Home » Blogs » ADHD Man of Distraction » A Useless Man

A Useless Man

Christmas tree
Just like Christmas … sort of

Okay, I alluded to this a little while ago, but now I’m coming clean.

There was some issues with my heart that just about killed me.

No, it turns out that my heart was fine, but we didn’t know that until I went for a cardiac catheter and they did a flow test.

What nearly killed me was the not knowing. Or rather, the being sure I was on death’s doorstep.

I had eight or so heart attacks just thinking about it all.


No. I think you’d call them panic attacks, anxiety attacks I guess.

I’d wake up in the night and feel an extreme pain in my chest.

Eight years ago …

My wife passed away in 2011, and I was under a lot of stress at that time. And yes, I experienced anxiety attacks then. I would wake up in the night feeling like my heart was tearing itself to pieces, clawing it’s way out of my chest. I was sure I would soon be dead.

I knew enough this time to check my pulse. So I knew I wasn’t going to die on the spot, but I couldn’t be sure how much of the pain I was experiencing was from panic, and how much was because of my newly diagnosed “potential heart issue.”

How much?

It turns out none of it was caused by my heart. Though there are arterial occlusions, there is still adequate flow.

YAY!!! I didn’t celebrate by eating a pound of cheese though.

So, useless?

The other effect that the stress had on me during this time was to exacerbate my ADHD. While I had no trouble focusing on what I was going through and all the possible things that might be the cause and all the potential outcomes, I could not focus on much else.

I managed to produce the writing I am contracted to do, but I did not write anything extra.

In fact, I did very little extra, and by extra, I mean the things I’m supposed to be doing. Housework, seasonal stuff, helping out in my community, it all fell victim to my inability to concentrate.

And the odd thing is …

I could have been given the worst possible diagnosis, I could have been told my heart was shot and I had little or no chance of recovery, and I’d have immediately felt better.

It wasn’t the threat of poor health that was stressing me so much as the not knowing.

And yes

It is true that there are many things I do not know, and lots of those things are things I likely should know, but I can find those things out. I can look them up, or ask someone.

This was me having asked the question, “What’s wrong with me?” and then having to wait for the answer.

It was too much!

It was like Christmas eve night when I would try to sleep as a child but could not stop thinking about what possible wonders would be revealed in the morning.

Well, it was like that in a way, if Christmas was about whether or not I was going to die, I guess.

But so far, I’m not going to die.

At least, not yet.

A Useless Man

Kelly Babcock

I was born in the city of Toronto in 1959, but moved when I was in my fourth year of life. I was raised and educated in a rural setting, growing up in a manner I like to refer to as free range. I live in an area where my family history stretches back 6 or more generations. I was diagnosed with ADHD at the age of 50 and have been both struggling with the new reality and using my discoveries to make my life better. I write two blogs here at Psych Central, one about having ADHD and one that is a daily positive affirmation that acts as an example of finding the good in as much of my life as I possibly can.

Find out more about me on my website: writeofway.

email me at ADHD Man

One comment: View Comments / Leave a Comment



APA Reference
Babcock, K. (2019). A Useless Man. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 31, 2020, from


Last updated: 16 Apr 2019
Statement of review: Psych Central does not review the content that appears in our blog network ( prior to publication. All opinions expressed herein are exclusively those of the author alone, and do not reflect the views of the editorial staff or management of Psych Central. Published on All rights reserved.