The Gift of Adult ADHD – a glimpse of something! (LOL)

I found The Gift of ADHD (2005) book a few years before I was diagnosed by a psychiatrist that specializes Women with ADD. Usually women go undiagnosed.  This book changed my life. When my husband asked me after almost 27 years of marriage “is always being late and not able to get moving in the morning something ADHD?”  Seriously, I wonder how many times I’ve mentioned these very traits I experience every day except when hyper-energized.  He was asking this about a friend.  Blow me over like a feather.  I giggled (a lot).

This made me search for this book which I couldn’t locate but the newer book has added exercises proving even more useful to me, but will certainly enlighten my husband about what it’s like inside my head; only scary most of the time. Come on, jump in, the water’s fine.

A gentleman I chat with online via Words with Friends 2, after reading my vitriol accompanied by sharp humour, wondered if I’d ever considered being part of community governing. In his country referred to as council, in my country it’s municipal.

The short answer is I’ve likely considered just about every career you can think of.  One of the difficulties is what to pursue, hence a winding, ever changing path to my ultimate career which I’ve recently semi-retired from and now plan to fill my free time (one hopes?) pursuing the creative stuff I’ve touched but not spent a lot of time on since starting my own business (2006).  I’m still working with one client for the sole purpose of funding my travelling bug which I plan to satiate!

This most recent book, The Gift if Adult ADD, contains the introduction below which will give  you a taste. If you’d like to get her audio, printed or electronic version you may source The gift of adult ADD : how to transform your challenges and build on your strengths by Lara Lonos-Webb

** I have not been asked to promote this book, nor will I receive any compensation, hence no link to a vendor source.

Enjoy this excerpt! I take credit for the lack of paragraph breaks (not how it’s actually printed), just too lazy to bother! The American version of certain words is outside my control and copied verbatim from the book. The Americans have their own version of written English. No offense meant.


A radio show host once described my first book, The Gift of ADHD (2005), as applying the principles of the runaway best seller The Secret (Byrne 2006). While I am a fan of the basic ideas in The Secret, I felt defensive enough to explain that my book was published before The Secret. As a well-trained psychologist, I was afraid that my approach—applying clinical observation, sound theory, and established research on the power of self-fulfilling prophesies and optimism to understanding ADHD and ADD—would be trivialized as a spin-off of a popular fad. But I am struck by one important lesson that can be derived from The Secret’s law of attraction. According to the law of attraction, what you see in the present is created by the past. If you define reality by what you see in the present, you create a future that will be no different. If you want a different future, you have to change your perception of what you actually see now. This simple idea addresses one of the biggest challenges of applying the ideas detailed in The Gift of ADHD and The Gift of Adult ADD. Sometimes people with ADHD or ADD have such out-of-control symptoms that they don’t believe any gifts are present. To recognize and understand these gifts, you must first suspend your disbelief. You may look around you and see relationships difficulties, professional failures, and a trail of catastrophic mistakes caused by sloppiness. It is here that you must embrace the idea that what you’re presently seeing is created in part by not seeing the gifts. Finding and focusing on the gifts will create a different future for you. So, if you’re tempted to doubt, remember: Changing the way you see yourself will change you and your life. Don’t allow yourself to be distracted or derailed by what you see around you now. ADD and ADHD You may be wondering what ADD is and how it differs from ADHD. ADD stands for attention deficit disorder, ADHD for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. In my previous books, I used ADHD because that is the precise diagnostic term presently used in the bible of the field, The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (American Psychiatric Association [APA] 2000). Not only is ADD not, as of 2007, listed in this manual, the current system defines ADHD as a developmental disorder and does not presently include criteria for diagnosing adults. (The most authoritative method for diagnosing adult ADD is covered in chapter 1.) In this book, I’ve chosen to use ADD rather than ADHD because the hyperactivity component tends to be less troublesome for adults than it is for kids. Also, the term ADD is more widely used in the lay world, and thus more recognizable. It’s also less of a mouthful to say and read. Flexible Thinking As you read this book, I challenge you to practice flexible thinking. If an idea presented contradicts something you’ve heard elsewhere, rather than rigidly arguing about which viewpoint must be the correct one, ask yourself, “Is there a way both of these could be true?” For example, this book invites you to think optimistically about who you are and what you are capable of. You may at times resist this invitation, worrying that if you think only of the positive you won’t take responsibility for impulsive behaviors. Ask yourself, “Is there a way I can reframe my impulsiveness and still take responsibility for my behavior?” Push yourself to find ways to think in terms of “both-and” rather than “either-or.” Similarly, when you hear that you need to find a career that honors your ADD style, you may think, “Are you telling me I need to lower my standards?” No. Again, push yourself to find ways that you can both honor your ADD and raise your standards. There is no reason you can’t do both. In practice, as you stop trying to cram yourself into a mold that doesn’t work for you, you’ll move from simply fulfilling performance demands toward becoming a genius in your arena of interest. How to Use This Book Each chapter of this book contains one or more activities to help you learn more about yourself and apply the book’s ideas to your life. Since you have ADD, you will be tempted to skip over these. That’s fine, but if you want to make actual changes in your life, know that these activities will pay off. Consider buying yourself a special journal to use as you go through the book, both to work through these activities and to write your thoughts and ideas in. Each chapter also includes an inspirational story of someone who has achieved success not just in spite of but because of having ADD. Individuals profiled include Kimberly McCoy, a psychotherapist; Steve Goodchild, a successful businessman; Scott Ohlrich, a fire captain; Paul Orfalea, the founder of Kinko’s; Bill Jacobs Jr., a successful business owner; Damon Harper, a physical trainer and coach; Hagen, another successful entrepreneur; and Stephanie Moulton Sarkis, a writer and psychologist. I’ve also included the stories of “Mike,” a student of mine, and “Vishnu,” a client. I didn’t record these interviews but have included some re-creations of our conversations to give you a flavor of the live-action ADD style—often wildly tangential and impulse driven. If you ever need a boost, revisit the profiles of these amazing real people.

