October 2007 - Volume IV - Issue X

ADHD - Don't Procrastinate on getting Medical Diagnosis

Statement: My intent in this newsletter is to express as quickly as possible my own beliefs and opinions on matters. I have no problems with people who disagree with my opinion and have even been swayed to rethink my position from time to time. We are still taking book orders for my book "ADHD and The Criminal Justice System" and you can get my author's discount from the www.addcorridorcoaching.com/book.asp

Patrick Hurley spoke on October 15, 2007 at the National Conference on Correctional Healthcare in Nashville, TN http://www.ncchc.org/ on his book The Conference was sponsored by the National Commission on Correctional Health Care (NCCHC) which has an impressive membership.

Pat Hurley also was also involved in a National Healthtalk Webinar "Behind Bars: ADHD and Criminal Behavior" on Wednesday Oct 3rd. To listen to a rebroadcast of this click on this link http://www.healthtalk.com/ADHD/programs/27_854/index.cfm?pview=PI

Read past issues of newsletters at www.addcorridorcoaching.com/newsletters.asp


I have just returned from a 56 year old good friends funeral. She died from complications of a highly treatable and often under-diagnosed disorder known as Hemochromatosis. (Here is a link http://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/hemochromatosis-genetic-screening-wha... ) This in layman's term is basically the opposite of being anemic. It is an inherited disorder most often tied to people of Northern European Ancestry especially those of Celtic descent. But others can have it as well. The body has difficulty processing Iron in your blood and expelling it. With nowhere to go it begins building up in the organs, beginning with the liver where it can cause Cirrhosis It then builds up in other organs including the brain where it often manifest itself in a downward spiral of depression. It can take years to develop and silently do its damage. The first sign is the off the chart iron levels in your blood. But if you haven't had the test in the first place you can see where it might go undiagnosed.

My friend had been depressed for many years and it seemed to get worse in the last few years. I have no idea whether she had ADHD but she was highly opinionated and could be very stubborn and at the same time was one of the most fun loving, witty, compassionate and pleasant people I have ever been around. She hated going to doctors and avoided routine physical examinations. In my experience this is a very common trait of those with ADHD too. I myself have avoided routine test. Even though I had abdominal pain for years I put off having the Colonoscopy my doctor recommended 4 years ago. I finally had it performed a few months ago.

I think I was afraid of the results being bad and felt that if I just ignored it things would get either better or worse. But if I had the test and confirmed things were bad it would be just another thing for me to worry about. Ignorance (it seemed) was Bliss. Well in reality it is not bliss but can in fact be the pits.

Looking back my friend probably had the liver damage already developing. But, not wanting to address the problem allowed it to run rampant silently leading to depression, weight loss, and finally the organs to start shutting down. The diagnosis and treatment are not difficult. Diagnosis can be done with blood test and treatment can be done by taking blood out of the system one pint at a time as newly created blood does not have the high iron content. But you have to have the test done first.

The purpose of my letter is to encourage all of you to have your routine check ups and suggested timely tests. My Colonoscopy came back with a diagnosis of minor esophagitis and diverticulitis. You would be surprised at how much better I feel knowing I don't have Colon Cancer (remember we always assume the worse possible scenario).

I am much more likely to have the recommended diagnostic tests done in the future than I was before. I might add that this same advice applies to your ADHD symptoms as well.

You don't have to have ADHD to avoid doctors and having tests but I do know that those of us with ADHD have a tendency to be afraid of being labeled as Hypochondriacs if we go to the doctor for every little ache and pain. I think there is a danger of becoming Hypochondriacs and surfing the web to see what kind of self diagnosis of our problems we can come up with. So a balanced, reasonable approach to monitoring our health is in order, just don't get carried away.

From my experience there is almost nothing more obnoxious than an ADHD/Hypochondriac. They can do more harm to the cause of ADHD acceptance than several hundred of the rest of us.

P. S. If you need a good planner you might want to check out the Delta Planner at this link http://www.deltaplanner.com/?10012

Patrick Hurley

If you know on anyone who might like this newsletter, please forward it to them, and tell them to go to my web site at www.addcorridorcoaching.com and sign up

Author's Bio: 

17 years Lieutenant on Sheriff's Dept, 5 years Adult Probation Officer, 10 years ADHD Support Group Facilitator. 4 years ADHD Lifeskills Coach. Co-Author of book "ADHD and the Criminal Justice System"