Monday, June 06, 2011

Today I'm dressed in a muumuu, a roomy old dress I've owned for years and still enjoy. I go thru spells of resisting its comfort. "Women who wear muumuus have given up on trying to keep their slender figure." I used to hear that from women who still fought it; I've said it myself during times when I so wanted to regain the slimness I enjoyed in my youth. Today I'm quite comfortable with the way my 64 year old body looks.

In 2008, I took Adderall and lost 35 pounds. Within the last couple of years, I've regained most of it. What can I say? I enjoy eating, healthy food, junk food, any food. My appetite is more predominant than my will to exercise. I wish those preferences were the other way around, but they are what they are. The amphetamine I took is the only thing that has ever reversed it, and my doctor refuses to prescribe it again, convinced I was using it more for weight loss than ADD. It did seem to be more effective in curbing my appetite than in helping my concentration. And I did seem to be more energetic and enjoyed exercise more.

I did not realize then what I've learned recently that using Adderall as a diet pill reached epidemic proportions in 2008, mostly among much younger women who wanted to go from a size 8 to a size 4. No wonder doctors grew super-cautious about handing out the Rx, but I was a 61 year old grandmother! My oldest grandson was taking the drug for his ADHD, and I heard him and his parents talk about how he was never hungry.  To me, it sounded like a miracle drug.

I even suspected that he inherited his predisposition for ADHD from me. I've had symptoms of attention deficit disorder since long before it was identified as a medical condition. None of my teachers in school thought I performed to my potential. The nice ones labelled me an underachiever; the not-so-nice ones called me lazy. So passing the screening test for the condition was a breeze. I answered all the questions honestly and was diagnosed with ADD. The prescription was issued with blood pressure monitored closely and monthly doctor visits required. And the weight came off, about 3 or 4 lbs monthly, a safe pace, and when I got back into size 8 jeans for the first time in 20 years, I was ecstatic. 

Without the amphetamine, however, the appetite returned. Thankfully, it's taken longer to put the excess weight back on than to take it off. But it's baaaaack! And today I've chosen to camouflage it with yards of tropical fabric. Once again, Gramma loooooooooves her muumuu!

3 hrs. later. I wore the muumuu to Kroger and a nice looking old hippy with a gray ponytail told me he loved the dress I was wearing. "It looks very cool and comfortable," he said. I thanked him.

Friday, June 03, 2011

Mike just left to 1) fill the gas tank in the Dodge, 2) deposit a rent check, 3) pick up prescriptions at CVS, and 4) go to The Club at St. D for his work-out, and 5) get lunch at the nearby Subway. I'm at home with my feet propped up on the ottoman, the TV off, the AC on, and dogs asleep. That may not sound unusual in your house, but it's been 2 years, 5 months, and 13 days since I could do this. I have soooooo looked forward to this day.

I've been extremely nervous about turning the car keys over to him since his 12/21/08 accident, which severely damaged the vision in his left eye, affected his reflexes and coordination, and did further damage to a brain already injured by a 2004 stroke. But he has worked hard with physical therapy and occupational therapy to regain some of the functionality he lost. After he passed a vision test by his ophthalmologist and a thorough 4 hour driving test by Methodist Rehab, however, I realized my days as his chauffeur and personal assistant were coming to an end. His neuro-psychologist doesn't think his alcoholism will return because the part of his brain which houses cravings and habits of that sort was knocked out by his fall.

So he's on the road again, behind the wheel of a vehicle that could kill him and others if not driven safely. After the evaluation at Methodist Rehab, I had to ride with him for two weeks to make sure he was doing everything safely. What a test of faith that was! We encountered two situations that were potentially dangerous. I worried about his ability to merge into traffic on the left, but he turned his body around to check oncoming traffic with both eyes. Very good, I thought and sighed with relief. Then, in making a right turn one day, he swung too wide and was totally unaware of a woman coming from the opposite direction turning left, also swinging too wide. I shrieked, he jammed on the brakes, so did she, they narrowly missed a collision, and he admitted he had not seen her. Since then, he has been very careful to look in all directions before turning and doesn't take nearly so wide a turn. He still has trouble judging distances between the front of his car and whatever is in front of him, but he errs on the side of caution.

I cannot describe how free I feel having an uninterrupted day to do what I want to do and not having to worry about accommodating him. Please pray that he drives safely and does not injure himself or others. He is a licensed driver with insurance and a fierce will to be as independent as possible. And I'm all for it.

We've come a long way, Baby!