Gideon has ADD (as do I). ADD is ADHD without the H (hyperactivity).

In a few scenes where his ADD manifests itself, it is explicitly identified as ADD. In a few other places, such instances are indirectly identified by saying something like “But I digress.” Many other instances are not identified, however, and many readers will likely not recognize these, although readers familiar with ADD may.

This actually parallels the real world. When you try to describe ADD to people, the immediate reaction is often, “What do you mean, everyone has that.” (No, they don’t. But the difference is sometimes difficult to explain.)

The following section was at the beginning of Chapter 21. The editors felt that it slowed the story down and didn’t really fit in.

This is Gideon commenting to the reader.

We have a standing joke in my department at Boston Central Hospital that we all have ADHD in one form or another which is why we went into emergency medicine in the first place.

For me personally the best treatment for ADD is just reading a few books that explain what the heck it is. That way I understand how my brain is wired. I understand that my brain likes to wander off and think about random things. And then at some point, maybe it thinks of something and tunes back in. And then I tend to interrupt whatever might happen to be going on.

A lot of people with ADD need to take pills. I don’t. I hardly ever take them. For me, like I said, knowledge is the best medicine. Ritalin also works, although for me it only takes a tiny dose. A tiny piece of the smallest pill they sell. I tried a few of the other medicines just to see what they do. With the exception of Adderall and Strattera, I didn’t find them very helpful. Adderall seemed like a speedier version of Ritalin. Strattera was smoother but made it hard to get to sleep at night.

Just in case you were interested.

But I digress.

If I had taken a tiniest little bit of Ritalin I wouldn’t have.