How This Book Is Laid Out

In chapter 1 we will review the specific symptoms of adult ADD. You will learn that while you may have ADD, you are much more than your ADD. While acknowledging the dark side of an ADD diagnosis, this chapter will begin to paint a picture for you of the bright side of ADD.

Chapter 2 will help you recognize that the most important thing you can do to cope with your ADD is to find the right environment— one that matches your profile of gifts and weaknesses. You will also learn that you don’t have to do everything well. Rather, you really only have to be good at one thing.

In chapter 3 we will use the metaphor of lifting weights to help you gain the necessary skills to pay attention to details, listen to others, and complete projects. Intimate relationships and parenting can often become intense struggles for adults with ADD.

Chapter 4 will offer some guidance on these issues. Guidance will include inspiration and activities to help ADD adults find mystery—and therefore vitality—in committed relationships and gain skills for navigating intimacy.

Chapter 5 will reframe the typical ADD symptoms of impulsiveness, focusing difficulty, and noncompliant behavior as creativity. For example, the ADD tendencies toward being “spacey” and daydreaming will be shown to promote fortuitous insight, imagination, daring originality, and intuition. Nature can provide adults with ADD the calming influence they need.

In chapter 6 we will explore vivid case studies that show the importance of connecting to nature. This chapter will also provide reassurance and positive validation for those who fear their constant need for activity and unquenchable desire to connect with nature are simply distractions rather than personal needs and style.

Chapter 7 will review the interpersonal gifts of adults diagnosed with ADD. This chapter will also provide guidance for translating inappropriate or impulsive behavior into productive contributions. Activities will be provided for channeling the interpersonal gifts of ADD in socially skilled ways to enhance relationships.

In chapter 8 we will reframe the ADD symptom of hyperactivity as a surplus of energy. You will be guided to view your surplus energy as a valuable resource. This chapter also includes awareness exercises for appreciating your energy, and action strategies for channeling your energy.

Chapter 9 will help you understand your lack of emotional control as a capacity for emotional sensitivity and expression. Specific exercises will teach you both self-soothing techniques and how to appreciate the value of clear and intense emotional experiences.

And finally, in chapter 10 we will review the pitfalls that many adults with ADD fall into. We will also explore the promise of ADD through the successful transformation of a client who applied the principles in this book. It’s time to direct your abundant energy toward your personal transformation. I’m excited for you—you’re embarking on a journey that can turn your life around!

** End of excerpt

Hope you enjoyed this excerpt and I’d be delighted to hear any comments you offer. I’m off to read the next chapter or maybe do an exercise from the book, or go read an unrelated novel, Lars Kepler’s The Nightmare, that’s due back to library soon (better check that so I don’t lose access to electronic copy), but best get a snack first and something to drink and make sure I don’t eat anything for at least 10 – 15 minutes before taking medical CBD which I can’t take with me on my travels.  So back to pharmaceuticals, what were we just talking about? Oh yea, plan the sequence before I get distracted again. Like that’ll happen.


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Wasaga Beach and LSD

Between starting Grade 10, September 1972 and the end of warm enough weather to warrant going to Wasaga Beach, my new bestie and two of her friends and I are going to head north. I don’t remember the lie I told to escape home for the weekend but I do remember being freaked out when bestie and I are headed up Kennedy Rd to the 401 to hitchhike to Wasaga when I swear I saw my parents car heading to the opposite 401 ramp. Clearly my conscience was pricking me.

