Nurses with ADD/ADHD? - page 40

Hey all! I was wondering if there are any nurses with ADD/ADHD out there who want to comiserate and support each other? I know I need the help/advice. It might also be a place for "regular" people (I hate the word normal) to... Read More

  1. 0
    Hello I am new to the forum, and as a 20 something who was diagnosed with ADD in college I have faced many of the same issues. In my early school days (elementary-high school) I always felt like something was wrong with me because I could never sit through class without becoming extremely agitated and annoyed. I felt that teachers always went too slow and I could never focus on/remember what was being said as my mind was constantly wandering and thinking about a million things at once. Teachers always got mad at me for being a "chatter box" or not paying attention, but I found it too difficult to sit quietly and listen. I always made good grades, but completing the simplest of tasks would take me forever because I would get side tracked and want to move on to something else. I had heard about ADD before, and although I thought I might have it I never wanted to admit that I had a "problem". My fear of seeking help was worsened when I brought the subject up to my parents. They told me that I was being ridiculous, accused me of wanting "legal speed" and that I was probably just bored because I was "too smart" to have to pay attention. Once I started college, things only got worse. My grades were still good, but I could not sit through a lecture and eventually found myself deciding not to go to class because it was just too painful to sit through. I eventually decided to seek help, especially since now I could do so without my parents approval. I was very nervous about discussing my issues, because it was not something I was ever very open about, but luckily the doctor was very understanding and told me I was not dumb or weird for feeling the way I did. He determined that I did in fact have ADD, and started me on adderall. I was a little apprehensive about taking the prescription because of the stigma of the diagnosis and being prescribed amphetamines, but he assured me that he had seen wonderful results with medication and if at any time I felt that it was not a good fit to let him know and we could try other things. Needless to say it worked miracles! I could sit in class, pay attention, and read for more than 20 minutes at a time. My grades remained the same, but achieving success was not the painstaking challenge that it had been in the past. I made the mistake of telling others about my diagnosis when I was completing my first degree (nursing is my second). This led to constant harassment from my friends and others to sell my prescription during finals and resulted in ridicule and hatred from those "friends" when I refused to do so. I also had to deal with my peers questioning my diagnosis because of my good grades, and jokes about being a "crack head" for being prescribed amphetamines. They also made me feel like I was somehow taking the easy way out because when they illegally used the drug it was like "studying on steroids". I tried to explain that when I take my prescription, I don't have super human study powers, but instead I can study normally and stay focused on the task at hand. Before, I always studied alone because when I would group study, I could tell I was annoying with my constant need to get up or talk and distract others. When I was accepted to nursing school, I decided to hide my diagnosis in order to prevent similar occurrences and have a fresh start, but it often has left me feeling lonely. So many people misunderstand ADD. They seem to think that you have to be stupid or make bad grades to really have ADD. This led me to question my diagnosis, and my doctor reassured me that many people who have ADD are very intelligent and are able to compensate for it during their early school years because they can get by without properly concentrating. Having ADD has not been easy, and it is something I feel like I have to hide from my friends, peers and family. Now that I am about to begin my career as a nurse, I wonder if it is something to discuss or hide from my future employers and coworkers. Also, I have been asked to take UDA and I am afraid of testing positive for amphetamines. I know that you can prove you are legally prescribed, but I have heard/read several horror stories about results being reported regardless of having a prescription and the consequences of such events. Anyone who has any advice to offer on the subject would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. 1
    I detest people when they choose to ignore ADD or ADHD, simply because it is not an obvious disability to their eyes.
    Such people wouldn't think of depriving a quadriplegic of a wheelchair, but they would deny people with ADD/ADHD meds and/or reasonable accommodations.
    Such people wouldn't think of depriving an amputee of a job/employment, while they would deny people diagnosed with ADD/ADHD of gainful employment.

    Unfortunately, many of those types are also administrators or supervisors. Before you decide to reveal your diagnosis to your place of employment, go to see a knowledgeable EEOC http://www.eeoc.gov/

    Know what your rights are concerning having your diagnosis protected under HIPAA. If you are considering formally notifying your employer of your diagnosis/meds, you may also want to inform them of your own HIPAA protections. The last thing you want to happen is to have the word of your diagnosis put out to your fellow employees and have some small minded person start treating like you're a dummy, because of their own uninformed bias.

