Yo Dawg, I heard you like posts. So I put a post in a post.

The first four days of last week I gained 11 lbs before I stopped counting; today, two weeks into this steroid shebang, I’ve lost 8 of whatever I ended up accruing by the previous weekend.

That’s a short factual statement which may also contain countless metaphors.

Three more days of oral Prednisone, then I am tagged and released back into the wild. During this mostly incubatory time* I did a lot of noticing in wonder at how things began to remit backwards from a strange and nebulous alloy wherein I had spent some weeks unknowingly encased. Really “fog” is too nice a word; general brain “fog” that comes daily with MS is something to which I’ve become accustomed. Say what you will (it probably won’t be nice either) about “fog” —  at least it partly exists to help you understand that you’ve lost the path.

yo_dawg

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When how far away from myself I’d gone became apparent, I felt like an unlucky tourist who just returned from a trip abroad with terrible souvenirs of memory. Or memory loss, as some cases seem to be.

I came back into voraciousness.

That’s also a short factual statement which may contain multiple meanings.

At first my entire body still felt dormant as my brain began IDLY CHATTERING IN ALLCAPS. It’s taken my body a little longer than my brain to catch up to baseline, and though my legs still seem to be plotting something nefarious, they work. Though the ideas came back quickly, they were at first very loud, disjointed ideas. Let us look back on a post I was initially too embarrassed-at-myself to publish from last week:

——————————————————————

9:44am – opening “add new post” link and just gonna write insane OMGTHOUGHTS of the day:

  • OMIGOD CALL THE DOCTOR BECAUSE DO YOU NEED AN ORAL RX FOR TAPERING NOW?
5 days of IV-SM with a Prednisone chaser

5 days of IV-SM with a Prednisone chaser

(ok, left message)

  • OMIGOD CALL THE OTHER DOCTOR WHERE YOU REFERRED A YEAR AGO BUT THERE WAS NO MONEY BECAUSE IF YOU NEEDED THAT NEW SPECIALTY THERE IS NOT A BETTER TIME TO START. #ALLCAPS

(ok, left message)

  • OMIGODTRASHPICKUP

(it’s been a long week of not getting the trash out in an effectively timely manner)

  • OMG PUT ON SHOES FIRST

(it was raining yesterday)

  • OMG ITS A BEAUTIFUL DAY OPEN ALL THE WINDOWS YOU HAVE.

(it’s been a funky week of take-out and various mammal odors)

  • OMIGOD START WORKING. WAIT, CALL VERIZON FIRST?

(my wife left her phone with me today because mine has been returned for repair, lost, sent back without a SIM and I can’t NOT HAVE A PHONE RIGHT NOW, because…)

  • OMG TWO DOCTORS AT LEAST.
  • REFILL RXs
  • CALL PLUMBER/HOME INSPECTOR

Also,

  • MAKE SALADS FOR DINNER LATER, BUT WASH ALL THE DISHES NOW.
  • WASH LAUNDRY BUT MORE IMPORTANTLY FOLD THAT MOUNTAIN OF CLEAN.

11:27am – 

  • CALM DOWN YOU HAVE REACHED A COMFORTABLE RESTING PLACE WITH CLIENT A OMG SIT DOWN AND FOLD SOME LAUNDRY

(blanket Cowboy had regurgitated half a bag of dark chocolate chips on yesterday now ready for the dryer; dryer ready to be cleaned out into basket already occupied by clean laundry)

  • O YA DUDE MAKE MORE PHONE CALLS
  • ALWAYS A GOOD TIME TO THROW GARLIC IN THE OVEN (set timer)
  • O YA DUDE YOU SHOULD PAINT TODAY
  • BRO USE THE REFORMER AND WATER THOSE PLANTS WHILE IN THERE TOO
  • OMG SHOULD I SWEEP THE KITCHEN? I COULD TTLY SWEEP THE KITCHEN
  • BUT DO THE COFFEE POTS FIRST

(but first just sit there and fold the laundry, k bro? You have reached a comfortable resting place with Client A. Come back to both A&B in after at least a full hour not looking at the computer screen. Then continuously prioritize as you blast around the ramshackle corners of your brain. Ideas aren’t enemies just because they inherently come with a nonconsensual assumption of your time.)

  • JUST MAKE SOME ESPRESSO REAL QUICK FIRST

(NO YOU CAN HAVE SOME IF YOU STILL WANT IT AFTER YOU FINISH YOUR CHORES)

—————————————————————————-

After feeling hungover regret when the steroids’ effect ebbed, I crashed into bed like gangbusters. The above post remained unpublished and I was emboldened to remember how much I liked the good things my brain could do.

“Oh Academia, you can pick me up, soothe me with your words when I need your love.”

frog-boiling-waterIt’s incredible how frog-in-warm-water the last few months have been, and how in hindsight of course I can see my progression into intellectual regression. That’s some scary, cinematic scripting and I was too emotional about it to get more than 20 pages deep into Flowers for Algernon. But I read 20 pages before a combination of eyes/emotion got the better of this attempt.

My eyes aren’t quite the same, but I know to give them a few more days to resolve before I call shenanigans.

PandA_cardFINALsm-page-001I skipped yoga last week because of this combination platter of body-n-mind that made me feel too exhausted, anxious, and blind to make “being in public” work. *I’ve had the honor of volunteering some time with a community organization in the state capital. They had the unanticipated issue of dealing with a designer who had just experienced a significant neurological event; everything was still completed in time for the event, but I know that it must’ve been a challenge to work over email with a stranger who suddenly doesn’t seem qualified at all. I wondered:

Have I finally lost enough visual acuity to stop being a graphic designer?

I’m not calling shenanigans there yet either. I can respond to myself:

Calm down and don’t make any decisions about life while on prednisone. At your near-worst, you still managed to muddle through and create something of which you can be proud.

Thank you, slightly-more-sane inner voice. Think I’ll keep you around, bro.

 

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  1. OMIGOD I NEED TO DO THE DISHES TOO.

  2. BRO IT IS AWESOME WHEN I FINISH!

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