This ran in the Jan. 25 edition of The Oklahoman:
“An Edmond man was killed Thursday morning when he lost control of his pickup and crashed into a bridge pillar in northeast Oklahoma City, according to the Oklahoma Highway Patrol.
Peter Fuhrmann, 68, died in the accident about 6:15 a.m., the patrol said. He was southbound on Interstate 35 when he lost control of his pickup on the westbound entrance ramp to the Kilpatrick Turnpike. The pickup slid several hundred feet before striking an overpass, the patrol said. The patrol’s report indicated a medical condition may have caused Fuhrmann to lose control of the pickup.
Fuhrmann was wearing a seat belt.”
Now, to shamelessly rip off Paul Harvey, here’s the rest of the story….
Peter Fuhrmann’s wife, Connie, is a health unit coordinator at Integris Baptist Medical Center. She said her husband was having a heart attack and was trying to drive himself to the hospital when he crashed on the turnpike.
Connie Fuhrmann received an anonymous letter two days later from someone who stopped at the scene and tried to help. The person got a blanket from the car and covered Peter Fuhrmann until help arrived, trying to keep him warm.
The anonymous letter, according to an Integris press release, also said nurses from Baptist and Mercy Health Center stopped to help and held Peter Fuhrmann’s hand. One prayed with him before he died.
“Our employee, Connie, was so touched by this act of kindness that she wants to thank them in some way. … She feels like these strangers who stopped to help her husband during his last moments were angels sent from God,” according to the release.
The family even read part of the letter at Peter Fuhrmann’s funeral.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer
A paper in this month’s edition of the Journal of Pediatric Nursing describes ADHD from the perspective of college students who have it and have learned to cope.
The subject is interesting for several reasons, not the least of which because it features 16 adults recalling how ADHD affected their lives as children. Plenty of research exists on child and adolescent ADHD, but there is little out there on how the condition affects and has affected adults.
The study, from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and Wake Forest University, is poignant in interviewees’ descriptions of how it feels to have ADHD — being called “stupid” or “slow,” not having parents understand why things don’t get finished.
The study noted common feelings among the group of loneliness and isolation.
“Can’t anyone see I’m struggling,” one study participant lamented.
Common threads through participants’ lives were:
- Trouble getting along with parents
“In their view, children with ADHD have more trouble than others,” the authors wrote.
One’s adolescence is rough no matter what, “but it tends to be a little rougher on people with special needs,” a participant noted.
Another participant described the “mass chaos fights” with parents and siblings — often due, participants said, to failing to perform chores within an expected time frame.
“Because of their distractibility and hyperactivity, participants said that they had difficulty completing tasks, causing problems with their parents,” the authors wrote.
Some parents provided support, but it was tough for them as well.
“My parents did provide support … with homework; making sure I was on top of things. But it kind of got to the point where it was nagging, but that’s how they got the actual answer from me,” a participant recalled. “They had to play 20 questions. I wasn’t trying to withhold information; it just took 20 questions to get the full description.”
- Missing a lot of material at school
Trouble paying attention and hyperactivity affected participants’ ability to learn.
“In class, I had a kind of lag time, ’cause in-between me figuring out what had been going on, the entire class moved on, so I missed out on information. So that was one of the biggest things — missing out — taking a longer time to get the entire idea,” a participant explained.
Participants learned to cope: They allowed help from their parents, asked for more time on tests or took them in different formats, recorded lectures and re-copied notes after class.
- Feeling different
Children with ADHD felt different in school, and situations such as sitting still and grasping concepts quickly made these differences clear.
“Other kids at school would call them retarded, slow, or stupid, and then ostracize them,” the authors wrote.
As such, they often had trouble making friends, and wondered why people didn’t like them. Social difficulties sometimes persisted into adulthood.
“Not only do I have a tendency to interrupt … but the main problem I have is, you need to think before you say something that can offend other people, or when you ask too many questions … they’ll say it makes them feel uncomfortable,” one participant said.
- Feeling misunderstood
“Friendships for children and adolescents with ADHD were fraught with misunderstandings,” the authors wrote.
One participant described how her friends kidded her about her problem.
“I have friends who say, ‘Oh, it’s my ADD and I don’t want to do my work. It’s my ADD kicking in.’ … and they’ll say it in front of me when they know I have it … and I’ll have it the rest of my life. I’ve gotten very mad at them,” the participant explained.
One participant suggested those with ADHD find friends who understand and will call out their names or tap them on the shoulder when they’re “zoned out.”
In 2003, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 8 percent of school-aged children were reported to have ADHD.
I don’t mean to suggest that the themes in the study are unique to those with ADHD, but I do think the research provides a window into how adults with ADHD think and the difficulties they face.
Parents of children with ADHD ought to take a look at it to see what their kids may say about their upbringing a decade from now.
For health and medical news and commentary, read The Medicine Bag blog at http://blog.newsok.com/health.
Jeff Raymond, Medical Writer