Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Easy as One, Two, Three

I'm not sure that I want to post this. It's some pretty personal stuff that I'm not sure I feel entirely comfortable sharing in a public way. But I'm also not one to shy away from something out of fear. I do know that I need to write this all out. If you want to stick around and read, let me warn you. This is not funny stuff here. This is just me working things out.
Apparently I have anxiety. I probably knew that I did, somewhere in the back of my mind. Especially since I have a psych degree, after all. But my excuse for that is I focused on evolutionary and cognitive psychology. Now that I'm confronted with the fact, it's so obvious that I have anxiety. I have constant nervous behaviors (cracking knuckles, fiddling with my hair, tapping my feet, drumming my fingers, biting my lips, etc). And then there is what goes on inside my head. I overanalyze everything, to such a degree that I will have entire fictional conversations in my head based on an offhand comment.
I've always considered myself a fast thinker, joking that my hands can't keep up with my brain to explain my poor handwriting and typo-riddled typing. Is that part of my anxiety? Is that something I'll lose when my meds start to really work? I don't want to slow down my thoughts, I just want them to be more productive and let me focus on important things instead of reliving a conversation from two years ago and thinking about the things I wish I could have said.
I also wonder how much it will affect my memory. I've also always had a poor memory. I suspect that I have a short-term memory deficiency, but I've never been able to empirically confirm that. Most short-term memory tests utilize pattern memorization, which is something I'm quite good at, so getting an accurate assessment of my actual memory forming abilities is tricky. I do know from experience that I have a very hard time correlating events with when they happened. I can't say off the top of my head what year I graduated from college. I have to do the math, and even then I'm not positive. I can't tell you which year I moved to Florida, but I can tell you that I've lived here for a little over two years. But that sounds wrong to me, because I moved here in either September or November (that's another issue I have; keeping the months straight) so I've had three Christmases here and it feels more natural to say I've lived here for three years.
Are my issues with memory and time something that will be aided by medication? If so, I would welcome it. My life wouldn't be as entertaining, but I would be a lot more organized and functional.
It's not very likely that will happen though, since I'm pretty sure that I have mild dyscalculia and I'm equally sure that's unrelated to anxiety. I joke a lot about how I'm terrible at math, but the truth goes deeper than that. I can do quite well with algebra, because that is logic based. Any other math activities, like calculus or percentages or doing math in my head or even telling time on an analog clock just do not happen in my brain. I've tried to learn them over and over and they just do not make sense to me. I have never been able to do even simple addition or subtraction in my head. I have to use my fingers as an adult, which is beyond embarrassing. I've developed a very discrete way of doing it if I'm forced to in public, but if you watch closely you can see it. I can do most calculations if I'm given a pen and paper, but if you listen to what I say and compare it to what I write, nothing makes sense. I'll say "seven minus four" out loud, but I'll write "9 - 5" and either one of those can match what I'm supposed to be doing. Or not. Word problems are my nemesis.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

So last week I fell in the cafe at my work. Yes, I know you're absolutely shocked. This wasn't you're run-of-the-mill fall though, I managed to fall spectacularly in front of at least half of the "Response Team," the ones who help out during an emergency and are all Red Cross trained. Paired with the fact that I actually hurt myself a fair bit, there was no laughing it off. I did draw the line when they tried to get me into a wheelchair though. That was just excessive.
I spent the rest of the day icing my ankle, which I was concerned about because of how many times I've managed to sprain it before. I had already been feeling achy in general, and this fall situation certainly didn't help. Some medicinal wine when I got home did though. The next day, my ankle felt fine, but the rest of my body was in a fair bit of pain. At least it was Friday and I didn't have to hobble around in heels.
I was in enough pain to look into the side effects of my new medications, and sure enough joint pain was listed highly for the stuff I had for RLS. So I called the doctor and we're going to reevaluate. Super. Then I read this:
You should know that some people who took medications such as ropinirole developed gambling problems or other intense urges or behaviors that were compulsive or unusual for them.
Fantastic. I already think gambling's a little ridiculous and only fun if I'm playing poker with fake money. Were I to develop a gambling addiction, I would be pissed. I've already got a touch of OCD, I don't need it exacerbated, thanks.
My joint pain finally subsided enough for me to get back into my running program yesterday, which I really wanted to do because I was cranky as hell and needed an outlet. I got about halfway before my knee (opposite leg from the ankle I was worried about) decided to tell me to fuck off with this nonsense. Looks like that's what I should have been icing after that fall instead of the ankle. So now I get to go try and find a knee brace that will fit on my short little leg.