We arrive safely and the four of us are in a cabin, hanging out by the fire having fun when someone brings up their stash of acid which we all partake, a tab each. Having never done this before I’ve no idea what to expect but hey, why not!

Let me count the reasons in retrospect. Some guy who’s name is also Laurie, no way! My bestie’s name is Lori, he must be making it up. He proves with his birth certificate or drivers license or something that, yep, his name really is Laurie. Huh!

He’s a very attractive fellow and we hit it off and somewhere along the way of being completely out of it as I very vaguely recall glimpses of him in my bed, we make out! Awhile later I realize someone else is in my bed and he appears to be checking in with me to see if I’m okay. Once he realizes that I’m processing his words he leaves to grab my bestie and she comes in to save me from, myself! My sense is that this guy was there to get me out of a potentially dicey situation and appreciate it very much as I recall in days ahead what transpired, with plenty of missing pieces to the puzzle.

I remember us all in the cabin and me asking repeatedly what time it is to the annoyance of my companions.

Next thing I remember is arriving home and heading straight to my bedroom. By this time I’m crashing, laying in bed thinking the people outside are talking about me and my acid trip and Mom and Dad have figured out that I lied and I’m going to be in big trouble.

Turns out nobody was talking about me, and Mom and Dad never said a word that would indicate they believed anything other than I was staying overnight at a friend’s place.

Acid is not my friend! I am naturally suspicious of everyone and their motivations during this period, which leaves me “paranoid” well before the acid trip. I do not partake of known hallucinogens in the immediate future. I learn many months later that mescaline and peyote are also not my friends but neither lead to any undesirable behaviours or out of body experiences. Thank goodness!

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Almost 16

Sometime between me playing hooky from hairdressing job to turning 16 we moved from Scarborough back to Agincourt. These days referred to as Malvern. My parents won a lottery to purchase a home which was geared to those below a certain income level/family size, I believe. So Dad, Step Mom/Brother and I moved. Little sister was already a ward of the Children’s Aid.

It was a lovely four-bedroom back split with a rec room where I played fave mom’s LPs and my 45s and LPs, danced and sung my heart out.

A month or two before my 16th birthday an opportunity to talk with my father privately presented and I explained that I would be moving out as soon as I turned 16.

He responded that he understood given that my stepmother believed there was something going on between he and I, implying she was jealous of me for some reason and how difficult she was in general. Rather an odd response wouldn’t you say considering I had no reason to suspect I was in any way the cause of tension between them. However, tension there was!

Prior to this talk my father was tickling me and had me pinned on the floor when his hand brushed against my breast for which I kneed him which got him off me pretty quick. Many years later I was visiting the family; stepmom had her granddaughter on her lap and she was talking about having her nieces stay overnight. I must have reacted in some way because dear old Dad, out of the blue, stated “that never happened” and I knew instantly to what he was referring. I didn’t respond and I’m not sure stepmom had a clue what we were talking about but she was a very perceptive woman so would have picked up on something. By this point, her son and daughter-in-law had long since moved out of the basement suite made especially for them when they first got married (explanation in a previous post).

My boyfriend, M.F. and his best friend are looking for a two bedroom apartment so I move in with Heidi, my United Trust supervisor. It was January or February before we rented our own apartment.

Wait, I forgot to mention that by this time I am experimenting with illicit drugs. Never did inject anything but sampled just about everything that was around sans heroin. Remember this is the 70s so there’s acid, mescaline, peyote, mushroom, MDA, speed, weed, hash (solid & oil), cocaine (a personal favourite), etc. This is not the era for crack, glue, etc. so thankfully missed all that nonsense.

Do you see a pattern? My Dad talks about birth control and a few months later I’m sexually active. He then accuses me of being on drugs; a couple of months later I’m experimenting. Nice to be true to the whole ADD diagnosis, you know, risky behaviours and an insatiable curiosity about everything!

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Get a Job without Typing?

Between grade 9 and 10 we moved back to Scarborough from Agincourt. I’m a student at Winston Churchill High School, apparently rated as the drug capital for teenagers! Guess they never went to Agincourt High where in the first few months mind-numbing offerings were available. I didn’t partake.

My boyfriend is back at Agincourt High flaming his jealousy of me and my new cohorts. We break up fairly quickly into the new school year. I make a new female friend who is my height (I’ve also always been the tallest in the class) and a little older (I was usually the youngest in any classroom albeit December born children) who introduces me to her friends. This gang, for lack of a better description, are mostly mid twenties and well out of high school peppered with a few of us teenagers. Not sure how she met this bunch but I fit in pretty well, I guess.

