Author: tm

bicycle touring, road cycling, swimming, brewing, cooking, climbing, barefooting, tinkering, teaching, slacklining, being
EU Driver's License and money

When Life’s Road Gets New Pavement Pt. 2

In my last post about ADHD, I talked about my history, the diagnosis process, and the treatment that I decided to pursue. Since that post, I have started listening to the ADHD Rewired podcast by Eric Tivers. The first episode could summarize my last post in its entirety. Give it a go if you choose (it’s only 34 min. long).

This post will tackle more tricky subjects than the last; I still wrestle with some of them every day. It’s also taken longer to write partly because of the holidays, but also because the things I’m talking about are more personal than the last and I was struggling with how much to share in public. I hope to be more candid in the future to help others on their journeys, but right now, this is my comfort level.

Thanks for your patience!

If you haven’t read the first post yet, check it out!

Learning How to Drive Again

Driving down the road
Photo by Calu Ci

Let’s get the hardest section out of the way first. I want to talk about how I saw myself pre-diagnosis and how that’s changed since. I haven’t changed who I am, what I believe in, or what I like to do. I have changed/am changing the way I perceive many aspects of my actions and am learning how to handle feelings and thoughts that before treatment would have resulted in a depression-like state.

Read More “When Life’s Road Gets New Pavement Pt. 2”

Road construction signs in a busy city.

When Life’s Road Gets New Pavement Pt. 1

I recently discovered via a diagnosis that I have ADHD–C. That stands for Attention Deficit, Hyperactivity Disorder–Combined type.  A subtype of ADHD characterized by inattentive and hyperactive/impulsive symptoms. 

Best I can tell, this whole journey started in my childhood—all ADHD patients have ADHD from childhood. It does not develop over time; it’s genetic.

When I was younger, I would have to force myself to sit down and focus on one thing. While that doesn’t sound too out of the ordinary for most kids, for me, it was a huge struggle that involved physical discomfort and sometimes manifestations of physical pain.

I was always daydreaming. Tasks would take me longer to complete than others, but not so long that people would notice. I could finish tests super-fast. I could focus on something for hours on end only if I found it super interesting. These “abilities” would suck my attention away from other things like homework.  

Things got worse in high school, but I got better at deception.

I would do my homework for the second period in the first period, the third period in the second, and so on. Some classes, I just never did homework or assigned reading. I only read things that interested me. I found out how I could fake my way through discussions based on assignments I never did. 

I was damn good at looking like a good student without being one. I don’t remember exactly, but my stats were something like:

  • Graduated high school with a 4.0+ GPA (on a 5.0 scale)
  • Member of two different national honor societies
  • Drum major for the marching band
    • Also did pep band, show choir band, and jazz band
  • Stayed involved with Scouting at a district and council level
  • Was always one of my teacher’s favorite students

College was a whole different universe. 

It was harder to fake my way through not having done the homework. At a large university, you’re an unknown in a lecture hall full of students. It’s harder to succeed when your primary means of achieving a favorable grade no longer works. In high school, I could prove I knew the material regardless of my performance on assignments. Not so much in college. As such, my grades started slipping. A lot.

That’s when I suspected something was happening that I couldn’t control. I sought help.

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MRI showing the fracture on the left. Middle & Right show healed bone.

Returning to Running

A while ago, I posted these images of my lower right leg. In May, I found out I had a stress fracture on my right fibula. It sidelined me for more than six weeks. I walked with crutches and in a boot. I could take part in zero-impact sports only. Not being able to run because of a preventable injury made me generally grumpy. In September, I gave myself the all-clear to return to running.

I wanted to write about my experience. Maybe someone will find it useful.

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Photo of my feet, covered in mud and soaked after hiking in the Monroe Lake backcountry.

The Results are In…

…and they’re inconclusive!

After the blood tests came back with the phrase “highly suggestive of Celiac,” I went in for an endoscopy. During the endoscopy, there was some damage to my small intestine, but the damage wasn’t enough to make a diagnosis. According to the gastroenterologist that I saw, just because the biopsy came back negative doesn’t mean that I don’t have the disease. There are several things in play, specifically: I have the symptoms, they improve when I don’t eat gluten, and the blood tests are highly suggestive. He said that the blood tests and symptom correlation is enough for him to make a diagnosis.

I don’t know what to make of it. I’m going to be seeing my GP soon, maybe she’ll have some insight and maybe I’ll have a sure diagnosis soon. Until then, I’ll not be eating any gluten.

Bike in front of the Jangchub Chorten at the Tibetan & Mongolian Cultural Center in Bloomington, Indiana.

To Celiac or Not To Celiac?

I just got some news from my doctor. The blood test came back positive for Celiac Disease.

Let me rewind. The last blog post I wrote in a personal blog was Last of the Season? over at my old space, Scattered Thoughts on December 16, 2011. That’s been a long time ago and a lot has happened in my life. Back then, I was happily single, climbing as many weekends as I could, living with great roommates, basically existing outside of that. No big plans other than to keep going on my current path until something changed. I was a product of my own inertia.

Since then, I met an amazing  woman who is now my wife, moved into a house that we own (she owned it before we started dating), bicycled down the entire Atlantic coast of Florida (well… almost), and started planning an apiary and a meadery. I’m also working on a few web projects including this website, Hang Dog Beer, Daily Shilo, and IT Training Tips. I plan to use this space to keep track of what I’m doing, how I’m doing it, and what I’m thinking. I don’t have any really big plans for this site, but I do plan to keep writing. I also plan to keep updating Hang Dog Beer with my forays into gluten-free brewing and mead making.

Now, back to the Celiac Disease thing.

Along the way, I noticed that eating wheat makes me feel bloated, gassy, and overall gross and sluggish. My sister was also recently diagnosed with Celiac Disease, so I thought it would be a good idea to start the testing process for me too, especially since siblings of Celiac patients have a 10% greater likelihood of having the disease. The initial blood test… positive. I’m working on getting an appointment with a gastroenterologist to have a small intestine biopsy to confirm the diagnosis.

Otherwise, things have been going well. I finally feel like I’m finding my way in this world