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Mabel Retires with ADHD
"Why, Mabel you're early!"
"No I'm not, Helen. I'm right on time. We agreed to meet at 10:00 and it's just 10:00 by my watch now."
"Yes, I know, but you're always late, Mabel. I didn't expect you for another 15 or 20 minutes."
"Never again because my big news, Helen, is that I have ADD, you know, Attention Deficit Disorder."
"What? At your age? But you're retired! How can you have ADD? That's for naughty little boys."
"I'll tell you what happened. My granddaughter came to visit for a few days. She was diagnosed with ADD a while ago and has been doing much better at school since she's been treated. After a few days with me, she says 'Grandma, I think you're ADD too.' I was surprised. Like you, I said that that couldn't be true. I did well in school; I had an excellent job where I was highly thought of until I retired a year ago. But to be honest things haven't been going so well since.
Debby, that's my granddaughter, told me that she had learned from her doctor that ADD is genetic so she has been looking at other members of the family to see who else might be ADD.
First, she let me know nicely that I'm often late and that that upsets people. I thought about that and realized it was true, I am often quite late. I remember my boss at work sometimes made sharp remarks about it."
"It doesn't matter, Mabel. We know and love you anyway"
"You are sweet to say that, Helen. I never thought people minded, so I asked a couple of friends to tell me honestly how they felt. You know, I was surprised! They were annoyed, and once I asked they really showed it, and they had told me but I never really paid attention to them. When I think back over the years I know I've lost friends because I just wasn't there."
"Next, Debby pointed to the piles of paper and stuff. I've always had piles, but they were logical piles and I could find things when I needed them. Now since I've retired, the piles have merged together into one primeval soup, and, I must admit, I couldn't find some important papers when I needed them.
Then, Helen, I was so embarrassed! Debby pulled a bill from the soup and asked me if I had paid it!"
"Oh , don't worry about a little thing like that. Why at our age that happens to everybody from tme to time."
"But I used to be very careful about paying bills on time, and recently I've received some reminders and can't even find the original. It's very disconcerting! I feel I'm losing control of my life." "Then Debby reminded me that we had planned to go to the Animal Park in the morning, but we didn't get there until nearly closing time. I kept finding more things to do and would just forget about where we were going until she reminded me."
"Mabel, I'm so pleased to hear you say that because I have this image of you as being terrifically organized. You always seemed to know exactly what you were doing."
"Well Helen, that's what you saw, but before, when I was working my life was planned for me. Now I have to decide, plan and do everything myself. Often I start out to do something and it never gets done because I keep changing directions. At the end of the day I'm exhausted and angry because nothing has been accomplished."
"C'mon Mabel, you're retired; relax and enjoy life. Put your feet up. We all admire you. You don't need to prove anything."
"That's just it! I can't relax, Helen. I feel so itchy inside like some sort of caged animal. Debby reminded me that I was going on a vacation and she even found in my soup lots of cuttings about vacation spots, but I could never decide where to go.
But that's all over now! I've been to a doctor and he has diagnosed big ADD. I'm taking medication, I've got a coach, my piles of paper are disappearing, and please tell me how you feel if I'm ever late again. And the really big big news is Debby and I are going on a safari together."
"Mabel, Whose your doctor? Maybe I should go see him. So much of what you say seems to fit me too."
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