The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland Tennessee (TN) and Bradley County Tennessee (Tn).

Of Bradley County Tn.

JUNE  2005

                            The People News, a free newspaper serving Cleveland and Bradley County Tn.






ADD  (Attention  Deficient Disorder)

by Joe Kirkpatrick

A big problem in education  these days is dealing with children who have "ADD", or formally known as  "attention deficient disorder."  How  long has "ADD" been around?  Only  for about twenty or twenty five years.  How is a child with "ADD" identified?  A child with "ADD" is unable to  concentrate on their classroom work, and many times is unable to keep their composure while sitting at their desk.

Back when I was in school, there was a less professional term for this condition:  "wiggle worm."  Today when a child is diagnosed with "ADD", several controversial medicines are prescribed, the most prominent one being Ritalin.  Some children  respond well, while others are somewhat lethargic when placed on it.

Back when I was in school, we didn't have "ADD."  As I said  before, we had "wiggle worms" that could not pay attention or sit still in their seat.  Back then, Ritalin had not  been invented, so the teacher had to use a more direct approach. When a "wiggle worm" became excessively active, the teacher simply went over, grabbed their shirt collar, drug them out of the classroom and into the hall, and gave them a good "ass whopping."  Problem solved - no doctor's visit, no expensive prescription, and no lethargic side effects.

Joe Kirkpatrick

Well, if kids in class rooms not paying attention was not enough, now we have a new disease for those kids  who are now all grown up:  "AADD,"  or "Adult Attention Deficient Disorder."  My wife, who is a teacher, has many times said I probably had "ADD" back  when I was in school.  Now that the  commercials about "AADD' have started, she now claims I have it as well.  Now, a few months after the "AADD"  commercials have been playing, a new commercial by Ely Lily Pharmaceuticals has come out with a medicine to cure me:  "Strattera."

Wow! I can finally be cured of this lifelong  illness my wife thinks I have with no more "ass whoopin's" like I had to endure when I was younger.  After they tell me in the commercial how this drug is going to cure me, a soft-spoken woman with a pleasant musical background tells me that everything might just not be as rosy as I thought and there might be a few side effects.  The music is played at a level that you almost can't hear just what those side effects are, so I took my trusty tape  recorder, recorded the commercial, and then played it back one sentence at a time so I could write these few side effects down. Why could I just not remember them?  BECAUSE I HAVE ADD!

Okay, here are the "few" side  effects of "Strattera:"

1.  A patient may experience  weight loss. (This stuff is sounding better all the time!)

2.  In rare cases, Strattera  can cause liver damage. (hmm - I'm not a lucky person by nature)

3.  Call your doctor if you  experience itching. (that's not a big deal - I get poison ivy all the  time)

4.  Call your doctor if you  have dark urine (now that one does kind of worry me)

5.  Call your doctor if you  have yellow skin or eyes (even if I am Chinese??)

6.  Call your doctor if you  have upper right-side abdominal tenderness. (what if my tenderness if on the left  side??)

7.  Call your doctor if you  have "unexplained" flu-like symptoms. (I've never had flu-like symptoms that DID  explain themselves!)

8.  Up set stomach.

9. Nausea or vomiting. (what  if I am Bulimic?)

10.  Tiredness. (I'm always  tired though, I'm ADD and can't sit still!)

11.  Dizziness.

12. Mood Swings. (what if  it's a woman taking it - isn't that natural for them??)

13. Constipation. (that means not as many bathroom breaks)

14. Problems sleeping. (the  way my wife snores, that is already a problem and I'm not even taking it yet)

15. Sexual side effects.  (they didn't elaborate as to whether they are good sexual side effects or bad  ones!)

If the woman on the commercial spoke slowly and distinctly enough for people to understand what she was saying, would anyone in their right mind EVER want to take this stuff?

A few years ago, a young idealistic doctor friend of mine was starting a medical practice. He was big on  holistic healing methods (healing with a minimal use of normal medicines, shots,  etc.) I told him he would never make it - that our society wants the "quick fix."  He struggled for the first few years, and finally began to prescribe medicine and give shots.  After the first year of doing that, he told me I was right, that by giving the "quick fix," his practice had more than doubled in the past year.

Several years ago, I read an article in a health publication which stated "85% of all illness we catch will cure themselves by the use of our own antibodies without additional medication."  We are so used to running to the doctor for a "quick fix", many people have a weakened immune system from being over prescribed antibiotics throughout their life.  Strattera for my ADD?  Taking any drug with that many side effects for  a condition or illness that is not life threatening?  Maybe on your life, but not on  mine!