About 5 years ago I was diagnosed with ADD and prescribed the drug adderall. My parents were visiting at the time and described my transformation as miraculous. Through her tears my mother confessed since I was about 16, she and my dad knew there was “something wrong” with me, but they didn’t know what to do about it. Unbeknownst to me, I have a very short attention span and my internal frustrations are manifested in bouts of extreme irritability, short -temperedness(?) and occasionally, outright anger. I am unaware of these tendencies that have afflicted friends and family alike when my condition is untreated. My mum describes the difference as night and day.
What previously prevented me from taking adderall wasn’t so much an unwillingness to do so; I (falsely) rationalized that taking my medication was a luxury I couldn’t afford – while this remains true, it is a practical demonstration of my lack of understanding of the severity of the problem. The truth is my medication is a luxury I can’t afford to do without.
Some quick stats- I am one of over 50 million Americans/American residents who are uninsured. The cost of a doctor’s visit is at least $95 – for prescription refills – which I have to do each month or two, as Adderall is a restricted drug. The fee can be considerably more for longer or specialist consultations. The adderall itself costs $45 (a subsidized generic). An average prescription cost in The US ranges between $100 – $500 . A personal example: if I still had asthma, which somehow I seem to have kicked here in the US – Thank God!, it would cost me $380 a month for the inhaler. An American DIES every 24 minutes because they aren’t insured.
I digress, I need to take this drug; not taking it has cost me friendships, relationships and jobs. This is not a burden I bear alone, it affects all who come in contact with me. Yesterday I saw the doctor for the first time in over a year. Today is my first day medicated again, and for the very first time I can say, I can tell the difference, I feel happy and focused and content.
To those who have stood by me through these horrible periods, I thank you from the bottom of my heart, to all of you and to those who couldn’t bear my temperamental mood swings, I can’t tell you how sorry I am. How impossible your life must have been with me. I vow to you all that I will continue this very necessary regimen – for the sake of us all.
So long as I can remain off the streets.