    There is a sample letter that you can present to your employer, putting them on notice and making it possible for them to link up with reasonable accommodations.
    Having said that, however, also know that you definitely risk your job,,may not get even the most simple reasonable accommodations you request, and may be fired or let go from your job (for some other bogus reason) simply because that's the real world.

    It is a little known fact that amphetamines DO NOT have the "speed" affect for those with ADD or ADHD. If they do, you probably DON'T have ADD or ADHD, because those drugs have the effect of "leveling out" someone who has ADD or ADHD.

    Different meds and behavior management/accommodations work for different people.
    Stratera made me throw up. Ritalin is very difficult to obtain even as an adult with confirmed diagnoses, due to the number of drug abusers who illegally obtain the drug(s). If you're using a prescribed med, check with your EEOC officer to see if it's a good idea to let your employer know before or after you're UA'd, and weigh your options.

    Most people who have ADD or ADHD have higher than average IQs and are able to hyperfocus on tasks that average people cannot.
    Most people who have ADD or ADHD are also gifted. If you stimulate the gifted end (art, music, etc) with activities it will bring up the deficient end (learning disability, etc).

    Another good test is having the person suspected with ADD or ADHD to write a paragraph before taking the meds, and having them write the same paragraph a few hours after taking the meds. If the diagnosis is appropriate, while under the influence of the meds, the handwriting samples will appear as though two completely different people wrote them. This was discovered at John Hopkins University where research was done on the effects of various meds on ADD and ADHD.

    If average nurses thought nursing school & clinicals were difficult, walk a mile in my shoe!
    I did it with dyslexia and ADHD and was 3rd in my class. I burnt the candle at both ends getting through nursing school.
    Paytynsmom likes this.
  3. 0
    delete
    Last edit by CodyRN on Jan 9, '11
  4. 0
    Feel like I'm going crazy!!!

    I was diagnosed ADHD in my early 20's, although i had the classic symptoms as a child (I was so impulsive that in 2nd grade I went to the bathroom and my teacher came looking for me after awhile to find me climbing over the tops of the stalls because I wanted to see how tall they were!)

    Anyhow, I didn't start meds til I was in my early 30's when I had no choice but to stay focused to perform a high stress job to supporty myself & my 8 year old son (who was also diagnosed). I got remarried, quit my job & went full-time to nursing school. I struggled even with my meds. I was smart enough to test out of 6 of my pre-requisistes thank God because I might not have passed if I had to sit through boring lecture after lecture and take notes on and read about things I wasn't interested in. During one of those tests, the professor put me in a classroom full of students during a lecture!!!!! I was taking a test so important that it would allow me to test out of a class and he actually thought I could focus (could ANYONE focus) in a classroom full of students during a lecture???

    Anyway, despite the ridiculous "accommodations" made by my college, I graduated with a 3.0 GPA despite the hell I went through to graduate.

    I started nursing in ICU on nightshift. Lots of good reasons for an ADHD'er to work nightshift, especially as a new nurse - so much less distraction than days, no families around to constantly interrupt you, no tests that you personally have to take your patient off the floor for (unless there's an emergent MRI or something) - and I worked with nurses who knew way more than any of the docs, so I learned so much from them! I was ALWAYS busy on night shift, and sometimes overwhelmed because I was a new RN, but I never left late past my shift because I had to catch up on documentatiuon.

    My problem with Nights was that it REALLY screwed up my sleep-wake cycle. If I worked 3-12 hour shifts in a row, I would literally sleep for 3 straight days, I'd eat cereal and go back to bed. I felt like I was drugged. this wasn't making my new hubby or my teenage son very happy.

    It took me a year to finally get to transition over to dayshift. However, the only opening on days was a Per Diem slot and I had to float between ICU and telemetry. My biggest problem was the fact that I was STILL exhausted all the time; my circadian rythm was totally out of whack! After almost a year as per diem, a permanent PT slot opened up in ICU., I felt like I was home again.

    Except that the exhaustion didint get better. I was also recently placed on antideprssants that I later found out can prevent REM sleep. I was still sleeping for days at a time, but never felt rested. My stimulants would get me started in the morning, but by 5pm I was a zombie. So unfocused, in such a fog! Came close to making some serious med errors, caught myself before they were administered, but came toooo darn close!. My Vyvanse dose was maxed out at 100mg (as per the doc).

