ADD testing: Real? Or Mind Fuck? I would have to argue strongly on the side of mind fuck. As a member of the Attention Deficit Disorder community, I am appalled at the kind of weird-ass, convoluted, deranged, mind penetrating testing we are forced to endure. I left the neurology center feeling more confused and distracted than ever. Mainly because I will never actually know what the hell went on in that room – if I “passed” or if I’m mentally incontinent.
I’m going to back up for a moment and start from the beginning…….
In 2011, my general practitioner prescribed me adderall when I came to her with concerns of not being able to fucking do anything. I was leaving the states to get my master’s and I thought for sure I would fail if I was not only going to be taking courses in Australia but I also get easily distracted by anything that is shimmery or creates some kind of noise. She sympathized with my condition and while looking at my aggressively tapping toe, prescribed me 30 mg of adderall a day for the next year. So, I filled a prescription of 600 pills and a years worth of birth control and flew over to Australia where I set up an international drug trade. Kidding, I actually needed both things quite imperatively and took them as instructed but that would have been dope. In class on adderall I felt as though I was some kind of baby genius hybrid like a philosopher/scientist or a spaceship/sea manatee (I know…crazy right?) I could now actually accomplish things and not twiddle off into girl thoughts of puppies and hot pink. I was banging out projects, ordering people around, writing 10,000 word essays and realizing my full potential. Adderall saved me from selling gimp bracelets under a boardwalk somewhere to make money for crack. Actually, I probably wouldn’t be that bad off but you get my drift.
After graduating, I went to that same doctor to refill my prescriptions as I did every three months when I was back stateside. Everything panned out well as I was able to work in an office and pay attention to people’s faces when they spoke. Suddenly, my doctor stopped practicing and I was forced to see an alternate doctor in the practice to refill my prescriptions. This doctor was a conservative pompus prick (he was actually really nice…I just couldn’t pronounce his name which pisses me off). Anyways, Doctor GoFuckChoSelf told me that I wasn’t properly tested for ADD and because adderall was a controlled substance I would have to undergo actual testing to verify that I did indeed have ADD. Throughout that conversation, all I was thinking was what flavor Jolly Rancher I would grab from the candy dish out by the receptionist…”jolly”…”rancher”…has such a delightful ring to it. Geezus. I have ADD. I cant even pay attention to a conversation about me not paying attention. I thought this was all very redundant but I agreed that I would go get “properly tested” and so made an appointment with another doctor who’s name I couldn’t fucking pronounce.
Appointment Day. I walked into the building and passed the office I was supposed to go in 3 or 4 times until I finally figured out that it was not the janitor’s closet and entered. I rushed across the large waiting room to the counter and immediately started to apologize for being 15 minutes late. The lady said, “Who are you?” I said my name and my favorite color. She said, “Okay….. fill out this 14 page form and answer the questions on the back page. You must answer ALL of the questions on the BACK PAGE!!” Geezus, okay….97 hours later…I walked back up with the form and emphasized the back portion with a Vanna-White-like hand wave circulating around the written text, “See? All filled out…all four of them.” She said thanks and asked me to please sit down and to stop crowding the window.
Twenty-five minutes later my name was called and I followed the nurse back to the doctor’s office – or who I thought was the nurse – according to her visual measurements she might have been a bridge troll. Regardless, she was very nice and sat me down in an office filled with framed accreditation’s, degrees, and two trolls on a shelf – how very fitting I thought. There wasn’t any reading material so I read a poster on the wall 14 times and then tried to nap.
Very suddenly, the doctor walked in and jetted straight for his chair on the other side of the room. He sat down facing my direction, legs casually sprawled about and stared directly at me. Saying nothing. I looked around…is this the test? Am I currently inside of the test? Should I start speaking? Or would I then be testing you? What the fuck is happening? Finally, he acknowledged me and asked me why I was there. I told him the whole long story about already being on adderall and yada yada but I was here now because Dr. UnpronouncableLongAssName instructed me to be. He nodded and then asked me to sit on the examination table with that stupid parchment paper that always sticks to the back of your legs.
In one whisk of his arm he started blinking his hands like a traffic light and then asked me to concentrate on his nose – this happened 3 or 4 times. After whatever the hell that was, he tapped my ankles and knees with a vibrating metal rod and then asked me to walk heel-to-toe across the room. As he was writing notes, he forgot to tell me to stop so I heel-toed the fuck out of the whole room until finally he laughed and told me I could have stopped along time ago. I’m glad this is all very amusing.
I sat back down and had more blinking hands shoved in my face and a lot more of pointing at different objects in the room and again at his nose. After one more gratuitous poke/flick on the shoulder he abruptly left room WITHOUT SAYING A WORD. I felt like I had just been raped with my clothes on. I sat there waiting for what was to come next and not knowing if I should leave a pee sample or just continue to stand. WHAT THE FUCK WAS HAPPENING? Just as I was really about to lose it, he walked back into the room with a clipboard and mentioned that he would have to ask me some more questions (a simple note of that earlier would have been helpful for my overall sanity.) And so begins the ridiculous questioning:
Do you find yourself talking a lot?
Do you interrupt people when they.. (yes.) ….are talking?
The answer is yes.
Do you find yourself easily distracted?
When in situations that you prefer not to be in do you run or climb trees?
Okay, well, how do I answer this…I do not currently climb trees, no. Is that something I should be doing?
Now, my questions for the doctor:
Were these questions drafted in the mid 70’s?
Is this a children’s exam?
What is this? A brain center for ants?
Example of how ridiculous the questions were:
WTF? After all of the questions that essentially just repeated themselves – he had come to the conclusion that I had ADD/ADHD and that I was properly prescribed adderall.
Well, thank you. So you’re telling me that I spent three hours in this office only for you to come to the same conclusion that another doctor did two years ago? Hmmmmm….. if I had known that I could make millions (exaggeration) by asking people Disney pop-quiz questions from a clipboard, ding-ing people on the elbow, and diagnosing them with things they already knew they had, I would have gone into neurology.
Well, okay…. that happened. I’m leaving. Never to return. I left the room in a huff feeling pissed off. In anger, I circled the hallways huffing and stomping around until I found the exit to the reception area. “SEE YOU NEVER!” I told the troll, “Except I need to make a completely superfluous check up appointment for three months from now.