Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Take my brain, please!

I just took a big dose of (probably useless) Ambien and decided to revise this post. I can only hope the medication makes the writing more interesting because the first time around was kind of a snooze for this one.

I had my every-six-weeks appointment with the psychiatrist today. I try to be pleasant when I go, but today I didn't have the energy to be chatty, so I didn't even try. If there's one place you should be free to show your mood, it's in the psychiatrist's office.

He asked what was up, and I just said, "Nothing."
"Is that a good nothing or a bad nothing?"
"It's just...nothing. No changes. I'm really tired." (Because I am too overwhelmed with drugs to add in that trozodone you prescribed. It sounds like a dinosaur.)

I think he was worried because I wasn't my bubbly self. Sometimes, I just can't put on that persona, no matter how desperately I want to. Lately, I rarely want to, but I still manage to dig deep and put on that face of normality so I can be convincing when I fake interpersonal engagement. Such is the problem with fall. And my work schedule.

Last year around this time is when I ran out of money. My malaise must have triggered a memory for the doc because he went into the special locked closet of pharmaceutical wonders and brought me about 30 sample boxes of EMSAM patches. Wa-hoo. He handed me the bag and I said the only thing I could think of : "Trick or treat."

The doc shrugged and said, "And Christmas comes early." I thanked him for his generosity (keeping in mind that there are only like five people in the entire city on this medication. It's not like there's a mad rush for samples). I think he was just trying to get me to show some enthusiasm. Smiling was not even on the menu today.

The doc asked if I wanted or needed anything else. What a stupid question. "Yes, Dr. Steve! I want a new brain! This one doesn't work right. It's defective and I want a replacement. Is there a warranty??"

He laughed and said, "May, your brain is just fine. You have a great brain. People like your brain. We just need to keep it tuned up. Why don't you like your brain?" Has he been sleeping all this time?

My brain complicates my life. The neurotransmitters don't work right, the frontal lobe has issues, and that damned amygdala needs an overhaul, and it should take its totally lame friend Mr. Hipocampus with it.

Dr. Steve told me to buy a light box for SAD therapy. I told him I had read all about it just like he told me to, but I wasn't feeling motivation to spend the big bucks, especially when the sun is free.

"May, May, May! Reading about it and using it are not the same thing. You need photons, lots and lots of photons! Unless you're going to sit outside for 30 minutes every single day, the light therapy won't work. It only works if you actually expose yourself to it. It's a discipline, like playing an instrument or learning a language. If you don't practice every day, your brain can't hold onto what it's gaining. Buy the light box, May."

Honestly, it's not just the price that puts me off. One of the most significant side effects of light therapy is...insomnia. Could I possibly sleep less than I do now? Why do I even bother to own pajamas?

1 comment:

Spilling Ink said...

Insomnia with light therapy? That sucks. That's why I can't do melatonin. Congrats on the freebie. At least something good happened (not that that changes the crappy stuff any!). He's right about one thing. People like your brain. :-)