M.F., who is a part of this group of misfits, is 6′ 6″, formerly a Paradise Rider, a convicted felon who has done his time and is perfect for my almost 6′ frame and becomes my boyfriend. First time anyone has towered over me. I go to their parties and hang out. His mom reiterates that I’m too good for him on a regular basis.

At a party, I headed for the washroom and there was a woman sitting on the toilet with something wrapped around her arm and a needle in her other hand. She asked me to “tie her off” which I did but was totally freaked out by the whole idea of injecting anything (usually speed or heroin). UGH!

I stay away from the whole drug scene. As grade 10 progresses I, somehow, drop Typing (aka keyboarding for you younger folk) and start skipping classes Shorthand in particular. When transitioning from grade school to high school I wanted to go into Arts and Sciences but my “intelligence” sent me to the only other option “Business”.

I hated Typing and Shorthand but absolutely loved Accounting, Business Math and Business Machines, which included our very own keypunch machine (look it up). Make sure you number those punch cards so when you drop them, and you will drop them, you can put them back in order! LOL

I spent most of the latter part of Grade 10 behind the portables drinking lemon gin (yuck) or across the street at the local licensed restaurant where they’d serve me cuz I looked a lot older. Didn’t hurt that the boyfriend and the rest of the misfits frequented same so easy for bartender (Danny) to believe I was 18 which was the legal drinking age at the time.

When the Grade 10 report card hit the homestead you can believe a mighty roar was heard. Father intimated that I, a female, won’t be able to get a job, read secretary, without typing and shorthand. To this day I don’t know if I forged his signature, or got him to sign unknowingly the drop form for Typing. Either way, the result was, “if you’re not going to go to school you can get a job” and see how you like them apples.

My stepmother came to me after the ruckus was quieted and asked me if I would be interested in going to trade school. I had expressed an interest in becoming a hairdresser. I replied “yes” and she started communicating with the high school re: transfer to trade school. It was a well-known fact that only the “dummies” went to Bendale, the trade school. When she broached the subject the people she spoke to told her they wouldn’t transfer me as I was too smart for trade school. This, after foster parents and bio-Dad were told in about Grade 2 that I would never grasp the simplest concepts and should be groomed for domestic service. Not sure those were the exact words, but definitely the feel.

Stepmother tries to reason with Father who in turn discusses me with his barber, eh voila, I’m hired as the hair salon’s dogsbody to shampoo ladies in for their weekly “set” and sweep floors, tidy up, etc. I understand I’m apprenticing to be a hairdresser. Twelve hour days, less than minimum wage and I get to pay room and board at home. Father has also written the government requesting permission for me to leave high school which is granted as I am 15 and under the legal age limit for leaving academia.

Sometime that summer, Father, stepmom and stepbrother head to the cottage for a week vacation. The cottage belongs to my stepmom’s family and is close to Pointe Au Baril.

While they’re away I play hooky from work for the entire week, as I hate it there! All those blue-hairs. When the family returns, Father is notified by his barber that I’ve been missing. Father presumes I must be taking drugs, and what the hell am I doin?. I have yet to even think about experimenting, never even crossed my mind. Much hullabaloo about nothing. Stepmom comes to me later when the fires have cooled a bit to ask if I’m telling the truth. I am. She assures me that she will talk to my father.

I get a job at United Trust on St. Clair Avenue in Toronto checking that account cards for clients are balanced and if not, figure out where the error is. These were long, skinny, yellow (or maybe green) ledger cards with account number, name and looked something the picture below. You’d get a box of cards and check them one-by-one. I learned stuff, like if you’re out of balance and you can evenly divide the offending number by 9 look for a transposed number. For example, if you’re out by 18 cents, 18 is evenly divided by 9 so look for a number that was transposed such as; 78 should be 87, 87-78 = 9 / 9 = 1 therefore transposition.

Starting at the beginning of what would have been Grade 11, stepmom received calls from the high school daily to find out “where’s D****e” (nobody calls me that!). “D****e was working at United Trust”, cuz you wouldn’t let her transfer to a trade school!!!

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A Little Cheesy

During my first year living with my new (favourite) Mom, getting used to being allowed to raid the fridge whenever hungry took a bit of getting used to and there always being cheese in the house was an elixir.

I have always loved cheese. Cheese slices, cheez whiz, cheddar cheese, as long as cheese is in the name I’ll probably love it although in Grade 9 Home Ec I wasn’t a fan of blue cheese though I became a fan as I got older. Smells like a dirty socks cheese, bring it on!

As an adult with the onset of heel spurs and plantar fasciitis age 29, fibromyalgia and then later on osteoarthritis, I had been told numerous times by a variety of professionals that dairy is inflammatory, Hence the aches and pains that besieged my body worsening as I kept putting weight on (trying to kill myself with food).