    I just kept getting more and more unfocused at work and felt like I was always running in circles not knowing what to do next (no way for an ICU nurse to perform).

    Finally, after mutiptle MD recomendations, I had a sleep study. I took an Ambien CR beforehand (or else I would not have been able to sleep). The results showed no Sleep Apnea, thank god, but did show that I get No REM sleep and that I have PLMD (periodic limb movement disorder) where my legs jerked 684 times!!

    OK, now the sleep doctor wants me to go off my antidepressants since most of them can suppress REM. They also want my psych doc to prescribe Nuvigil to me for excessive daytime sleepiness. Oh, and they want me to take Mirapex (which is an anti-parkinsons' med) for the PLMD.

    Ok, so great. I wean off Lexapro & Concerta. I start Nuvigil 100mg in addition to my Adderall XR 100mg, and I now have the Mirapex 0.125mg to take at night with my Ambien CR. How's that worked for me, you say?

    It's been around a month for all the meds to become aquainted. Some are gone, some are new. Now, do I feel 100% better??? NOOOOO I have always on my ADD brain had difficulty keeping up with the charting & might stay 45 minutes or so late to catch up.

    Now, I'm focusing on the damn new online computer charting system that is totally redudent and fulll or errors. So much so that my patient's safety is being compromised!! I had a pt who came to ICU and within 30 mins his SBP was 62, at the same time I've got my manager yelling at me that I should NOT be far behind on my charting!!!! I thought I was going to lose it...Let's think here...what's the priority??? The patient of the PAPER!!!! My whole day and the day after were just a blur. Me trying to keep the patient alive & being pulled aside constantly by management so they could train me on this new documentation system! Oh, & just when it is getting really bad, someone from the bloodbank shows up with a unit of PRBC's for my patient and she tells me that she has to audit me during the whole process; this is while the man's 85 year old girlfriend is at the bedside asking me every 5 minutes "is he going to get better", "why is he in the ICU", "what are the doctor's plans", I'm hanging blood in one line and a pressor in the other!!!

    Needless to say I cried all way home from work. I felt totally incompetent as a nurse. I got home @ 10pm that night & had to get up @5:30 to start it all over again. 2nd day was very similar to the 1st because of the patient's ever changing condition and all the new charting we had to do, along with taking care of my other very sick patient!

    Went home defeated. Got into a fight with my hubby. He announces at dinner that he wants a divorce (with my son sitting right across the table)!

    I make an appointment to see the psychiatrist whos been treating my depression / ADHD and now part of my sleep disorder. He's 15 minutes late getting me in to see him, I tell him the latest news with me, he tells me that he can't do anything more for my depression and I need to check myself into a psychiatric facility to get it resolved!!!! As he's saying this, I'm about to fall on the floor!!!! I told him perhaps the circumstances in my life at this moment might be worsening my depression (he took my antidepressants away almost 2 monts ago!) I said the my lack of sleep is only exacerbating my ADHD symptoms and I'm having too many near-misses at work. I said I'd like to get a medical leave from work until I can get my sleep problems under control. He asked me what more was being done about that and I told him I had an appointment with a neurologist the next day. He stood up and was basically shooing me out of his office as he handed me a refill for my Vyvanse!! Same dose as always, what's this going to do to help??? He asked me to bring up Klonopin with the neurologist to help me sleep and deal with depression.

    Well, went to the neurologist who informs me that although my sleep study was done at the sleep center she works for that my dianosis given by another doctor there is totally wrong. She says I don't have Lack of REM, nor do I have PLMD. She explained them away and said it was probably because I was uncomfortable during the sleep study; I took an Ambien CR before the study and I never left the prone position, it wasn't like I was tossing & turning! She wants me to stop ALL meds and retrain my circadian rhythm.

    Ok, I would love to retrain my circadian rhythm and I would LOVE to get off all the meds, but I DO honestly believe the sleep study report that shows I get no REM sleep & showed that my legs DID twitch 684 times!

    In the meantime, I feel like I can no longer provide care to my patients in a timely & safe manner! I feel like I'm in a fog most days @ work and just can NOT concentrate or stay focused with ANYTHING. And having been reprimanded for the 1st time ever by my boss, in front of the entire unit, makes me think I need a breakl. Not to mention that EVERY time I drive home from work for the past couple of months, I honestly feel myself dozing off!

