It sounds like your story is very similar to mine. I'm 31, and have just recently been put on Straterra (Atomoxetine) I also was diagnosed with dyslexia while growing up, but after looking at my records again, I have been told that it falls more under dysgraphia rather than dyslexia (writing rather than reading)
I was diagnosed as a... side-effect... of going through the diagnosis process with my son. As some posters have mentioned, it did start with a checklist (or actually a book of checklists, and Likert scale questions) and then a trip to the psychologist (during which time I was also being seen for depression) Part of the analysis for both myself and my son was reviewing academic records, and comments from teachers. (Parents, those report cards from 1st grade can make a difference as kids grow up) and then working on getting the right dose of the right meds. We resisted medications for quite a while, and are still working on getting it "right" to avoid turning our son into a zombie, but to get the benefits of the meds (for the record, we are keeping the doses as low as possible).
Are there side-effects, yes, are they worth the benefits, I believe, when used correctly, yes.
My coworkers can tell when I miss a dose of my meds. it makes it very difficult for them to follow my thought process. I have been lucky to find both a primary, and a secondary job that fit the way I function. I find I can go from hyper-focus to full-on attention-bounce. The meds have given me the ability to better control this, and have brought me to a much better place.
I failed out of my first university, and was only moderately successful in Grade School.
I don't know what discussions (if any) were had about me and my condition as a child, but I'm glad that we have been working on this for my son