Anyone here with FMS who has a spouse with ADD?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by EllenComstock, Apr 10, 2007.

  1. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, Everyone:

    As the title of my post says, I have FMS (along with other health problems) and my husband thinks he has ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder), although he has never been evaluated.

    Over the winter, he read a lot of books, we watched a video on ADD and spouses together, etc. He actually scheduled an appt. with his family doctor to see about getting evaluated for ADD. He even spent days going through his old school papers and report cards.

    Unfortunately, his doctor was not very encouraging. He just said we would need to see a psychiatrist. I decided to sit back and see what my husband would do, but he didn't pursue it any further.

    We had a big fight this weekend, mainly due to my frustration trying to keep him organized. I sometimes need his help around the house because of the limitations I have with the FMS. He often procrastinates. Trying to keep him organized would be difficult enough, but having FMS, including the brain fog, it becomes overwhelming to me some days.

    He often forgets to take his meds for his depression and high cholestrol. I have to put his meds in a small pill container on the counter, which has definitely helped with this problem. However, once he takes them, I can't fill the container until late in the day as he won't remember if he has already taken them or not and I don't want him to get a double dosage. To complicate matters, he still sometimes forgets to take it in the morning or not at all. With my brain fog, I get confused.

    He isn't comfortable using the phone. I have to make calls for him. I write reminders on the calendar, but because he doesn't always look at it, I have to remind him anyway. He constantly procrastinates about doing even five minute jobs. He considers it my job to keep reminding him or he will ask me to remind him again the next morning or whenever.

    He is layed off in the winter and works full-time the rest of the year. With the FMS, I am only able to work part-time, but I pretty much take care of the house. To help myself, I told him he would need to start washing his own clothes to help me. Of course, the basket is often overflowing as he forgets or procrastinates doing it. Sometimes during his lay-off time, he will wash my clothes along with his to help me out, although I haven't asked him to do this. It's great when he does.

    With me having FMS, irritable bowel syndrome, endometriosis, interstitial cystitis, hypothyroidism, etc. it's overwhelming to me just to take care of myself. To complicate matters, I also have a mentally ill brother that I look after. He doesn't live with us (he lives in a group home), but I still check on him and go to his doctor appts. when I can.

    My husband isn't a terrible person and he has helped me by doing things like driving me to my doctor appts, but he dumps a lot on me. When we fight, it's often because of his procrastination, unwillingness to get evaluated for ADD or whatever learning disability he has. I can't talk to his parents as he doesn't want them to know he's having problems.

    One thing he told me recently is that last November he went to vote. When he got there, he said he couldn't get out of his truck. He sat there for some time and finally just drove home. He said he was afraid to tell me about this. I told him to never be afraid to tell me anything; that I love him and want him to get help.

    We've gone in for counseling before (for other reasons like dealing with my FMS or I went when my dad died) and he has been willing to go. Now he says he doesn't want to go as he is now back to work. I know it's harder for him, but I consider this vital to our marriage and his health. If he hadn't procrastinated on getting help, some of this could have been done while he was still layed off.

    I'm at the point where I am going to go to counseling alone. I found a counselor agency not far from our house that understands both FMS and ADD. My husband has said before that he doesn't want to go there as one of the counselors there is our neighbor (he wouldn't be the one who counsels us). We live in a small town so I think we should go where it's close to our house.

    Sorry this is so long. I just need to talk to someone here that's in a similar situation. Thanks.


  2. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    I'm ADHD and my husband is as well....makes for a very interesting home life!!

    Years ago he was driving me crazy. I'd ask for something and he'd bring me something totally different. He forgot everything I said, he did things wrong all the time.

    If I asked him to deduct $50.00 from savings, he'd come home with $75.00 from checking which I didn't have.

    Eventually he went to talk to a councellor on base who discovered his problem. He was on Ritalin as a child but it was discontinued along the way somewhere ( as was the norm back then) He is very, very ADHD...

    I can't even begin to tell you how much the meds helped him. He did amazing things at work too...this med is wonderful for those who really need it.

    Not long after he was dx, I started noticing things with our daughter who was around 13 at the time. We had her evaluated and she was found to be ADHD too.

    A few years later hubby began telling me that when he was medicated, I was driving him nuts jumping from subject to subject I started to read up on it.

    Lo and behold, I was ADHD too and the dx helped make sense of so many things in my life. I had always put my dingy brain problems in a neat little box from the brain damage I suffered when I had Toxic Shock Syndrome and a 105 degree fever.

    Nope, the dx fit and the medication has helped me more than I can ever say.

    One thing I can say is that a regular doctor can NOT properly diagnose anyone with ADD/ADHD. It has to be done by either a psychologist or psychiatrist (can't remember which one) so your doctor's suggestion was NOT out of line.

    Your GP will be able to prescribe the medications once a proper dx is made, but can not do this himself.

    I used to never finish projects...ever. This medication has allowed me to take up crafting again, reteach myself how to sew (I hated it as a kid, now I know why) I used to procrastinate too, both hubby and I.....we made stupid financial decisions, spend, spend spend...etc.

    Please encourage your husband if you've done some research and think this might be the problem. There's no shame in getting a proper dx just like any other illness.

    Before both hubby and daughter went on the meds, I worried that they might change their personalities (which I adored) but it didn't change who they were, it just allowed them to organize their thoughts so they could accomplish what they set out to do. Same for me as well.