My lack of emotional well-being plus ADD (attention deficit disorder) lead to self-medication in my teens with drugs and alcohol but when I became pregnant I had to give all that up and turned to food, and boy did I turn!

I just couldn’t give up cheese. I mean what would I eat? Cheese pretty much was my protein source, albeit a poor one.

Two weeks ago I didn’t put cheese on the online grocery order. Wasn’t sure how I’d do, but I had finally decided I no longer wanted to kill myself with food or illicit drugs or alcohol. l have been off this hit parade for months (alcohol) and illegal drugs for years and years, though now some is legal. So how did I do?, you ask.

It’s been easier than I thought. While I haven’t banished cheese entirely, it is no longer my go to whenever I want to have a snack. For example a 200g extra old block of cheese and a bag of chips or a box of gluten free crackers whenever the mood strikes.

Now it’s a condiment used as recipes call for in whatever dish I’m cooking or baking. No longer doubling or tripling the amount a recipe states.

Surprise, Surprise! Today my knees aren’t aching! Now that may be more a function of being stuck at home scratching and rubbing the itch re: angiogram adventure so the jury is still out, but I also stopped taking the anti-inflammatory, three days ago, I’ve been taking for years, morning and night, to give it a fair shot.

I expect it’ll take awhile for the anti-inflammatory to be completely flushed from my system so we’ll see.

For today, I am content. I hope you are too!

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The Angiogram Adventure

Originally sent as a text message and/or email to a few, very specific family members and friends and has been edited in the meantime. The angiogram, scheduled March 16, 2023 at 8:15, is a follow up to check for other brain aneurysms as I experienced a burst brain aneurysm September 17, 2021 which landed me in ICU for 17 days. Gratefully, unlike 50% of people that experience same, I survived. Even more surprising [to me, but not the Fellow] was the return to my usual self after hydrocephalus replaced aneurysm damage resulting in a brain shunt operation February 28, 2022. I am one very lucky girl and am grateful for every day that I awake and rejoin consciousness. I have not suffered any permanent disability, either physical or mental, though those closest to me might disagree! No, we can’t blame it on that. LOL

Yet another adventure! You may not have known about this upcoming angiogram but I figure you need to sit and relax with a fun read. Hopefully you’ll contribute a giggle or two.

First, I started off later than scheduled (big surprise) which meant I’d be 10 minutes late presuming I used directions to the room number I was given. Turns out, yes to first assertion, false to second.

My understanding [of directions] left me at a window in the MRI CT reception area asking for help after wandering around a bit. Turns out I was way off the path I should have taken to MG102 (correct address) after said receptionist informed me that I should head to MG192 (not correct). Onwards!!

If the original sage had said come in Main Entrance and go down one floor and MG102 is behind the elevator, a little time might have been saved (15 minutes).

Finally, I arrive at correct destination to be questioned, dressed in fashionable hospital garb and readied for the highlight of the day.

Dr. “Tall” as I never encoded his name immediately asks why this “invasive treatment” (angiogram) is happening instead of an MRI which is much more effective. I explain my visceral, claustrophobic response to said horror chamber which garners an explanation that I could have been granted the presence of a “Conscious Sedation” nurse to work with me and if that didn’t work out an anesthesiologist could be scheduled simultaneously to administer a GA (general anesthetic}. Could we all just speak English please??

I nodded that yes, I’d preferred that. It sounds like a short discussion but there was much to delve into like my many serious allergies which could rear their ugly heads to welcome anaphylactic shock. [Two hours later the angiogram was performed!]

OH DEAR! But wait there’s more.

I’m a true convert as I wanted to try the MRI again once I got a bit more meditation practice to ease my potential physical reaction.

I had been told the last time I was scheduled for an MRI, and freaked out, that they would have to intubate me if GA required and that wasn’t an option. AHA, they lied, sort of. A soft laryngeal device is available to relieve collapse of airway (did I mention I’m on a CPAP machine re: collapse of airways is a regular appearance on the night show).

More ammunition and support for the MRI experience, hurrah.

By this time Dr. H, another Fellow, arrived mid-argument, stayed for the rest and said he would call my surgeon, referred to by first name, A*****which confused me a little as I call him Dr. K**** (patient that I am). His name is Dr. A. K., confusion cleared up. Heretofore, Dr. K.

Dr. H returns after briefing Dr. K and Dr. Tall has left the room momentarily but returns soon after I’m told that Dr. K has said that we should proceed with the scheduled angiogram. Dr. Tall returned and after more discussion, I state that I prefer the MRI solution as visions of “invasive treatment” dance through my head.

Dr. “Tall” reiterates that it’s my decision. I recognize that it’ll mean another trip to the hospital and much communication and scheduling between 3 departments; Intensive Imaging, Neurology, and Anesthesiology. Whoopee, still good with me. I choose MRI.

