There’s something I’ve beep shying away from posting publicly about. I dunno, but I kinda feel like if I mention it in public, it gives it more credence or tangibility or something, plus I’m hyperaware that I might be overreacting or experiencing a hypochondriac medical-intern effect. But then, what’s a blog for if not for over-sharing every now and again?
Basically, I’ve felt for a while now that I’ve been losing my words. Beyond a motivation or story flow issue, I feel like I’m perpetually groping to communicate anything. Frustrating beyond belief, yes. And also utterly terrifying.
Now, my human suit is less than hale and robust. I have an autoimmune disease (MCTD/lupus), a painful extra rib in my neck (thoracic outlet syndrome), and a slew of minor annoying and inconvenient health issues (allergies, insomnia, heart arrhythmia, and occasional bouts of asthma). And this year, I had the worst MCTD/lupus flare-up I’ve had in over a decade, one that I’ve still not fully recovered from.
So I’m batting away my knee-jerk “Early onset Alzheimer’s!” panic on principle. And yes, medical intern hypochondria concerns stem from here, as in my master’s degree in Developmental Psychology. But the panic-terror-dread remains, a niggling concern I don’t want to look at too closely. And even without the Big A, I can’t escape the fact that I’m just not functioning, cognitively, as well as I used to.
On the don’t-be-a-hypochondriac front, both scientific and control freak methodology advises me to break it down and examine the variables. Is it age? After all, I did turn 40 this year. My general state of unhealth? Sleep deprivation and sickness are certainly viable culprits for perpetual muzzy brainedness. Or the meds I’m on to combat said state of unhealth? I take Imuran to dissuade my immune system from becoming a giant, green rage monster, Adderall to fend away the fatigue due to either the Imuran or my immuno-hulk (or both), and Tramadol, Hydroxyzine, and Albuterol on an as-needed basis.
So my word shortage could be due to many things. But here’s where the methodology falls apart. I can’t manipulate most of the variables. Love to de-age, but can’t—not even if I had a Tardis. Ditto, can’t trade in my human suit for a better functioning model, much as I’d like to. And can’t quit taking my meds.
Well, actually, that’s not completely true. Adderall, Tramadol, and hydroxyzine are not life-support priorities on the human suit triage, with the most obvious candidate to remove being the Adderall (as I don’t take the Tramadol or the hydroxyzine on an everyday basis). But I’ve been loathe to take that step. Adderall combats my fatigue, keeps me from sleeping upwards of fourteen hours a day, and so heads off clinical depression. To whit, without motivation or energy, I can’t write or be productive. If I can’t write or be productive, I become depressed. (Can’t believe it took nearly ten years for me and my p-docs to figure that out. Also that antidepressants make me tired. Note the scary-evil vicious cycle?)
But, of course, without my words, I’m neither writing nor productive and therefore courting depression anyway. Also, the Adderall exacerbates my insomnia. Once I looked past my “Don’t wanna! I neeeeed it!”, I realized this really is a two birds, one stone thing. So I’ve been off the Adderall for a week now.
- Sleeping better: Check
- Energy, engagedness, and motivation: Jury’s still out
- Flowingness of Words: Ditto, awaiting jury
- Productivity: Well, this is my second proper blog post this week. (If folks hadn’t noticed, my blogging has been pretty Spartan and content-low of late.) But I haven’t made much story progress. Let’s call it another still-out jury.
- Emotional equilibrium: Surprisingly high.
‘Course, even if I see definitive results from this extended Adderall holiday, there’s always the placebo effect issue to contend with. What I really wish I could do is make a couple hundred clones of me and run scientific trials against a control set. Stupid still-in-infancy cloning technology.
So yeah. Waiting (and seeing) is.