    Effective today I requested FMLA for myself, on the basis of my sleep study results & the fact that it is still not resolved and when coupled with my ADHD, my ability to perform my nursing responsibilities in such a highly critical environment is impaired. There is no room for error in ICU nursing. I just need to get a doc to back me up!!!

    I've got to find the right doc who knows what they're doing! Any ADHD sleep disorder docs out there??????
    Last edit by CrabbyPatty on Feb 11, '11
  5. 0
    Hello Everyone,

    Does anyone know for sure the Florida BON view on nurses who are prescribed and take Adderall XR as well as Straterra? I have been trying to get a clear cut answer on this for about a week. The Nurse Practice Act here is confusing.

    I have heard it is ok to take them while working if they are prescribed to you. On the other hand, I have also heard yes you can take them if they are prescribed to you, but not while you are working. Well, now that does not make any sense because it is my best interest, the pts best interest, etc to take them when I am working,etc. If there is anytime I should take them it is when I am working.

    In my view, I should be allowed to take these meds on a regular schedule as long as I am not impaired. I do not get a high from the Adderall XR. I have to take my meds. It makes me nervous and concerns me to be working without my Adderall XR and Straterra.

    I am looking for a new job and I know drug screening will be required. If I take a drug test I know it will show positive for amphetamines. Will this be reported to the board? If so, how will they react?

    I hope someone knows the real deal on this issue.

    Thank you.
  6. 0
    Quote from TheNurseIsIn
    Hello Everyone,

    Does anyone know for sure the Florida BON view on nurses who are prescribed and take Adderall XR as well as Straterra? I have been trying to get a clear cut answer on this for about a week. The Nurse Practice Act here is confusing.

    I have heard it is ok to take them while working if they are prescribed to you. On the other hand, I have also heard yes you can take them if they are prescribed to you, but not while you are working. Well, now that does not make any sense because it is my best interest, the pts best interest, etc to take them when I am working,etc. If there is anytime I should take them it is when I am working.

    In my view, I should be allowed to take these meds on a regular schedule as long as I am not impaired. I do not get a high from the Adderall XR. I have to take my meds. It makes me nervous and concerns me to be working without my Adderall XR and Straterra.

    I am looking for a new job and I know drug screening will be required. If I take a drug test I know it will show positive for amphetamines. Will this be reported to the board? If so, how will they react?

    I hope someone knows the real deal on this issue.

    Thank you.
    Did you get an answer to your question? I would think the doctor who prescribed these meds to you could answer this question.

    My son couldn't go into the Air Force Academy unless he was stimulant-free for a year because pilots are not allowed to take stimulant meds for ADHD, which is absurd! I suppose it's ok if you crash a plane because you're distracted.

    Good luck to you, it's hard enough having ADHD, but there's no way I could work without taking my meds!
  7. 0
    Hi everyone
    This might be weird, but I am the wife of a new grad RN (with ADD) in a med surge floor. I am writing you because he wont look for help and I don't know what to do to help him. He has come home crying a few times, and every day at work he forgets something. So far nothing serious, but he is terrified of one day losing his license because he forgot something serious... He was diagnosed with ADD when a kid, but only now got prescribed concerta (the lowest dose 17mg). It doesnt seem to be helping much. His memory is still a problem. His preceptor has noticed that. He is starting to feel like he can't do the job, and he just started nursing! I feel so helpless. Please, any advice would be very welcome.