Dr. H departs again to brief Dr. K. Many minutes later he returns to inform me that Dr. K is coming to chat with me.

OH DEAR GAWD, please get this over with.

Tangent: This is my first time meeting, in my mind at least, Dr. K in a conscious state as I was purposely drugged up in ICU for the 2+ weeks re: aneurysm Sept 2021. On this same occasion I was made conscious again when they decided to move me to a ward. Dr. K had informed my husband that I would be in this ward for a few days. When hubby arrived on my first full day in the ward, I informed him that PT and OT (physical and occupational therapist) were coming to visit me to decide if I was ready to go home. You can bet your bottom dollar I was ready!! I didn’t register hubby’s surprise at this news, as if, cuz I’m GOING HOME. Break out the walker. I passed their walking test and went home that day and don’t remember if my surgeon came by that day to see me off. Hubby assures me that I did meet Dr. K. OK! Then Dr. K was is off rotation for a period of months and a different Dr. took over my care from there until he performed shunt surgery 4 months later.

OK, back to meeting, a handshake with permission, Dr. K. Such a warm and pleasant introduction. Then we got into all of the reasons starting with my physical challenges and then a bit later the cost of hospital resources.

I told him that when I left after the failed MRI attempt I felt terrible about the waste of resources for a treatment that, had I comprehended at the time, I would have requested medication for, but somewhere in my twisted mind I thought I was headed to another CT scan, which was okay cuz only my head would be inside a rather larger opening, so no problem. WRONG!

Then he explained the discussions and push back that would happen and all that could fail due to multiple humans (departments) being involved with their own ideas of what should, could, would, be done! Not uncommon in business or family transactions. He also kindly explained that the actual procedure is about 10 minutes and we can stop at any time if you’re anxious (had the “hold em back” teary eyes twice from frustration) and if anything hurts we can help with pain meds and, and, and. Kind of funny really because I have no fear of surgery generally speaking. I don’t focus on the risks, like dying on the table, or have visions of catastrophes from a medical perspective, I have loads of other stuff for that!

So now we’re back to the invasive procedure. DID I MENTION THAT I LOST ONE OF THE TWO 25mg BENADRYL PILLS IN THE CAR. I’m in a 25mg deficit at the moment. This being part of, along with scheduled Prednisone dosing, the protocol pre-angiogram to prevent allergic reaction to contrast dye discovered way back when, in ICU.

Another tangent: You see, hubby was in the drivers seat waiting for me as usual and I asked him if he wanted me to drive, he said ok, but I placed my lunch bag behind passenger seat for easy access. You see the issue? I’m still driving when the “AN HOUR BEFORE PROCEDURE” comes and goes. I reach for bag while driving a busy highway in rush hour hell. Hand it to hubby and ask him to retrieve pills for me. The BENADRYL blister pack is real easy to open, it turns out, and I gulp down only 1 pill but no second pill and I checked to make sure I had them both when packing the night before. So that was trepidatious (is that a word?) as I can’t stop on the highway during rush hour to find a pill only to be even later so we continue on. Didn’t find the pill.

So back to the treatment: I have explained to 4 or 5 different people that I only took 25 of the 50 mg pills I was supposed to take. In order to move forward, no to taking the pill that’s been sitting on my tray, we have to find a vein instead.

Oh great, more horrors, but the nurse that works with me after I explain my fun experiences with phlebotomy is really careful and finds great spot (helps that she’s, in her own words, “pasty, blond and bruises easily too”! I suggest “has porcelain skin” much nicer descriptor!

I returned from procedure at 10:30 and was told “you have to stay lying flat on your back for 2 hours”. What I heard was I can leave in 2 hours so I texted hubby same, without glasses which were taken off in procedure room and comes out as incompressible English/French gobbly goo. I used the microphone and pressed the language button by mistake, eh voila!

He replied “Huh?

I asked nurse about glasses and they’re sitting on my tray, which I can’t see because I mustn’t raise my head or my right leg. OH BOY! Anyway, msg sent and received at noon-ish that he should come hang out with me and bring lunch bag (14 1/2 hours no food), Before he arrives I am informed that I’ll be released at 14:30 if I can walk to bathroom and pee. CRAP CRAP CRAP! [thought I was leaving at 12:30]

Well, we enjoyed a lovely conversation and very happy for his company as always (well almost always, HEE HEE)

Dr. H, who performed the angiogram, comes back and shares with hubby that we had a lovely chat about food and not so lovely about winter. He’s from Singapore and Dr. Tall (the other Fellow) have one-year fellowships which will end July, both returning to their home countries and hospitals.

