ADHD Brain Fog Journal: Sunday, May 22 2022

Posted Monday, May 23, 2022 by Sri. Tagged JOURNAL, BRAINFOG, ADHD
EDITING PHASE:gathering info...

Today May 22 2022 was a quintessential example of a day that started well, but threatens to be dragged down.

Morning Wakeup

  • awoke naturally at 830AM, stomach a little queasy from the night and acidic but not bad. Got up, showered, no issues, no obvious headaches or negative physical sensations.
  • ignored cluttered house, read a little bit of Apple News on phone before stopping myself from losing more time to it
  • did some chores with house plants, weekly watering, checked email (oops) but didn't process much

Morning Work Burst

  • 1000AM started work.
  • At around the hour mark, I started to experience the headache that I think might be the low dopamine headache. The work I'm doing right now is programming a module that I'm not keen on rewriting again for the third time, so not particularly exciting but requires a lot of brain memory and sequencing throught to work through HOW and WHAT to work on IN WHAT ORDER to guarantee a RELIABLE result that I don't have to rewrite for a fourth time. Plus, it is the weekend and I am already a bit unhappy with this project going for so long but it MUST BE DONE.

Morning Break

  • At 1100AM, tried 23-minute nap. It took some time to fall asleep, as brain was kind of jittery. I found myself being conscious but under the blanket imagining a bunch of stuff happening in a visual dream, and eventually this seemed to turn into a real dream.
  • At 1123AM, woke up and immediately extended the nap to 2X nap time. I felt tired and headachey, which is why I extended it.
  • At 1146AM, I felt more rested but not great. I noted that I was feeling a bit rubbery-armed and probably needed to eat something. There was the faint trace of hunger. Brain check was familiar: the feeling of having throughts jump around, where an intention or idea would form but it would be dropped immediately before I could do anything with it. Lethargy.
  • I thawed out a piece of pulled pork I was saving, ate a bit of it. I also experimented with making garlicky broccoli using the Any Dish technique and frozen broccoli, and it worked surprisingly well. The pulled pork I was thinking of making into lo-bah, but after tasting it decided it was too smokey for it. I mention this all because the curiosity and experiment driven activities seemed to go OK because (hypothesis) they produce the dopamine I am missing.
  • I ate a couple oz of the meat cold and then the garlicky broccoli, about 1.5 cups worth. No refined carbs, as I wanted to make sure that I didn't add sugar-induced sleepiness and any diabetic response to the day. I am still a bit hungry, but the rubbery-armed feeling is gone.
  • I took morning medication: metformin, vitamin D and K, spironolactone, fish oil. But I didn't take the generic Adderall, to see if eating something by itself would help with focus/sleepy/thought skips.
  • I started up this page around 1200PM and am wrapping it up at 1230PM. Let's try to do some work!

Afternoon Work

  • 1200PM: did a careful commit of work so far so I don't screw something up later
  • 1245PM: commit finish. Feel like going back to sleep already after just 15 minutes. Not sure if it's from food or not. We'll do a test and go downstairs to start Destiny 2 and see if I wake up. As I got up to go downstairs, I felt a bodily sluggishness that might be from eating, but sure. I am out of shape too, so exercise might be another issue.
  • 200PM: Played for an hour, much longer than I wanted, because a friend dropped in. However, I did notice I felt considerably more alert before he popped in. I feel the alertness already fading away, though. I ate two small spicy thai pepper sesame snacks, feeling little pecked. I also remembered that deep stretches feel good with the body, and help shake the cobwebs out. I'll try that again. Oops, I caught myself YAWNING so maybe I am starting to get a little tired.

Afternoon Nap

  • 210PM: I caught myself starting to google sothing about the game I was playing, but stopped myself. I am yawning a lot right now. Maybe the stimulation from the game was actually mentally exhausting too. This seems like a good time to take adderall but if I am sleepy I'll just end up wasting it. Instead, let me take a 23 minute nap WITHOUT looking at other news or social media distractions. - as I settled to nap I noticed my brain felt very uzzy and it was a different kind of thought disconnectedness than before. Before it was like I was trying to have a single thought at a time and it was all I could muster. now, it feels like the ability to even concentrate on one thought is gone, instead there is a general mental restlessness like Im wanting stimulation or something? It's like restlessness and it's feeling very much like being exhausted but it's not exactly sleepiness either. Buzy, wanting arelief of some kind, like the feeling of wanting to go to sleep but I can't becaise soething is keeping me from falling asleep like noise or other interruptions A lack of quietude is the sense. Little twinges of slight headache like sensations behin the eyes, deeper set, and also the sides of the head over the ears (a bit forward of it)