    Is there any hope for nurses with ADD? Does it get better over time? Does the fear of making a mistake go away? My husband says that he has to work on the med surge floor for 2 years, or he wont get any job later. Is that really true?
    Thanks so much for listening.
  8. 0
    Quote from MaroonTX
    Hello I am new to the forum, and as a 20 something who was diagnosed with ADD in college I have faced many of the same issues. In my early school days (elementary-high school) I always felt like something was wrong with me because I could never sit through class without becoming extremely agitated and annoyed. I felt that teachers always went too slow and I could never focus on/remember what was being said as my mind was constantly wandering and thinking about a million things at once. Teachers always got mad at me for being a "chatter box" or not paying attention, but I found it too difficult to sit quietly and listen. I always made good grades, but completing the simplest of tasks would take me forever because I would get side tracked and want to move on to something else. I had heard about ADD before, and although I thought I might have it I never wanted to admit that I had a "problem". My fear of seeking help was worsened when I brought the subject up to my parents. They told me that I was being ridiculous, accused me of wanting "legal speed" and that I was probably just bored because I was "too smart" to have to pay attention. Once I started college, things only got worse. My grades were still good, but I could not sit through a lecture and eventually found myself deciding not to go to class because it was just too painful to sit through. I eventually decided to seek help, especially since now I could do so without my parents approval. I was very nervous about discussing my issues, because it was not something I was ever very open about, but luckily the doctor was very understanding and told me I was not dumb or weird for feeling the way I did. He determined that I did in fact have ADD, and started me on adderall. I was a little apprehensive about taking the prescription because of the stigma of the diagnosis and being prescribed amphetamines, but he assured me that he had seen wonderful results with medication and if at any time I felt that it was not a good fit to let him know and we could try other things. Needless to say it worked miracles! I could sit in class, pay attention, and read for more than 20 minutes at a time. My grades remained the same, but achieving success was not the painstaking challenge that it had been in the past. I made the mistake of telling others about my diagnosis when I was completing my first degree (nursing is my second). This led to constant harassment from my friends and others to sell my prescription during finals and resulted in ridicule and hatred from those "friends" when I refused to do so. I also had to deal with my peers questioning my diagnosis because of my good grades, and jokes about being a "crack head" for being prescribed amphetamines. They also made me feel like I was somehow taking the easy way out because when they illegally used the drug it was like "studying on steroids". I tried to explain that when I take my prescription, I don't have super human study powers, but instead I can study normally and stay focused on the task at hand. Before, I always studied alone because when I would group study, I could tell I was annoying with my constant need to get up or talk and distract others. When I was accepted to nursing school, I decided to hide my diagnosis in order to prevent similar occurrences and have a fresh start, but it often has left me feeling lonely. So many people misunderstand ADD. They seem to think that you have to be stupid or make bad grades to really have ADD. This led me to question my diagnosis, and my doctor reassured me that many people who have ADD are very intelligent and are able to compensate for it during their early school years because they can get by without properly concentrating. Having ADD has not been easy, and it is something I feel like I have to hide from my friends, peers and family. Now that I am about to begin my career as a nurse, I wonder if it is something to discuss or hide from my future employers and coworkers. Also, I have been asked to take UDA and I am afraid of testing positive for amphetamines. I know that you can prove you are legally prescribed, but I have heard/read several horror stories about results being reported regardless of having a prescription and the consequences of such events. Anyone who has any advice to offer on the subject would be greatly appreciated!
    Hello Maroon,

    It sounds like you are managing the ADD very well and that you are doing all the right things. You learned from the past experience of telling people about the Adderall because they just wanted it for themselves. As to the stigma, yes, people do not understand unless they themselves are familiar with it. The UDA part is nerve wracking, but I have found that with each test, the designated physician/or HR Representative call and "tell me I was positive." I give them my pharmacist's phone number and they simply call to verify I have a prescription for it. There doesn't seem to be anything proactive we can do to avoid the stress of knowing these steps are coming, but in each case, all of the corporations I've worked for have accepted the documentation and they do not violate the confidentiality, unless I made it easy for them by talking about it with ANYONE. You should assume that you can not trust anyone, and besides, I've seen more nurses than you would expect, walk into the nurse station asking what they came in there for! They are just tired or feeling middle age when people start to forget some things or hormonally related issues that do the same.

    It's also evident you have superior communication and writing skills, and coupled with your highly aware state of your understanding of and coping with ADD, you are on your way to a VERY SUCCESSFUL career. Maybe after you are around for 10 years or more and decide to become an educator, then perhaps you could share your experiences appropriately, but surely not as the new kid on the block. There will always be those people who want to use just anything to bring you down especially when you are very bright and looking good as a new hire or new nurse. If you do discuss anything with your employer, it would be "giftedness," but only in the light of a supervisor sincerely mentoring you or showing you the ropes and mentioning any pitfalls you might have encountered. Continue to follow your intuition, it looks to be on target! Wishing you the best!
  9. 0
    Quote from CrabbyPatty
    Feel like I'm going crazy!!!

    I was diagnosed ADHD in my early 20's, although i had the classic symptoms as a child (I was so impulsive that in 2nd grade I went to the bathroom and my teacher came looking for me after awhile to find me climbing over the tops of the stalls because I wanted to see how tall they were!)

