Mike Adams
Dear (name deleted):

Yesterday, I received your email explaining the reasons for your poor performance in my class this semester. While I was pleased that you refrained from asking for a change of grade, I was disappointed that you attributed your bad grade to adult ADHD.

I hope you were kidding when you said that you plan to join an adult ADHD support group. Since you are an 18 year old male, I would suspect that a trip to nearby Wrightsville Beach could cure your "disorder." If you can't pay attention to the environment there, you may really have a problem.

Adult ADHD is another one of those problems we didn't have to deal with when I was growing up. But, now that a few doctors and drug companies have let us know it is out there, everyone seems to be getting it. The list of these disorders just keeps growing, doesn't it?

The reason I am writing is to warn you of a new syndrome that may (hopefully) soon sweep the nation. It is called Adult Determinism Deficit Disorder, or ADDD. This disorder is characterized by an unwillingness to allow any tragedy, no matter how large, to keep you from succeeding.

Although it is new, one of my former students, Christina Price, has already been diagnosed with the disease. You may have seen Christina sitting in her wheelchair in the hallway between classes last year. She lost the use of both arms and both legs after a tragic accident that occurred when she was only seventeen.

Christina's school day really begins the night before. She picks out her school clothes before she goes to sleep. It takes her approximately 2 1/2 to 3 hours from wake-up in order to get ready to leave the house.

First, the nurse wakes her and she gets her teeth brushed, flossed, and washes out her mouth. Her face is washed before toners and creams are applied to keep her skin soft. Next, the nurse puts on her pants and shirt. This means a lot of bouncing for her and a lot of lifting for the nurse. Then, there is a lot of pulling and checking to prevent wrinkles. A small wrinkle under her for more than an hour would cause her blood pressure to go up and, if not fixed within several hours, could cause a pressure sore or make her pressure continue to rise to a dangerous level.

A net is put under her to lift her out of bed. It takes two people to hook up the net to lift her. One person holds her head to keep her from swinging and watches the ventilator hose to make sure that the tube does not get pulled out, which would remove her only source of air. The other person works the controls on the lift and holds her feet while watching out that her catheter is not pulled. Once she has been lowered in her motorized chair, all the wrinkles have to be pulled again.

Mike Adams

Mike Adams is a criminology professor at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and author of Letters to a Young Progressive: How To Avoid Wasting Your Life Protesting Things You Don't Understand.