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Archive for the ‘Medication’ Category

Let me tell you about the inside of my head.

Imagine Robin Williams doing stand-up, or if you’re not old enough to remember when Robin Williams did stand-up, imagine Eddie Izzard instead. He’s standing in a big empty space, talking at high speed, and everything he says leads into another connection that leads to another comedy bit, some of it isn’t as funny, but there’s so much energy and speed that the overall effect is pretty amusing. Now imagine that your stream of consciousness comedian is having an off night. Maybe he suffered blunt head trauma just before coming onto stage. He’s still talking very quickly, but it doesn’t make much sense anymore. (more…)

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Went back to the doctor yesterday after almost a month of taking my medicine. The doctor agreed that upping the dose is probably a good plan, and I’ve got a prescription for the higher dose. Will my insurance company allow the pharmacy to give it to me before my current supply runs out? Who knows?! When I do finally get the new medication I’ll be interested to see how big the difference in effect will be. Having a third data point will hopefully give me a better idea of how different things are supposed to be. I’ll have to be sure to take this one pretty early in the morning just in case the duration is substantially longer.

In addition to upping my meds I’m also trying some different strategies for time management. Rather than just giving myself a to do list I am putting everything in a schedule. By giving myself specific times when I have to do things I can maintain focus, and better force myself to stop goofing off. That having been said. Writing time is unfortunately over (spent most of it working on the Express scripts: look for part 2 of issue 1 tomorrow or Friday), and it is now time for cleaning.

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It’s been about a week since I last updated on how things are going on my medication there haven’t been any big new changes to report, but I had an encounter the other day that I think is reflective of the changes that I’m making.

I was picking up some pizza from Peppino’s (a local pizza place), and I was in a hurry to get home because I was on a lunch break. My phone was plugged into its car charger, and figuring that it wouldn’t take long to grab the pizza I left it in the car. I pop inside wait in line for maybe 45 seconds, and as I come up to the register the girl behind it says, “Carry out for Andrew , right?” This is neither a surprise or a problem. I am aware that I probably order pizza too often, and since this pizzeria is both near my house and better than the corporate options I am a carry-out regular. It’s what the girl said after she took my money that made my stomach clench and my mouth go dry, “No headphones today?”

What follows is a rough transcription of what went through my head in the second before I said, with a nervous chuckle “Nope, not today”: Here I am talking to a person who I see perhaps twice a month for upwards of six minutes at a time, and to her I am “That guy who’s always wearing headphones” so much so that she feels compelled to mention it when I don’t have them. I don’t know how to feel about it really. Is it a bad thing? Am I one step away from being “blue-tooth headset guy”? Am I worse than that? Is it ok that I have my headphones in while waiting for pizza, even though no one else does, because it is pretty boring? Was it like this when I was “that kid with a book”; reading and eating by myself at restaurants? Have I been shutting out the world? Have I been thinking about this too long? How do I respond? Ok, It’s not a big deal; just laugh it off.

I never really thought before about how my need for constant stimulation affected the way that people see me. Will that change? Should it change? Always new things to consider with a shifting brain. I’ll keep you updated on how it pans out.

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Learned an answer to one of my Day 1 questions this evening:  The effect caffeine has on me has, in fact, increased. I used to be able to have a coke zero around bedtime with no issues. (I know, caffeine addiction is just terrible. I gave it up for something like eight years, but I really missed the way cola tasted, and now that I’ve switched to diet soda lymon just doesn’t cut it.) So tonight, soda before bed? Turns out that’s not such a hot idea. I’m tired, but I can not get my brain to power down, and my first impulse was to share that with the world.

I take that as a good sign. If I’m going to keep up with this it has to be a muscle that I want to work. That’s another positive effect for the list, by the way.  On my way into work today I passed a Kia Sorrento, and I thought “Wow. That’s a pretty nice looking car. Particularly for a Kia. Maybe I will learn more about them when I get to work.” Then I got to work, and I remembered that I had promised to tell you good people about my favorite podcasts. Here we are, nine hours later, with 1200ish words of my genius (and so modest too!) for you to peruse where a blank page, and some useless knowledge about a car I can’t buy anyway might have been. To Recap: I did real work on a topic I was interested in rather than letting my mental impulses drive me to literal distraction. That is pretty big.

It’s not the solution to all my problems. Writing this blog is fun; cleaning the kitchen is not. There are still all of the things that I don’t want to do, and tricking myself into doing them regularly is all part of the process, but the most insidious part of this whole problem is not putting off the things I don’t want to do. That’s normal. Everyone procrastinates, everyone sets aside the boring and the intimidating sometimes, but skipping on the things I love; so that I could do nothing; that is a disease I will not miss.

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So, as I mentioned, I forgot to take my pill at the correct time yesterday which lead to a few hours of that groggy miserable feeling like after you wake up from napping too long. In order to combat this effect I went ahead and took my medicine when I got home. Well, that turns out not to be the best plan. Taking the medicine at 5pm means that the (8 hour on average) effect would last until 1am which is not a great time to go to bed when you need to get up at 6am.  Worse then, is attempting to go to bed at the entirely reasonable hour of 11pm and coming in and out of a lite doze until 3am. Lesson learned: If you need a good nights sleep DO NOT take the medicine after 2 in the afternoon.

Feeling pretty good today.

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I didn’t make a post yesterday, and I am really bothered by that. I became so tied up in doing other things that I never made time for it. Starting tomorrow I’m going to carve out a time for this, and see if that helps me stick a little better.

On day 6 I saw my therapist again for the first time since I started the meds, and he thinks that my dose is probably low. So next month we’ll try upping it. In the meantime I’m going to shift the timing of when I take my pill to see what gives me the best effect.  I started out taking it around 10 am, but it would run out, with an accompanying drowsy feeling around 6pm, and there’s a lot that needs to be done from 6pm to 8pm.

Unfortunately, in switching times I totally blew it, and forgot to take my pill. It’s not the way I  would have preferred, but I am definitely seeing a result. I can’t keep a thought in my head. Everything is distracting and boring at the same time like there is a terrier living in my head. The thing is, I recognize this feeling it’s the feeling that I used to have whenever I didn’t have something to watch, or listen to, or a game to play. (Or, as a preference, a game to play AND something to listen to.) One of the flash sites I visit logs when you were last on and what’s new. When it told me that I had been gone six days I closed the window. Those games are reflective of something that I don’t want to be anymore, and so I’m not going to look for anything new to play. I’ll definitely keep listening to podcasts, but I’ll need to cull my directory because I don’t need to listen all the time. I can’t promise I’ll be productive, but I’m going to try like hell. Even when I have a headache, and I feel REALLY tired. I know now that I can be different even if it’s just not needing constant distraction.

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I just can’t tell. I got a lot of stuff done today, but I still don’t feel different. Am I supposed to feel different? I’ll finally have my first meeting with my therapist since I started the medicine. I’m sure he’ll have a good perspective to offer. Big challenge for tomorrow will be cleaning out the compressor on our house’s heat pump.  This has historically been the sort of important, but irritating job that I’d avoid for weeks.

I still haven’t gotten the kitchen clean in the mornings this week. This probably means I need to start taking my pill earlier in the day, but I worry about it wearing off before I get off work.

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