Another Tangent: I asked Dr. H if he’d been home to visit and no he hadn’t. He has a 4 year old and 2 1/2 year old along with the rest of his family waiting for him at home. I also learned that he and his wife used to rollerblade the entire island in 8 hours, pre-firstborn. We commiserate with each other on the facts of life with children. I told him that some lady (senior) in a grocery store, shopping as I was, with my toddler at the time which removes the obstacles of aisle shopping, told me to enjoy him while you can. Clearly she was too old to remember what it was like to have a screaming baby on your hands 24/7 who suffered with ear, nose and throat issues and constant antibiotics that didn’t always work because he became resistant so lets do another course of a different one for another 14 days and the colic and sensitivity of lactose intolerance which I didn’t put together until he was much older when I notice the short time span between eating cereal and emergency landing in bathroom. Right, now I remember the enjoyment!

Dr. H responded that he agreed and that it was quite the challenge and could we just skip to the mostly independent stage! I laughed as I told him that I used to go to bed and wish/pray for kindergarten. LOL

It’s 14:30 and I will once again be an ambulatory citizen of the world. I have been informed that I am not to do any cooking, laundry, grocery shopping, etc. With eyes trained on me. I told her, isn’t that a bit sexist to assume that I do all of these things. She said no, she had been looking at my hubby with these declarations as well. I explain that most of the cooking is done independent of each other on different time schedules. I further explain that we don’t have to worry about the cooking as I had already decided the night before on pizza. I didn’t catch that she was shooting darts at hubby with the whole “you’ll be cooking tonight” which addresses my accusation of sexism. Hubby assures me he got the look.

We slowly crawl out of parking lot at 15:19. Yippee more rush hour. I’ve got this one page of dos and don’ts to read over so I read it out loud so hubby can remind me when I’m colouring outside the lines.

The last bulleted point which I’ll paraphrase; you can resume sexual relations 2 days after procedure. I was reading the list later to my 42 year old son, and got an immediate reaction to that last point. Awww Mom, I don’t want to hear about that. I laughed uproariously! I say it’s just another one of the points to keep in mind.

We get home 5-ish and pizza is scheduled for delivery at 6. I notice that it’s karaoke night at one of our community rec centres and call a friend to see if she wants to go, she can’t. I shouldn’t even entertain the notion. A tiny speck of reason enters the brain suggesting that it’s not a good option for me either, considering! My friend and I have a lovely chat while hubby and I are munching on pizza.

Fast forward to 2 am when I awake to scratching the daylights above and below both armpits. I believe I woke up much earlier than this doing the same but maybe part of a dream. I turn on bathroom light to inspect, go back to get my swim bag which has a tube of anti-itch cream and then take some Benadryll both of which contain the same ingredient. Head to sofa to read some cuz there ain’t no way I’ll be able to go back to sleep.

Hubby is awoken by this frenzy of activity at “stupid o’clock” hour and heads toward me. I apologize several times for waking him up. He gets settled with his cell and tablet and I read him some bits and pieces from the book I’m reading about the efforts of one women to move salmon farming to terra ferma instead of embedded in the archipelago directly in the migration path of wild salmon. It is beyond sickening; the colossal lack of interest to do anything about this whilst continuing to issue licenses to establish more farms. Fascinating read!

A short time goes by waiting for Benadryl to kick in and I decide ice packs may help relieve the itch. Immediate reduction in discomfort but at this current hour I have upped the dose and am still with ice packs and the itchiness is spreading to other realms. When will it go away, I ask. I did go back to bed around 6:00 and went back to sleep until the itch gremlins made it impossible to stay in bed around 9:30.

Hubby is sleeping on the sofa and I’m in the office typing. I forgot to mention earlier the instructions from the nurse varied slightly from what the Dr. had stated about self care. She pooh poohed Dr. instructions and reiterated her version as gold.

12:20the day after angiogram: The End due to irritations aforementioned! LOL

Feel free to share with me the bits that made you chuckle and we’ll have a good laugh about it when next we speak.

Here’s to Benadryl and anti-itch cream. May they both provide the relief they were made for SOON!!!!!

Current status: A week later I’m still dealing with itch gremlins and clothing is still optional but feeling much better and can be in the company of others (just my hubby thus far re: clothing optional) without emulating a gorilla that scratches indiscriminately. Hurrah!

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The Talk (not exactly birds & bees)

It’s the summer of 1970. I’m 13 years old but will turn 14 in November during my first year of high school (grade 9).

Visualize 5′ 10″ tall (almost 6′ at 18), 150 pounds and everything in the right place. Keep in mind that I am precocious (my stepmother’s assessment; read The Bra) and it turns out that I’m ADD (was identified in my mid 50’s) which means I’m not adverse to risky behaviour.

