Pain, fatigue, and hunger...

Another member posted about her ADHDer having a 'ZERO tolerance' for these..and it really struck me. We just had a 'fight' this weekend over the pain issue. He had a tooth pulled Friday and got a prescription for a narcotic pain reliever. (HUGE problem for me...he has a history of abusing pain meds). He took 3 of them within 10 hours (were prescribed every 6 hours) and I flushed them down the toilet. He was insistent that the ONLY reason he took them was because he tooth was hurting. After reading that, it dawned on me...he is the exact same way. I tried explaining, without making this connection, that THAT is what gets him in trouble with pain meds...because if he still feels ANY amount of pain, he feels it perfectly "reasonable" to take more, regardless of how they are prescribed. That is a recipe for disaster. Pain meds are NOT a guaruntee that your pain will stop 100%...and some pain will just be a part of life. It seems he has no concept of this or understanding of the fact.

Same with being tired or hungry...SOOOO many fights when he's tired or hungry because he has ZERO tolerance for anyone or anything. God forbid he get his mind set on something he wants to eat and then somehow he not get is the end of the world and he is pissed at everyone. 

Is this common? 



I can't even tell you how many small disagreements have turned into massive fights b/c DH was hungry. Eat a snack! Carry a freakin clif bar with you! It's really not my fault he "forgets to eat" all day and gets so famished that he can't think of anything but food!

And same story with pain/discomfort. I'll come down with a cold or stomach bug, but somehow manage to go on (b/c who else is going to feed the dogs or do my work), but when he catches the same thing I just had, he takes off work and doesn't leave the couch. This happens all the time, and just recently when it occurred, I said something about "I know how you feel, I just had this, and I'm sorry I got you sick." He said, "no, this must be something much worse b/c you didn't have to take off work, you weren't this sick." OMG! I wanted to say "you don't have to take off work!" But I think he must have zero tolerance for discomfort. If he would just admit this, I don't think I'd get frustrated--it's when he makes everything out to be so much worse for him that I get annoyed...

Zero Tolerance, Me?!?

I have a recent experience related to your DH's tooth pain. I believe I have a pretty high pain tolerance and after most procedures that prescribe Hydrocodone or something like it, I usually have left-overs. Last year I had a sudden BAD toothache and called my dentist. They took an X-Ray and saw a little crack, prescribed hydrocodone 500mg and set an appointment for the next week. The 500 mg did not make a dent in this pain, so the next day I called and told them so. I think they thought I was a drug seeker, but I told them "This Tooth" was killing me and I needed someone to actually dig into this tooth more than just an X-Ray. We they actually looked for the problem they found the tooth was split in the direction the X-Ray will not see and it was 8mm deep. No Crown, No Root Canal, only extraction as an option. 

I Know tooth pain can be bad, but I've never gotten addicted to pain pills. I've always FEARED becoming addicted, even though I did not know why... I've been addicted to food, but never angry over a meal. I remember before Adderall the more tired I got, the less I would put up with, but someone would have to Really be pushing my buttons or arguing with Extreme Illogic. I think everyone is more cranky when they are tired and fatigued.

Not many "End O' World" scenarios for me :)

are you in my twin?

Sherri, sorry to hear of this trouble for you.  

LOL. Wow. I am SO happy to hear that someone else out there is experiencing this. I think this issue, more than almost anything else, has been driving me crazy for years and now that my DH is actually really sick with a painful condition, it has reached a high pitch and it is causing me a great deal of anxiety. If anyone else has experienced this, or knows some relationship between ADHD and being hyper-sensitive (maybe he does feel pain more than I do?) it would really help me not feel crazy. 

There is an element of ADHD that at times (who am I kidding, most of the time) can make my DH come across as not empathetic, not aware of those around him, the classic "not responding to emotional or verbal cues" of those around him, and in general, giving the impression that it is "all about him." When I ask him, he does care, and he does have sympathy, but he doesn't act that way. I was in the hospital after a cesarean with twins, was tired and trying to breast feed, and he kept going on and on to everyone, including my mom, about how tired he was because he had been working so hard on our house (he had, but there I was, recovering from surgery and birth). It seemed like a deaf ear to me, and the situation, and my mom was kind of astonished by him. 

Over the years, I have been taken aback by what a huge dramatic scene he makes about being sick or in pain and how little tolerance he has for it. Not only does he seem to have a huge reaction to it, but he does it in situations where I would just be quiet, or suck it up, or not make a big deal about it (like in front of our children). He seems to need to be the center of attention and talk about it incessantly -- "feel this! look at this! look at this bruise!" At this point, he is in pain, sick with a condition, and he is wandering the house, moaning 24/7. I am not kidding. Moaning, moaning, moaning. Loudly. Waking me up. From the living room. And of course it hurts him, but he just doesn't seem aware or care that when I mention that it may not be so good for the children to hear this all the time, or that he is causing me some anxiety. Instead, he runs to find an article about how moaning in pain is a normal reaction in some cultures and that it is me that has a problem and that I am so mean for suggesting that he is overly dramatic or he shouldn't moan all the time or talk about how bad he feels constantly in front of our children. Let me say that I spend a great deal of time helping him, taking care of him, and I am sympathetic. And he doesn't just moan when something hurts particularly badly, he moans constantly, 24/7. And if I mention that I am stressed out, that I have a migraine, could I just be in a room by myself for a few minutes---it just doesn't seem to register with him at all. Not only does he not help or care for me, he goes right back to going on and on about how bad he feels. 