Afternoon Work

  • 245PM: I didn't want to wake up but I turned off the brain as the executive decider and my body moved its feet without a sense of purpose. Forming purpose is hard right now. I'm feeling tired and now a bit hungry. It's been about 3 hours since I ate something, so I'm making a can of soup. I'm taking the adderall now, before I eat.
  • 300PM: I ate about half a can of YES Minestrone soup. I had some side thoughts about doing something interesting as I ate, whic is actually the first ones I've had today. I don't remember what they are though. I'm thinking of trying the write down a question to answer gambit now. "can I get the validation tokens for a particular line of script". As I typed that out solutions came to me, such as using the LINE PRINTER itself and making a new version of it.
  • 310PM: I'm noticing that my eyes are starting to feel like they are "more open" as I'm thinking through the work problems. I'm still kind of tired but a kind of calm has settled over my mind. Less noise and jittery feeling. In fact, it feels like it's gone. Did a quick DSCAFE check, now it's 320PM. BACK TO WORK.
  • 350PM: Starting to feel like I'm hitting some kind of stride, but I'm feeling pushback to this project work still. I just wish I didn't have to do it, so finding the motivational tricks to keep me moving is calling on a different set of skills.

Afternoon Nap

  • 445PM: starting to feel a little sleeply's only be 1 hour 45 minutes since taking adderall. Strting to feel drowsy. Fell asleep.

Evening Chores

  • 600PM: Awoke feeling groggy again. The adderall boost lasted only about two hours, and dwindled. Will try a talk aloud to see if that provides energy. Will start some rice and then knock off at 8PM.
  • 615PM: Did two email chores: unsub encrypt me, request refill of spiro.
  • 645PM: cooked dinner, cleared dishwasher, enjoying it now. Trying some new things is always encouraging! I also got some people to sign-up for Finch App so that felt exciting!


Assessment: I would describe my feeling right now as depressed about work and not excited about it at all. I feel trapped. THis could be contributing to the malaise I feel. My mind otherwise feels fairly clear at the moment, so maybe the adderall is sctually till working despite all the YAWNING I am doing. "Typically, yawning is a response to fatigue or lack of stimulation." also "B12, D, and E, plus magnesium, copper, selenium, and zinc" levels might be an issue. Maybe take some B12 and a multivitamin.

I spent a while writing in Finch (starting the day very late) that I was depressed and feeling trapped and this was making me feel bad. However, I also reminded myself that I have a choice, even a choie to fail and with that freedom I can choose to get through this; besides, intellectually I know that this is a great experience and opportunity to grow and once I'm through it, I'll be a much better place.

Another thought is that small acts of creation and sharing have a powerful effect on me because they are aligned with my overall values (and because I just like doing this). Also small moments of insight and sharing fall into the same category. They are VERY ENERGIZING and I should be doing that with my life.

Evening Work

  • 700PM: Took in the plants, looking at the work with fresh eyes. I've gotten 3 hours of work one since 10AM, an elapsed 9 hours. So that's a 33% judgement! Also remember to try talk aloud or maybe body doubling
  • 800PM: I allowed myself to be sucked into the Discord, and replied to some messages and posted some things. I still do want to take a crack at this...let's try 15 minute burst
  • 845PM: I got a good chunk of stuff done, starting to fall into the groove now that I've reminded myself that it's by choice. Got interrupted through by Discord for 15 minutes, so am taking break now.
  • 930OM: Back on track after about a 15-30 minute break, want to at least get this dumb thing out.

NOTE: I shared this log with a friend and she said, "maybe it's the spiro? Spirinolactone is prescribed to transgender individuals as an anti-androgen to suppress the effects of testorone. It also lowers blood pressure. that can have an effect on brain fog" and I'm like "whut?" and I'm noting that right now, about 12 hours after I took it, I'm feeling far mor awake again despite those naps being some time ago. Or perhaps it's the mix of breaks talking to people?

  • 1030PM: I've been goofing off after writing notes.
  • 1100PM: Calling it a night! Tomorrow is a NO SPIRO day!