I hate Red Bull.
I have severe ADHD, with impulsivity perhaps the most visible factor. I would speak out of turn all the time in class, occasionally with something relevant or even funny, but usually just because I couldn’t help myself. That wouldn’t be so bad, except the less visible conditions, when I am distracted opposed to distracting, hinder my ability to get anything done. I can sit at a table with a pen and paper and research material for hours without being able to convince myself to write a single word. It isn’t that I don’t enjoy writing, I do. I’m even pretty good at it at times. But I hit a wall and need to trick myself into doing something that I have to do. This all improved once I started behavioral therapy and eventually was on the right medication. However, taking pills so that I could function like other people was a challenge, it felt like cheating. Plus, I didn’t understand that other people didn’t have to fight to keep their mouth shut during class. (I still don’t get that. I have a hard time believing that everyone can think before they speak *that* much better than I do. I just assume they are vastly more disciplined — or not as witty.)
Why am I telling you this? Because I hate Red Bull.
When I have decent health insurance, I take medication to help me battle through work and other important tasks. Sometimes I wouldn’t take it because it can make me cranky later in the day and I wouldn’t have much of an appetite, but I was good about it most of the time. However, right now I’m on a bare-bones insurance plan after not being on any at all. (You are to thank for this, by the way. After your accident, my mother told me to get on some kind of insurance, or else.) So right now instead of medication, I drink Red Bull, which I’ve found to be the only energy drink that really works to get me focused. It’s a poor substitute, but better than nothing.
Except I hate it. It’s gross. The only way I can drink it is to mix it with other drinks. Vodka is probably my favorite, but would be frowned upon at work. Instead I’ve tried Gatorade, Coke, ginger ale of all types, and today I think I’ve found my match: fruit smoothies like Odwalla or Naked. They are so thick that you don’t need much of it to greatly improve the flavor of the Red Bull. Then you also have a breakfast-like drink with a billion vitamins.
But Trish, you say, surely the cost of that much Red Bull and fruit smoothies costs at least as much as your prescription would. Well Lance, let’s do some math. You may be right.
Red Bull costs $20 for 12 cans. Fruit smoothies cost about $2/each. Let’s assume that I only use my Red Bull/fruit combo on workdays. There are 21-ish workdays a month. That’s roughly $80 a month. Woah. However, the medication I’ve found to be most helpful is approximately $120/month, plus because it is a Schedule 2 drug, it needs to be prescribed every single month, which adds the cost of a doctor visit (≈$75). Even if I changed to a (less-effective than my drug, but better than Red Bull) generic, the doctor visit is costly and annoying. It would be easier if he was available at the grocery store. I mean, I need to go to the store anyway, and groceries never require an appointment.
Sadly, the incalculable value is effectiveness. I know that even with the Red Bull, I am not nearly as effective. You’re right, Lance. I’m glad we had this talk. There are just some corners I shouldn’t cut anymore.
Plus, I really hate Red Bull.