recap saturday: moments from this week [07/31]

Doing a Recap Saturday is kind of weird as I am a Monday-to-Sunday week type of girl, in rebellion from the calendar (it pleases me that a Monday-to-Sunday week is an option in the Calendars 5 app), but hey, whatever. 
Also my laptop is at 10% and my charger is at home so that is not conducive to getting any blog posts up on time. Whoops.

Here are some pictures and stories from my week, most of which have nothing to do with ADHD (and also probably everything to do with ADHD?)

Sunday – October 1st.

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I love Fall. The cabin in the Fall is even lovelier than both Fall and the cabin normally are.

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The spare tire for the trailer makes a good cup holder for day-old Starbucks, apparently.

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And then as we were just packing up to go home, it began to rain. So, good timing minus the fact that I stood in the rain awhile before I gave up and got in the car as my mom and aunt were trying to fix the shed door. 

Monday, October 2.

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I made a cardboard aquarium for the kids at work today. Except only the 3 year old was interested at all—as usual! I commented to the kids mom that I was sure I’d randomly find a tube of glitter in my pocket later in the day. Sure enough, it was during a Government Relations conference call… Yes, I am a professional clearly.

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Getting back in coaching mode, doing a free Coaches Week National Coaching Certification Program module. And, um, excuse me for wanting to make the Learning to Train phase for 8-12 year old kids fun.

Tuesday, October 3

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Went to my aunt and uncle’s for my uncle’s birthday. Or his birthday cake, as his birthday was Sunday. Almost two-year-old Mila was sharing toys with all of us. I got this beaver, which was appropriately Canadian.

Wednesday, October 4

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Remember that time I went for a flu shot and a Slurpee? Yeah, that day.

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And then my mom was not answering either of her phones and I had academic type questions, so I sent her tis meme of Mr. Y U NO.

Thursday, October 5

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I’ve been watching far too much Lockup, not gonna lie. As soon as Lockup: Disturbing the Peace was on Netflix binge watching ensued.

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C-Pen video? Check. Finally.

Friday, October 6

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When you accidentally take a photo instead of hitting the record button—and it’s not actually terrible.

Saturday, October 7

Fascinating things found at Safeway:

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And left unpurchased.

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This milk is very safe. And hard to open.

adhd fact friday: types. [06/31]

There are three subtypes of ADHD:

  • Primarily inattentive (ADHD-PI)
  • Primarily hyperactive (ADHD-PH)
  • Combined (ADHD-C)

When people picture ADHD they don’t picture the type that I have, which is ADHD-PI. I exhibit some symptoms of restlessness and impulsivity that fall into the hyperactivity category, but not frequently or disruptively enough for me to fall into the combined subtype.

The mental image of a “second grade boy”, to quote one of my friends, bouncing around, climbing trees inappropriately and doing headstands in class, is not at all accurate when it comes to majority of us with ADHD, including women and girls who are more likely to have the inattentive subtype, as well as men as they grow. This causes issues with late diagnosis, as many of us are able to mask our inattentive symptoms by developing compensatory strategies we don’t even know we are doing because we know no different! (For instance, I had multiple sets of house keys from the time I was letting myself in because I’d always forget or misplace my keys! To this day, my mom has an extra set of house keys in her purse for me! Losing, misplacing, forgetting things? One of the biggest struggles faced by ADHDers!)

Some other symptoms related to inattention include frequent careless mistakes, not seeming to listen when spoken to, struggles to follow through on instructions (as I tell my mom, if it’s not on a post-it note it doesn’t get done!), having trouble getting organized for or starting tasks, and forgetfulness. 

And yes, everyone forgets things. Everyone gets restless. The difference with ADHD is that it is constant: every day, multiple times a day, at work, home, school. 

What do you want to learn about ADHD or learning disabilities this month? Let me know!

[not so] wordless wednesday: post-flu shot [04/31]

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I got an e-mail Monday about a secret flu shot clinic for employees of my health region, including Disability Support Providers (me). It was a ten minute walk from my house (where I got led into an Authorized Personnel Only room), convenient as I am also high risk because of my asthma. Also it is basically next door to 7-Eleven. And a lovely morning for a walk.

travel tuesday: preparations. [03/31]

Today was one of those reflecting on logistics of travel sorts of days. I spent the day sifting through and uploading video for an upcoming Healthline project on travel and asthma. I received some further information on my first ever overseas trip (Zurich, Switzerland in November. Disclosures etc to come once things are finalized there.) I got a reimbursement/stipend cheque in the mail for my upcoming trip to Toronto for the Asthma Canada conference in 2 weeks. 

In the beginning of the Incubus Look Alive DVD, Brandon Boyd reflects on these logistical aspects of travel—and I am not even planning a tour (although with asthma and ADHD it sometimes feels like it!).

Anais Nin wrote,

“In the world of the dreamer there was solitude: all the exaltations and joys came in the moment of preparation for living. They took place in solitude. But with action came anxiety, and the sense of insuperable effort made to match the dream, and with it came weariness, discouragement, and the flight into solitude again. And then in solitude, in the opium den of remembrance, the possibility of pleasure again”.

Her sentiment is frighteningly in tune with our plight at the moment. We’re in the plotting stage of the game. I’m looking at pages and pages of potential tour dates, and travel arrangements logistics, et cetera, et cetera. And if I wasn’t completely ecstatic about everything at present, all these moments of preparation would be quite daunting. […]

Brandon Boyd, Look Alive

The thing is, I love/hate this part. The pouring over Hotels.com, even after I’ve booked a hotel, the forays to Airbnb, finding that home base, however off the beaten path it may be at times (so long as off the beaten path is not so much so that is in a seedy area!). The ridiculous amounts of time spent looking at flights, weeks before booking will even take place. The e-mails saying that my reservations have been added to TripIt. The preparations for whatever events I will be attending. The juggling of multiple schedules as I try to schedule coffees, lunches, dinners with friends in Toronto.

