Anyone who has dealt with chronic pain knows that eventually, you hit a wall. By the time I was seated in my neurologist’s office, silently diagnosing him with GERD, I was in such sorry shape that if he’d said, “what you need to do is grind a ballpoint pen into your eardrum until you hit your brain,” I’d have fought him for his own pen and done it right then and there. Anything to get rid of that pain.
I’d already been on a dose of something I called The Max, or occasionally Dope-a-Max and it had lost it’s efficacy. As we decided to increase the dose, my neurologist warned me that the higher the dose, the more likely it would be that I’d suffer “cognitive impairment,” which, I don’t need to tell you Pranksters, was the last thing I could have used.
Alas, I went up in dose, accepting that I would probably turn into the Aunt Becky equivalent of a gigantic vegetable, hoping that I’d at least be a kicky exotic vegetable like Chinese Broccoli (with stylish hair) or something.
I bought a notebook to jot down the things I’d previously relied upon my memory for. I accepted that I could no longer just “send an email” without having to look up the address to ensure I wasn’t sending it to the wrong person. I lived in a fog, existing one moment to the next rather than planning for even a couple of days into the future.
I was miserable. Probably more than I’d let on.
The headaches were manageable for awhile, but the gaps in my brain’s functioning made me frustrated and sad. I missed being able to say, “oh yeah, April 18, that’s the day I’m going to Take Over The World, Like Skynet, With Better Hair.” I missed being able to tweet at someone without having to copy/paste their Twitter handle.
Once The Max stopped working to keep my headaches at bay, I switched to something else, hoping to regain some of my cognitive function, as well as manage my headaches. I’d done over two years with The Max, and I was tired of it.
I’d been told that the side effects of Dope-A-Max were reversible so I expected to slowly regain my ability to manage the tasks that used to leave me frustratedly crying at the computer.
And who knows. Maybe they will.
But right now, I feel the gaps in my mind are so large that you could drive a semi-truck loaded with watermelons through them.
What were we talking about again?