Tolerance? WHAT? What are you talking about?
Like I said, you’ve built up a tolerance for stimulant medication.
Would you mind explaining to me what tolerance is?
Tolerance is when a person no longer responds to a drug in a way that person initially responded. So, it takes more of the drug, higher doses, to have the same initial effect and duration.
OK, well, what can I do to lower my tolerance then?
So you’re telling me this is the reason 210mg isn’t lasting me anymore?
That’s exactly what I’m saying.
So, what am I supposed to do?
There’s nothing you can do.
What do you mean, nothing? Are you telling me there’s no hope for me?
Yes. That’s what I’m telling you.
Are you kidding me? I’m a patient coming to you for help and all you’ve got to offer is “there is no hope for you?” I’m beyond help?
I leave before I punch him. Every doctor advertises they’re a “specialist” in ADHD…and none of them are. At least not the ones I’ve seen.
Still, what this doctor tells me about tolerance rings true. It’s only taken a matter of months before three 70mg capsules a day is no longer lasting.
Another doctor I give a whirl struts in the room and before I get anything out proclaims that what I’m on is no different than cocaine! He won’t even call the drug by its real name, ever. He only refers to it as cocaine over and over again as he continues to lecture me like I’m his teenage son. He makes it perfectly clear that under no circumstance would he ever prescribe someone more than 70mg per day. Frustrated and annoyed beyond belief that he keeps referring to my medication as cocaine, I finally blurt out,
“You mean to tell me that you’re a doctor and you prescribe up to 70mg of cocaine to your patients?”
He walks out of the room leaving me sitting there. He doesn’t return.
I quit looking for “specialists.” Every doctor I visit tells me something different.
Instead, I spend thousands of dollars on a new procedure for ADHD called brain mapping (or neurofeedback training) in hopes it enables me to get off my medication. It doesn’t.
Meanwhile, the endeavor continues, and I rely on my stimulants more and more to keep me up and alert at night. As a result, I run out well before I can get refills.
I start visiting Urgent Care centers to fill in the gap. I travel around a lot so when I’m somewhere else and run out, I tell the urgent care doctors I’m out of town and don’t have my medication with me. Although technically true, I paint a picture that is deceptive. I don’t divulge the fact I’ve run out early. Many times it works, and I rely on this scheme for quite some time to get me through the month. It demands a vast amount of work and time just to manage my medication (or should I say addiction), it’s like a full-time job.
No doubt, I’m misleading the urgent care doctors. Eventually, I take a good hard look at what I’m doing, and I catch myself going down a slippery slope. I resolve to stop right then and there. No more trips to the urgent care. No more rationalizing my deceptive tactics.
So, now I run out early and crash for several days each month. My crashes are much more severe because of my chronic lack of sleep. I become volatile emotionally and mentally.
Then, one day it strikes me like a bolt of lightning. I need to expand my search for a specialist outside the bounds of Arizona. I need to find the best ADHD doctor in the country. I uncover one out of Texas. He has over 38 years experience solely specializing in ADHD.
I call him, and before I know it, I schedule a visit and fly to Texas. After a full day of testing, he DOUBLES my current dosage from three 70mg capsules of Vyvanse per day to SIX (420mg)! SIX times the FDA maximum recommended dosage of 70mg!
My insurance covers 30 per month. My prescription is now 180. It costs me $3000-$3500 every month just for my medication. I don’t think twice about paying it.
From this point on, things get out of control and more erratic at an ever-increasing rate. My new boost in dosage just enables me to last longer with the endeavor, and if I ever get tired, I pop a capsule or two and keep going. I know I probably have a problem, but I tell myself the endeavor isn’t going to last forever. When it’s over, I’ll be back on a normal sleep and medication schedule. I really believe it will be that easy!
Gradually, I find myself taking 7 if I want to stay up longer or keep going. Some days I take up to 10. With months of chronic sleep deprivation, it takes this many at times for me to make it. My body and mind are breaking down, but I don’t feel the effects of it because the stimulants mask them.
My behavior at home becomes more bizarre, erratic, and emotionally volatile. It’s taking its toll on my wife.
She refers to me as a Mad Scientist. I don’t know where she comes up with that.
Maybe it’s because I’ve turned our RV garage into a giant, what I call, “the lab.” I have everything I’ve found at my house and other private lands on display, not for show, but for study. I have lights overhead everywhere so I can see every detail of each piece. I have dozens of magnifying glasses, a small library of reference books, and even a rock polishing tumbler.
If I’m home I’m either trying to sleep, in the lab, getting everything ready for my next excursion, or outside searching for more treasures.
I travel constantly. I visit every ruin and museum in Arizona and Utah. I visit many multiple times. Some days, I spend all day at one museum or one ancient ruin.
I’ll go on trips for days at a time, some lasting 2-3 weeks.
I have thoughts of going to the media or to the antiquities department of a major university. I hold off for now.
Stimulants are fueling the endeavor and the endeavor is fueling my need for more stimulants. I’m working hours and at a pace no normal person could withstand. With as many stimulants as I’m prescribed, I can do what I want, when I want. It’s too easy. I become so engrossed in my endeavor, everything else in my life becomes further and further from my mind, including my business.
Tensions at home are building. I have no clue how much.
It won’t be long before I find out.