He has a strong gag reflex (very useful when changing diapers, so I did most of it), and I am telling you--he could retch and gag so loud, it was like a comedy routine. I have never heard anyone make noises like that in my life over a little poop. A friend looked at me once and said, "Is that for real or is he trying to be funny?" It was for real. He will tell anyone who will listen, total strangers, what is wrong with him and how bad he feels. He doesn't pick up on it when they are uncomfortable. I actually got really mad at him once when I was sleep deprived and was so sore from starting breastfeeding two babies at once. He swallowed something the wrong way and fell down in the floor, thrashing around. No, he wasn't choking to death, just responding to it in a dramatic way. I know it wasn't the nicest thing, but I was so resentful, I said, "Oh, come on, really?" THAT started some long term resentment that still is there, unfortunately, because we had a huge fight about how mean I was and he couldn't believe I was so awful to him, but I just was so tired of it and couldn't believe he was acting like that when I was having such a hard time. 

The funny thing is, he comes from a family that is rather stoic. Hardworking folks who don't act melodramatic when something is wrong or they are hurt. He didn't used to be like this when we first met--or maybe he was just younger and there weren't situations like this, then. 

I just can't talk to him about this. He has gotten so mad at me for suggesting that he tone it down a little in front of our kids. I wish I could kind of disassociate myself from it, because it makes me really anxious. I really don't want to come across as mean--I care about him, but I am just puzzled, and occasionally resentful, when I am feeling bad or sick, that he makes it seem like it is all about him in those moments. I almost feel like it is a form of mental illness. I have suggested he try to talk to someone about it (along with managing his ADHD) and he gets so mad that I just drop it. 

P.S. Mine also forgets to eat, all day, and then around 5 is in a terrible mood and frantic for food, and this frequently causes fights. I have tried to have food ready for him and remind him to eat, but if he doesn't want to eat, the plate just sits there and gets cold. He is supposed to eat with the medication he is on (and I wonder the affect of taking ADHD meds on an empty vs. full stomach?) I have had to back away from this one and just let him do what he is going to do. 


The moaning...O...M...G...the

The moaning...O...M...G...the moaning. I have never in my life EVER seen anyone who does this...and it is extremely annoying. I did say to him recently, when he was moaning for some reason (sick, I think), "do you really have to add sound effects?" but it was taking all I had in me to not walk out of the room so I didn't have to hear it. I just assume it is his way of 'reminding me' how sick/hurt he is. 


I turn into a useless space cadet if I haven't eaten enough and can get VERY grumpy I admit....  My family always jokes about how I'd better eat or I might turn someone into a toad!  Fortunately I realized this pretty early on (High School) and make sure I don't get hungry when I'm out and about...

But the pain thing? hm.  I have always had a high tolerance for pain, and it seems that it's even higher since the birth of my first daughter via c-section.  Right after they pulled her out, the anesthesia stopped working, and the rest of the surgery I could feel everything.  The anesthesiologist gave me something to shut me up, but I remember everything that was said (he was explaining to my husband that sometimes this particular drug doesn't work for some patients' deep organs &tissue).  One day last spring I was out and about, and walking home I thought to myself, 'huh... my foot is kinda itchy' then I took my shoe off to find my sock soaked in blood and a shard of glass embedded in my heel.

I too, have been the one to slog through stomach flu/fever/migraines and be the parent who deals with the kids.  Mind you:  I've had migraines and gone to lie down in a dark room til they're gone, but ONLY if my husband is home and WILLING to take care of the kids for an hour or so.  If he is NOT willing or i'm at work and I CAN'T lie down in a dark room, then I just deal with it, excuse myself to vomit when i need to and push through it.  But then it lasts hours and hours longer.

I take pain meds if prescribed and if I need them, but like YYZ, I always have leftovers.  I really don't fear getting addicted and never have had any kind of addiction (for which I am VERY grateful, since there are alcoholics in my family).  I find it a bit worrisome if pain meds completely take away pain because I have no idea where I am in the recovery process and sometimes overdo something...

so I dunno. 

the gagging thing is weird though, you're right... hm.... Don't think that has anything to do with ADHD!

My ADHD husband complains

My ADHD husband complains about every blister, cut, scrape, ingrown hair, bug bite, etc. on his body. I have to hear about every detail of every twinge of pain, how the blister just popped, and on and on and on. I have to be in extreme pain to even mention something. Is that an ADHD thing?

I've got to admit, some of

I've got to admit, some of this conversation is making me laugh.  The thing is, as I see it even if you've got a higher sensitivity to pain or illness you can still learn to manage it.

As a child, I'd fall over and scream so loud the whole playground would stop in silence.   

It's quite common for people with neurological conditions to have sensory differences:

'They may have a very low pain-threshold or have an automatic reaction of fear – tactile defensiveness – when touched. This is a result of a sensory integrative dysfunction which describes a problem in the way the brain interprets information received from the senses.'

A stronger gag reflex is also very common from what I've read, as reflexes can be more primitive and you may have less control over them.  However, a reflex doesn't stop you changing a baby's nappy, you gag with your mouth and throat, you change a baby with your hands!  

As for toothache, obviously if you're more distractible as it is the distraction of pain could impair your performance further. Personally I find cloves are very effective pain relief and there are several other natural remedies.  Cloves anaesthetise your mouth and you can keep a jar of them with you to chew on all day.  

Iff you're always hungry, set an alarm to remind you to eat and as was said earlier, keep some high energy snacks with you all the time.

The point is, it's perfectly possible to function well with these issues.

As for tiredness, this is a hard one for me.  I'll keep going when tired, but make many more mistakes and often fear I can't operate at all safely which frightens me.  It seems people with adhd need plenty of sleep, but what about when that isn't possible?  Has anyone got any ideas as to how I could cope with tiredness?  

Prioritising the most important jobs and devoting my attention to them, then saving other tasks till I've had more sleep?

Doing certain tasks one at a time- washing, ironing when there's no one there and less distraction?

Any ideas would be welcome.  Hope my British English made sense.