    Anyhow, I didn't start meds til I was in my early 30's when I had no choice but to stay focused to perform a high stress job to supporty myself & my 8 year old son (who was also diagnosed). I got remarried, quit my job & went full-time to nursing school. I struggled even with my meds. I was smart enough to test out of 6 of my pre-requisistes thank God because I might not have passed if I had to sit through boring lecture after lecture and take notes on and read about things I wasn't interested in. During one of those tests, the professor put me in a classroom full of students during a lecture!!!!! I was taking a test so important that it would allow me to test out of a class and he actually thought I could focus (could ANYONE focus) in a classroom full of students during a lecture???

    Anyway, despite the ridiculous "accommodations" made by my college, I graduated with a 3.0 GPA despite the hell I went through to graduate.

    I started nursing in ICU on nightshift. Lots of good reasons for an ADHD'er to work nightshift, especially as a new nurse - so much less distraction than days, no families around to constantly interrupt you, no tests that you personally have to take your patient off the floor for (unless there's an emergent MRI or something) - and I worked with nurses who knew way more than any of the docs, so I learned so much from them! I was ALWAYS busy on night shift, and sometimes overwhelmed because I was a new RN, but I never left late past my shift because I had to catch up on documentatiuon.

    My problem with Nights was that it REALLY screwed up my sleep-wake cycle. If I worked 3-12 hour shifts in a row, I would literally sleep for 3 straight days, I'd eat cereal and go back to bed. I felt like I was drugged. this wasn't making my new hubby or my teenage son very happy.

    It took me a year to finally get to transition over to dayshift. However, the only opening on days was a Per Diem slot and I had to float between ICU and telemetry. My biggest problem was the fact that I was STILL exhausted all the time; my circadian rythm was totally out of whack! After almost a year as per diem, a permanent PT slot opened up in ICU., I felt like I was home again.

    Except that the exhaustion didint get better. I was also recently placed on antideprssants that I later found out can prevent REM sleep. I was still sleeping for days at a time, but never felt rested. My stimulants would get me started in the morning, but by 5pm I was a zombie. So unfocused, in such a fog! Came close to making some serious med errors, caught myself before they were administered, but came toooo darn close!. My Vyvanse dose was maxed out at 100mg (as per the doc).

    I just kept getting more and more unfocused at work and felt like I was always running in circles not knowing what to do next (no way for an ICU nurse to perform).

    Finally, after mutiptle MD recomendations, I had a sleep study. I took an Ambien CR beforehand (or else I would not have been able to sleep). The results showed no Sleep Apnea, thank god, but did show that I get No REM sleep and that I have PLMD (periodic limb movement disorder) where my legs jerked 684 times!!

    OK, now the sleep doctor wants me to go off my antidepressants since most of them can suppress REM. They also want my psych doc to prescribe Nuvigil to me for excessive daytime sleepiness. Oh, and they want me to take Mirapex (which is an anti-parkinsons' med) for the PLMD.

    Ok, so great. I wean off Lexapro & Concerta. I start Nuvigil 100mg in addition to my Adderall XR 100mg, and I now have the Mirapex 0.125mg to take at night with my Ambien CR. How's that worked for me, you say?

    It's been around a month for all the meds to become aquainted. Some are gone, some are new. Now, do I feel 100% better??? NOOOOO I have always on my ADD brain had difficulty keeping up with the charting & might stay 45 minutes or so late to catch up.

    Now, I'm focusing on the damn new online computer charting system that is totally redudent and fulll or errors. So much so that my patient's safety is being compromised!! I had a pt who came to ICU and within 30 mins his SBP was 62, at the same time I've got my manager yelling at me that I should NOT be far behind on my charting!!!! I thought I was going to lose it...Let's think here...what's the priority??? The patient of the PAPER!!!! My whole day and the day after were just a blur. Me trying to keep the patient alive & being pulled aside constantly by management so they could train me on this new documentation system! Oh, & just when it is getting really bad, someone from the bloodbank shows up with a unit of PRBC's for my patient and she tells me that she has to audit me during the whole process; this is while the man's 85 year old girlfriend is at the bedside asking me every 5 minutes "is he going to get better", "why is he in the ICU", "what are the doctor's plans", I'm hanging blood in one line and a pressor in the other!!!