My Dad wants to talk to me so we get settled in my bedroom and it goes something like this:

Men are going to be very attracted to you as you look like a fully developed woman. You’re not old enough to get birth control pills. If/when you need them, let me know and I’ll get them for you. My adult self thinks “YUCK”!

I’m sure there was more to the talk than that, but clearly a presumption that I knew and understood procreation. There was no reference to saving myself for marriage or how precious my virginity, or that it must be preserved, blah, blah, blah.

Fast forward to the Fall. I have an 18 year old boyfriend that attends the same high school I do and we become sexually active. I have opted to purchase spermicidal goop and my boyfriend wears condoms.

Did I ask my father for birth control pills, you wonder? I did not. Call it instinctual self-preservation, or just not something I wanted to consult my father about.

Fast forward again. The boyfriend, and I are going to his family’s cottage for the weekend. I have packed a bag and gone into the kitchen to do something, no idea what but my bag is open on the kitchen table and my younger sister is approaching. In a sudden panic I toss the spermicidal goo and applicator to the back of the silverware drawer. Nosey little sister, crisis averted.

Well, not exactly. You see, I forgot about the goo and applicator and left for the weekend. Upon return, father handed me goo and applicator and advised me not to leave it lying about. I went up to my room and deposited same somewhere safer in my room.

While I was in my room I heard my stepmother and father arguing about me being too young to be sexually active and what the heck was he thinking to pass on implicit permission thus by suggesting I get birth control.

Some would say my father was a predator. When he was 28 he married my mother just days after she turned 18 (she was with child, me). When he was 38 he remarried; my stepmother was about 2 weeks shy of 19. When my step-brothers’ wife needed to be picked up from hospital after an outpatient procedure Dad volunteered and then made a pass at her as she was lying on the couch recovering. Step-brother and wife moved out of the parental home the next day.

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My First Bra

There is one other thing I remember from my school days, Grade 7, with friend Cathy. She and I went to Sayvette, a discount department store, which closed its doors many moons ago.

I mentioned in a previous blog that Cathy was maturing physically at a rate unmatched by her schoolmates, me included. I don’t remember if the intention was to go to Sayvette and steal something, or if Cathy just needed a new bra.

My prepubescent buds were treated to a bra I didn’t need, and was “hidden” under my shirt as we made our way to the exit.

My new Mom, D, when she discovered this bra in my possession, stated that I was precocious. I’d no clue what that meant and suspect this may have been a conversation I overheard rather than a direct interaction, though she was pretty practical so maybe a direct hit. Dictionary at the ready to find out what that meant.

I don’t recall anyone asking me where I got the money to pay for a new bra. The 5-finger discount!

Why we didn’t get caught is anyone’s guess. My first time stealing, so not exactly a career criminal. I admit I did steal again which shamed me so much at the time, it never happened again. Blissfully I don’t remember what it was or when it was but still, it’s a memory I wish I didn’t have at all. Translated means I wish I’d never done it in the first place. As my father stated, I’m not a good liar (really?) because I have a conscience (true!) Guilt is a nasty bedfellow!

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More secrets, NO!

It’s been awhile since I graced these pages with my erudite thoughts, if only!!

Since then I requested my long birth certificate which provided some, perhaps astonishing, insights. Even more revealing was the receipt of a “family bible” which was returned to me many years after my grandmother’s death. She died at 98. Her youngest son, my father, more recently at 94. My uncle is still kicking at 96, so I’ve got loads of time to catch you up as I’m about to turn 66 in a few weeks. With only 1/2 of the DNA info available to me I figure I’ve got a good shot at a few more years, maybe?

The family bible, what a laugh! I bought that for her birthday when I was 18, so not exactly long lived. I heard from my Aunt upon receipt of said bible that my sister “G**n wanted it”. Yeah, well, I suppose it’s a good thing there was an inscription from moi on the inside cover.

The cool thing was the junk I found inside the bible. My grandmother was a very religious lady, and her eldest son, Uncle C and his side of the family are born again Christians. My father was an atheist.

There was a picture of me (and maybe my mother with her back towards the camera) with a note on the back which wasn’t intact but enough to realize that the marriage of Mom & Dad was right after Mom turned 18 in July 1956 and I was born a few months later in November. Must have been some raised eyebrows at the time. Never spoken of in my presence. Hush now, deep dark secret. My Dad was 28.

Well, I never! Quite the scandal considering the “not quite” liberated 50’s. Note this is coming from the gal that had a child out of wedlock (gasp/delicate cough) at the age of 23. OK, not exactly a teen birth but still noteworthy!

The part that amuses me is my Dad’s philosophy to never talk about the past. But there’s so much rich stuff in there to talk about and now I’ll never get to see his face were I to drop that little pearl! Gosh darn it! I wonder if my New Mom (stepmother) knew.

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