yourself and others and future expectations/goals that cannot be achieved or approached without other external-drug aids.

Grumble grumble.

This is why I ate fish for dinner.  Fish is brain food, and it will help me finish my homework so that I can go out tonight guilt-free.  No need for drugs…

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About sunlightsnow

I am working 40 hours and going to school full-time, which means what little life I can lead will be consumed with work, schoolwork, and sleeping.
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One Response to A Day Without ADHD Medicine, and Learning is Hard

  1. Barbara Vance says:

    You have some really great discussion points. My suggestion is in how you refer to readings or to the video. I should be able to read your post and not have to see everything else to grasp what you are saying. In other words, contextualize things so that, if I don’t know who Bateman is or what he wrote about, you give me enough to understand what you are writing about. The same goes for the video — it’s great that you link to it, but structure you sentence in a way that, if I choose not to watch it, I will still get your argument.

    There is great zest in your writing!

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