Monday, June 06, 2016
by Kathryn Holleman
BJH | Ever wonder what happened to that kid in your grade-school class? The one who had trouble sitting still; who drove the teachers crazy and made all the kids laugh; who you could count on to be impulsive and outrageous; who made poor grades and even worse decisions?
Would it surprise you to find that kid became a respected cardiology nurse at a major academic medical center, a happily married mother of two, and now, an author whose book is being read around the globe?
It still surprises Kristin Seymour sometimes, and she’s that kid.
Seymour, a clinical nurse specialist at the Washington University Heart and Vascular Center at Barnes-Jewish Hospital, has written and published a new book, “The Fog Lifted: A Clinician’s Victorious Journey with ADHD,” detailing her journey through attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The book has been endorsed by ADHD educators and physicians and has been purchased by readers around the world.
It candidly details Seymour’s struggles in school and her resulting low self-esteem. It also tells how an appropriate ADHD diagnosis and treatment finally changed her life, helping her accomplish her lifelong dream of becoming a nurse, excelling and developing self-love.
“I wanted to give a voice to those who have ADHD,” Seymour says.
Her story will seem familiar to those with ADHD. Like many of them, Seymour had found it almost impossible to sit through class and focus on schoolwork. Teachers often attributed her poor performance and impulsive behavior to willfulness, rather than a physical condition. Her loving parents were mystified how to help her.
For as long as she could remember, Seymour loved to minister to her siblings’ scrapes, tend an ailing grandparent or volunteer at a nursing home. She wanted to be a nurse. But her “foggy brain,” resulting lackluster schoolwork and anxiety threatened to derail her dream.
Finally, poor college grades and potentially dangerous behavior led her parents to have Seymour thoroughly evaluated by a multidisciplinary team of experts. A pediatric and adolescent neurologist, psychologist, pediatrician and speech therapist were able to put together the pieces of the puzzle that teachers, pediatricians and other experts had missed previously. The team diagnosed Seymour with ADHD and started her on the drug Ritalin. As she says in her book, “The fog lifted.”
Since then she has not only achieved her goal of becoming a nurse, but has excelled in the field, earning her master’s degree, and becoming a board-certified clinical nurse specialist and member of the American College of Cardiology. In addition, she’s happily married and the proud mother of two daughters.
Seymour got the idea to write her book when an old school friend shared a note she had saved for 25 years. Seymour had written the note and passed it to her friend in class. Everything about the note, including the “chicken-scratch” handwriting, the lack of focus and the anger it expressed, reminded her of her frustration and lack of self-esteem.
“I realized maybe I could share insight that might help someone help their child with ADHD or help themselves,” she says.
“The Fog Lifted” offers a sometimes heartbreaking, sometimes hilarious recounting of Seymour’s ADHD journey, advice and insights from experts, and inspiring quotes that have guided her.
In addition to endorsements from several physicians, Seymour has received positive feedback from colleagues who’ve read the book. “I’ve had people who’ve known me for a long time say they never realized I had ADHD. They’re surprised by what I’d been through,” she says. “One person even said I ought to try to get on the ‘Ellen’ show.”
In the few weeks it’s been available on Amazon, “The Fog Lifted” has been purchased by readers around the world. She’s received interest from at least one school system that wants to give copies of the book to its teachers. Her website, adhdfoglifted.com, has been shared on several education blogs. Seymour’s also talking with the St. Louis Special School District about donating book proceeds to help its students.
Her main goal, though, is to give hope to people with ADHD and their families, she says. That’s why she began her book by relating an incident on a plane about to take off from Lambert International Airport. Seymour was called upon to help a fellow passenger with a potentially fatal cardiac episode. She was able to aid the passenger until EMS arrived and call ahead to BJH to alert the heart team. Seymour credits her training, expertise — and her ADHD — for allowing her to handle the many tasks necessary to help the passenger without hesitation or fear.
“It was like I had come full circle,” she says.
More information about “The Fog Lifted: A Clinician’s Victorious Journey With ADHD” is available at Kristin Seymour’s website, ADHDfoglifted.com or at http://www.amazon.com/Lifted-Clinicians-Victorious-Journey-ADHD/dp/0692686568.
Kathryn Holleman, email@example.com
Tags : Kristin Seymour, The Fog Lifted
Number of views (11300)/Comments (5)
6/7/2016 8:42 AM
Thank you Kathy Holleman for writing such a nice article and for your support.
6/13/2016 2:20 PM
Kristin Seymour you are an amazing person and always with a smile.
7/25/2016 10:58 AM
Wow, no way would I had never imagined! I will read your book because I'm sure it will open me up to seeing things from my son's perspective; he's suffers from ADHD too. Although, he's medicated there are still days when I'm wondering what's going on in his head and if there is more I should be doing? I appreciate your transparency and all the best to you.
8/9/2016 7:19 AM
Thanks for the kind words Sharon! Email me anytime if you want to chat or have any questions! firstname.lastname@example.org
8/29/2016 6:13 PM
What a great article! BJH is so lucky to have such a fabulous CNS taking care of their patients! Kristin always has a kind word and big smile! Liz