Thursday, April 24

Confessions of a Fogged Mind

Wow, I can't believe my feet have taken me back here. I think every time a sort of overload happens in my life, I get the tendency to retreat and look for my safe haven once again which, needless to say, is this blog. 

The overload I'm talking about has something to do with my being ill.

I've had lacunar stroke back in December, and it's turned my world upside down since. The stroke itself was something far from damaging. It was a mild one. My internist, a good and competent doctor, has told me that my case was sort of a fluke, considering that my age and blood make-up were not a likely candidate for such illness. And I do believe him. Well,  I suppose, flukes do happen.

I was committed to the hospital for a week after a rather invasive and painful ct scan showed I was having a stroke, although twice before in the emergency room I was misdiagnosed as suffering an acid reflux and was sent home prematurely.

During confinement, I  was given intensive  shots of citicoline to wake my neurons up and generate new brain cells. I guess that from then on, my once simple-if-a-bit-leaning-towards-erratic-brain was never the same. Good or bad, I can only speculate.

My problem began when I started working again four weeks later.

Immediately, I could sense that something in me has changed. I got fidgety and irritable at the slightest stimulus. How's that for stress-busting prevention? Yikes. Secondly, I have known myself to be a bit of a scatterbrain, yet generally useful and capable of mildly complex endeavors. But after the stroke, I  realized that I vacillated more often and focused less. There was always a sense of missing out something that I can't exactly pinpoint, and it frustrated me that I couldn't identify it right away. It just felt that I had to get to it, or I would become agitated and endlessly cuss under my breath.

Sometime around February this year, after boldly taking up driving lessons for five sessions, things turned for the worse. I was always feeling vertiginous, out of balance, fearful. It didn't help that my stomach was always churning and was just plain uncomfortable at all times of the day. I had lessened my caffeine intake, and loaded up on potassium and fiber instead. But there seemed to be no end of the ill feeling. It was just perpetually looming when I least needed it.

Not being able to cope well, I turned to my internist. This time he told me outright that I was exhibiting pervasive symptoms of anxiety disorder, something expected from a stroke patient like me, but that I needed to mend myself, by myself.

He did give me Xanor to ease my nerves somehow, but not without warning me adamantly that it can be habit-forming. I personally was resolute to use it only for two weeks as prescribed, so imagine how relieved I was when the pills seemed to indeed alleviate my symptoms. Finally, the monster was put away in the dungeon. Or so I presumed. Ouch! Little do I know that such solutions are meant to be short-lived and are never to be relied upon.

By mid-March, I was back to square one. I honestly dreaded running back to my internist . I just knew that I had to be off of those pills and do something to combat my infliction the natural way. But how, I just didn't have an iota. So, there I was in his clinic and again he dismissed me saying, "fix yourself".

Feeling incredulous, I set myself to murdering  my doctor mentally. Did I not look to him like a rabid dog that had totally lost it? How do I fix what breaks without provocation and glues itself whole again just when you think it can never be mended? And then breaks again at your most unawares? Tricky shit, right? But then again, he seemed to be right on. Acceptance, that's a word. But right now, how do I accept something so extreme  and psychologically fatal and resurrect from those little deaths?

Recently, I've had anxiety attacks for days on end. It's a tiny hell all the time, if that's what hell in fact feels like. The dizziness, palpitations, nausea, fear of falling and fainting, just the sheer fear of dropping dead in a public place where no one knows you, triggered at a time when you least expect it --that's how bad it is.

On good days, I'm still myself, easy to please, with a ready laugh, and I guess a healthy enough disposition to not be disparaged by such thoughts and fears of these unknown lurking demons.

But by god ,when it does happen--out of the fucking blue---I swear, I crumble like a handful of sand. Forgive the language. But I can't begin to elucidate how horrible that very moment feels, and unless another person experiences it himself, there is no elucidation that can paint the picture enough for one to understand, or empathize at the very least. I don't know now if talking about it, verbalizing it, confessing it ,would help.

I've always made light of the word "shrink", but right about now, I think that's ironically who I most desperately need.

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