Yes, it is work before the wheels even lift off, but it is all so worth it. Even for the moments in airports when I want to throw dollar store earphones at people who seem to not understand that there is a 3.5 mm jack on their device for a reason (unless they have a dumb iPhone 7). Even when my 1:30 AM arrival flight gets in at 3:30 AM. Even when I spend 5 hours too long at SFO. Even when every damn time I fly through YVR I get delayed (just about, although my last delay out of YVR saved my butt because it allowed me to make my connection from SFO which was 2 hours late, and I even got to eat.).

The preparation for travel part might not be about rolling with it, but the travel part sure is. I’ve learned that over the years. Like the time Steve and I were in Toronto in the middle of friggen nowhere (AKA outside the Don Valley Hotel) and my Google Maps refused to acknowledge I was no longer in Winnipeg, and would not even tell us what food was nearby. Which turned out to only be a Tim Hortons unless we wanted to take public transit. Like finding a magical drink machine in YVR that sells drinks for $1 less than the news stands—and remembering its existence. Like when Union Station was deserted and under construction and I got lost wandering around “The Path” and stuck in some weird triangle under the CN tower/Ripley’s Aquarium, etc… Which was I got to Toronto from Philly and my bag had to be tracked down at Pearson since I was no longer connecting to Winnipeg, and that took like two hours. All I can say is, for once, thank God for Leafs fans because there was a game going on and I somehow found myself in Maple Leafs Square where a cab driver flagged me over and asked if I wanted a cab and I was like “You know what, yeah.” Even though I was close to my hotel.

That was also the day when a baggage handler at YYZ preached to me about Jesus. As my friend (Reverend) Jessica said, “Only you would get preached at by airport staff in Toronto.”  
And the cab driver talked a lot about staying positive. I needed that dude after the day I had. 
And then I got amazing macaroni and cheese from Uber EATS to my hotel because, also, that day I had to call Air Canada after the Philly woman would not tag my bag to YYZ instead of YWG, and also, I lost my Team Toba jacket in PHL, which I am convinced was destroyed by airport police because it was in its pillow form and possibly a suspicious unaccompanied package and also because I called them and it was not in their Lost & Found.
That was all in about 8 hours, people. 

That is the stuff that makes travel what it is. The stuff you can’t prepare for.

Like Torontonians not stopping to give you directions even if you are CLEARLY tourist looking and downtown and wandering with a suitcase. I enjoy you Toronto, but you people stick to yourselves too much. Which I usually like but not when I am confused and the elevator to Front Street goes up but the door at the top is locked and I can’t get there. (Jess and my mom were watching me wander lost on Friend Find. Jess was being helpful, whereas my mom was just not texting me and watching.)

There is adventure to be had. Prepare well (but not too well ;))… and go have it.

re-energized: Fall, California, #MedX, and the possibility of “how might we”

It is the first day of Fall, the people of the internet (aka my friends on Facebook) are telling me. It’s kind of hard to believe given I got back from beautiful California less than a week ago where it feels like summer and is generally pretty. Alas, my favourite season—Fall—is upon us, and I engaged in an (iced) pumpkin spice chai at Vancouver airport at probably ten-something PM on Monday night.  (Pumpkin spice chai is amazing. I was getting ehhh about normal pumpkin spice lattes, honestly, and I am thrilled by pumpkin spice chai lattes.)

And is obligatory on the first day of Fall, listening to Come Winter by Daphne Loves Derby (on repeat), as has been my general habit since about 2014, if not earlier.

If you’ve got Apple Music, here’s a link to a slightly different EP version that I’m enjoying.

Fall is my favourite season not just because of pumpkin spice. I enjoy the cooler weather, the jeans-and-hoodies combo, the foray into toque-season (without the brutal cold associated with toque season), the fact that Goalball starts soon (and archery!), the fact that my lungs generally like Fall, and the fact that I get back to a bit more solid of a routine—for the lack of routine I generally have, even in the non-Summer months. Despite some of the worst moments of my life happening in the beginning portion of Fall (looking at you, 2013 and 2014, and even 2016), these have all come with resolution attached—“part of a change for better” (I Swear This Place is Haunted, A Skylit Drive)—or at least a piece of resolution that produced a change I can, at least now, feel positively about.

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This year, again, fresh off a return from Stanford Medicine X, and subsequent #MedXHangover and ongoing recovery, I feel that sense of renewal, that sense of recharged passion and purpose for creating change, both in myself and in the world. It doesn’t hurt that I’ve got some other advocacy-related travel opportunities in the works (travel may exhaust people but it energizes me), or that I met so many amazing people last weekend at MedX. It doesn’t hurt that the people I met and the experience I had at IDEO for the Medicine X – IDEO Design Challenge re-inspired me to think differently, creatively, in terms of “How Might We”s and innovation and possibility and better. No, spending a glorious two days with one of my favourite people on earth, Stephen, in Santa Cruz to relax and recharge even prior to embarking on the Medicine X whirlwind of inspiration, that didn’t hurt either. Meeting a dozen Canadians at MedX reminded me that things are possible, change is possible, even in our slow-moving, lack-of-progress medical system (although I maintain Toronto is more receptive to change than Winnipeg/Manitoba/our ridiculous healthcare-killing Conservative Government is). I am ready to do more. Batteries recharged.

I am re-energized. Re-inspired. Thanks both to California, to the MedX Family, to friends, and to the crispness of Fall.

Well, I’m sure another pumpkin spice chai latte wouldn’t hurt, either.