    Needless to say I cried all way home from work. I felt totally incompetent as a nurse. I got home @ 10pm that night & had to get up @5:30 to start it all over again. 2nd day was very similar to the 1st because of the patient's ever changing condition and all the new charting we had to do, along with taking care of my other very sick patient!

    Went home defeated. Got into a fight with my hubby. He announces at dinner that he wants a divorce (with my son sitting right across the table)!

    I make an appointment to see the psychiatrist whos been treating my depression / ADHD and now part of my sleep disorder. He's 15 minutes late getting me in to see him, I tell him the latest news with me, he tells me that he can't do anything more for my depression and I need to check myself into a psychiatric facility to get it resolved!!!! As he's saying this, I'm about to fall on the floor!!!! I told him perhaps the circumstances in my life at this moment might be worsening my depression (he took my antidepressants away almost 2 monts ago!) I said the my lack of sleep is only exacerbating my ADHD symptoms and I'm having too many near-misses at work. I said I'd like to get a medical leave from work until I can get my sleep problems under control. He asked me what more was being done about that and I told him I had an appointment with a neurologist the next day. He stood up and was basically shooing me out of his office as he handed me a refill for my Vyvanse!! Same dose as always, what's this going to do to help??? He asked me to bring up Klonopin with the neurologist to help me sleep and deal with depression.

    Well, went to the neurologist who informs me that although my sleep study was done at the sleep center she works for that my dianosis given by another doctor there is totally wrong. She says I don't have Lack of REM, nor do I have PLMD. She explained them away and said it was probably because I was uncomfortable during the sleep study; I took an Ambien CR before the study and I never left the prone position, it wasn't like I was tossing & turning! She wants me to stop ALL meds and retrain my circadian rhythm.

    Ok, I would love to retrain my circadian rhythm and I would LOVE to get off all the meds, but I DO honestly believe the sleep study report that shows I get no REM sleep & showed that my legs DID twitch 684 times!

    In the meantime, I feel like I can no longer provide care to my patients in a timely & safe manner! I feel like I'm in a fog most days @ work and just can NOT concentrate or stay focused with ANYTHING. And having been reprimanded for the 1st time ever by my boss, in front of the entire unit, makes me think I need a breakl. Not to mention that EVERY time I drive home from work for the past couple of months, I honestly feel myself dozing off!

    Effective today I requested FMLA for myself, on the basis of my sleep study results & the fact that it is still not resolved and when coupled with my ADHD, my ability to perform my nursing responsibilities in such a highly critical environment is impaired. There is no room for error in ICU nursing. I just need to get a doc to back me up!!!

    I've got to find the right doc who knows what they're doing! Any ADHD sleep disorder docs out there??????

    Hello Patty,

    I definitely feel for you. I too work nights and often can't sleep well or change the circadian rhythm. Dr. Prescribed Trazadone which helps stay asleep, but often need something with it to get "un-wired" from the stimulation of excessive concentration during the night.

    In your case, you need a specific and highly ordered set of medications and above-board Physician Management. I don't know your location with regard to a Sleep Study Doctor, but it may help to contact a leading University in your state to see if there are special programs for example, when patients are directed to the Mayo Clinic in MN.

    What a smart idea to go on FMLA to save your health and career. I hope meanwhile you have found more answers and that you are progressing and moving forward. I am so very sorry to hear of how the prolonged disorders interrupted your marriage when you were trying your best to manage so much at one time. I wish that once you overcome these barriers, that there is hope toward a second chance at the marriage. My husband has been very patient thank God, I think he is grateful that I am able to pay the mortgage, but it is a struggle, as you know.

    Wish you the best,
    Pearl
  10. 0
    I just wanted to say hi. (:

    I just passed my boards! Anyway, I have been diagnosed with ADD since the early 90s. When I was little, I took ritalin. In high school and early into my first degree, I didn't take anything. I started having a hard time and all my coping mechanisms weren't really working any more, so I went back to the doctor after a talk with my advisor in probably.... 2007. I was first put on Strattera, which is NOT a stimulant, but I couldn't stay awake on it! It was like narcolepsy! And it gave me awful n/v. So I was taken off that and put on ritalin instead.

    I... can't remember to take it very often but when I do it helps. Just wanted to say hi, none of us are alone!
    Last edit by Zombi RN on Jul 16, '11


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