Diagnostic process

Today was a travel day to Portland, for Retro Game Expo. So of course just as the train was ready to take off was when my HMO decided to call me to do the ADHD diagnostic intake. I asked if I could just call back later when I wasn’t likely to lose coverage in 3 minutes, and eventually I got the phone number to call.

So, when I got to Portland I called the number, where they immediately put me on hold for 30 minutes. After which they asked me what I was calling about, and when I said I was calling about getting my ADHD screening, they put me on hold for another 15 minutes. Not a great start.

Soon after that I found out that there were multiple steps to the screening; the first step was a verbal quiz, where I was asked a bunch of questions about why I thought I might have ADHD, what I was hoping to get out of treatment, how it’s impacted me, and a few other random screening things to try to exclude drug-seeking behavior or other pathologies.

Then I found out that the next step is to be seen by a psychiatrist – but the next available appointment isn’t until December 4, and for the appointment I’m going to have to go to the clinic but then the actual appointment would be a video conference, for some reason. I’ll also be getting two questionnaires to fill out – one by me, and one by someone who is familiar with my symptoms and how it’s impacted my life. The former, sure, but the latter is difficult; who should I have fill it out? I don’t really want to involve any of my family members, both for logistical and for emotional reasons. Of the people I’ve worked with who would be most likely to be able to speak to how it’s affected my job performance and the like, well, I’m not on speaking terms with any of them anymore. Probably my best bet is Spud, who I’ve known for a heck of a long time and have also been working with on and off for a few years; he knows my tendencies the best of anyone who I want to involve in this. But he hasn’t been inside my head or seen me at my worst, I don’t think.

(Also, hi Spud)

But then there’s also a big question of timing. I’m waiting to hear back about a job interview. If I get the job (and I really hope I do!) it will probably mean changing my insurance provider, which in turn means changing my medical team. Does this mean having to start over from scratch with a new GP? Will the new insurance have different requirements regarding ADHD screenings? Hopefully easier ones since I’m not interested in any of the stimulant-based medications (I mean, while caffeine helps me focus I can only handle a tiny bit of it before I get a panic attack anymore, and so I doubt that I’d be able to handle hardcore stimulants!), and I hear that most providers just do, like, a simple questionnaire. I’d rather not have to waste a lot of time on doing these things if they become moot, or even worse, if I have to end up doing them again over an even longer time period!

Anyway. Right now I feel like I’m stuck in a bureaucratic morass, and I have so much stuff to do and really wish I could just like… do it. Instead of staying up past 2 AM while ruminating about stuff and being infinitely impatient for a thing that I wish I’d understood a long time ago.

Oh well. I’ve made it this long with nothing but maladaptive workarounds and accidental self-treatment; what’s a couple more months?


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