One Michigan Client’s Journey to Answering the Question: “Do I Have Adult ADHD?”
Little did Heather know that her quest to answer the question, “Do I have adult ADHD?” would result in a journey on the road less traveled. Normally, such a journey starts by contacting one’s primary care physician about symptoms that are wreaking havoc on the job, in school or in relationships. So what are we talking about here? Well, for Heather they included focusing and memory problems; an inability to organize, prioritize and get things done; and that annoying habit of acting first and thinking later. Heather had always consulted with her doctor in the past about this kind of stuff, but decided to do a little exploring before she went down that path. So what did she do? She did what many people do and “Googled” her problem to see if she could find someone who specialized in these helping people with these issues. What were her search terms? “Adult ADHD Caledonia Michigan?” Why Caledonia, Michigan? Easy answer – that’s where Heather lives. When she pressed the enter key there were a slew of results for her to choose from and so she picked the first one, which happened to be a directory of mental health professionals who provide ADHD-related services in her area. However, only a couple of them were psychologists who provided testing and evaluation services. She was intrigued by one of these professionals – Christopher Quarto – because of his innovative approach of working with clients: He does all of his work with Michigan clients online! “Hmmm. How can he can test people for adult ADHD online?” she thought to herself. Heather decided to investigate and checked out his website and discovered that Dr. Quarto connects with clients face-to-face using a video app similar to Skype and FaceTime, but is HIPAA-secure. “Well, that makes me feel a little more comfortable,” Heather thought to herself. But I’m still not sold on talking to someone I don’t know AND who lives out of state!” She kept thinking about how to proceed – “Maybe I should just schedule an appointment with my doctor. On the other hand – it would be so convenient to meet with someone online who actually specializes in this stuff AND he says on his website that he can do the evaluation in 2 1/2 hours.” Heather slept on it and decided to give Dr. Quarto a call to schedule an appointment.
Later the next day, Heather called Dr. Quarto’s office and was surprised when he answered the phone. “Ummm. Is this Dr. Quarto’s office?” Heather asked. “Yes, indeed,” responded Dr. Quarto. “And who do I have the pleasure of talking to?” Heather was caught off guard; she was expecting to talk to a receptionist and not the doctor. “Ah, yes. My name is Heather and I’m calling to schedule an appointment to be tested for adult ADHD.” “Fantastic!”, replied Dr. Quarto. “I’m glad you found me. Tell me a little bit about what’s been going on and then I’ll tell you how the process works.” She could tell in the first few seconds of the phone call that he was a warm and down-to-earth person, which made her feel more comfortable embarking on the next part of her journey. Heather was looking forward to her appointment, which was scheduled for the following week.
It was appointment day and Heather sat in front of her computer in her home office. Now, she had Skyped with family members in the past, but had never done anything like this with a doctor. She felt a little nervous. “I wonder what this will be like?” She thought to herself. A few seconds later Heather heard a “ding, ding, ding” sound, which meant that Dr. Quarto was calling her. His smiling face soon appeared on her computer monitor as did her own. She felt relieved that this was a secure connection so no one else could eaves drop on their conversation. Dr. Quarto went over some of the unique aspects of online testing – including what they could do in the event they experienced any technical glitches.
Dr. Quarto started the interview by asking Heather questions about why she wanted to be evaluated for adult ADHD as well as her history. She appreciated his thoroughness and felt like Dr. Quarto knew pretty much everything about the major aspects of her life by the time that part of the appointment had concluded.
Following the interview, Dr. Quarto had Heather open a browser on her computer and go to the website of a test publishing company that he told her about earlier. He had her complete a series of tests on the website – basically self-report questionnaires that ask people questions like, “I have trouble concentrating. Never, Sometimes, Often, Almost Always” and monitored her all the while using the video app. Once Heather completed the tests Dr. Quarto talked to her about the next steps in the process, which basically amounted to him scoring and interpreting the test results and writing a comprehensive report, which would include current and historical information she provided to him in the interview; the observations Dr. Quarto made of Heather during the appointment; a detailed description and explanation of the test results; a summary of the findings; and a diagnosis and treatment plan. Dr. Quarto informed Heather that a treatment plan was a fancy way of saying recommendations or strategies that specifically target her problems. She was pleased to hear that the recommendations were practical and “doable.”
Heather was amazed when she received an e-mail from Dr. Quarto three days later informing her that her report was finished! Several of her friends who were evaluated by local psychologists in her city not only had to schedule three appointments to complete the whole process, but also had to wait a month to get their reports! It was also nice that Dr. Quarto sent a copy of the report to her primary care physician who would be in charge of prescribing medicine to treat her symptoms. “Wow! I didn’t know what to expect on this journey,” Heather thought to herself, “but I’m so glad I stopped putting this off and got this taken care of. I can’t believe how easy and convenient this was!”
If you live in Michigan or Tennessee and you’re reading this blog post because you’re interested in being evaluated for adult ADHD then you could substitute your name for Heather’s in the story above. Do something for yourself today that could pave the path for a smoother journey through life. Give Dr. Quarto a call now to schedule an appointment! (615) 403-5227.
Tennessee & Michigan