    All of us are different, hubby had never finished a book, but I devour crappy romance novels so I didn't really believe him when he told me he thought I was ADHD too. (Can you tell I haven't had my afternoon meds???? Babbling on and on and on!!)

    Also, I do my husband's pills and supps in a weekly reminder plastic case. That way we can tell at a glance if he's taken them. We actually have to keep his in the living room next to his chair, the kitchen doesn't work for him.

    Huge hugs cause I do understand...and let me know if you have any more questions.

    Nancy B

    [This Message was Edited on 04/11/2007]
    [This Message was Edited on 04/11/2007]
  3. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Yes, my husband's doctor did do a blood test. He ended up increasing his cholestrol medication. I really don't think that my husband has CFS. He doesn't complain about being exhausted, although when he's not working, he does lay around a lot. But I think he's more of a couch potato than I am. I guess I shouldn't criticize his doctor for suggesting a psychiatrist. I know a family doctor can't handle everything.

    Nancy - I can't believe how much in common we have. First, we have relatives with mental illness and now ADD. (at least I think so). My husband wasn't in favor of going to a psychiatrist, but I'm wondering if a therapist could help. The counseling agency in our town does advertise that they specialize in ADD, ADHD and FMS (among other things).

    Driving a distance is a problem for me, so the counseling agency nearby is doable for me. I need some help in understanding him and how to respond when he procrastinates, does something wrong, etc. I am concerned because I am finding that our fights, while not happening that often, are escalating and I want us to find help before it becomes really serious. He has willingly gone for therapy before so I am hopeful he will again. If nothing else, I will go myself.

  4. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    Hi, again, Nancy:

    I have learned from my reading that there are several medications that can help ADD. Assuming this is what my husband has, I am anxious to see how these can help him. The thought of him sitting in the truck, wanting to get out and vote and not being able to, fills me with so much concern and sympathy.

    I don't know why I didn't think of the seven-day pill dispensers. A friend of mine also recommended this yesterday so I am getting one at the store today. The last time my husband and I got groceries, he said he couldn't understand how I am able to concentrate and compare prices, get exactly what we need, etc. The last time we were at the store, I asked him if he could go back to another aisle and get something I forgot. I could see he wanted to do it, but said he was afraid he wouldn't be able to get the right thing.

    Of course thinking and concentrating is hard for me, too, with the brain fog, but I have come up with ways to make it easier for me.

    Thanks again for your help (in the midst of all your own stress from moving!)

  5. hugs4evry1

    hugs4evry1 New Member

    The psychiatrist is probably the only one who's going to be able to diagnose him though...

    Councelling might very well help with the problems you're facing. I know that before hubby was medicated, it about drove me nuts with the things he was doing.

    Seriously, I could be up in bed feeling sick and ask for a Pepsi, some Nyquil and a toothpick and he'd bring me back a box of tissues....he just couldn't remember.

    I remember my Mom always saying, "in one ear, out the other" and boy does that saying apply. I can leave a room to go to the kitchen and have no idea why I got up in the first place....without my medications.

    Another thing that I thought everyone went through upon waking is that my brain clicks on like a radio. The second I become aware, a song starts playing. No gradual waking for me, an ADD/ADHD person is like a switch that someone turned on.

    Also, if someone says something, my brain goes into a song with whatever word was mentioned. Strange, but ADHD is like a brain in overdrive.

    Example: if someone mentions that they need to 'take care of business' my brain immediately starts singing "Taking Care of Business" by Bachman Turner Overdrive...

    There's a good book called, "Driven to Distraction" that my husband liked. He learned alot from it.

    Ahhhhh, Ritalin...we call it "Better Living through Chemicals"!!!!!!!


    Nancy B
  6. EllenComstock

    EllenComstock New Member

    I had to laugh at your husband bringing you back a box of kleenex when you had asked for three different things. Although I can definitely share the frustration. My husband always wants to procrastinate and have me "remind" me the next day. With my brain fog, I don't need another thing to try and remember!!

    I also thought it was funny about someone saying "taking care of business" and you would start thinking of the song by that name. Sometimes I hear my husband singing this song-maybe he has this problem, too?

    I appreciate you and the other people on this post. You have made me feel better. I'm not the only one feeling this frustration. I have decided that I am going to talk to my husband today about my need for counseling. Maybe this will lead to him going, too, and then on to the psychiatrist. And even if it doesn't, at least I will be helping myself. But as I've said before, he has gone to counseling before so I think he will again.

    Thanks again.

  7. rmsjohns

    rmsjohns New Member

    I have an adult 31 yr old son with ADHD. Over the years he went from med to med due to his growing and needing more medication.

    He is on medication, he cannot be still at all. He is always doing a project of some type. Or taking his son to the park.

    His job is a computer specialist in Networking and he goes to companies to fix there systems. This is perfect, he is busy and everything is new for each job.

    Organization is the key...I like the idea of your bottle for his pills. I think you should go one step further and find 7 bottles and label them for each day. Then you just take out the new bottle each night for him.

    One thing that also helps is a list to check off. When going to the store, or chore list. We have a white out board on our fridge. You could put First needs for the house on this, and on a weekly calendar put the chores for him to do. We live by a calendar. Vacuuming one day, Wash another, shopping on Thursday....Place it on the fridge too.

    If you have any questions on how I coped all those years, one ADHD son and one with learning disabilities, and a hubby who is borderline ADD. Plus 2 other average children. Send me an email, I have so many ways to cope with every household action on the earth.

    Mary Kay

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