Up at about 7.30 as Ruth usually leaves the house at about 8, I had a shower and some cereal and we went. Ruth dropped me off very near Ealing Broadway and continued off to work.
I went to Oxford Circus, changed trains and went south to Brixton, which is only a short walk from Denmark Hill, along Cold Harbour Lane. Ruth had photocopied a page in her London map book so I knew where to go, and by 10am I was at the Maudsley.
I waited an hour, reading my NewScientist, and at 11 was collected by a woman who spent the next hour explaining what the day would contain, and doing some rather odd tests and questions and exercises in order to start assessing me. She asked a colleague in to observe and help her with the assessment. The exercises included going through a children's picture book and explaining what I thought was happening, and making up a story using 5 random objects pulled out of a bag, a task I found quite difficult. But she also asked lots of questions about my childhood, friendships, how I'd describe various feelings like happiness, etc etc, so it was quite an intense hour.
Then I had a two-hour session with a Dutch Doctor who did the clinical assessment, about my health and development and lots more. I was invited to explain why I thought I'd had ADHD and subsequently been identifying with some aspects of Aspergers Syndrome.
That finished at 3pm and I went for lunch just down the road, having a plate of very yummy chick-pea stew and rice, and got back to the Hospital for 4pm, as agreed, where I was seen by the whole team including the Consultant. He asked a few more questions and referred to his diagnostic manual a few times, and then asked if I'd have 5 minutes in another room whilst they had a talk, and when I was brought back in, he explained their decision.
It is clear that I did have ADHD as a child, but at that time it wasn't named and I was just regarded as a bit odd, naughty, disruptive and 'bright but lazy'. However, possibly due to growing out of it and/or all the self-development work I've done, I do not exhibit so many of the symptoms or diagnostic features now to be classed as having ADHD. There is a big overlap between ADHD behaviours and some Autistic traits. I do have some of the 'typically autistic' traits, but again, not enough of them to be 'labelled' with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or 'High Functioning Autism', known as Aspergers. So I don't fit any diagnostic criteria, which the Doctor described as 'good news'. There was some discussion as to where I might go from now, what I could do about continuing to improve my behaviour, and I will explore those. The medics will interview my mother when she returns from holiday, just to try to find out some more about my behaviour as a child, and I'l be sent their report in February.
I left feeling quite down as I really wanted to put my diagnosis 'in a box', labelled, so I felt I knew what I was and why I behave as I do, and had a clear way forward with definite outcomes. But as my unique mental set-up doesn't fit any one set of criteria and therefore isn't 'nameable', I feel a bit 'in limbo' or in no mans land. I sadly walked back the mile or so to Brixton and went right up to King's Cross, where I wandered round pretty aimlessly for a few hours waiting for my 10pm train. At 8.30 I waited at where the track-side pub used to be (shut for refurbishment) for a possible meeting with Diana from FlipSide Vision, but she'd been at an AGM and didn't turn up. So at 9.30 I went to the main hall and chatted to people whilst waiting for the platform to be displayed.
The train was lovely and warm and my fellow passengers were friendly and jolly.
Back into York just after 12.30, home just before 1am, really glad to see Gill.