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August 15th, 2003

Dentists / ADD and other people @ 08:09 pm

Current Mood: stressed stressed

On icb, a friend (who says he's pretty sure he had ADD as an early teen) said
Dealing with distractible people has been really frustrating for me. often prompting me to say things like "fucking hell. exert some goddamn self-discipline and get over it. I did."

You can imagine the lead balloon that is when people have a neurochemical/physical inability to do that.

That sentiment, from the receiving end, is the essence of most of the emotional connotations of ADD for me. That statement hit close enough to home that I cried for about 20 minutes. I'm still coming to grips with having ADD; the possibility that I may not be an utterly worthless shit is still somewhat novel. It's difficult to explain the schism that goes on when it's directly confronted - say, when sitting down to do pages of changing-volume word problems. I'd know I should do it, I'd know how to do it, it really wouldn't take me that long with all things considered... but there's still the inability to do it. It's too painful to deal with. The closest physical analogue I can think of is gout: moving the joint at all hurts; staying still hurts less, but still hurts; and the accumulated weight of being in constant pain for hours wears you down emotionally. Stuck in bed, stuck after school, not that far apart.

The emotional pain is probably worse, though. I knew exactly what was going on, and it didn't help one iota. On the other hand, it worked marvelously to increase the feelings of self-hatred and loathing, uselessness, helplessness, and isolation. You're bad, awful, and there's nothing you can do about it. And you have so much potential! I'd be happy if I never heard that phrase uttered by anyone ever agin. Point out the dichotomy some more, why don't you? It's merely a weight that hangs over me every day.

I went to the dentist last week; not one of the more fun experiences I've had. There's nothing quite like having a pointy metal thing jabbed into your gums to find out how tender they are. After I was done, the front office people asked me which was worse: a trip to the eye doctor or a trip to the dentist. The cute younger one had her eyes dilated and had been bitching about it, while the others were talking about how freakish that looks and how they couldn't bear to see it. (I think it's way cool and want to stare at it, on the other hand.) They were astounded that anybody could not think that the four puffs of air in the eyes were utter torture, and dilated pupils the ultimate in cruel & unusual punishment.

I told them that the opthomologist doesn't say "Jab this string into your tear duct all around, and don't worry if it bleeds a little," and they seemed amused; I didn't add, "You're clearly missing some areas when you blink, so ignore the previous four methods we've told you over the years for blinking your eyes and instead do [this] instead." The technique I was told I should now do: hold brush at 45-degree angle relative to tooth. place brush buttom at gum level. gently move brush around a little bit, massaging the gum. finish by continuing to hold the toothbrush at a forty-five degree angle and move the brush up and out to the top of the tooth. I am not making this up.

 
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From:subtly_modded
Date:August 16th, 2003 12:36 am (UTC)
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(hug)

i can't address the ADD much other than to say that.

i can say that i got a sonicare toothbrush a while ago and it really helped with the whole tooth problem i had. not tooth problem so much as gum receeding problem. dunno if that would help you or not, but it's part of my plan.

so again. (hug)
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From:elegantelbow
Date:August 16th, 2003 01:34 am (UTC)
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...the possibility that I may not be an utterly worthless shit is still somewhat novel.

I had the same feeling when I was (finally) diagnosed with depression. "Wait, you mean this is chemical, and there are things I can do to fix it?"

It's not torture, but I hate the puff of air thing. It always takes four or five tries with me, and I'm crying through the whole thing. And then the opthamologist gets all pissy and dominatrix-like with me.

Still, the dentist is nearly always worse. I've never understood why dentists don't learn the signs for "yes" and "no" and teach them to all their patients. I tried teaching my oral surgeon, but he was unable to grasp them. *sigh*

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From:aerinys
Date:August 18th, 2003 08:06 pm (UTC)
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Ya, it's really hard. A lot of people just don't understand neurochemical imbalances/disorders/diseases. Like you can just go up to some depressed person and say, "Buck up! Be happy! Enjoy life a little!" Or, as you have found, "Get over it." It's not as easy as that. But, I'm glad you're starting to understand the nature of ADD and not blaming yourself for it. :)

As for dentists, Yeah. Aside from all the other things we all cringe about when we visit them...I hate when they sit there and try to talk to you when they're poking around in your mouth. Like they expect you to be able to carry on a conversation with them. - sigh -

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