No provider I’ve gone to knows why it is so difficult to get neuropsychologically tested. Maybe it’s because I’m an adult and adults aren’t supposed to have these symptoms — they would have picked up on them eventually, right?
But when your parents are oblivious to anything do to with psyche, it’s easy to say “Well, she’s breathing, she knows when she was born, she knows what year it is, and who the President is… so she’s absolutely fine.” This is, seriously, what my mom just texted me: I was fine as child. Mental status normal.
And today I had to spend it without my Adderall. To prepare the paperwork and make sure everything I could think of is done and ready, without Adderall, was a feat in itself. I spent three hours collecting papers in a binder, just in case something was missing. I make alarms to force myself to eat lunch at a certain time, and to go out the door early enough to get gas. It’s an hour and 15 minute drive, so I had to GPS it. Halfway there, I realized I had no cash on me for the $2 toll, not even enough coins — son of a shitbucket! Thankfully there was one rest stop for me, with a working ATM. Now I wonder if the toll people take credit cards. This is life with ADD. You can prepare, prepare, prepare…. but there’s always something that makes you trip, some little thing that could possibly throw a wrench into your day. If the ATM didn’t work, and the toll place didn’t take cards, I would have been fucked, because there is nothing but empty straight toll road through country fields in this area.
As it is I got there 30 minutes early, which was a serious miracle. The office was in a teeny hospital that looked like its most serious emergency would be a scraped knee. Definitely not a metropolitan function here. The hallways smelled like an old library.
After all that preparation, asking for letters, filling out forms, doing my own forms, sending everything in, spending 30 minutes going over all paperwork with the assistant…. I had my 2o-minute consult with the neuropsychologist.
He was a whirlwind of talking, dictating, thinking; which at least I could follow because when I’m not on my ADD meds, my mind is a million miles a minute and a million miles away. I pictured him in a Hawaiian shirt in Florida, being a cutthroat lawyer for some unsavory characters. He wasn’t sleazy… just very… lawyer-ly. I wondered if his office was a set-up; if the brain scans on his wall were real, or for decoration. His books on neuropsychology seemed real, not fakes (they were thick and imposing), but I couldn’t touch them (I wanted to). He had weight-lifter’s weights on one desk, and a Thermos bottle exactly like mine that I mistook for mine, because I forgot it in the waiting room, then forgot I forgot it. (That’s also ADD… or something else, well — that’s why I’m here, right?)
Those 20 minutes were all spent gathering enough information to apply to my insurance so they would pay for a neuropsychologic test that would otherwise put a giant hole in my bank account. There was no therapy, no chit-chatting, just me giving only the information that might bend the light on the insurance coverage application towards a medical disorder (rather than … what? a made-up disorder?)
Then we were done and I stumbled back out. It really felt like I just went into a wind tunnel, got blown in the face by a screaming gale, then shoved out the door.
But if it works, and I do get tested, then the rest of my life will go on from a starting point. And if my insurance doesn’t cover it… I may just have to pay an arm and a leg, because I really don’t want to face a future where I’m undiagnosed, untreated, and hence unable to keep a job.